Calling All Ladies

We're taking a break from talking about current projects this week 1) because we're still "in progress" with the bathroom and loveseat and we just feel we'd be boring you with the minimal progress we've made and 2) because I want to delve into a budget-friendly topic every lady should be taking advantage of right now...that is, swimsuits.  That's right, this post is dedicated solely to every woman reading it.  :)  

With summer on it's way out, big savings on popular, super-cute swimsuits are in.  So, I've rounded up some of my favorites to show you.  You'll notice that not only are most of them discounted, but they're also cute and modest.  My good friend Lauren and I spoke at a Theology of the Body Teen Summer Party Camp a couple of months ago and we dove into the realm of modesty, self-worth, and protecting and saving yourself.  As a woman in this society, it's sometimes hard to see the value in "covering up" and is, more often than not, looked at as "prudish".  I was convicted after that week to someday write a post dedicated to modest swimwear, showing that modest can be cute, and doesn't mean your swimsuit needs to consist of a turtleneck and baggy pants worn to the pool or beach...  :)  Now, when these modest swimsuits are on sale, is the perfect time to get this post in.  :)  So, without further ado, here are my faves categorized by whence they came:

Out With The Laminate

(Post Disclaimer:  My intention was to have this post posted last Saturday...I thought I did but it turns out it wasn't...was it me?  our crazy computer?  the wacky world wide web?  who knows...but, better late than never, eh?)

A few weeks ago at the end of this post I had y'all guessing about our next project.  Well, I'm here to tell you that it's going to be our master bathroom and that we officially started on it last weekend.  :)  Here's the plan:

~ Short-Term ~
-rip out the icky laminate tile and put in new, ceramic tile
-paint the walls Valspar's Smoked Oyster
-paint the cabinets white
-install new cabinet hardware

~ Long-Term ~
-add a little Hollywood glamour by adding a semi-homemade chandelier  :)
-replace the countertops (concrete?)
-stencil either the cabinet wall or all walls?

Last weekend we started by ripping out the laminate tile.  First, we had to remove all of the quarter round molding to be able to remove the laminate that was installed underneath it. 
Anthony started by sliding a razor blade along the top of the quarter round, where it meets the baseboard, to cut through the paint.  Then he wedged the end of a pry bar in between the baseboard and the quarter round and carefully pryed the quarter round loose.  These we set aside to be re-installed over the new tile.

Next up, ripping up the laminate tiles.  This is where it got a little sticky...quite literally.  Lucky for us though, all we had to do was get a hold of a corner of each tile and lift, causing each one to come right up.  We hadn't ripped out but a few tiles when we realized that whoever installed this tile installed it right over another layer of laminate flooring. 
Great.  More junk to rip up.
At this point we realized it would probably just be easier to get underneath the second layer of laminate and rip it up, with the top tile layer coming out right along with it.  So, we started at a corner of the room and began tugging when lo and behold...

...another layer of laminate!  That makes three layers for those of you counting!  :)  See?
For whatever reason, whoever installed the laminate layers was lazy found it too much work unneccesary to remove existing flooring before installing new. 

To make matters worse, the third layer of laminate was a pain to get up.  Anthony removed all he could by just lifting and pulling before he had to get back to studying so in I came with some music, the crowbar, a hammer, and my super woman strength to hammer, pry, lift, and pull.  Let me explain.  First, I had to find an edge, place the crowbar at said edge, and hammer the end of the crowbar until I was under the laminte piece I intended to remove.  (Side note:  using a scraper with a handle attached would make this job much easier, but we worked with what we had on hand.)

Then I stuffed the crowbar underneath the laminate, slowly prying and disconnecting it from the concrete floor. 

It came off in pieces so the cycle continued - find an edge, hammer, pry, lift, and remove - for about an hour until every scrap was out of sight and our bathroom looked like this:
It still looks like there are laminate remnants on the concrete but it's really just some glue residue which we can tile right over.  We hope to get the tile in within the next week.  We still have to pick up some mastic adhesive to attach the tiles to the floor and matching grout and then, unfortuntely, we're going to also have to remove the toilet to install the tile underneath it.  But, we've banked the experience of doing this before in our first home's basement bathroom so we can do it again.  :)

.           .           .

Between the loveseat and the master bathroom, we've got lots going on in this house and lots of updates to keep you posted!  For today, we're going to try to start tiling while wishing we were really at World Youth Day in Madrid, Spain with some beloved friends (not to mention Pope Benedict XVI!), taking in the beauty and enormity of the Church here on earth and relishing in Her truth. 
 Lord, bless all of those there and
set their hearts on fire with Your love
and incredible mercy, that they may
ignite the rest of a world
that is in desperate need of You. 

Setback City

I had fun in our backyard last weekend:
Subtract the plywood and sheet on the ground and you'd think I was rocking a vintage photo shoot.  :)  What I was really doing though was getting my white spray paint on.  Three thin and even coats and our beloved loveseat was ready to come back in.  In she came and at her we stared.  Something was wrong...dare I even say it...she was too white.  Never did I ever think I'd be one to say that but Anthony pointed it out and after trying to convince myself that it was okay, I finally agreed.  We wanted it white, but not stark white...blindingly white...and it's just not all white (that's for you Lauren).  But we didn't want it off-white or ivory either.  Oh the dilemmas of being a DIYer...

So, off to Wal-Mart I went to find a "creamy white".  I had already convinced myself that they only made white and ivory and I was going to end up having to hand paint the loveseat with some custom color when I found it!  Dove White for plastic...metal, wood, wicker, and more!  If you can tell the difference on a computer screen (they lie about color...keep reading), here's the original, stark white on the right and the new, dove white on the left:

So, from setback to happy ending, we're good in the paint department.  Now for our next setback...fabric.  I ordered fabric last week and it arrived this week.  You can see what I ordered by clicking here. I couldn't decide what I wanted so I ordered seven yards each of Crawford and Chuck (haha...that sounds funny) and a swatch of Bass.  It's free shipping here and back so I had nothing to lose.  :)  So, they arrived, I ripped open the box, and...wop, wop...they were too light (and to add to my disappointment, they sent me the wrong swatch).

The description on said "natural" and the color on my screen looked like a taupe color but, like I learned, never trust your computer screen to give you an accurate color.

You can see just how light the fabric is in this picture:
Even though I love the pattern of the cut on the left, I can't use something this light.  I don't think the loveseat will ever be able to stand another reupholstering since it's been through several so I need the fabric I put on it to last through kids and grandkids...a.k.a. able to hide whatever life throws it's way without looking dingy after 10 years.  Is that an unreasonable request?  I hope not.

So anyway, those are our two loveseat happily solved and the other still lurking.  I'll let you know how it pans out.  For now, that's not all I've got for you on this beautiful Saturday.  Check back later today for another post about an "in progress" project we started last weekend.  :)

All White Then

 One tedious, get-in-all-the-cracks-curves-and-crevices coat...

and a second layer of the same, painstaking, priming labor...

gets us this beauty:
Isn't it just so fresh and lovely?!  After tomorrow, it'll be even more so as I take on the task of spray painting the actual top coat of white paint on.  :)

The best part is that none of the cracks are noticeable anymore!  They totally blend in and either disappear or just add a little teeny tiny character.  For example, remember this scary one?

Well, we reattached it by putting lots of Liquid Nails into the dowel holes and reinserting the dowels.  After that, we were left with some pretty large cracks still but after filling them in with wood filler (not to be confused, like I initially was, with wood putty, which doesn't dry to a hard finish),

allowing the filler to dry completely, sanding it down to a smooth finish, and priming over it, we got this:
Does the "Oh, oh it's magic, ya kno-o-ow" song pop into anyone's head like it does mine upon seeing the result?  Well, all white then.  :)

Half 'N Half

Sorry to be a late poster...I try to post Saturday mornings but this Saturday got away from me.  :)  But, I do have loveseat progress to show you and it's worth the late wait!

Here's what I started with yesterday morning:

And here's what she looked like last night:

Yep!  I broke out the PRIMER!  Finally, the light at the end of the tunnel is visible!  I'm waiting on some wood filler to dry and then be sanded to a smooth finish before I prime the upper part of the loveseat so I only primed the bottom half but by the end of this week we should have an entirely white frame! 

I used oil-based primer to keep any stains from seeping through and also painted on two coats for more protection and, since I'm going to use spray paint as a top coat, to get a better, more even coat.  Plus, I'll use less spray paint over two layers of primer than I would with just one.  Like so...    
This is after one layer of primer:

And this is after a second layer:

Also, because of the intricate details in the wood, I used a little craft paint brush to prime.  
I didn't want any dripping that might've occurred had I used a larger paint brush.  It took a little more time but it was worth it for the smooth, even coverage. 

So, that's all I have time for today.  Last week I had a blast at a craft party with friends involving lots of fabric, scissors, crayons, and a hair dryer and I'll be sure to write about that hopefully sometime this week so check back!  Of course I'll be back next Saturday again for sure to document more loveseat progress.  :)

Have a great weekend!