bathroom stage 2.0

Ok, before I go on, I have no photos of today. Cause, really, there’s not much to show. The shower cubicle was removed. The water pipes were moved. The cement sheeting is down on the floor.

That’s it.

I was sure we’d be further along today. I was all set to paint on the waterproofing this evening. But no, cause nothing ever goes as planned!

For one thing, I went in to pick up our shower and accessories, the tiles, the tile glue, the grout, and whatever else was on my list.

Like any shopping trip, it took longer than planned. But that’s ok. The plumber was late too. So part of not getting along further was due to the fact that we didn’t start on time.

Meanwhile, we had second thoughts on the shower. See, the sink I ordered from Ikea is 49cm wide. The cabinet it’ll sit on is 40cm wide. That’s ok. I’ll extend the back and we’ll put the waste pipe behind the cabinet instead of inside. Problem solved.

However, the swing door of the shower we initially chose would hit the cabinet. Even if I was to change the sink (too late for that, its arrived in Hobart!) so I had to change the shower to one with a barn style sliding door.

Below left is the shower we originally ordered, the one on the right is the one we’re getting now.

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We’re getting a combination shower with handheld cause we disagree on the best way to get wet. This one is a good compromise. In order to match the squareness of the shower fittings I bought the square mixer tap below right for the vanity.

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Now, when it comes to tiling, I’ve decided to tile up to the window and over the window sill. No wood trim. The picture below is the inspiration. Plus I remember old school buildings with tiled windows… I think it’ll look really nice in our bathroom.

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Of course our window is a pale yellow aluminium called ‘primrose’. hmph. I’m sure some paint will change that easily enough.

There’s also a bit of an issue with the size of the tiles I chose (150 x 150cm) and the gap between the shower and window. That’s a 200cm gap. Which meant that either the poor tiler would have to cut every single tile to create the brick layout I want OR I had to find another way to deal with this troublesome spot.

My solution: some black subway tiles which will go up the wall in a strip.

Hopefully it’ll work.

Meanwhile I have a ton of work to do… the cabinet needs a total re-haul. The rest of our supplies need picking up. Cement sheeting needs to go on the wall… no rest for the wicked.

Our planned timeline is already blowing out and we have no idea how smelly we’re going to get before we have a working shower again…

z

stage 1.5 – the bathroom

Stage one is the stage where you remove everything from the bathroom that isn’t nailed down. Actually, everything that is nailed down, but not plumbed in. Stage one point five is where you remove the plumbed in stuff as well. That’s pretty much where we are right now.

On Sunday I removed all the extras from the bathroom – the medicine cabinet, the towel rails, hooks etc. Then this morning the bathroom looked like this as I got ready to remove the faux tile sheets. I’d already begun removing the window frame before I remembered to get the camera.

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Nice bathroom. Yep. Especially the space between the vanity and the shower cubicle. You’d never guess, but there used to be a bathtub along the far wall. Great layout for a small bathroom! First thing I did when we bought the place was to remove the tub so we could towel off after a shower.

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I removed the door and window trims, the cornices and skirting boards and the faux tile sheets off one wall before the plumber got here this morning.

Together we ripped out everything but the shower.

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We left the shower in so we could get clean tonight, but we have a plan. The shower comes out first thing tomorrow. Then work starts on the floor and walls…

And we all know plans go perfectly, don’t we? We’ll have a working bathroom in a couple of days!

Bwhahahahah!

z

new bathroom on the horizon

Sooner rather than later actually.

Our bathroom is awful. I’ll try to find and share pics of it when I do the great reveal before and afters, but for now just trust me when I say its awful. Not that I haven’t seen worse, but…

Anyway, to add insult to injury, the hideous laminated fake tile sheeting we have in the shower recess (all over the bathroom in fact) has cracked and water is now getting into the wall.

Wonderful.

Well, really wonderful in fact, cause it means we get to renovate the bathroom!

Ok, so I’ve got some ideas.

I want subway tiles with dark grout, concrete floor tiles, white storage cupboard and a DIY vanity.

Sounds nice. Simple. Tasteful. Clean and tidy.

So… I have a cabinet I’m planning to make into my vanity using this sink from Ikea:

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My inspiration are these images I’ve had on my Pinterest ‘bathroom’ board ever since I began pinning things. I figure I can get something similar to this using an old cabinet and the Ikea sink top:

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Cool isn’t it? I know not everyone is into shabby, rustic or plain old, but I love it.

This one I pinned for the colour. For some reason it spoke to me though I’ve never considered yellow before.

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This colour is way more me, but I’m thinking darker, more aqua or turquoise will be the way to go.

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More like this!

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Anyway… wall tiles. I’m thinking subway tiles, right? I mean you can’t go wrong with subway tiles!!! And dark grout!

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Then I saw these pics on Pinterest and it got me thinking… We’re obviously going to be redoing the bathroom on a tight budget. And plain square white tiles are cheaper than fancy types. Right? So, I’ll go get quotes on both, but this is an option. I don’t mind the look at all.

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Of course, my window surround is timber and white, not black, but there’s no reason I can’t paint the aluminium window black. It’ll probably look way better than the ‘primrose’ it is currently. Ugh.

Still, how cute is that?

This week I’m off getting quotes and ordering the bits and pieces we need to create our new bathroom. And tomorrow I’m starting work on my new vanity and shopping my shed for what I can make my storage cabinet out of…

Another big adventure begins. Stay tuned.

z

the couch – finally

A long long time ago I talked about how much I wanted a new couch. I had my heart set on leather, brown leather. I really really wanted a brown leather couch. I was sick and tired of fabric couches which ended up being covered in dog hair and smelling of dog. Thanks Barney. Poodles don’t shed! Or smell doggy.
My first preference was a chesterfield. An old chesterfield. Brown. Worn. Soft.

But do you have idea how expensive those things are? As expensive as a new leather couch. Plus almost impossible to find. Sure, I found a few I drooled over… in Sydney. The price of the couch plus shipping would have killed me.

Then I began to think of club lounges. The solid, chunky blocky type.

Not as shiny as that… softer, cosier…

Couldn’t find one I liked that I could afford.

So I began looking at stores in Hobart and found this one at Freedom. The Hermitage.

Not exactly the thickest of chunky club lounges, but very comfy, in a lovely dark brown, studs at the bottom… I was ready to buy.

If I could have afforded it.

So I started saving.

Then, somewhere along the line I began to think of tan leather… lighter colours, not so heavy looking… I think it was the mid-century looking TV divider I built which changed my mind on style of couch. So I began to look for a couch like this one…

Better yet this, Freedom’s Copenhagen 3 seater.

I was totally convinced I wanted this one. I dreamed of it. It was even more expensive than the Hermitage, but I wanted it.

Till I went in and sat on it… and slumped back and almost slid off it.

It was too deep, I couldn’t sit in it properly. I’d have preferred that when I was younger and could get up off a couch without having to roll off, but not so great now I’m older, fatter and I almost need help hauling myself off deep low furniture.

Bean bags are a nightmare these days!

Anyway, I spend a lot of time in Freedom testing their couches. In the end I picked this one. The Bonnie 3 seater.

Not as long as the Hermitage, not as deep as the Copenhagen, not as soft as most of their couches. A firmer, higher couch. Easier to sit up properly in and get up out of.

I can get off this one without looking like a floundering whale.

Here it is in the living room.


I need to make new cushion covers. I want a bigger rug. I need to get rid of the awful carpet. I want to get rid of wires everywhere. I want a full wall of books behind the couch but till then I wonder if I should paint the timber bookcases white so they’re all the same colour.

But at least I have my leather couch!

And bonus: the dogs don’t like it! They only get on it if I’m on it and have a throw over me. Fantastic. I was worried they’d damage the leather with their nails.

Another bonus is that Wayne won’t sit on it either – he’s terrified he might ruin it and I’ll kill him.

z

apple bread – a pinterest recipe test run

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I’ve been AWOL for ages, then I finally come back and share a recipe! Not a craft project, not a home improvement project, not artwork, no furniture makeovers…

I have the nerve to come back after a long absence with a recipe!

Geez.

I feel your frustration.

But I have an excuse. I’ve been busy! I ran out of gas! I had a flat tyre! I didn’t have enough money for cab fare! My tux didn’t come back from the cleaners! An old friend came in from out of town! Someone stole my car! There was an earthquake! A terrible flood! Locusts! It wasn’t my fault! I swear!

(must be channeling John Belushi)

But we all have to eat, right? So I made cake.

This is the cake I decided to try (click image for original recipe).

Holly from Spend with Pennies calls it Apple Bread with Cinnamon.

This is what mine looked like the day after. I was too busy eating it the day I made it.

You’ll notice two things: mine is darker brown (I took the photo under artificial light without flash) and its drier. I probably cooked it a bit longer than I should have…

But its still yummy!

This is her recipe with comments, I didn’t change it:

Apple Bread with Cinnamon
 
½ tablespoon ground cinnamon (me, I like cinnamon, I’d use more… its not enough!)
⅓ cup white sugar
⅔ cup brown sugar, divided
¼ cup butter, softened
¼ cup applesauce (Holly said you can skip this if you double the butter… I used applesauce. Too much apple is not possible.)
2 eggs, well beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or, like me, just pour it into the bowl and guess what a teaspoon is)
1½ cups all-purpose flour (or plain flour if you prefer, or live in Australia)
2 teaspoons baking powder
⅓ cup milk
1 large or 2 small apples, peeled and chopped obviously (I used 2 smaller apples but I think I’ll go for broke and use 3 next time, just cause I can.)
1 tablespoon butter, melted
 
Instructions – the way I did it
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F or approx 200 degrees C. Grease and flour a loaf pan. I skipped that and just lined the loaf pan with baking paper. Why scrub if you don’t have to? 
Combine ⅓ cup of the brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and set aside. Next time I’m going to put in a bit more cinnamon. Or maybe I have defective cinnamon.
With mixer on medium, beat white sugar, remaining brown sugar and butter until fluffy. Mix in applesauce. Add well beaten eggs and vanilla. Yeah. I did that, in that order. My sugar and butter refused to go fluffy cause there wasn’t enough moisture. So added eggs and it went fluffy. And vanilla and applesauce and it was a bit curdled looking… Eh. What the heck… I was going to cook anyway, right?
Stir together flour and baking powder. I sifted them together and then mixed. Can’t hurt to be careful they mix well. Add flour to egg mixture and stir just until combined. Do not overmix!! Add milk. Ok… now this bit I didn’t understand. Add milk after you’ve mixed the flour into the batter… after?

Ok. I mixed the flour in and didn’t overmix. I didn’t want the world to end. Even though I was worried I’d have some floury unmixed bits of batter in my cake… And I might have added the milk before I’d totally combined, not overmixed, the mixture….
Pour half of the batter into a greased and floured loaf pan. Sprinkle with ½ of the apples and ½ of the brown sugar mix. 

Stir the remaining apples into the remaining batter and pour into the pan. Top with remaining brown sugar mixture.

I see the theory of this. However, in my endeavour to improve every recipe I come across, I think that next time I’ll do it this way: Pour half the mixture into the baking paper lined pan you don’t have to scrub later, top with half the apples and less than half of the brown sugar mix. Do as she says for the top, but put more of the sugar and cinnamon mix on top cause its what gives you the caramelised crunchy bits you’ll want more of!
Bake approx. 40 minutes. Remove from oven, brush topping with melted butter. Brush? The crumbly sugar mix? I think not… I poured the melted butter over. I think it got the idea. 
Continue baking an additional 5-10 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Don’t know about you, but I use a slightly longer skewer when testing a cake. About 10 inches longer. I already burned my finger when melting the butter!

Let cool 10 minutes and remove from pan. Agreed. But about that baking time. I did the 45min thing, the butter thing, then put it back in… but every time I tested it, my skewer came out coated in batter. I’d give it another 5 min, then another 5. In the end I think I overcooked it a bit. 

All in all, I think this was a success. A great cake and I’m definitely making it again. I like it even better than banana cake or carrot cake!
And one day I might even work out how to use an oven properly.
z

quick and easy fingerless gloves

…Or what to do with knitted squares…

Long story, but I got ahold of some knitted squares. The obvious things to do with them are to: make a blanket, a scarf, cushion covers…

Or fingerless gloves!

These were so easy to make and look so cute that I decided to share in case you have knitted squares, or if you can knit and can only make squares…
So here goes:
I opted for blanket stitching the side in a contrast colour and to decorate with some buttons. I think you could make them out of scraps of polar fleece fabric just as easily. 
They’re so cute everyone wants a pair.  Can’t wait till winter so I can wear them for real.
z

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final guest room reveal

Its been a gruelling few days, but the house is finally ready for mom’s visit.
I’ll start by sharing the guest room, but before I do I’d like to thank my friend Patrice for all her help today. Without her I’d still be walking around in circles, overwhelmed by the task ahead of me.
So here is the guest room before (right after I decided the old office would make a better guest room – that post here):
And here is is now, with the bed made, the ladder bedside table and fresh flowers.
Before:
After:
Yes, you’ll notice something new… the linen cupboard has doors! More on that later.
Enjoy some more photos of the guest room. Mind you, the shelves aren’t really ‘dressed’. They’re just ‘there’. I had to draw the line somewhere or I’d still be working.
A nice, light, bright and welcoming room. And just to make it a big Christmassy, I hung these little twigs with felt shapes I made last year near the door.
I think mom will be comfortable in here, don’t you?
I know I’m very pleased with it.
z

non fattening chocolate cake!

Ha!

I got you didn’t I? You thought I’d found some lush chocolate cake recipe that would allow you to eat your cake and keep your figure!

Sorry to disappoint you, but not quite… although I can guarantee this cake won’t make you fat.

I’ve been having some fun with wire lately. Its no secret I love wire, I have a huge board dedicated to it on Pinterest, and I’ve shared quite a few wire projects in the past.

This cake is made from regular fine galvanised wire from the hardware store, and some brown copper florist wire. Hence the chocolate in the cake. And don’t forget the cream on top!

The spoon is the same, silver and brown wire. You need a matching spoon if you’re to have any chance of eating this piece of cake!

Its sitting on an old Meakin plate I found with gorgeous scalloped edges. It looks best on a white or cream plate.

I haven’t been sharing much lately, but I have been busy doing stuff, making things. I’ll have more to share soon. All my projects are in various stages of development from ‘just beginning’ to ‘finished and awaiting their closeups’. Then you’ll be drowing in posts till the next dry spell.

That’s just the way things work out around here.

z

cheap cubbies makeover

Here I am. Still alive.

And barely crafting.

I’ve done a few small things lately, and one not so small and pretty stupid. But more about that later.

Here is one of my small projects. I bought 4 of these little babies from Kmart, but a smaller version with 9 drawers.

They’re just mdf and cardboard. Cheap.

I thought they’d make perfect storage for all the little crap things I like to keep around. Like buttons, crystals, beads, small found objects.
You know. The kind of stuff that fills small containers which collect in larger boxes or fill drawers and cupboards and when you need something, you know you have one but you can’t find it anywhere cause you’re sure it was in a small plastic jar with a red lid, but where did I put it, I was sure it was in the box under my desk…
Or is that just me?
ANYWAY, the little cabinets have to be glued together and painted. I picked one of my miss-tint sample paint pots for the cabinet colours, a kind of warm grey. It goes with both the tones of scrapbook paper I also bought for the drawers.

One set of cubbies are already full, the other is still waiting for me to get around to it. They’ll live in the office where they’ll (theoretically) make looking for things easier.

Here’s a closeup of a tin and wire fish made by Wayne. Cute isn’t it?

So, back to the stupid big thing I did? Well a couple of weeks ago I decided I was sick and tired of the swamp in the back corner of our yard and knew that if I dug a trench I could redirect the water from the yard.

It seemed easy enough. The ground was really soft due to all the rain…

But afterwards I was sore.

I’m still sore.

Every time I think I’m better I’ll do something – like get some wood for the fire, pick up a bag, get a cup of tea, get up – and the pain is back. I’m walking like a bent old woman.

Meanwhile Wayne is in hospital. He’s had spinal surgery. It went well but he’s out of action for a while and I’m keeping busy. I have all the animals to take care of, work, hospital visits. If I wasn’t sore I’d be taking advantage of his absence to remodel the bathroom or paint the living room.

Sigh.

So I amuse myself with small things, like these drawers.

At least they’re handy.

z

a little change in the bedroom

I’ve stopped counting – new bed linen for our bed

I finally managed to put one of the new doona covers on the bed this weekend. I ordered this and another online, they were on sale for $35 each… that’s incredibly cheap. How can a girl resist that sort of sale?

This last pic is probably more correct colour-wise, though I guess it also will depend on your monitor.

Our bedroom has a personality disorder… dark and masculine in some parts, feminine and white in others…

And its all my fault.

Our bedroom walls are a medium blue, a really nice colour and very relaxing. The curtains are dark brown and blue, the bed and bedside tables are dark brown in a country style. They came with Wayne, and somehow seemed more suited to us as a couple than my lighter coloured timber (and lighter style) bed which is in the guest room.

I loved Wayne’s chunky bed, though I’m not overly fond of the bedside tables. I also loved his dark brown bedding so I decided to go with that colour scheme: blue and brown. Its a more masculine room, but comfy and warm.

I hated the plain pine wardrobe and chests of drawers so I painted those antique white. Thus we have a room which is Wayne on one side and Zefi on the other. The bed side is all dark wood and Wayne’s american indian stuff, the other side is all antique white chests and wardrobe with family photos and knicknacks.

One day I’d love a white on white bedroom but it won’t be happening any time soon. I’m not up to repainting the big bed or bedsides and ain’t no way we’re buying new furniture right now. Its either make/recycle/revamp things we have or I find at a tip shop or live with what we have.

Frankly, given its taken me years to paint the chests of drawers and I’ve dragged on the wardrobe makeover for months now… its doesn’t look promising.

So I make do with small changes, like a new doona cover.

z