Monday, May 30, 2011

Bathroom Reno Pt 1

So we decided to bite the bullet and renovate the "Master Bathroom". Our time here in San Antonio is getting short, and though we've had pretty good traffic through the house we haven't had any offers that we're happy with. Some of the main comments that we kept getting were about the bathroom and that it would be too much work for most people. So we've found a renter and will try to put our house on the market next year with a new bathroom and hopefully a better market.

It was one of my main concerns about selling the house and I asked our realtor if he thought we should just go for it and fix it up but he said he didn't think it would be that big of an issue. But I feel it has been. Not only is the bathroom ugly 70's, the leak has gotten worse and the tile is cracking in some places. Ugh...

So we're trying to go as inexpensive as possible and make the biggest impact. It's not going to be the bathroom I had dreamed of but it's going to look good. I want something timeless and classic- Subway tile with an accent band. The white tile will make the space feel larger and make it feel fresh and new. It won't cost to much to rip out the tile and replace with new but it will look a lot better.

I got a wild hair in me last night and thought I'd save some money and do the demo myself. I've never ripped out tile before, how hard can it be right? 

Well, it was a little harder than I thought and after chopping away with not much progress... I ran into this:

What is that? I thought tile was supposed be be lain on gypsum board or Durock. The gray stuff was everywhere.

I budgeted to have someone come and lay the new tile and fix the leak. He had told me he wanted to try and lay the tile over the existing backing to keep costs down. So when I saw that gray stuff I didn't think either of us were expecting it. So I held off so he could come and look at it.

Turns out it's plaster- my tile guy said they used to do that "back in the day" and it's probably why the shower hasn't held up that well over time. He ripped out the rest of the tile for us down to the studs. He did a much better job than I probably would have done but at least I tried. 

Hope to have some more progress shots coming up soon! 

P.S.- Word to the wise, don't let your 2 year old see you banging on the wall with the hammer. They may get the wrong idea and you may find them later on trying it on their own!

Linking here!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Na Na Na Na- Hey Hey Hey- Goodbye!

We're starting demo on our bad 70's bathroom tomorrow. It's long overdue and I'm glad it's going to go. It's not the dream reno I had envisioned but it's going to look 100x better.

I'll elaborate more later- wish us luck! We're going to need it!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A Sad Departure

No we haven't moved to the big OK yet, that's not for another month. What's so sad is that I sold my Mid- Century Lounge Chairs this week. 

(Moment of Silence Please)

I have been torn for a while about what to do with them. They were on my list of what to keep and what to give away with the pending move. It was a hard decision and I made it kind of spur of the moment. I listed them on Craigslist in the morning and by the afternoon they were gone.

I really enjoyed lounging in them after work, or reading a book or magazine at night. Good times. I even felt kind of Mad Men-ish sipping wine or some other adult beverage while sitting in one of my chairs. 

What finally did it in for me was that I've heard from people living in Altus now that the main thing they do is go to each other's houses for dinner and movies (since there is nothing else to do there....). So I want to make sure I have a comfortable living room that people want to hang out in. The lounge chairs are comfy enough but don't have a head rest or upholstered arms. So I'm seeking out some alternatives.

What also helped sway me was that I only bought the pair for $35 and was able to sell them for a lot more than that. A lot a lot. 

I'm glad they went to a good home, the girl who bought them was super excited to find a pair in such good condition. All good things must come to and end- and now I have an excuse to furniture shop again!

The hunt is on!

Have you ever had to part with a piece of furniture near and dear to your heart?

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Coffee Table Part Deux

Hope everyone is having a fabulous weekend! We've been busy around here but that doesn't mean I neglected to work on my coffee table! I'm so excited that this project is moving along again. 

If you don't remember I started making this table that I had seen at Anthropologie:

I loved the table but not the price tag. So I set out to make one of my own- doing research, drawing up plans, getting steel cut ect. Then last Novemeber I started on the smaller coffee table, but the project stopped there for a good while.

This past Saturday despite the heat wave we're experiencing here in San Antonio I took my husband up on his offer to watch the Con-Man for a few hours so I could get some welding done. It took me a while to get started, I had to remember how everything was supposed to fit together. I was worried for a minute that I had some of the pieces cut to the wrong size - but all was well!

The type of welding I do is called arc welding or stick welding. I learned a trick online that I wanted to try out this time around. The website suggested cutting the welding sticks in half to give better control. I tried it out but it didn't work to well for me, maybe I'll try it again next time.

I also got some much needed tools to make this project easier- an angle and some clamps. Thank goodness I did! It made everything go so much faster and all my angles were straight!

I was in a bit of a rush to finish so I didn't get to take many progress pictures but I snapped a few.

So, all I have left to do is grind the slag (ugly black stuff in above picture), spray paint the frame and built the wooden tops! 

I need to get this finished up before our big move. It's just over a month away!

Linking Here!

How did you enjoy your weekend? Any fun projects to talk about?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Super Easy Tea light Holder

One of the things that I love about our house is that it is a gift that keeps on giving. Our dog, Gracie, loves to run underneath the house and bring me presents. It's usually just an old beer can or two that was left behind by construction workers when they built the home, but this time she actually brought me something useful!

She brought me this awesome chunk of wood! Most people might dismiss this as trash but I like it, it's all weathered and distressed and cool looking. (I have this problem where I can't throw things away- it drives my husband nuts.) Anyway- I knew I could make something out of it but what? 

Hmmm... a tea light holder? Yes!

This was super easy to make and only took about 30 minutes from start to finish and I had all the materials to make it already on hand. If you want to make one of these yourself all you need is:

A piece of wood (If you aren't fortunate to have a dog who fetches you wood your local home improvement store can cut wood for you to your desired length, usually for free!)

1 1/2" Drill bit 

Power drill

Sander & Sandpaper

Stain or paint

Tea Lights

First I sanded my wood to smooth it out and get rid of uneven edges.

Then take your drill bit,

And use your tea light as a guide to measure the depth to which you will cut, then tape it off. This way you will not drill to deep into the wood.

Next use a pencil to mark the spots you will drill. SInce I was only drilling 2 holes I just eyeballed it. If your using a longer piece of wood and drilling several holes, measuring might be the way to go!

After I drilled my holes I sanded a little more around the newly drilled holes. Then I used some Minwax stain I had on hand and finished it up. Remember to wipe off any extra stain before it dries for an even finish. This allows the wood grain to show through. 

Then light it up!

For such and quick easy (And free!) project I'm happy with it. Something like this would make a great gift, and to change things up a bit you could use colored tea lights for different seasons, what do you think? 

Linking here!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

House Hunters: Altus Style

Someone asked me today if we had gone house hunting in Altus yet. 

My answer? Nope, and we probably aren't going to. We've talked it over and we're probably going to rent in Oklahoma. I'm kind of bummed out about this but it makes the most sense. We're hoping to only be there for 2 years, and lets face it- Altus isn't exactly the real estate mecca of the world. So we don't want to be stuck with a house we can't sell.

But that doesn't mean I haven't been looking.  Most of the homes for sale are new construction. The town has grown recently (21,000 and growing!) and new homes have been built. It seems to be mainly military families buying and selling these homes.

The other side of the coin is older homes- seemingly from the 70's and 80's era. Possibly from when the town experienced a growth spurt at the time. And from what I can tell from the interiors most have not had any updating to them.

I don't have a problem with houses like this- they intrigue me actually. Looking at the pictures gives me all sorts of ideas on how to update and modernize them. But- since our stint in Altus is short all the hard work wouldn't really pay off.

There is a historic part of town. I saw two house for sale in this area. They look cool and are inexpensive for the size. Which surprised me because homes like this in San Antonio cost a lot more. It seems like most people don't live in the older part of town, most have been moving to the newer areas.

Can you tell which one is my favorite? The interior looks like it needs some help. Hopefully someone will buy it and give it some love. Sadly it's not going to be us. 

We're most likely going to end up in the new part of town.

I'm kind of freaking out about moving to a new construction home. I've gotten so used to living in our 1930's cottage house I don't know what I'm going to do with myself. How will I know if the mailman is at the door if Gracie can't run under the house and bark at him (our house is pier & beam). Because our house is pier and beam it tends to shift with the changing weather. How boring will it be to always come home and not have to jiggle and shake the lock a different way each day? And what will I have to worry about with new non- leaky plumbing? And how can I dream about tearing out walls if the home already has an open floor plan?

Seriously we've put a lot of hard work into this house and we love it. We installed the insulation in the attic, replaced all the lighting, had cable run, painted all the walls, not to mention the kitchen remodel. And besides all the hard work this is where our first child was born- Con-Man! 

We've learned a lot and grown a lot in the short 3 years we've been here- no matter where we end up living in Altus I know we'll have even more good memories to share when we leave.

Friday, May 13, 2011

A Magic App

Oohh! A Magic I-phone App- I wonder what it does. Turn things into gold? Gives you a good hair day even when its 100% humidity outside? Wash all the dishes for you? No, unfortunately it doens't do any of those things but it's still pretty awesome.

It's actually called MagicPlan and it's for the IPhone 4. You can use it to draw up floor plans of your house or any room you want a floor plan of. And it's FREE!

It sounds almost to good to be true but here's how it works- just take a picture of each corner of your room and Magic Plan does the rest. It measure the walls and doors of the room and creates a plan based off the pictures you took.

If you want to do your whole house you just slide the rooms around into place and Magic Plan takes into account the wall thicknesses for you.

Sounds pretty amazing that you get a whole floor plan drawn just by taking pictures with your phone. I don't know how accurate it is; I don't know if I'd try to build a house off it. Especially if you have a lot of weird angles in your home. 

But it would be super helpful if your trying to plan furniture for your home. You could quickly and easily draw up a plan and you could see if that new couch your thinking of getting will fit in the space you want it to go. Use it to get a rough estimate for sqaure footage of material if your remoeling. If you have a rental property you could post the floor plan online for potential renters to view.

Has anyone used this App? I only have a lowly I-Phone 3G so I can't access it. Has anyone has found it helpful. Does it really work? Some of the reviews online have me curoius about it.

Should I run out and buy a 4G?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Coffee Table is Here Again!

I've been so anxious and excited the past few weeks I just can't contain it anymore! In just a few short weeks my MIL is coming in town for a whole week!! WOO HOO! 

What? You don't get this excited when your in-laws come to visit?

Well I do; for a few reasons. First of all she is super fun and awesome to hang out with. Second of all, she says she's coming to visit us but I really know she's coming to visit the Con-Man ;) Which is totally fine with me because this means that I will have chance to have some one on one time with my welder!

Those of you who haven't been around for a while (and those of you who have may not even remember) I started making this coffee table:

Like 6 months ago.... I had high aspirations to finish is in a timely manner but between my job, The Hubs job, and Con-Man I could never find enough time to work on it. I had finished one part of the table but it ended there.

But that's all going to change soon.

I need to decide what sort of wood I want for the top. The original tables I had looked at were made of reclaimed railroad ties. So I did some research around to and priced reclaimed wood. What I found was pretty pricey- one guy quoted $3 a board foot. So for a 12' board that's $36! And I would need 3 or 4 boards at least. Yikes!

It's so pretty though!

Of course I know with some work I can make wood look worn. And I do like the stain on this shelving from The Brick House:

I totally want to make one of these shelves one day. But that's neither here nor there- I have a coffee table to focus on.

So- in the next few days I'm going to scout out some wood. Maybe I'll get lucky and find someone tearing down a barn nearby. If not it's off to Home Depot I go. 

I'll keep you posted! Wish me luck!