Thursday, February 21, 2013

Sand, Sun, Surf . . . in Nebraska

News flash:  Since our Florida trip last month, I am beach-obsessed.  (Yeah, I know, that's not news.)  In an attempt to bring a little beach to Nebraska, we are creating a "beach bathroom".  Since replacing the vintage green tile isn't an option, we're incorporating it into the scheme and adding shells we picked up on the beach, a lighthouse-style lantern, new rugs, and two craft projects.

While we were in Florida, I visited the House of Refuge at Gilbert's Bar
The Houses of Refuge were designated as havens for shipwrecked sailors and travelers along the sparsely populated Atlantic coastline of Florida. Run by the United States Lifesaving Service, the Houses played a critical role in a time when sailing ships dominated the world commerce.
 It is a beautiful and fascinating place.  I'll let you discover the details from the website.  My point for bringing it up is that, while I was there, I purchased a map of shipwrecks along the Florida coast.  I didn't want the standard black, plastic poster frame, so Dave built a custom frame from chair-rail molding.  After several experiments on scrap lumber, I came up with the right painting technique.  Mitch spray-painted it for me - off white - then I rubbed on a "wash" of teal and taupe paint, mixed to the perfect combination of ocean blue and ugly-bathroom-tile green, and a little water.  After it dried, I sanded it down to bring a little of the undercoat through and create a weathered look.  
Not totally professional (my painting that is.  Dave's frame-building rocks).  I love it and Dave says it makes interesting reading for those who spend time "standing" in the bathroom.  And yes, I know, that's some green tile!
Original from Crafts by Amanda
Project #2 is based on a Pinerest find (and therefore counts as Pin #10 for Trish's Pin It/Do It Challenge).  

Amanda has a great tutorial on her site, so won't go into detail. These are surprisingly easy to make, provided you have the right tools - rough wood, sandpaper, craft paint, paint brush or paint pens and, most importantly, a helpful husband.

If you're handy with power tools, you can do this step yourself, but I found it much faster and simpler to get Dave to cut and sand the boards for me.  He even used a Dremel to create some "worn" areas.
Of course, all that work may require some refreshment.

When the boards are ready, just paint . . .
Letter - using Amanda's easy method that even a total non-artist like me can do.  
Tip:  If you decide to use a paint pen rather than brush, 
buy several because one will do approximately 2.36 signs.
Let dry, and sand lightly to fade lettering
 and create the look of years in the sun,wind and ocean breeze.  
Connect your signs with some rope stapled to the back, if you choose - and hang.

Now I just need a brilliant idea for window coverings . . .



  1. That is the cutest bathroom ever! I love the map as well as the weathered signs. That's a good husband/crafter there - great work to both of you!! Question on the window coverings - are you guys wanting something to actually add privacy or strictly beach-friendly to go with the decor? Great work!

  2. I like the sign! It goes perfect with the green tiles. Good Luck with the window treatments.

    You could use that idea to make all kinds of signs.

  3. I like your theme for the bathroom and the progress you've made on it; that was a cool sign and what you did with the treasure map!


  4. I love the picture of Dave swigging his "beverage" while working so hard. But even more I love that he got involved in the project. I have to nag and nag and nag to get anything done around my house. ;)

    Hmmmm, windows. Window treatments are something I always struggle with, too.

  5. That came out perfect! The beach is the best....

  6. Wow, both of these projects are gorgeous! You are inspiring me to branch out from cooking for the next round of Pin It and Do It .