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Friday, June 25, 2010

The Bathroom Chronicles -or Wallpaper Whining

Ugh!    Yuck !    Pew!    Ack!
That's all I've got to say about that!
That being wallpaper removal.

And not just any wallpaper, but this lovely stuff.

I've been slowly, and I mean slooowwwly, trying my best to remove the ohsobeautiful wallpaper I inherited here in the rooms I inhabit.
(There are 5 rooms I'm currently removing the paper from, by the way. I'll be having a pity party fairly soon, and you'll all be invited.)

Seriously, was this pattern ever popular?

Well, it's not for me, that's all I can say.

Anyhoo, I have grand plans for this bathroom.

Can I just tell you - I HATE removing wallpaper.
And I also hate it when builders feel it isn't necessary to prime the walls before putting the paper up.

You know what happens when the walls aren't prepped properly, don't you?
That's right - you must resign yourself to the fact that drywall patching will be in your very near future.
(Sorry, but I had to get that out of my system before I could move on!)

So, today I've been ripping that wallpaper out.
And before you think I've got so far in one day, let me clarify by saying that it's taken me weeks to get to this point.

I thought I'd just leave it until I had time to do it all at once, but I'm sure you'll understand when I tell you that I just couldn't make myself keep looking at that every day.
So what did I do? I tore off the top layer (thank the lord it was strippable), and I stared at the yellow backing for several more weeks!

I thought that since every time I went in that bathroom, I was doing this.............. ripping off bits of paper a little at a time......

That I may as well take the rest of it off. So I did.
And now I'm removing all of that yellow liner.

I've torn some degree of wallpaper out of all 5 of the rooms just to see how much trouble it was going to be. I can assure you that in this room in particualr, the wallpaper hanger used at least 15 extra gallons of glue. I know this for a fact because I am currently stuck to the wall.

So just to show you that I am really working hard today, I've gone from this:

To this:

And now I must peel myself off the wall and get back to the other side of the bathroom:

I'm gettin' there....
(do not adujt your color -that is the ugly yellow backing paper soaked in stripper)

TIP: Now, for those of you with wallpaper stripping in your future, here's a great homemade solution I discovered purely out of frustration. I tried EVERY solution I found in the stores and on the internet. Nothing seemed to be the right thing for these walls, so I came up with my own remedy that seems to be working great to remove all that glue gunk.

(If you've already removed some paper and still have glue buil-up in the wall, this also works for that.)

1 gallon of water
1 teaspoon of Dawn dish detergent
1/4 cup of Goo Gone (or any brand of adhesive remover)
A Chemical Sprayer

Be sure to mix with warm water. It'll help to pull the glue off the walls better.

You can get a chemical sprayer at Walmart or Big Lots for about $10, and it's well worth it.

Put it in a gallon jug and shake it well.
Then pour that into the sprayer.

Turn off the breaker to the room, cover your switches and outlets, and then spray the walls really good.

Let it sit and work for about 15-20 minutes so that it has time to loosen the glue from the wall.

If it has dried when you are ready to remove it, simply spray it again with a light coat of the mixture.

Scrape the paper off with a flat blade or an old credit card.

*Score the top layer first so that the solution can get below the top surface.

Well, it's back to work for me!

What easy solutions have you come up with to remove wallpaper?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Critical Request - Fellow Blogger in Need of the Gift of Life - LITERALLY

I just read this post on Cathy's blog, The Stylish House.
I am posting it in it's entirety here on my own.
Please help spread the word.
Dear Family and Friends,
Please help spread the word about my 25 year old daughter, Heather Erickson's medical situation and critical need for a live liver donor transplant.
Heather is a wonderful, caring young woman who has shown amazing grace throughout this difficult time and is my only child and a daughter dearly loved.

Seven years ago Heather was diagnosed with a rare liver disease called Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis. It's a progressive illness that destroys the liver and despite everyone's best efforts it could not be stopped.

As a result Heather is currently listed for a liver transplant at Henry Ford Hospital in Michigan. The doctors recommend a live donor to give Heather the best chance for survival, due to the critical shortage of cadaver livers available.

Rick, my husband, and I would love to be her donor, but we are not a blood match so we are seeking people who are.

Heather needs someone with O blood type (either negative or positive) who is willing to be tested to be a live liver donor.

To learn more about donating please call the Henry Ford transplant coordinator Arlene Helms 313-916-9882 on behalf of Heather Erickson.

We understand a living donation may not be an an option for everyone and respect it's a personal decision.
As always with love,

Cathy and Rick Erickson

PLEASE, if you know of anyone currently in the Michigan area that may be a donor, I urge you to contact them.

If you live in Michigan, please help spread the word on your own blog. Regardless of where you live, please help get the word out.

Obviously, this request isn't limited to Michigan residents, but it's certainly the quickest route to a donor.
Please head over to Cathy's blog and show her some support.

If this were your child, you'd be just as desperate as they are.

All of you know that I am a prayer warrior, and I ask that if you are also, please, lift this family up in prayer.

See the full post with pictures here: The Stylish House

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Unexpected Thrifting - in the Most Unlikely Place

Warning: This is one of those 'one thing leads to another' posts, so it's a bit wordy and pic heavy.
Linking up to Rhoda's Thrifty Treasures over at Southern Hospitality
By now most of you know that I moved back close to my childhood home recently, where my mother still lives. One of the reasons for that is because my mother is itching for a change and has decided to sell that home and property and buy a smaller home with much less upkeep.

That's where I come in. I've agreed to help her get the house and property ready to sell.

(Sorry for the photo quality - I lifted this off my mom's facebook.)

No small feat, I assure you.

 The house is in the country. There is a barn, 3 small outbuildings, an in ground pool, and plenty of acerage that all need a bit of spiffing up. Not to mention the upgrades we need to do inside the house. It's a 1964 ranch and hasn't had many drastic upgrades through the years.

(See all those trees beyond the pool, and the field? That's all hers too, and the field has to get cleaned up also. Just to give you an idea of how much land that actually is to that side of the house, from the edge of the pool to the tallest trees is about 1/4 mile.)


I am absolutely dreading it.
Sorry mom, but the truth's the truth.
I love you in spite of what you're going to put me through this summer! lol


However.................that dread started to ease a bit a couple of weeks ago when I discovered something I had never taken the time to explore before.

Let me start from the beginning.

A couple of weeks ago while I was at mom's, she mentioned that she had a hole in the floor of her pool house. I went to check it out and didn't think it would be that hard to fix, so I told her I'd do it. (I'll tell you now, I had no idea what I got myself into! Bees and all.)

I gathered my tools and then got to work ripping the bad flooring out. The hole covered several planks, which unfortunatley all had to come out.

Side Note: If I ever see the guy who built that floor, I'm pretty sure I'll whack him a good one! Just saying. :)

He built the foundation, installed the flooring on it directly, and THEN sat the pool house on it.
That makes for a hard day of removing floor planks. Trying to get them out from under the foundation, and then trying to fit new ones back in was NOT easy by any stretch of the imagination.

Anyhoo, I finally got the planks out after much distress.
Mom told me to get replacement planks out of the barn. They were somewhere in the barn.

(I've always thought of that barn as a scary place.( And not because a cat jumped over a bail of hay and straight into my face, creating a scar that's visible to this day.) It is packed full and something could topple over on you at any moment and you'd never be heard from again.)

So I climbed up in the top of the barn, shuffled through all of the boards, and pitched the ones down to my mom that were good enough to use.

Wellllllllllllllllll, while I was in the top of the barn, I began to look around below me at what all was really in there.
 Low and behold! - How could I not have known what all was in there? I'd been in that barn a hundred times over the years. I guess I never really paid attention to anything other than what I was looking for at the time.

I'll speed this up so I can get to the good stuff.
So I got the boards down, finished repairing the floor, (in the rain now, mind you, with a scared dog sitting in the corner refusing to budge), installed vinyl on top of the planks, and called her done.

THEN, I went back in the house to get my camera and headed to the barn to poke around.

And now here's the good stuff.....................

Let me tell you, it's a junker's paradise in there!
See for yourself.
All the things I look for at flea markets, I found in here. And they're all FREE, because my mommy loves me that way.

Look at all that wood, and the ladders, and the display racks.......

Doors and windows and pails - oh my!

Chairs, and pallets, and more ladders................

More chairs, and drawers, and crates, and a bike, and another ladder

Tables, and wire, and fencing, and barrels..........

Tables, and shelves, and more wood
(Can't understand why that mattress is there. Did somebody really think they'd reuse that after it had been in the barn?)

See that table turned on it's side? It's metal, chippy, and already painted robin's egg blue. I can't wait to drag that out! See those shelves beside it? Yep, a little deeper robin's egg color.

More shelves, fencing, racks, and plywood sheeting

These goodies are harder to see, so I circled them for you. See that little pile of aqua stuff in the center? Those are the aqua glass caps that people covet at the markets. LOTS of them.
There's a plant stand, wood barrel, coke crates, and tons of tires.

Shelves and old window frames

Look at all this wire stuff! TONS of it.

Yet another rocker, turquoise wire baskets, crates, and another bike

More crates and old wood frames of some sort

A great bird cage and an old chandy.
 I'm a little worried about what's in that big box. It's sealed, so I couldn't get a peek in it.

Small bi-fold window screens, and plenty of them

Loads of shelves and drawers

And finally, look at all this loveliness laying against the outside of the barn. See that old antique bed frame? Definitely coming home with me.

I would post pics of all the stuff I found in the outbuildings, but this post is already WAY TOO LONG, so I'll save those for another day.

Do you see why I'm not quite dreading this portion of it anymore?
I forgot all about the work when I started realizing what was to be had in the barn.
What unexpected thrifting have you encountered?

You can't get any thriftier than free!
Head on over to Southern Hospitality and see what everyone else found during their thrifting excursions.


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Subtle Reminders

Every Morning as I drink my coffee, I'm reminded...........

I hope you make the best of yours!

Have a great day!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Beauty in the Backroads - Pink & Green Trains

While I'm busy on the backside, i wanted to drop in and leave you with a little bit of color for the day.
I discovered these on a road trip through the backroads recently.

How fun are these colors?

I just love finding unexpected treasures like this!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Back Yard Inspiration - An HGTV Makeover from Me

I was looking through some of my past projects from HGTV during my time as designer for the Carter Can show, and I ran upon one that I thought was fitting for the summer.

I really enjoyed this makeover of a row house back yard because it shows how, with the proper additions, you can maximize a small yard for major impact. The use of color ended up being even more spectacular than I had planned.
I LOVE this yard!
In fact, I'm using it as my inspiration for our own deck.

For those of you sprucing up your yards, I hope you can find some inspiration here.

I also found an online video of the episode, so that was double reason to share it with you. You can see the pictures, and then see how we created it. You won't want to miss the water feature on the garage wall!
And check out the color of that garage wall - love it!
Apple Green - you can never go wrong with Apple Green.

(I pulled this pic from my portfolio, hence the verbage, because it's the only one I can find after losing my pics a few weeks ago.)

Here's a tip to get a full screen viewing of the video: When the video screen comes up, mouse over it. You'll see to the top right there is a button that says "Pop Out". Click that and then maximize your screen, and you'll see it full screen.

WARNING: Pardon my strong southern twang. It is what it is, I can't help it. I know I sound edgy, but really, I'm sweet as pudding!

(Here is a post) I did about this project in the infancy of my blog. I just went to look at it again and it has a lot of close up pictures. Check it out.

I'd love to know what you think!
Feel free to share a link to pics of your own yard in the comments. If there are enough of them, I'll do a post and share the pictures with everyone.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Musical Tables for a Perfect Fit

When we moved into this house, I just put the furntiure wherever it would fit.
Notice I said 'where it fit', not 'where it worked'.

Well, we've been here a few months now, getting settled in and used to the layout.
One thing that has always bothered both of us is how big the table is in the kitchen nook.
It's never been right for that space, but we needed something there, so I parked it where it fit.
I had to put it right next to the window because there wasn't room enough to put a chair on the backside, so I ended up with a table that had only 3 chairs. I won't mention how off the light fixture is!
(Please don't pay any attention to that partially stripped wallpaper. It's slowly but surely making it's way out of the kitchen. And yes, I have junk laying everywhere at the moment -disregard that too. I have a plan, really I do.)

The nook happens to be right in the middle of the walkway between our bedroom, the laundry room, and the living room. I can't tell you how many times I've wanted to pull out my jigsaw and make that table smaller!

I kept telling hubby that we needed a round table small enough to put all the chairs around, that we could center under the light.

So one day I realized that I didn't really like the coffee table I had to use here either.
The coffee table I really like is still sitting in the garage waiting for a larger top.

I decided to go on a mission to convert my coffee table top to a kitchen table. It was the perfect size, so why not?

I headed off to my favorite new thrift shop (which I'll tell you about later this week), sure I would find a base for the table. When we pulled up, guess what I saw sitting outside?
Woohoo! I knew it would work perfect, and for only $8 (that's right!), I took it home.
The gals at this thrift shop paint everything that comes throguh the door, so I double scored since they had already painted in black and distressed it.

In it's previous life, it had been a leather top bar stool. They had just removed the leather that morning and sat it outside. No doubt, they knew I was coming. :)

As soon as I got home, I proceeded to take the coffee table off it's base.
Easy Peasy - removed 4 screws and it was done.

Finally, I put the new base on it. I used 8 screws for that for extra assurance.
And now I have the table I want for the nook.

Eventually I'll be painting and stenciling it, but for now, I'm just going to cover it up.

This fits so much better, and even more impotantly, we both like it.

As you can see, this is a room in progress and I'm hoping to do a full reveal of the kitchen in 2 weeks, provided I find the time to make the window treatments and paint it.
I just kinda go with the flow as far as time is concerned. We rarely have anyone over, so it's me and hubby that have to deal with the disarray, and well, he doesn't say a word about it.
I'm sure he knows better. :)


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