Saturday, August 27, 2016

Stay Close

My desire for this blog is to use it to exercise the gifts God has given me and to glorify God while I do that. Sometimes, he just makes it so very easy.

One of the last beach days of the summer led me to contemplate the way creation ministers to our souls. As I walked along the beach, holding my husband's hand, I was enjoying the sunshine but took notice that the warmth was not as it had been just the week before. The temperature was not any less but the strength of the sun was not what it had been. It made me sad to realize that we were moving further away from the sun; ushering in an impending change of seasons.

I felt I did not have to reapply my sunscreen as often as I had the weeks before. I didn't need to put up my umbrella to shield myself from the rays that had me protectively covering up just a few weeks before. I wasn't worried that I would end up with a blistering sunburn and I didn't spend the day fussin' at my family about needing to cover-up or lotion-up. I had the sense that the sun was fairly benign and yet, I know that to not be true, the ability to burn or cause damage was still a serious factor but I was not worried.

Why was I disregarding the sun's strength and power? The sun was not burning any less hot. It is still burning at 10,000 degrees (that's just the surface).

It had not gotten any smaller. it is still 864,938 miles in diameter. The sun does not wax and wane in strength. It does not change. What changes? Our location in relation to the sun is what changes.

We are no longer of the mindset that the earth is the center of all the things. We know that the sun is the center and we revolve around it, (thank you Copernicus). We move, it does not. It is the center. As the earth moves we get filtered sunshine, slicing through layers of atmosphere, that brake down the effectiveness of its rays.

That got me to thinking about Jesus. I find it a funny blessing that our word for that burning, light giving orb that we revolve around or would die without is named the sun and its homonym, Son, fits that description (albeit and incomplete and inadequate discription), also. Jesus is that life and light giving source that we revolve around. He does not wax or wane in strength or ability,. He does not change. Without him we would perish.

Hebrews 1:3b "and he upholds the universe by the word of his power."
John 8:12 "Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”"
Hebrews 13:8 "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever".
John 3:16 tells us, "whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life."

And so, as I said good-bye to the beach that afternoon I was praising the Lord for this little nugget of truth he gave me to chew on. When I am spending time reading in my bible, seeking God and conversing with him in prayer on a regular basis, I am far more apt to be aware of his power. I run to him for everything from help getting a splinter out or finding my keys to praying for healing of someone chronically or terminally ill. Nothing is too big or too little for God.

But, I don't stay there. Sadly, I move. When I am not spending time with him regularly, when I get lazy or put other things before him I neglect to consider how powerful he is. I disregard that he sees everything. I fail to confess everything. I allow my exposure to Him be filtered through Christianese atmospheres like church or bible study attendance or doing "good works", ect.  I end up trying to fix things on my own and the spiral downward is ugly. I am left cold, naked like a leafless tree, and winter sets into my soul. But, it does not end there.

Praise the Lord, he does not leave me there. He loves me and is faithful to bring me to a place of repentance; a place where I sit in the light of the Son and grow.

 I, like Paul, long to be rid of this body of death that does nothing but wage war against my new identity.

As I left the beach that day I had a sentence running through my head.

My regard for the power of sun/Son is in direct correlation to my proximity to the sun/Son. 

It has blessed me and I pray it will bless you also as you contemplate the implications of it in your own life. Stay close. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Old Girl, New Gig-Part 3, Bathroom Makeover Completed

If you have been following along with this bathroom face lift, the time has come to show you the finished project!

I started with a bathroom that needed some TLC. The family's requirements in this rehab were as follows: gender and age neutral, match the rest of the house, functional, mom and daughter approved.

It didn't need anything major, just some prettying up. I was given a budget and went to work. You can read about it here and here.

The family/clients were on vacation for the week which made it super easy for me to come and go and work. By the time Friday rolled around I was ready to get this thing done but had to wait for the back splash installation. I had way-over-planned this thing out and just wanted to see progress!

Nothing can be done on top until that back splash is in.
Remember those old Avon bags? It was my mom's and I use it to carry my stuffs. 

Friday: The back splash was installed and the fun began! I brought the cabinet up and placed in on the counter.

My calculations had been off and the jog in the back did not sit high enough to clear the back splash. Mister had a half day at work and came riding in on his white horse, well four-door. A little scoring with a utility knife and a little chiseling and ta-da! He's awesome!

This is what we used to attach the trim directly to the mirror.

He helped me cut the trim to fit and notch out the baseboard on the bottom. We measured and cut all the trim pieces for the mirrors and attached them with construction adhesive. One of my pieces was bowed and did not want to sit straight- ugh! After much stressing we got it where we could were happy and knew that caulking would do wonders. Frog tape held pieces in place until they set. Everything was left to dry overnight.

You can see the space at the top of the trim that gave me so much trouble.

Saturday: I arrived bright and early and to my surprise I found the majority of the family there! I had much to do but they were on their way out so I could focus. I pulled the tape off and finished caulking the mirror trim. I asked the owner what they thought so far and he answered that he was "not supposed to look yet, right?" Which really didn't answer the question and I still don't know if he looked or not.... I know somebody was in there but nobody is talking.

 I installed the towel hooks, toilet paper holder and towel rings. Here is where I have to take a minute to tell you how much I HATED those things! I liked the style and all but I hated the stupid set screws!

These stupid, stupid, stupid little screws (did I tell you they were stupid) that you have to install with the world's tiniest allen wrench were a major pain in my tookas! They took me so much time. I was praying, just knowing God was using these aggravating teeny-tiny pieces of metal to work something out of me. I installed 4 hooks, 1 toilet paper roll, and a towel ring with much prayer.  I was down to One.   More.  Towel.   Ring. Pleeeeeeeease Lord, (begging like a little child wanting something they know they can't have) just let me get through this without any more trouble.

And, God said "No".

I worked on that one silly thing for almost 30 minutes. The set screw would not go in. The receiving end had been machined wrong and it just would not go in. I had to let it go. God has to keep me humble some how! Perfection can be crippling and no matter what I did at that point it was not going to be perfect. I would have to let it sit until the owner can replace it. Grrrr.....

Onward and upward. It was time to dress the room!

That is The Towel Ring-Grr..... As long as nobody touches it we're good.

No more gap in the trim! Love, love, love caulking! 

The products you can find on my Pinterest page. I purchased the clock from Kohl's.

Tray-effect sink is nice and deep. 
Miss B. will be painting a series of three sea horses that will eventually hang, in black frames, over the toilet. She is a very talented artist and at only 16 years old I can't wait to see what she does as she becomes more skilled and comfortable with her art.

Yes, I should have ironed the curtain! 

Air register a little rusted before just needed some cleaning and a coat of paint.
The ceiling just needed a little cleaning.

The fan light and air duct both got a coat of high gloss white to freshen them up without having to replace them. 
The budget? Well, of course we went over what had originally been budgeted but if you remember I did talk to my friend about that before we started and agreed to bust it a bit. How did I do compared to my proposal? I estimated $2840 for everything. Now, we did not buy a new toilet and I got a really good price on the granite. I do not know how much it cost the owner to build the cabinet on top. All that being said I spent $2170. That is $670 under budget! ($470 not counting the toilet.) I know it didn't cost that much to buy the materials for the cabinet so I am thrilled. 

Lessons Learned:
1) I hate set screws that have to be put in with teeny-tiny allen wrenches.
2) " 'Perfect' is the enemy of 'good' ." A friend told me that recently and I have to say "Amen".
     It keeps you from ever being happy with 'good' .
3) A project always takes longer than you expected.
4) Budgets are hard-no matter whose money it is.
5) Next to Jesus Christ, my husband is my biggest asset, my sweetest blessing and a gift
    from God while I linger on this earth.

And there you have it. My first client, my first job-completed. I loved doing this but I did miss my family this week and I think they missed me. I never did make it into the pool but that's okay. The beach has been calling my name and I aim to answer....

Linking up to these parties: Imparting Grace, Katherine's Corner, The Vintage Nest, Joyful Homemaking, Have A Cup Of Mrs.Olson, A Delightsome Life, Shoestring Elegance, Up To Date Interiors, A Vision To Remember, Charm Bracelet Diva, The Charm of Home, Shabby Art Boutique,
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Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Old Girl, New Gig Part 2

When the school year finished my friend asked me to considering changing up her children's bathroom. You can read about that in my previous blog post.


Before- the pink corian counter top makes the tile look pink, too. 
An incredibly undervalued luxury in any home improvement project is when you have the place to yourself. My friend and her family took some much needed time away at the beach leaving the house to me to come and go at will. She even told me to use the in-ground pool anytime I wanted! I was able to schedule deliveries during that week.

My friend had originally come to me with a picture found on Hometalk that they were thinking would work for their situation. I agreed that it was a nice idea, using the large builder grade mirror on the wall. Here is the inspiration:

My friend's husband removed the old counter top

A fresh coat of paint on the walls.
 and built the cabinet according to my drawings.

He miter cut the trim but left them long so that once the piece was installed I could adjust the lengths to make it fit right. That was a huge help. We could have built it but it would have taken me (Mister) longer. 

Monday: The granite counter top, made of stone called Ice White, was to be delivered between 4-6PM.


That gave me all day to clean and get another coat of paint on the walls. My girls came to help me clean a bit and went for a swim. The granite people called saying the could come early and we were done with day one by 4PM. The back splash would be installed Friday due to an existing mirror and needing an accurate measurement, not the standard 3 or 4 inch high back splash.

Tuesday: The plumbing was hooked up, courtesy of Mister. It took some more work than I had planned for as the sinks sit lower than the original sinks and the sink drains sat further away than from the plumbing than the old ones. That meant that Mister had to cut out the old drain and trap and replace them to make everything fit. Ugh! In addition to getting the plumbing up and working we also got the new 3-light sconces hooked up.

Wednesday: Painting day, again. I pulled out my Home Right sprayer; the first time using this beauty! I won it from a give away by Larissa at Prodigal Pieces last summer. It has taken this long to get around to using it! My dad had given me the spray tent for my birthday! I painted all the trim and the cabinet. It was fabulous! Everything took about 3 coats. I did not want to rush it and I didn't want any drips.

The window in the bathroom is a tall one but we wanted to keep the light and not have fabric to have to clean so I built a cornice. I used a 6 foot length of 1x10x6. I cut 45degree angles to miter the corners. I them cut trim that would match the cabinet, using baseboard molding on the bottom and crown molding on the top. I watch several videos on the crown molding because my head is thick and it confuses me. I was ready to do this but Mister stepped in again and saved my bacon! I did end up having to go back and get another piece because on cut obviously was not resting against the fence right at one point and did not sit right.

Partially built cornice in the middle with all the painted trim laid out for cutting.

Notice the notch at the bottom to accommodate the backsplash
Thursday: I finished up painting what I could before installation day and I let the painting and my work rest while I enjoyed lunch with a dear friend.

Stay tuned, there is more to come! I can't wait to show you the finished product!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Old Girl, New Gig?

I am so excited, ya'll! (No, not from the south but love that word sometimes!)

At the end of our school year a friend and home-school mom asked me for some help with her kid's bathroom. She would do it, she said, but she is a little busy with her three teens, a pre-schooler and a baby they are doing foster care for. Think about it, she said. One of her teenage daughters, who I will call Sweet B, would be helping me and they would PAY ME, of course. They wanted me to tell them what I thought was fair. ??? I have no idea! I have helped friends over the years with different projects but had never considered it something I would charge for. Yes.... little happy dances started happening in every single appendage. I was flattered that she would ask me and I am thrilled at the thought of working in someone else's home. 

More information was coming in. This was not going to be a difficult project.  I need to tell my husband! Honestly, that was my first coherent thought that I can recollect. Oh, "You can use this to write about for your blog", she said! "Siri, call my husband!" 

They want to replace the pink-esque corian counter top, sinks, fixtures, ect. They had a picture they had seen on Hometalk they liked-more on that next time. A new paint color would be chosen and I was to facilitate all of it. That was a little more than I had done for friends before. I would have to channel my inner Joanna Gaines, Sarah Richardson or Candice Olson. I had seen this done a million times on HGTV. I can do this, can't I? I did source everything and help install our new kitchen and bathroom/laundry room. "Lord, give me what I need to do this in a way that honors you and blesses my friend."

That builder mirror is not going to look like that for long! 

I set up a date to come look at the bathroom, take some pictures, measurements and ask questions. I was handed a paper with a budget amount. I did what I came to do, left and "Siri, call my husband!". Then, I told my dad. He said he was calling HGTV to get us a show. Always joking, that one. 

With our conversation in mind I scoured the internet, Home Depot, Lowes and multiple paint stores. My friend's style is more contemporary than mine so I really had to focus on their needs and likes. I started a Pinterest board for the project and invited my friend as a co-contributor. A week after our first visit I went back with a detailed expense list including estimates. They loved everything. But here is where it got a bit iffy. Their budget and my detailed list were not the same. My first job was over budget! I needed to be honest, though and for what they wanted it was going to cost more than they had allotted. We picked a paint color and off I went. 

After speaking with her husband, my friend said they wanted to proceed even though it was over budget. 

I sent a follow up email that contained links to the lights, sinks, fixtures, ect. My friend ordered everything from my email and had it shipped directly to her home. She has Amazon Prime so no shipping charges and no running around to stores and I could not beat the prices in a brick-n-mortar.

I'm not showing you everything, yet.

In the meantime I needed to nail down a more definite idea for the counter top. I got estimates on a few different pieces of granite and quartz and went back to my friend and Sweet B for a final go-ahead. The lady at the marble and granite store gave me a discount due to the fact that I had ordered from her before (when we did our kitchen island) and the fact that this was my first "job". She wants repeat business! As she filled in the order information she asked me for the address of my client. CLIENT!? Oh, of course, client.... happy dancing, again! I have a client! 

So, all that happened. Sweet B and I started cleaning the trim (which does not need to be painted!) and removed hardware and light fixtures. That was a new one to me as Mister usually handles all that. We got the walls cut in with paint. I went back and finished fixing holes that were left when I removed fixtures and I rolled out the walls. The counter top was installed Monday but the back splash will come later. 

This a wordy blog post, friends. I am so excited to be sharing it with you! Who'dah thunk it? 

So, this is what I have learned so far from this project: a) don't under estimate yourself or God, b) present the facts and don't be afraid, c) this old girl (52) is not too old to start something new and d) watching and re-watching Fixer Upper has NOT been a complete waste of my time.

Go forth! Oh, but stop back soon to see how it turns out. I can't wait to see either!

*This is NOT a sponsored post.

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