Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Renovation progress

I know, it seems I have been lazing around, watching soap operas and eating Bon bons. Nothing seemed to happen for so long, no changes to take pictures of, only boring stuff like plumbing and wiring. But NOW! Look at the this wall! 
Look at these door frames! And Doors! These doors are actually different from the original part of the house, but from the same general era. At this point I have to go back to my plans and  design from the beginning, and check myself. I am just picking what I like and ignoring the overall design plan. The problem with that is, I like MOST everything. In a warehouse full of old doors, I like them all. When asked what finish for fixtures, I like satin nickel, oil-rubbed bronze, chrome and some brass. Styles? Old fashioned, modern, rustic, sophisticated....yep. I like 'em all. 
Now the shower is almost done! I have spent too much money, so the beautiful glass panel will have to wait. I am patient. I will get creative and find a cool way to make a shower curtain look good in the meantime. 
The vanity is built! Yes, that is a very modern shower and about as rustic as you can get for the vanity! What the heck is she doing????
Well. There is a plan. I hope I can focus well and long enough to actually execute the plan. The *trend* right now is indeed "modern rustic" and I happen to like it. It speaks to what I have always seen as my split-brain personality. I am a country girl, born and bred. But I love and understand a small amount of sophistication, modernism, if you will. I am aiming at that style, but with a side of Julie, if you please. 
The floors are in! I have thought through and made sure that once I tire of that trend it will be easy enough to change. In the far, far future (I hope). So the basic color and style of the permanent things are pretty neutral and plain. The shower has very little "accent" tiles, the floors go well with most any color. And the rest, light fixtures, vanities, paint color can be changed out if and when necessary. 

Everything happened in a whirlwind, or so it seemed. Now I have to go clean and paint so they can put it all together. 
Of course, then we still have the garage, so can't get too excited yet. 
Also, next week my class schedule will TRIPLE. Let's see how we handle a little pressure. We will need the money, since the small bathroom is getting a surprise makeover. The floor was removed to replace plumbing and a partial joist. Rot was found in the walls as well, walls, tile, flooring, and toilet. Yay! 

Friday, June 10, 2016

My Fair Lady

It's opening night! I can still see Kailin come on stage singing this song, in The Producers. The excitement builds, it's finally here! 
Tonight my little fair lady, Jessica, will be Eliza Doolittle. It's her first true leading role. Sure, she was Eponine in Les Miz and Johanna in Sweeney Todd, but....
She idolizes Julie Andrews. She has been watching My Fair Lady, the movie with Audrey Hepburn since she could talk. Along with other classic musicals from that era...Sound of Music, Music Man, etc. This is really a dream role for her. Plus, the costumes, oh my! Two extremely talented ladies have made custom gowns fit perfectly, just for her. Studio photography sessions, features in the local paper no less than THREE times. I'm gonna have to tie a string to her toe, to keep her on earth. 
Months of rehearsals, agonizing over forgotten lines and missed notes, she has worked quite hard for this. My absolute proudest moment was not when she flawlessly delivered that note at the end of "I Could've Danced All Night". No, it was actually a week or two ago, at the first dress rehearsal. 
The stage manager came to me and said how proud I must be. I said yes, of course I am. She then proceeded to tell me that Jessi was the most down to earth, humble leading lady she had worked with. She behaved as just another part of the team. When the director told me that her behavior and attitude were impeccable, well....that was the proudest moment. 
I have the job of making sure she gets zipped up into each gown as she goes from scene to lovely scene. Here are some shots from opening night, via her tiny dressing room. 

She received so many flowers she couldn't carry them all. 


Monday, June 6, 2016

Every episode!

In EVERY home makeover episode, whether it be Propety Brothers, Love it or List it, Fixer Upper...every one, I tell you, has the set back. You know, "I'm gonna have to call the homeowner and they will have to spend more money on this." There is some unexpected expense and it's going to cut into the budget. It's the formula for the "reality TV" because in actual (I feel funny saying that) reality, this is what happens. 
When Dad and I pulled the wood siding off where the garage will go, we found winged creatures and this! OH NO! And some more rotten wood and more winged creatures. The rest of my day was a see-saw. 

No worries- the seller provided a termite bond, I'll call them. 
Oh no! Those aren't termites, they're carpenter ants, we don't cover those. 
No worries-the manager will come over and take a look. 
Oh no! We won't cover damage.

Back and forth all day long....
Final answer, house is treated for termites and carpenter ants. I have to pull damaged areas and repair (I was gonna do that anyway), and you don't have a wooden house without pest control. It's just not smart. 

On to the next set back....

OH NO, it's the set back! Now, AFTER we called planning and zoning, after the contractor said yes, we can do that, after the bank loaned us money to do that, the surveyor says the set back (easement) on our particular property is further because we are on a corner lot. Our proposed garage will not fit! 
Well, that is a set back indeed. 
We are in the process of pleading our case with the planning and zoning committee. We have staked out the garage and took photos from the street to show that the garage would not impede vision of the intersection from a car. What does impede the vision is the giant, magnificent oak tree that is technically their property.
I wonder what they are going to do. 
Find out in the next episode of..."LOCO RENO" ! 

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Coffee table

This is a butcher block that has been sitting on Mom and Dads porch since I don't know when. My Dads parents had a grocery store here at Crandall, many years ago. 
It was a Gulf station on US Highway 17, before there was an interstate 95. Here my grandad and his brother are standing out front. It was also a diner, general store, and smokehouse. They sold and bartered many things. 
Back to the table...
You can see from the photo it has been used, a bit. One of the legs was half the length of the others. Plus sitting at the edge of the porch as a catch all for at least 40 years, it has taken a toll. 
Dad showed me how to use his ancient grinder. I sanded and sanded. Then I pressure washed it. Then we flipped it over. I think it weighs about 300-350 pounds. 
Then I learned how to use his ancient circular saw. I measured and cut the legs off. I was going to replace them with some adorable little button feet I found. When I pulled the first leg off it was attached in such a cool way, I just left them. I wish I had taken a picture. There was a peg of sorts, about 3 inches wide at the end of the leg, that went into a hole, that I presume was exactly the same size as the peg. The peg, however, had a rim about halfway that was a tiny bit bigger. This is what holds them on so tightly. 
I have applied several coats of wax since this photo. But, here, for what it's worth, is my new coffee table. Dad thinks I have lost my mind. I like it. 

Saturday, May 21, 2016

May 21

There will be much tylonol taken tonight. Demo day one is done. The bathroom is demolished with the exception of a few floor tiles. The carpets removed, and several trees also. The plants have been dug up where the garage will go. They will be transplanted tomorrow. There are many sore muscles.
Or after the before, as the actual after will come much later. 
I am tired. 

Friday, May 20, 2016

May 20

I helped my mom sand and stain her dining room set when I was somewhere in the neighborhood of 12 years old. Now, that table has been through a lot! We were a very small working farm, even though both parents worked full time, and my mom managed to also obtain a college degree in her spare time. When we butchered a hog or cow, all the meat would be wrapped and labeled on that table. It served as her pattern cutting table for sewing many, many garments and quilts. Many people gathered around it for regular meals, and for preparing said meals. Canning, crafts, drinking coffee, and conversations were carried out there in my parents dining room. We were a rough crowd. The chairs gave out before I was 10, my dad found a guy around Waldo that made some super sturdy ones to replace the originals. I missed the delicate curved feet and arms of the first ones. I forgot to mention, it was her mother's set, so it was old when she got it in 1971. 
After Mom passed I took the set home with me. I never had a thought that they look so worn. To me, they were just familiar. I could tell you what happened to cause most of the chinks, scratches, and worn spots. 
Now with the new house comes the irrististable urge to redefine our style to match the new house. Oh, Pinterest is just evil! It makes you want all things new and different! 
The new house is such a cute {{little}} cottage, that I'm not even sure how I'm going to fit everything in it! The dining room has that adorable builtin, that I cannot bring myself to pull out. So, the buffet or the china cabinet will almost have to go on a wall in the living room. 
This picture from Pinterest is my inspiration, though I want grey with a touch of yellow (more on that choice later). 
Here's what I have so far....
I sanded and sanded and sanded. Then I gave up and bought a chemical stripper. Then I sanded some more. I used a stain called weathered grey, the a coat of extra thick polyurethane with a Matt finish. 

I like it. I still have two pieces to go! 
The chairs I left at Dad's house. He likes them and I don't. Up until now I have had these giant rattan chairs that don't match, but are very comfortable. 
I found these are the Pickers Market in Fernandina, six chairs plus a table (just like mine, but painted light grey) for the amazing price of $95! Well, how cute are they? They also determined my zinger color. One of the ladies that works at the Market wanted the table, I sold it to her for $25. So six nice chairs for $70! Wow! This is gonna look great, you just wait! 

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Focused on home

I am afraid, at least for a little while, this will become a blog that mimics an HGTV series. This series is all about one house and one slightly crazy homeowner, who is obsessed with paying less for everything she purchases. Part DIY, part extreme bargain shopping, part bartering and begging. 
Here's the house: a cottage that was built sometime in the 1940-50s, then added to in 1977. The tax rolls say it was built in 1977. That's just not so. This fireplace...
And this built in cabinet...
With their molding, glass knobs and other details, prove this house is much older. There are other things, such as the type of wood and spacing used for the studs and framing, the wood floors, tall ceilings, light fixtures and siding on the exterior. 
I like it very much. But not enough to move in without the Home and Gardens special episode! The addition may have been convenient in 1977, but it could be reconfigured to fit our lifestyle, without too much fuss. 
We just closed, but have been courting this house for 5 or more months. We won't move in until the majority of the renovations are complete.