bathroom redo...

FINALLY!!! after about 4 months of sharing a bathroom WITH THREE TEENAGERS... our master bathroom is finished (well, there are a couple of little things still to be done. but finished enough to blog about...)

you may recall how it looked before we discovered that we had an ongoing leak and had to GUT the entire 5x7 room...

yellow and gray. i really loved the color combo. and i loved the yellow 1960's tile. i didn't love the TINY shower with a low ceiling. it was constantly moldy. and dark. and did i mention TINY? i usually showered in the kids' shower. but most of all we didn't love the way the floor was caving in. though the fact that at any moment we could fall through into the underbelly of our home did make going to the bathroom in the middle of the night quite thrilling...

so DURING the process the entire bathroom was gutted. and the molded floor boards replaced. and some of the supports replaced. 40 years of water leaking does something bad to wood. that is my professional opinion...

the whole shebang was proving to be a lot of bang. and a lot of bucks. we decided on white subway and black and white tile from home depot. and a framed glass shower (we wanted frameless but could not justify the price.) we knocked out the wall between the shower and the toilet and that gave us a little more room in the shower and a couple more inches to the side of the toilet. but the perfect and affordable vanity and countertop eluded us...

until i went to the shabby shack by the fairgrounds. and found this most excellent 1940's dining room buffet. for $125. perfect size. lots of character. and ready to be refinished.

adam stripped it and then added SEVERAL coats of black stain with acrylic. inside and outside to waterproof the whole thing. he cut a hole for the sink and even made the middle drawers with cut outs for the plumbing AND areas where we can still use them for storage. BRILLIANT. and then it all came together into a lovely little master bathroom...

white subway tiles on the walls. black and white tiles on the floor. gray grout (which means that it will NEVER look dirty!) and a light gray paint color. i bought two glass plates from goodwill (on half price monday) for us to put our items on that go to the sides of the sink. and the glass shower feel HUMONGOUS compared to the shower closet with lowered ceiling that was there before. it is a pleasure to shower in there now. i think i may head back to take a shower right after blogging...

so there it is... our new and VASTLY IMPROVED master bathroom. i LOVE it.

this broken down house...

which is the title of an AWESOME book that i am rereading. i could read it once a month and it would always remind me of things i need to remember about this fallen world that we live in with our fallen selves...

Well, sin has ravaged the beautiful house that God created. This world bears only the faintest resemblance to what it was built to be. It sits in slumped and disheveled pain, groaning for the restoration that can only be accomplished by the hands of him who built it in the first place. The Bible clearly tells us that the divine Builder cannot and will not leave his house in its present pitiful condition. He has instituted a plan of restoration, and he will not relent until everything about His house is made totally new again. That is the good news.
The bad news is that you and I are a living right in the middle of the restoration. We live each day in a house that is terribly broken, where nothing works exactly as intended. But we do not live in the house by ourselves. Emmanuel lives here as well, and he is at work returning his house to its former beauty. Often it doesn’t look like any real restoration is going on at all. Things seem to get messier, uglier, and less functional all the time. But that’s the way it is with restoration; things generally get worse before they get better.

from broken down house by paul david tripp

and God likes to let me live out this in very real ways sometimes...

like with my own actual broken down house. we live in a 1960 mostly un-renovated 2000-ish square foot ranch house. we have done some new appliances and paint. but nothing really reconstructive. God has made me (through a lot of time. and circumstances.) very grateful and in love with its quirky retro-ness. funky laminate counters and all. 

a few years ago we repainted the bathroom a lovely grey/gray (what is up with the two spellings?) shade to go with the yellow tile. and i loved the color combo. i was even kind of ahead of the HUGE gray/yellow trend that is in full swing now. and i felt good about my trendiness...

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we didn't realize until recently that we had a leak under that lovely yellow tile. the shower pan is leaking and the plumbing up higher in the shower wall may be leaking also. so now all that yellow tile has to go. floor, shower, and walls. we could try to take out the floor only but with the size of the bathroom being only 25 square feet it would be VERY hard to redo the floor and the shower without harming the wall tile. as in more time and $$$$. and did we mention we have a child going to college next year?

we have lived without using the bathroom for a few months now to save up some $$$. to explore our options. get bids. wait for $$$ to fall out of the sky (which didn't happen.) and to scour for the cheapest tile, countertops, cabinets, shower options, etc...

it also gave me time to create a lovely pinterest board of bathroom things that i think might work in our space and with the 1960's time period of the rest of our home. i tried not to pin bathrooms that were HUGE and $$$$$ because i wanted to have a realistic vision for what we needed to do (not wanted) to make it fit with the look of the house. our needs (again, not our wants), and something sellable for wayyyyyy down the road. the bathroom is tiny. it isn't going to get any larger with this remodel. but i would like to make it seem light and airy.

the worst part is that my husband (in a move of brilliance on his part) has scheduled this work to be done while i am out of town later this week. WHAT?!?!?!? because not all of the decisions about the bathroom have been made. we are waiting to see what the demo reveals. will it all has to go? or can the countertop and cabinets stay? do we have to take the entire shower wall out to get to the leak? so a lot of the design decisions will be made by my husband as we know what all stays and what has to go. which means that even though i am hoping to wind up with a bathroom that looks something like this (from my pinterest board "bathtastic")...

i would like the bathroom to retain a look of the 1960's with a little more space (if we can work the glass shower in on our budget IF we have to take the entire shower wall down.).

however i am thinking it might end up more like this with adam being in charge of all the choices (from googling "single guy bathroom)...

i was talking to someone about this whole bathroom remodel thing and how i really wanted certain things (like a glass shower. open shelving under the sink. white subway tile. etc....) but then i had to take a step back and say that my #1 goal at the end of any home project is to STILL BE MARRIED. whatever the bathroom looks like is much less important than my marriage reconstruction project that goes on daily here. the bathroom doesn't speak the gospel message to our children. but living in a marriage that reflects a covenantal relationship (as opposed to a convenience based relationship) speaks. louder than a glass shower. though i really want that glass shower...

so await the after photos next week. or whenever it is finished. it won't look pinterest worthy. but it will be set on a firm foundation. a lot like our marriage...

remember that i am a gift giver...

see my adorable "mantle"? is it a mantle if it is over your couch and not over a fireplace? well, let's call it a shelf just in case... i would hate for all the interior decorators of the world to start hating on my word usage.

so let's start again... see my adorable shelf? and all my adorable posters on said adorable shelf that may or may not be a mantle? thank you panorama photo tool on my iPhone for the panorama photo. note that the wall doesn't curve. the panorama photo looks like that. but i wish my wall curved. wouldn't that be awesome?!?!?

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i made those adorable posters (maxx made the original art work piece from the pichard-a-thon two years ago. the piece is entitled "poinsettia in the wind". lovely.) 

i made two of the Christmas signs last year. and then added to the collection this year. i had them printed up like posters. they would be cute printed smaller and framed also. if only you had the pdf files...

if only...

so sad for you...

BUT thank goodness i am a gift giver! and tis the season. and all that jazz.

leave me a comment with your email address in it and i will send the pdf files to your very own inbox and you can print these up for your very own self. and put them on your very own may or may not be a mantle or a shelf. or the refrigerator. or wherever you have to put things such as this.

so to leave a comment... click on the headline of this post ("remember i am a gift giver") and it will open up the post to where you can scroll down to the bottom and leave a comment. IF for some reason it won't let you leave a comment, or if you don't want to leave your email address all out there for the world to see on my blog in the comment section just let me know by emailing me at leamarshall@mac.com and i will email you the pdf's anyway because i am a trusting gift giver.

enjoy my generosity.

2 things are certain...

death and laundry...

so in the middle of my "things i know about death" series (which by the way is already a LOT of words and yet i only know ONE thing about death... "it hurts"), may i humbly submit a simple and sweet and thrifty nifty laundry blog post...

(and the crowd goes WILD with cheering...)

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here is the recipe for lea's lovely & long lasting laundry detergent...

* 6 bars of feels-naptha soap. grated. i have heard that you can pulverize them in your fancy smancy food processor. i don't have one of those. so i grate them by hand. it took 10 minutes of my life. and one fingernail. and a band-aid.  

* 1 large box super washing soda (in the laundry aisle (all these ingredients except the baking soda are in the laundry aisle)

* 1 large box baking soda (from not the laundry aisle. it is the box that is around 5 lbs.)

* 1 large box borax (not pictured. but necessary)

* 1 large container oxy-clean

* optional and the most $ item... 2 containers of downy unstopables... buy them on sale. note that i had 3 for this batch. BECAUSE I AM ALL CRAZY LIKE THAT!!!

grate the soap. oh, i mentioned that. mix it all together. keep in a LARGE container (or separate into smaller container. whatever. i don't care. really, i have not a care in the world to how you store these but just do it in a way where it doesn't get wet. it gets clumpy then.) use a heaping tablespoon per load of laundry. it will not suds up. do not be alarmed by this unsudsyness. suds are a LIE SENT STRAIGHT FROM THE DEVIL to convince you that things are clean. suds do not = clean. cute boys who say "mam" do not always = nice boys. i know these things are true.

it should last for quite a while. we get 4-6 months out of it. depending on our filth level round these parts... and we have quite a high filth level.

another tip from my laundry room straight to your heart... add a cup of white vinegar to your washer (along with this powder) when washing towels or sheets. they will not smell vinegary. i promise this from the bottom of my heart and my laundry pile. they will be fluffy and lovely. and birds will sing and flowers will bloom and spring will spring.

another tip from the bottom of my dryer lint area straight to your heart... soak an old hand towel in fabric softener. let it dry. it will feel all weird and yet still strangely soft. do not let that deter you in anyway. throw it in with your items in the dryer (not your towels. they don't need fabric softening. they had the vinegar treatment.) then after your clothes come out. throw it in the next load. and the next and the next and about 10 loads later it won't feel weird and strangely soft. it will feel like a regular towel. it is done. soak it again. let it dry and get another dozen loads out of it. you won't have to buy fabric softener until the next election. the one in which i am running for president of the laundry room. VOTE FOR LEA. SHE WILL CLEAN UP ALL HER DIRTY LAUNDRY. CHEAP.