July 17, 2013

Hello? Hello!

I didn't mean to be away from my blog so long, but little did I know that remodeling projects can be so involving and at times, stressful.  Whoa!  Background: Our youngest was set to graduate from college at the end of the Spring semester and plans included family joining us for the celebration (including a family reunion). So, hubby and I made the decision to fly me out ahead and begin getting the house ready.  Just before the departure date, our daughter informed us that she wished to get a couple more classes in before she graduated, which would delay her graduation for one semester. We understand.  Simultaneously, family members were calling in to say that their plans changed... that left me with the decision to go ahead with my plans (or pay the airline fee for changing the date) - I decided to go ahead and fly in.

Spring in the Pacific Northwest:  Was lovely, just lovely.
And, while I was enjoying the company of the Kids and the warmer temperatures, I was getting daily snowfall updates from Hubby!  What a crazy Winter - it just wouldn't end.  The weather does different things than we're used to anymore... we have to be flexible.

... I'm flexible.

The Remodel:  I've done remodels before, but this was the first time that I was doing it on my own.  I had to meet with contractors and chose one that I thought would do the job.   What a responsibility.  I'm contacting people that I don't know.  The only thing I do know is that my husband and I have good taste and when we work on something, we take our time and get it done right.   Originally, we were just interested in updating the guest bathroom.  I called 2 contractors which both told me that this was a simple job and with that, they didn't call back with their bids.  Professional?  I don't think so.  Later, I was told by our local building supply stores that contractors were into their busy season.  Had they called me back like they said they would, they would have been pleased to know that our one project would turn into 3 projects - there was money to be made.

Guest Bath:  Yaaay for new everything!
Room looks larger with the new color theme: Heavy Cream.

Once the Guest Bath was finished, Hubby suggested that we update the Master Bath.  I agreed. 
With one request (the color of the walls), we began the work.  Oh, did I mention that Hubby wanted to be wowed?!  My life as an interior decorator was now before me!
With the help of my daughter (throughout all of this), we began shopping for the 'look'. The vanity and matching wall cabinet is Allen & Roth's Ballantyne... a really pretty Mocha with Ebony glaze finish.  We found beautiful tile for the shower: Emperador Brown and Bengal Slate.  The new look would be Handsome!  When it came time to choose a sink, we eyed a vessel sink... it definitely has the 'wow' factor!  Now, let's skip ahead a few weeks, because all of this took time and hard work (it is amazing to me how complicated it becomes when you're remodeling a small bathroom), measuring and remeasuring in your sleep is an indication that nothing came easy...

When installing a vessel sink, we had the task of finding a counter-top that would fit the vanity, as well as the space in the niche.  Consider what we did as an option: we bought a piece of granite. I wish I had thought of this at the beginning, instead, we shopped all over for a prefab counter-top... they don't come in every size/color that you need.  The granite just value as well as beauty!

We had to wait for the Sistine Stone shower niche to be delivered in order for the shower to get tiled: it was worth the wait!
Changing out the old shower door to a see-through door added depth to the room.  

Last remodel project:  The Patio Slider
What a dramatic!  It's my favorite change so far.

It looks like we put in a large window...

We went on to a number of little updates too: New knobs on the kitchen cabinets, new window drapes/hardware in a couple of rooms, mini-blinds now installed in all the upstairs bedrooms, old trees removed and new trees planted.
This report does not include all stress that came the projects. If you've done remodeling projects, then you can imagine.  And, now is a good time to tell you that I do not want to be an interior decorator!

Thought I'd Sew some:  Boy, was I wrong!   The first couple of weeks it was quiet and serene - I actually imagined that I'd sew everything that I packed because I really only packed a little...Oi!

This is the only item I made - it's a business cardholder (an Amy Butler pattern) for my friend, Bonnie.

 I've mentioned my friend before, but in case you haven't heard how we met, here's a summary:
I first met her while working at the elementary school that her children attended.  I asked her to be a volunteer in the office and before you knew it... she was inviting me to attend her Tai Chi class, which led to her teaching Tai Chi in after-school programs.

Bonnie is an Intuitive and not only works with humans, but also with pets.  Recently, she's been traveling to rescue dogs that for no fault of their own, find themselves needing a 'forever' home.  * I always wondered what happens to those sweet dogs when something happens to their owner - they need a home, right?!  That's exactly the type of pets that Bonnie finds... and believe, me it doesn't take time before those little dogs have a new home.   Bonnie is an amazing friend and a kindred-spirit!

We went on daily walks.  Springtime is so pretty in the neighborhood.   These walks were great for stretching our muscles and getting inspiration. 

I discovered a plant in a neighbor's yard that baffled us until almost the day that I left.  We watched it through it's blooming and then producing little berries... turns out, it's a Daphne mezereum 'February Daphne.
It looks like a Lilac and an Azalea, all in one.

Visit is filled with celebrations:  I was home for Easter! 

The Kids are grown, but that didn't stop us from doing fun activities.  We decorated eggs the traditional way and also a new way: adding a bit of olive oil to the color dye. Every egg looked like a work of art ( looked like Planets).  We baked and decorated cupcakes!  We tried a recipe for Resurrection Rolls... that was interesting!   Birthdays and Anniversaries were celebrated.  My sister, her husband and his son drove over for a visit which filled our souls with happiness.

Hubby arrived for his week of vacation.  He smiled at all the changes made in the house.  I think he said, 'wow', as he walked into the Master Bath.  :)

Lovely memories to last the year... until we're all together again!
(My sister baked this beautiful Strawberry Cake)


  1. Welcome back! Are you here to stay?

    1. Hi Judy,
      Thank you! I was just back for a visit - accomplished and enjoyed many things while there. So thankful for many-many blessings.

      Summer is definitely here, getting a mix of weather along Lake Michigan. I'm determined to see more Art/Quilt and Craft shows this year. And, star-gazing!!!

      Hope you are enjoying the beginning of Summer.
      ~ Jes


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