Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Another Fabulous Freebie

How do you get your ugly overgrown bushes removed for free!? Yep you guessed it....Craig's List! Who'da thought someone would want to come to your house and dig up your old overgrown bushes but apparently lots of people do. I got the idea while feeding my addiction to Young House Love. They had bushes removed in the front and back yards. After I posted the "free large mature azelas" add, I had 8 people contact me wanting to come get them. The nicest couple came by and in two days they were all gone! Keep in mind we still need to take out a few more things and then grow some grass...so this is the before and after and later I will post the after after.



Stay tuned for the after after ; )

Hopefully the weather will stay relatively cool and in a few weeks I will have time to trim bushes, weed, mulch, and grow some grass. Also if you look closely we are apparently growing some plants in our gutter...oops! Too many inside projects has left our yard needing some TLC. Stay tuned...

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

How to Score a Free Light Fixture

I am so excited I just finished installing my free chandelier in the kitchen! Now I am sure you are wondering how I got a chandelier for free. Well it technically wasn't free it was "free" if you get my drift. Here's the breakdown:

New Chandelier $25.00 Craig's List (That's Craig is a GENIUS : ) )
Old Chandelier sold for.....your guessed it $25.00 on Craig's List!
End result = "free" chandelier! YAY

So the only down fall is that a "new to you" light fixture doesn't come with any directions so here's how I did it.....brace yourself I will be using such technical terms as "thingy" and "do-hicky". All you electricians are cringing I know....

Here's the old, very square chandelier.

So after removing the old light this is what you are left with. All lights come with the bar thingy you see in the middle some lights mount to this and have to have specific holes for the screws BUT if not I just leave the old one up there and use that to save a step. That is what I did here.

First I screwed in the long middle threaded stick thing. : ) (I warned that I would be using very technical terminology)

Next, I took the wires from the new chandelier and threaded them through the stick thing.

At this point my arm was about to fall of from holding the chandelier up so I screwed on the piece that the chain and chandelier hangs from.

Most lighting comes with two wires white and black. It's an ingenious concept white goes with white and black goes with black! However my chandelier had two silver wires. (huh?!?) Yeah.. so it was trial and error I hooked it up and tested it and I got it on the first try because I am cool like that. ; ) Make sure to twist the wires to the right (righty tighty) so that when you put the wire caps on you don't undo what you have already done.

After capping the wires shove them up in the hole out of the way. Make sure you left enough of the stick thingy below the bar thing (see above) so that the piece that holds the chain/chandelier comes far enough down out of the hole for you to be able to attach the nut that holds the pretty silver cover on. I didn't.....so I had to go back and fix it before doing the step shown here. : )

Add light bulbs...I am assuming you can handle that one on your own : ) ....
and ta-da! Brand "new" chandelier for "free".

Faux Tile CHEAP! and Clever ; )

What we did:

First we painted a "grout" color I chose an off white

Then when it dried we measured and marked for the tape. We measured the height from the cabinet to the counter and then halved it. That is about where you want the "tile" points to meet.

Then the instructions I found said to use the measurement you took as half the height and mark along the top under your cabinets. (This didn't work out perfectly for us so we had to kind of eyeball some of it) Do the same across the bottom. Your tape will go from the first top mark to the second bottom mark (skipping one). We taped all the diagonals in one directions then went back and did the opposite. The ends will have a shorter piece of tape that goes from the second top mark to the middle point (height wise).

Just to break it down for you:

Our height from counter to cabinet was 1ft. So we marked across the top and bottom every 6". Our lines intersected at 3", 6", and 9". This happened naturally if you tape like I said above. Some of our lines got off so the tape didn't always land right on the mark but if you eyeball it it will come out looking good.

The hardest part is the taping...DH works in building construction so he's good with measuring and numbers. To paint I used a light tan base coat and used a sea sponge with lighter and darker colors to create texture. You have to be real careful not to get a sponge paint look; I put two colors on at once. I used an eggshell finish and faux rock switch plates to make it look more like tile.

This is hard to explain in type so please feel free to e-mail me if you have any questions: allisone.bryant@gmail.com

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Half Bath Remodel

It's been a busy weekend. Evan and I are remodeling the tiny half bath under the stairs. The project began weeks ago when I removed the wall paper and painted. I also replaced the light fixture. But I am getting a bit ahead of myself....first things first I decided to remove the vanity so we could put in a pedestal sink. Back then the plan was to leave the linoleum to buy us time until we decided to tile. Well after removing the vanity there was a nice rectangle hole in the floor where it used to be. So plans were revised....remove the linoleum, lauan, AND 50,000 staples then go ahead a tile. Oh and did I mention in order to do that the trim had to be removed as well? So I ripped off the trim, and the linoleum, AND the lauan. SURPRISE! you guessed it more layers! This time it was linoleum and plywood. So out it goes! That layer put up a fight and didn't want to come out. A piece was stuck between the wall and the toilet water supply valve (and it remained that way for about a week). After a visit home and some borrowed saws from the FIL we got that stubborn piece out and there it was....the subfloor YAY!!

Finally this weekend tiling was underway. We got up on Saturday and second guessed our abilities so we called a handy friend of ours who came over to help. (We ended up monopolozing his entire day...what a good friend) We layed 13x13 tile on the diagonal using a score and snap to cut. This is the cheapest tool you can buy to cut tile but it's a lot of work and takes more time so next time we will most likely rent a wet saw. Anyway, the boys laid the thin set and the tile while I stayed out of the way (did I mention it's a tiny bathroom?) and cleaned out the closet in the family/sun room so we could install shevles (our other weekend project).

Today we headed to the home improvement store once again to pick up trim for the bathroom, plywood for the shelves, and look at pedestal sinks. That's when we realised like every project, the sink wasn't going to be as easy as we had hoped it would be. We didn't take into account that the studs need to have a support beam between them where you hang the sink. There is a posibility that it's already there (cross your fingers), but if not it means cutting out a chunk of the dry wall installing a small piece of wood between the studs and then patching the drywall. We are not at all confident in our dry wall repair skills so we are hoping that the former is true. I will keep you posted on that one.

For now I am busy cleaning up grout and helping Evan finished up the shelving in the family room. As soon as the projects are complete I will post pictures, discriptions, and the cost of everything we did. Stay tuned!