Saturday, November 7, 2015

Master Bath Renovation

Our early Spring/Summer seemed to take forever, but we got it done finally and I really love it!!!!


Time just marches on doesn't it?  I'm still kicking..........have had to rather curtail a few things in the last year and a half, due to two knee replacements, but doing well now and I am sooooo glad to have that all behind me!!  Now, I can get back to doing the things I love, creating, designing, making our home a haven in this world.  I know God is in control and we are not to worry, but oh my, our world is changing in so many ways.  These things and illness in our family plot to bring spirits down, but we still must get up every morning full of hope and God's presence and provision in our lives.

I guess maybe that is the allure of redesigning a room...........I feel maybe like I have some control...........just a wee bit...........well, somewhat,......... the "budget" is also in control, but you get the drift.

Our master bath has needed attention for some time, and so in the Spring, we started the task of putting down floor tile, changing the color of our vanity cabinets, new tile for the tub surround, beefing up the trim, and painting it out white, as opposed to the stained oak. 

This is how it looked when we started:

I was never happy with the way this turned out........the tile was too high on the wall for what I wanted.  The contractor did not listen to me at all.  Also, the window is set into a box on the outside of the house and it creates the shelf you see under it.  However, whoever framed this in did not allow for the window to have trim on all four sides......consequently the side trim had to "deadend" into the tile.  As an added insult, the person doing the caulking simply filled the gap with silicone, which bled up into the grain of the oak.  It looked terrible.  In addition, horizontal tile is nothing but a dust catcher, and the grout holds on to a good deal of the dirt, no matter how much you clean.  So, I decided, we needed some kind of small counter material on top of the shelf and also on the front side of the tub.  So, we ordered onyx slabs for this.


In addition to these corrections and changes, there was carpet in this area.......yes, I know........the most terrible decision you can make, according to HGTV.  HA!  When we built, tile had been planned, but there was a snafu at the last minute and simply no time to correct it and keep on schedule, so we decided to put down the same carpet as the bedroom, tile the toilet room only, and change out the carpet at a later date.    Well, 10 YEARS later IS a later date!!  Actually, the carpet did much better than I thought it would, but it had paid its rent and it was time to tile the whole thing.  By this time, the little tile we had installed in the toilet area, was not to our liking anymore, so it had to be removed also.  We chose to put down 12 x 24 plank wood-grained tile in a soft silver gray.

Ready to see??

We got the marble subway tile at Home Depot and it went on pretty well, but was a bit of a challenge as the coloring was all over the place!!  I originally wanted more just grays and whites, but so much of the tile had some golds and browns, that we just ended up distributing it as evenly as we could as we went.  We used the border tile to finish it off at the top.

Would you believe these cabinets were the BIGGEST challenge of the reno?  I tried stripping them first........also used industrial sandpaper to get off the commercial finish.......worked fine in some places, but the paneled doors were a bear!!  I had planned to just use a dark penetrating stain.  When I realized I was not going to be able to get off all the finish, I decided to try the gel stain by General Finishes in the dark walnut color.  I felt the Java would be too dark and I did want the grain of the oak coming through.  Our cabinets were very well built and custom, so to replace them would be out of the question.........and I really didn't want to paint them either. (My husband seemed happy about that)  It took me so long it seemed, but we did have quite a few interruptions.  I tried to make sure that with each coat, I let it try a few days before doing another.  I did all the doors in the garage as it got warmer.  After they got two coats, I applied then two (or three) coats of Minwax satin polyurethane.  Before I brushed on the poly, I sprayed them with a coat of poly, so I wouldn't disrupt the gelstain by brushing over it.  I really do like the finished product, but it is very hard to get it to look professional, definitely not for the faint of heart, and there is NO way I would attempt a kitchen!!  For small projects, tabletops, etc it is great, especially if you can't remove the finish.

The toilet area.............

I love having enough room here to add the little wicker stand and a lamp! 

I changed out some of my pictures in the toilet area too.

This is one of "best" changes in the bathroom!!  We had a small chandelier here, but saw this light fan at Lowes on clearance and thought it would be perfect and maybe help the lady of the house keep her "cool" a little better when trying to get ready in the mornings................I just love it!!!  It moves a surprising amount of air, but does not move the hair, if you know what I mean.
They don't carry them anymore,.........not sure why.  I have seen them on Amazon, but they are WAY more than we paid!!  It was an Allen and Roth.  Everyone seems to love it!!

Thank you for checking in.  I hope your Fall is going great.  I can't believe how quickly this year has gone and that we are already into November!!!  Christmas will be here before we know it.  

Singing His Praises,


Monday, May 12, 2014

A beautiful Mother's Day!!

I hope you all had a beautiful Mother's Day!!  It was a gorgeous weekend here in NE Kansas and we enjoyed being outside working on the yard.  The winter was pretty hard on things....lost a few trees, some roses and a couple other things.  I hate sad when a beautiful specimen gets up to a pretty good size and then dies.  This is the first time in our married history that we have actually had "trees" in our yard and we are thoroughly enjoying it.  I had to bring in some of the bountiful branches from one of our viburnum bushes......Aren't they so gorgeous?  We moved this bush from my husband's parents yard and it has done so well.  I just wish the blossoms would last a little longer!!

I love the touches of green with the white.  You know my favorite color is just energizes me!!  I call it the color of "life"!!  And after a long hard winter, seeing everything greening up is especially a blessed sight this year after the long cold winter.

I love blue and green together and always have!!  It seems to be a popular color scheme again in the decorating trends and magazines and I am so glad.....but I would love it regardless of whether it was the "in" trend. :)

I think I need a greenery wreath around the blue willow plate in the center of my octagon frame.  What do you all think?  I need to get cracking on that!

My winter months were a time of recuperation too with not a lot accomplished other than healing from a knee replacement.  I am so blessed that it was so successful and I hardly even think about it anymore.

I have been working in closets and so forth....feeling the need to weed out and pull out....give things away and such.  We have "collected" for so many years and are realizing that our children are not as "wild" about our antiques as we were.

So, I am contemplating getting a spot at a shop not far away.  It  is very enticing, but I know a lot of work too!!! 

Nothing brings me more joy than taking a piece of trash and turning it into a treasure........I know many of you suffer from the same affliction /blessing!

We joined our oldest son and family for a wonderful Italian lunch yesterday.  I love my three boys to the moon and am so thankful that I got to be their mother.  They are fine men now and I am so proud of the husbands and fathers they have become.

A phone call means so much to a Mom of a son and I had some of that too.
Wishing all of my blog friends a happy Monday with renewed inspiration for all that brings joy to your hearts.

Thank you for visiting me!!

Singing His Praises,


Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas and Best Wishes in the New Year!!

Merry Christmas dearest blog friends!!  I am late, very late, to the party this year.......just a lot of things on my plate, but mostly I am in the midst of recuperating from total knee replacement two weeks ago today.  As you can imagine, my "decorative endeavors" are slimmed and pared down considerably this year as I knew we did not need to have rooms of decorations to worry about getting taken down, packed and lugged to the basement!!  So, a simple 6 ft table tree in the family room and a sprinkling of Christmas everywhere else is the ticket, and it is beautiful.  Thinking maybe the peace of low-color decorations would be inviting, dealing with so many other things,  I just used stuff  I could find around the house in silver, gold, and white, and we really am enjoying it.

I'm finding that lately, less seems like more and of course a lot less craziness.  After an especially busy and frantic Fall, I am enjoying just the simplicity of sitting, or should I say "lying" in my recliner with my ice pack and pain pills and a cup of something comforting looking at all your wonderful homes decorated for Christmas!!  There is so much creativity out there!!!

I am doing well, they tell me, with my therapy, although frustrated that it is not fast enough, but you see that is part of my "overachieving" personality.  (Smile)  I found myself wanting to "wax" one of the other patients in the therapy room in the hospital......  he simply had too many excuses in my book!! (I'm not particularly proud of the fact that I secretly wanted to WAX Larry!!

But I cannot boast, as I have my moments too, when "I just don't feel like bending my knee in both directions until I feel it will pop like an overfull balloon and fly all over the room"!!  But they say, no pain -  no gain, literally, so I will persevere and hopefully and prayerfully be back to better-than-new before too very long.

I am grateful to have you come to visit and want to thank you all for your patience this year.......I have not posted as nearly as often as I intended.......and I do regret that.  Don't know what the future holds, but my intentions are that I will do better!!  I do so enjoy getting to know so many kindred spirits from all over the world!! 

I wish for you all the presence of Emmanuel, "God With Us" this Christmas and all of 2014.  We have several friends dealing with such very hard things right now, which really brings so many things into better focus about our lives.  May your homes be filled with light and love because those are the most important decorations in any home!!

Hoping you can slow down and get back to the basics as we all so long to do, and I pray for love, health, and prosperity as well, to be able to do the things you want to do and the ability to bless others with ALL you have to give.  Be remembered for your giving, rather than your getting!

So I'm Singing His Praises, 

Joy to the World

The Lord is Come!!

Let Earth Receive Her King!!!


Monday, November 4, 2013

Farewell to the Porch

Hi sweet friends!!  Hope I still have some of you out there.  Sharing a few photos of our screened porch.

Saying "till we meet again" to this little sweet space off the kitchen.....The temps are turning colder, and everyday there are fewer and fewer leaves on the trees.  The Fall season here this year has been so breathtakingly beautiful, I just really hate to see it end!!  This year just seems to have flown by.

                     I been away for a while, just so many things occupying my time it seems....... I worked most of the summer on two projects:  Decorations for our ladies retreat at church the last part of September, and then my Harvest Home Open House on Oct 12.  Both projects required many hours of creating, shopping, building, painting, etc and that is about all I really accomplished this summer!!!

Would you believe I really didn't take any pictures?  Yeah, I know, dumb, right?  I think I was just too tired ;)!!  I did take a few pics of some of the items at the open house I will show you later.

I made some new covers for my vintage rocker and settee on the porch this summer and really enjoyed them.  I now have room for the rocker because I finally realized that my little vintage porcelain stove was taking up valuable real estate and I would get more benefit from having another chair out there, so I SOLD it....... yes friends, I sold my little stove to a friend who absolutely loves it too and will take good care of it I know.  I have enjoyed it for many, many years, but I am realizing more everyday that I must begin to pare things down a bit around here!!
Isn't it a beaut?  Just so very cute and sweet!!
The front porch for my open house, notice the clever taping of a new crack in our sidewalk......
....I love the Fall and wish it would last twice as long as it does, but looks like that is not to be......Christmas this year will be a little different for me as I am having some knee surgery at the beginning of the I am doing only a little decorating and working on it now. 
Hope to show you my results soon....thanks for not giving up on me sweet friends, I really appreciate you visiting me here!!!
Hope you are all enjoying the beauty and blessing of Fall in your homes also.  It is truly a gift, isn't it?
Singing His Praises,

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Where Bloggers Create 2013!!!!

Welcome Friends!!! Today is the day we've all been waiting and preparing for!!  Nothing like company coming to get our motivation going is there?  Today is the day we get to share our creative spaces with everyone out there in Blogland!

Many, many thanks and accolades go to Karen Valentine of My Desert Cottage for hosting this wonderful yearly blog party again this year!!  I know she puts untold hours and effort into this special event every year.  It is truly a gift of love to all of us, Karen and we appreciate it so very much.  To see all the other glorious and beautiful spaces, you can find the links HERE.  Enjoy browsing and seeing the spaces of all the creative and talented women who make this world more beautiful and show us what and how they do it.  It is so much fun to see all the ideas for decorating and organizing our special creating places.  But, I warn you, it will take a few days to get through them all, so pace yourself!!

I have my studio cleaned and spiffed up, although I did not have as much time to revamp and primp as much as I would have liked too!!  But considering that six months ago, I could barely get in here, I have made real progress!!  Last year didn't exactly go according to plan with unexpected family events.  Its not a huge room, but I just love this space and am so very thankful to have it!!  The studio is just down the hall from the kitchen, so it is very convenient and such a refuge for me from the world and its cares and stresses.  My sweet husband encourages me to have it, for which I am so so thankful!!

Entering in........

I'm circling the room first and then I will go back and give you a few closer pics....I just love sitting in front of this window and looking out at the trees, flowers, and wildlife on our property as the seasons come and is a beautiful view anytime of the year.  It is perfect.  I had to take this shot with a flash because of the sun coming in the window, so it is a little bleached out looking. The window faces southwest, so there is always great light in the afternoons.  The window covering is an old lace shawl.

Backing up just a bit......You can see the side of my dollhouse, which is, I'm afraid, still a work in progress...but I tinker with it anyway even though I don't have all the trim done, etc after changing some of the wallpaper.

The front door is missing, ..... I need to repaint it a different color, so it is off at this point.  And I ran out of the black octagon shingles, so I need to find something else for the porch roof.  Isn't there always something that needs doing on our houses, big or small?

Looking back towards the door.

I have made a few changes on this side of the room, namely I took off the closet door, so I could put some cubbyhole units in the closet along that wall.  Also, I used to have my sewing machine where the white cupboard is, but moved it into the other bedroom so I could have more workspace in here.  We moved in the little table that was from my husband's childhood home.  It is the cutest thing and has pull out leaves on each end.  I put a big piece of glass on top and covered the sharp edges with duck tape.  I really like sitting here and working too, and if our granddaughters want to spend time crafting, it makes space for them too.

A shot of my somewhat messy closet, but you get the
 idea.  I really have it crammed in there!

I try to label all my boxes and tubs, otherwise, I can't remember what is in them and that wastes a lot of time when you are hunting for something that you know you have!!

Moving on around the room................

My curio cabinet, where I keep small dolls and miniatures I have made.

Another work space,......IF it is not heaped with piles!! I used two of the cubbyhole units for the ends and a piece of Formica countertop over. The shelf above is a recent addition to hold miniature room boxes I am working on.

The little fairy scene under the mushroom was a class by Karla Nathan at Birdsong last year.  The NEST sign (on the wall in the picture below) is also from Birdsong, another Karla Nathan class.  I didn't get to go this year because of a conflict.......hope maybe next year again....It is so much fun!!!

Miniature dress forms I made, and taught as a class for my local mini club.

A couple of my Santas,........ these were several years ago.  The one in brown is a Kansas Santa with Wizard of Oz characters in his backpack.  Haven't made any Santas for a couple of years, but I want to make some more.......never enough time.  Each Santa carries a small gift box with a tiny nativity inside and a message about the real meaning of Christmas.

A pretty corner, love the purple beaded lamp shade. MOP buttons in the apothecary jar.  My tiny, tiny dolls are in the little glass case.

I just love these little dolls, the smaller they are, the better I like them!  It has taken years to collect them here and there.

This old spool cabinet holds an amazing amount of little stuff to create with.  I have had it for many many years and it used to be my jewelry box, but I only filled up two drawers so I decided this would be a better use for it.

Another corner in the room, need to fill up my candy jars with some chocolate!!

The kitchen in the dollhouse....see what I mean about the lack of trim.....


A miniature hall tree, want to make one of these in "full size" for my big house ;)  I have the doors and other components, but need some help from my guy.  I'm not good with power tools!

Miniature coffee table made from a dollhouse "window" So much fun to design and make, another club project..

Another miniature cabinet.

This is a piece I am currently working on.  The theme is gratitude! This is not a miniature, measures about 12 x 16.  It will be under glass so it won't get dusty.  When doing assemblages, I like to have them under glass if possible so they can be kept  looking nice for a very long time and these days, who wants to dust something like that? So, I am always on the lookout for shadowbox frames in my thrifting adventures.

I am so happy to have each of you in my studio want to say a sincere "thank you" so much for stopping by to visit and letting me show you around.  If you were really here, we could have a glass of lemonade and work on creating something beautiful together! Creating is such a huge gift in my life and I am forever grateful to God for allowing me to pursue these interests.  I believe the desires He places in our hearts are the ones that fit our gifting and calling in this life.  He is the Master Creator.  

"Create in me a pure heart, O God, 
and renew a steadfast spirit within me."
Psalm 51:10

Be blessed
 always in your creating dear friends,