Google+ House Revivals

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Renovating a Beach House: The Deck Edition

It's been a long time coming. We purchased this beach house nearly four years ago, and are FINALLY wrapping up the last deck renovation!  Actually, other than some landscape work, this deck is the last really big project.


During most of June and part of July, our contractors stayed at the house and rebuilt our dilapidated old deck.  This was supposed to be a rot replacement project, but as we got deeper and deeper into it, we realized every single board needed replaced!  Apparently, the only thing holding this deck up was hope.


Every one of our joist hangers also needed replacing!  The ocean climate is hard on structures.  After looking at our existing deck, and the decks of some of our neighbors, we knew we did not want to use galvanized metal hangers-- it is simply no match for our damp salt air.  Our next door neighbor's deck is only three years old, and they already have major rust and corrosion issues.


We decided to have stainless steel hangers fabricated.  It added to the cost and to the timeline, but it will be well worth it in the long run.  Our contractors also special ordered stainless steel deck screws.  Again, this added to the cost, but in the long run it will be worth it.


The contractors just wrapped up the work and are in the clean-up stage.  We asked them to set aside plenty of non-pressure treated, non-painted wood for our beach bonfires.  We already burned quite a bit on the Fourth of July, but there is plenty left!


These pictures were taken on our last visit -- it will be a few more days before we can get away from the city to see the finished product.  I'm pretty excited about it!  It's going to be uh-maze-ing to sit out there in the morning and just chill with a cup of tea -- or a bloody mary....


We had the contractors build a gate at the top to keep pets and toddlers from wandering off, too. We love to have friends and family out, and kids and pets are always invited!

I'll try to get more pictures of the finished deck up soon!  

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A Different Kind of Interior Design Project

Remember last year, when we bought our new condo?  Well, it came with a boat slip. We have kept the slip rented for over a year, but recently my tenant moved on, and I was left trying to rent the slip again.


My husband decided this would be a great time to go boat shopping, and he declared a race. I would continue trying to rent the slip, and he would look for a boat to buy. Whoever succeeded first would be declared the "winner".


I will confess to dragging my feet just a little toward the end, because he seemed so excited about having a boat -- after all, you only live once, right? If playing around on the water will give him joy and give him a chance to decompress from a high stress job, why would I get in the way of that?


My husband did tons of research and decided to buy an older "classic" Tollycraft. Tollycraft was a PNW boat maker, with a great reputation. Tollycraft is no longer in business, but the boats have a loyal following.


On the final weekend of our "race", I actually had several interested parties who wanted to see the boat slip. That same weekend my husband wanted me to go look at several boats with him. What's a girl to do?


He was just so excited about the boats he was going to look at, so I agreed to go with him.... and he declared himself the winner of our race... even though he had not actually bought a boat yet.


We looked at several different boats that weekend, and finally settled on a 30' Tollycraft Sedan.  I liked it best, because it has a large comfortable salon. It rains a lot in the PNW, so it will be good to have a nice roomy cabin.


The boat even came with nautical themed plastic dishware, a roll of toilet paper, and three boxes of tissue.


The kitchenette is pretty roomy, and had a propane stove and oven, and a double sink.


The boat sleeps six.


It has a private berth, a marine head with a shower, a settee that slides out to become a double bed, and a dinette that drops down to become a bed.


It even has a little built-in fan.


My husband has suggested we redo the interior. It will be my first boat interior design job, and I really look forward to doing it, but for now I want to live with it just like it is, and see how well it works for us. The basic layout looks very functional, and I suspect only needs a bit of tweaking. I'd like to wait at least one season before making any decisions. What do you think?


Now, I just need to learn to pilot the new boat -- perhaps I should start with the little dinghy!  Baby steps, right?



Tuesday, July 15, 2014

10 Pretty Seashell Projects!

I adore seashells. As a little girl, my mother taught me the joy of wandering quietly on the beach in search of the perfect shell or sand dollar. That love of beachcombing followed me into adulthood. I now have bowls and baskets of shells -- keepsakes from the many beaches my family has visited. For years, I was able to keep the collection in check, but then we bought the beach house, and things got out. of. control.


My husband has suggested we don't actually need three ginormous baskets of shells in our living room (please, nobody tell him about the ones stashed in various closets).

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Best Painted Mason Jar Projects!

All the cute canning jar projects, that are so popular right now, remind me of summers at my grandmother's house.


When I was growing up, every summer we would take a road trip to see my grandparents on their little 40 acre farm in Oklahoma. We would show up around canning time, so my mom could help my grandmother put up vegetables from the summer garden.

My grandparents had an old summer kitchen, and under that kitchen was a dirt cellar. The walls were lined with shelves and the shelves were filled with jars of vegetables and pickles and relishes and jams and jellies fruits and my absolute favorite: pickled peaches!


Canning was serious business at my grandmother's house and canning jars were well cared for. Although, it's popular to use old mason jars for iced tea now days, my grandmother's generation would never have risked damaging the top edge of a good canning jar through daily use. Every year, Grandma would send Grandpa down to the cellar to bring up boxes of empty jars. New boxes of seals were purchased, but jars and rings would be reused. My mother and grandmother would carefully examine the top edges of all the jars and set aside for other purposes any jars that might have gotten damaged in storage.

If they had only known about the CUTE things you can do with old canning jars!  Most of my grandmother's less than perfect canning jars ended up in Grandpa's garage, storing nails and screws and nuts and bolts and leftover paint. I suppose you could say my Grandpa was ahead of his time -- he was "painting" jars long before it was popular!  In honor of my late grandmother and grandfather, here are some of my favorite decorative painted Mason jar projects.


Your Home Based Mom managed to make the humble canning jar so elegant with gold paint!


At Real Coake you can find these adorable striped mason jar vases.


The Happy Housie painted this charming trio of coral colored vases!


At Mason Jar Crafts Love, you can find these adorable back to school themed mason jars.


Check out these silver painted Ball jars from It All Started With Paint.


Darling Darleen has a tutorial for drip painted Mason jars, inspired by these jars in an Anthropologie display!


Michaela Noelle created a tutorial for these sweet lace painted jars.

I hope you were inspired to look at your old jars differently -- you can recycle all sorts of jars for all sorts of uses, both decorative and practical!


Thursday, July 3, 2014

10 Awesome Driftwood Decorations!

Last week a good friend from Colorado came to visit at our beach house.  I love when she come to visit, because she is content to wonder on the beach for hours, looking for a certain kind of shell, or size of driftwood.


Needless to say, we always end up hiking back to the house with bags of heavy wet driftwood!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

10 Fun Crafts to Make With Twigs

When the kids were little we spent many summer days at the park. Sticks and twigs were gathered and used as inspiration for games of fantasy (and, at one point, a child ran with a stick -- straight into a tree, resulting in the inevitable summer trip to the ER). Occasionally, little twigs found their way into craft projects, typical stuff, like snowman arms, stars, and wreaths.


Spring windstorms have brought down lots of twigs in our neighborhood this year, and I thought it would be fun to see what other creatives have been doing with twigs. Here are a few of my favorite twig projects:

Monday, June 16, 2014

17 Pretty Projects to Make With Granny Squares

When I was a little girl, I always looked forward to visits from my grandmother. People rarely flew in those days -- going to see your grandkids meant taking a long road trip! My grandmother didn't drive, so she contented herself with crochet projects while Grandpa drove.


Grandma made afghans and slippers and crocheted pretty edges on washcloths. She always made her granddaughters ponchos with matching hats. My cousin Sonia had this exquisite pale complexion, with rosy cheeks and a pink lips, and very dark hair, so Grandma always made her a bright pink poncho that emphasized her pretty coloring.  I had yellow hair, and brown eyes and freckles, and Grandma always made me a blue poncho, because she thought blonde hair looked pretty with blue outfits.

When I find old afghans and stacks of granny squares in thrift stores, I am always thinking about ways to up-cycle them. Do you do that? After seeing the many hours that my grandmother put into her crochet projects, I can't bear to see these colorful squares discarded.

I thought I would round up some of the best granny square projects from around the web for inspiration.


If you find an afghan in a thrift store, you can always just use it as an afghan!  Isn't this afghan from My Cakies, pretty?


This Etsy store sells vintage crochet patterns.  How about whipping up a cute little bikini from leftover bits?


Another Etsy store sell boot cuffs made from granny squares!

Magd van der Vloed

I smile every time I see this granny square trophy!


These granny square upholstered stools are from Wood Wool Stool.


Go retro, with a flounce sleeved granny square cardigan!


How about whipping up some tiny bird houses, like these from Anthropologie?


Sonja Cay Wood used an old afghan to recover the seats in her car!


This Etsy shop up-cycles vintage afghans into pillows!


Another Etsy shop makes these beautiful bags with granny squares.





All four fun projects shown above were from the Sannaochsania blog.


I found these sweet slippers at Purl Bee.


You can always whip up a little purse!


Or make a fun garland, like this one from Homemade at My Place.

Are you inspired to look at old afghans and orphan granny squares differently?