Friday, March 30, 2012

Adding a Third Bathroom

No, we didn't go crazy and decide to add a third bathroom to our house right in the middle of the main bathroom's renovation.  We've just finally buckled down and got almost all of the materials and fixtures that are going into the bathroom.  The problem is we've started putting all of the materials and fixtures into our dining room.  This is why lately I've been calling our dining room our "third bathroom":



And the classiest, a toilet in the living room:

(This is better than the old toilet sitting on our front porch for the last couple of weeks before Mike remembered to throw it away.  Yeah we're those neighbors.)

Actually, it's been pretty nice having an area to mock-up the vanity.  After a suggestion from a co-worker, we realized that buying the fancy "luxury height" 35" cabinets, plus a 5.28" high sink, means the sinks sit high (pretty much at my belly button, and I'm 5'7").  After placing everything together this feels a little awkward.  So we've decided to cut down the cabinets at the base by about 2", removing those extra inches from the toe kick.  Not ideal, but not something that will dramatically affect anything, (I'll let you know if we have toe-stubbing issues after we live with it for a couple of months).  Actually, after using the basement bathroom I noticed it too has a reduced toe kick, and we haven't had any problems.

Since we've completely given up on any fancy dinner parties in the dining room until the bathroom's done (not that we had any fancy parties before we started this project), we've jumped in head first and started my favorite part of a project, the fixtures and accessories.  For Mike to complete the framing and rough-in he'll need to know where I want the lights above the mirrors and the shower head and tub faucet.  I had to get a mirror before I could tell him how high I wanted the lights, so last night we stopped by Lowe's after I found some mirrors I wanted to check out.  We ended up finding and buying these:


At $69 a piece, it was a pretty good deal.  But, we also had a 10% coupon (that was good towards the entire purchase) so it really only came to $124 for 2. (And after setting them next to the sarsaparilla vanity, they are almost the perfect color too!)  

While that's a good deal, it doesn't compare to our next find.  A couple days ago we were talking about shower heads and faucets and Mike said he wished that there was a way that you could set the temperature and just turn on the water and every time it would heat up to the same temperature.  Well while we were in the shower head isle, they had a couple along the fancy wall.  You know, the featured items that have all the bells and whistles that are way out of your budget and usually blocking the real isle where are the dinky stuff is sold.  Yeah we fell for the fancy wall's awesomness and found this guy that actually has the feature Mike was talking about.  (He didn't even know it was a real thing).  Needless to say he was pretty excited.  Until we saw the price tag:


The fancy wall got us again.

We had to force ourselves to walk over to the rest of the options and chose something else.  When the next most expensive item was $178 it was hard to justify spending $70 more for the feature Mike wanted, (and believe me he tried to convince me that it was worth the extra $$ more than a couple times).  It was only after we had picked something out that I saw one of those golden tickets, the sale price tag.  For some reason it wasn't priced on the fancy wall, but next to everything else it was reduced to $208, still above what we wanted to pay, but with our 10% coupon it would come to $187.  More than we had planned on when we walked in, but well worth it for Mike to get his dream feature.

So in the end we walked out with a couple more of the items needed to move a little closer to getting the bathroom done.  Not to mention with a couple more items that would continue turning our dining room into our third bathroom.

On a different note, this is my 100th post!  I didn't even realize I had written so much until a couple days ago.  As you know, I started this blog just to keep our thoughts together and to share what's going on with out-of-town family, and I've made some new friends along the way.  Thank you so much for checking in with us, sharing your stories and putting up with my sometimes crazy ramblings!  I love writing here and hope that some of my ideas are inspirations to others.  I don't plan on going anywhere anytime soon so hang on because we have a lot of ideas for our home and plan to share more of our life along the way!     

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Pinterest Challenge | Winter Edition

It's that time again!  Time for the Pinterest Challenge: Winter Edition.


I thought I'd share a little project I made from a picture that I pinned a couple months ago of this adorable beehive design pillow.

(From 4 Men 1 Lady and pinned here on Pinterest)

The picture was actually taken by Michelle during a visit to the store Ninush in Las Vegas.  Practically everything in there needs to be pinned, it is all so neat.  But, the little beehive pillow caught my attention and I thought it would be great as a little homage to our bees, (who unfortunately didn't do so well over our very mild winter, I promise to write all about them when it gets warmer out and we can get some good pictures).
      
I assumed the hexagon detail was embroidered on to the pillow, so that's the route I took.  I ran to JoAnn's and got some fabric, a pillow insert (not pictured), an embroidery hoop, needles, and yellow thread.  I loved the gray and yellow color scheme, but found this really cool blue denim fabric that I thought would look great too.  I bought a smaller pillow accent pillow because I planned on putting this on a chair that isn't used a lot, (partly because I don't want to risk messing the embroidery up on a pillow that gets a lot action).

(Sorry for the crappy photos, but these mysterious disappeared and these crappy copies were the only one's I could find)


Even though I haven't embroidered anything in years (my mom and grandmother are super crafty, so I've grown up trying different things and I have vague memories of embroidering), it's not that difficult and I only had to go to the internet to refresh my memory on stitches.  I found a ton of tutorials on different stitches and finally decided on the split stitch since it's great for items that get a lot of action, like clothing or pillows, since each stitch locks in the stitch before it.

So, once I had a plan, I cut out a few hexagons in a size I thought would be easy to embroider and look nice, and laid out a design I liked.  There wasn't really any rhyme or reason, I just winged it.  Once I got the design I liked, I cut one hexagon out of some cardboard and used this as my template. I drew all the hexagons using a white fabric pencil (I used a blue pen below so it would show up in the pictures) and put the fabric in the loop.



The stitch is super easy and became pretty mindless after a while.  You start with the first stitch, then bring the second stitch back up through the middle of the first stitch.




Then you complete the stitch.


Then come back up through the middle of the last stitch.  It should be right next to the ending stitch of the previous stitch.

And then continue until you've completed the hexagon.  For the most part, the corners lined up pretty nicely, but sometimes I would have to shorten my stitch at the end to be able to make the turn.  Since you can't really see the separate stitches, it's fine. 

I would sew a couple hexagons while we were watching TV and it only took me a couple of nights.  Once I filled up all the completed hexagons within the loop, I would move the loop until I finished all 12 shapes.  After I finished the embroidering part, the rest was easy.  I simply sewed 3 1/2 edges on the sewing machine (with the right sides together), turned it inside out, stuffed the insert into the pillow case, and hand stitched up the hole.   
      
Not to sound like an old lady, but I really liked embroidering.  It was relaxing and gave my hands something to do while we watched a movie or I caught up on the Housewives of Where Ever.

Here's the final pillow, (hanging out on the stairs since it had more light than the chair), and this is a pretty true to life picture of the color of the denim:


Here's a closeup of the stitching, which has held up really well with the light use, (and my occasional petting as I walk by).  The stitch makes the design pretty 3-dimensional, so it's neat looking and fun to touch, although I am pretty sure Mike has never "petted" it, or any other pillow we own. 


And finally, a shot of the pillow in it's home on the chair in the living room, (which was a little hard to photograph due to the weird lighting).  I love the way it turned out, and love showing off our love for our bees! 


To see the host's projects, and everyone else who played along, check out the links below! 


Erin (The Great Indoors), Katie (Bower Power), Sherry (Young House Love), and Cassie (Hi Sugarplum).