Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Adventures In Bathroom Remodeling- Picking Out Tile

Welcome back!

New here? I have been blogging about my recent bathroom remodel. So far I have covered:
-My design inspiration
- Picking a Contractor & Setting a Budget
- My DIY Crochet bathrug

Today I wanted to talk a little about how I picked my floor and bath tile. This was a somewhat overwhelming process for me. I know very little about laying/buying/picking tile. I learned when setting my budget that you don't want to skimp on tile. I wanted to get what I paid for-tile that would look good and last a long time, durable even under the constant wear of wheelchair wheels. It's a tough life to be the flooring of a wheelchair user ; ). 

What I struggle with was 'my style is bigger than my budget' syndrome. I like color. And I am drawn to doing what others don't in terms of design. I really wanted something unique.

I fell head over heels in love with this floor. Hard. I loved everything about this: the colors, the pattern (herringbone, but with longer lines), the fact that it made a real statement in this small space. Then I started to research. I could not find anything near this premade. When I sourced the individual tiles it was going to cost about as much as I paid for my car. Whomp, Whomp.

I cursed my budget. I cursed my lack of tile laying skills (alot of the cost goes to the contractor). I considered going out and picking up a contractor at a bar and marrying him. Then I had a glass of wine. I decided to refocus on putting color and pattern in other places. On the walls. In the accessories. And I tucked that photo into my Pintrest board for the day when I have an unlimited bathroom budget ; )

Next day I fell in love with this picture

I mean......how pretty is that? It looks like a pretty basic set up-hexi tiles, maybe white with a gray border and gray grout? Well... I looked and looked and no luck finding the source of this beautiful bathroom (curses, Pintrest!). I took this picture to a dozen different local tile shops and noone had anything like this. I may have tried to Google 'how to paint gray borders on white tiles' I gave up on this idea. Another glass of wine, and I moved on...

I moved along to the hexagon style of bathroom tile. In a bright, classic white.  I found some in a larger size.(2 ") for a couple of reasons. To me it looked more modern. I also thought less grout would mean less chance for breakage from rolling over too many seams. (Not sure that's really a thing? But it made sense to me). 

I found this picture online, and learned that it is not as common as I would have thought to get wide white hexagon tiles. After a little research I found them from Fired Earth Mosaic Company. They are a British company, but luckily I found a local shop that carried them. Success! 

Here they are, all stacked up and waiting to be installed.Once they were put in I really fell in love with them. However, if I had it to do over again I would NOT have chosen white grout. It is impossible to keep clean (did I mention my wheelchair rolls over them 3 billion times a week? yeeaahhhh.). Life lesson: choose dark grout, save copious time on your knees scrubbing grout.

Here's a closeup of the tiled bath surround. I went with another white tile, and the combo really brightens up the space and when I but the dimmer on the lights.....it just sparkles. So lovely. Like I mentioned in my last post, my contractor used flat marble tiles on the surround at the end of the tub and they are perfect.

In the end I did not get the original idea that excited me so much, but I did get a floor and bath room that I love. And did not go into debt for. Be prepared when you set a budget-if you cannot DIY your floor tiling can eat up a fair share of your money. The tile and labor was about 40% of my overall budget (mind you, I did floor to wall surround, so it was alot). I have heard from so many people that investing in updating your bath can really pay off when you resell. Until then, I am enjoying every single bubble bath in my new tub.

If you want to see the Pintrest board where I pinned all my very expensive ideas- check it out here!

See you back here on Friday for the some card making talk!

Later, peeps,

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Adventures in Bathroom Remodeling- Crochet T-Shirt Rug

 Welcome back, peeps!

I hope you came on Monday to see the BIG bathroom reveal, now I wanted to share a few of the pieces I made myself to include in the room. Today: my bathrug.

I wanted something black and white striped. I pinned this post by Francine a year ago and always wanted to try t-shirt crochet and thought this would be a great project to try it on.

I went thru my old t-shirts and pulled out all the black, white and gray ones. I also bought a few yards of cheap jersey in similar colors to fill it out. I cut up a bunch at one time, stretched and rolled like this:

NOTE: I waaaayyyyy underestimated the amount of fabric I would need. I used about a dozen t-shirts and about 3-4 extra yards. a lot. 
Also NOTE: there was a little curling of the mat, I think because I didnt make each trip equal width and my crochet probably got tighter as I worked. 

After I was done I wove some of the ends together to hide them. Some I knotted and left hanging. I really really love the stripes, the different shades. It's also nice and thick, which will be nice for guests who use it.

Thanks for stopping by. Come back Monday for another DIY project!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Adventures in Bathroom Remodeling- The BIG Reveal!

Waaaayyyyy back in 2014 I shared with you my BIG PLAN to remodel the main bathroom in my condo. I made BIG PLANS to share every detail with you on this blog. I told you about picking a contractor, setting a budget. I even shared my design inspiration. Then, well......crickets. I'll admit it-I slacked off on the documentation part. Many things got in the way- delays, an unexpected job change, but, how were you supposed to  know that? You're not. I left you hanging, peeps! I imagine some of you have come back to my site refreshing it everyday in anticipation of the finished product......or maybe not? ; )

But, I am back to make amends, friends. I am ready to share every little bit of my pretty new bathroom. This was a true labor of love-filled with almost exactly what I wanted from the beginning, with a few changes to bring my designer dreams into my everyday budget. It has a few DIY pieces made with my two little hands, and I will be back with a few other posts with even more details. Today, friends, we will start with the BIG REVEAL (cue the confetti poppers, cheerleaders, and Anderson Cooper doing live commentary). I will link to all the supplies I used at the end of the post, so scroll down if you are looking for something similar! 

First, a look back to where I started:

Looking in and to the left slightly. The only thing you can see is the wall to the direct left, the gigantic vanity butts right up to it.

And now....

TA DA! First, looking into the room straight on. I chose a pretty basic toilet, nothing special there. The little collection above it makes me so happy every time I see it. I painted this humongous canvas (more on that in a later post) and made the shelf out of scrap wood (more on that later, too!) . That rug? Oh, I made that, too. A little online inspiration went into that project-but that's a story for another day. That little side table is from IKEA and it holds towels and extra personal hygiene stuff. That little basket on top is just some extra toiletries I thought looked nice there.

Turning a little to the leftThe tub was chosen because of the way it bows out slightly at the top, it's rectangle, with a softness ; ). Also, the side is a little wider, which makes it easier for me to sit on to get dressed or to transfer into the bath.I also asked the contractor to build an 'end cap' I could use to sit on if I needed to. I LOVE the white tile they used on the surround. The flat marble pieces were an extra that my favorite contractors gave me because they thought it would look nice for me-sweet, huh?  I love having a tub more than I can say. That old shower stall was just not working for me, and I think it looks a hundred percent better. If the shower nozzle looks a little weird, it's a handheld shower that I added a clip for so I can reach it. Makes life a lot easier. And, no, your not mistaken, I don't have a shower curtain. Boy, the looks I got when I told people that, lol. But, aesthetically I thought it would clutter the room. I figured if I really missed it, I could always add it later, right? Keep in mind, this condo is really only suited for a single person or a couple, so privacy is not as big of an issue (at least in my mind). Months later and I really don't miss it at all.

Moving right along. Remember the world's most boring and gigantic vanity? Well, yeah, that was the first to go. I felt the bathroom looked so small and the vanity was so extraneous for a condo that is really suited for a single person or a couple. I thought freeing up some of the floor space would allow room for a tub. I don't miss the underneath storage one bit. You'll see the shelves better in the next pic, but I built a set of floating shelves and then used boxes to wrangle all of the stuff I need. I moved the towels to the table you saw before. I realized I had a billion bottles of cleaner I didn't need, and the ones I do need? I moved them to the kitchen cabinet. In this picture (because of the angle) you can really see the exposed pipes, but on an everyday basis I don't think they stick out that much. Or, maybe they do? Any suggestions on how to cover them?

And, back to the door.  The lights above the sink were original to the bathroom, but they were basic white with 1980's frosted white light bulbs. I painted the unit silver and added clear bulbs. A new light fixture did not fit into my budget and the update helped to tie it into the rest of the room.

That palm tree picture? Yep, another DIY post coming soon. I thought about taking some of my stuff off the shelves before I took pictures. Now, I think I should have-that shelf looks like a hot mess! Also, who forgot to move the spotlight? ; )

That's a wrap, folks! Thanks for coming back to see my new bathroom. I really am thrilled with how it turned out. Scroll down to see a bunch of links to everything I used. Feel free to leave any questions in the comments. And come back on Friday to see the first DIY project in the room! 


Projects Used in The Remodel:
Tile: (still looking for links!)
Showerhead (link coming!)
American Standard Ovation 5 ft. Right Drain Bathtub in Arctic White
Sink (coming soon!)
Side Table: NENSA Nightstand, Under Basket found at Home Goods

Friday, March 13, 2015

#HappyMailIsTheBestMail Card Series No.2

 Hey y'all!

I hope you had the chance to stop by Kelly's blog and see her contribution to our scrappy swap on Monday. Her page is really lovely.

Today is round two of my new blog series #HappyMailIsTheBestMail. See the first month here. March is a fun month, I really enjoyed playing around with each card. Check it out!

Not as fun as Pie Day, but, you know...

So, I have a love/hate relationship with this card, from a design perspective. I love the rainbow inking. I love typography and enjoy mixing my letter stamps up to create different looks. But using all that ink it got, well, messy. I realize part of the 'charm' of using stamps is how imperfect it is, but I guess in my head I imagined it coming out a little cleaner. This was the cleanest version, darn me and my chubby fingers ; ). I'd like to try this again with maybe all words in the background? File that idea, ok?

Hello, leftover Valentine's silver hearts.

Now, this card, I love her. I knew exactly what I wanted to do, and it came right together! I cut small squares from the SC Printshop paper pad and laid them out to look like a quilt top. I set each square with the tiniest bit of adhesive then slowly ran it through my sewing machine.  So, so pretty.

Sewing is my second (in a long list) of favorite hobbies. I know a few peeps who love to make quilts, so I have pleanty of people to send it to!

For the inside I busted out a stamp set from a couple of years ago. I bought it, but barely used it (weird, right? ; ) )

So, now it's your turn! Like I said last month I would love to see a few of you send out a piece of happy mail this month-no matter what the occasion. It doesn't have to be crafty or fancy, just dust off those postage stamps and write a letter! If you do, tag me online #happymailisthebestmail

One last thing-Craftsy is having a BIG sale this weekend! I wrote about them before-their are an online classroom offering all sorts of lessons. I just ordered the Design Your Own Handbag class (and you can read about the time I took their Mastering Zipper Techniques Class here  ).  Full disclosure, I am an affiliate for Craftsy, so anyone who clicks the link below earn credits for my little blog. BUT, I never recommend products or services I don't like, so I hope you enjoy Craftsy as much as I did. If you'd like to try a class for free, they have a bunch of those too! So, what are you waiting for?


Have a fantastic weekend! Don't forget to share your happy mail pictures using the hastag #happymailisthebestmail

Later peeps,


PI DAY Card: Ranger Distress Inks, Studio Calico Stamps (older sets, out of stock), Gray Ink-Hero Arts, Black Ink- Momento
Quilt Day Card: Papers- Studio Calico, sticker-Amy Tangerine, Stamp- Papertrey Ink

Monday, March 9, 2015

Scrappy Swap Month (Part Deux)

Happy Monday, y'all! I'm back with another scrappy swap with my friend Kelly. (You can see our first swap posts here) this time I put a mini kit together around the theme of 'lucky'. I decided to use a couple of papers from Dear Lizzy and Echo Park, paired with a die cut from Simon Says Stamp (all products linked below). 

The subject of this layout popped into my mind right away. You have heard me go on and on about this amazing group girl friends I have developed. Thing is, I didn't have that growing up like other girls and always wanted it. I had one or two best friends, but never a group of girls like this. And, man, was I missing out. Many of these women are like family to me, they are a valuable part of my story and, well, I am a very lucky b**tch to have them. And I know that. So, I documented it. I blurred out the b-word above, I never want to offend, but that's what I thought was appropriate for my title. 
I used a bunch of stitching to add the patterned papers, a little spritz of my favorite paint spray, and a sprinkle of sequins and wood chips. Oh, and a puffy heart I had leftover from Valentine's Day. Last thing I wanted to point out-I die cut the horseshoe from patterned vellum, I think it adds a nice detail to it.

So, what did Kelly make? Jump over there and find out!

Be back Friday to share the next installment of the #happymailisthebestmail series!


p.s. FYI- I just added a few spring cards to my Etsy shop!

p.p.s. Supplies used in layout above (some links are affiliate): Lucky Wafer Thin Die-Kelly Purkey (no longer available), Patterned Papers: Serendipity-Dear Lizzy and Creative Agenda-Echo Park, Sequins and Wood Chips-Studio Calico, Paint-Pretty Pink from Studio Calico

Friday, March 6, 2015

Free Fun Friday- Apps Addition

TGIF, y'all.

To kick off this snowy weekend I wanted to stop in for another addition to Free Fun Friday. I have a couple of new favorite apps (or hopefully soon to be) and interesting reads from the interwebs.

Criminal Case. You can keep your Trivia Crack (ok, maybe I play a few of those, too). If you are a cop show junkie, you'll love it.

A couple of photo apps I have downloaded, but have not played with enough yet:

Skitch. I am told that I can add my handwriting to my pictures. Have you tried it?

UR Fonts. I am working on it, but it has some glitches. You can make your own font using your hand writing! So pumped.

Pocket. It's a way to save web articles I want to read later-off line. I use it all the time to save stuff to read for work or news stuff. It's super easy to use and I can access it on my laptop if I want to skim through what I saved.

A few things you have to check out. BTW, do you subscribe to my blog? I use Feedly to keep up with my favorites, add me there! 

Elizabeth Dillow's unfinished projects series. Very inspiring.

Gemma's first floor reno diary. I love a good renovation project. Which reminds me, I owe you a few bathroom updates, don't I?

Broadchurch. Are you watching it?

I'm going to start a new book this weekend, The Boy In The Striped Pajamas. Have you read it? I've heard it's sad, but really good.

Lastly, just a heads up that I am now an affiliate of Simon Says Stamp! It's one of my favorite places to shop for crafty stuff. I already share their products, and now, if you buy something using my link-a little bit comes back to help me run this blog! Thanks in advance for the support, it means alot!

Have a good weekend. See you Monday for another Scrappy Swap!


Monday, March 2, 2015

Easy Gift Idea-Making a Mini Album from a Greeting Card

make a letterpress mini book from a greeting card

Happy Monday, peeps! Today I wanted to share another easy gift idea of the memory keeping variety. I made this one for myself ; ), but it would be a great gift for anyone you had a shared experience with. Maybe a friend who went on a weekend trip, someone who just had a baby, maybe even as a farewell gift to someone moving out of town?

I picked up this great letterpress card at a local gift shop. It's 5 by 7 inch sized, and I used it to hold pictures from a theatre festival I attended last year. Louisville has a really great theatre scene, and the Humana Festival of New Plays is something I look forward to every year. It's a month long event, celebrating new works and bringing in lot of people from around the world. I have so many great memories-this year was a particularly great festival.

I used the greeting card as a template and cut pages out of the festival program. I stitched it together using my trusty sewing machine and then got down to the business of adding my stuff.

Well, actually, first I printed this great quote right onto some vellum paper and added that to the first page.

Most of my pictures were Instagrams I snapped along the way. I used up bits and pieces from my stash to decorate. I didn't link to any of the products, but what makes this a great project is you don't need anything special-just pull out what you already have.

make a mini book from a greeting card

Bottom right- a few ticket stubs. Bottom left- the world's greatest photobooth picture ; )

There you go! I hope this inspires you to make a little mini book for a friend-if you do, please tweet me or leave a comment with a link-I wanna see them!


(p.s. see more of my easy gift idea series here = ) )