Two Day To Do List

Last week was productive-I wanted to:

  • Start working on the basement.  Nope.  Not done at all.
  • Make a list of things still to do in the house.  No on this one too.
  • Finish the outside project  See it here!
  • Make something pretty YEP!
  • Go through my pictures and order prints.  Sigh.  Not done.

So this week:

  • Hang the lights in the back yard
  • Do some thrifting-hoping for outside furniture and some storage options for my basement
  • Finish painting the trim in the laundry room, my pallet side tables and the trim around the (new) door

It would be nice to accomplish the leftover stuff from last week but I’m not counting on it!

-A

Let’s Look at the Backyard

I’m still working on the front patio-I’m one step closer to a shade cloth and I’m planning on a trip to the bigger city this week to get some flower pots and a small table for out there and then I’ll call this project done!

But today, let me show you the backyard:

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That’s all the dirt we dug out of the front patio area.  It’ll be nice next year when I put down grass but right now it’s kind of a mess!

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This is what the back patio looks like now.  Nevermind the ladder and chair, I was using them to figure out my next project.  But I couldn’t.  I want to hang white string lights over the patio but:

the only plug back here is by the meter in the middle of that wall

I’m short and I don’t want to hang them so low that average-to-tall people (like everyone else in my family!) get hurt

I don’t have good places to anchor them away from the house

there are a lot of different heights and angles back here

I don’t have any fancy editing software (rememberiamcheap) so bear with me on this:

backyard5

 

These were the three ideas I had.  The yellow stars would probably be the easiest.  I’d string lights from the corner of the house to the outside corner of my closet bump out.  I’d string as many as I could, probably 4 to fill the space.  The aqua stars would run from the corner at the house and chimney and fan out to the corner of the closet.  I think I’d have to run wire from corner to corner to attach the lights across the patio.  And finally, I could run from the driveway side of the house across to the closet.  I think this one would look best but I also think it will be dangerously low for anyone close to 6 feet tall.

I hope you can picture what I mean because I want your advice!

Please let me know which you like-or give me some new ideas!  I’d like to work on this on my days off this week (and have it ready for a BBQ in August!)

-A

Found Chair

On Saturday, on their way to my house, my parents saw a woman putting this chair out on the curb.  They asked about it and she told them to take it.

Last night I was so excited to get paint on it that I didn’t get a proper before:

chair1

 

The red and white (with some green mixed in) was the paint job that this chair came with.  I knew that I wanted it at my craft table in the living room and so I dug out the Valspar sample jar of English Tea Party and got to painting.

This is now my favorite brown.  What?  Doesn’t everyone have a favorite brown?  No?  Oh.

chair2

 

I did a little sanding but probably not as much as I should have so I just put down really light coats of paint.  Here it is after coat one.

chair3

 

And coat two

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(how awesome is that scallop detail??)

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After a couple of coats I flipped the chair over (and took blurry pictures…)

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This was coat 3

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Once the bottom was painted I flipped it back over and put a final coat on the top.  Also, I drank some wine.

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Which might explain the blurry pictures…

Overall this took 4 thin coats.  I still have most of the sample container of paint left and the paint brush and wine were in my stash so, today this project cost me nothing.

There’s a better picture on my Instagram but I’ll try to take a non-blurry one today while it’s light out and I haven’t had any wine.  🙂

-A

Something Pretty

Last week I planned to make something pretty on my days off.

It’s been so hot outside that the last couple of weeks I’ve needed projects to do inside from about 11AM to nightfall.  These were perfect, mindless projects that I got done in just a couple of hours.

pretty1

I started working on a little gallery wall in my kitchen and painted that blue “give thanks” sign.  I don’t hate it but I also don’t love it yet.  Maybe with some tweaking it’ll grow on me.  If not, I’ll paint over it and try something new.

pretty2

I had that blue A in my bedroom (I’m thinking now I should have painted it) and all those corks (and many more) in my kitchen.  I’m not a lush, really!  I was a bartender for a while and obsessively saved all the corks.  The other girls would ask me what I was going to do with them and I would say, “I’ll think of something!”  The pins on Pinterest had much cleaner lines whereas mine is kind of wonky.  I like it up there on that shelf though and I love the different shades of red and pink so I’m going to embrace its unevenness.

I’m realizing now that not much can compare to my new patio so I’m going to have to up my game.  After a double shift tonight I’m exhausted and planning to sleep the heat of the day away tomorrow but I’m sure tomorrow night I’ll be wide awake and looking for a project to tackle!

-A

(Mostly) Finished Patio

A few months ago my mother and I had an idea to move the bricks from my driveway to under the living room window in my front yard:

patio3

We thought it would be a simple little project that we could get done over two days.  I wasn’t looking for perfection and thought I would really like it even if it was kind of uneven so my mom dug up the flower bed that was here and started to loosely lay down the bricks.

My dad nixed this idea and said that we needed to do it “right.”

So, during the hottest week of the year (so far) we (he):

patio2

Put in a frame

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Dug out all the dirt (I helped with this!)

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Added gravel

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Compacted it

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Put down plastic to block weeds

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Then put in sand and leveled it

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And finally started putting down bricks!  Thankfully, this step went pretty quickly!

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I left that back row because I thought we were going to have to cut bricks to fit into that back edge but luckily, for once, a project went better than expected!

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It’s hard to tell in this picture but one row of bricks fit perfectly in the back row.  This morning we put sand down and called this done!  It needs another sweeping and probably a little more sand but this is a fully functioning seating area as it is now!

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I’ve spent the last week searching for sun sails (white!) to put over this patio but I haven’t found anything that is the right size.  I’m hoping that the shade will make this a pleasant place to sit outside but also I’m hoping that the shade over that window will keep my house cooler.  Now I’m thinking I’m just going to have to buy yards of sun blocking fabric and make my own cover.  I also want a little table and some flower pots so I plan to start hitting some end of season sales next month.

So, I have to say my dad was right.  This looks much better done right and I’m happy to know that I should be able to enjoy this little space for many years to come!  Thanks dad!

-A