So, I am in this Facebook group. Buy Nothing Ben Lomond. There are buy nothing groups spread around the country and I think they are fantastic. Neighbors helping each other out when they are in need, passing on what no longer serves them, keeping things out of the landfill, hoarding junk you never knew you wanted until you saw that it was free, deluding yourself into believing you have home improvement skills.
And then a neighbor offered this free tile.
This gorgeous free tile.
And my sewing room was carpeted, and it was stinky, and it made it hard to move my sewing chair around, and Annie's art table over carpet was definitely not a good idea. Paint in the carpet. Play dough in the carpet. More play dough in the carpet.
I use this big white piece of fabric as a photo background, but no matter what I do it is always wrinkled.
So I claimed the beautiful tile as mine, Kyle was sent to snag as much as he could fit in a Jetta with the seats folded down, and I came up with a plan.
- 1 day to rip out the carpet and repaint the walls (because gorgeous new tile definitely calls for gorgeous new white walls instead of the dark/ugly/boring beige of the rest of the house. Think of the beautiful fabric and sewing project pictures I could take with white walls!)
- 1 day to prep the floor
- 1 day to lay the tile
What a perfect plan! I am a genius! And thrifty!
Ha! Hahahahaha! Ha! (sob!)
Well, three days became three weeks, we learned lots of new skills, got dirty, laughed a lot, cried a little, and bam! Gorgeous new room!
And by bam! I mean...
We ripped out the carpet, under the carpet was linoleum, under the linoleum was plywood. I had a few delusional minutes in which I tried to convince my husband it was in fact hardwood floors. I was wrong, guys.
We tore out the linoleum. And to be clear here, I actually had nothing to do with this step. I was very busy painting the walls and being the paparazzi.
Then I decided that as long as we had a room with no floor, I might as well paint some other stuff too.
We keep puzzles in this little cupboard, and remotes and cords in the drawer. It is pretty essential to there being any hope of order in our living room. I am pretty happy with its new bright blue paint.
But, back to the room...
Next we had to pour quick drying leveler on the floor.
Um, this is not what it is supposed to look like. This may have been the point where a few tears were shed. I also started doing a lot of google searches.
Searches for someone to help save us from ourselves.
Kyle saved us from ourselves on his own. He used a sledge hammer and a chisel to break up all that cement and he started again, and look how pretty!
But finally, the fun day came!
Nanny took the girls for the day (thank you!!!!), we rented a tile cutter, laid it all out, cut all the edge and corner pieces to fit perfectly. My Tetris skills were a huge asset on this one.
A little grinding down of the leveler still had to happen to make sure all the tile sat perfectly flat on the floor. Thank goodness for brothers in law with power tools we don't have. And my friends, oh my friends, I have never seen such a mess (and anyone who knows me knows I am no stranger to mess).
Thankfully, the Mars Rover came to help.
Cleaning and more cleaning, mortar and grout, and then, bam! Beautiful craft room!
An early morning dance party was definitely in order.
I then decided my black desk was too dark for my beautiful new room and convinced Kyle to strip and sand it for me. Now when I sew I feel like I am on a beach, working on a table made of driftwood. I realize this is ridiculous, but it is true, and I love it!
I now have a gorgeous white wall to take pictures.
So much more professional!
I got this amazing embroidered hoop from Namaste Embroidery. I immediately hung it above my sewing machine.
I figure I have at least another year before Annie can read, probably more, and that sh digraph (nerd alert! sorry!) is especially tricky to learn.
The fabric is neat and organized in the closet, and at least for now I don't have to worry about the mess showing up in the mirror.
Annie's art table is even cleaned and organized, back where it belongs, safely over easy to clean tile and we are back in action sewing and being crafty together while June naps.
Or, at least we were until the power suddenly went out, it took a week to get it back on and all the electricians told us we were lucky our house didn't burn down.
But that is an entirely different story.
So, thank you, Buy Nothing Ben Lomond. I never knew I wanted to spend 3 weeks learning to tile a floor, but my sewing studio is now gorgeous, inspiring, peaceful, clean, cool in the summer heat and did I say gorgeous?
Thank goodness I have a husband who puts up with my shenanigans.