Entries from June 21st, 2011

Summertime and the livin’ is easy



Now that summer is officially here, wohoo! We’re spending our days (and night’s) enjoying our life on the lake along with a tackling a couple projects here and there. Sometimes we just need to balance out a day of projects with a day to kick back and relax, figure out what life’s little pleasures are all about and enjoy this beautiful place where we live.

It’s all about relaxing in an Adirondack chair

Or prettying up the gardens with some mulch

Working on the final stretch of a big project

Grabbing some excitementEnjoying the scenery

And then riding off into the sunset to do it all over again tomorrow

Deck railing ideas



As we start to come to the home stretch of our deck building project and with a semi-firm plan in place for our yard we’ve been on the lookout for some deck railing ideas. We’ve been contemplating all sorts of things like ‘What material to use?, “What style of railing?”, “Wood stain or water sealer?”, who knew there were so many options out there? While out and about looking around for some ideas here are a few from practical to practically extravagant that have caught our eye.

Gorgeous glass rails leave an unobstructed view.

Classic & white

Nice stylized balusters.

Custom carved railings.

Classic color combination

Classic design

Curvy glass balusters

All images via Pinterest, click on the image for the source.

Coastal Inspiration



There’s something about living by the the water that is such a calming atmosphere. Maybe it’s the sound or the flurry of recreational activities that surround you. Or maybe it’s the feeling of true love for your home and the place you live that brings everyone together.

My experience in living on the water has been wonderful to date. Everything from the people to the lifestyle is completely unique. I think it’s a common love of the environment that brings everyone together. It automatically creates a unique bond. Everyone is orientated towards the outdoors more and that brings a sense of community to our little neighborhood. It’s a rare summer’s day that one of our neighbors doesn’t swing on by to say hello and shoot the breeze. A impromptu casual hangout out on the dock on a warm afternoon is a common occurrence.

When I think of coastal style I think of the same impromptu casual feeling I get hanging out on the dock reminiscent of waves lapping on the shoreline and warm summer breezes. It’s a feeling of laid back casual elegance whether decked out in grays and blues, a palette of pastels or bursting with pops of color. Here’s what’s inspiring me today as I think about that feeling and the feeling I want my home on the water to embody.

All images via Pinterest, click on the image for the source. You can find much more inspiration in my Coastal board

Personalized B.B.Q. Menu Sign Tutorial



My husband has always been a big fan of personalized signs. So I thought this summer it would be nice to bring his love of B.B.Q’s and signs together by making him his very own personalized sign for the outdoor grill area.

We love to B.B.Q. and entertain during the summer months so we sat down to design Bry’s B.B.Q. Pit which is a combination casual menu board and art we’d like to use dress up the outdoor space. Below is how it all turned out.

With Father’s Day right around the corner I thought I’d share an easy DIY tutorial on how I created his personalized outdoor menu art. Maybe a favorite grill lover in your life would like one of their very own for Father’s Day.

Shopping List

15 inch piece of 1 x12 Pine Board

Spray Sealer

Acrylic Craft Paint

  • Licorice (Folk Art)
  • Apple Red (Folk Art)
  • Cadmium Orange (Americana
  • Titanium White (Folk Art)
  • Apricot (Apple Barrel)
  • Coffee Latte (Folk Art)


Step 1. Paint the background. I wanted a gradient style background. I started by painting the top and bottom first inch of the board in Licorice. Remember black paints goes a long way so use it sparingly at first. Then while the black was still wet I painted from the center out towards the black in a combination of Apple Red and Cadmium Orange. I squirted the paint directly onto the board and then worked horizontally so that there would be some variation in the color. Once I reached the black I kept going a bit so that the Red/Orange would fade to black on the edges. Where the paint became too dry I added some water to my brush to help the colors blend and fade. Once you have the effect you like set it out to dry fully.

Step 2. Then it’s time to transfer your drawing onto the boards. I used the sketch (attached at the bottom in pdf) and some Super Chacopaper transfer paper, laying the pattern onto the board then tracing over the pattern to transfer the design. I love Chacopaper vs. regular Carbon Paper because you can wipe away any stray marks with some water when you’re done. The font is “Regulator” font downloaded from Dafont if you would like to use the same font to personalize the name on your sign. I used 117 pt Regulator font for “Bry’s”.

Step 3. Using a small flat brush and working with the outline color first I filled in the “Bry’s in Licorice and the rest of the lettering in Titanium White. Since it’s craft paint the white took about 3 coats to get good opaque coverage.

Step 4. I used a black Sharpie to draw on the inside of the letters to create a guide for the black lettering and a pencil to draw on the black outlined lettering.

Step 5. Fill in the letters with either the Licorice or Titanium White coloring using the image below as a guide.

Step 6. I filled in the beer glass with Coffee Latte for the inner portion of the glass and a mixture of Coffee Lattee and Apricot for the outer portions and the handle. The foam was painted in titanium white.

Step 7. Using a liner brush I added the outline and detail to the beer glass and foam.

Step 8. Paint the back and sides in Licorice.

Step 9. Spray the whole thing with a sealer to protect it from the elements.

We’re really happy with how the whole thing came out and cant wait to use it for our next backyard B.B.Q.

Click here for Bry’s BBQ outline sketch

Psst: If you like this project stroll on over to our tutorials page to see our other DIY art projects.

A 3 hour tour (part 4)



Hi there,

Thanks for stopping by. If you’re new around these parts it’s time for our series A 3 hour tour where you virtually join us on some of the houses that catch our eye when we’re out and about on our lake. It’s one of my favorite things to do on a warm summer afternoon driving around the lake.

This week I thought we’d do something a bit different and take a look at some of the unique and charming boat house we’ve noticed along the way. A lot of these go beyond your run of the mill boat storage totally integrating the style of their house, kicking it up a notch on this extreme patch of waterfront property.  Many of these include rooms on the top floor of the charming structures. I wouldn’t mind staying a minute or two in one of those rooms, would you?

So let’s get going, shall we?

Here’s a cutie boat house, the different levels peaks and roof lines are so charming. The choice of siding and white trim provide lovely crisp contrast, not to mention the awesome boat and jet ski parked on the dock. I’ll take one of each please.

This charming little boat house with a balcony and cute decorative corbels coordinate seamlessly with the home it belongs to.

I’m really in love with the black trim accents and green roof and tons of deck space and a cool rooftop deck. Is that a tin roof over the dormers? I have a very special love for tin roofs. I always dream of one day redoing our roof in tin. I am also impressed by the lovely coordinating gazebo standing just off in the distance. My husband and I were engaged in a similar gazebo on a lake.

I’m digging this old style boat house, built out of the same charming field stone that is also on the house and the walls lining the property.  It could arguably be  Shangri La.

There’s a no frills approach to this boathouse with the classic columns lining the walks adding a nice architectural feature.

And finally a modern take on a boat house is presented in this eye catching A-frame. I’m always impressed by the  extra attention to detail it requires a homeowner to coordinate all elements of their home into one seamless space. I think it’s particularly evident in something like a boathouse that people love their homes and I love looking!

So until next time, thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend!

Psst, if you would like to check out all the posts in our 3 hour tour series be sure to click here!


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