Monday, September 30, 2013

exterior of the house remodel

So somewhere along the way our house got confused and ended up with yellow-orangy brick, red orange shutters, maroon and metal window trim, brown siding and garage door, 3 different kinds of exterior and screen doors in a variety of colors, brown gutters, and an aging, ugly roof. Ugh I have been wanting to change this exterior since day one. I like the look of painted brick, but after some research didn't love that the upkeep required repainting every 3 or so years. My searching also brought up lime or white washing - cheap, DIY solution. I was sold. I really like that it lasts almost double the length of time and even then it ages and patinas. It is old school which also appeals to me. I had originally wanted to tint my lime wash to a different color, but when we bought the house one of the things written into the contract was new gutters with appropriate 90 degree turns, etc and they chose this lovely (*ahem) shade of brown without conferring with us. So I am trying to make do until we change the roof. One thing at a time right.

look wrong kind of paint = streaks down your brick
I would love to eventually build out a front porch from the right of the door to the left of the big window in the front living room. Maybe an open A frame with arbor trellis? some this like this but extended to one side? And sadly the beds up front won't get much of an overhaul until we decide what we are doing there, just no since in doing all that work to change it again.
The addition that was put on is composed of this incredibly cheap barn wood. I am kind of interested in doing shake shingles on the exterior eventually. like this? 

This is our shed, which theoretically should be great, but as you can see is beginning to fall apart. So we hope to eventually reinforce, redo, etc as we are able since new sheds are over 1k! I couldn't believe that when I saw the prices. Plus, our shed is already wired for electricity which is great. I would like to add fake windows to the front or something like this  and possible build out an A frame porch in front to connect to the length of carport. Look at these cool updated sheds on This Old House    

So excited to have a French blue hydrangea, it is thriving despite being planted too close to the A/C unit. I would love to try Martha Stewart's tutorial on transplanting hydrangeas to grow more since everyone has told us we should move this plant.
I hate these wooded beds with nothing but ivy. This wall will hopefully support trellis with blackberry, raspberry, and blueberry bushes next summer. I love making jam and would love to make progress towards sustainable living.

I love our carport for its convenience and weather protection, but lets face it is hideous. It has this scalloped edging that I was love to remove and just needs a paint and structural overhaul with cleaner lines. I would love to eventually string exterior lights here or somewhere...

rusted peeling paint - maybe just remove it entirely? I am definitely considering staining our concrete in a large brick pattern.big-block basketweave design on a porch floor also featured on This Old House
So we thought this tree was a weeping mulberry, but when it bloomed I started to think that it was a weeping crab apple instead - it was gorgeous!!

This years was so much fun seeing things unexpectedly come up, including daffodils in yellow and paper white

snowball bush
forsythia - so mad at my husband he keeps trimming it and I feel like forsythia looks so much better unkempt.
backyard view - I would love to dress up our chain link fence with shrubbery around and lattice work to increase our privacy. We were so fortunate to have a friend gift us her shrubs that she was removing from her house. I believe there were 17 in all, with knock out roses, small shrub roses, large and small holly. So now we just need to add to those beds and start a bed at the back. Plus I am desperately looking for an ideal location for a raised gardening bed. I haven't been able to identify these trees in the back yet, but they produce nuts in the fall and have interesting green fronds that hang down in the spring.
flowering trees I believe they are in the hibiscus family such a fun surprise. Though I hate how much they have been trimmed, it has caused the tree to go into over drive creating new and more branches. I would love to add an arched walkway to support the branches rather than cutting them back again.

silver maples desperately needing a few dead and hazardous branches trimmed
front of the house in spring, one of the few times that I am thankful for the time stamp, though all deciduous shrubs up front, except for that boxwood. We did a lot of pruning dead branches and cleanup this spring - remulching etc. Maybe add some solar stake lights to the front?

love love love these irises that popped up. There were three different colors, but these two toned ones were my favorite. On the agenda this fall is to divide and separate the rhizomes- they are so congested that some of them have stopped blooming. Despite this it was a great showing. I would love to scoot them back off the walkway a little and line it with something like lambs ear.

transformation coming soon! courtesy of limewashing and a trim redo

Thursday, September 19, 2013

DIY Kitchen Storage Open Shelving, Container Labels, and a Menu Board

Does anyone else drool over the Container Store catalogue? Elfa shelving?
 I know it is just metal brackets and shelves, but the way they put them together just makes my heart happy. Yes, I am a nerd for organization among many other things. So, needless to say this project has been on my list of things to do for quite a while. My amazing dad who helped me do the original kitchen renovation (almost a year ago the first week of Nov 2012!) really wanted me to put in a pantry with doors, but I am obsessed with having open walkways and uninhibited visual space. Not to the extent of minimalist, modern, or feng shui, but I value it. Hence, open shelves. We salvaged the shelves inside the old kitchen cabinetry and painted them with the same paint/primer we used on the kitchen cabinets. Then cut them to size with the miter saw.

Open Shelves
We initially attempted to use 4" corner braces to attach the shelves to the wall, but they weren't long enough.

So all of this was a pointless exercise in humility that the cheapest way isn't always the best, lol. But, no harm no foul what would a DIY project be without a few mishaps.
So, then we went back for the single track bracket system in white from Home Depot. To save money we only got enough bracket to go about 2/3rds of the 9 ft wall, since I knew that I would be placing our trash can under the bottom shelf. We made sure it was level on the stud and just followed the directions using the drill to put the screws to the brackets (hardy har har). Then using a rubber mallet we attached the brackets where we wanted them.

DIY Labels
I scoured the internet for labels that I could buy, make, tolerate and finally came across these Sincerely Yours. In actuality there were a lot that I liked, but felt as if I could actualize these. So I created a Word Document, measuring the size that I wanted the labels to get the font size correct. I used Lucida Handwriting and SimSun with parenthesis from the insert shape option. For layout options, in order for the text to be visible, select in front of text. As always I am happy to share, if anyone is interested! One of these days I will maybe be better at blogging and a little less primitive, to where I will embed these files upfront. Anyways, I cut your average home improvement store Kraft paper to regular paper-size, selected the heavy paper option on print and voila! I cut them to size, deciding at random to free hand round the edges and used clear laminate to attach either by jute cord to the Mason Jars or to the front of my containers. I was sooo tempted to paint my Mason Jars blue like on Sugar Studios, but on my husband's insistence resisted the urge.

Menu Board

So yet another mishap, rescued. This project was supposed to be a calendar, but it looked terrible as you can see below.
I glued 5 pieces of wood pallet together, sanded, and wiped free of excess.
Then proceeded to paint with chalkboard paint for calendar.
but it sucked and I hated it!
So, I painted the whole thing with chalkboard paint....
and thought what can I do with this?
I ended up making a menu board and free hand drew it after looking at several Google and Pinterest images of them. We attached picture wire with the staple gun again and hung it using two nails, similar to how I completed the Love you to the moon and back board.

Lastly, a few little thoughts... my lovely and wonderful husband recently published my blog to the world of facebook. I have always been reluctant to tell anyone about my ramblings. There are so many things that people can do with their time, that I just didn't feel as if my thoughts were necessarily worth sharing. So, thank you sweet husband for being proud of me and thinking that I am worth while. And for all of those who stumble across this blog, I hope that you find my humble attempts at crafting, cooking, etc enjoyable and helpful. I certainly enjoy the process and find it fun, rewarding, and cathartic. Sometimes we all need a project that can be accomplished with ease and satisfaction.