Saturday, October 31, 2015

Toilet Terror

When we bought our house, a little more than 2 years ago, we knew we would need to renovate all of the bathrooms. We started with the powder room because the toilet was leaking through to the subfloor and, frankly, it was ugly! So, we started with the powder room....

It's very pretty, now, and leak free!

That left us with the master and guest baths.  Our master bathroom is in pretty bad shape and our guest bathroom is just okay. We thought we would start with the easiest bathroom first - the guest bathroom. This way, as the master bath is being gutted and renovated, we would all be sharing an updated and pretty bathroom!

First step towards an updated guest bath was to replace the old disgusting toilet with mold growing in it...EW!

We removed the old toilet and discovered that the floor flange was slanted and the floor wasn't even. Ok, no big deal....we would just shim the front of the toilet like the last toilet was.
Next, we applied the first wax ring and then installed the new toilet. Should be that easy, right? wrong.....(sigh)

The toilet was on, we were feeling really good about it.  Then Mike flushed the toilet and the nightmare began!  The water came flooding out of the bottom of the toilet, all over the bathroom floor. So, we took the toilet off again to inspect the flange, again. We decided to try it one more time with another wax ring. Off the hubby went to the hardware store.

In lieu of the always convenient and foolproof wax ring, we tried a rubber 'piece of garbage' toilet ring instead.

Why is it an era with so many advances in construction, technology, practically everything, that we still have an archaic method for attaching toilets to plumbing?

We installed the rubber 'POG' and toilet, flushed and...

Water leaked out of the bottom of the toilet, through the subfloor and into the ceiling of the kitchen below, through the chandelier and all over the kitchen table. Ewwww AGAIN!

I want to add, that while all this was going on, my mother was visiting in order to watch our 3 kids so Mike and I could go out.  It's our first date, baby free, since March. Perfect timing for a flood!

I ran downstairs to my mother, who was already grabbing pots and catching water! After the water stopped flowing, a friendly debate with the hubby ensued - Rip up the floor in the bathroom or rip down the ceiling in the kitchen....either way, there will be ripping of some sort. (sigh)

Because the flange and the floor were so uneven, it was simply not possible to replace the toilet without replacing the flange, as well.

The kitchen, which was supposed to be my next blog post, is one of my favorite rooms in the house.  It is put together and has a cute sense of style going on. I really didn't want chaos in the most used room in the house. Plus, we just ordered a custom Amish farm table to go with our awesome church pew and it's due to arrive Friday....(sigh again)


The guest bath floor is the original floor, and except for a good cleaning and some extra love with the grout, is in good shape.  We were not planning on replacing floor so we could stay in $1000 budget for our guest bath "face lift." Ripping up the floor would cost upwards of $750 and too much time.

The ceiling won, or losst, and down it came.....(giant sigh)

After the kitchen was cleared out and the hole was made in the soggy sheetrock, we found this....
Original '70's copper waste pipes for the toilet AND the shower. Lovely.

The next morning, after a great night out with the hubby, we cut out the old copper waste lines and removed the flange from the bathroom floor. When the floor was installed in the bathroom, so long ago, the contractor never cleaned up the mortar around the hole for the flange. The mortar had to be cut away with a Dremel in order to secure the flange the the subfloor. The flange was floating freely before, which is probably why it was uneven.

Off the hubby went to the hardware store again for new pvc pipe and fittings to replace the copper mess.

The new plumbing was then installed. That took most of the day...all day!

After all the kids were in bed, we installed the second or third (?) wax ring, the new toilet, and flushed. With flashlight in hand, I searched the new plumber for leaks and it looked good! Then Mike yelled down that the tank was leaking on the new toilet. Will it ever end?!

Mike took the tank off to check the rubber seal from the tank to the bowl and found a GIANT crack down the back of it.

I went back to the hardware store to buy another toilet, so we could swap out the tanks.

A day of rest....three days and still no working toilet in the guest bath.

Mike installed the new tank and flushes.....we were good! WOO HOO!

If this is any indicator on how this 'facelift' is going to go, then be prepared for some more calamities along the way!

Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Children's Hooded Towel

I don't know about your kids, but my kids LOVE hooded towels!  They had grown out of all the baby hooded towels that we had, so I went out to buy some new ones, ones for 'bigger little kids'.  Well, there aren't many options out there, unless you want to spend $40 a towel. No thanks!

Here is how I made my own!

Things you need to make two hooded towels:

(2) Large Bath Towel
(1) Hand Towel
7/8" - 1" Ribbon (optional)
Sewing Machine
Fabric Scissors
Straight Pins

1.  Cut the hand towel in half.  Each hand towel makes two hoods.

2.  Pin the ribbon across the embroidered strip of the hand towel. This step is optional...the towel is functional without the ribbon, but it helps to add some personality.

3.  Using the zig zag stitch on the sewing machine, sew the ribbon to the hand towel hood using coordinating or matching thread.

4. Find the center of the long side of the bath towel and mark with a straight pin. Then, find the center of the finished end portion of the hand towel (opposite the cut side) and mark with a straight pin. Pin the hood hand towel piece and large bath towel in place, by matching up the marked centers. Lay the large bath towel down first, then the hood hand towel on top, as shown. Sew the piece together with a straight machine stitch.

5.  Fold the attached hood in half, inside out, to form the finished shape of the hood. Cut a
1-1/2" x 1-1/2" corner from the top of the hood and pin. This will form the rounded shape of the hood.  Using the zig zag stitch on the sewing machine, sew the hood seam.

Enjoy snuggling your happy child in their very own personalized hooded towel for less than $15 for a set of two!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Ethan's Nautical Nursery - A baby's room with a baby budget

Hello and welcome to RFDD...Red Fox Design & DIY!

In March, I had my third baby, Ethan.  As soon as I knew I was having a boy, I knew that I wanted his room to be all about sailboats!  In order to keep with the little budget, his room is full of DIYs and upcycled items.

To start with, the crib, dresser and glider were from Owen's nursery.  The bedding, valances and area rug were found at a giant baby consignment sale, Just Between Friends, they were PERFECT!

We moved into the our house two years ago and this room was being used as a guest room. It didn't have any character and was painted yellow, like the rest of the house, so it was like a blank canvas. The room got a fresh coat of paint and a good cleaning. I wanted the walls to be a sand color, to remind you of the beach. I also picked out a blue accent paint, that looked almost like denim, for some of the furniture accent pieces.

On the 'feature wall', I painted faux ship-lap.  It was so simple and gave the room the character I was looking for.  All I used was semigloss off white paint, a 6' level and a brown permanent marker.

My late father-in-law collected all things nautical.  When cleaning out his garage, we held onto some of his really cool items like the 'Captains Quarters' sign, the copper boat lanterns and the ship's wheel.

These nautical compass knobs and antique brass cup pulls from Hobby Lobby (oh how I wish they had a store near me!) were the perfect update to this hand-me-down dresser. The handles didn't come with the screws to mount to the drawers, so I found a shop on Etsy that made them, Prosser Bros Vintage.

The drawer under the crib was a must!  This is a tiny bedroom, compared to the other bedrooms in our house. Extra storage was needed for blankets and seasonal items. I found two drawers on the side of the road (!), added casters to the bottom, painted the front denim blue and added the handles.

Oh and did I mention I crochet...I made the blanket, too!  It came out exactly the way I envisioned, and is easily my favorite item in the room.

The nightstand, from Goodwill, got a fresh coat of paint and new knobs.  The handles were original to the drawers and fit perfectly with the design, so I kept them.

The gliding stool's foam had seem better days, so that was switched out.  It was then reupholstered with a sweater that was too big for my husband and also made a pillow to match.

The mirror was from ReStore, it used to go on top of a dresser. I painted it denim blue and added the rope to the frame for that nautical touch. My husband found the cute lighthouse light switch cover on Amazon.

Theses oars were also found in my father-in-law's garage, but had a beach scene painted on them. They got a new coat of paint to match the nightstand and mirror.

The giant metal ship and maps were found at local consignment sale and were a steal! The ship was cleaned up and spray painted with Rustoleum's Hammered Spray Paint in Brown and the maps were framed with store bought frames.

A nautical theme would not be complete without a compass...and yes, it points true north! It's a vinyl decal from another shop on Etsy, Sweetums Signatures, and was super easy to put up!

All in all, the entire room cost under $300, including paint. Not too bad, but i was lucky that I had the important items from Ethan's big brother, Owen. This may be my favorite children's room design yet, although I think all of them are fun! They are designed to be grown into so the items and accessories can be used throughout the years.