Friday, February 26, 2016

Neuhaus Copy Cat Chocolate

One good thing (or bad, depending on on how much self control you have) about having a husband that travels is the assortment of chocolates he would bring home from around the world.  My favorite was Neuhaus from Belgium. favorite piece was a whipped truffle in a foil cone called the Cornet Dore.  BEST CHOCOLATE EVER!  Light and fluffy with a lovely crust of sugar.....yummmmm
My husband has since retired and that means no more Neuhaus.......but I have started making my own truffles and other goodies as my skill level improves.  Today I decided to try and duplicate the Cornet Dore, at least in texture and taste, by making a whipped truffle.  
Start by melting 8 ounces of milk chocolate in ,gasp, the it gently so as not to burn the chocolate.  Now scald 1/2 cup of heavy cream.  Bring the temperature down to about 160 and mix into the chocolate, stirring until fully incorporated.  Now set the bowl of chocolate at room temperature for about 3 hours.  Using an electric mixer, beat the chocolate until light and fluffy AND until the mixture can hold it shape.  Spoon chocolate into a pastry tube with a large star tip and pipe stars onto wax paper.  Decorate with sugar crystals and let set until solid.  That's all there is to it!
The chocolate could be piped into foil cups or cones if desired.
These taste wonderful!  Just like my beloved Neuhaus!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Granny Square Blanket

Oooooh, look what I made!
One giant granny square,  That's it.  I think what makes it special is the color combination.  Not very granny like, I know, but it will fit perfectly in my master bedroom once I paint over the brown.  And get new gray carpet......

Friday, February 19, 2016

DIY Birch Tree Painting

Have you seen the DIY Birch Tree Paintings on Pinterest?  I thought it looked easy enough for a non artist to do and I needed something to fill a big blank wall in the new master bath, so off to the craft store I went.
 It took less than 40 dollars and about one hour (less drying time) to complete.  I found a good tutorial here.  Of course I had to change it up a bit.  Instead of using the straight edge of the tape to mask off the trunks I tore the tape in half lengthwise.  I then used the ragged edge for the sides of the trunks.  That gave me a more natural looking tree.  I also used a light shade of gray for some of the trees so they appear to be behind the larger white ones.  In addition to the credit card, I used a fan brush to dry brush on more detail to the bark.
 Now while I take a bath I have something very calming to look at.......
It fills the space nicely and the grays match all the accents in the bathroom.
  So I would call this a Pin-Win!  Easy to do and cost effective too.
Not many paintings can be bought for less than 50 dollars!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Master Bathroom Remodel Finished!

 Today we put the final touches on the remodel!
Just to remind you how awful the bathroom started out check out the before picture above.  20 years old and showing it's age.....  Below is a sketch of the new floor plan.  We moved the shower out of the toilet room and nudged the vanity over to make room for the larger tub.
 Here is the new bathroom!  Huge deep soaker tub and vanity replace the outdated built in tub and low vanity.
 Love the color scheme, aqua and grey.  It looks so clean and fresh.  The vanity is 36 inches tall, not including the back splash.  It is looks like a piece of furniture.  It came with a marble top and framed mirror.  All the metals in the room are a mixture of brushed nickel, chrome and a little bronze.
 Here is the new shower.  The base is made of a solid material, but the walls are tiled.  The shower door hangs from barn door-like hardware and is so cool.  
 We ran a strip of glass, stone and stainless steel accent tile down the back of the white subway tiled wall.
 Here is a better picture of the hardware but it was taken before the shower faucet was put in.
 Shower niche for all our necessities.
 The final installation done today was the heated towel rack......I know, sooooooo wonderful!  Hot towels after your shower......too awesome.
 Last look at the shower area.  Love the wood look tile on the floor.
And, some extra storage in the new toilet room.
This project took us almost 7 weeks from start to finish.  We had to tear out old tile, replace damaged drywall, redo almost all the plumbing and electrical and installed all the new walls, floors and fixtures!  We used no professionals at all......did it all ourselves!  Of course it took a little longer but we got the bathroom of our dreams at a fraction of what we would have paid a contractor.  The money we saved went towards high quality materials and fixtures instead.  AND it looks so good......

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

New Chandelier Over Tub

Still waiting for the tile for the shower but until it gets here we did get the chandelier from Lowes.
 That night Ron got it installed.  
 It is really sparkly.
 It looks so pretty against the snow.

This side of the bath is now finished!  Yippee.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Closer, Closer, We Are Almost Done!

Alright, got a lot of pictures of the master bath project for you today.
 Got the massive tub in place and hooked up.  NIGHTMARE!  Thank goodness my husband is a man of infinite patience, strenght and skill.
 I think it looks great against the tile floor.
 This tub is 6 feet long and 3 feet wide.  We brought it out about 9 inches from all the walls so it's footprint in the room is huge.
 This tub is not meant for a small bathroom.
 Next day we brought in the vanity.  It is made of solid wood so it was a bear to move.  We took out the drawers to lighten it up a bit.  Really love this vanity.
 Here it is pushed back against the wall.
 And a few hours later the drawers are in and the marble top is on.  (Also heavy!)  The faucet is brushed nickel and super cool looking.
 Another angle.
 And just before going to bed that night my husband put up the curtains.  
 Today we put a little extra storage into the toilet room.  No more running out of toilet paper.......
One last look at the bathroom.  We can close the curtains for privacy.
We are working on molding today.  Lots of painting and sawing and nailing.  Maybe the tile for the shower will get here soon.  Then we can start on it.  Oh and the light above the tub is still on order........and the shower door we want appears to be on back we do have a bit more to do before we can relax,,,,,,,in that giant tub!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Master Bath--A Few More Projects Completed

The new tile floor is in!!!!  It is that cool new tile that looks like wood planks.  We choose a grayish barn wood look.
 Here is a pic of the tile without grout.....
   Area where vanity will be going.....
 New vanity light.......
 Grout on tile........
 Always looks so much better once the grout is in........
 And once the grout had dried the toilet was installed!!!!!!
 Vanity mirror is now on the wall......
Love this mirror.  It is huge and matches the vanity which we hope to install in the next day or two......once we get the tub in and a little more molding painted and put up.
It is really getting close now......I can feel it. A week or two and we might be finished.