Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Vizsla pup 4 months old toys in box command

Luci is 4 months old now and she loves to work on commands with us.  She is smart and eager to please, but keeps us all in check with a strong independent streak.  Here she is learning to place toys in a box on command. 

She loves to steal socks, papers, and anything Drew has ever touched.  She is very stubborn with drop commands. I would love to get her to a point that she drops those forbidden objects in a box on command!

Fear of water
No longer digging and biting at carpet or corners or wood work
Goes to designated 'place' in each room on command

Needs work:
Leash pulling- we are moving to a harness instead of collar
Obeying commands in a distracting environment
Turning down excitement/ jumping when new people visit
Jumping & landing on people in the pool

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Vizsla pup 14 weeks old- front door impulse control

Apparently, I forgot to post this one- puppy learning to not rush the door... She is still a flight risk when we aren't in a  concentrated training session, but she is much better than the average pup!

Monday, May 2, 2016

Vizsla Pup 14 weeks- ringing wind chimes

Puppy loves to ring the wind chimes!  She really needs activity that exercises her brain while burning plenty of energy.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Vizsla pup 12 wks old- Place Wait Take practice

It's important that Luci understands where she is supposed to be and what she should be doing while we get her acclimated to accompanying us in our daily routine.  We are establishing her 'place' in each room of the house and encouraging her to relax, chew, and play in this place.  

This video is my attempt at establishing a place for her in our kitchen.  Once I established the place with this exercise, she goes there and stays while I unload the dishwasher, etc.  She was previously chewing the dishwasher bins while I unloaded it, so this exercise solved a big problem!  

We incorporated the 'place' practice with the wait and take practice from the prior week.  We are now also requiring eye contact before she takes treats- this is the equivalent of her asking 'please, may I' before she takes action. 

If you watch closely towards the end of the video, you can see her stop her body from lurching forward towards the treat.  Instead of acting on her impulse, she looks towards me and 'asks' permission.  

Just minutes earlier, she was not quite as sharp (see video below)...

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Vizsla Pup- 10 weeks old- water games

What a chew face!  This vizsla pup needs tons of time with bully sticks.  

One of our goals this week is to increase water confidence- Drew is DYING that vizsla isn't ready to swim in the pool yet! We started acclimation with a fun game of duckies in a tub of water beside the pool.  This is a fun way to get used to paws and noses in the water and easing poolside anxiety. Vizsla is always anxious to work on retriever skills so we incorporated that to relax her into the game confidently.

Here's our game of fish, run, return and drop...

Next up- feeling confident enough to approach poolside alone and retrieve a duckie...

Huge success and an overall great experience for both of us!

Vizsla getting better at:
-Leash pulling- a long way to go on this one
-Giving people & dogs their personal space when greeting (still needs lots of work on this)
-following commands in areas with distraction 
-learning that carpet and rugs and corners and cabinets are not to be growled at or chewed on

Vizsla has mastered:
-no accidents
-sleeping all night in crate
-sit command
-commands from previous week
-getting in pool- climbs in and out to first step only

Vizsla loves:
Lap time
Practicing commands
Hammock time

Friday, April 1, 2016

Vizsla Pup- week 9

Baby girl is home!!! Chewing consumes her waking hours- thankful for bully sticks!

Saint Lucia (Luci) flew home to be with us in Texas at 9 weeks old. 
We are both newbies at dog training, but here's some of what we accomplished week 1.
Bird dog owns me when she puts on her business face!  

We started target training (touching her nose to my hand).  We are also working on rewarding her for making eye contact.  Somewhere along the way she decided that she would sit and look me in the eyes when I cross my arms in front of me so I just went with that as a signal.

-Getting very comfortable in home and yard setting- no longer scared of wind chimes
-Comes to a target hand
-Makes eye contact on signal
-Housebroken almost instantly
-Great with off/wait/take commands
-sleeps in crate all night

Problem/ work areas:
-Jumps like crazy when meeting & greeting
-Strong-willed on leash-- pulls & bites leash
-barks and jumps at me to insist on continuing rewards for good behavior
-no eye contact and won't take treats when on leash in new setting
-learning not to jump/ bite at Drew
-eating quail wing instead of dropping it

Fetching games
Chew sticks (bully sticks)
Squeak toys
Finding & Retrieving quail wing from shrubs 
Hammock & lap time
Learning new commands

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Plank Kitchen Ceiling- My Texas Home Makeover Post #28

Just in time for Thanksgiving... I finally finished the painted maple ceiling in the kitchen!  It gives this little enclosed kitchen & breakfast room a quaint cottage feel.  

The ceiling planks are painted Sherwin Williams Eider White.  Its gray undertones are brought out by Sherwin Williams Agreeable Gray on the walls.  

I am so happy to have finished this ceiling project! I still can't believe that I cut and hung the crown molding all by myself in one day- I stressed over that part for weeks and weeks beforehand.  
The valance was sewn from remnant fabric that I purchased to make a table cloth.  The shutters are the grey stained wooden shutters that I have upcycled all over this house!  The light fixture was recycled from the previous owner's dining room.  
The neutral wall and ceiling colors work okay with the previous owner's neutral custom cabinet stain, but the cabinet's top coat is starting to yellow quite a bit.  I will likely paint the cabinets in summer 2016.  What color?  I am thinking a deeper shade of gray with blue undertones for the bottoms and a lighter gray for the upper cabinets.  

Monday, September 7, 2015

Stock vanity goes custom- My Texas Home Makeover Post #27

I painted the vanity the same color as the new plank ceiling.  Oh what a little paint can do!
Drawer pulls snagged from pier one for $2 each.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Planking the Ceiling- My Texas Home Makeover Post #26

After a year off from major home projects, I jumped in with both feet when the kids went back to school two weeks ago.  I decided to plank the half bath ceiling as a test case for the kitchen and dining room ceilings.  I glued then nailed painted 3"x 5/16" pine over the existing popcorn ceiling.  It looks fabulous- the kitchen ceiling is next!  

Planking.  The boards went up much faster and easier than I expected!

It took me an entire day to learn how to cut crown molding- I had to use a small crown molding for this project because my HVAC vent (not pictured) was in the way.  

The ceiling is painted Sherwin Williams Pussy Willow and the walls are SW Mineral Deposit.  

Prior to this, I had never used a miter saw or a nail gun and certainly hadn't cut crown molding- loved every minute of it and did it all myself.  

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Jersey Boys- Our Texas Home Makeover Post #25

For this move, we purged from this:
1200 square foot basement
2 car garage
350 square foot shop

To this:
1.25 car garage
36 square foot closet
Shop?  What is a shop?

Lots of stuff didn't make the cut to say the least. There were some things the kids just couldn't part with, but I pushed them past their 'stuff' comfort zones as much  as I could.  NO ONE would let me throw out jerseys, so I needed to find a way to creatively store them.

These jerseys became pillows on Blaine's  bed.  I recycled euro sham pillow forms and other standard pillows to fill them. Just put the pillow inside (fold the pillow if necessary) and tuck in the bottom- no sewing!  

Blaine's furniture was an old set from his grandparent's house- recently painted an Annie Sloan blue.  I experimented with ASCP orange on the night stand, but settled on blue instead for the bigger pieces.  I ran out of blue paint so I left the night stand in orange... Dad likes the furniture in his old UT Martin colors!

The dresser before chalk paint...

The chest of drawers after two coats of Annie Sloan chalk paint in Aubusson blue.

Back to the jerseys... I call this lineup our Headless Linemen.  

Drew's jerseys are over his bed.  Eight-year-olds with 3 seasons of tackle football under their belt are rare in Texas- they start 'em earlier in Tennessee!

Of course GBO has a place in Drew's room!  The orange blanket is an old stadium blanket.  As for the rug... He is a die hard Giants fan, but he bought this gridiron rug at Cowboy stadium when he visited at age 5- his matchbox cars have played hundreds of football games on this rug.

Drew's cherry furniture belonged to Honey and Pa- his great grandparents, the Warmbrods.  

Drew's beloved Nashville Celtics basketball jersey became a pillow.  

By creatively using what we already had, we spent very little on settling the boys into their new rooms.  Drew's entire bedroom suit, bedding, and window coverings were left behind in Tennessee, and he had outgrown the Disney themed artwork.  He is really proud of his 'sports career' and loves that his jerseys are out for the world to see!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Mastering the Bath Part 2: Our Texas Home Makeover Post #20something

We wanted to keep the original bathroom marble whirlpool tub - still works like a champ and who really wants to demolish and remove a huge garden tub anyway? We decided to have it refinished.  While we were at it, we had the vanity top and shower refinished to see if we could salvage those as well- we love the results!  

The tub after it was refinished.  With the addition of the shutters (for privacy) and the curtains, the tub has a very spa-like feel.

The faucets, added by the previous owner, were keepers.

These curtains were recycled from my Tennessee bedroom.

Not a fan of the block window... But there's enough going on in this bathroom that they are barely noticeable - except
in photos.

Birds eye view of the privacy shutters and tub.

The privacy shutters allowed me to leave the French doors uncovered.  They also make it very hard to get a good shot of the bathroom!  Here you see the shutters divide the shower/ tub from the vanity area.

The shutters were inspired by our room at Anse Chastanet in St. Lucia:

The original vanity sink, shower and tub were refinished in a faux granite texture.  Tommy loves the sea shell shape of the vanities- I thought it made them look dated... I decided to see it his way since that would save me a bundle!

A close up of the refinish job- it has a bit of texture to it which makes it interesting... The vanity, shower tiles and tub were all refinished to match- saving us a ton of money on the bath update.

A little panorama... The shower tiles were previously white with a hunter green row.  Of course I don't have a before pic!

I used flooring left over from other project to save money... The white carpet tiles left over from the family game room cover all but the water closet floor in this bathroom.  A 5x7 sisal rug was added as well as two small shag rugs.  The carpet tiles were $1.30 per square foot.  

For the water closet, I used a few sheets of linoleum left over from my spring break remodel of the upstairs storage closet.  

View of the floor from the vanity.  The white shag rugs are made of recycled cotton.  And another sisal rug-  I have a sisal rug addiction- I have at least 4 scattered throughout the house.  

We closed the door on the bathroom update the week that school started.  The entire update came in around $2000 compared to the tens of thousands we would have spent on a complete remodel.  Honestly, I love it more this way... 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Mastering the Bath- Our Texas Home Makeover Post #23

The master bath.


'Gotham train wreck' best describes the state of the master bath when we purchased our TX home.  

Faux copper color painted fixtures with matching faux copper color painted wallpaper accented with popcorn ceilings.  

Pulling wallpaper- Drew got artsy... Here's his chicken.

The MLS listing made the bathroom look light and fresh.  In reality, it was dark, dirty, and outdated.  The first step was to lighten the walls and install brighter lights.

Replacing the light fixtures was challenging- we couldn't find fixtures that would clear the mirror.  We solved the problem by building a mirror frame and mounting the lights to the frame.  
The Cabinets- previously painted a glossy black, got three coats of Annie Sloan chalk paint in Arles- a golden yellow color.  The mirror frame and medicine cabinet were painted to match.

I'll be posting more master bath update details soon!  

The view from the master bedroom.