This is the story of our adventures -- every day and extraordinary; our dreams -- tiny and grand; our gardens -- ornamental and sustaining; this is the story of our journey.  We are a family of four living a mindful, simple life here in Los Angeles County.  We are green, conscious, and forward thinking.  We keep an eye on the past because some of the best things have already been done and bear repeating.  Walk and talk with us, have a glass of wine, taste a peach or a tomato, blow some bubbles and watch them drift up over the canyon ridge.  Enjoy!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Progress, ho!

For the past year and half or so, I have been trying to do some remodeling/renovating of the cabin.  Progress has been slow, in part, because we are only up here a dozen or so weeks a year.  Of course, time is also spent relaxing, hiking, view-breathing-in, family entertaining, kite flying, bubble blowing, mill pond floating, snowy board sliding....

Some major progress was made last week when I placed an order for all new kitchen appliances (thanks to Gam!).  They will arrive June 8.  We'll come up a week or so before and do some demo of existing cabinets and counters to make room for the new stuff.  I'll be sure to take some "before" photos as well as lots of "in the works" ones.  The only thing in the existing kitchen that will stay is this window, and the view beyond, or course!

The first room I tackled here was the bathroom off the master bedroom (Gam's room, or now, the Blue Room).  I pulled out the ugly faux oak vanity and the nasty brown shag carpet and installed a river rock floor over radiant heat and a sleek new vanity with a granite top .  The walls and ceiling got fresh paint in colors to evoke a Sierra sunset.  This past week I got a hand from Frank and Nathan who installed my light fixture and did some work to increase the water pressure in the shower.  I still need to finish the trim, fix a couple paint mishaps, buy shades for the new pendant lamps, install a mirror over the sink, and  place the medicine cabinet I have been refinishing over the toilet (I am planning on decoupaging a photo of a Sierra sunset to the front of the cabinet, stay tuned...)

The Blue Room, well, mostly just got painted blue, inspired by a picture that I found in the garage.  I have plans to use this somehow on a headboard for the bed:

Here you can see the new ceiling fixture and the three shades of blue:

In the other bathroom I elected to NOT pull out the large vanity, with its faux marble top.  Instead I chose to re-surface it.  I took off the doors and drawer fronts and made new ones from poplar boards.  I used a low VOC spray laquer to give the base a big pop.  More pop comes from the bright colors on the doors; while poplar backed towel racks tie things together (the trim will also be done in matching wood).  The mirror over the vanity will come out, an oval mirror will go over the sink, and some stainless steel shelves will go on the right hand side.  Fresh paint, in more Kermit the Frog green and pale yellow will finish the walls.

My frustrating project for today involved trying to install wire/track lights from Ikea.  I successfully installed an outlet box and the transformer and hooked up the electrical wires.  I just have to patch the ceiling from the old fixture's hole.

Then I measured and carefully marked out the placement of the hooks for the horizontal wires that suspend the spot lights.  I managed to place two of the four hooks into studs but the other two required anchors for the dry wall.  I drilled perfectly sized holes and tapped the anchors in, then screwed the hooks into place.  All was good until I ran the wires and twisted the tightening knobs.  The first wire tightened fine but as soon as the other started to tighten the plaster wall crumbled and the anchor popped out.  I had to find another way.  I decided to place a 3.5 inch piece of "molding" -- a pine board along the wall, 12 inches from the ceiling, and screw the fixture into that.  I had already planned on bringing the ceiling color down the wall 12 inches ( a great Gam idea!), so this molding would mark the border.  But before I could install the molding, I had to paint a space on either side of it -- one color for the ceiling portion, a second for the wall portion.  I had NOT planned on painting today!  By the time the paint dried it was too late to install the molding.  But in any case, I think the failed light installation is going to result in a great design element! 
I'll update tomorrow with progress, hopefully!

Ooh, forgot to add, Aunt Patty and I found a great second hand table at a store in Portola!  We got a deal on a solid table with a big leaf and six chairs.  It comfortably seats 8 with the leaf in!  I'll sand it down to its original wood and finish it with beeswax/linseed oil.  Gam will help me with new covers for the chair cushions.


Mo said...

Wow!!!! I'm sooo impressed! Everything looks so great! I wish I was handy like you!

Shauna said...

I love the colors youve painted- really beautiful & modern. I love that look. Can't wait to see how the table turns out when you get it refinished!