Saturday, December 19, 2009

Things are moving along...

January 7, 2008
Happy New Year! It has been a couple of weeks since my last entry so I will try to get all of the updates written. The Christmas tub was a big hit over the holidays. I hosted a tea party, to benefit a local animal rescue, with the beautifully decorated Christmas tub center stage. One guest actually asked permission to photograph the notorious Christmas tub. Apparently hubby has been singing the Christmas Tub song at work as his co-worker’s wife told me when we met. She said that her husband has been singing the Christmas Tub song at home. She had wondered what he was singing about and when we met over the holidays and she saw the tub everything clicked.

Kramer continued to have wrestling matches each night with the Poinsettia monster in the Christmas tub which of course provided a great deal of entertainment for us.
As a Christmas gift Darryl gave me a tub basket that holds soaps and shampoos as well as having a mirror, candlestick holder, book holder, and a wine glass holder.
Much to our surprise over the Christmas holidays, while visiting family in Atlanta, we looked through some magazines and decorating books where we were dismayed to discover that we have mistakenly placed the tub in the living room! Apparently, according to the books and magazines, the tub is supposed to be installed in the bathroom! Go figure! Who would have thought? (hubby does not seem to be as amused by this revelation and my constant declaration of it as I am).
One afternoon while in Atlanta we ventured to the historic house where the infamous stained glass came from as well as the columns for the bathroom.

Anyway, while we were in Atlanta for the week of Christmas Gary was hard at work on the bathroom addition! Woohoo!
We returned to find more of the roof constructed.

On Saturday, January 5, Gary and hubby worked all day on the bathroom. With only minor injuries to hubby (he hit his fingers a few times with a hammer and was able to avoid more serious injury by preventing several falls from the roof of the addition by holding on tightly to whatever was closest) they were able to complete the shell of the addition. It is beautiful! The building inspector should be out in the next day or two to inspect and then we can begin putting on shingles, siding, and then install the windows! From this point on most of the work will be done by hubby.
Let the games (and the arguments) begin!

We were quite shocked when we received the compaction test (aka dirt inspector) bill. It was $250! $250 for a guy to come out put a stick in the dirt to tell us that it’s compacted dirt! (I must be in the wrong profession-I know dirt when I see it). For $0 I could have told you that we had compacted dirt! What a racket! And then the building inspector had the nerve to tell us, after the fact, that we really didn’t need the compaction test for such a small project! I believe that this is a conspiracy-they are in cahoots! Oh well, such is life. And so continues the bathtub diaries…

I purchased a crystal candle chandelier for over the tub. I had a smaller one that I was going to use but I realized it was too small and that this one would work better (that seems to happen a lot, in case you haven’t noticed). Ironically, the chandelier came from a friends’ house where it hung over her tub. She decided to sell it in the antiques shop. As she was taking it from her car Lisa (shop owner) said that it would probably work well in my new bathroom to which my friend agreed (do they know me or what?). How funny that everyone thinks about this bathroom!
While in Atlanta I purchased another antique picture frame to use as the medallion for the center light fixture and a small vintage light hanger thingy (don’t know the technical name for it) from which to hang the candle chandelier that I purchased from my friend at the shop.
We also had to pick up the cabinet that I purchased for the bathroom from the antique mall down the road. When I finished paying for it back in October I asked if I could leave it there for a couple of weeks until I had space in the bathroom to put it (how naïve of me to have ever believed that it would be only a couple of weeks for completion). It was necessary for me to move it from that location as two weeks had turned into two months! I asked Lisa if I could store it in our antique shop for the time being since I have no more space at home. Lisa said it would be fine so we are now using it for display at the shop.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Christmas Tub Entertainment

December 17, 2007
Saturday was the big day for Gary to come out and finish up the roof so we could call the building inspector for another inspection. Poor Gary, he keeps trying to get out to finish but that blasted regular job of his keeps interfering. Doesn’t his boss realize that this is all about me? I need a tub to soak in! Since we are all regular, normal (well somewhat normal) people, of course this project is like other normal additions. It’s just going to take a little longer than a couple of weeks to finish the structure. Ok, maybe a little longer than a couple of weeks, more like a couple of months. Ok, well, maybe a little longer than a couple of months…:).

In the meantime the tub is providing a great deal of entertainment in its current location in the middle of the living room floor (as opposed to the ‘soaking’ entertainment it was meant for). As I have mentioned we have decorated it with velvet and filled it with large silk poinsettias. Kramer, our cat, discovered that this makes for a great play area. As he took a flying leap into the forest of poinsettias a great battle began. From our vantage point all we could see were poinsettias flying everywhere. There was rustling and clanging as the poinsettias were eventually brought down by the fearless Kramer! After wrestling the dreaded silk poinsettia giants to the bottom of the tub Kramer then began his stealth look-out for more of the ferocious creatures. All would be quiet and then all of sudden the silence was pierced by rustling within the depths of the tub and then the sight of long white whiskers protruding ever so slightly from within the crumpled branches. Occasionally amongst the red velvety petals a little pink nose and white muzzle could be seen just to disappear quickly again beneath the branches of fallen poinsettias. This battle took place for over an hour. Sometimes Kramer would come leaping from deep within the tub just to land at the other end burrowing down beneath the silk plants. Wanting to catch a glimpse of what was going on beneath this sea of red velvet petals and silky green stalks I peeked through the faucet hole in the tub. What a sight it beheld! A set of little green eyes were gazing right back at me. Kramer had finally seen the monster that he had been searching for! He gazed back at me, very still, waiting for the right moment and then…he leapt into action striking towards me with his paw extended to its entire length through the faucet hole in the tub! Although he was able to push me back I was not so easily driven off so I returned to peer through the hole once again. With great precision and poise he lunged for the hole yet again extending his paw as far as he could in an effort to ward me off. Finally I got the message and backed away and Kramer returned to his hunt for the dreaded poinsettia monster at the bottom of the Christmas tub.

Later this evening we spoke with Gary. He was very apologetic about the delays. I’m not upset, these things happen. I only hope that he is not too upset about it. He is going to try to work on the bathroom sometime next week. With our luck it will rain. Not to worry as we are getting a great deal of entertainment from the tub not to mention we have many Christmas Tub songs to sing!
‘Fa la la la la la la la!’

Monday, November 2, 2009

More Christmas Tub Songs!

December 10, 2007
Breaking Bathtub News!!!
Gary is at the house working on the bathroom!!! WooHoo!!!

Gary completed the roofline over the bay window and it is gorgeous! He will be back out this Saturday to finish up the roof work.

December 14, 2007
Gary is supposed to come out tomorrow to work on the roof. Until then (since I can’t soak in the tub) I have written some more Christmas Tub songs.

Christmas Tub
(to the tune of ‘Jungle Bells’)

Christmas Tub,
Christmas Tub,
Christmas Tub, oh yay!
Oh what fun it would be if I could soak today, hey!
Christmas Tub,
Christmas Tub,
Christmas Tub, oh yay,
Oh what fun it would be if I could soak today!

A month or two ago, I thought I’d have a tub,
To soak in and to love and to bathe the dogs,
But things are not that quick and so I await St. Nick,
Hopefully he’ll come to build and that will do the trick!

Christmas Tub,
Christmas Tub,
Christmas Tub, oh yay!
Oh what fun it would be if I could soak today, hey!
Christmas Tub,
Christmas Tub,
Christmas Tub oh yay!
Oh what fun it would be if I could soak today!

The Twelve Days of the Christmas Tub
(to the tune of the Twelve Days of Christmas)

On the first day of the remodel the contractor gave to me,
A promise of a bathroom complete!

On the second day of the remodel the postman brought to me,
Two light fixtures,
And a tub in a crate in the driveway!

On the third day of the remodel the plumber said to me
We’ll get it done,
No stopping to have fun,
So we can get the tub installed in a hurry.

On the fourth day of the remodel the postman brought to me
More light fixtures,
Matching the previous ones,
Lighting the new bathroom,
So that I can soak in the tub happily!

On the fifth day of the remodel my true love gave to me,
A shovel to dig the foundation!!!
Oh what sore muscles,
I had for a week,
And all I really needed,
Was a soak in a bathroom complete!

On the sixth day of the remodel my mother had called me,
From the antique store,
About several architectural pieces!!!
And a stained glass window,
That my grandmother,
Would later go and buy,
Which surprised everyone in the family!

On the seventh day of the remodel the county sent to me,
A building inspector,
To check out all the work,
To make sure that it would not fall down!!!
And so the next step passed,
And on we keep on going,
Awaiting its completion,
So that I can soak in my new bathtub!

On the eighth day of the remodel I am beginning to fear,
That the tub will never ever,
Ever, ever, ever,
Be installed this year,
Which always brings to my eye a tear!!!
As I wait patiently,
To have the tub installed,
In a complete room,
So that I can soak all day happily!

On the ninth day of the remodel it’s getting very hard
To keep a positive attitude,
With a tub in the living room,
Decorated for Christmas,
Instead of filled with water,
Why is this taking so long???
All that I asked for,
Was a claw foot tub,
To soak in for hours,
But now I’m stuck just singing these songs!

On the tenth day of the remodel I still cannot believe,
That it’s been so long,
Since we started on,
This project to install,
An antique claw foot tub,
All so I could soak!!!!!!
I know it’ll get done,
And then I’ll have some fun,
Sitting in my tub,
While I soak all day in lots of bubble bath!

On the eleventh day of the remodel the tile company,
Sent us boxes of tile,
To put down on the floor,
Of the bathroom that should be complete,
But still has a closed door,
Hiding all the stuff,
That by now should have been installed!!!!
The tub has turned into,
A Christmas decoration,
This is really pitiful,
And so I write these Christmas tub songs!

On the twelfth day of the remodel I really hope to see,
The contractor is working,
Towards finishing the project,
So the county can inspect,
For the millionth time,
To determine its sturdiness,
So that we can proceed,
To the next big step!!!
Of cutting a hole in the wall,
Laying down the tiles,
Hanging architecture,
And so finally I can soak in my tub!!!

Tis the Season (the Fa la la song)
Tis the season to be soaking
Fa la la la la la la la la

But instead we all are joking
Fa la la la la la la la la

Oh how I wish they would finish
Fa la la la la la la la la

Hopefully before next Christmas
Fa la la la la la la la la

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Christmas Tub Melodies

December 7, 2007
Throughout the years I have heard the stories about the nightmares of remodeling. Nightmares like building inspectors being too fussy, the wrong supplies being ordered, contractors not showing up…
Gary didn’t show up today and much to our surprise didn’t call.
The whole situation is kinda funny. We have a tub in the living room decorated for Christmas. Most of the supplies for the infamous bathroom are now stacked and stored in the bathroom itself (now you can walk through the house but not the bathroom). As I was cleaning this morning I was inspired by the beautifully decorated tub and the seasonal music that I have been listening to. So I wrote the official ‘Christmas Tub’ song. This is to be sung to tune of ‘O Tannenbaum.’

¯ ‘O Christmas Tub,
O Christmas Tub,
O how I long to soak in thee’

‘O Christmas Tub,
O Christmas Tub,
You’re decorated beautifully’

‘I did not think it’d take this long,
And so I sing this silly song’

‘O Christmas Tub,
O Christmas Tub,
O how I long to soak in thee.’ ¯

My insanity is complete.
Which is more than I can say for my bathroom.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

'Tis the Season

December 5, 2007
Gary was supposed to come out yesterday to finish up the roof so that we could get the building inspector for the next part of the inspection (notice the heavy sigh that came with that last statement). Alas, Gary’s real job did not allow for this so he will be out this Friday to work on the bathroom.
And so the decorating of the Christmas tub begins!

December 6, 2007
We have decorated the tub for Christmas! It is filled with Poinsettias and burgundy velvet. We were going to add lights but were afraid it may scratch the finish. The Christmas Tub is center stage in the living room bedecked for the Christmas holidays. Gary will be out tomorrow to finish the roof work. WooHoo!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Christmas Tub

December 1, 2007

At 9:30 hubby's cell phone rings. He is not around so I answer it-probably Gary saying that he is on his way. Well it was Gary. He was calling to say that he has some things to do at home before they go to sing later in the afternoon. He won’t be able to make it today so he will be out on Tuesday to do the work. It’s funny how I thought all of this would have been done by the end of October (as I had originally been told). Then I thought surely it would be done by Thanksgiving. Then I thought perhaps by Christmas. Now I am wondering if maybe it will be done by Valentine’s Day. Then again…maybe I should leave the thinking to someone else.

Instead of a Christmas tree this year we will have a Christmas tub. Might as well make the best of it and decorate it since it is still in the middle of the living room floor.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Moving Right Along

November 28, 2007
Hubby picked up the windows which are now leaning against the truck in the driveway. Hubby also picked up the boxes of tile yesterday which are now in the kitchen and dining room. The decorative tiles that we chose are gorgeous!

November 30, 2007
Gary is coming out tomorrow to finish the roof work on the bathroom so we can get it inspected and move to the next step.
Hubby informs me that both Gary and his wife have to sing at 3:00 tomorrow afternoon at a local coral concert.
Hmmm, that doesn’t leave much time for work on the bathroom does it?

Friday, September 25, 2009

Storage Dilemmas!

November 26, 2007

Hubby is going to pick up the windows today. I suppose they will be stored outside as there is no more room inside the house! After bringing home the architectural pieces and the stained glass the library and spare bedroom are now overflowing. The columns are currently lying on the dining room floor. What an interesting looking house we have right now. They say that remodeling/adding-on disrupts your house. This statement is all too true! Let’s see, there are columns on the dining room floor, a bathtub in the middle of the living room floor, plumbing fixtures under the coffee table, boxes of light fixtures and other architectural pieces crowding the library, and a large piece of stained glass, towels, and a toilet paper holder in the spare bedroom. Some of the tiles that we purchased earlier on for the old bathroom remodel will now be used under the new tub and are currently stored inside the cabinet part of the grill out back.
Oops, I almost forgot! There is a bag of curtains on the floor of our bedroom. I think the sink is in the back of hubby's truck. The vintage cabinet for storing towels is still at the antique mall storeroom awaiting pick-up. The vanity, chair, and candle chandelier are currently being housed at the antique shop where I have a space. Gracious, we are not only crowding our own house but many of the stores in town too. Oh did I mention that the floor tiles are still at the tile store?

Saturday, September 12, 2009


November 20, 2007
The windows have arrived!

November 23, 2007
Hubby has taken the day off to help Gary with the construction. Unfortunately, Gary was called into work for an emergency situation on another construction job. So much for this week. We will try again next week.

I went to Atlanta to visit mom and grandma. I picked up the stained glass window (which is absolutely beautiful) and the other architectural pieces that will be used for the bathroom.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Plywood Progress

November 18, 2007

Because of the delays from the day before Gary came out after church to work on the roof rafters. Hubby had managed to complete the plywood construction around the left side window the day before. Once again, the weather was nice so I decided to look in on the construction progress. Hubby had nailed a solid piece of plywood to the right side window wall and was now preparing to measure the hole so that he could cut it out. (Wonder where he got that idea?) Mind you he is preparing to cut from the outside where the plywood is solid. Being a woman I could not refrain from making yet another suggestion. I told him he would not have to do all of that measuring for the window hole if he stood on the inside of the structure and used the window opening as a guide to cut. I was given a very disgusted look and then he proceeded to climb into the area and cut the plywood using the window opening as the guide. I realized at that point that I had overstayed my welcome and I returned inside to let the guys finish their work. They were unable to get as far as they had hoped so Gary said that he would come out to complete this phase of building on the following Friday. We would have to wait until the following week to call the building inspector.
Ironically, Hubby was able to complete all of the remaining plywood construction that afternoon using his newfound technique for the application of plywood over window holes:).

Monday, September 7, 2009

The Best Way?

November 17, 2007

Gary and hubby worked on the bathroom today. While hubby worked on putting up the plywood walls Gary was busy cutting the beams for the roof. Alas, nothing in construction is ever a sure thing, especially when working with measurements that look great on paper but don’t necessarily apply to real life (what was that mom always said to us in school about learning math-‘you will use this someday!’ Like when you’re an adult and you want to add onto your bathroom and you’re too cheap to hire an architect to create exact drawings, yada, yada, yada…) Gary measured carefully and then began to construct the roof. But to no avail-the measurements didn’t quite work. No problem, these things happen. Actually they happened three times before the measurements worked. This little glitch of course delayed things a bit.

Now on to hubby's job- the plywood.
It wouldn’t be a regular work day without an injury.

Poor hubby suffered a splinter.

The weather was lovely so I decided to watch the construction for a while. Just watch mind you, not supervise. (OK-what planet are you from-when have you ever known a woman to sit quietly and NOT supervise men)! Anyway, I watched as hubby measured a large piece of plywood that was cut to fit the entire left side section of the window area (the window area of the bathroom has a large center window with two side windows-the entire thing is shaped like a Bay window). He would hold the plywood up, measure the section over the window opening, make a mark, measure again, make another mark, measure again, make another mark, measure again, make another mark, and then cut it. Then he repeated the process for each side around the window opening. This seemed very tedious to me. In essence he was cutting pieces to fit each section of the wall around the window resulting in four pieces of plywood. Hmmm…seems to me that there is an easier way to do this. But you know it is difficult to tell someone that there may be an easier way-especially when one has no prior construction experience, not to mention that I’m a girl. I was a little baffled as to why hubby was going to such lengths to do something that seemed so very simple and that Gary had not guided him on this issue. Finally I could keep quiet no longer! I asked hubby why he wasn’t nailing the large piece of plywood up and then cutting the window hole out making it one piece with a hole in the middle as opposed to four separate pieces. It seemed to me this approach would be much easier and faster and would achieve the same goal. Ironically, when I made this statement Gary looked down at me from the roof area and gave me a funny look-apparently he had mentioned something similar earlier on or maybe he had just thought it himself and being a fellow man knew better than to make the suggestion. Hubby looked at me with annoyance and said that he was doing it correctly. But I am a woman and not to be dismissed so easily. I went on to say that I had watched the neighborhood contractor do it this way for years. They always put a solid sheet of plywood over the entire section of wall and then cut out the window holes. Once again I received a disgusted look from hubby who continued measuring each piece to fit around the window opening. From what I could tell he had been working on this particular ‘project’ for more than an hour. Well, maybe I don’t know what I’m talking about-after all who wouldn’t choose to take the faster, easier route to completing a project, right?

Saturday, September 5, 2009


November 15, 2007

Today hubby worked past dark on bolting down the studs. Now I have secure studs at the bottom of my bathroom walls. Nothing like being surrounded by secure studs while soaking in a tub:). I guess you could say that hubby is now the stud master!
I contemplated keeping a log of all of his injuries during this project; however, I didn’t want to use that much paper. He did receive one injury during his ‘stud’ work-a rather nasty blister where he pinched his skin between the bolt and the stud. He believes that the injury will heal and the finger will once again be at full use and available for future hammer smashings and all round general cuts.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Stud Support!

November 13, 2007
Hubby came home from work and began attaching the straps to the studs which he was able to accomplish before it got too dark.

November 14, 2007
Hubby provided ‘stud support’ today. What can I say-he’s the ‘stud-man’. He cut the wood pieces that go between the studs for support and nailed them up.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


November 9, 2007

Gary and Darryl began constructing the walls for the bathroom today. They were able to get the studs up and the window openings framed. It is actually starting to look more like an actual room now!

In the meantime…

The tile is in but has yet to be picked up (we have nowhere to put it-everything is being stored in the library which is now a maze to get through). The overflow of stuff is now going to the spare bedroom. Knowing my knack for shopping it won’t be long before things are overflowing from the spare bedroom to the rest of the house!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Joy in the simple things...

November 4, 2007

The cement guys were back out first thing this morning to finish up the cement job. We now have a foundation for the 6x8 bathroom addition. It has occurred to me that my once ‘closet sized’ bathroom is soon to be a ‘walk-in closet sized’ bathroom.

Brings tears to my eyes…

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A Woman's Perogative

November 3, 2007

Much to my amazement the cement guys came out and poured the cement today! WooHoo!!! Hubby said that he will try to get the building inspector out on Monday to inspect the cement.

On another note-(you may want to sit down for this one as it may come as a total shock) I have decided to go with the beadboard instead of the wainscoting. I know, I know, I seemed pretty sure about it last week but this time I am sure. At least pretty sure. Well fairly sure. Almost entirely sure. No, yes I am sure-wainscoting it is! I mean beadboard…

After all, I am female which gives me full entitlement to change my mind as often as necessary to achieve the goal of a beautiful bathroom (not to mention driving those around me crazy:).

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Still waiting...

November 1, 2007

I surfed the Internet in search of ceiling medallions and wood appliqués for the ceiling treatment. I have found several which I emailed to hubby (I gave mom a break on this one). We are still working on this design.

Despite my excitement over the passing of the building inspection I have yet to see any cement poured. Hmmm. Wonder when that will happen...

Monday, August 17, 2009

Lights, Architecture, Action?

October 31st, 2007

The last of the five light fixtures arrived today and it is beautiful!
I received a call with a quote for the decorative ceiling tiles-$17 per tile. The ceiling cost would be around $400 so we have decided to try something else. We are thinking about doing something with decorative moldings on the ceiling. I have several ideas we just need to decide which one is the most feasible.
We discussed the beadboard for the walls and at this point (notice that I don’t make any kind of declarative statements anymore-I have learned to make tentative statements when remodeling) we have decided to go with wainscoting.

Hubby ordered the windows today. No Palladian.

Mom was able to send us the history on the architectural pieces (columns and stained glass). It is very interesting. The pieces were salvaged from a notable historic home in Georgia. Our walls might not talk but our architectural pieces sure do!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Color schemes...

Monday October 29, 2007

I returned the small rug for the bathroom.
I realized that it was too small and that a longer rug would look better. While at the store I found a rug that I liked better (3½x5)- hopefully it will work.

I found the curtains that I was looking for at a big box store. Unlike the set that I really liked from a catalog ($150 for the set) these were only $30.

The county building inspector arrived this afternoon and passed the work thus far. He told hubby that it wasn’t necessary to have the dirt inspection done for such a small job. Now he tells us! We could have had the concrete poured by now if we had known that! Oh well, we will be getting the concrete poured soon-hubby is trying to finalize it with the concrete company.
We have finally decided on a 36” wide window for the center window without the Palladian window. The Palladian window would look nice but I think it will look just as nice without it and save us some money.

As for the color scheme…
Originally I was going with black and white with red accents. Then I saw a beautiful picture in my favorite magazine which got me to thinking. So I started planning a slight change in the décor colors. I found curtains and a rug in the new gold and red colors. The red colors are more of a rusty red so I purchased some towels in this color too. I figure this muted red color won’t run or fade as badly as the deeper burgundy towels I have had in the past. The black and white background will make a beautiful backdrop for the soft golds and reds. Instead of painting the upper walls in a burgundy color I am leaning toward a dusty gold. I may even use a fleur-de-lis pattern on the walls in a flat paint so that the design is subtle. I was also considering doing a faux wainscoting instead of the beadboard but hubby said that the beadboard would be easier. This discussion is still ongoing...

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Looking up...

Saturday October 27, 2007

I bought a small rug for the bathroom.

We are awaiting quotes on decorative Victorian ceiling tiles. We decided that we will use a regular wood molding instead of the moldings that match the ceiling tiles to save money.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The remodeling wheels are turning...

Friday October 26, 2007

The dirt inspector arrived! And we passed the dirt inspection!
Hubby called the county inspector who will be out on Monday. From there we will arrange the concrete delivery!

Monday, August 10, 2009


Thursday October 25, 2007
Hubby called Gary who called the dirt inspector and was told that everything is running behind schedule due to the rain.

We are still waiting.

Hubby finished removing the old tub and part of the drywall in the bathroom.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

The list (and the expense) continues...

Wednesday October 24, 2007

Still no dirt inspector

I went to the tile store to order the decorative tiles for the platform step. After consulting with Lisa at the antiques shop I have decided to go with the black tiles. The tiles are handmade in California. After reading about the company on their website I was very happy with the choice. All of the tiles are made in America at their studios.

· Decorative tiles-$267

Friday, August 7, 2009

The reason for the insanity...

Tuesday October 23, 2007

Darryl called me at lunchtime. The tub is here and sitting in our driveway! WooHoo!

No sign of the dirt inspector.

Afternoon-The tub was in a crate sitting in the driveway when I got home. After Darryl removed the crate from around the tub I sat in it to try it out. Darryl had a friend from work come over and help him carry it into the living room. I proceeded to fill the tub with blankets and some pillows. I spent some time watching TV and talking on the phone to mom while sitting in the tub in the middle of the living room floor. HeeHee!

The feet for the tub are beautiful. They are detailed claw and ball feet (bird feet) with swirls at the top.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

A step up...

Monday October 22, 2007

I went to the local tile store after work to pick up the bathroom tile as it had arrived sometime last week. The decision was made to build a platform for the tub to sit upon, and to hide the plumbing, creating a 6” step up to the tub. This got me to thinking that perhaps we could use decorative tile on the step up. While I was at the tile store I found a beautiful raised fleur-de-lis tile that comes in black or white. I took the tile samples home and hubby also liked them. Now comes the hard part. Which color-black or white? Hubby scoffed at the price ($17 per tile) but I reminded him that we saved so much money by going with an inexpensive tile choice (8x8” black and white tiles) for the rest of the bathroom that we could now splurge a little on the decorative tile. Ah, a woman’s logic-there is none other in the world like it.

Did I mention that about two weeks ago mom found a bathtub basket at a yard sale that fits across the tub to hold the soaps and shampoos for twenty-five cents? At least we got a bargain on something!

The dirt inspector (he inspects the tamped down dirt to make sure it is solid enough before the concrete is poured) is supposed to come out today. On our ‘list of requirements’ from the county we have to have the tamped dirt inspected to make sure that it is properly tamped down. Of course, the building inspector can’t come out until this is done and the concrete can’t be poured until the building inspector has approved the work!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Lighten up!

Friday afternoon

Gary was finishing the rebar as I pulled into the driveway. WooHoo! One step closer to a hot soak in an old tub!

So far four of the five reproduction light fixtures have arrived (more arrived today).
They are beautiful!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Nothing but dirt...

Friday October 19, 2007

Gary was supposed to come out to put rebar down earlier in the week but has been delayed with his regular job. He is coming out this morning to do the rebar. Unfortunately we can’t get the building inspector out until the rebar is done and we can’t get the concrete poured until the building inspector comes out! Ugh!!!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Stained Glass Dilemma...

Thursday, October 18, 2007

It’s Thursday and as soon as the antique mall opens I will call to layaway the stained glass (the layaway plan was for three months so it didn’t seem like such a huge amount all at once-ah, the art of justification!). I was very excited. At 11:00 I called. The other owner answered. I told her that I was calling about the stained glass that mom and grandma had found the previous Saturday. With disappointment in her voice she said that it was sold the previous Saturday.
My heart sank.

But that’s alright, I’ll find something. The search continues-I put this piece of stained glass out of my mind and start searching the website that I found earlier in the week with several other pieces of stained glass.

I can’t help thinking about the piece of stained glass from the antique mall. But I put it out of my head-no sense thinking about it now-it’s sold.

Ugh-I should have bought it!

I keep searching and find a couple of pieces that I like. I called the place in Pennsylvania and had them place a hold on two stained glass windows-I won’t make the mistake of not acting quickly enough again!

Still trying not to think about the piece of stained glass from the antique mall.

I continue telling myself that the stained glass I have on hold will be great in the bathroom. Then again there are other options-I even found an inexpensive and creative solution using a stained glass fireplace screen from a national department store to save some money until I find a piece that I like as much as the one that I missed out on at the antique mall! I will call the place in Pennsylvania tomorrow and tell them that I don’t want either piece that I have on hold. (I want the piece from the antique mall but it’s sold so don’t think about it anymore!)

Mom calls me later in the afternoon with amazement in her voice. She informs me that grandma was the one who bought the piece of stained glass at the antique mall! I am so excited! Her reason behind the purchase was that she felt the piece belonged in our family. Hubby and I will make payments to her until we pay it off.
Stained glass dilemma solved!

Back to the construction:
Gary can’t make it out as he had to work late again. He will be out tomorrow morning to do the rebar.
And so the saga continues...

Friday, July 31, 2009

The search goes on...

Outside, the frame for the bathroom addition.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007
I head to Charleston searching antique stores for stained glass. Alas, I find several pieces that are beautiful but not what we are looking for-the prices were similar to the piece at the antique mall.

Gary is supposed to do the rebar today but gets delayed at work. He will come out tomorrow.

Still thinking about the $500 piece of stained glass...

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

More research on several websites for antique stained glass (poor mom received several emails a day with different stained glass window pics). I found a marvelous website in Pennsylvania with a great selection and good prices. Several pieces are in the same price range and lovely, but still not as nice as the piece at the antique mall in Lilburn.

Later that evening with a bandaged finger and a better dust mask, Darryl continues the destruction of the tub/shower combo! WooHoo!

Still thinking about the $500 piece of stained glass.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Stained glass mania...

Monday, October 15, 2007

Still thinking about the $500 piece of stained glass.

Can’t take it anymore-I call the antique store. The owner answers, says he believes the piece is still there but that they are closed until Thursday for some construction work. He’s says to call back Thursday.
This is great! I have a few days to do some research before making a decision.
Let the search begin!!!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Let the destruction begin!

Sunday, October 14, 2007
Pauly (plumber) and his brother-in-law, came out in the afternoon to begin the plumbing. He helped us determine the tub location in the new addition.
After the initial plumbing work was done outside the destruction inside the bathroom began!

And so do hubby's injuries.

Later that day after a run, I walk into the house and follow the trail of blood (a very faint trail) from hubby’s bathroom to my bathroom where a loud, sawing sound is emanating. Through the closed door I ask if he is alright. He says ‘yes’. I ask if he is hurt-there is a pause-then a quiet ‘no’. ‘Where did the blood come from’, I asked, ‘Did you cut yourself?’ (after all, he is working with a saw!) ‘No’, he says, ‘I smashed my finger.’
I have never known a smashed finger to bleed (but leave it to hubby to find a way). He caught his pinky finger in the trigger part of the electric saw which smashed it. The finger was swollen to double its size and it looked pretty gross with a small gash near the nail. But not to worry-we have plenty of band-aids!
He was able to cut away some of the fiberglass tub which resulted in a great deal of fiberglass dust in the air. This is not good when you have just returned from running and are breathing heavily, so I learned. Fiberglass dust hurts when you breath it in-thus why hubby was wearing a mask. I tried using a mask but the dust still got through so I left the room.
Later I researched stained glass on eBay and found several nice pieces but not as nice as the one at the antique mall.

Still thinking about the $500 piece of stained glass...

Thursday, July 23, 2009

If architectural pieces could talk...

Saturday, October 13, 2007
Gary arrived and constructed the form for the concrete.
Mom calls me early from the antique mall in Lilburn. She found antique architectural pieces (Palladian window as well as two matching columns with Corinthian style caps) within a reasonable price.

She calls me later when she and grandma find a large, beautiful piece of stained glass to hang in my center bathroom window. It has a fleur-de-lis and a new wooden frame. The history on the piece is given (it came from an old house built in the late 1800’s and has been sitting in the attic of the house since 1911). The price tag is $650! Once I get up off the floor I ask for the dealer’s best price. The gentleman says $500. (Mind you, when he first brought it into the antique store he had said the asking price would be $450-not thinking about it mom says he should ask more before she realizes that this is what we are looking for). At $500 we have to think about it, after all it’s not going anywhere. No one is going to walk in and buy such an expensive piece of stained glass. In the meantime, the antique store owner emails me pictures of the piece. It is beautiful! But I will do some research before investing that much money (not to mention that Darryl said ‘no’)...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Out the window...

October 9, 2007
The next day brought more fun. The windows needed for this particular project are an unusual size, one 30” wide window and two 16” wide windows (come on you didn’t think we were going to get out that easy did you?). Of course, windows this size must be custom ordered raising the price from the basic windows available at most hardware stores. It wasn’t terribly bad, about $50 more per window. Since the regular windows had to be custom ordered the Palladian would also have to be special ordered. When the price quote came back I nearly fell from my chair. $709 for a 30”x15” Palladian window! Yes that’s right! The Palladian window would cost more than all of the other windows combined! So, out went the Palladian window (did you hear the crashing sound that came with that comment?).

I returned home later that evening to find Darryl refilling and tamping down the area that I had dug the day before. Gary is supposed to come out tomorrow to do more work.

A few days later we got some good news! Darryl has requested quotes for windows from two local hardware stores. One price quote was close to the national chain stores but the other local was able to get us a great price. All three windows, including the Palladian window, will cost about $600. Looks like the Palladian window is back!!!

Monday, July 20, 2009

I'm diggin' it...

October 8, 2007
I was told on Saturday by hubby, much to my surprise, that WE are supposed to dig the area for the foundation. Hmmm-I thought the reason we hired a contractor was for HIM to do all of this. This needed to be done before anything else could take place so I agreed in order to get the project going. Sunday was out due to prior obligations and church. Greg, I mean Gary, had to work on Monday. Darryl also had to work on Monday. Guess who was left? Me! So, Monday afternoon I began to dig out the area that Darryl instructed me to dig. He told me to remove the top layer of all the organic materials. I figured there had to be more to it so I was determined to get it ALL done. When my arms and shoulders started to get weak from digging out the dirt and hauling it to the back yard I would take a break and cut a section of lawn. I managed to completely cut both our yard as well as the yard next door. Finally, I had managed to dig out a 6’x8’ section of dirt about 8 inches deep. Wow, was I sore! Wouldn’t it be nice to soak in a tub right about now? Oh that’s right, I don’t have a tub yet! That’s why I am digging a 6’x8’ hole in the side of my yard-for the addition to my closet size bathroom to allow for a tub to soak my sore muscles and to help me relax!!! Does anyone else see the irony in this?

Of course, once Darryl returned home from work he informed me that I only needed to remove the outside edges and top layer of dirt, not the entire area.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Window of opportunity...

October 6, 2007
Ah yes, the story continues. The building permit was approved. Saturday was the big day! Gary (Greg has asked that his name be changed for the diaries to protect his identity) came out to begin the layout for the bathroom addition! I was so excited! He put up stakes and measured out the space. But then the first of many changes took place. The turret was out. It would not work well on that side of the house and would be significantly more expensive. But I was offered another very good option. After discussing it we decided to go with a 9’ vaulted ceiling in the tub area which would allow for a Palladian window.
Now the search for Palladian windows begins...

Thursday, July 16, 2009

It's the little things...

"Rubber ducky you're the one, that makes the bathtub lots of fun..."
Ernie, Sesame Street
Now I needed somewhere to put my soap, shampoo, and towels while bathing in luxury amongst bubbles with classical music lilting in the background. The search for towels, racks, toilet paper holders, and other such accoutrements began.
· Cost of all the little extras-To be determined

But wait, there’s more.

Originally we were told that an actual bay window would run about $5000. All I wanted was the three tiny windows like the one we currently had in the bathroom. (I think by now you have figured out that this too will change). The bay windows were still too expensive so I decided to save money by going with three regular windows and possibly adding three small windows over them. We are still researching this although I have found several very good windows at the national chain stores at reasonable prices...

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

From floor to ceiling...

Don’t forget one must have authentic tile flooring to achieve the period look. Black and white tiles were generally the norm so black and white tiles it would be. We just had to figure how much of the black and white tiles were needed as well as a design. After considering several options we opted for authenticity and affordability and went with 8”x8” black and white tiles. It would take about one week for it to come in at a small cost of $468.

But wait, there’s more.

The vanity, tub, and flooring would be authentic enough but the original light fixture would be too small to light the soon to be much larger bathroom (we were originally going to keep the original fixture to save money). So I began looking at lighting. I found several viable lighting options at national chain hardware stores and was thrilled that the lighting costs would not be too terribly high. And then I found an online store with reproduction lighting fixtures much more to my liking. Not to worry! The new lighting cost would only be a bit more than the stuff from the chain stores (at this point what’s a few more dollars?). And so the lighting was ordered.

· Estimated lighting-$859

But wait, there’s more...

Monday, July 13, 2009

First Steps...

The original estimate was $3000. I began the next day by locating an antique claw foot, 60” tub at a wonderful tub supply store in Jacksonville, Florida. I was able to choose all of the tub fixtures and plumbing accoutrements that I wanted, within a reasonable price range. We were originally going to drive to Jacksonville to pick up the tub but the delivery fee for everything was reasonable so we went with the delivery option. Various tub colors and foot finishes were tempting but in the end I went with traditional white all the way around! It would be four weeks before the tub was refurbished and shipped to the house.

Now that the first step was complete it was time to go for the dreaded building permit. I took all of the necessary paper work to the county office where I was told that our contractor had to complete a form and then we would wait for up to ten days for approval! I was unhappy with the time line, but hey, the tub wouldn’t be here for three more weeks anyway.

So far everything was still within a decent budget:
· Estimated construction costs-$3000
· Antique claw foot tub with fixtures -$1734
· Zoning permit-$25
· Building permit-$52
· Being able to soak in a tub soon-priceless!

Of course, there is more to a remodel than the obvious. We had already located a small antique vanity for the sink area ($275) and a small white drop-in sink from a local thrift store for a mere $5.

But wait, there’s more...

Saturday, July 11, 2009

It's all about the tub...

Finally, I could take it no longer (neither could anyone else who knew me). I must have the tub at any cost!!! This time we called a contractor friend. After plying him with wine and dinner he gave me the wonderful news. The bathroom could be made larger and for a reasonable amount of money! WooHoo! I was getting my claw foot tub and not just any tub but a full size, 60” tub!

Let the Games Begin!
Whoever said that you should generally add 20% to the initial estimate of a home improvement project never met me.
Twenty percent is for amateurs!

Friday, July 10, 2009

And so it goes...

I already had a regular tub. Lots of people take baths in regular tubs so why couldn’t I? I filled the regular tub with hot water, added bubble bath only to discover that in order to soak in 11” of water one must contort the body and lay somewhat sideways while shifting constantly to stay submerged in the water. Instead of coming out of the tub relaxed and relieved I exited stiff and discouraged. Shy of enlarging the bathroom the claw foot tub (and long soaks in bubbly water) was not to be.

But these things have never stopped me from achieving my goals! Remember, I am an eccentric! An obsessive eccentric!

In the meantime, my husband found an antique, 54” claw foot tub for sale at one of the old houses on The Point. Not only would I have a claw foot tub but it was from a house on The Point (another obsession-I can’t have a house on the Point but I have a tub from a house on The Point!) The tub was brought home for a mere $40 where it became a beautiful fountain in the back yard (I'll have to find the pics of it as a fountain-as you can see in the pics above it is now a planter:). Prior to the tub’s rebirth as a fountain, it sat patiently on the back patio awaiting spring. One winter afternoon, after two long days of staging my mother-in-laws’ condo, I was stiff and sore. All I needed was a soak in a tub! Let’s face it, when you can’t have the real thing the next best thing is one’s imagination. As I watched the dogs romp and play in the back yard I slipped into the ever so small iron, claw foot tub on the back porch. It was a stretch of the imagination being that it was winter and iron tubs outside in cold weather tend to be, well, cold. But I have a very strong mind. Closing my eyes and concentrating I could almost feel the hot water and foamy bubbles. Of course, hubby walked out onto the back patio and asked what I was doing. I explained that I was soaking in a tub with hot water. He just looked at me and said ‘that’s pathetic’ and returned inside. For the next few months any pictures, television shows, or reference to claw foot tubs only resulted in my whining about the closet size bathroom. Even our dog Lizzy got the pleasure of the claw foot tub fountain out back as she often jumped in for a swim to cool off after chasing squirrels.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

How It All Started...

Once upon a time there was a fairly eccentric, unusual woman who for reasons unknown was more at home in an era gone by than the current one in which she existed (if you haven’t guessed yet, it’s me). Victorian era manners and mores infiltrated my everyday thoughts, but little did I know that very soon a new obsession from the 19th century would overtake me-the quest for an antique claw foot tub! Not only would this quest lead me to a long soak in an old tub but also through a rather long and harrowing renovation process.

Upon returning home from a trip to Louisville, KY, where I discovered the pleasures of soaking in a century old claw foot tub, the process began. Within days I had chosen the perfect 60” slipper tub at a national chain hardware store. After choosing a new, acrylic 60” claw foot tub (and overcoming the sticker price shock of $1700+), I called a plumber friend to help begin the process of removing the old tub/shower combo and replacing it with the slipper tub. Alas, something that seemed so simple in fact was more complicated than I ever dreamed. The tub was 60” but our closet size bathroom was only 59½” wide. Not to worry because these tubs can be found in 54” styles! I returned to the hardware store the following day where I discovered that indeed 54” tubs were available; however, not in the slipper style. No problem, I could live with the regular style, and the smaller size, as long as I could soak! Problem solved!
Or was it?
The 54” tub required 8” of plumbing, once again too large for the closet size bathroom. Humph. All hope was now lost.
Or was it?

Let the Insanity Begin!

Thinking of remodeling? Husband told you that he can do the work to save money? Got a price limit in mind and believe you can stick to it?

Well think again!

Welcome to the Bathtub Diaries-a journal of our master bath remodel all to install a claw foot tub. Although I make jokes about the nightmares of remodeling I must say that all of the time, money, injuries, dust, and disruption in our home for months was well worth it! If you have ever remodeled or know someone who has then the diaries are something to which you can probably relate. Take the plunge with me into a nearly year long process of knocking out walls, making decisions (and then changing my mind), shopping, shopping, shopping, installations, and a whole lot of sweat equity all for the simple pleasure of soaking in an old claw foot tub.
Once you read the Bathtub Diaries you will learn that things are never as easy as they seem. Upon returning home from a vacation I immediately began planning for the installation of a claw foot tub in my closet sized bathroom. However, we soon realized that our small bathroom could not accommodate a claw foot tub so the entire project was scrapped. Well at least for a little while. About two years later we decided to remodel the bathroom. This idea came about when a vintage vanity arrived at the antique store where I was a dealer. Although it was from the 1950’s it was Victorian in style and would fit nicely into my overly small bathroom. Hubby agreed with the idea and so the bathroom remodel planning began. We started searching for tile flooring (my old vinyl flooring was stained and molded) and a sink. We were fortunate enough to find sheets of small, white octagon tiles at a local thrift store along with 4” square black tiles to use as the border ($60). In addition, we found a small sink ($5) to drop into the vanity. For a minimal amount of money we found a way to remodel the bathroom although the tub/shower combo would remain the same. At least the bathroom would look nice. I was more than content with this idea until...

Monday, July 6, 2009


Welcome to the Bathtub Diaries! Over the next few weeks I will be sharing the daily journal entries and pictures of our long and tedious bathroom remodeling project.
This blogspot is under construction so please check back as the first entry will be posted soon!
Happy Soaking!