When I walked past my built-in planter divider yesterday, I did a double take. Is that a miniature flamingo living amongst my plants?
Upon further inspection, I discovered there were actually two tiny birds that have recently taken up residence in the planter. Can you spot them both?
But I kid. Yes these tiny birds are indeed creating a habitat in my planter, but they didn’t just appear one day.
Ever since I first filled the planter with something other than junk back in 2011, the plants have been doing rather well — that is until about 6 months ago. I’m pretty sure that it was my fault. I have a tendency to kill plants with love (overwatering) and sadly, I seem to have done exactly that to a few of these guys. Oops.
Since it is February and much too cold for me to go digging around in the garage looking for gardening tools and soil, I’m not in the mood to replace the deceased (or nearly deceased) plants right now. To make the mess I’ve created a little more easy on the eyes — and continue the touches of humor in my decor — I decided to let a few of these seed pod birds from West Elm come live with me. Of course I naturally gravitated towards the wacky looking flamingo, but it was also darn near impossible for me to resist an Ostrich with a pine cone butt.
Would you like to know more about my DIY laminate countertop? I spill all the details on how I built a laminate countertop for my retro pink master bathroom in today’s post over on Retro Renovation. Best part, it was easy!
Last weekend Leo had his first bath in the newly completed retro pink master bathroom. The larger shower stall, combined with the new hand held shower head, made it so much easier for Jim and I to bathe him. An added bonus — after the final rinse, we could dry him and let him shake off inside the shower to avoid having to also towel dry the entire bathroom. It was wonderful…for us.
Unfortunately, Leo is not a fan of getting wet. Puddles, rain, the hose, and especially the kind of soaking wet that a bath requires all send him running for the hills. Lucky for us he also hates getting dirty — avoiding mud at all costs — so we don’t really have to bathe him that often.
Despite the fact that Leo doesn’t enjoy the new retro pink bathroom as much as Jim and I do, at least his dog showers are easier overall. You should see us try to lift a squirmy, 75 pound dog into a bath tub. Not exactly anyone’s idea of a good time.
With the holiday decor all packed away until next year, I decided it was time to start hanging up some art on my bare walls.
I’m a huge fan of mid century styled, colorful art — if you couldn’t tell already with my SHAG obsession. I’ve been admiring El Gato Gomez’s work for the last few years and just last October, I finally pounced on one of her paintings. It has been waiting for a home since then. This weekend, I finally decided on one.
I was never sure how to decorate the wall with the pass-through from the kitchen, but treating the doors as one piece of a larger grouping of objects seems to work. The addition of the mid century styled wall clock that used to hang on the opposite wall finished out the arrangement nicely. I also like how the aqua in the background of the bird painting picks up the aqua from the kitchen cabinets in the next room.
So what’s on the other wall where the clock used to be? The painting of my grandfather as a young man that I stared about two years ago and have yet to finish.
I thought that maybe if it was up on the wall in a prominent position, it would give me the kick in the pants I need to finish it sooner rather than later.
Here’s the photo I’m painting from — I think my grandfather was maybe 15 or 16 here. I love the composition of the photo and the high contrast — but wanted to try my hand at colorizing it in the painting. As you can see, I still have a ways to go on the details.
There is still a lot of space left on the this wall — maybe once I finish some of the paintings I’ve already started, they can all hang in this room together to fill it up.
The sun has set on another year here at the Retro Ranch. 2013 was an exciting year for projects around the house, and while many of my self-imposed Retro Ranch Resolutions were not achieved last year, I did manage to complete the largest and most time consuming one from the list.
Let’s take a look back at my Retro Ranch Revamp Resolutions from 2013 — and see how they stacked up:
- Remodel the master bathroom. This was hands-down the most expensive, most involved resolution from 2013 — and one that I can happily check off as completed. It was a hard, six month and six day renovation journey from the demo until I was able to take the first shower in my pretty pink retro master bathroom — but it was so worth it. Not only do I have a beautiful new bathroom that looks like it has always been part of this house, but I’ve also gained confidence in my ability to take on and complete a large, involved project. From building stud walls, installing and grouting tile to building a vanity from scratch, I’ve shown myself that I can do anything I put my mind to.
- Remove stumps from the side yard and make it look nice. It is hard to forget the Stumptastrophie last April — but happily, the giant pine tree stumps were removed from the side yard. With a little help from my family, we even got the grass growing and looking pretty good by the end of the summer. While I still have more big plans for this portion of our lot, it is looking a lot nicer than when we first started. I’m going to call this one completed, work in progress.
- Build a retro modern TV stand. Sadly, there was simply no more time in the year to work on a retro modern TV stand. Building a vanity was enough wood working for one year. There’s hope that 2014 might be the year for this. Not completed.
- Repaint the iron work on the front porch. This is one of those projects that will really only take about two hours to complete, but keeps getting pushed to the back burner. With everything that needed to be done in the master bathroom this year, I just couldn’t muster the extra strength to knock this small task off the list. Not competed.
- Clean up and set up the back patio. Thanks to getting an early start with edging the back patio, I did manage to clean up the space a bit — though by early summer, weeds were sprouting out of every crack and cranny. My brother got me a very nice Christmas present that might help me deal with these weeds without using chemicals (since I refuse to use chemicals on my lawn/weeds and this is a Leo zone). I did manage to set up the patio, retro red fireplace and all, though I barely had the chance to use it since I spent all of my time in the master bathroom this summer. Partially completed, work in progress.
- Make a path to the victory garden. Once again, this resolution was just not at the top of my list. The bathroom remodel took precedence over all things yard related. I’m hoping that this coming summer will be a productive one for the yard, especially the back yard. We’ll see. Not completed.
- Paint/build/make things for my house as well as my Etsy shop. I’d say this is half complete. I did build a vanity for my bathroom and paint/make a few things for my house throughout the year, but alas, the Etsy store is just not getting stocked. In fact, I didn’t put anything in it at all this year. There was just no time or energy left in 2013. Half completed.
So there you have it — not so many items on the list were completed, but the largest and most involved project was tackled and finished. I’d say it was a pretty good year after all.
Now its time for me to publicly declare my resolutions for this year — you know — so all of you can hold me accountable and possibly actually guilt me into painting my poor, neglected iron work on the porch this year.
2014 Retro Ranch Revamp Resolutions:
- Upholster at least one half of Great Grandma’s couch set. Besides recovering a chair seat, I’ve never reupholstered anything before in my life. Sewing scares me more than demolishing a bathroom and starting from scratch. And yes — reupholstering Great Grandma’s couches will require sewing a whole boat load of piping — so I’ll have to learn how to use Nana’s 1942 Singer Sewing machine that is sitting in my garage.
I’ve already purchased the material — found at Modern Fabrics – a lovely burnt orange woven fabric with a hint of sheen. Now the trick will be not letting the fabric sit around for several years before I attempt this feat.
- Complete phase 1 of the green bathroom spruce up. Our minty green hall bathroom is not in need of a total gut-remodel like the master bathroom.
The layout is good, and I love the salt and pepper tiles and the mint green tub. However, after using this bathroom on a daily basis while our master bath was under construction, I noticed that there are some issues that need attention. I’ve decided to make this a two phase fix up — and phase 1 has already begun.
The remainder of this phase involves repairing the missing grout in the shower and repainting the ceiling where it was patched when the new fan was installed. I’ll detail the rest of my plans for this bathroom in a later post. Needless to say, I’m not looking forward to spending many more hours in a bathroom, but missing grout is nothing to sneeze at.
- Work to return some privacy to our back yard. I’ve complained about my difficulties in trying to get a fence permit before — and I haven’t given up quite yet — but in the event that a new fence seems like too much of a hassle, I’m preparing an alternate plan to restore some of the privacy to our back yard this summer.
- Make a path to the victory garden. Yes Leo, one of these years I WILL put in a path.
- Repaint the iron work on the front porch. Again — please somebody remind me about this if I don’t let you know that the task has been completed by late August. My poor, neglected iron work really needs a fresh coat of paint!
- Build that retro modern TV stand already! I’d love to have a better looking TV stand in the living room — our current one doesn’t do anything for the look of the room and honestly, it could be better designed to fit our specific needs. Now that I’ve built a mid century modern bathroom vanity, a TV stand doesn’t seem so difficult.
- Take up the carpet in the hallway to expose the original cork flooring underneath and spruce up the space with some paint and more artwork. A few months ago, I realized that unlike the bedrooms — which have only subfloor under the carpet — the hallway’s carpet is hiding some original cork tile flooring.
This particular kind of cork is also found in several of the Retro Ranch’s closets. I’d like to peel up the dirty hallway carpet (Thanks Leo) and expose the original cork. It is my hope that the floor is in good condition under there, but I have no idea what it actually looks like, so I’ll have to have some sort of back up plan if the exposed flooring is less than pristine.
In addition, I think the hallway would look much nicer if it were painted an actual color instead of the greige that it currently is. What color? I’m not sure yet, but won’t it be fun to pick one out?
There you have it folks — the 2014 Retro Ranch Revamp Resolutions. I can’t guarantee that I’ll be able to complete the entire list this year, but if I can at least get that darn iron work on the front porch repainted and a good start on the sofa reupholstery, I’ll be happy. What are some of the home-related (or otherwise) resolutions on your list for 2014?