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Before & During

Update on the master bathroom…

This is how it looked before we started on the sink area. White vanity top, brass knobs, builder-basic faucets, and a waste of space between the base cabinets.

My brother Tom made shelves to go in that space. You rock, bro! He got his gray hair from the under side of the vanity top, said it took two washings to get that stuff out.

Here’s how it looks now.

PSA of the day: Buy faucets with brass fittings because you’ll likely save yourself a visit from the plumber.
Yet to do:
decide on a paint color
hang medicine cabinets

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I only clean when company is coming

Tonight I had the gals from Cornerstone over to make jewelry. It’s so cool to see the creative side of my friends, and yet strange to put them in a situation that is foreign to them but familiar to me. They had a good time, but I didn’t get a single picture to share.

I feel like taking a picture in the morning sunshine with the camera on the ground because my floors? They’re clean. It will last for about a day until they get flocked with dog hair and dust. I feel like our house is a perpetual state of mess because I’d rather do so many other things than clean. Someone recently relayed to me what a wise woman (Reid) once said: a house is meant to be lived in. Well, ours is that. I apologize to the neatniks who come to visit.

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Mission: Finish a Project

FYI, when I don’t blog it means I’m busy. Blogging is usually a procrastination tactic, but when I have too much going on I don’t usually take the time to tell you about it (sorry).

My brother and his family were in town until Wednesday, and Tom loves to make sawdust so he helped me work on the shelves for the master bathroom project. I’ll post pictures when we actually finish something. It seems we are about halfway through everything, so the light fixtures are removed from the wall, the big mirror has been removed and medicine cabinets are ready to go up, paint has been purchased, shelves have been cut… Can you see how I never get anything done because I flit from project to project, even within a project?

So to redeem myself a little, here is a design I’ve been working on for a few weeks. Kerry Bogert graciously sent me some of her handmade glass discs to play around with riveting onto patterned sterling sheet. I asked for seconds in case I shattered them to smitherines in the riveting process, but I think they are awesome and so far I just chipped one. I even domed the metal so it wouldn’t make clammy spots on my wrist like my watch does. I made a couple links here and there until finally yesterday I finished the final link, hooked them together, and added a clasp.

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Pilot’s Thanksgiving

My brother and his family are in town this weekend, which is really special because we don’t get to see them very much. It finally stopped raining yesterday, so my mom made oatmeal pancakes and then we went for a walk. My nephew Travis had a blast! The leaves have really turned and I’m loving how the valley is beautiful in any direction you look.

We continued to work on the master bathroom project yesterday, including the removal of the big, brass light fixtures. We intended to replace them with smaller fixtures in brushed nickel, but the brass came off the wall and we were looking at wires sticking out of drywall holes that would need to be moved. So we opted for Plan B: spray-paint the brass and reinstall. Again, not our first choice but the lesser of the two evils (and the guys did a great job with the paint).Last night was game night: potluck and Pictionary with our Cornerstone group, plus Penn State and the world series on TV. I made pumpkin soup for the first time and, well, it tastes like it sounds. The best part was breaking out my immersion blender for the season; it sure beats pouring hot soup into a blender.Tom is an airline pilot, which means he doesn’t get to be home for the holidays, so we’ve adopted a tradition of feasting whenever he and Jen can come for a visit. Today we stuffed ourselves on Thanksgiving dinner, then sat around and watched football and home improvement shows, so it felt like the real thing (minus John Madden’s 6-leg turkey).

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Renovation voyeur

Next in line for our house projects is our master bathroom. It is a little sterile: light gray and white tile, white fixtures, white walls, white cabinets, white vanity top. We decided not to do a full remodel (although our linen closet is bigger than our shower), but are working on different things like paint, light fixtures, and a new vanity top. We are busy people and haven’t had a chance to work on it.

Actually, we did have a Saturday a few weeks ago when we were going to swap out the vanity tops. Our friend Tim came to help Steve lift the old top off the base. We had disconnected the plumbing so all it needed was a quick hoist upward. It would have been fine except one drainpipe stuck on the way out, which snapped off the PVC line at the wall.


So our plumber came out a couple days later and fixed the PVC (I won’t go into detail) and gave us pointers for proper vanity top removal. That was weeks ago. The new vanity top is still sitting patiently on the floor of our bedroom, and we are using the hall bathroom. And I’m still trying to decide on a paint color to warm up the space, yet still look good with gray tile & grout. More later when something significant happens…

For those of you who enjoy seeing before & after pictures of our house projects, check out the blog called Renovation Voyeur so you can be a weekend warrior vicariously.

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One thing I love about buying a “used” house is all the landscaping & gardening that previous owners have done. We inherited a hydrangea in our latest move, and it bloomed beautiful periwinkle early in the summer. The drought hit and it paused for a while, then as the weather cooled it came out with beautiful green, brown, and purple shaded flowers. And then this month the weather shifted hot again and we got one last bunch of blue amongst the bush full of raku tones. Cracking me up.

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The A/C guy came last night – all is well with the world. I had a student come for some wirework instruction; she knew it was the correct house because of the A/C van. I’m always suprised to learn that people actually read this stuff I write! Can’t tell you how many times I start telling a story and get interrupted by, “I know – I read your blog.” To me it’s more of a scrapbook, but the blog is there to give a personal side to AnneMade Jewelry and helps me stay in touch with lots of people all at once.

Riley has cabin fever; she’ll beg to go outside for five minutes and then bark to be let in because of the heat. She does a lot of sitting on the floor and looking up at me, putting her head in my lap to get her ears scratched, and groaning out of boredom.

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Spinner rings are listed on the Rings Page and Etsy. Let me know if you’re interested in having one in a larger size.

Still no A/C here and it’s supposed to be 100 tomorrow. Apparently the techs got stuck in Leesburg traffic. I bet they went to Wegmans instead. I may go hang out at the grocery store myself.

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Steve and I spent the evening in Ashburn getting a mirror for the living room, eating dinner at Old Dominion Brew Pub, and poking around our favorite haunt: Wegmans. We didn’t bring a cooler, so our loot was limited to stuff like toffee chips, tikka masala sauce, heirloom tomatoes, mini scones, and Dogfish Head. I also wanted (but didn’t buy) baby pattypan squash, crab cakes, huge raspberries, cremini mushrooms, tzatziki sauce, hummus, the olive bar, cheese dressed with nuts & dried fruit to look like dessert, olive bread, Irish biscuits, sparkling lemonade and so much more. On the way home we drove through historic Leesburg, which I had never seen before.

It is 10pm on a Saturday night, still 81 degrees outside, and we have just discovered that our air conditioner is broken. We may be sleeping in the basement.

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Thanks, Dad

My dad brought his chain saw over last night to help Steve chop up the fallen branch, so I returned the favor by making Krispy Kreme Bread Pudding with Butter Rum Sauce. As usual, I didn’t follow the recipe; I used our 4 leftover donuts from vacation (instead of 2 dozen) and some homemade cinnamon bread from Val, left out the canned fruit, added sweetened condensed milk in addition to the evaporated kind…

So. Good. You really can’t go wrong with donuts as an ingredient. And rum.