Faire du jardinage!

Monday, March 22, 2010

I went to visit my grandmother yesterday, and she was sweet enough to give me some of her bulbs from her garden. So not only did I get to see my granny but I got beautiful flowers for my new yard! In the backyard, there is a little flower box bed thing my dad built my mom ages ago. The wood is rotten, but my dad has promised to put down some new planks to build it up again. In the meantime, it makes a great place to temporarily store my bulbs. On the way home, we also picked up some hyacinths and more daffodils to add to the variety. Every year since I was little, my dad has given me a purple (or occasionally a pink one if purples were unable to be had) hyacinth for Valentine's Day, so of course I needed some pink and white ones!

I got up this morning and went with my mom to clean out the flowerbed and it was a serious pain! It was literally three hours of tilling the dirt, pulling up roots, and removing weeds before I finally got my irises, daffodils, and hyacinths in the dirt, which took another hour. I struggled at first, but at least my mom had a pick, which helped up yank up those roots quicker!

Here are some photos of the varieties I got from my grandmother as well as my tentative identification of the variety name:

Ice King

Orangery (?)

Ice Follies

Fortissimo (the one from Walmart)

Carlton or Saint Keverne

The last photo is of the daffodils already in the yard. I'm not sure what kind they are - does anyone have any ideas?

And here are my hyacinths! I love the way they smell and am so looking forward to having my yard smell like wonderful hyacinths next spring!

The white hyacinths!

My rough looking purple hyacinths from Valentine's. The others from Valentine's Days past are currently resting in the yard at my parents' house.

My pink ones!

I've got big big BIG plans for the backyard, and these little baby bulbs are just the beginning! And a very beautiful beginning at that!

Busy bees!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

I had to check to make sure I hadn't already used this post's title, but this Friday...wow! We were so incredibly busy and got SOOOO much done with the house. Since the majority of the renovations will be taking place in the next few weeks while I'm away finishing up college (yay!), my mom and I needed to finalize our choices for the fixtures, colors, granite, etc. Just so we're both on the same page.

First, we got up and went to look at faucets for the kitchen and bath. It was full of really beautiful things, but they were the top of the line fixtures. Great if you're renovating or restoring a gigantic, turn-of-the-century mansion. Not the best for my cute little bungalow. So we decided to scamper down the street to look at tiles for the bathroom. As I've mentioned earlier, I want 1 inch hexagonal tiles in black and white in a flower pattern.

At the first tile store, we were helped by this adorable woman who looked JUST LIKE a brunette Amy Adams. My mom even accidentally called her Amy (her name was Amanda). She helped me pick out the tiles I wanted and decide on glossy or matte; I went with glossy. We also picked out some nice subway tiles, also in glossy, and a black 1/2 inch mini round decorative tile, just to tie the floors in with the shower surround and tile half way up the wall.

After that, we drove over to Lowe's and Home Depot. At Lowe's, I showed my mom the light fixtures I purchased for the hallway.

I plan on painting them white; I really love the little star etchings on the glass. Very whimsical! I think they'll be really pretty once they've been painted. And you can't be $39.00 per fixture.

We also considered buying a new Schlage deadbolt for the front door, but we decided to put it off until a bit later. But we do plan on updating it, just for safety's sake!

After Lowe's, we ran across the street to Home Depot, where, although we didn't purchase anything, we found ALL sorts of stuff. We picked out these faucets for the bathrooms. They're from the Lindley collection by Moen and are a very reasonable $99 a piece.

We also plan on getting the matching shower set for both the bathrooms (Moen, Lindley collection - $178).

Since I also need a new pedestal sink in the front bathroom, I decided to go with this very pretty sink from Kohler. It's called the Devonshire, and with both the pedestal and the basin, it costs $200. I really love the graceful lines and I think it will look really pretty with the faucet.

After Home Depot, Mom and I were hungry, so we darted into Wendy's for a snackeroo and then headed downtown to find the granite story recommended to us by the contractor we met with, to look for countertops.

I have a problem, you see. I am absolutely, positively obsessed with the idea of Carrara marble. I love the clean white look and the lovely grey veins. Unfortunately, as many of you probably know, marble simply isn't a practical choice for a kitchen given its tendency to stain very easily and the need for nearly constant resealing. I actually found a really great discussion on Carrara marble for the kitchen and bath, really just its use in general in the home. Read it here.

Given my complete adoration of Carrara marble, I have been beyond picky when it came to countertops. I have nearly cried twice over them, once inside Home Depot and again just outside of a marble fabricator. I just haven't been able to find a granite that makes my heart sing. Which, I know, may be asking a bit much from countertops, but still.

Our first stop while looking for the fabricator recommended to us, had nothing. So we left and I almost cried, but we finally found the place we were actually looking for. We were helped by a super nice woman named Lauren and I finally selected a granite I think I can live with. It's called Giallo Suave and it looks like this:

This is a picture of Giallo Ornamental, but the slab that I was looking at is almost identical to Giallo Ornamental, it just has a line of dark granite down one side. Lauren seemed confident, however, that she could tell the installers to avoid the line/make it less obvious. Plus, they are only going to charge us for the granite we use, rather than needing to buy the entire slab. So it works out to about $55/square foot installed, which is very reasonable! We also chose some coordinating travertine flooring.

We were hitting the home stretch as this point; we only had one more stop to make and that was this door and wood specialty shop. The contractor suggested we check them out for new glass doorknobs for the bedrooms, since the house originally had glass doorknobs that my mom took off when it became rental property. We still have the original knobs, but because they are so old, they don't work really well. Moreover, since we're adding two more doors, we don't have enough.  The specialty shop  had some really pretty knobs that actually looked really similar to my knobs:

They're called the Astoria knobs and I think I like the Satin Nickel rosette, as my mom says that's what the original knobs had. At about $80 a knob, however, they're not cheap! But they'll last and I really want to bring back some of the old school charm of the house, just with modern conveniences!

I was completely exhausted after today, but I had so much fun shopping with my mom and really making some decisions. After so many months of talking and planning, it's really starting to feel like all this might actually happen!

Work work work

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

My mom and I met with the contractor today and made a big long laundry list of what needs to be fixed. Among other things:
1) My ceiling in my living room probably needs to come down, which makes me sad. It's a beautiful heavily textured ceiling original to the house. Unfortunately, it's started to sag and crack from getting wet, probably from my leaky roof. :(
2) My front bathroom is going to be gutted, which I always knew.
3) I'm getting two doors to separate the master bedroom from the hallway and the kitchen.
4) We're ripping out the tiles and putting down granite in the kitchen and master bathroom.
5) I'm getting a new crawlspace door, since Big Ben the Rat might have come in from the hole in the door.
6) When the countertops come off in the kitchen, the little water heater that is inside the cabinet is coming out and the floor is getting patched. The small void where the plumbing for the kitchen sink goes into the wall is also getting filled.
8) See above!
9) The pass-through from the kitchen to the den/master bedroom is getting closed off and patched with paneling from...well, I'm not sure where. The hallway?
10) I'm getting new little light fixtures in the hallway.
11) The cracked window panes are getting replaced.
12) New deadbolt in the front door.
13) Motion sensor for the lights in the front and back.

Willard & Friends

The bug man came out today and pointed out to me that I have rat droppings all over my heating. Meaning I have a rat. In my house.


I am totally grossed out and want to spend as little time as possible in my house now. Plus, when I hear the words "incurable lung infection", which can come from dried rat droppings, I just want to run in the opposite direction. I had planned to paint the hallway today but I'm just so grossed out and I don't want to be over there by myself. The bug man put rat bait under the house in the crawlspace but I'm just beyond disgusted. I hate hate hate rodents. I mean, I love all God's creatures but I don't want them building nests in the drawer under my oven and pooing all over my beautiful white sofa, the fabric for which is currently laid out on the floor in the den/my bedroom, which happens to be where all the poo is.

Denim Slipcover Here I Come!

Monday, March 8, 2010

I'm really pumped. My mom just called to tell me she ordered the white denim I picked out for my sofa slipcover. We'll be making it this next week over Spring Break as well as adding on to the curtains and making the pillows for the sofa and the little bolster for the chair (which I still don't own but that's a minor detail). Of course, photos and blog entries will follow and detail everything!