Saturday, July 31, 2010

Champagne Dreams, Tile Wishes

Photo from

We're getting closer to making our bathroom mini renovation project a reality!

Painting (light grey/blue walls and white high gloss trim) will happen the week of 8/23. Tub/tile refinishers will come shortly thereafter. We'll go pick out a sink/cabinet combo, a mirror and a dark stained medicine cabinet in the coming weeks. I can't wait!

And we'll go pick out floor tile next weekend. I'm voting for dark grey or black slate tile -- would be a nice combination with the 6 x 6, newly glazed WHITE wall tiles.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

New Drape Plan

Buying fabric at Hancock Fabrics (Church Street/N. Decatur location in Decatur) turned out to be a giant bust*, so I'm starting from scratch on my path toward making my own curtains.

With the $276 I got back from Hancock's, I took my frustrated 'lil self over to Lowe's to buy some drop cloths to use as drape panels in the larger of our two spare bedrooms. If the gals over at Knock Off Wood and The Lettered Cottage can easily and stylistically do it, so can I... dammit. And each "panel" (or individual drop cloth) was $9.99 — SCORE! No sewing required? Sign me up!

Drop cloth drapes ($10/panel) from Lowe's. Photo from The Lettered Cottage.

For our master bedroom, I considered shopping Hancock Fabric's drape sale online — then I realized that would be dumb considering the disappointing customer service I've received over the past few weeks.

Instead I headed over to and picked up some slightly contemporary chocolate brown/white geometric material. See below.

Waverly's Parterre Walnut Designer Fabric - $15.98/yard at I bought 8.5 yards.

So that's about $185 for the same amount of fabric that I'd bought "half off" at Hancock. Fingers crossed the online fabric arrives in a timely fashion — and madame clutz-a-lot (moi) does okay with this project.

*I ordered fabric for two bedrooms (four windows total) at Hancock Fabrics a while back — half off, totaling $276. The employees there were friendly enough about taking my order. They told me the orders would take 2 to 3 weeks to come in, 3 weeks at the latest. This sounded fair enough.

Three and a half weeks pass, so I decide to call and check on my order. I tell the employee who answers the phone my name and why I was calling (to check in on an order). Employee is quite snappy with me, saying, "Umm... did we call you?" I responded saying, "no, you didn't — but the order is later than the 'at the latest' time you all mentioned to me when I placed the order." So I was instructed to call back in about a week.

So a week I waited. This time another employee answers the phone. When I'm asked if I have been called yet, I say, "no, I haven't received a call — but at this point, I'm alarmed about my order." She goes to look for the order, comes back and says, "uh, can you call back later? We're, like, really busy."

I'm obviously annoyed at this point but want to give these folks another chance. I call back the next day, ask to speak with the manager. Manager and I play phone tag for a day. When we connect, I mention my disappointment. She says they can't guarantee delivery times but will refund my shipping ($40) anyway. She promises that day (a Thursday) that the fabric will be sent two-day to the Decatur store for me to pick up Tuesday at the latest.

Yesterday (Tuesday) rolls around. I try to call the store various times during the day, only to get a busy signal. Argh! I decided to drop by after work because the store isn't too far out of the way on my way home.

Upon entering the store, I tell an employee that I'm swinging by to check on the status of an order — and that the phone seems to not be working. She asks, "well, did we call you?" OMG. No, you didn't call me — but someone promised the material would be here by today at the latest — not to mention it's 3 weeks late. She asks me to retrieve my "pink slip" (carbon copy of my order form) from my car so she can look up my order.

Employee sees my last name and says, "oh, I know exactly which order is yours!" Then she goes on to say she doesn't think the whole order has come in yet (WTF!?). She goes to the back and comes out with only one of the two orders. Out of control! That's not even the best part... the order that HAS come in has black grease stains all over it.

The employee then says they were so disappointed when the order came in and it had these black marks on it, considering all the time I've been waiting. I'm at that point wondering why I hadn't been updated — or why she hadn't stopped short of bringing the fabric out — and offered me a full refund instead.

I politely said, "I would like to get all my money back. Can I do that?" Without any argument, the employee says she doesn't blame me — and escorts me to the register where she refunds the full amount. She also said my experience was the exception, not the rule.

Sorry for the rant — frustrated!

P.s. To my father-in-law, I'm sorry for another post about textiles!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Barely Under $10: Accomplice Shiraz

I've been sans car for the past five days, so I haven't been able to casually drive to the store to pick up a bottle of wine like I sometimes do. (Yep, with the car in the shop, I've been racking up my frequent MARTA points — and MARTA doesn't exactly drop you off in front of a nice wine shop).

The car's headlight is fixed as of this afternoon — glory, glory Hallelujah.

So I swung by a cute little shop in Inman Park/Lake Claire called The Mercantile to pick up a bottle of something red and tasty. It was between a $10 granacha and a $10 shiraz.

Feeling like I heard once that shirazes are especially tasty in the summer, I went with the latter. I also must admit it's bottle design was cute — and the screw top was also part of the persuasion.

Specifically Accomplice Shiraz (2009). This Australian shiraz is smooth, simple, fruity and a little oaky... though it doesn't taste as bold as the cabernets Dan and I usually go for.

See what Deal's Direct has to say about the vintage here. (Too bad we don't live in the AU, or else we could buy this red for $59.99/case).

The Battle is On

Here's the cute and creative e-flyer my Aunt Vera released this morning to promote her appearance on Throw Down with Bobby Flay.

Tune in!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Aunt Vera: Throwing it Down with Bobby Flay

My Aunt Vera has been very busy lady lately!

Tune in Wednesday night (July 21) to see Very Vera take on Bobby Flay on the Cooking Network's "Throwdown with Bobby Flay."

Vera is contractually obligated to keep mum about the competition's outcome -- but I have a feeling she's going to be the victor in this carrot cake championship.

See details about the episode featuring Vera here.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Beginnings of a Bathroom Makeover

We just left our neighbors Vica and Adam's place. We went over there to see their stunning new bathroom renovation. Vica's dad is quite the handy man, so he helped them gut their bathroom. Check out the before and after photos here. Doesn't it look amazing? Such a smart blend of modern and traditional styles -- and I love the colors and textures!

So naturally we have bathroom remodeling on the brain.

Okay, so if you follow this blog, you've seen "before" photos of our main bathroom. It's about the length of a standard tub, and about just as deep.

The bathroom has "biscuit" colored wall tiles, an old cabinet, a dated vanity and lights, white hexagon floor tile and probably original damask wallpaper. When I walk into our bathroom, I imagine it looked exactly the same 30 or 40 years ago.

When we purchased the home.

Now. We took down some of the extra towel hangers and shelves. Hope to replace this cabinet with a dark wood one.

I almost love this metallicy wallpaper. Unfortunately it's a little antiquated looking and and starting to peel off the walls. 

Current tile floor. Can't wait for this not to be white.

Well, this bathroom is going to be our next project. Our "minimal" remodel plan:
  • Switch out the tub fixtures (done - see below. Love those guys at High Priority Plumbing)
  • Remove wallpaper; skim walls to make them even; paint light grey-ish blue
  • Remove old floor tile (or tile over existing) with a medium to dark grey slate tile (12 x 12 size) -- I am soooo ready to NOT have a white floor
  • Reglaze wall tiles in white (the tile itself is in fine shape... it's the color that's the problem)
  • Reglaze tub (already white but it needs a refresh)
  • Install new cabinet, sink and water fixtures
  • Install new lighting fixtures
  • Add an outlet (we don't have one currently!)
  • Hang flat, simple mirror above vanity
  • Hang medicine cabinet above toilet
  • Frame water colors from our honeymoon trip to Italy

See some of our original bathroom inspirations here. Maybe we'll do that beadboard in another bathroom...

So on to our first step: replacing the leaky/tough-to-turn faucets in the tub:


After. Gah, this is going to look so much sharper with the tile reglazed white. Faucet/fixtures seen here are Price Pfister from ($128 for the fixtures/valves plus $46 for the "rough in" or body materials required to install). The most expensive part was the three-hour installation ($285).

And if you didn't see our AJC article about our house hunt that was published this weekend, check it out here. We had fun being a part of the article, though I never mentioned the word "disaster" in describing our new place. Even in the shape we found it in, I never considered it to be a disaster.