Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Pom Poms

While waiting for the first coat of stain to dry on the stairs this weekend (mhmm, there's stain!) I started making a few tissue paper pom poms for the baby shower decor.  My sister reads my blog so I'll just give a sneak peak of a picture for now.

So bright, light and airy!  I'll share full pictures with you next week as the shower is THIS SATURDAY!!  I have been looking forward to this day for more than 7 months now!

They're easy peasy to make, take a look at the Martha Stewart tutorial if you'd like to make some.

For now I'm enjoying the extra pop of colour they bring in these blah weeks of not-quite-winter, but not-quite-spring weather we're having. 

Do you have a favourite DIY party decor you'd like to share?

Monday, 27 February 2012

Fully Functional

I hope you're all feeling well rested after the weekend - I for one definitely enjoyed my first weekend in a month with no sanding! 

Anyhoo, functional bathrooms are great, aren't they!  For the last 2 months we've been loving living on our main floor again, but haven't been able to properly use our new powder room because the only thing in there has been a toilet...

..which becomes inappropriate when it comes to hand washing and not being able to shut a door.  Actually there was a sink in there, but no faucet.  I'll explain why a little further down.

Last week Darryl took care of a few things that we've been meaning to get to.  He hung a mirror that I've had for a few years...

It's probably not the last mirror we'll have in here, but might as well use what you've got on hand hey?!

We got a toilet paper roll installed...

I know, exciting, right?

He also installed a faucet we were able to finally find (sorry about the grainy pictures, I'm not sure why they're so grainy...maybe because there's no natural light in the bathroom??)

We had to buy a really tiny vanity because the depth of the wall before the door starts is only 14 inches.  It's really hard to find a vanity to fit an area that shallow.  They have some at big box stores but they weren't wide enough for our liking.  Thank goodness for IKEA and this sink that is only a little over 10 inches deep...
LILLĂ…NGEN Sink cabinet with 2 doors   Shelf-like edge can hold a soap dish, a toothbrush holder, etc.

It was the perfect solution!  The reason it took so long to find a suitable faucet is because if you can see on that picture up there, the hole for the faucet is on the side, so we needed to find a faucet long enough to extend over the side of the sink so that people had room to fit their hands under it to wash and so that the water wouldn't splash up everywhere.  Wow, how many times did I just say "faucet"!

All of the faucets we saw that we liked were too pricey for us, and the ones that were less expensive didn't extend into the middle of the sink enough.  Until last week when I was at Costco for an entirely different reason and I just happened upon this faucet, and for only $65!  What are the chances!  I was a happy bunny.

So now our guests can shut the door AND wash their hands after using the washroom.  What a treat!

How was your weekend!?

Friday, 24 February 2012

Starting to Get Back into the Groove...

Things have been quiet on the home-project front here for a few weeks now, mainly because Darryl has been away at work and now that he's home he's working a few weeks of 12hr shifts which means by the time he gets home, he has just enough time to eat, relax for a bit and then it's off to bed! 

But no more.

Last night we got a few practical things done which have improved this area of our main floor...

I don't have time to put a full post together today, so I'll be back on Monday to share with you what we've done.  It's so hard to get pictures of this space because it's a teeny little powder room and the lighting is terrible, but it's looking better than it has.

With this being my last weekend before the shower, my goal for this weekend (again, I've never done this before so I have no clue if I'm being over-ambitious or not) is to get all of the stain and 3ish coats of polyurethane done on the stairs. 

I know the job itself is totally doable in a weekend, I'm just not sure of drying times which is the only thing that would hold me up.  Then I figure I can paint the rest on the evenings after work.

I have a bunch more projects to get done for the shower during those drying times too, so it's sure to be a busy weekend and next week I'll have a few more posts to share with you than I have in the last few weeks.  Enjoy yourselves!

What are your weekend plans/projects??

Thursday, 23 February 2012

A Drop of Sunshine

I've got less than two weeks until the shower and lots to get done before then.  I've been getting a few projects for it done over the last week and a bit, but I'll have to share them with you after the shower because I don't want to ruin anything for my sister!

On the weekend, I did it!  I finished up sanding!  Woot!  I cannot tell you how happy I am to be done that phase of the stairs, such a mess.  So this upcoming weekend I hope I can get all of the staining and polyurethane coats done.  Wish me luck!  

So in between all that sanding and two birthdays to celebrate we popped into Value Village and I picked up a few things.  I grabbed this little bowl, because I love it's bright sunny colour and it just happens to be one of the accent colours I'm starting on the main floor.  I'm definitely craving some sunshine so this little cutie will fill the void until winter is over.

For now it's holding some fruit, but I'm not sure I may move it around to a few different spots before I decide where he'll fit best.

The other thing I picked up at Value Village I have some spray painting plans for.  I'm just wondering if any of you ever spray paint in the winter and does it ruin the cure-factor?  I really don't want to wait until spring to tackle it!

Friday, 17 February 2012

Long Weekend Loveliness

Happy Friday!  And lots to be happy about!  It's Friday, it's the Friday for a long weekend and it's Darryl's birthday weekend!  Unfortunately he has to work on his birthday, but we'll celebrate on his day off at least.  This week has felt like it has draaaaged on and on so I'm looking forward to a long weekend.

While we will be sure to take time out to celebrate, most of my weekend will be spent with this guy...

This will be weekend #3 working on the stairs and my goal this weekend is to be done all the sanding.  I'm feeling like that's pretty doable, all I have left are the "stringers", so I'm told they're called (the parts that run up along the wall), the spindles and the handrail.  The handrail may give me a run for my money trying to get in all the little grooves by hand, but we'll see how it goes.

If I'm going to make my deadline of being done by the shower, I only have this weekend and the next weekend, so if I am able to get the sanding done this weekend then next weekend I can start the staining and painting and finish up whatever I need during the week.  Am I being over-ambitious??   :S  I guess I'll let you know next week if I'm on track!

What are your plans for the weekend, any other birthdays out there?  Any projects around the house you're on weekend #3 of????

Thursday, 16 February 2012

A Little Privacy, Please

This is a little overdue, but I hope everyone had a lovely Valentine's Day!  Our plans got a little foiled by the weather - we were supposed to go skating to the most romantic outdoor skating rink that you walk down this hill into a little valley through some woods and it plays 1920s/wartime music while you skate, but because it was so mild and drizzling, it was closed.  Boo!  So we just hung out here at home.  We don't normally do much to celebrate Valentine's Day anyways, no flowers, cards or chocolate, we just like to be together, so it all worked out in the end and our skating date will just have to be post-poned!

Anyhoo, over the weekend, while I was sanding, Darryl got started on a wee project I haven't been able to stop bugging him about.  For the past few months our new powder room has been looking like this...

Doorless.  Which means all of our guests still have to trek upstairs to use the washroom.

Then Darryl had to put one of these in to custom fit for an original door I had scooped up from our neighbours a couple years back.

The door we got was shorter than the height of the opening we had originally made

Mhmm this baby needs a good facelift.  A fresh coat of paint...but I need to scrape off all the old stuff first because it looks like this...

But I also need the weather to be a little nicer before I take this out to the backyard to tackle.  So for now, she'll get a good scrub down.


She also needs some hardware.  We have the original hardware which we want to use, but we're having some trouble finding a strike plate that will fit, so we'll see what we can come up with.

The reason why I haven't been able to let up on this door is because the shower just a little over 2 weeks away and I would like our guests to not have to walk upstairs to use the washroom, especially since some guests will be elderly and some need wheelchair access. 

Oh yeah, the hole at the top of the door will be insulated and then covered up with some nice, thick trim.  Eventually. 

The inside of the bathroom is still bare.  A toilet and a sink.  With no faucet.  So we've still got a ways to go but hopefully those finishing touches won't take long to put together. 

For now, we're just a little closer to offering our guests a little more privacy!

Monday, 13 February 2012

Spring is in the Air...

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend.  Mine started off with a nice surprise that Darryl would be home early after being gone for a month for work!  And he brought me some beautiful tulips...

They're such a beautifully vibrant colour and despite the snowfall we got, it made it feel like spring was in the air.  The stems were a little think and I couldn't fit two of them in the vase so I had two of them stand alone

We spent the weekend shopping for new phones as ours are both dying.  I got back to sanding the stair case, and although I put in another good 8 hours over the weekend, I didn't bother to take any new pictures because they're still looking exactly like they did last weekend

We also got a little project started that has been well over due.  I'll be back this week to share that with you! 

What did you get up to this weekend??

Friday, 10 February 2012

Inspire Me

In the thick of all this dust and messiness, I'm dreaming about how the finished product will be.  We'll be painting the risers and staining the treads and looking forward to it looking something like these in
end...  (the pictures in this post are refusing to center themselves, take it up with them!)




This staircase is pretty similar to ours, it's just on the opposite side of the house


You can't quite see the staircase in this house, but I had to put it in here because is it a show stopper of an entryway or WHAT!?  The walls, the stain glass that they added to the doorway, the light fixture...I enjoy!

If I had the patience to paint something on our walls I totally would!  I have three weeks until the shower and my goal of getting these stairs done...I have a busy weekend full of sanding and more sanding in front of me!

What do you have planned for the weekend?

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Filling the Gaps

After I got home from work last night I got to work filling some nail holes and other general abuse the stairs have suffered over the years.  I really did not obsess over making the stairs perfect for two reasons.  One is that that would be next to impossible, there is so much damage.  More importantly, I don't want these stairs to look perfect.  They're close to a century old, you'd have a few scars and wrinkles if you were 92 too!  I think all the markings make them interesting and tell a bit of a story. 

So I mainly just filled in the holes from staples and nails - the intentional holes.  A few of the risers had pretty large gauges in them so I filled those in too.  But other than that I left them to their own devices.  I'm not done sanding all of the stain off yet though, so I'll have to do another round of wood fill after that.

Any tips or advice on how to tackle the profile of the treads?  Please don't tell me I'll have to do that part by hand!  I fear I might though...

On a side note, I've spent a good while with my nose to the grain of these steps and this is my favourite riser...look at that grain!  Almost makes me sad to paint over it.

Did you get any projects done last night??

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Any Wood Connoisseurs Out There...

We know that all of the trim and baseboards in our house are mahogany, but we're trying to figure out if the staircase is also mahogany or something else.  Anyone out there know their wood grains??

I've googled a bunch of pictures but to be honest, I don't see a whole lot of difference between wood grains.  I don't have a trained eye so if anyone has any guesses, put your two cents in!  I've never really heard of a mahogany staircase, it seems they're usually oak or something, so I'm assuming its not, but you never know! 

Tonight I'm hoping to do a bit of wood filler on the many many gauges in the steps, so I'll be sure to let you know how that goes!

Monday, 6 February 2012

Hey Mr. Sandman

Happy...Monday??  I wish it were still the weekend, but I won't hate on Monday, it's not his fault.  I'm feeling much better now, cold-free and made use of the weekend accordingly!  Saturday we headed over to my aunt's house for my cousin's daughter's 1st birthday party.  She's adorable and spending the afternoon with her has me wanting to meet my little niece so badly!!  7 weeks to go!

Today I got busy with the staircase again....maybe that came out wrong.  I got busy sanding the staircase.  My fingers, wrists, triceps and back are quite sore already! 

I started with the platform parts of the's a half-way done picture.

In case this beaut doesn't speak for itself, the left side is untouched and the right side has been sanded.

Here's a little reminder of what the side panel looked like before I had my way with it...

After 6 hours of hard labour, here's what I left it looking like

It's got to look worse before it looks better, right?

I haven't got to the spindles yet, and I have to get into the angled parts with the detail sander next weekend.  And then I'll have to repeat this whole entire process at least 2 more times!  Once with a medium grit sand paper and then again with a fine grit.  I don't know if those parts will be quicker or if they'll take longer than the first bit I've done with the coarse grit.  I'm really hoping it'll be quicker!

I tell ya...this is a job and a half!  And nowhere near done!  My personal goal is that I hope to have it done in 4 weeks, when I'll be hosting my sister's baby shower.  I think I might be a little over-ambitious with that timeline seeing as I only have 3 weekends to do the bulk of it.  But I'm throwing it out there anyways and maybe I just might surprise myself!

This will be me for, at least, the next month...

What did you get up to this weekend?  Were you able to cross something off your list too?  Is anyone else up to their ta-tas in sawdust??