Late Summer Yard Clean Up {Progress}

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Last Saturday, the weather was so nice, I went outside to sit on my patio and enjoy my yard.  Unfortunately, my eyes were assaulted by site of a neglected yard.  Overgrown grass, outta control weeds, and random trees made me want to run back inside.  But instead I decided to do what any good blogger would do.  Post some ugly pics and motivate myself to get to work!

It's been a few days, and I have been working hard to clean it up.  Monday I had about six bags of yard debris to take to our local recycling center.   This is just some of it.

One day I hope to compost, but for now I let them do it.  My yard is so tiny any compost pile would be within 10 feet of a patio.  And I think compost smells worse before it gets better.  So, after cutting back tons of overgrowth, dead foliage, and grass, this was the result. 

1. First up on the list was to cut the grass.



2. Next up was to cut down the weeds.



3.  Third was to limb up this tree so that I could walk underneath it without ducking my head.  



 4.  Fourth, was to cut down the random trees sprouting in the yard.  I ended up also pulling the dead stems from the daylilies and cutting back the irises.  I still need to cut back more plants and trim the shrubs.





5.  Fifth was to get rid of the spider webs and spray for mosquitos.  I did and the spray I used for the mosquitos has really helped.  I think I will re-treat in a few days to make sure there are not any more around.

6. Sixth was to blow clear the patios.  Now they could use a good pressure wash.  Maybe later!






7.  Seventh was to replant the pots.  I have yet to do this.  But I did go and visit the Growers Outlet.  They had an amazing selection at great prices, which made me want to buy just about everything.  I decided to wait and pick out what I want to plant first.

8. The final plan was to host a soiree.  I have a small one planned.  Let's hope the weather holds up!

In the process of doing all of the clean up, I visited Home Depot and Lowe's and found some amazing deals on replacement cushions and some outdoor chairs.  I'll be back to share the finds.  Hope you're having a great week!

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Late Summer Yard Clean Up

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Every year when the spring rolls around, I have great plans of dining alfresco and hosting outdoor parties.  I do a spring yard clean up over the course of a couple of weekends--- cutting back plants that have to be pruned in the spring, laying new mulch where needed, and planting new plants in bare spots.  I love being outside and enjoying nature.  However, things are never exactly how I want them to be.  I have to practically wrestle my family to the ground to get them outside (ahem, they know who they are).  And before you know it, down south it's too hot to do anything outside anyway.

So here it is, near the end of summer, and I have yet to host anything outside.  Part of it is my perfectionist tendencies.  But also the yard has been neglected for the past several weeks months.  So even though its unseasonably cool around these parts, I still can't seem to pull the trigger on hosting anything.  Does anyone else have this problem?  Well, to encourage you and myself, I am doing a late-summer yard clean-up.

On the list is:
1. Cut the grass. ('cause it is whack)

2. Pull the weeds. ('cause they are whack too)


3. Limb up my trees near the steps.  Since they are near the stairs to the upper level, it would be nice to walk underneath them without ducking your head.

4. Cut down random trees that have sprouted up over the summer.

5. Get rid of all the spider webs and spray for mosquitoes. ('Nuf said)

6. Use a blower to clean the patios.

7. Replant the containers that have dead plants.

8. Host at least one soiree!  (Maybe I should be sending out invitations now to make sure this happens?)

At any rate, hopefully I can at least enjoy being outside during the fall.  Any helpers?
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Thrifted Desk

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

I love going to yard sales and thrift stores like Goodwill.  I especially love finding great pieces of furniture that need a little love.  A while back I found this desk at Goodwill for $11.  I didn't need a desk, but it has good bones.  And it's solid wood and has great dovetail joints on the drawer.  However, it needs a bit of work to get it in good shape.  Not a problem for me, though. 

So I stripped and sanded the top revealing a beautiful wood grain pattern.  As you can see below, the grain opens up from the center and is identical on both sides.  I'm sure there's some technical term for that.

The original plan was to either give it a Restoration Hardware lime wash finish or stain the top and paint the base.  I think it looks a bit worse in real life than in does in this picture.  It's been in my son's playroom and has been used as a desk for him...thus the playdoh caked into the top. {sigh}  So now the plan is to try to clean the top, but I may have to re-strip the top to get it clean again before refinishing it.  I'll be back to show you the stripped down piece and my plans for it.  Wish me the best!

P.S.  I finally updated the post on the dining room bookcases with the formula for the paint I used.

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Fabric and Stripes

Sunday, August 18, 2013

I think it's the blogger right of passage to embrace stripes.  I don't know what it is...I cannot resist stripes.   I love a good striped shirt, striped walls, ticking stripe, striped napkins, striped straws.  Even things that resemble stripes like beadboard, planking, wood floors--you name it.  The thing is, they are timeless, and go with just about anything.  I think we all love them because you can't go wrong.  They are modern, vintage, and classic at the same time.

I have been hitting up my local fabric store and finding some amazing fabrics on sale for $3.50/yd!  I have gotten several beautiful stripes and have been hunting for a place to use them in my home.  What can I say...I have a fabric addiction.  In my own defense, I do seem to eventually find a place to use them.   In any case, take a peek at the goods! 

First up, a classic, blue+white stripe.  I am thinking of using this one for my dining room draperies.

This next one is a smaller blue stripe, but beautiful nonetheless.  My first thoughts were to use it for a duvet cover or slipcovers because of how delicate the stripes are.  They wouldn't be very noticeable on curtains.   Unfortunately there were only 5 yards left, so not enough for me to slipcover my chairs, but I couldn't pass it up.

This one I was also thinking of using for draperies.  It is a statement fabric.  I could also see it for pillows.  Because of how strong the pattern is, I don't think I could tolerate the pattern on a daily basis on an upholstered piece. When I first found it, I thought it was the famed David Hicks "La Fiorentina".  I should have known better, but even still the pattern is amazing.

I could also definitely see this as draperies with tall ceilings, with a black desk or table, and then a 'jolt' of emerald green.  Or with a a deep, gray-green painted piece with brass and mother of pearl accents and accessories...   O my goodness yes, please!  I scooped up 14 yards of this beauty.

And finally, this dusty rose colored stripe.  Well, it was striped, and a neutral red--if you can ever consider red a neutral.  I also can't seem to take red for too long.  But this was a muted, calm red that seemed to go with everything that I already love.  So I felt it could fit into the french cottage palette.  I bought 2 yards and, I am planning to at least make a lumbar pillow for my bed out of it.  Hmmm, now that I am looking at it again, I want more of it!

I'll keep you posted to see where they end up.  

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