Friday, January 30, 2015

Trying to be Green

Well, have you looked at the Napa Style Catalog? Yeah, they have lovely "hurricanes" made from various sizes of wine bottles. Hubby thought they were cool...me too, until we saw the prices. Actually, I have seen those elsewhere too, for a range of prices.
Then, about three weeks ago, I saw a blog about making candles from wine bottles. It was an informative blog (sorry I don't remember the name of it), but they did tell about the tool they used. HUmmm, I thought, what if?
So, I went to Amazon and there it was. It wasn't super expensive, I think I paid $12. So, I told Hubby, and he said, sure, let's do that....
So, I ordered it and it came and sat....until today.
You see, today was a cleaning day...one that was desperately needed. Part of the cleaning was the bunch of bottles we had collected waiting to be turned into something with this tool.
Now, you need to know. I am a bit of a weenie when it comes to cutting glass. However, this tool really works. Yup, it does.
It takes a bit of practice and the recommendation to wear gloves and safety glasses is good...this could be dangerous. However, with practice and precaution, one can get all sorts of things from this.

I played with both bottles completely "de-labeled" and a couple with the labels (because honestly some labels are very cool and some are incredibly impossible to remove!).
You can see the "score" I made on the two bottles in front....
After you score them,  you put them into boiling hot water, then cold and back again until the bottles makes a sound of splitting.
The first two split incorrectly...hey, it takes practice! They went to the trash.
The second two did fairly well, the third was really good.
I didn't keep the top of the one that wasn't as good, not worth getting cut over....
Here is what I have now...

There are two useable top halves and three useable bottom halves. The bottom halves are for future craft project of making candles....
The top parts, that is what Hubby wanted.....
Now, that is pretty cool.
Warning. They give you a sandpaper to sand the bottom where you cut. I sanded, very carefully and it looks ok, but honestly...unless you have a professional sander for glass...do NOT check with your fingers or turn this into a glass for drinking. Caution is to be used throughout the process, it is glass afterall. I was very careful in sanding and used a DARK bag under the sandpaper, so I could see particles that came off...this was wise...I could see the tiny, tiny fragments that came off. So, be careful.
I washed the counter very carefully and threw away the bag. I rinsed the bottoms where I sanded but did not touch them. I'm sure they are still a bit sharp. Respect and caution yields a couple of useable things....
So, aside from cleaning and doing laundry and putting limes in the dehydrator and prepping limes for marmalade, this is what I did today.....
Have a great one.
Nancy

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Painting the dresser

Well, we finally emptied my Father-in-Law's big storage unit....no small task.
But aside from that, we kept one dresser that is heavy and made really well and all solid wood.
It is for my eldest daughter who hopes to have a place of her own soon...
The dresser was blonde 1950's modern piece, not really pretty, but good bones.
So, she decided it would work to paint it.
Of course, I recommended French Linen. Mostly, because grey is a great neutral and it can go with so many other colors....
So, yesterday she had off, so I invited her to help.
I suggested we go to Peinture here in Costa Mesa to look at the appliques they have for sale.
Now, the main thing she didn't like were the handles on the dresser. They were brass and 50's modern...not her taste.
I took one off to see what size they were and found that they were super unique. They measured 1 3/4" centered. Hummm. what to do when you can't just replace?? Reface.
Yup, we decide to paint them with the paint to draw the eye not to them but to the whole dresser.
Then, the applique. She didn't want much, just a touch....So, we bought two small appliques.
She wiped the dresser down, and we began....

 First coat going on.


Here are the two appliques, the wreath on the outside and the little keyhole in the center....



 Here it is all back together...you still see the handles, but your eye doesn't just land there...you see more of the whole dresser...Do you like our applique??
The center of the keyhole got a little dab of black to make it look like it is missing the key....
Well, I think we did a great job for an afternoon in the garage.
While we were painting in the garage, it started to rain, and get dark, so the grey doesn't show as well. But trust me...this little dresser will serve her well for the next 50 years....
Have a great day!
Nancy

Monday, January 26, 2015

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Linen on the Chair

Well, I told you I was creating a slipcover for Hubby's chair.
And since the chair's upholstery is from 1977, it's time....
And we all know, upholstery is not my forte, however...sometimes a girl has got to do what a girl has got to do.....
Knowing that perfection isn't happening....I have decided to embrace imperfection.
 From this viewpoint this chair doesn't look so bad....
From this viewpoint failings start to show...
However, I sat down and hand stitched some areas and this side and the other tightened up.
I still have some hemming to do, but hesitate as I vacillate between long hem and shorter. So for now, I am going to live with it. It is useable this way...no rush...
What do you think??
The color is soothing in the living room...and liking the neutral tones in this room.
I will show more later.
Have a great day.
Nancy

Sunday, January 18, 2015

The Finishing touches and on to new project....

I know you are busy. But I wanted to show you the final pictures of the floor job, at least in the office and the guest room. It's terribly hard to take pictures in a small room, so for that I am sorry they are mediocre pix!

 Please note....we put in all new baseboards, getting rid of the 1950's 2 3/4" baseboards. These are 5 1/4" baseboards...simple lines....they make almost as big a difference as the floors!
This is the office today....lots of shelving, however the floors are a treat! Before it was the ugly old carpet and today the office feels bigger.....
I took this picture to show you I was able to find the same runner as the one I bought last time....our hall is 25", now most is covered to protect for the dogs that have decided this is a great place to play tag.....
 The lamp in the corner by the armoire is going away as it is unnecessary.....and yesterday I hung the drapes and tidied up, so excuse the pile on the trunk in the background....
 The bedside table is now sporting a lamp and mirror and large jar of shells....
The bed is made and ready for guests.....
I wanted to mention, for those who are considering their floors to be done. It is important to know, that to get floors done, you essentially have to move out. Take everything out that is breakable. Clear the closet floors and remove anything on the walls such as priceless works of art. Floor guys expect to move big pieces of furniture, but don't ask them to move shoes, clothes, breakables etc...think ahead...they will thank you (ours did) and you will be happier.
Beware too....putting in floors creates dust...sawdust (and in our case cement dust from grinding) so cover what you don't want dusty....
So, now that you have a peek of the floors and the rooms as they are in motion to be inhabited again...I wanted to share another project I started.....

I decided to create a slipcover for my husband's chair in the livingroom.
The chair I purchased about 8 years ago, maybe less....I bought it at a consignment shop for about $125. Since it came with an ottoman, I thought that a fair price. At the time, I was in a "Yellow Phase", where I was putting yellow everywhere. However, I'm in a gray/neutral phase, and the yellow no longer works.
Not to mention I looked at a label on the chair, it was made in 1977!
Yup, time to do something.
So, I found a linen fabric, a taupey natural heavy (yummy) fabric that tickled my fancy from Fabric-Store.com. It was $9 a yard. 57" wide and when it was washed and dried and then ironed was just perfect. So after having purchased 2 yards to play with and cover the ottoman, I realized I needed to slipcover his chair.....So, I bought 6 more yards.....




So, that is my newest project. I don't expect it to be perfect. I am making the pattern as best as I can with brown paper...that helps a great deal. My sewing is somewhat mediocre, but it will "beat" the yellow....It makes the room restful.....
I will show more when it is complete.....
and oh by the way...I am considering possibly tackling the sofa.......
Have a great day.
Nancy

Thursday, January 15, 2015

In the Home Stretch....

So, today is Thursday. Day four of our floor reno....removing carpet and replacing with wood.
I'm tired no lie. We slept in the guest room again last night, because the paint wasn't dry enough to put things back...so, we camped in the guest room again. It's actually a nice room and a decent bed. It just isn't our space. You know what I mean?
So, I went to babysit our Grandson and the guys weren't even there yet, it was 7:40.
When I got back my Master was done! Awesome.
So, I got to work vacuuming....
After I vacuumed (so much easier I might add with wood floors) I vacuumed the bed and started to make it. All the sheets and blankets got a good washing while things were out...so we get to sleep in very fresh sheets tonight! Yay!!
So, we put rugs down, due to dogs. If I didn't have dogs, I wouldn't, but one needs to protect the dogs and the expensive floor....
So, here is what we now have!


It looked so much prettier without the dog crates, but our dogs were lost without their space in the other room! They were so confused...so, we keep them. That is their bedroom....
Each crate sits on a rug of its own, to protect the floors (they would totally scratch)....
The rug by the bed has a pad and is held down by the heavy bed. It will protect the floors from jumping dogs, which they do and protect them since they have bad joints.
This last picture doesn't do the floors justice, makes them look reddish...but they are wonderful.
And....all new baseboards! Even into the closet. Gotta do it right....
So, two and a half rooms down.
The office is tomorrow. yikes.....
Almost there.....
Nancy

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Day Three

Ok, are we done yet??
We have been sleeping in the guest room for two nights.
The first night with one dog on the bed (its a double) and one on the floor, who tried three times in the night to get up with us.....ugggg. Needless to say we didn't sleep terribly well the first night.
Last night, we were also in the guest room, but we took the crates in and set them up. Much better for all of us! Although in that room it was a squeeze to get the crates in, Hubby had to climb up into the bed from the foot of the bed....
Why is it taking so long?
Well, our house is 54 years old and was built on a slab, which was a newish technique back in the day. The slabs didn't have much support in them and these are built on adobe, which means they move a bit, especially if there are earthquakes.....
So, cracks, not major, but there still there. They have to be addressed before putting down wood floors.
Then one has to be patient while they material dries.......
So, our craft room has its floor...not the baseboards yet, our floor guy is painting those for us....
The master is half done...will be finished today and then I suspect they will attack the guest room, (once the Master is done).
So, here is the craft room as it has progressed...

 Here it is going in....there was a linoleum there before....
 Here it is this AM....
It goes into the closet...oh to reset up will be wonderful....
One must be patient....be patient....patient.
We have waited to do this for years now. It has almost been two years since we did the main living areas with this flooring. 
We were lucky I might add with the "dye lot" of this batch of flooring. Almost imperceptible in color difference, which is just plain luck! Even the finish is remarkably similar. You have to really look to see where the old meets the new...
Recommendation, for those who want to do the same.....order all the flooring you need, install when you can. That way there is no difference. However, in this case we didn't, and knew there would be a chance it could be totally different. So, our flooring guy is using the boxes we had on reserve and "blending" into the doorway....
It is a process. Today's focus, our bedroom...so we can move into it. Then, they can start in the guest room. 
Good news? Well, he confirmed that the cracks weren't bad really, especially after 54+ years. Cracks happen in this area...in some areas its even worse. Ours were just bad enough to not let a wood floor be level. In any case so far they are fine and even better now that they are being addressed. 
Cleaner overall and ready for the next 50+ years...
Sigh....
If only they could be done today. Not.
Guest room and office to go after they finish the Master. They are putting baseboards in first then moving on. 
Sigh....
Nancy


Monday, January 12, 2015

In Progress....

Here is the beginning....
the carpet in the Master is gone, the pad is gone, and even in the closet....


Then they started pulling it out of the craft room....
There are some cracks that need to be floated....and then they put vinyl down, then underlayment then the flooring....
It's going to be a long week.....
Til later,
Nancy

And so it begins....

It's 4 am. "Are you awake?" I ask.
"Yes." he answers.
"Whine" answers one dog.
"Woof" answers the other.
Well, it's time then.
You see, if you have been following, today the floors in the bedrooms start to go in.
Yup, 22 or so old carpet is leaving! Hooray! But oh the stress and work.
So, up we get....the coffee goes on and I take care of the dogs.
After we have had a bite to eat the chores begin.
Strip the bed. Check.
Collapse the dog crates. Check.
Move the bedside tables. Check.
Put the dogs in the family room with gate. Check.
Vacuum. Check. (As my Hubby laughs because I'm vacuuming the carpet that is leaving.) I did this because there will be a ton a "stuff" that flies when they rip it out, we don't need the excess.....
So, now our room is ready for the guys.....
 Here is our room, the drapes have been tied up to get out of the way....
 Bed has been stripped of sheets as it is going to be taken apart to do this job....
 See the tape on the walls? I marked on the walls with tape where things need to go, because the room is small and there is little room for deviation....
 Closet floors are clear for the carpet to go out and flooring to go in....we aren't sure if we'll have to remove hanging stuff....
Yes, we have old fashioned closets...they were big in 1959 when this house was built. They do tend to be "tight".....
So, the dogs are whining because the routine has changed and they have been blocked from their routine spots.
It is now 7 am. The flooring guy said they will be here between 8-8:30...so now we wait. We can't do much more to get ready.....
Wish us luck....
Nancy

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Still getting Ready...

Well, we have been working hard to get ready for the new flooring. Who knew, right??
The guest room is ready to go.....
Now the craft room is ready to go....(minus the rocker we move out today)...
 View into the room....now that table that is right there is on wheels, and was moved a bit to make sure everything else was out of the way. Drapes were tied up, corner cupboard was moved out and put back to check for lost debris, and..
 The bed is ready to be stripped and the now rolling armoire was moved out a bit to take an extension cord out from behind....
And all my fabric for quilting is temporarily out in the garage.....these closets haven't been empty for 22+ years!
Today, we move more things out of the Master bedroom (I took the canopy down yesterday), and then work on the office more.
The office will be the last room to get done as Hubby has some last minute work that has to get done....
The clock is ticking.
They will be here tomorrow at 8 am to deliver our new flooring for those rooms and begin! Yikes!
Estimated time to be done...one week....
I'll keep you posted...
Nancy

Friday, January 9, 2015

Getting ready for flooring

Ok, so replacing carpet is a BIG endeavor and not for the faint at heart, at least while you are still living in the house.
We have been in this house for 24 years.
The carpet is roughly 22 year old give or take...
It is definitely time, and we have gone back and forth on replacing with carpet or carrying the wood that is now in the rest of the house into bedrooms and closets. (Yes, even closets)
But, when we looked a pictures in all of our favorite magazines, blogs, and designer designed rooms, we kept coming back to wood.
Why? Because, if you treat it right, it will be DONE. No replacing. Overall, it is healthier, and at our age all are very important. It also looks really good to carry the same flooring into all the rooms. We are both just done with carpet. A throw rug can be sent out for cleaning or spot treated. Carpet requires a carpet cleaner (our backs don't allow us to do it anymore).
So, the cleaning out began a few months ago before we even contacted the floor guy we use.
So, when we set a date, the clean out went into high gear.
There is an ugly migration of "stuff" that appears in rooms that you have beautifully decorated and it isn't time for parties and visitors.
A great deal of stuff will end up temporarily in the garage...all the stuff we will move ourselves and "smalls" (the little things you have that they don't want to break)....
So, yesterday, I worked on the guest bedroom....
I checked under the bed for stored items and dragged those out....
Took down the drapes, it was way over due to clean them or replace them.....
The headboard that I made, well it is hung on the wall, and the new baseboards will be taller, which means that it had to be rehung higher.....
I think you get the idea...
Here are the ugly pictures...the befores....
This is the flooring....this is a quick shot of the floor in the front hall. This is going to be in all the rooms except the laundry and bathrooms (those are tiled).
So.....
here is the guest bedroom....
 This is a small room...and this is the view from the door. Storage in a house built in 1959 is minimal...so yes, there are two giant pieces holding stuff. Believe it or not, I got rid of stuff in this room, but still need that not so little cedar chest and the armoire.....
 It has decent light actually just from the window......
Here is the picture showing the headboard, which is now 4 inches higher....
See the ugly blue carpet? It was beautiful when we put in....22 or so years ago, but it is time....
And this is half the closet. There used to be a dresser in here, instead I put in shelves. This is the "wrapping center".... only the bubble wrap remains sitting on the floor....
The other side of the closet is coats...
It may not show it but we have gotten rid of three loads of stuff from this room and others in preparation for flooring. We have accumulated lots of stuff over 24 years of living here....through children growing up and deaths of family members...So, it is not for the faint of heart to get ready for flooring.....
In fact, after I saw my own pictures I realized something, actually obvious....
That the flow of the room with the cedar chest is limited as you go in....
So, I moved the cedar chest, which as part of my preparations was put on rubber casters. (Be sure to use rubber casters as they will not scratch any floor!)
So, I moved it....

Isn't that better? The feel is more open and this is better. There is still room to open the armoire, and get around the bed to make it and to sit in the chair in the corner.....
Why? Because, the guys doing the floor will move the pieces out to do the floor...and then put everything back (after they put felt pads on things that don't have rubber casters)....So it is important that things be where you want them.....
Ok, I will keep you posted.....