Saturday, September 28, 2013

Disney World inspired stone accent wall progress...

Walt Disney World.  My second home.  I love all things Disney but it is so much more than the theme parks.  I LOVE the architecture of the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.  Each resort is its own individual themed world.  I love the way the Disney Imagineers utilize stone work.  It is simply gorgeous.  Two of my favorite stone walls are at the Port Orleans Riverside Resort and the Beach Club.

Once I knew I wanted some type of stone accent in my living room, I looked for inspiration photos.  The one below, in my own camera, was the look I was hoping to achieve.  This is from the entrance of the Beach Club, one of my favorite places on Disney property.

Enter Craigslist.  I found a listing for left over stone from a patio paver project.  It was actual stone as opposed to veneer and was about 10 square feet.  So I bargained the price down, drove up and loaded it into the car.  I was SO worried the tires were going to explode on the way home but thankfully, I made it home.  PHEW!

I unloaded it - not a fun task - and stacked it on the driveway.  I had never done any type of project such as this so I Googled a lot.

So up went the waterproof barrier first applied with a staple gun.  So far so good!  Next game the metal lath.  This is a nightmare.  In the checkout line, I cut my fingers on the rough edge which is like razor sharp.  I started to bleed all over the place - so embarrassing!  I was on my hands and knees wiping blood up off the floor - it was quite gross.  This was the worst part of the job.  Buying it, transporting it and applying it with an electronic staple gun.

Next came the scratch coat.  This is not a pretty job and not very kind to a manicures.  :-)  Even wearing gloves, mixing the mortar and applying the thin coat to the lath is a messy job.  Yuck!

Then I had to lightly score the mortar for better adhesion.  And as Mary Poppins says, "In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun".  So I scored the wall with a few Mickey heads.  LOL.

Next came application of the stone.  I am a huge fan of jigsaw puzzles - either you love them or you hate them and I love them.  Applying the stone is like a giant life size puzzle with different sizes and shapes of pieces.  If you are a little anal, life myself, this takes forever.  But I hope the arduous task  will totally be worth it.

The first stones in place.  I placed a solid piece of wood to serve as a level surface to ensure an even application.

More progress.  When I stepped back and looked at this - I hated it.  It looked very messy with no flow.  So, I pried off the stones and started over.  I hated to do it but in the end, I was much happier!  As Queen Clarisse says in Princess Diaries, "Better.  Much better!"

And this is where I am right now. 2/3 done - getting really excited!

Since the stone is real, the weight is considerable.  Since I am concerned about the floor supporting the weight, I am going to go under the crawlspace with a support jack.  I see they are about $40 and can allow for an additional 18,000 pounds of weight support.  They look like this...

I am also attempting a Pinterest pin regarding DIY air vents.  These are in such a prominent place that I didn't want to put back the conventional vent style covers.  Hopefully this won't be a Pinterest fail.  :-O  

So that is my wall progress.   I hope I can post a reveal by Friday.  I am quite excited to see this messy project finished.  Have a great weekend!  Go IRISH - beat Oklahoma.

Blissful and Domestic

Monday, September 23, 2013

First day of Fall! Living Room project sanity ensues.....

WHOA!  I know it has been a while since I have posted anything but I didn't know my last entry was mid-August.    WHAT?  However, I have been quite busy on a lot of major projects!  The major overhaul right now is the living room.  And I know what you are thinking - wha???  I thought you were doing the kitchen and the foyer, etc. YES!  That is the problem!

When I was a young girl, my parents always told me it was more important to know a little bit about a lot of things as opposed to a lot about one thing.  They told me it would make me a much more interesting conversationalist at cocktail parties.  Thanks Mom & Dad - it turns out to be quite true.  :-)

Unfortunately, I seem to have adopted this concept and applied it to my home improvement projects.  I have been doing a little bit of work in a lot of rooms.  I need to get one room done and finish it!

This leads me to my current project - my deep dark secret - my dreaded living room!  Cue the chilling scream and spooky music.  LOL.

Yes - it is time to come clean - THIS is the state of my living room.  In its hey day, it was cranberry, mauve and hunter green. You can pause here if your stomach is a little queasy.  Being the 1990s it was really a gorgeous room as my parents had custom draperies and furniture but, alas, it has been sitting in a time warp and it became a catch all for all sorts of things.  I tore up the carpeting quite a while ago and the pile of stone in the picture has also been sitting there.  It was a sweet deal on Craigslist and couldn't pass it up.  I always dreamed of a stone wall in this room and it is now a work in progress.

This room needs a TON of work but I decided that I want to have this room done for the holidays this year!  A daunting task but I am so motivated.  I have all the furniture and items for this room - have had it for quite a while - hence the chair in plastic in the picture above.  I just need to paint the walls, the ceiling, the floors,  stone the wall, put up molding and put everything in place.  Piece of cake, right?  YIKES.

I seriously cannot believe I am posting these pictures!  I feel so vulnerable right now.  LOL  I found those room dividers at a Habitat Restore and I am excited to rehab them and put them in place.

The metal lath in place and ready for the scratch coat!  

The waterproof barrier and the metal lath prepare the wall for scratch coat and stone application.

Here is the scratch coat complete.  I HATE this job but I'm glad its done.  

Here is the progress so far.... I know I am going to love it!  But a long way to go.

So, will I get it done?  I am very bound and determined.  I imagine watching those awesome cheesy Christmas movies, with my Christmas tree and my cozy furniture as the snow falls outside.  It is this vision alone which is my motivation.  I saw this sign on Pinterest and I love it.  Since I believe I will get this done, I will.  I hope to post more progress this week!  Happy Monday!