Current Projects

It is becoming a habit to share my latest re-do of stuff I already have.  This time it’s the bathroom “stuff”.  We are going to paint in there as well, but probably not for another month or more, as hubby now has the long commute and a lot less time.

Going with my motto of “if you don’t like something, change it”, I did several changes.

First off, we have an ancient steel tub.  We have had all of those bath fixer-upper companies come in and give us quotes.  The prices were as high as six grand, just to put a new “shell” over the old tub and new surround over the tile.  I finally discovered a newer technique called the “Miracle Method”.  They strip off the old powder-coat (which requires firing to set it, so, can’t be done again without taking the tub to a facility) and in our case, also stripped the three D.I.Y. coats of Rust-Oleum Tub and Tile paint  we had applied over several years,, and then apply about three, very fine coats of new enamel, letting each dry completely before the next one.  After living with a pocked old tub so long, and missing grout, and loose caulking, we now have a “new” tub/shower.  I just about cried.  Seriously!

But that, though much cheaper than the “drop-in” shell kind where they “laser-measure” your tub, then make a custom shell “exactly like it”.  The others were in the six grand range.  The Miracle Method takes two or three days, depending how much they have to strip and how bad your tile is (all our tile was intact, no cracks, just had to fix the areas where grout was missing) and we have only the one bathroom, and it is not an operation which the worker can vacate the bathroom for your use, either, because they have to mask off EVERYTHING, and run a giant tube out the window with a fan drawing out the fumes.  That part isn’t fun, the not having elsewhere to go without leaving the house, but with me being the only one home, it wasn’t too bad.

Anyway, since that was a significant investment, the rest of what I wanted to do needed to be super cheap.  So I chose to fabric-decoupage the two cabinets in there, and snagged a really huge and gorgeous peacock painting that will go up after we paint, for only twenty dollars at Family Dollar  Store.  It’s one of those mass-produced things but in a bathroom without great ventilation, putting anything expensive in there, art-wise, would be foolish.  The “painting” was in fact my “inspiration piece” that decided we’d go peacock.  I like Peacocks, but I love the color (teal, blue-green) peacock!  I had two old pressed-wood type pictures about 14″x11″ that I picked up cheap and already had in the bathroom, which were sort of an Italian Portico vibe, in very muted greens, pale blues, and neutral tans.  I always thought that the only thing missing from the pictures was peacocks.  But until recently, I didn’t go around altering other people’s art.  I winged it on the size/dimensions, and painted peacocks on my nice canvas-paper, cut those babies out, and pasted them right onto the pictures.

The tall (stacked el-cheapo) cabinets were a sort of “flesh tone” when my neighbor gave them to me.  Not appealing, but pretty neutral.  Well, ya’all know by now, if I’ma do something, I’ma do it with COLOR!!!  So I got some fabric remnants, and went to town with them.  I put up a new shower curtain.  The old “theme” if there was one, was some butterflies, dragonflies, ladybugs, white eyelet lace for the shower curtain, and some random “cottage-ey” wall hangings with old claw foot tubs, etc.

I am keeping a few of those things.  Peacocks themes often include butterflies and dragonflies as well.  Not sure why.  Part of the whole Victorian thing.

As you’ll see in the pix, the bathroom is very long and narrow, especially once we brought in cabinets.  There is no vanity, no surface to set things on otherwise.  So I like a lot of mirrors on the wall to make it less claustrophobic.  I plan to do more with some acrylic “mirror” stickers, but we still have a couple of the 12×12 mirror tiles up in there that were so popular in the seventies.  Cheap.  And I have done various art on them, and when time to change the theme, I scrape it off with a razor blade, and do something new..  I did that with the ceramic tile too, actually, but just the top row.  It lasted really well using just acrylics and a coat of acrylic enamel.  Yet it scraped off easily with the blade when I was ready for it to go.

So, anyway, the mirrors are sort of losing the silver at the edges, corners, and places where the wall is uneven and presses more against them.  So in the past I got other little mirrors and actually layer them (glued) over the stripped areas of the mirror. Can only do that so much, so this time, I did a mosaic frame on one, using the DVD’s and C.D.s and data disks I had that were old and needed to be destroyed.  I mean, who wants to throw them into the garbage for someone to glean who-knows-what off them?  So I cut them up and when you turn the pieces all different directions it makes a cool Aurora Borealis or iridescent effect.  Killed two birds with one stone there, I did!

Speaking of which, birds besides the peacocks are part of my theme.

The tile in the bathroom is that stuff from the sixties.  Almost a Mint Green.  With a mix of smaller dark green and lighter green and beige/tan in the 1″x1″ floor tiles. Again, tiles in great shape, floor and wall, but I have always hated the color.  Now, though, I made that stuff look good, baby!!  With just the right (in my taste anyway) combo of shades of the same colors and split complementary colors, with a little contrast here and there, for me, it works.

I had fallen in love with this peacock valance from “Collections Etc” but I wasn’t about to pay nearly thirty bucks.  I found it for nine bucks and four dollars shipping on eBay, and then I added some shiny tone-on-tone teal paisley fabric to the valance to extend it into more of a curtain.  I had stained-glass privacy film on the window before, but it had orange in it.  So I switched that out for one with peacock-ish colors and a more classic stained glass sort of pattern.

The round mirror came from my husband’s grandfather’s house.  It’s the old leaded stuff.  Kinda heavy.  It had some white nondescript etching on the bottom edge, but otherwise was so plain!  So I remedied that with decoupage, using Punch Studio®™ paper napkins.  The cloth decoupage is actually easier than the paper.  Because I was able to use a straight edge thingy to smooth it out perfectly (a credit card also works for that).  I didn’t try to wrap the edges on the tall cabinet.  I just painted the portions that I wasn’t going to cover with fabric.  The smaller cabinet, though, I pretty much covered all of it except the underside of the top shelf, and the back of it.

I used up a whole bottle of Allene’s® Tacky glue, and almost a whole large bottle of Mod Podge® on just the cabinets.  And I still plan to apply a few more coats of that when I can get some this weekend.  That will make it easy to keep clean.   These cabinets are the pressed wood laminated with something like contact paper, that you can buy at Roses, Wal-Mart, Big Lots, etc.  They are heavy, but let water get into the “wood” part, and it swells up like a Cheerio in dishwater.  That stuff is just a mixture of sawdust and glue anyway.

So, for less than eighty bucks, I did all this (aside from the tub refinish, obvi), to give my bathroom an update.  If only I could do this to other people’s houses and get paid for it! The thing is, it takes me sooooo long to do anything.  Literally more than a day on the tall cabinet, with lots of stopping to rest my back and un-cramp my wrists and get feeling back in my fingers.  It is fulfilling to take something a lot of folks would just throw out, and make it into something that people admire and think is some “expensive piece”. HA!

Ok, so, here are pix:

IMG_3231 (2)

Tall cabinet is actually two shorter space-saver type cabinets stacked and bolted together (and to the wall). I used two colors of the same fabric so as not to overdose on teal.

IMG_3232

Here it is from the front. I didn’t “wrap” the edges on this one, just cut the fabric as neat as I could and when the Mod-Podge was applied, it keeps it from raveling. I trim off any strings and there you go. The bad thing is, I forgot to sand where I was going to paint, so the next day after I finished this, there was a section of paint pulled off beside the top knob, where the still-damp Mod-Podge on the door, stuck to the paint on the frame of the cabinet door. It was patched over with paint and then I coated it with the Mod Podge, which gives a hard finish to the surface, so hopefully, nothing will scrape off hereafter.  Painting to the right is by my Mom!

IMG_3234 (2)

Yup, that’s my finger at the top of the pic. I had to get into the bathtub to even get the shot, so I wasn’t totally paying attention to framing the subject. I LOVE this fabric. It’s upholstery fabric. The colors coordinate with the shower curtain which is beige, with just some silhouettes in blues and greens, of stems and leaves. Same colors, just varying shades and intensities. Haven’t bought any blue towels yet. As you can see the pink one there.

IMG_3235

The shower curtain. I love being able to leave it open now that the tub and surround have been renewed. It’s just too narrow a room and that makes it feel more open. After the worker finished the shower/tub, I got on the floor with white paint and re-painted the grout in the floor tile. Took me three days, but wow!! It looks like brand new tile! Next time I will just buy paint pens. They are my new best friends!!! Don’t know why all these pics have a yellowish cast. Must have had the camera on some setting I didn’t mean to have it on. The curtain is a light tan or beige. I like that it is mostly solid clean neutral, with the design just at the lower 2/3.

IMG_3236 (3)

That old window blind is going into the trash after I put up the new privacy film! Yay!!!, Aren’t the curtains so pretty? Even my Mom said so and she knows how to sew for real!! I just hand-stitched these. Never did master the sewing machine. Hand stitching something like this is a lot less frustrating, believe it or not! The plate you see half of beside the window, is just a plastic one from Big Lots, made to look like ceramic.

IMG_3237

Peacock napkins are great! I cut out the individual feathers from one pattern, and the peacocks are from both. See how close the shower is to the opposite wall? I forgot to close the shower curtain for that shot. Oh well. ignore the reflection…..Moving on….

IMG_3239 (2)

Zero cost mirror “mosaic frame” made of cut up digital disks. James Bond could hide his data this way!!! I like the purty rainbows.

IMG_3240 (2)

Here is the whole effect. Stupid door! I guess that’s better than a ghost or something though, lol.

IMG_3241 (2)

Ok. This was a project unto itself. This ancient and ginormous frame used to contain a picture from the thirties or fourties, of a boy and a St. Bernard. That was from the era when the boys had longish hair and wore little sailor suit-type things that made them look like a girl to us in later generations. I loved the frame, not so much the picture in it, which was not a photo but some mass-printed thing. The frame was dark brown. You can’t see it that well in the picture, but that inner band of wood is very detailed with carvings, and so old it has almost turned to dust, but it held together enough for me to slap some paint on there, some gold, some copper, some teal, some royal blue. I preserved the many nicks in the wood. Painted the various frames-within-frames, with a light aqua, then went back and put a little of the sky blue in that second to the inside frame and the outside ridge. I then meticulously painted in with a teeninsey brush, every single ding in the old thing. The result is rustic, antique, and looks like there was a blue layer of paint under the aqua. See the little ladybug (fake) crawling to hide behind it? I glued a few of those around when I did the bathroom in the butterflies and dragonflies. The bird over there is an old Homeco or Home Interior thing. I painted one of the set of three red, and it’s in the living room. I plan to paint the two in the bathroom a deep blue. Below the bird is an old mirror off someone’s buffet or dresser. It is the real deal aged, so I am leaving it as is. Oh, the picture is a poster. I didn’t paint that, although at first I thought I would. I decided to go the easy way for once. AllPosters.com I love the water color, “rain running down a windowpane” look of it. Kind of Monet/Renoir impressionistic. My favorite!

IMG_3243

IMG_3246 (2)

A dim-light pic of the window to show the richness of that fabric in the curtain, plus the new window cling/privacy screen that’s a pretty stained glass effect. It is supposed to stay on if you clean the window well, and spray it with water and use the squeegee sort of straight edge to press out moisture and air pockets, but thus far, I have had to buy spray adhesive to make them stay put. I expect in a bathroom with the condensation it would not stay any other way.

IMG_3248 (2)

Oh, there’s the ghost. Mrs. Lovelady, we call her. She was the initial matron of this house. I don’t believe in ghosts, and nothing scary has ever happened, but we do have a lot of odd things that happen in this house. Maybe I will do a post on that one day.

IMG_3250 (2)

I just REALLY want you guys to appreciate the pretty fabric, lol. Textured and with some sheen, but not to fru-fru. It “makes” the whole room!

IMG_3252

Our windows are really old, and the view is not great where we live, so I have this stuff on several of my windows so I can get light, while maintaining a sense of privacy rather than feeling “on display”. I have never understood the ads of bathrooms that are floor-to-ceiling glass. I don’t care how far out in the country I am, that is just not something I want. How much can you enjoy the “vista” while soaking in your tub anyway?

IMG_3255 (3)

That-un hangs in a place where I can’t really get a good angle, lol. Blurry, but you get the idea. I like how part of the peacock extends outside the shot, into the frame.

IMG_3256 (2)

As you can see, I went in and added a tad more color to the sky and foliage, Just enough to accentuate the peacock colors.

IMG_3258 (2)

Closer shot of the peacock decoupage on the round mirror. As you see i used a few of the “glass stones” for accent.

IMG_3259 (2)

(Sing it with me) Looove it!!! I was a little nervous about scale on this fabric for this small cabinet, but I love the way it turned out. See how smooth the fabric is on there? Easy peasy. Decoupage with napkins and rice paper, etc, always ends up wrinkly for me. Even when I use saran wrap over it to keep from tearing it.

IMG_3260

I don’t think I showed you guys my first mosaics. I did these last month with some “tessera” I got for three bucks at the Goodwill and two Dollar Tree plastic trays that had images of donuts on the bottom, each about 8×10″. I did this one last, and actually had planned a pattern. Tessera is the name for little pieces of tile and stuff that people use in mosaics. Or maybe it is just the name of the square actual tiles. Denise?

IMG_3261

I just tried to do a gradient of the colors on this one, blues in one corner, oranges pinks and reds opposite, greens and the white and tan and yellow were not as plenteous, so I ended up with the blue in the actual corner too. Still, I like em. I used a pretty teal sanded grout. I accidentally threw out the instructions, but I remembered reading it should be the consistency of peanut butter. The blended kind, not the natural kind with the oil separated.

And here is my “inspiration piece”. This thing is a whopping 28″x 38″.  (We have very high ceilings in this old house.  And they are different heights in each room!)

IMG_3263 (2)

The top of the wall above the tile will be Olympic Paint “Aqua Sparkle” which is a very pale aqua that leans one degree more to blue than green.  It contrasts enough from the shade in the tile, but not so dark and heavy that it will make the whole room look one color.  The  ceiling and trim will be Atrium White, which is a white-leaning-pale yellow.  The upper part of the wall is yellow now, but this  new color will be very much lighter.  I may leave the trim white.  Not sure yet.

I have a few more items I am going to use.  Two are book cover art, and a couple of wire-figures I want to make.  Will try to remember to do more pics when I get those done.

 

4 thoughts on “Current Projects

  1. I love so many things in this post! Your inspirational painting is gorgeous. I love the peacock mirror, the old picture frame, the stain glass look on the window, shower curtain….so many things! Great job!

    • Thanks. It’s fun to see just how much you can change something old and make it seem like something new. I guess I have had a lot of practice at it, lol.

  2. Wow. You are soooo creative. I enjoy reading about your redecorating and re-purposing of things. Thank you for sharing your inspirational change to your bathroom.

    • Hey sister!! Good to hear from you! Be sure and watch JD’s “update” from Father’s Day, It wasn’t an update, it was a much needed drink of water to parched spirits like ours. Love you friend.

Comments are closed.