Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Old House Update {Long Overdue}

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Working on this old house is a perpetual practice. It seems like the projects are unending, so often times months pass and the only difference is that the projects are in a different stage. Stages aren't as exciting as completed projects, but I guess it's just a matter of perspective. A new stage means something was completed. Here's is a glimpse of the projects and stages we've been working on since June. It's actually really exciting stuff!!!! Like the girls have moved into their own room and are enjoying an adorable bedroom that I'll be sharing in another post. We've ordered and received all the fancy plumbing fixtures for the TWO marble showers and claw foot tub. Plus, we bought two NEW toilets and found valves to attach rigid supply lines to the refurbished sink/faucets in our baths. A tedious process of taking the faucet bodies to plumbing supply stores and trying each and every valve in stock to find the perfect "unique" fit. Nothing is ever simple when "restoring" the old.

Let's start with the outside. The painting was completed in June, and I've been waiting to post pics because I had my fingers crossed for the storm windows, but that's another "stage." So, while the exterior is beautiful and fresh (especially decked out for Christmas) it just won't feel complete (to me) until the storm windows are in place. It's a constant inside/outside juggle. Work on the outside to protect our home. Work on the inside to make it more enjoyable.

Part of having the exterior repainted was replacing a couple of old exterior doors and installing a NEW set of french doors that let out into the back yard. A few before and after shots:
 Interior shot showing the set of three windows that were were replaced by the new french door and transom.
 Exterior shot of the same windows before door installation and paint.
Doors being removed and the installation of the new doors.
New doors trimmed and exterior paint complete. Future goal is to have a porch that these two doors let out onto. Just inside the french doors is the family room and inside the door on the right will be the guest room and office. To get to this "stage" Steven had to use his dad's tractor to remove concrete steps and a portion of the side walk so that fresh siding could be installed and the paint applied under the doors to protect the wood. These doors still need to be painted black like this one:

Pretty, huh? I LOVE how beautiful the black door looks against the Woodstock brown paint! Below a shot of the old door and paint. By the way, painting a door black is not easy or fun.
I was sad to see the old door go, but the weather stripping, operation and look of the new one is SO MUCH better. No 2 inch crack at the bottom of the door. No slamming. And it's prettier. We did save the door in hopes of using it for a shop door entrance. And I have plans for the door knob.
Restoring these exterior porch lights was another project we completed this summer. A cleaning and fresh coat of paint made these puppies shine.

Heading inside. Our time has been spent working on bathroom trim. Steven built custom chair rail trim for the master bath and we finished the final coat of paint last weekend. It looks simple, but the "stages" take time. Cut the wood. Route the wood. Measure, cut and install. Spackle, caulk. Primed twice, painted twice. Touch up and cutting in. Time, time, time. So pretty and well worth the effort. Feels so good to have ALL THE trim finished in the master bath.
In November we had the second marble shower installed in the guest bath. Same company as before. A before and after shot here. Hard too really get the full effect. It's a TINY bath.
Before shower. (To get to this stage Steven had to finish the plumbing for the shower. Trim back the bead board that had been installed and painted to accommodate the new shower size. And because we decided to have the shower go wall to wall, we had to move the light and exhaust fan switches to another wall. Which meant more tearing out to rewire and re-install. (See what I mean about stages).
After shower installation. I'm excited about the smooth surface of the cultured marble and hope it will be simple to keep clean. Heck, I'm just excited about a SHOWER! Since this photo, Steven has finished installing the beadboard above the shower and trimming out the bathroom. We are currently at the caulking/spackling/priming stage.

And finally an "accessory" project we've been working on. Steven's parents sold us this old iron bed for $20. We had the bed sandblasted and primed. In October Steven made the time to paint it and cut and install 2x4 cross bracing for the box spring and mattress.

We are now enjoying the new bed in our temporary bedroom. Hope to make this the guest bed once we move into our master bedroom. I think it turned out beautiful!
Last weekend, I put the final coat of trim on the window trim in this room and Steven installed a new curtain rod and curtains. It probably seems simple to you, but curtains are a major deal in this house. So fancy!
Stay tuned for plumbing installation and moving into our Master Bedroom. Hoping this all takes place before baby #3 makes his/her arrival, but I'm okay if it doesn't. We are more comfortable now than ever and are really enjoying this old house.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Super Hero Birthday Party Invitation

Designed this Super Hero Birthday Party Invitation for a friend's little boy. Below are the cupcake toppers, party favor bag toppers and water bottle wrappers that I designed to match the invitation.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Fall Fun {Trains, Fly Fishing and a Corn Maize}

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I'm behind in my blogging. But I want to archive our fall trip so forgive me for posting "fall fun" a week before Thanksgiving.

Texas State Railroad
If you've never been on the "Rusk to Palestine" train (now known as the Texas State Railroad) you're missing out. Plus this is the most perfect time of year in Texas to enjoy this relaxing outing. Our trip corresponded with their Charlie Brown Pumpkin Patch weekend, thus the "Great Pumpkin" theme-appropriate, brown shirts on the girls that frankly were hard to make "girly." Adalyn's hair bow was a must!

Known for it's beautiful fly fishing river, Steven was excited to make the three hour drive from Tyler, north into the edge of Oklahoma. It was well worth the drive as we all enjoyed hikes along the river plus a paddle boat ride. We spent one night in a cabin there. Definitely a place to visit again.

Danville Corn Maize
My brother and sister-n-law were accommodating hosts and offered their spare bedroom to us during this long weekend. After our Oklahoma trek we met them at the Danville Corm Maize in Kilgore, TX. Sarah and Marin had a blast navigating the maze using age appropriate clues, while Adalyn and Joshua were content to forge new trails and play peek a boo in the corn. A perfect evening of fun. Marin wasn't crazy about the dome bouncer but I think Josh, Sarah and Steven could have stayed on all evening!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Felt Mermaid Tail Costumes {Halloween 2011}

Marin wanted to be a mermaid for Halloween this year so to simplify things, both girls were mermaids. The tails were inspired by this pattern I saw on the Miss Pretty Pretty Etsy store. She sells a pattern if you are interested. I loved her use of colorful felt and the concept of the tails attaching around the waist with velcro. I fashioned the mermaid tails from butcher paper and then cut from felt once I was happy with the size. I bought simple shirts and leggings and attached felt shell boobs. To make the headbands I cut seaweed shapes and starfish (stuffed with cotton) from felt attaching them with hot glue. If you'd like to make your own here is a template for the seaweed and starfish.
I just had to include this last photo, as this is often how Halloween and trick-or-treating feels. Just a rushed blur of kids running from house to house. Moms reminding them to "be careful," "watch for cars," "don't go inside anyone's  home" and "SLOW DOWN." Tee hee hee. I'm so grateful to my sister-n-law Christy for escorting Marin most of the night. This seven month pregnant mama was content to sit with baby Adalyn on the hay ride eating skittles.


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