Saturday, October 27, 2018

New Bathroom Lights

In shopping around for the Brick House, I came across the perfect bathroom scones for my cottage! Five years ago when we moved into the cottage I couldn't find anything I liked that fit my budget. I really wanted something vintage, but they were all to expensive. Plus I wasn't totally sure what I really wanted in here.

 So when I spotted these scones on Amazon and saw the ribbed glass shades, I knew it was time to update the bathroom a bit! (This was actually the second try. The first one had little halogen bulbs which we didn't like the look of.)

 It was the shades that caught my eye. Don't they look rather vintage? I decided to try the lights pointing down instead of up. This way the light shines down where it is needed. 
It is amazing how many more antique/vintage styles are available versus five years ago!

This little hoya must love humidity! He is sure happy here. We love spotting new leaflets as they sprout!

Not much has really changed. It is still a cozy little white bathroom!

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Progress Report Week 16 & 17: Grass, Countertops and Paint

I hadn't realized I took no pictures last week. It was a rather aggravating week and I think I was just trying to survive so we could move on to a new week!
Anyway, the progress that didn't happen last week and the projects that didn't get finished got done this week! So I am happy.
One of the most aggravating projects was removing the giant burning bush in the front flower bed. I wished I could of saved it, but there wasn't anyway I could dig it up without harming it's roots. I chipped and chipped away at it. (The brother's truck was done or I would have had him come over and just pull it out.) Finally on Monday Mandy and I got it out! So now it is seeded with grass and will be part of the lawn. It looks a little empty to me, but so much easier to back out of the driveway!

 Mandy has been working really hard painting walls and ceilings. She is the master roller and I cut in and paint the trim. It really goes fast once we start, but a whole house takes a bit of time! I just have touch ups to do around the windows, the radiator in the kitchen and a few stubborn stains. It is always amazing what fresh paint does for a house! So clean and bright now!

 In case anyone is interested and for my future reference, all the walls are painted Valspar Cozy White #3008-10C. It is a really lovely color. Just a hint of yellow to warm it and make is look sun kissed.

This not-so-good picture is the only one I could find of the new counter tops! Such a huge difference! The old counter tops were aging the whole kitchen. It looks really good now as we have re-installed the sink! 
We are getting down there on the list! Hopefully, just a few more weeks and the Brick House will be done! Thankfully, I don't have renters anxiously breathing down my neck yet......

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

DIY Leaf Wreath

Today I have a tutorial for a Leaf Wreath! Thanks to sister Mandy, I also have step by step photos. (I always forget to take those...) Last week at work I was suddenly struck with a fit of fall craftiness and decided I needed make my own leaf wreath. I don't like letting all of Mother Nature's beauty go to waste! 
So on our Sunday morning walk with the Kerri dog we collected a huge stack of leaves! I had a couple of ideas on how to make the wreath, but ended up using my favorite styrofoam wreath wrapped in burlap ribbon. I wanted to really showcase all the leaves and I think it does!

The first step was to wax our leaves to help them last a bit longer without drying out and shriveling up. (I don't know how long it will actually make the leaves last, but I am hoping a couple of weeks.) We dried off any leaves that were dewy and laid them out on the table.
 Then we warmed up the iron, cut a piece of wax paper that fit nicely on the ironing board and arranged a bunch of the leaves on it. Make sure none of the leaves overlap, though we didn't worry about stems. It seemed to work better to lay the leaves face down on the waxed paper, preventing them from curling up when go to lay the top of wax paper on top.

 Place another piece of waxed paper on top of the leaves and iron. I had the iron on it's hottest setting and no steam. I didn't press hard or linger in any one place too long. Just like ironing fabric, smooth the wax paper across the leaves. You will see the paper melt together and on to the leaves.

Repeat these steps until you have all your leaves in wax paper. We had about 6 sheets of leaves. Once you are done, let them cool a few minutes while you gather the rest of your supplies.

You could do pretty much anything with your waxed leaves. Add them to a tabletop, clip them to twine for a garland or make a wreath!

I used regular sewing thread to wrap the leaves onto the wreath, thin wire would also work well. Knotting your thread at the starting point, wrap the thread around the back of the wreath, lay three or four leaves on the top and wrap the thread over the top of the wreath pulling snugly.

Continue placing leaves and wrapping the thread around the wreath being careful to keep the thread snug. This is the part where it is handy to have a second set of hands! Mandy would select a couple of leaves and lightly hold them in place while I wrapped the thread.

Keep on placing leaves and wrapping thread until you have covered your wreath. Somehow we came exactly perfect! We used the last of the leaves in the last wrap of thread! To secure the end of the thread, I pushed a straight pin into the wreath form, wrapped the thread several times around it and them knotted it around the pin. Once it was knotted, I then carefully pulled out the pin, moved it over a quarter of an inch to tighten it. And that is it!

Love all those fall colors! The leaves have already started curling a little bit, but it is still beautiful. 

Friday, October 12, 2018

Progress Report Week 15: Stairs and More Paint

The sun was at a lovely angle the other night. I couldn't resist taking a few pictures! After a rainy day it came out for a couple of hours and was so pretty. I have been working on restringing all the non functioning windows. It takes about an hour and fifteen minutes per window. I don't normally time myself, but I go over for about an hour before work and get small things done. Like re-string windows! 
In an hour I can get the stop trim off, take the window pane/sash out, pry off both parting beads (this is the stop on the outside of the window), dig out the screw on the access panel hidden under a zillion layers of paint, find the sash weight and cut off the old rope, string new rope from the pulley down to the weight and tie it off, knot the other end of the rope and push it into the rope channels on the window sash and give the window a test run up and down, screw the access panel back in place. Then my alarm goes off! 
In the evening before I start on painting I nail the parting beads back on and put the stop trim back; and the window is finished! One smooth opening window down! I love bringing back these old beauties. It is not the funest of jobs sometimes dealing with all the layers of paint and rusted screws, but so worth it!

 Last Saturday I talked the older brother into coming over with his paint sprayer and doing the trim and radiators. It was really nice to get it all done at once, but the prep takes a bit of getting use to! The living room and dining room is starting to look spiffy!

 I was really really excited to have the radiators and covers sprayed. The covers especially turned out perfect! There was a lot of scrapes and spots on the tops and the paint had yellowed. (It is always hard to tell if the paint was originally an off white or it is just age. No matter though, it all needs a fresh coat of paint!) Now the covers are crisp and clean, just waiting for someone to perch there for a look out the window!

 I was also really excited to finish up the stairs. We installed a metal post in the basement to make sure the stairs didn't continue to sag. The wedges also went back in with nails to keep them in place and screws in the back of the treads. Now the stairs creak a little bit, no more bouncing or shifting! I am really glad to be done with one as I am not fond of ladders and a ladder on the stairs? Yikes! But I did it and it is done. Now we just have to get a piece of drywall up there....

 This was really last weeks project, but hadn't taken photos yet. Don't you love that floor!! I also love oil based paint! This was the first time I have used it and I was very impressed. Of course it is different then latex and takes a bit to get use to. But I really wanted oil since it is a wet environment. We will see how it holds up.

The linen cupboard also got a layer of paint sprayed on it. I just need to paint the inside and get new knobs. 
There is still a whole lot of painting to do, but all the major projects are finished! It should be all ready to go by November 1st! Hopefully, I can find someone to move in that will love it as much as I do!

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Apple Picking 2018

Even though my schedule is a little tight right now, I wasn't going to miss apple picking! Two weekends ago my brother, his family and I all piled into the truck and went out to the orchard. It has become a family tradition now. (When you can't remember how long you have been doing it, it is a tradition!) Part of the whole experience is the drive, about 35 minutes through country roads.

I love these old apple trees! The area we picked in the trees weren't quite as big or old as other areas. But they are still nice sized trees with plenty of apples.

 This is my little apple tree. I got quite a tree full of apples this year, but unfortunately, most of them had worms. That didn't stop me from collecting the best ones and making an apple pie!

What is your favorite fall activity?

Friday, October 5, 2018

Progress Report Week 14: Paint and Radiators

I don't have a lot of exciting pictures for you this week. It has been very rainy and dark; and I have been on a roll! So not a lot of time to take pictures!
Mom and I washed all the windows and storms last Saturday. Makes a world of difference to get a couple of decades of grime of the glass! I also took a little time off and went apple picking with the nieces, another post on that coming soon.

One of my main goals this week was to clean the radiators and covers in the living room and dining room. I wasn't sure what the best way would be though. After ordering an attachment for the shop vac and it not being thin enough to get in the "ribs" of the radiators, I just grabbed a dryer lint brush and went to town. It stirs up the dust bunnies, but gets them some what clean. Of course, I made sure I had my mask and googles on! After brush them down I vacuumed them again, then wiped the tops with a wet microfiber rag.
Anyone have an experience cleaning radiators? Remember how your grandma or great-aunt use to do it?

I was also really excited to get the living/dining room primed! I had to laugh, behind the radiators I can see the walls use to be close to the same shade of cream I am planning on painting the walls. Old houses tell you what color they want to be! And you just can't argue!

I also got two coats of paint on the bathroom floors, so excited about how it turned out! No photos yet. The counter top man came to measure up for new counter tops. Most of the plants got dug up and moved from the front flower bed. 

And the closet doors got scraped and sanded! Ready for paint now!