Tuesday, July 30, 2013

the flower anniversary

 Every year on our wedding anniversary Dana and I get each other something from "the list." You know, 1st anniversary = paper (tickets to Bonnaroo) 3rd anniversary = leather (leather sectional) you get the idea.

This year, our 4th, was fruit/flowers. We use the traditional list, not the modern, because we find the categories are more practical.

This house needs about ten years of landscaping work so a little anniversary flowers sounded good to us. Enter a whole bunch of "full sun" plants we happened upon while looking for a gift for my mother-in-law.

I wasn't quite ready to decide (hot and tired) but Dana pointed out to me that we were agreeing on the plants we liked and therefore we should move forward. 

Since this was going to require way more work on his part I agreed. So, see where that small pine is blocking the view of our front door? It was headed up and to the left.

That was something we had actually agreed upon last summer. Not only is it terrible placement for the front view of the house but you can see how horribly it was leaning down hill when you are entering our home.

Dana started by pulling up all of those long grasses and grouping  them together to the right by the crepe myrtle. During all of this digging he also discovered that the former owner's landscapers never unbundled the crepe myrtle's roots from the wire. I actually can't believe it's been thriving since we've been here. I also can't believe that Dana managed to remove all of the wire without disrupting the tree, he's awesome. 

We happened to have a big bare spot in our front bed where some dying plants were when we moved in. With some nice tall trees nearby we needed something of medium height, our fancy tree was looking like a perfect fit. 

Placement check? Everyone is happy? Time to plant.

Whoa! You can actually see our front door, the walkway and our doggie in the window too.

And so much more welcoming. I love that purple sage!

I even think that for the first time in three years I actually like that pine tree. Now to figure out what is trying to kill our hydrangea to the right, I swear it was gorgeous two weeks ago.

I look at this picture and still see so much that needs to be done but one look at the house when we bought it and I am once again proud of how far we've come.

Seriously, the little man was only a 6 week old embryo when I took this picture, and now...

...he's our little helper.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Big Boy Bed...Part 1

When I met my husband, ten years ago, I never imagined that the twin bed in his "guest" room would ever have a place in our lives together. How wrong I was.

That little twin bed was his childhood bed. Although it lived in the attic of our first home I did not win the argument to give it away when we were ready to move into our now home.

Even though our new home has more square footage, it lacks the attic space for a bed and is sans basement.

So like most of our oddball, misfit belongings, it was relegated to my old studio. Where it lived for two plus years...

...until Demond was getting ready to move into a big boy bed.

Using Dana's old bed was the obvious choice, and after pricing out some new beds, yikes, it was the thrifty choice. It wasn't going to happen over night though, this baby needed some t.l.c.

My folks were visiting in March and my dad offered to help with some of the more unsavory tasks, like stripping the 30+ year old fabric and foam off of the slat board bottom.

Seriously, he should have been wearing a mask. And for those of you who are concerned, my fabric stash was secured right after this photo was taken.

Let's just take a moment to enjoy this super 70's bicentennial print. If it wasn't so gross, and slightly smelly, I would have been sad to see it go.

It wasn't until the slat board had been stripped and cleaned that we noticed the giant crack in the left corner of the headboard.
I know it wasn't there before we moved but the move itself, or sitting for two years in a corner, could have done it. 

Honestly, I almost abandoned the project right there. But 
as I sat on the concrete floor pondering my options I noticed this label:

Branded into the wood was the manufacturers logo. 
Made in Maine! The birthplace of my husband! Oh, this bed wasn't leaving our house, I would persevere.

Side note: Moosehead Furniture was founded in 1947, they are still in business and still making their goods in Maine.

My Dad and I had a lot of ideas on how to fix this baby. Since I was going to paint it we settled on the easiest, and the sturdiest, route.

Wood putty on the front side...

...metal brace on the back.

That was an unexpected hurtle but I was feeling good about our band-aid and ready to move onto the painting. Little did I know that between weekend adventures, and rainy days, this would take the next 3 months to complete.

Which is partly why this project is broken down into two posts.
To be continued...

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

DIY Bathing Beauty

I know that I am far from alone when say that I hate bathing suit shopping. I just don't understand how I can look good in my underwear and not a swimsuit. This makes no sense to me.

Despite my reluctance, I was in need of a new suit this season. All of my pre-baby suits were either too big or too easily displaced by all of the toddler wrangling that happens on the beach. 

I spent last summer in my maternity bikini that was clearly too large and in need of covering up...with this shirt.

What I needed was an "I'm a mom, but still young and cute" suit. 
Yeah, right.

I tried on enough suits to make me sick of it. My mind kept going back to a suit I had in college, it was a tube-top tankini and would be perfect. Yes, I have pics. No, I'm not sharing.

 Alas, that suit is long gone and all of my shopping (argh) wasn't producing another. 

I settled on this gray two-piece that was close to what I wanted. It had a good bottom piece but was still too matronly on top. 
So, with a little encouragement from my facebook friends I decided I could do this myself.

Taking scissors to a brand-new swimsuit is not my idea of a good time, but it had to be done.

Good bye tent shaped top, hello figure.

I did find this tutorial that was incredibly helpful, here. Also, a hint from my swimwear designer cousin to use a ballpoint needle, helped take a lot of the fear away.

Honestly, it wasn't really hard at all. I'm so glad I took a leap into a material I don't normally work with.

Here's the finished product!

I have to say that I'm quite pleased with my efforts. 
It is the exact amount of coverage I was looking for this season.

As for my comfort: I am happy to report that, with the neck strap, my suit is totally toddler-proof!!! 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Little White Shelf

I can't believe it's been almost a month since my last post. There has been plenty of making and doing in our household to report on, then again, that explains the delay. 

There have been a lot of projects in the works in the last couple of months that have finally seen completion. But let's start where we left off, shall we...

Remember my geeky joy at pulling this shelf from my dad's scrap wood bin? He thought I was totally nuts.

It wasn't exactly ready to go up on the wall. Note that the scalloped trim doesn't quite reach to the edges of the shelf.

This is probably because it wasn't a shelf in it's former life but some sort of wooden valance.

That extra length was definitely going to have to come off.

This could have been two quick cuts with a power saw but I was fearful of damaging the trim if I removed it. So, with scalloped edge on, I got to work with the hand saw. 

Which was neither difficult or time consuming, to my surprise.

 I did a light sanding to smooth out the edges and cleaned off any barn gunk that was left.

I finished the edges with a couple of coats of white paint that I already had in the house. I didn't try to color match or yellow the new paint for such a small patch.

I have to say that the hardest part of this whole project was finding brackets small enough for the shelf. It is really narrow, only 4.5 inches deep, and that is far from the standard.

I got lucky at my favorite local "junk" store. They had these cast iron reproduction brackets that were small enough to do the trick.

The brackets were a perfect pairing for the vintage shelf. 
It looks so cute up in my studio. It also gives me a great little ledge for some of my personal crafty treasures.

I have to call this trash-to-treasure project a complete success. It was super easy, super cheap (just $8 for 2 brackets,) and super functional. 

Take that, scrap wood bin!