I know y’all are expecting some big master bathroom reveal. And it’s coming. I promise. We are sooo close to done; fixtures have all been installed, I hung the new door last night, and shower glass should be installed this week. (Fingers crossed)
In the meantime, here’s a little tease. After much debate about what to hang on the “toilet wall alcove” we landed on a couple reclaimed wood shelves.
We already have some of those important manly elements represented in our new master bathroom; rocks (the shower floor) and metal (the sink base). Now we need some wood. Not a lot, just some. I could easily buy something new, like these shelves from the Target.
But, come on. Y’all know me better than that. Why on earth would I pay ($34.99 EACH?!?!?) for something that I can easily fish out of a semi-dirty, hopefully vermin-free dumpster? I wouldn’t.
I drive by this one particular dumpster a couple of times a week. It’s near my work warehouse, where we keep our sets and props.
The thing about dumpster diving is that it’s kinda legal. Technically, trash is considered public domain. (I know this because private investigators are legally allowed to riffle through trash cans on TV shows. At least Jim Rockford could, anyway. Don’t like it, get a shredder. Just sayin’.) Now here’s why I think it’s kinda legal to dig through other people’s trash; If someone is paying for a dumpster, I’m pretty sure that they still own everything in it. Because I don’t want to encounter the trash owners, (any more that I already have), I do most of my dumpster diving on the weekends. Diving at night would work too, under the cover of darkness and all….but, ya know, rats. They’re always a possibility. So, weekend daytime diving is for me.
I found plenty of good, workable, free wood right here.
After pulling out a few nails, and cutting each board to 34″ long, I gave them a good scrubbing with warm soapy water and an extremely stiff, extremely cheap, brush. They are going into my house after all. (Now here’s the thing about wood, it expands when it’s wet. So I let them dry in the Texas sun for about a week)
Because our master bathroom is mostly shades of blue and grey, I brushed a little grey stain over my boards and quickly realized my mistake.
They were TOO grey now.
They look painted…..and not very reclaimed.
This kind of trial and error usually results in some pretty great ideas….and this time was no exception. I just loaded my Mouse sander with the heaviest grit sandpaper I could find (80 grit, I think) and went to town on them.
Way, more, much better…
In fact, now they look more like driftwood. Remember the “beach” vibe we wanted?
No? That’s OK, It was a long time ago…..
I was devising several complicated ways to hang my shelves and landed on simple 1X1 boards painted white and nailed to the wall abouy 8 inches apart. I was further swayed by the fact that I already had a few 1X1s in the garage. Making this project even slightly more free. Wining.
Each reclaimed board just rests on these brackets…like so,
Then we loaded them up with all our beach memory jars. If y’all have forgotten, we collect a handful of shells, sea glass, sand, and anything else we find on the beach every time we take a vacation…..then slip it all into a vintage jar.
I think we’re loving this….
And notice there are still a few empty jars…
Looks like someone needs a beach vacation soon.
Remember about a year ago when we choose turquoise tile for our master bathroom?
The color inspiration came from a vintage Fiesta Ware sugar bowl I found.
This one, to be exact…
Such a cheerful color.
Well, if we had just
procrastinated waited a little bit longer, the bathroom remodel Gods might have shown us this gloriousness……..Fiesta Ware tile.
It seems that the brilliant folks at Homer Laughlin/Fiesta Ware have teamed up with Limelight Tile and Ceramics to produce 4 different tile combinations;
3 X 6,
Slightly bigger 4 X 8,
6 X 6 Squares,
and my personal favorite, Circles and Crosses,
Wow. Just WOW.
I know, that last one’s a lot to take in. But look just how stunning it is in this retro/modern kitchen..
If your favorite color of Fiesta Ware is ALL of them,…… like me. Don’t worry. The new tiles come in all of the currently produced Fiesta colors.
Unless your favorite color is grey, black or some other muddy combination…there’s a perfect color of tile just for you. Mix and match. Or just do all of one luscious color.
Prices start at 5 bucks, for a corner piece, up to 45 bucks a square foot of the circles and crosses.
Yeah, it’s not cheap…..
…but can you really put a price on style?
No, no you can’t.
Remember a few weeks ago I told y’all that Jamie and I had been together for 10 years? I did, scroll back a little. Well, we thought we’d do something extra special to commemorate, like a trip.
A once in a lifetime trip.
Neither of us has ever been out of our hemisphere – so we flipped a coin and landed on London. It’s not too far, not too exotic, and best of all…they speak English.
(Maybe not exactly the English we learned in the Texas school system, but some form of it)
The 8 hour flight on Virgin wasn’t really that bad. Our little veal-feeding pens included a travel pouch with some toiletries, a sleep mask and my favorite part, clean socks. Because we took an overnight flight, we were given “sleepsuits” which is a pretty silly name for what turned out to be “Jim-Jamz”. (and after all, who isn’t much more comfortable in head to toe polyester?) And, of course, our seats folded down into little, well, let’s just call them “beds”.
I’ve actually been unknowingly prepping for this trip my whole life. I’ve watched every season of Keeping Up Appearances, Fawlty Towers, Coupling, The Young Ones, Man About the House, Absolutely Fabulous, Footballer’s Wives, Are You Being Served, and a few episodes of Spaced.
I knew the words; “loo” = bathroom, “lift” = elevator, “mobile” = cell phone, “coach” = bus, “flat” = apartment, and “nappy” = diaper.
I was ready……. Luckily, we didn’t need that last word.
Here’s a small taste of our London adventures that we thought we’d share with you kind folks.
Our first order of tourism, was the Hop-on-Hop-off bus ride around the city on a red double-decker bus.
We “hopped off” at Buckingham Palace to check on the Queen…
If the Queen is in residence, and she wasn’t this time around, they fly the Royal Standard flag over the palace. If not, they fly the Union Jack. Pretty interesting, right? We never knew that.
Turns out that the Tower of London isn’t really a tower after all, it’s a castle, and it’s also where the Crown Jewels are kept.
On busy days, the line to see the Crown Jewels zig-zags endlessly in front of this building. But to speed things up, on the inside (photo taking is prohibited) there’s a moving sidewalk/conveyor belt in front of the display cases. That way, everyone gets to look at the jewels the exact same amount of time. Just Brilliant.
We waddled our way through Kensington Park to Kensington Palace on the east side.
Our hotel was only a block from Trafalgar Square…
and the National Gallery. (BTW, all the museums in London are free, they simply ask a suggested 5 pound donation….Suckers)
We were surprised by how many uniformed school children were in the National Gallery.
I was promptly scolded by one of the docents to not photograph the kids. I felt compelled to tell her, “I’m sorry, but I’m American and I’ve never seen children learning in a museum before.” I just had to document it to show the rest of my countrymen. And I just know that y’all would never believe it without this photographic proof. Like UFOs, or Sasquatch.
Jamie even discovered a new iced tea. I watched the bartender brew a cup, shake it with ice and a splash of milk, then strain it into a glass filled (*by European standards) with Sonic ice. Earl Grey is now his new favorite……it used to be Lipton.
A mere 2 hours outside the city is Stonehenge. It’s a big stone clock/calendar thingy most likely built by the Druids. Nobody really knows…..it’s all just speculation. The funny thing about Stonehenge, and trust me, there aren’t many funny things about possible Druid monuments, is that it’s so much smaller than you expect it to be. Still pretty impressive.
Until 1977, you could just walk right up to it. But for fear of some clumsy tourist knocking it over, it’s now protected by a thin barrier of shin-high black string.
Our tour group had an odd assortment of tourists and naturally we nicknamed a few of them. There was; Indiana Jones Hat, How Old is her Baby?, Hollister Sweatpants, Vampyria, Captain Cardigan and his mistress – Side Pony Tail. The last 2 sat directly in front of us on the bus and they kept licking each other’s faces like they were cheating on their real spouses. Of course, they were Greek. Which explains her “going out to the club after this” makeup and his thumb ringS.
That’s right. RingS. Plural.
After Stonehenge, our tour bus drove through Cotswold, to Bath (Highly recommend this city if you can) Bath is the home of a natural hot spring, and was once a luxurious Roman city renown for their spas. The spas are still there, but the Romans left centuries ago.
We ended the day in Stratford, the childhood home of one William Shakespeare. That’s his house right behind us.
I’m sure Mr Shakespeare would be thrilled to know that his childhood home is only 4 doors down from a Subway sandwich shop.
We ended our week with a champagne toast on the London Eye.
It looks like a ferris wheel, but don’t say that to a Brit. At a speed of .06 miles per hour, one revolution takes about 30 minutes, and takes the pods up 443 feet in the air. The view of the entire city is just spectacular.
Shout out to our dear friend Kylie for setting us up on all our tours and excursions. She works for AAA Travel.
Such a great trip. We learned so much about Shakespeare, Winston Churchill, J K Rowling, Henry the Eighth, Elizabeth the Second, Diana, Benedict Cumberbatch, and for some reason, William Wallace. Honestly, William Wallace came up more than anyone else. My guess is that they want everyone to remember what happens to you when you defy the crown. (He was drawn and quartered)
And on that note, by the end of the week we were tired of touristing and ready to head back to Texas, and Harley Davidson, and our house with 2 almost functioning bathrooms.
Here’s a rare moment. In a city of almost 9 million people, most of which were pressed up against us the entire week, somehow we were almost completely alone on the street the morning we left.
But not before finding the perfect little memento…..to cram onto the Christmas tree…
Maybe now we can go back to pronouncing tomato like Americans again.
And stop using the adjectives “brilliant” and “lovely”.
And spelling color with a “U”.
After all, we’re Texans……and Texas don’t do stuff like that.
“Do you know the Allsup’s in Sachse?”
“Nooooo. I don’t even know what a ‘Sachse’ (pronounced Sax-ey) is.” Eddie is trying to give me directions to his auto body shop and it already sounds like an adventure.
Maybe I should start at the beginning.
Which, of course,starts at Ikea….and our master bathroom overhaul. Yeah, we’re back on that again.
For the sink – we chose the Odensvik 1-piece ceramic sink/countertop combo; nice size, easy to clean, and reasonably priced.
We like the 39 3/8″ Model. (Guess it was too difficult to round-up to an even 40 inches)
Something not everyone knows about Ikea products, is that they are only compatible with other Ikea products.
So, we agreed that we are just fine with the Lundskar faucet, in stainless steel.
What we’re not “fine” with is Ikea’s options for sink bases. If I have to settle with the faucet, I’m not settling with the vanity base. We want something more open, not made of cardboard, and maybe a little industrial.
Jamie and I were sitting in a restaurant, Quesa on Cedar Springs if you must know, discussing just this issue, when Jamie excused himself to use the little boy’s room. He returned moments later visibly excitedly. “Go look in the restroom”.
“EEEEwwwwww”, was my first thought. ” I think I’ll pass”.
Look what was in there……the exact sink, the Ikea Odensvik that was currently sitting in the back of our car, on a custom base made from 2 inch steel tubing.
Game Over. We just need a welder.
Flash forward almost 2 years. (That’s right….2 years later) We still hadn’t found a welder when our dear friend Rodd Grey was featured in The Dallas Voice for the incredible remodel he accomplished on his Richardson home. Read all about the transformation here. Rodd did almost all the work himself……including weld his own industrial vanities for both bathrooms.
We’re getting warmer. Rod learned welding from Eddie, the owner of Wheelhouse Auto Design. Eddie can do it all; complete car builds including; wiring, upholstery, heating/A.C., audio systems…
And best of all, Eddie can weld our vanity base between other projects.
So last December, I sketched up some dimensions,
…and trekked out to Saschy, Texas to Eddie’s shop. (Just around the corner from the Allsup’s that’s about a half hour north-east of Oak Cliff.) He explained what he could do, using several words that I wasn’t familiar with, and I mostly just smiled and nodded.
A few months later, I got a text from Eddie…
It was even more spectacular in person…
Eddie got all the little details we chatted about just perfect; adjustable feet, a little lip to hold the glass shelf, and brackets to secure the unit to the wall. Rodd’s vanities don’t have brackets. Eddie even made a template for the glass shelf on the bottom. Such a great guy.
I have to tell y’all. This project has been so long in the making, that Jamie and I couldn’t get this thing in our bathroom fast enough. And honestly, I was a tiny bit worried that something would be off. Be it my measurements or Eddie’s interpretation of what I wanted. But there was nothing to be concerned about…….it fits like a freakin’ glove.
It looks even better with the sink on top of it….
Now this would normally be the part where we schedule a plumber,
And we’re going to….soon. (Plumb the 3 fixtures and add glass to the shower enclosure is about all that’s keeping this bathroom from being functional)
But we have an adventure scheduled this week, and as usual, our focus is elsewhere.
But don’t lose hope, gentle readers, I assure y’all that we’re almost done.
(Insert huge sigh)
Happy Star Wars Day!!!
The world that I thought that I’d always known, is changing.
I’m not quite sure where it’s headed. But I feel that it isn’t such a great place.