Shade Cloth, 2015 Edition

I know I’ve been gone for a week…or more…car problems (again,) getting ready for a yard sale, OITNB Season 3, and a big purge/re-organization of my whole house has kept me very busy.  But I’m back!  

I feel like I spent most of last summer talking about my shade cloth.  I think all the problems from last year had me putting off putting it up this year.  Of course, it went up super easy and I kicked myself for not doing it two weeks ago!

sc1Yes, that’s the box from my lawn mower.  Yes I’m embarrassed.  Also, yes, those are weeds all over the patio.  90° is really hot you guys!

sc2No, I never cut down the dowel on the left.  I also never painted the dowels or post white but I DID shorten the cloth this year!  That swag action going on to the right is due to the leaning post.

It’s not perfect but

fionaFiona (my parents’ dog) seems to approve!

Next year I need someone to tell me to do this in May.  I can’t believe how much it instantly cooled down my front room (let’s just say it’s so much cooler that I don’t care about the sag, leaning post or not white dowels!)

And I think that this

c1 will probably distract anyone passing by!



Goodbye Summer!

Just so you don’t think it’s all parties and crafts around here I want to show you something I finally took care of:



If you’re sharp, you noticed this when I posted about my Christmas lights. (bonus points to anyone who can spot Henry in this picture.)

Do you see it?



Bye shade cloth.  See you next year!








If It’s Not One Thing, It’s the Shade Cloth

That’s right, more problems.  We’ve been getting torrential rainstorms with crazy wind and hail and surprisingly, my shade cloth solution has held up.

But it’s still not fairing well:



(I braved one of those downpours to take this picture!)

My solution has held up so well that it’s now taking the post down.  Sigh.  Time to dig a deeper hole!


Shade Cloth, Part IV

I’m starting to get sick of talking about this shade cloth.  I mean, I love the cloth but I’m sick of it coming down!  The few days that it stayed up I noticed a 15 degree difference between the temperature outside and inside my house so I definitely want to find a solution for keeping that sucker up!

We’ve been getting gusty winds and rain the last few weeks (thankfully!) that have been knocking my cloth down.  Here’s what I came home to Tuesday night:



From the driveway side it looked like my house had a veil



So, back to the hardware store I went where I picked up two more plumbing bracket things and another dowel.



Now that I know how to use a saw I’ll chop this dowel down a little when I take this down in the fall but for now I’m just happy that this stayed up through the wind we got last night.


Henry was not happy that he didn’t get to help with this project, hence his creeper stare through the curtains.

So, my goal is to not talk about this shade cloth anymore!  At least until next spring when I paint the post and dowels white and hem the cloth to fit the space better.  🙂



Two Day To Do List

Every time I think I’m going to have an easy week and lay back on the couch (loveseat) and binge watch “Love it or List it” and “Bar Rescue,” I instead find myself knee deep in stuff to be painted, moved, hung, cleaned, organized, etc.

Take last week for example:

  • hang the shade cloth for the patiopart one and part two
  • the trunk turned dog food stationso great!
  • start filling the gaps in the kitchenhalfway done.  All I need is another tube of white caulk and to finish painting the trim over the sink

This week I have THREE days off and I’m ready!  I’m going to:

  • finish the trim in the kitchen
  • add one more layer of trim in the bathroom.  Remember that gap-it’s getting covered up!
  • caulk around the tub in the bathroom (found 3 spiders in there in less than 24 hours!)
  • make a new wreath for the front door
  • put up my new kitchen hardware
  • start (and finish dang it!) my new kitchen island

Also, if you’ve noticed the counter at the bottom of this page, you know that my one year anniversary is quickly approaching.  I have 2.5 weeks to gather up all my notes and put together some awesome posts about how far my house and I have come and what I want to get done in Year 2.


Shade Cloth Update

In this post you will see a DIY fail and dead grass.  Sorry about that.

I got home on Thursday and found my shade cloth blown off one side, flipped over and up and caught on my satellite dish.  I unhooked it from the dish but it sat like this



until this morning.

I didn’t want to drive the 20 minutes to the nearest Lowe’s (three towns away!) so I went to the hardware store in town.

I wandered the aisles until something inspired me.

First I found these



1″ pipe holder things.  I don’t really know what they’re called but I knew they would work.  Then I was on the hunt for something sturdy that was over 6 feet long.

I found this



a handle for a broom, mop or whatever.  The guy working there looked at me like I was crazy but I knew it would work (plus it was cheaper than a wooden clothes rod.)

I went out front to assess the damage and immediately found the problems:



Yeah, that’s not holding much up…



and the metal rod ended up being pretty flimsy.



So, in a matter of minutes, I had these screwed in



and it all hung back up.  This solution cost me less than $10 (cheaper than the original curtain rod!)

I’ll have to add painting that wooden handle white to my list of things to do when fall hits but for now, I’m living with it.

I’m confident this set up will work, but I’ve said that before so I’m not holding my breath.



The Patio is Covered!

Have you ever planned a project in your head only to find that it doesn’t work out the way you imagined it at all?  Yeah, me too.

Enter the shade cloth project (remember the patio??)  I searched Overstock, Amazon, and Google to find a white shade sail that would fit the dimensions of my new patio out front.  Nothing.  I found white but either way too big or way too small.  I found the right size but in a weird green.  No.  Then I found this:



$32.95 on Amazon with free shipping.  Sold.  It was a foot too long so I took it to my sewing room



Just kidding, I don’t have a sewing room.  That’s my living room.  I sewed in a 4″ pocket for the curtain rod.

My plan was to hang it across the bumped out entryway




and then kind of swag it over and bring it into a loose triangle shape at the corner of the house.  Easy peasy, right?



Wrong.  When I thought of draping and swagging I must have been thinking that this heavy, basically plastic fabric would move like silk.  It doesn’t.





So this morning I went to Wal-Mart and picked up another white curtain rod ($12.56) and started digging a hole.  I had a post hanging out in my back yard so I planted that in the corner of the patio



and hung one of the braces for the curtain rod on the house and the other to the post.  I feel like a freaking genius!  I should have dug a deeper hole but it was A) so hot out there and B) the dry, dry ground was really hard!  Next year I’ll I’ll dig it in deeper and I’ll paint it white.



Once it was up I realized I was too conservative in the pocket I sewed for the rod on the right.  It shades the window and those chairs so I’m not worrying about it yet.  When I take it down in the fall I’ll sew in a wider pocket so it’ll hang a little higher next summer.

I made a trip to Lowe’s yesterday and picked up those grey plastic pots.  The 16″ ones were $2.49 each and the 20″ one was $7.49.  There’s a thief on my street (he has taken ALL of my solar lights!) so I’m not keeping these out here until next spring when I can fill them with dirt and make them too heavy for him to pick up.  The chairs were free, remember, and I got that black plant stand at Big Lots.

The only thing that could make this better would be grass in my front yard instead of weeds and dirt.

This evening I plan to enjoy my new, cooler patio with some wine!