Thursday, December 29, 2011

Master Bath - Painting Complete!

Well, it's finally done!

For those looking: I chose Martha Stewart Living's Tadpole Green, color-matched to Behr Premium Plus Ultra.  I could have gotten away with one coat and a little touch-up, but I did two full coats, and it covered beautifully. 

Before - when we moved in
After (but before I touched-up the edges)

Before - when we moved in
After - new floors, new toilet, and the new sheet-rock in place

Before - when we moved in
Wow, that's a remarkable improvement over how it looked when we moved in!

After - with door replaced with sheet-rock and made into a walk-through

Before - during renovations
Before - After we replaced the cabinetry

 Of course it looks darker because it's night-time, there's no ambient lighting (the lighting over the vanity is missing), and there's no mirror to reflect light...but trust me.  It's beautiful.  :)

Here's a shot of it right next to the tile.  You can see that it brings out all the light-greens in the tiles while still being a great complement to the overall room.

This is probably the best color-for-color shot of the green.  This is what color it looks like in person, and it looks great against the tile!  It was difficult to find a green that worked with the dark, tight space of the powder room but also warmed up the room and looked great against the large, bright space of the main bath area.

As you can see from this area, we will need to replace the baseboard trim.  :)

So, what do you think?  Sadly I get home way after dark so I can never take any bright pictures, but trust me.  It's beautiful.  :)

Now all that's left is painting and putting down baseboards throughout, building the cabinetry, painting the cabinets, putting the mirrors up (i.e. finding a mirror for the main bath area), shopping for new light fixtures, figuring out the towel-rack situation, and covering up the patio door with some kind of window blind.  Wow, that sounds more daunting than originally thought. 

Next up: Upstairs bathroom painting, and gardening this weekend.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Sneak Peek

I have to do some ceiling touch-ups (hopefully tonight) and remove all the tape/plastic sheeting before I can post an official "complete" picture, but here's a sneak peek at the bathroom!

The green is so fabulous.  Beyond words.  It looks amazing in person.

Powder room, where mirror should be
Comparison of tile beside new paint (ignore the tape separating them)

A peek into the powder room from the shower area (ignore the tape!)

More pictures soon!

Hope you all had a great holiday, whatever you were celebrating.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Getting Primed

So I taunted you all with primer pics, and now I shall deliver!

Except, pictures of white walls are boring, and there's not really a lot to say about them.  "Ooooh, they're...primed and ready for paint!  Yay!"  Boring.  Painting walls white is boring.



Medicine cabinet

Walk-through to powder room

From powder room - notice freshly-painted ceiling!

 After priming, I went ahead and painted the ceiling last night (Glidden Ceiling Paint - it was the cheapest, and it seems to actually cover better than a lot of more expensive ceiling paints.  It only required one coat to achieve a nice, even white).

Newly-textured area above shower

Main bathroom ceiling - looks sooooo good
 You may not remember how the ceiling in the powder room looked before I painted it, but it was pretty terrible.  I took a full hour on it with a belt-sander to mow it down to a manageable amount, but there were random chunks taken out of the wall where the original stalactites used to live.  Now it's all nice and even.  :)

Over sink

Over toilet
Today is time to slap on the green!  I'm so excited.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Two Tickets to Sheet-Rock Town!

As mentioned in my previous post, I have some free time off work with the holidays coming up, and if Husband and I don't end up going on an unplanned vacation for New Years (which, let’s be honest, is not out of the question), my intent is to spend this time off gardening.  I haven't had a lot of time to garden in recent weeks, given the weekends have been filled with trips to other cities (and states) to visit family and friends, and after work is impossible given I’m home well after dark.  I’d planned on getting started on the gardening for this weekend (since I have a three-day weekend off – thanks, Christmas!), but something kind of awesome and exciting has come up:

We just got the bathroom sheet-rocked and re-textured.

That means finally being able to paint!!  Yay!  I love painting.  I had been sitting on my paint colors for about three months, waiting for us to drum up the money (or more accurately, be bothered to call someone to come out) to get it finished.  We found an awesome guy who, unlike all of the other sheetrock guys we called, actually showed up when he said he would, and did a fine job.

To prep for his arrival, we had to rip out the door-frame that led from the powder room to the main bath, and we decided that while we liked the chair rail, it didn't go with the rest of the house (as there was not another chair rail anywhere else in the entirety of the house...why is it in the powder room?), so we ripped it out as well.  (And by "we", I mean Husband.)

Let’s have a little reminder of how it used to look, for all of those who’ve (understandably) forgotten:

Missing medicine cabinet that needs to be filled in

Above you can see where the door-frame and chair rail were removed, as well as the spot where the McLazies "fixed" the wall
So to sum up, we needed to fill in the hole where the medicine cabinet was removed, have the wall behind the bathtub/just right of the toilet repaired (see above), fix the area where we removed the door between the powder room and the main bathroom, and texture the ceiling and wall where Husband replaced the bathtub with the shower setup (no pictures of before, sorry!).

Because he’d have to texture the walls where he made repairs, we elected to just have him re-texture all of the walls.  This worked for me, because the wall texture was remarkably different between the two rooms.  The main bathroom area had almost no texture whatsoever (which I liked), but the powder room had that same horrifying, will-cut-your-hand-if-you-touch-it texture.  Even after I spent eons sanding it down, it was still pretty hard core and looked bad.  So he re-textured it all with a nice stomp-grind.  Here are the results:

The powder room

More powder room

Powder room, mirror side
The walk-through
Walk-through from the main bath
Medicine cabinet no more!

Shower-area ceiling retexture

Now you may have noticed something special here in the previous picture.  This was my favorite part of this whole process...the ceiling was retextured too!!

A better picture of the ceiling and wall together

I literally cannot express my joy enough at this ceiling.  SO EXCITING!  It was like Christmas morning when I walked in and saw that the horrible semi-gloss and stalactite ceiling was gone, and replaced with it was this beautiful, evenly-coated ceiling.  Pure joy, y'all.

We put a coat of primer on last night (Husband helped, and it cut down on the completion time considerably), which I will post pictures of tomorrow.  Tonight, if all goes well, I will be putting the first coat of official paint on!  Yay!

Stay tuned for primer shots!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Minor Update to Garden

Hi all!  It's been a while, but I have some new stuff to show you (finally).  Merry Christmas, here's your present!  :)

So if you remember from my previous garden post, I had to dead-head the snapdragons.  They were also extremely unruly and just flopping about (see picture below):

I was worried that I had waited too long to deadhead, and that I would be resigned to forever green bushes (which would be fine, as long as they didn't die).  Still, the area just looked unruly, like the snapdragons owned me.  I was not having it.

I tried a few avenues, and purchased a few "plant wranglers" online.  But they did not work, and Husband came through in the clench...with green chicken wire.

At first, I was reluctant.  But the result actually turned out gorgeous:

So I chicken-wired them on December 7th, fertilized them, and kept a close eye on their progress.  I didn't overwater, but I didn't underwater either.  I got lucky with a few hefty rains that kept them nice and moist.

Slowly, I started seeing some pink buds come back.  It started at the front, where the sun hits the bushes the most.  But now?  They're all blooming!

Forgive the leaves - it was windy the night before!

The ones at the front are still the most bloomy - this one below kicked out a set that rivaled how many blooms it had when I purchased it.

I think we have a winner, folks!

More garden updates to follow, hopefully over New Years weekend.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Front Yard Garden, Part Two

So I took a break from the garden, mostly because we had stuff to do for a few weekends, and with it being dark an hour before I get home from work every day, it made weekday gardening impossible.  So, last weekend, I was determined to get a good bit of gardening done. 

My intent was to take the same work I'd done with the snapdragons and cast irons and continue the same theme around the front of the house.  Husband insisted that the front needed "some visual height" or whatever, so I did it for him if nothing else. 

Saturday morning, I went to the nursery to get more cast irons.  I'd also intended to go get 2-3 more snapdragon bushes to put around the mailbox, because that area needed to be spruced up badly.  Except the nursery I went to had crap for cast irons (they looked like they'd all been been on the losing end of a fight with a shiv and some hungry animals), and no snapdragons.  So I drove to the other nursery and voila, cast irons everywhere!  I also looked for some elephant ears to plant in the back yard (no, not the animal, but I know that's what you were thinking!), and ended up wasting a lot of time looking at palm trees instead.  Still no snapdragons, so I was starting to go into panic mode.

Then the lovely nursery guy was like, "These Cyclamids will do well for your winter garden, and they're on sale!" Done.  I bought 8 when I was sure I only needed 5, but I was sure I'd find a place for the other three somewhere.  (And I did.) 

Purchases complete, I drove home, prepared for some gardening!  I decided to start with the mailbox.  Why you ask?  Let me explain.

When we purchased the house, we did not have a mailbox.  Well, technically we were provided one, if you count a mailbox with a broken post laying in the middle of your newly-purchased yard as "provided".  Some jerkfaces must have decided that knocking down the McLazies' mailbox was a lesson learned.  (I honestly don't blame them, y'all.)  Regardless, we had to buy one of the cheap plastic ones, and then randomly knock the tiny, cheap piece of wood into the ground, where it wobbled perilously around every time you opened or closed the mailbox.  It needed an intervention.

So I dug up the area where I planned to place the new mailbox.  I do not have progress photos, because I was covered in dirt and my phone died twenty minutes into the process.  I only have after photos, but trust me.  It sucked.  At least this time, I had a wheelbarrow, so that was a definite improvement.  After I got rid of the crap topsoil and dug out enough good dirt to mix with the garden soil, I knocked the mailbox into its rightful place (with the butt of the shovel, because that's all I had on hand.  I'm a resourceful gal), then started adding the soil back.  To ensure the mailbox stayed in place, I hard-compacted the soil around the mailbox post and then wet the soil enough to make it stay put.  It worked, and apparently my mailman was extremely pleased, because he drove by at that time and looked at me like I'd just handed him some freshly-baked double chocolate chunk cookies.  He was like, "Yes!  This is good!  Your old mailbox was very wobby."  New favorite word.

Once the soil was down, I started planting the cyclamids.  By "planting", I mean arranging them just so, getting a ruler to ensure they were evenly spaced, then starting to dig more and discovering that there were about eleventy billion huge rocks down deeper than I had dug, making planting impossible.  Super awesome.

Those three loose rocks?  Dug them up.

Also dug up these four rocks.  ALL FROM ONE LOCATION.
 I took comfort in the knowledge that at least I wasn't digging up dead bodies.  I honestly wouldn't put it past the McLazies.

So anyhoo, I planted everything on Saturday and then once I was done, I realized I hadn't put enough of the soil in, so I had to take them out, put the rest of the soil in, and then repeat the process.  Then I spent an hour making the damn garden border, and mulching.  Final product?  Worth it, I think:

The mailman will be so pleased!

The best part so far is that they still haven't died yet.  It's been almost a whole week and they still seem really perky.  The pink one on the far right was laying down like it was dead yesterday, but this morning it was perkier than it was in this picture, so...way to play me, pink cylamid!  

The snapdragons are not faring as well.  I don't think we planted them with enough soil mixture, and apparently they needed a lot of aeration which doesn't work for clay soils (which I have).  Still, they are alive.  They just aren't budding...except for one.  

The rest of them look like this:

Sigh.  So I dead-headed them (which apparently means to cut the buds off once the flowers have spent), except I did so about a week past when they needed to be done.  Le sigh.

The only solace I can provide these poor fellas is that I have purchased a circular stake that will hold them up, so at least they'll look like they want to be alive instead of being spread out like a five year old who hasn't brushed their hair in six weeks.

While I was in prune-mode, I pruned all of the cast irons and the palm tree of any dead material.  Only green is demanded here at the Clark Castle. 

Before (before we even moved in, but you get the point.  There was yellow everywhere):


Much better.

After all of this, I began to dig.  And dig.  And dig.

I dug up the random growth seen above at the bottom corner of the picture (which turned out to be a tuber of some kind, which looked enough like a daylily that I will now call it such).  I dug up some atrociously unruly weeds with roots deeper and wider than some trees.  I dug up a large (and this term doesn't do it justice, because it's everywhere) patch of clover-like groundcover, and raked up about ninety pounds of pine needles.  Basically, I turned this:

Into this:

Then I saw a snake come out at me from a burrow. It was a blind snake, so after my initial shock and thanks to Google, I realized we were cool and quietly got back to work, until I ran out of wheelbarrow room and couldn't move it because it was too heavy.  Good work, Taylor.  Now I refer my husband to the front yard to handle the removal of dirt.  This is why I have him.

And later that night, I discovered that I pinched a nerve somewhere that made the inside of my left arm all the way to my fingertips filled with shooting pain, pins and needles, and varying degrees of numbness. 

I hate you, gardening!  But I WILL PREVAIL. 

Part three, hopefully coming soon!  Here's a sneak peek of my plan: