Details, details

This was going to be it.  The week that we made real progress in the back yard.  First step:  bringing in truckloads of dirt to level everything out.


Then it rained.  Dirt turned to mud.  Plans were scratched.  There may have been weeping and gnashing of teeth.  It’s just my personal, biased opinion, but I do not believe that any mom should have to endure more than one summer with a dirt yard.

Hmmm… whatever should we do with our time?  Luckily, we had about 237,985 other things to be doing around this place.

We decided to make some headway on the last touches of the bathroom project.  The biggest of which was hooking up the farmhouse sink.

A little about the sink:

1) It was free

2) It was slightly broken (the seals were dried up and cracked, causing it to leak)

3) It was DIRTY- a 100 years of dirt, paint and rust

4) Because of the above reasons (cheap/free, broken and neglected), it was our dream sink.




Lance was able to replace the broken seals, and I gave my elbows a serious workout trying to get the porcelain clean.  Lemon juice and salt, CLR, Ajax, etc, etc.  It’s not perfect, but that’s ok.  It’s much, much, much better.


Soaking calcium deposits off in CLR. It worked!


After it was operational and clean, the next task was retrofitting this ugly cabinet I got for $60, to be a super stylish sink cabinet.  We put 3 coats of black paint on it, cut the top off and took out (temporarily) the top drawer.  IMG_2090.JPG

Of course, those door and drawer pulls had to go, so off to Home Depot I went…. NOT!

Instead I went to the antique store on the corner, where they sell vintage chrome hardware for a dollar.


While I was there, I picked up an old soap tray for the tub, and what MAY have been an old chamber pot…


After more cleaning, touching up and unpacking my bathroom things… I’m almost ready for the big bathroom reveal… but not quite yet.






Freshening Up The Porch

With so many projects demanding attention from our bank account, any “non-necessary” projects, like porch beautification, had to be done on the cheap.

This is how I did it, and for how much:

#1 Pots
When we moved in, the previous owners left a ton of pots behind, including two large ones. The were not a matched set, so I decided to make them one. After a good washing and sanding, they took spray paint really well. I chose a navy blue color and finished with a coat of clear gloss over the top. Cost: $8 for two cans of spray paint.



#2 Pillows
The pillow covers I bought 7 years ago were really faded. They look much better in the picture than in real life.  Cost for two new covers looked to be $40 minimum,  so I decided it was worth the risk to try to dye the old ones. I bought a package of R.I.T “blue denim,” followed the instructions and was really happy with the results. They don’t knock my socks off, but they are certainly an improvement for now. Cost: $1.50 (after 40% off coupon)



#3 Ferns
Last year I hung flowers from the porch ceiling hooks, but then started to notice that many historic homes’ porches were adorned with ferns. I loved the look and knew that’s what I’d do from now on.
I needed three of them, and at a cost of $30/ basket, that was way more than I wanted to spend.  I found out the local drug store had been selling them for $12.99/basket, but every location was sold out and unable to get more.  I was depressed.  Costco came to my rescue.  When I was on a milk-run a couple days ago, they had just brought in a shipment of the huge, glorious babies.  People were loading them onto their carts right and left.  These ferns were the talk of the store.  And they were only $15 each!  I was afraid they would be too huge, but once home, my fears were relieved.  I just LOVE them.  Cost:  $45


Total Cost of my porch-beautification project was just under $55.  For “new” pillows, “new” pots and 3 fabulous ferns, I think that’s as good as I could do.

As you can see from my pictures, we still have some work to do on the porch.  Very soon I hope to tackle the steps and floor and bring them up to par.  The “lattice” under the porch (I’m not sure what the proper name for it is) is original, but broken and rotten in many places.  We (by that I mean Lance/ his dad) will be recreating it, but I’m not sure when that will happen… bigger fish to fry, you know….