Sunday, June 18, 2017

Yard done! Mural done!

More things finished!

Last weekend, I pretty much finished up the yard. Just one thing remains: Susie's and my experiment with cuttings of lavender. Everything else is happily in the ground and doing its thing.

Also, believe it or not, I finally finished the bamboo mural at the bottom of the stairs.

Since it's so difficult to really capture all this with photos, here is a little video of what it looks like coming down the back stairs and walking into the yard (email me if you're not sure how to make it full screen).




I'm very happy with how everything has turned out, especially the mural. The yellow-green leaves turned out better than I expected, as did the panda. Here's a close up:



I am really happy with how the mural looks from the new chair, as well:



It's so great to have this stuff finally coming together. Maybe next week I'll actually move on to fixing the doorbell...

Monday, May 29, 2017

One step closer to finishing the yard

Susie and I spent the afternoon at a beautiful gardening store this weekend, carefully selecting the plants for the yard.

After much debate, we decided that these Westringia Morning Lights would be nice for this spot to the left of the brick path:



I also got rosemary for the triangle bed to the right of the path, and Susie is going to give us a cutting of her lavender for the spot right next to it:



A few more herbs in there, to add to the giant mint on the left of the photo, and it will be a nice little kitchen garden.

Just a few more finishing touches out there, and I will call the yard finished!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Two Things, Plus Two More Things

Finished two more things this weekend.

First, I have been feeling like the guest room needed something. Maybe a headboard for the bed. I had been thinking about painting one on the wall, when a conversation with Amanda gave me an idea.

I used the last big section of old kitchen counter (which would have been thrown away by now if it weren't so huge that cutting it down into chunks was going to be a project all of its own):



Stretched a brown sheet over it, added a piece of trim cut from the old 2x4's we took out of the back of the house, and attached it to the wall:



Not bad! Just what the room needed.

Also finished up with the terra cotta tiles left over from the kitchen floor (and the tiny tiny patio). Smashed them up & put them around the plants in the front yard:



I also got very lucky this weekend, and inherited the card catalog from AJ's classroom. I put it on a set of drawers I already had. Fits perfectly!



Lastly, as I was lounging about on Saturday, enjoying our 75-degree weather, I wanted to share this view from the hammock -- it's a climbing rose bush that our back neighbor has neglected for the past three years (much to our benefit -- it's now about 20 feet tall):




Thursday, May 18, 2017

More progress in the yard

Made some more progress in the yard this past week.

Used some left over gravel to edge the walkway:




After much hand-wringing, I decided to not go whole hog with a vegetable garden this year. So much work! After finishing school, all I want to do on the weekends is goof off. So, why not?

AJ trimmed back the jade in the front yard this weekend -- I grabbed some of those trimmings and planted them in the vegetable bed, along with some wildflower seeds. No longer looks like a dust patch:



But of course I do have my peas. And they're very happy, especially with this piece of corrugated steel behind them, adding light and heat (although obviously not in late afternoon, when I took the photo):



Lastly, the hanging chair arrived:



AJ approves:

Next, a few more plants for that bare spot in the triangle bed on the right of the brick path, and for a bare spot to the left. Then we can call the yard done!

(for now...)

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Finishing Things Chapter 1

Now that I have all this time on the weekends, I can get on to the very serious business of finishing things.

With some cooperation from the weather, I was finally able to finish the tiny patio for the tiny grill:



Complete with tiny concrete brick and paver table:


Finished!

That box on the left is a tiny planter I made a couple years ago. I will get that planted when I get some more potting mix. Maybe next weekend...

I also spent a lot of time moving a lot of dirt from the big pile I created when I did the brick path, to a low spot on the side of the yard. Finished!

Here's how the yard has shaped up:


Ready now for some Earthboxes, a lemon tree, and some lavender! And a hanging chair in the corner, by the panda.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Celebratory pie!

Just wanted to post a picture of this beautiful strawberry rhubarb pie (homemade crust!) that AJ made me for celebratory brunch on Sunday.



Can't think of a better way to celebrate having finished that damn MBA than a slice of this pie and a glass of champagne!

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Landscaping & Big News

In between (numerous) weekend rain storms, we've been working on the landscaping in the back yard.

These photos are a little hard to see, but I took some of the especially insect-damaged timbers from the old back part of the house -- stuff too big and too damaged to do much else with -- and created a raised area for a swing in the back corner and a raised garden bed next to the new wall:





Big thanks to our houseguest Corrie Jo for her ideas! She is a genius. That is a fact.

We planted some dahlias in there, and some California poppies. And six snap peas. Because snap peas -- even just a handful -- are essential for summertime happiness.

Meanwhile, the radishes, lettuce, and carrots in the gutter are very happy:



And the sedum in the other gutter is also very happy:



Thank you to Momma Arave for the advice on transplanting the sedum into this gutter! Another genius!

While Corrie Jo was here, enjoying beautiful weather in the hammock and directing my efforts at landscaping, I also got started on a tiny tiny patio for our tiny tiny grill.

It's about 2 feet by 3 feet. Tiny.

And yes, made out of materials left over from other projects.

First I made a form and poured the rest of a bag of concrete into it:





Not quite enough to fill the form, but that's ok, because I had plenty of mortar left over from the kitchen floor to fill up the rest of the space. And, of course, plenty of left over terra cotta tiles:


That was a couple of weeks ago now. If it ever stops raining for more than two days in a row, I'll be able to finally grout this sucker and call it done.

Speaking of done, as you know, 2017 is The Year of Finishing Things. Here is something big I just finished: this morning, at 11:30am, I officially turned in the last assignment for my last MBA class (please click here). I am completely done and on my way to graduation!

Looking forward to a less break-neck pace to my week, and to having some time on the weekends to relax and have fun doing projects.

Onward & upward!