What I did over Christmas vacation…

…besides EAT and visit family and more EATING!

WE ‘finished’ our powder room (aka bathroom) make-over! YEAH!

Much to my hubby’s chagrin, our bathroom re-do began back in July, 2011. We rarely tackle house projects during summer. There’s just too many ‘chores’ to attend to outdoors around the farm. Home improvements are normally relegated to winter. While the re-do appears cosmetic ~ the wallpaper had to go ~ it was driven by actual structural damage that began with too many years of dripping condensation from the toilet tank!!! Yes, condensation from the cold water supply on the tank (during the hot, humid summer), dripping onto the floor which eventually migrated beneath the floor, subfloor and finally dripping into the basement!!! HELLO!!!

Basically, we reused/recycled many of the original fixtures minimizing expenses.  The exceptions were a new vanity purchased locally from Home Depot and new sheet linoleum flooring. 

Patching and most of the structural repairs occurred over Thanksgiving weekend. Christmas break allowed us to complete the project.

Today, it looks like this… (the lighting makes it difficult to get a good pic).

The wallpaper is gone and we opted for a neutral satin enamel paint color… Winter Wheat from our local Ace Hardware. I like the narrow profile of the new Home Depot vanity too, since my bathroom is only roughly 5-1/2 feet X 4-1/2 feet.

I ‘re-painted’ the existing fixtures, including the wall strip-mounted  light fixture, Shaker-style mirror, toilet paper holder, towel bar, etc with ‘black’ acrylic paint.

We used/recycled beadboard (from our dining room make-over) on the ceiling… and hubby made me the ‘medicine cabinet’ to hang over the toilet.

Before… medicine cabinet in-process.

Side view…

And after my paint job…

I painted it with a light grey flat enamel and black trim accent, stained with walnut and then applied a tinted wax finish. We also used the same left-over beadboard for the cabinet’s interior.

And added a touch of whimsy…

…a hand-made ceramic sheepy door-knob. 🙂

A few finishing decorating touches…

Various salt-glazed pottery for toilet brush storage & waste basket.

I re-purposed a wrought iron plant hanger for a make-do towel bar and fastened it to the side of the vanity.

…and use an old wood tote for x-tra toilet paper storage… oops, needs re-filling!

Finally, a few more sheepy decor items…

A few more sheepy decor items… the stoneware bowl holds home-made potpourri.

I love my new old bathroom. Lesson learned: Don’t ignore the simple house maintenance chores ’til they become major fix-up projects! Right, hee hee!

P.S. Hubby made me a second ‘medicine cabinet’ to sell in my shop (I still have to paint it) to recoup some expenses. The vintage door I purchased didn’t work out, so I’m still on the lookout for an old farmhouse-style door. Always an adventure!

Happy New Year!

Finally…a bunny topiary!

I finally finished a bunny-themed ‘topiary’. You see, I never do anything from start to finish. Usually there’s several projects underway, including routine household things to-do, not to mention barnyard chores. I often steal away a few minutes here and there and hardly ever sit idle…unless I’ve collapsed into bed.

Anyway, this tabletop bunny topiary is made from items I found in my ‘stash’.

The bunny and carrot are made from a paper pattern I drew onto a brown paper bag and cut out from muslin. After I sewed the bunny, I tea stained the fabric and used acrylic black paint (thinned w/a little water) for accent…I wanted a little Dutch Dwarf rabbit. I stuffed the bunny and carrot with fiberfil and some dried lavender (just because) and applied a thin layer of mod podge to the surface, and brown shoe polish to ‘age’ it a bit. I used two different shades of orange and terra cotta on the carrot.

The bunny has a black bead for eyes, pink embroidery floss stitched nose, and a needle felted wool tail.

I tied on several strips of #6-cut green wool strips from my rug hooking snippet stash for the carrot-top greens.

I cut a red-twig dogwood branch from my yard to make the topiary ‘stem’ and used an old piece of porch ‘trim’ for the base. The topiary stands approx 16-inches tall and the bunny is about 8-inches long. Here’s my pattern.

I’ve been working on several additional topiary forms.

This one also has a branch as my ‘stem’, but I made a sphere with a grapevine form and wrapped it with spring green fabric strips dipped in mod podge. I like the irregular form. Anyway…the point of this discussion is that you can use/make any topiary shape you desire!

 I also made little fabric rosebuds from about a 6-inch X 1/4-inch strip of pink material (fold the strip in half lengthwise, tie a knot in one end and roll it up – place a stitch or dab of glue on the end) and glued them onto the finished form with fabric glue…and a few leaves? You could add as many spheres or conical shapes as you desire! Now all I need is a bunny for a topper (still think’n about Easter?) and a base of some sort.

I like to recycle/repurpose items found around the house. Old wood porch banister, candlesticks, textile bobbins, an old milk pitcher…lots of possibilities. Now where did I put that sheet moss?

I hope this inspires you to create a topiary for yourself to help chase away the gray winter blahs and think Spring!