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My Treasures: Collins Enid Blyton Diary 1949

July 10, 2013

I like to surround myself with little treasures. It may not be the best habit, accumulating things, but it does make me happy to look around me and see things I love. I have decided to share some of my favorite things with you through my blog. I hope you enjoy them too!

I am starting with a recent find: an Enid Blyton diary for 1949.


The only writing in it is this cute little inscription, “To Debby, Wishing you a Happy Christmas and lots of luck for 1949 From Brenda”

Not only is there space to write for each day of the year and common things like a list of holidays, this diary also contains Poisonous Berries and Plants, Moon Phases and much more!

My favorite part may just be the endpapers though, I want to wallpaper everything with it!

In addition to the very charming book, there was a letter (from a boy!) folded up inside the book.

It reads:
Fairview School 78th St.
Seattle, Washington
May 29th, 1946

Hi there,
Remember me, I’m that little blond
haired boy that dipped you braids in the
inkwell. Thanks for the valentine my
little milking maid. Do you like it
down there. In your school are there
any blond haired boys as blond as
I am.
You’d never know me
now for I have one of those G.I.
hair cuts. When are you going to fly
back to your nest or come back to Seattle.
Well, so long,
Walter E Denny

And from what I could find, Walter was 10 when he wrote this cheeky little letter.
I really want to know more of the story!
How did a Diary printed in England, find its way to Seattle to end up as a gift to Debby with a letter from Walter tucked in the back. The letter came first, in 1946 and must have been treasured, or perhaps never sent? I may never know, but I plan to continue researching.



(Mostly) Finished: The Smallest Room in the House

June 22, 2013

It’s that time! Time for the final update on our bathroom redo.  It was actually finished quite some time ago, but there were little things here and there that needed to be done (and still aren’t, but more on that later).  And then I had to make sure my camera battery was charged and working on a day when the bathroom was sparkling clean.  I took some pictures this morning and I am ready to share, imperfections and all, because, really, I think it looks quite wonderful and I am very proud of the space and thankful to my Dad for all of the hard work he put into (and my Mom and John too) the project.

Let’s dive right into the photos!

bathroom after shot

bathroom after 2

Key words: vintage, chrome, white porcelain, glossy black, hexagon, subway, plants, cleanliness.

plant in the bathroom after

vintage sink bathroom after

vintage sink chrome

chrome sink pipes

My dad found this wonderful vintage sink at Restore for just over $30.  We fell for it instantly; it just seemed to fit perfectly in our new bathroom.  And, AND, the sink just happens to have the same detailing as our existing toilet.  We were originally going to replace the toilet because it seemed too large for the space, but after discovering how perfectly it matched the sink, we decided we must keep it! The space was really opened up by using a wall-mounted sink and the toilet no longer feels cumbersome.

sink detail porcelain

vintage toilet detail

shelves above toilets

floral shower curtain

shower subway tile

subway tile bathroom

As you can see in several of the photos, we painted the trim in glossy black, we also painted the back of the door and I love the way it turned out.

glossy black bathroom door

As with all things in life, as much as I love the way the bathroom looks, it isn’t quite done.  I would like to get a new doorknob, perhaps porcelain or porcelain and chrome.

porcelain and chrome

At some point I would also like new pot light fixtures in the ceiling.

ceiling light

We also installed a porcelain light fixture above the mirror, but have not found a shade yet.  I have been looking for a turtle style glass shade, of which there are many, but it has to be the right size.

bathroom light

We also still need to find something to put our toilet roll on.  For now it sits here and there, anywhere within reach.

And there you have it.  Our new bathroom and our first renovation in our new house.  The window in the bathroom faces north and always creates a nice calming mood and I am very happy that the smallest room in the house is looking so lovely.


Update #1: The Smallest Room in the House

April 13, 2013

After we removed the hated wallpaper, the next thing on the agenda was getting rid of the almond colored tub with vinyl surround.  It took some sawing and cutting, but we (by we, I mean my dad) got it out! Yay!!!!

bath tub demolition

bath tub demolition

Then, once the tub was out, the floor could come out.  We kept the bit at the back of the bathroom, where the sink and toilet sit, so that we could use that area for as long as possible.  (The floor came up quite easily, otherwise, we probably would have opted to take it all up at the same time. )

When it was time for the new tub to go in, we took out the toilet, sink and the remaining flooring and prepared for a new tub and a new floor.  Skip ahead (work, work, work and more work) and the new tub was in place, as was the new flooring (sans grout).  At this point, things really started to some together; it was getting easier, by the day, to see the finished room in my head.

bathtub remodel

white hex floor

Next up, subway tile in the bath surround!  Are we all excited!?

Materials: The Smallest Room in the House

April 10, 2013

Before I show you more photos of our progress, I wanted to share some of the materials we are using.

We purchased the new bathtub at home depot.  It wasn’t the cheapest one, but it wasn’t even close to the most expensive either.  I really wanted a claw foot but I didn’t have the dosh or the time to wait for the perfect used one to come on the market (4 1/2 ft, good condition, in my – very small – price range).  Just having a shiny new white tub (without a horrible surround) makes me happy.
We also found a new Toto toilet at our local Restore.  Not knowing much (nothing) about the world of toilets, I did not recognize the brand as a good one, but, thankfully, my dad did.  It’s a cute little thing, which is what I wanted for our small space.
I am not going to post pictures of these two pieces. Please, use your imagination or wait for the after shots.
In addition to the Toto toilet, we also found a very cool vintage wall-mounted sink at Restore, similar to this one:

wall-mounted bathroom sink

It is incredibly cute and will help keep an open feel in the bathroom.
For the floors I chose this 2″ matte white hex tile from Thompson Tile.  It is from the Jasper Collection:

bathroom floor 2" hexagon

We chose a glossy white subway tile for the shower surround (and someday as a wainscoting on the walls).  Both types of tile were from Thompson and were purchased locally at Standard Paint & Flooring.  We used delorean gray grout for both the floor and the walls.  It looks similar to this:

delorean gray grout

For the walls I chose Benjamin Moore’s Palladian Blue:

benjamin moore palladian blue

So there you have it! I still need to find a light fixture, pick out the glossy black paint we are using for the trim and get various accessories.  Oh! And get shelving for above the toilet.  phew.  All this choosing is difficult.  I am not a good decision maker, especially when we are talking about things that will be around for awhile.  I’m feeling pretty good about myself for making it this far.  I have woken up in the early hours wondering if I picked the right flooring or the right grout color or if I want a different color on the walls, etc.  There are endless directions one can go and it is hard to pick just one, but I am really happy with how things are turning out, so I guess I should trust myself a bit more 🙂

Demolition, Day(s) One: The Smallest Room In The House

April 8, 2013

There are many places to start when demolishing a room. However, when you have a bathroom with walls covered in vinyl wallpaper, the choice is not a difficult one.  Did I mention it was textured and made to look like it was covered in brush strokes? Yeah.  We steamed and peeled and scraped until the only traces left were behind the still in place toilet. And let me tell you, from that moment, I was addicted.  It already looked so much better.  The exposed sheetrock, the layers of old paint (minty green, blue and pink) were like a work of art compared to that wallpaper. My visions were starting to come true! It’s like yesterday, when John brought me a pack of chocolate digestive biscuits and the visions I had been having all day of those sweet, crumbly morsels finally became reality.  The sweet reality of a beautiful bathroom was finally possible, we were on our way.

Here is the bathroom, sans wallpaper (cue the angelic music):

before & after bathroom

before & after bathroom

before & after bathroom

before & after bathroom

before & after bathroom

before & after bathroom

Now, when I see pictures of that wallpaper, I hiss at it, like a cat, because I hate it. Je deteste. Au revoir papier peint.  Bonne chance a la poubelle.

*btw – I want to make sure I say ‘thank you’ publicly to our official sponsors for this project: my parents.  We literally could not have even attempted this without their help.  No way.  Not even if pigs were flying. If you live in the area and you need someone to do some remodeling, my dad is the man for the job ( I realize I am totally biased, but, seriously, he is very, very good.  I give you my word.).

Before: The Smallest Room In The House

April 7, 2013

As my dad said yesterday, it is difficult to even recall how the bathroom looked before we started re-doing it.  Thankfully, I have pictures! So you, my reader, can see where we came from.  Things are moving along quickly, but it will still be some time before I am ready for ‘after’ shots.  Don’t worry though, I have been snapping iphone shots of the process and will be happy to share many of the progress pictures with you.

This is where we started:


Here you see the almond colored vinyl surround tub with heavy (hideous) oak trim.

before & after bathroomAnd here, you see more oak trim (I love oak, just not like this), the rather too-large-for-this-space cabinet & sink (in oak, of course) and you can get a sense of the ugly wallpaper all over the walls too.

before & after bathroomHere is a close-up of the sink area.  Notice the heavily textured walls behind the sink.  They always made me think of meringues or whipped cream or any recipe that calls for you to whip until you form stiff peaks.  This wall was full of stiff peaks, which stubbornly held on to dust, creating a constant look of grime, lovely.  You also get a closer view of the wallpaper in this shot: textured vinyl in a beautiful pinky-biege.

Thank goodness that’s over.

Good. Riddance.


I forgot to post this picture of the ‘before’ light fixture, isn’t it gorgeous?!

bathroom light before

Inspiration: The Smallest Room in the House

March 10, 2013

Hello again! I am back.  We are mid-reno of our bathroom (well, not so much mid, as barely started).  We spent an entire day steaming and scraping horrible vinyl wallpaper off the walls and talking about how if we do this then we need to do that and if we do that, we really should do this and if we do this we might as well buy this and do that at the same time, etc.  In other words, the project grew.  I think about the budget and I think, hmmm, this might take a bit longer than expected.  But we are charging forward.  On the agenda: shopping for a new tub, sink and toilet.  I wanted a claw foot tub, but they are either too expensive new or difficult to find used (in good condition), so instead, we are going with a regular white tub (sans the surround that we currently have on our almond colored tub).  We have been on the hunt for a cute wall-mounted sink, nothing fancy, just a bit of old-fashioned character.  I have also been deciding what tile I want to put in the space.  This includes: large (6″) hexagon tiles for the floor, white subway tile for the lower half of the walls and up to the ceiling around the shower.  I am contemplating what sort of trim pieces to use now and what I want to put in the little arched alcove where the sink goes.  There are so many choices and so many inspiring images, here are some I have collected on my bathe pinterest board:

corner sink and shelf in bathroom

I want to incorporate a little shelf at the top of the tile (also, i love the wall color!)

subway tile shower surround

subway tile shower surround

plants in the bathroom

plants plants plants!!!

shelves behind toilet

shelves above the toilet (somewhere to put all those plants)

black and white bathroom

I love this space! It might even have me reconsidering the subway tile on the walls (these offset square tiles look great) and it definitely inspired a switch to a dark floor and the hunt for a large hexagon tile. The towel bar of the sink is very cool too.

urban outfitters shower curtain

I already purchased this beauty!

perfect little storage caddy/toilet roll dispenser

perfect little storage caddy/toilet roll dispenser


These are just a few of the spaces I am drawing inspiration from.  Isn’t the internet a wonderful place?  I promise to share before, during and after photos with you, as soon as I can find the battery charger for my camera…