Friday, July 31, 2009
Some of our favorite neighbors are moving. They are right next door and since the day we moved in have been amazing. They have shared their garden vegetables, homemade grape jelly from their grapevine, the honey their bees make, their water, and Christmas goodies all 11 years. We also head there first on Halloween and they take a picture of the girls on their porch. Every year. Where will we go now?
For their gift this Christmas I did something special. In August I spent an hour taking macro pictures of almost every flower in their yard. I put them together and made this. They loved it! Little did we know it would be our last Christmas to exchange gifts. It was such a hit that I decided they needed a goodbye photo. Only problem was that they were always home! Something about packing. Blah, blah, blah.
But last night when we got home we noticed no cars. I ran (literally) to get my camera and got to work. My three look-outs kept yelling, "It's their car!" I would then run like crazy to get to the street to pretend I was taking pictures of the girls riding bikes. Of course, the first 6 times it wasn't their car. It looked nothing like their car. But I digress. The final time they yelled I of course trusted them again and headed to the street. Of course, not them. The car didn't even come down our street. It passed a block away!
As I was preparing my lecture another neighbor came outside and asked me to take a picture of him with the girls. As they were posing and smiling and moving bikes guess who drove up. Yep. Okay, so I'm glad I believed them again. And luckily I got a cute picture of Terry and my girls.He and his family live in my house that I grew up in. Now if he ever moves...I don't know what I'll do. Enter therapy most likely. Or throw myself on the ground in front of the moving truck and refuse to move. It could happen.
But back to the gift. After 65 pictures I came down to 13 that I loved and edited just right. I tried a different template but sadly was not smart enough to figure out how to use it. So I used the same one from Christmas. I wanted it to be different....but I do love how it turned out.Since the writing is so small...the top says;
If you keep the royal plan of Scripture, "Love your neighbor as yourself", you are doing right. James 2:8
And the bottom says;
Thank you for the wonderful memories and the sweet friendship.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go cry. And maybe let the air out of several tires.
I was kidding.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
My front porch light is so ugly that you just have to like it. I am all about keeping things around that the original owners chose. I loved them and knowing they chose it means a lot. But some things can stay but need to be....improved.
Sadly I cannot find a before picture. I was so giddy to start that I guess I forgot. Luckily after I posted this an anonymous reader left a comment that I had a before picture in the previous post. So here it is! A tiny bit of it. But enough to realize why I've done what I've done.Just imagine these yellow circle Plexiglas thingiesin the slots on the body of the light.My lovely assistant took it apart and helped me slip the thingies out and then put it back together.
And re-taped the Braum's bags when they repeatedly fell.And then the paint. Hammered Copper spray paint. I found the idea here. And savagely stole her picture because I was to lazy to get up, go outside, take my own picture, and upload it. It was dark! Anyway. Check out her blog. Her recipes, ideas, and pictures are wonderful.
The finish is amazing!Now here's the problem. There's no way that I'll put those yellow Plexiglas thingies back in. We've tried two different light bulbs and this time might have a winner.What's your honest opinion? Does it need more Plexiglas, or plain glass, or decorative glass? Or leave well enough alone?
Since I'd fallen in love with the spray paint at this time I started looking for other things to do. I didn't have to look far. Yep, ugly house numbers. Let's not talk about the chipped and peeling paint around them. Okay? I can't handle that. I'm still on this natural high you see. And no, it's not from the paint fumes.Over an hour later (yes, it took over an hour to put little tiny pieces of tape in and around the numbers. In some places I had to use tweezers. It's all about quality here.Hello gorgeous!Now, are you ready for the next place I'm painting?
If you said yes, are you sure?
It's unconventional. It's unknown. It's frightening. It's unheard of.
My white tile kitchen back splash.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
I love my blue house. It's a loooooong story, but it's been this blue most of my life. Growing up across the street it's just what it's supposed to look like.
But at some point there has to be enough blue. The house is blue. The pool house is blue. The pump house is blue. Even the side of our neighbors garage that is in our backyard is blue. And as you might have noticed from previous pictures, our pool is blue.
So as you might have figured...my doors are blue.
Big surprise right?
Before I'd even talked Shawn into the porch I knew I wanted to paint the doors. I decided to do the same technique I did on the tables in the living room.
I did the back door first. Two coats of black and then the sanding. That's my favorite part. Since this door was already showing its age I let it have it. My sanding block was hot! Then Shawn looked at it and said it wasn't nearly enough. I got a sheet of rougher sand paper and went back at it. After the glaze and three coats of poly I was thrilled!!
I was so anxious that I forgot a before picture. So please accept this. You might have to squint and sit really close to the screen.And now the after.I am so glad this banged up, gouged scratch now looks like it belongs.As I walked up to my front door with the sanding block I held my hand out and just couldn't do it. My front door is different. It's grander somehow. Not that we live in a mansion or anything, but it is a more formal entrance than my back door. I had to have a second opinion. I called my neighbor whose house is beautiful. She couldn't come until the next day so I went to bed tormented.
When she came over the next day she oohed and ahhed over them both but her honest opinion...don't sand it. I was so glad to have her opinion that I just took it and thanked her. Three coats of poly and it was perfect.But then the grapevine wreath horseshoe (as we lovingly call it) just didn't stand up to the grandeur of the door. And after the porch was done it really looked bad.
A quick trip to Hobby Lobby where flowers were half price (or Shawn would have killed me), and I had the look I was going for. Now I need to find another home project to work on.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Home improvement projects.
Oh come on, you all know you do it.
We've talked about scoring and staining our porch for a year and a half. Well, since we did the exact same thing to our den floor.
It was finally time.To begin we (and by we, I mean Shawn) had to use acid to etch the concrete to prepare it for the stain. This meant pouring it and using a broom to rub it in for about 15 straight minutes. It foamed up and Shawn had some fun sliding around entertaining the onlookers.After a quick wash down it was time to measure. Shawn had a great plan for the border and pattern and since I am not mathematical at all I let him do it!My cousin Tyler came over just in time to save me from helping score.To keep a straight line someone stands on a 2 by 4 while Shawn follows the chalk line.When we did our den I had cement dust in places I didn't know I had.
After that they were done and it was my turn to take over. I don't do the dirty work, just the fun stuff. I drug out the stain from the den and got to work.I thought after finishing with the black I would use the excess in the brush to put a few spots on the soon to be brown places. I dribbled a little here and a little there...and then lost control. I shook the brush for one last drop and was shocked to see a huge line of spots shoot out across the front part of the porch. Oh well, lesson learned.Luckily my brown was dark enough to mask my over zealous paint fling.We had originally planned to score a 'C' in the center. But after careful thought about that being pretty permanent...and us not living here forever....we decided not to. Shawn also reneged on his promise to do it. So....when he went to work, I free handed one with stain!!It can easily be sanded right off when necessary.
Here it is all done and ready to welcome. Well, it does need a few things.
A welcome mat.A bench for sittin' a while. And a candle for lighting the way.Not bad. If I do say myself!
Anyone want to come sit and chat??
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Monday, July 20, 2009
1 38 year old with a mower
1 13 year old with a weed eater
1 10 year old with a blower vac
1 7 year old with a broom
I am currently...
Sitting on my couch with a huge headache cursing them all because one of them cancelled my Bachelorette recording.
Maybe the lawn will look nice enough that I can forgive them.
I'll let you know.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
We have friends that come to swim a few times each summer. Pitty Pat, as we all call her, her step-daughter, daughter-in-law, and four grandchildren. Her brother and his family live two doors down and their four children swim in our pool almost as much as we do.
For years I have heard them talk about jumping off the bridge at Pitty Pat's house. Their family has lots of summer parties and lots of jumping. Hearing them talk about it last week made me talk before I thought. "We need to crash one of those sometime!" Oops. But since they swim at our pool, isn't it only fair? Who's with me?
Luckily they agreed and we were invited for Saturday night. It was bring your own meat, enjoy yourself, and watch the festivities. Shawn came straight from a soccer game and headed straight for the bridge.
It's about a 12 foot drop into 12-15 feet of water. Except that with limited rain this summer the level is at 6 feet. Shawn is 6' 4". You do the math and get back to me.
McKinley and Reagan were equally excited and went straight to jumping.
Kennedy, my cautious one, had to talk herself into it each time. She had four great jumps though. Oddly, each time she got out on the balcony she thought about it more and more.Then she stopped going to the bridge.Luckily there were other things to do.While the food was being cooked,I just sat back and took pictures.
350 in 5 hours.
I might need to seek help.I wasn't the only photographer though.My sweet friend Lacie was also there.She just started her own blog to showcase her talent. We've been having Photoshop lessons. She's so much fun:c)
Pitty Pat took a few pictures herself. She looked like a stalker:c)To add a challenge to everything, some tried to climb the bridge back to the top. It was hard and I watched lots of children fall off. McKinley was my only one who made it.Some just watched.After a delicious dinner where seating was at a premium,every one got right back to the fun.
Water balloons,fire works, and more jumping.Smiles and fun were everywhere.But my favorite part of the evening? Watching Reagan and her betrothed, Evan. They are so natural with each other. He took her for boat rides,sat by her for dinner, and my favorite, came to her rescue when she couldn't get the boat back to shore by herself.As the sun set the jumping stopped and the adults sat back and enjoyed the beautiful evening.I might have mentioned that I felt the need to be adopted so we didn't have to crash again.
Or we could just let Evan and Reagan get married now, at 7, to make us all legal.
What do you think?