Sunday, February 27, 2011

A mirror update

Ok, as promised here are a couple of pictures of the mini bathroom makeover. I guess I should call it a mini update. We did the makeover two years ago by painting and putting granite counters on as well as new sinks and faucets. This current update included sprucing up the mirrors and making them a bit more modern. We added frames around the mirrors and it was easy as pie. One of our easiest projects we have taken on. Before my husband had his stroke, we (he) did all kinds of home improvements from building a beautiful 2 tier deck to painting, to putting in a gas fireplace and building the hearth and mantle. He had also built a few pieces of furniture. These days not so much. The detail he once paid such close attention to, just isn't there. His motto now is "no body will notice". Maybe not, but I notice and it drives me crazy. Not so much because of noticing the imperfections but because I remember the way things used to be. He was only 43 when he had his stroke and in the past 6 years, I still find myself thinking of what our life would be like if he hadn't had the stroke. I know, that doesn't get me anywhere and it isn't healthy, but there are those days when I can't help but look back. Ok enough self pity- back to the update.

This bathroom was one of the selling points for me when we bought the house. The walls were a very pale pale blue with grayish blue formica counter tops. It was the space that I liked and I was able to look past the previous owner's color pallet. The new counter tops and paint really made the difference but the mirrors need a little TLC. Below are some before and after pictures.





It sure makes it a bit easier to look in the mirror at this poor tired face each morning. I loved how they turned out. I don't think the pictures do them real justice. I still am not used to how the frames pulled that wall in. The bathroom doesn't seem quite as spacious but it was large enough that it could withstand it. It now seems a bit richer and warmer to me.

Today I have someone coming to give me a quote to paint my kitchen cabinets and island. Right now they are maple frost and I hated the tinge of pink I saw in them when I first walked in the house. There are 36 cabinet doors and 11 drawers. It would cost a fortune to replace them so when we moved in we put on granite counters to help draw your eyes away from them. With Elliot still in school and the cabinets being in excellent condition, I can't see replacing them yet. My next best option is to paint them. I am thinking cream with brown glaze in the grooves and the island black. This painter sprays them and that is exactly the finish I wanted. Lets just see if I can handle the sticker price. I have absolutely no idea how much this is going to cost. Wish me luck.

~Have fun and enjoy!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

For a wonderful couple...

I decided to do an anniversary card in a different fashion and went with the "joy" theme. This was for a wonderful couple who mean the world to me and I cherish their company and our conversations immensely. I think I am the fortunate one not only because of their friendship but because I often take with me their words of wisdom that give my life such comfort. They make the perfect couple and compliment each other wonderfully. What more can you say about a beautiful marriage.

I used "Linen Closet" by DCWV designer paper and chipboard. The white beaded oval is from Spellbinders as is the photo corner. The fancy edge under the large rose ribbon is from EK Success. I found the rose ribbon at JoAnns quite by accident. I was hoping to find it in pink also, but no such luck. I think I might try to spray it different colors with some of my spray dyes.

I have been busy today with a bathroom update project. Not a very big one, but one that will make a big impact. I have three mirrors in my master bath that are each 42"x36" and they are just plain mirrors. Three years ago we painted, put in granite counters, new under mount sinks and new faucets. The mirrors just needed a finished look so my DH and I made a trip to Lowe's and picked up some nice 3" trim and rosette blocks. He cut the trim and gave everything a first coat of black paint. Tomorrow a second coat of paint and if everything is dry, we can put the trim on tomorrow night. I will post some before and after photos next week.

DH says I watch way too much HGTV because I come up with all kinds of ideas for home improvement and design changes. He is a really good sport about it and willingly plays along with with my insanity. Thankfully I have a full time job to keep me busy or I would be changing things all the time around here and we would certainly be broke. Aside from all that, the other project that I have swirling around in my head is to paint and glaze my kitchen cabinets. Right now they are maple frost and to me they have a hint of pink to them; something I have always disliked since we first move in 5 years ago. They are beautiful raised panel wood cabinets and I know several of you are thinking I am crazy to want to paint them, but I want cream with the brown glaze in the cracks. It would cost me a fortune to replace them and there is already granite on the counters so I am sort of stuck with them. I would like to find someone who paints cabinets to give me a quote. I have been researching on doing them myself but there are a lot of cabinets and I am afraid that 1). I will get halfway into the project and find I am in over my head and/or 2). I will not do a professional looking job and the cabinets will look horrible. In that case I would be better off not having touched them. If anyone has any words of wisdom or knows of anyone in the northern Detroit area who refinishes cabinets- shoot me an email.

On another note, I am not looking forward to tomorrow's weather. We had a few days in the low 50's this past week which melted the 2 feet of snow we received the week before, and now we are under winter storm warnings again. Freezing rain and up to 6 or 8 inches of snow into Monday morning. Oh how I envy my friends in Florida. Carol please mix up a batch of margaritas and I will be there in a flash to keep you company by the pool.

~Have fun and enjoy!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Vintage hearts

I made this card last week while I was off on my mini home vacation. I cut the bottom layer of the hearts out of cream felt with my scalloped Nesti hearts and the next layer was punched from some very old sheet music my mother-n-law graciously gave to me. I distressed it a bit more with Antique Linen ink. The top layer I used the Nesties again but I had run the paper through my Swiss Dot Cuttlebug folder first. The background was done with the "Victoria" Cuttlebug embossing folder and then I rubbed an opaque white ink pad over the raised image. I love the softness it created.

The stick pin is one of the handmade ones that I made a couple of years ago. There is a picture of some more in the Splitcoast Stampers Gallery under Stick Pins. The seam binding was the perfect color for the look I was going for. I love how it crinkles up when you mist it a bit with some water and then scrunch it up in you hand. The tiny little tag is from SU with the medium jewelry tag punch- another of my new favorites.

Not much else to say tonight but burrrrr. This morning was the first time I saw a negative number on the dash for the temperature and I hope I don't see it again anytime soon. I know living in Michigan the odds of that aren't good. I have been busy making some flowers out of organza and I am proud to say I didn't burn the house down. I will leave it at that and share some pictures of the flowers with you in my next post.

~Have fun and enjoy!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

For a little one...

I still haven't gotten away from pink but this belongs to a little one who is soon to arrive into this world. One of my co-workers is due next week and I made this card to match the color of "her" new room. They haven't named her yet; I guess they are waiting to surprise all of us.

Any way, I used my new Lacey Circles Spellbinders and Abstract Flower EK Success punch. The bunny is one of my first stamps from 10 years ago. I couldn't resist the little pom-pom for his tail. I thought about coloring him in and then thought better of it because I didn't want too much brown.

The hubby is out of town and I decided to treat myself to a much needed mental vacation while we are still full staffed at work. Having the house to myself is a vacation in itself and I enjoy it as much as if I had gone to Paris. OK I lied there a bit, but I really do love being home by myself. I was off yesterday to enjoy the storm from home and through the end of the week. After next week I won't be able to get any vacation time until May 12th. Not that I am counting those maternity weeks.

For starters ,yesterday I had my coffee in bed while I watched the news and read the morning paper all the while it stormed like the dickens outside. I kept waiting for the maid to walk in and ask me if there was anything else I needed, but she must have been busy with other things because she never showed up- oh how I love to daydream. After spending a bit of time in my stamping room, I watched "Sex And The City 2" (even though it didn't get great reviews, I liked it) one of the four chick flicks I rented in anticipation of the big blizzard and my time alone. It snowed even more while I was watching the movie and it was so comfy as I sat cuddled in a blanket and still in my PJ's. Of course I had a candle burning to make it even more of a perfect day. Enjoying the snow coming down meant only one thing. It had to be cleared from the dive way. The night before my DH left, he gave me snow blower 101 lessons. I am sure the neighbors were quite entertained if they were watching me try to clear over 12" of snow from a rather long driveway. Just the way I was dressed was a laugh in itself. I feared I was going to hear applause as I shut off the machine when I was done. Aside from a minor scrape on the garage door, only one damaged landscape light and a piece of broken siding as the snow blower got a little too close, I didn't do too bad of a job, but let's just say I probably won't be left alone again with any pending storms.

This afternoon I watched "It's Complicated" with one of my favorite actresses Meryl Streep, and still have to watch "Eat Pray Love" with Julia Roberts. I didn't even venture outside today since it is only in the teens but with the wind it feels like zero. The temp when I got up was only 2 degrees without the wind chill- certainly is "stay in the house weather" for me. Tomorrow on the play list is "The Kids Are All Right" with Annette Bening who won a Gloden Globe for the movie, and Julianne Moore. Not roles I would expect for either one of them. I haven't made any plans for the rest of the day, but that's the beauty of it and exactly what a mental vacation is meant to be.

I don't usually watch TV in the family room on the big screen TV. The room is very large and open and it takes a NASA scientist to figure out the three remotes to watch a DVD (my DH left me directions before he left). I like the comfort of the front sitting room which is decorated on more of a feminine side and the TV has only one remote. Today I watched the movies on the big TV and I saw the room from a whole different perspective. It is amazing how different we start to see things when we start thinking of our own mortality, what matters and what doesn't, and how fortunate we are. I looked up at the high 20 foot ceilings and the bridge that over looks the room and I saw a beauty to the room that I didn't appreciate before. It made me love my home even more than I already did. It really is the simple things in life that should make us happy.

~Have fun and enjoy!