Sunday, May 17, 2015

Weekend update

So much stuff done. So much left to do.
I finished edging the west bed, including along the fence. Then I put down a new layer of mulch.
I also trimmed out the dead wood from our poor dogwood. She's still alive, but rather thinned.
The new salvia is so fun and funky. I like the soft, curvy style to the blooms.
My transplanted spirea are coming back! It's amazing what happens when they aren't being trampled.
A freshly weeded bean bed with the creeping phlox and bugleweed blooming.
Finally, partly prepped garden beds. I weeded between the two, pulling out several dozen pounds worth of dandelions. Then edged along the front and back entry. Then removed last year's black tarp and shims.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Finishing out the West Fence bed

So this was a thing. Because H had made the west fence bed larger than the plan called for, we didn't plant the whole thing out.

That changed this spring. I was on a mission.

First I re-edged and weeded the entire bed.

Then I purchased the following: 6 rose bushes, 5 flame grass, 4 coneflower, 5 black-eyed susan, 5 salvia, 5 phlox, 6 daylilies.

Then I dug up and transplanted 5 more phlox.

Then I fixed the "pothole" that was left by someone not properly filling in the hole left by the dogwood last year. That meant digging up the grass/sod, dumping a bunch more dirt and topsoil in, and then re-laying the sod.

It took three full weekends, really, to accomplish all this. And this weekend has been wet and cold but, well, if I waited for perfect gardening weather I'd never get anything done all spring.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Spring Cleaning - Part 1

Spring is here! Which means it's time to clean out the garage!

Here are some "before" photos - I'd already actually started reorganizing. I can never seem to remember to take a photo at the very beginning.
Three strollers, snow blocks, soccer goal, sleds, dump trucks, lawn chairs... ugh
Work bench and yard equipment
Snow shovels, yard shovels, a tennis racket?
And after.
I had the small shelf as a spare in the basement, so up it came. Milk crates now contain beach & sand supplies and bubbles and chalk and such.
I ran into a whole nest of spiders behind the bags of fertilizer. I was not happy. The workbench has been reorganized so there's actual work space. I got rid of a crappy storage cabinet and relocated those supplies to the top two shelves of the large shelving unit by the door, well out of reach of the kids.
Sled relocated to the basement until next winter. I still have a little bit of work to do here, but it'll do for now.
Overall, a vast improvement. Eventually I want better shelves on the workbench and pegboard on the wall above it. But this will do for now.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Winter Renovation

In addition to winter being a time when I get crafty, I also take the time to blow thru indoor projects. In this case, it was a much needed renovation to the master bathroom.

One of the odd things in this house was our difficulty with the paint colors we had chosen. I don't know why, but it seemed like when we got the color we wanted on the wall, we were not impressed. We had to re-paint the entire main floor because the yellow that should have been a pale buttery yellow ended up looking like mustard.

The bathroom was one such situation.


The purple on the chip looked much lighter and gentler but once on the walls it was a vastly different story. In addition, the fixtures were your standard builder grade 90s polished brass vanity light and brass/chrome accessories. Neither of us were a fan, but we decided to live with it.

Six years later, I declared "Enough." The primary driver was that the tub needed to be re-caulked due to it peeling along the top of the surround. So, I took 3 days of my winter break and tackled the bathroom.

On day one, I removed the old caulk, applied new caulk, and primed the walls with Killz. On day two, I applied two coats of paint on the walls and ceiling and installed the light fixture. Day three was dedicated to adjustment, touch ups, installing the towel bar, toilet paper holder and robe hook, and clean up.


The color is Behr's Misty Surf and is a light blue-grey. The vanity light is Hampton Bay "Architecture" and the fixtures are mostly the Delta Mandara line (the robe hook - not pictured - is Delta Phoebe, as the Mandara hook was too bulky for my taste).

Also, just outside the bath was a matching brass single vanity light with paint smudged on the glass. So we replaced that as well.

All in all I think it turned out nicely.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Winter means indoor crap

So, generally I do not think of myself as a creative, crafty person. I don't really know how to sew. The extent of my crafting is sporadic needlepoint or embroidery.

However. I am a big believer in DIY if you can and coming up with jerry-rigged solutions where appropriate.

And every year I struggle with where to put our Christmas cards. Generally I've always just lined them up on our mantle behind our stocking holders. But as our family has grown, the number of holders has slowly crowded out the space for our cards. So when I came across a pin on Pinterest about using a fabric covered foam board as a Christmas card holder, I was sold.

Except both the craft store and fabric/craft store said they no longer sell foam board. However, as the salesperson from JoAnn Fabric was walking me back to where they would have had it, had they sold it, we walked by a cork board. Bingo! So I got the largest one they had in stock. Then I picked out some cute, mod fabric which I got 50% off. And then some remnant basic white cotton to provide an extra layer. And then ran home with my purchases, poured a glass of wine, and set about figuring this out.

Most people at this point would be reaching for a glue gun, I think. I don't own one because I don't craft. I do, however, own a staple gun.

So I cut the remnant white cotton into strips and stapled it to the board.

Then it was time to put the littles to bed, so that was the end of crafting for the night. Because a staple gun is a lot louder indoors than outdoors, I discovered. The next day I starched the hell out of the fabric I bought so it was nice and crisp. I then decided to starch and iron the fabric already on the board, which actually worked pretty well.

I then used masking tape to get it lined up correctly. I then staple gunned the hell out of it, pulling the fabric taut.

I then just staple gunned some basic picture wire to the back et voilĂ ! Not bad! I feel like it needs some sort of spotlight though.

I do, however, have to stop using my dining room table for this sort of thing. No good will come of it.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Garden Stalker

Whenever I'm out and about, I'm always on the lookout for garden inspiration. I have my favorite gardens on my commute that I try and observe through the seasons. I often wish I had time to stop and take pictures, cause random strangers photographing your property isn't creepy at all. But generally I'm running on a carefully calibrated time table, so that just doesn't happen.

Today, though, I had done time to spare before picking G up from school, so I went for a walk around the neighborhood.

Friday, August 22, 2014

July roundup

Lots going on this month!

First of all, the baby keeps getting bigger. He is now pulling up on everything and cruising all around the house. I predict he'll be walking in a couple months. He's 8 months. So this post is being typed in a rare moment of peace while H takes the kids.

Let's start in the back yard. Our new garden bed is coming along nicely.

Tomatoes without cages. If there is a theme to this year, it's "Oh, crap, I forgot to do that."

However we have pumpkins! By last count, 10 of them 

And a baby watermelon!

Our Liatris is stunning this year 

Here is the Linden, 7 years in. She's getting HUGE! 

Our Annabelle Hydrangea

Check out the massive flower heads. I don't remember them being this large before


The new plants are doing mostly well. 

Daylilies along the front path 

Some of the bushes need a little pruning, but it has filled in nicely here 



In the "yay! look at all the weeds I pulled out!" category

Then the depressing reality of what is left.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Randoms from the weekend

My 3 boys. E and G are talking about what shapes they see in the clouds.
Our nesting pair of hawks. They were flying quite low on Saturday.
No, really. I'm not zoomed in here. They were low.
The Curly Duo chilling in the front yard
C discovers grass
He's a very serious baby.

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