Entries Tagged as 'DIY projects'

Go with the flow, or um stones in this case



Sometimes you just have to go with the flow when an opportunity presents itself, and sometimes the flow entail some 800 pound stones. Well it does at least if you live with my family. And that’s just what happened around here this weekend we went with the flow had an unexpected project begin.

You may remember on Friday I mentioned these giant stones showed up at our door. First it was one early in the week and then many more arrived on Thursday.  My father rescued them from being  ground up into gravel. He just couldn’t let that happen. They were large, flat, and HEAVY. Perfect for creating natural stone stairs to the lower level of our yard. See the one on the bottom right? That came from the bottom of a lake in the next town. I think it’s only fitting they it’s come to live in our yard now.

Did I mention these things were heavy? Yeah, I’m playing Captain Obvious today. That’s where this little Kubota came in. We borrowed it to move the stones around (some days it pays to have family in the construction business with access to heavy machinery).

So here’s how this whole thing went down. We have this ramp in our yard that connects the top level to the lower level. Here’s how it looked when bought our house.

It was kind of awkward and steep to walk down when we moved in and didn’t have a real transition to the lower level and the above ground pool. We’ve always planned to add some nice steps some day. Over time we widened it some and made the slope a bit more gradual but we stil knew that ultimately we’d like to have me wide steps transition from one level of the yard to another. So when opportunity knocked we jumped at the chance to snag those huge stones for free.

My Uncle was working a job where he saw these large stones that were about to be smashed to smithereens. After talking to my Father a bunch of times he knew that he wanted some large stone steps to from the grass level to the pool level below but hadn’t started that project yet due to the expense of such large stone. First he brought the first large one over and then later in the week called and asked if we wanted more. The owner didn’t care if we took them. After a series of swapped trucks and loaned machines so confusing that I’m still fuzzy on the details we had some stones and a small machine arrive late Thursday.

They started by placing the first pieces at the bottom and slowly working their way up the ramp. Placing them gently with the machine to create a meandering pathway. The machine carried them to the sight but some still need to be nudged into place by hand. I love the top step that’s the one that came from the bottom of the lake. It’s got a rounded almost pie shaped wedge and beautiful coloring,  absolutely perfect for that spot.

We still have some work to do on the stairs but for this weekend we have the beginning of a stair path to the lake below.

So how about that? One Thursday evening we happened to have a truckload of stones, a Kubota and a meandering path turned stone stairway arrive in our yard.


Never a dull moment



These unexpectedly appeared at our house yesterday.

This did too!

And they started working on this.

Oh boy, it’s going to be one busy weekend!

Have a great weekend everybody. See you all next week.

I’m a sucker for Paisley



I’ve been a sucker for Paisley since my mother bought me wonderful Paisley pajamas when I was 14. I loved those Paisley pj’s and with that my affection for Paisley began. With Paisley on the brain, I’ve been on the hunt for some Paisleytastic (yeah, I just invented a word) inspiration for some new original art I’m planning.

Paisley has been around since the beginning of the 19th century, thought to be based upon a pinecone design in India and named after Paisley, Scotland where it was originally manufactured it doesn’t have to look like it’s stuck in the 1800’s. There are great modern takes on Paisley for to suit even the most discriminate taste. From cookies to fabric and everything in between it has been interpreted into many wonderful things. Here are some favorites I’ve found while searching for my own Paisley passion.

This is a beautiful take in a tranquil pillow pattern from Pier 1

I like the bold design and blue and green color scheme in this Boho Paisley Print fabric it is a fabulous modern interpretation on the standard paisley teardrop shape.

Paisley Settee

Such a beautiful Paisley settee from Horchow Home , so bright and cheery.

Paisley Wedding Cake

And this beautifully done Paisley wedding cake featured on Something Old Something New. I LOVE it!!

Paisley Cookies

Over at The Hunnie Pot they made the most adorable Paisley cookies for their little girl’s birthday. She sells the most beautiful iced sugar cookies and ships them so go check her out.

After all this interesting Paisley talk I’ve started on the beginnings of my own Paisley inspired paintings. Here’s a sneak peak of my sketches.

These are the basic outlines for a series of 4 paintings I’ve just begun. I plan to use bright colors and created an nod to Paisley prints through classic Paisley teardrop shape and through more subtle details that I plan to infuse throughout each in the series.

I can’t wait to see how they turn out!

Weekend Garden Shopping



We were hard at work adding some interest to our long gray privacy fence around the lake this weekend. We started the shoveling, wheelbarrow, and dumping gray privacy fence fixing up adventure (where say that 3 times fast)  here if you want to take a look at it in all it’s former ugliness.

Short of tearing down the 100+ ft fencing and starting over with some new pretty fencing (we’re ambitious but not weekend psychotic). We planned to create some interest and break up the long expanse of wood with some serious greenery. We’re talking shrubs, perennials all sorts of flowering goodness kind of things.

We had a few ideas going into this project of what we wanted to put there. We planned to add a couple taller shrubs to flank the gate into our yard, visually defining an entrance into our secret garden beyond. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve walked down the road, looked for the gate in the wrong spot almost walked into the fence panel…awwwwkkkwwwarrrd! It’s one of those oh geez I hope nobody saw that type moments where you brush yourself off and act like nothing happened. Hopefully flanking the gate with some shrubs with define the space enough to thwart even my clumsiness. Back to the plants, we also plan to reuse some Tiger Lilies and Hostas we had in another part of the yard as well as purchase some ornamental grasses and some flowers for color.

So it was about time we made our way to our good old garden lot to take a look and see what we could find. We ended up going home with a truckload of stuff thanks in no small part to my parents the garden lovers, but not before drooling over all the the gorgeous options available.

Plants as far as the eye can see. I wanted to take them all home.

These rhododendrons looked fantastic in the mass grouping. They were in full bloom purple glory. I can never get enough. I love spring bloomers, the only disappointment I ever feel from them is how short lived spring blooming flowers are. I just wish they bloomed year round. Now that would be something.

Hydrangeas are one of my personal favorites. Their classic beauty is undeniable. I always envision and English country garden when I think of their country cottage elegance. Ranging in color from blue to purple to pink (depending upon the acidity level of the soil they are planted in) these are a must have in my yard. I also love a dried arrangement of Hydrangeas in the house through the winter months to remind you of their summer glory.

The large leaves of the Caladium are such a beautiful way to add summer color and texture to the garden. I especially like to use Caladium as part of a potted plant arrangement.

I have always, always, ALWAYS wanted large potted palm trees in the yard for summer. Nothing says resort living  like having potted palms shading you as you sit by the pool drinking fruity cocktails under their shade.

Weeping Birch tress are just lovely. I have a particular fondness for the them because we used to have one that sat outside our kitchen window in the house I grew up in. I have such lovely childhood memories of that tree and that house :-). I think I’ll have to get me one of those someday soon.

And last but not least the Gerber Daisy. These flowers always make me smile. These will be going in some pots at my house some day soon.

So there’s some of our the finds from these weekends plant shopping extravaganza. We brought home a whole truckload of beauties and we’ll be planting away. We’ll post some picks later this week of our Outdoor spruce up projects. Until then happy gardening!

A husband, an old mirror, and eBay



One Sunday morning conversation where Bryan was still half asleep and I had been up for 2 hours already.

Me:  So, I may have bought an old ugly mirror on eBay late last night.

Bryan:  Huuuuh?

Me:  I said, I may have…

Bryan:  yeah, I heard you, why would wake me up and open with “I may have bought an ugly mirror”?

Me:  It was only $10.50

Bryan:  silence

Me:  Do you want to see it?

Bryan:  snore, zzzzz

Me: I said, do you want to see it?

Bryan:  No, I’m sleeping.

Me:  Here. Look.

Bryan:  Why would you buy that?

Me:  I have a plan.

Bryan: Yeah, OK.

Me. You have no vision.

Bigtime, Vision, YEEEAHH!


Knight Moves: Stella Dallas.

Pssst: Wanna see a peak of how it all turned out? Come take a look over here.

We’ll back on Tuesday May 31 to see how our Pretty in Pink mirror makeover it all went down.




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