Bathroom “Before” and Renovation Inspiration.

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Tom and I bought our house several years ago with grand plans for many renovations.  Life happens, of course and just when we had put some money away for home improvements something would come up.  A broken water main, roof repair, new air ducts… you name it, we needed it.  All of these repairs were things that took priority, and rightfully so.

Today I am happy to tell you that we have jumped into the home renovation lifestyle and are FINALLY starting our bathroom redo!  YAY!!!  This is the worst room in the house, by far.  Thankfully it’s also the smallest room in the house.  A good place to start!  Here is the before…

It’s tiny, right?  So tiny!  Tom started taking things down before I thought to get a pic, so the medicine cabinet and shower curtain had already been removed, but you get the idea.  Gross.  Gross.  Again I say, gross.  I forgot to point out the incredibly lovely tile design, never mind the holes and cracks.

Small bathrooms can be really tough to design, but we did a lot of looking online and found some design inspiration that we really liked.  Here are a few of the bathrooms that I liked…

I love the quadrant shower.  These seem to be popular in the UK, but you can’t really find a cool one here in the USA.

This painted bead board is really pretty.  I love the light fixture too!
The white color scheme here is so calming to me, and I’m a big fan of subway tile.

All of these ideas are great, but we were looking for something that looked like it would work in our size and shape of bathroom.  The other day Tom texted me and said that he had found our bathroom.  When I saw it I had to agree.  It is perfect for our space and I love everything about it!


The dimensions are a little bit different, but the layout is exactly the same as our bathroom.  What do I love about this bathroom?  Where do I start?

  • The penny tile design on the floor is simple and adorable without being too busy.
  • The walk in shower is something that I have always wished we could do, but I thought our bathroom would be too small.  Guess what?  It’s not!  YAY!
  • I love the subway tile!
  • The curved lines on the front half-wall of the shower echo the curved line at the ceiling.  LOVE.
  • The tilted mirror is awesome.  
How will our bathroom differ?
  • The interior of the shower will not be marble, probably more subway tile.
  • We may extend the half-wall up by a little bit for a tiny bit more privacy.
  • Our bathroom door is actually to the left.  We have wall space on the right side of the door wall where we would like to put in recessed shelving in lieu of a medicine cabinet, that way we can have a mirror like this one.
  • We would like a sink like this…
… but at $800 we might have to settle on something else.  Maybe we can find something similar at a cheaper price?
I’m so excited about this renovation!  I just hope that we are able to incorporate as much of the inspiration bathroom as possible… and that no other emergencies pop up!  A family of five using one bathroom (which also happens to be tiny) is a bit too cozy for me.
Have you done a bathroom renovation?  
Do you have any tips or wisdom to share?  
I’d love to hear it.

Tutorial: Drab to Fab – Gift Tags from Linda at Craftaholics Anonymous

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You are all in for such a treat today!  I am honored to have Linda as a guest at The Southern Institute.  I’m guessing that most, if not all of you, are familiar with Craftaholics Anonymous.

Linda has the craft blog that every craft blogger aspires to, chock full of creative projects that even the most craftiness-challenged people can follow.  With over 18000 people who like CA on facebook, I know I’m not the only one who thinks so!  Linda has generously and kindly agreed to share a project with us today and I’m just dying to let her have the floor… so here goes!

Hi there! I’m so happy to be here today. My name is Linda and I’m the addict from Craftaholics Anonymous. Today I’ll be showing you a super easy way to take your gift tags from drab to fab in seconds! {i’m all about easy crafts that give huge impact!}

Now I’m sure you have plenty of gift giving to do. I know I’m always whipping up a little something for a friend, neighbor, Sunday school teachers, etc. But I usually don’t have time to make a card. So I like to dress up my gift tags to make it more special. 

All you need is a few supplies to make a cute gift tag in a matter of minutes!
Grab some bakers twine, paper flowers, cute brads, and…
…a self healing mat, exacto knife, and washi tape.
I used a self healing mat and an exacto knife to trim off the excess washi tape, embellished with paper flowers held in place with a brad. Then signed the tag and tied bakers twine around to hold the tag in place.
Love me some washi tape! {check out more washi tape crafts here} 

If you’d like to see a short video of these tags or to see my talking head in action, click here.
Thanks for having me over to play today! I love meeting new crafters like you! Stop by Craftaholics Anonymous and see what other fun craft ideas I have. You can also post your craft questions on my Facebook page.
happy crafting, linda

Thank you so much for sharing this space with us today, Linda!  You have done it again.  These tags are beautiful and easy to make, and I’m sure will adorn many a gift in the near future!

Tutorial: Welcome Sign from Cameron at homemade.

$75 gift card giveaway here!

Hooray, it’s Thursday!  I hope you have been enjoying our guests that have been sharing with us just about every other Thursday.  Can I let you in on a little secret?  I’m not the craftiest gal in the world, I’m much better with my sewing machine and a pattern, but here I am with a craft blog… WHO KNEW?  My solution is to feature some great craft bloggers so that you can have something great to  inspire you on Thursdays.  Today I’ve invited Cameron from homemade  to  share a project with you.  Cameron is kind of new to the blogging world, but she has jumped right in and become a part of our little community here while building herself a great blog and an adorable etsy shop that you must go visit.  Please welcome Cameron today!

Hello, and thanks for inviting me over to the Southern Institute!   Jenny is always full of fun and creative ideas, and I am very excited to be a guest here.   I have my own little blog over at homemade by Cameron – it’s a mix of projects, recipes, and my version of funny!  Ok – now for the fabulous project I’ve got planned for you…this sweet little welcome sign takes no time at all – an hour if you already have painted burlap on hand (or some other fabulous fabric!) and about 90 minutes if you decide to start from bare burlap.

I love burlap.  It’s a good thing, because I own quite a bit of it.   And it’s nice that it’s actually popular right now, unlike many of the things I enjoy.   However, I might possibly be getting just a bit tired of the normal burlap color . . . possibly.  So, I decided to jazz it up a little bit with some color!  I looked into fabric dyes, but they seemed too complicated – and besides, I don’t need this to be wearable.  Burlap would not be comfortable!  Paint is always easy, and spray paint is easiest.  Many-hued burlap, here I come!

I used my trusty picnic table as a work surface, covered in plastic so that I wouldn’t ruin that mossy patina ;)   Like the yellow?  So did a bumblebee.  I also made purple, green, and a lovely shade of dark turquoise – and that’s the one I picked for this project!  I try to be somewhat efficient when I craft – so as long as it was nice weather and I had a good place to paint, I kept at it.

The base is just a piece of 7/16” OSB (oriented strand board – that’s fancy plywood).  We have lots of it laying around from various home improvement projects.  This piece was about 5 ½”  x 26”.  
I covered the whole thing in my pretty turquoise burlap – basically wrapping it like a present.  One edge happened to be the finished edge of the burlap, so I kept that one on top.   At each end I folded under the tip so it, too, would have a nice finished edge.  

Now, what to do with this better-than-blank-canvas board?  I made a stencil using my silhouette (how did craft before I had one of these!!?!).   The “welcome” is in the Letter Gothic Std font, and I designed the little house myself.  Designed may be a tad heavy-handed, as it is completely made of straight lines.  Anyway, I put them all together and laid everything out on my board.  For this specific stencil, the windows were a challenge – I picked them up with a piece of masking tape so that I could maintain the spacing.  

I’ve found with burlap, the best way to get paint on fabric within the stencil is with the “pounce” vs. brushing.  The little brush is actually called a “spouncer.”  I wonder what that extra “S” is for?  Sorry, I’m easily distracted.   For more stenciling tips, see this post.

Once it’s dry, carefully remove the stencil – don’t forget those little squares from the house windows!  I added a hemp tie to the back – with the option to hang it from the tie or hang it from a piece running along the back.  I affixed it using my staple gun – my second favorite tool for attaching stuff after the glue gun.

It’s so welcoming, isn’t it?  And so easy to personalize (family name? wedding couple, maybe?) and change the color – spray paint comes in every color imaginable.  I know I’ll be making more soon!

Have fun, and thanks again for having me, Jenny!

This is completely adorable, Cameron!  And I think I could do it.  I’m not too handy with wood, plywood, or anything else “carpentery” for that matter, but this seems do-able.  And I have a Cameo, so I can create that cute text like you did.  I love it!  Thanks so much for stopping in, Cameron!

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