Thursday, May 29, 2014

Outdoor to create a lot of ambiance for little money

 Now that things have been warming up I have been spending a lot of my time outside, I love being outside.
We planted this large Japanese Lilac last summer during a heat wave thankfully it survived that and our extra harsh winter.
Planting a larger tree is more of an investment but you get so much more for your money and it adds to your property value.
We will add planting beds to the backyard space in time but since we just spent a good deal of money on our fence this year the beds and landscaping will have to wait.
I was inspired to concentrate on night time ambient lighting for this summer. I am in love with all the string's magical.
I went to Target and picked up 8 boxes of frosted globe lighting, each strand is 9 feet long. I started closest to the house down the fence around the back and even up our is amazing at night.

 I also added some lanterns to the fence for candle light and always a few hanging baskets for some color.
 I found two little lanterns in the garage while I was cleaning out for a yard sale we had last weekend, what to do with two tiny lanterns? then I thought what if I hung them from my lilac tree...that would be nice... so that sent me on the hunt for more white lanterns.
I found these simple tin lanterns also at Target with the great punch out designs, they didn't have hangers so I just cut some aluminum wire and made some hangers for them.
 Why did I only buy two of these adorable lanterns???

 I took these photos very early this past Saturday while I set up for a yard sale we were having. I feel so much better having cleared out so much that was just sitting in boxes from our move. We were able to also raise money for the Relay for Life Charity for cancer research.
I have a little yard sale tip for you....several days before the yard sale set up a private invite to your yard sale on Facebook for the people in your area...allowing your friends to get the heads up and dibs on all the good stuff....I had a lot of requests for previews but I resisted the urge to do so , I figured it was more fair to leave it all for Saturday morning and it was a huge success, we raised a lot of money for Relay for Life all in the first 30 min. I even held off on putting up signs until the first hour was over.

So do you love the outdoors in the summer?
Do you have a lot of outdoor lighting?

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

2 years and 2 months later

 After carefully considering how to enclose the yard space for the past two years we are so much happier now to have this space enclosed. Of course we worried about how it would also look and we really wanted to keep some connection between the house ans garage for that reason I went for a bit of a shorter fence at around 5'4" or so, tall enough to give us privacy while sitting and enjoying our outdoor space but not too tall to look like a giant wall.
 A lot of people have stopped by to comment on the fence and gates, so far the reviews have been very positive.I think its about time the city fixes our broken sidewalks.
 The bird population has definitely made an appearance around here now, who knew they loved fences.
 We've come a long way from the dirt yard that we moved into just over 2 years ago.
It takes on average 5 years to really settle into a house and to make it your own...we are well on our way. Now let's hope for a summer full of great weather...we need it.
It's time to get working on my gardening skills.

How is the weather where you are?

Monday, May 19, 2014

let's catch up...double gates and a day trip to Quebec

 I am very happy to share possibly my most exciting project I have ever completed....our double gate.
When I started out I really had no concrete design. I knew it would be white, I wanted a curved top and that is all I knew for sure.My goal was to build a pretty, strong but light gate. The desire to build a gate extra bulky to be strong from what I understand is the wrong way to go, lighter the better. And light is not light, trust me these gates were heavy to move.
 I am in LOVE with my gates.....they turned out better than I could have hoped...

 It took a day to build the gates.I chose to use v-groove pine.
 It was so stressful making two gates, they had to be perfectly matched, no pressure.
 On Friday my Mother and one of my brothers and I drove to Quebec to the town my parents are from for my Opa's funeral, you may remember he passed just two days after Christmas at the age of 101. Friday would have been his birthday,so it was very fitting that his remains were laid to rest with his wife on that day. We waited till spring because we all had to come from 5-6 hours away some of use from Ontario and some of us from New Hampshire. We had a great trip, it was nice to spend time together. After you have a family of your own being the originals is rare if you get what I'm saying.
When going through the town I noticed this one house and property, it was incredible....I had to take a better look and get some photos.Here it is.House Porn...
 The home was amazing, so beautifully maintained, the gardens were perfection and all the design details were on point.
 These panels influenced me to push myself when it came to the design of my gates that I was due to create the next day.I am in love with this house.
 All those copper details have me drooling.
 After house stalking we headed to my Mom's childhood home. This is an original photo of the house.From what I understand the house is 160 years old...I may have that wrong but that is what I think I heard.
The current owners have moved the house back off the country road it sits on and have been restoring it for the past 12 years and they are doing a great job.
 When I was growing up the house looked nothing like this, it was wrapped in a brick printed asphalt wrap and had lost most of the details. It is amazing to see how much work has been put into bringing it back, look above the window all those tiny pieces all cut and installed each little piece.Amazing to see.
The current owner was home and my Mom had met her before and she was very lovely and gave us a full tour of the house.
 It has changed a lot, things have been moved around but the foot print is the same for the most part. It was so neat to get to see it now. They have added rooms in the attic spaces. It makes me so happy to see the house full of life and to see children there. I remember the house being very tidy and perfect and rooms that felt untouched as for a long long time my Opa lived there alone so it's nice to see it being really lived in.
Isn't it amazing how this banister has stood the test of time, I remember it as a little girl...

Thanks for coming along with me down memory lane..I think we are all caught up.
I'm off to do some much needed gardening today, what did you do this weekend?

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Power Into Spring Blogger Event

 I've been doing DIY and carpentry projects for just around 10 years now and during that time I have bought and tried out so many different brands of tools. I can honestly say that my favorite brand by far and my go to brand has turned out to be Ryobi so when I got invited to participate in Ryobi's Power Into Spring blogger event I made time to go. Its always fun to take a break from projects and head into the city for some fun.
Jen from was there too, its always nice to see her friendly face.We got to work on a little window box project together and take some amazing tools for a whirl.
 We were introduced to so many amazing cordless tools. I am a huge fan of cordless as I am not a fan of gas equipment, I hate having gas around the house and also because of the environmental effects. I had to purchase a gas mower when we moved into this house as our plug in electric mower wouldn't have done the job so I would definitely would love a cordless electric mower.
 The other BIG perk of this mower is how compact it is as it folds up and is light and easy to move, now that is amazing because minimizing the space tools take up in the garage is a huge bonus. I would need the wider model but this size, I believe its a 20" deck would be perfect for most city lots.
 Hedge trimmer being tried out by Julie at
 We enjoyed great food and drinks and met some great people.We learned a lot about the great Ryobi line of cordless tools and we made window boxes, what fun! I finally got my hands on that cordless nailer that I have been drooling over for the past year. AHHHH I loved it!

We also got to meet and chat with Frankie Flowers...he was happy to talk gardening and I walked away with a whole lot of good information and great to get my fence project over with and move onto the gardening....I really love spring and summer and I love being outside working on the yard, I really do.
You need to check Frankie's new book Power Plants.

I would have to say it was a great blogger event and I am glad I was able to make it...I am so ready to get back into the swing of building and creating projects inside and outside because spring and summer are my seasons for DIY especially after this long hard winter we made it through.

Here's my list so far:
build three gates
coffered ceiling in the dining room
pine floor install in the dining room
wainscoting in the main hall
bring back the grass(that's a tough one)
enjoy the spring and summer and relax.. I must fit that in

Don't forget you can get Ryobi tools at Home Depot, look for the great new bright green its hard to miss.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

what a difference a few days make....are you here to see my fence?

 I'm thrilled to show you how the fence is coming along. I have been working non stop on the fence and the disastrous condition of my house will prove that!
They are calling for rain tomorrow and I hope for the sake of my family and the house that it does, I need to spend a day putting everything back in order.(don't leave your doors and windows open when you are cutting wood right outside them, big mistake)
I am so happy we went ahead with beefing up the gate posts ,they are gorgeous if I do say so myself. I re-did the tops three times until they were just right.
My husband and I worked all Saturday getting all the beams and rails in place, we worked really well together...its not always gone so smoothly the two of us working together.
My Ryobi cordless impact driver was my other best friend and nearly lasted the whole day on one charge boy I love that tool, I just need another battery, we also had some plug in drills that were too heavy and made the work harder, I'm not a fan.
 I was on my own Sunday to tackle the boards. I thought I would get a bunch done but to my surprise I got the entire front installed, I just need to rip down the odd sized boards on another day.
I found pretty fence toppers that compliment the two gate posts.
 Remember my plans?

 My grass is in a very sad state, I know!It will get some attention soon.
It's so nice to block out all the cars and driveways, I am enjoying the feeling of privacy the fence is providing already....soon I will work on the gates, that scares me a little.
The fence has to dry out for some time so the painting will wait until fall or even next spring as will the battens.

 It will take some getting used to seeing the house with a fence, but I like it very much, it feels more toward finished.
Another bonus is that we can now use more of the yard than we did before, it seems more appropriate to take advantage of this new sunny corner.
I think its time to get some more decor out and pick up a big fire pit....bring on summer.
I should really go caulk those post tops and trim work before tomorrow....someone help me.....

Friday, May 9, 2014

Project fence ...part two

 The post digging and setting was slightly delayed from last Friday , which would have been perfect for us to work the weekend on it, to this past Tuesday... It went smoothly and with in two hours all our post were set.
As you can see I have started the process of wrapping the two gate posts. Today I will tackle finishing touches and hopefully is all goes smoothly they both will be done and ready to start installing the horizontal rails then we can start the boards, we are going to try our best to get as much done on Saturday as I lose my helper on Sunday...
 I almost forgot what a huge mess setting posts creates, it took us three days just to clear away all the dirt/gravel mess, that is back breaking work.
 I can not wait to have an enclosed yard, it will be like gaining a new room.
 Here is a little reminder of what we are going for.Finding batons is hard!!!!

Because of the delay in the post I was able to really get started on my oldest daughters room.
I'm not sure if I have showed before but my daughter's room was basically wall papered with 1D posters, EVERY INCH....attached to the wall with TAPE!!!

So I waited patiently for her to be over the poster phase , I see it as a right of passage...
She was ready for change and I was happy to finally decorate her room, actually it started because of her love of clothing. Mason has a great sense of fashion and she has a huge wardrobe.She was requesting a huge walk in closet, which would have shrunk her room down to a small size and I wasn't keen on that. She has a good closet with about 10 ft of hanging already.
After thinking about how to add more clothing storage to her room which has two doors three windows and a closet I came up with the idea to re-locate her bed to in front of the windows. This left me with a long blank wall.
So after 2 days with a hair dryer oh so carefully I peeled off hundreds of pieces of tape....she used at least 6 pcs per poster.I then did all the repairs and primed and painted the walls the perfect soft peachy pink Peach Cloud by behr.

 We kept the huge nail polish display.
 Every teenager needs a big mirror, I found this one at JYSK its very large and was only $39 but because of all the windows and door and furniture where do you put a big mirror? I considered getting a standing mirror but I left the choices up to Mason after all it's her room and she wasn't keen on the standing mirror. I came up with suspending the mirror from the ceiling, it works it's unique but it works for this room and it a teenagers room so why not...
 I had made a very basic book case for our old house so I just added some trim and crown moulding and a fresh coat of paint to update it a little. It is the center of what I am calling a "closet wall".
 She picked bedding and pillow covers from Ikea.
 I hung some thick dowels from chains to create lots of additional hanging, one of my jobs today is to add another second row of hanging.
Mason loved this print of the NYC, I love it too , it almost feels like a window it's so huge from Ikea.
I hung Ikea Lenda drapes over the roman blinds we had.
I still have to frame out her closet with lovely trim, hang blue drapes over the closet, find new lamp shades..maybe making over the little chair too but we'll see what Mason wants for that and ... lots of cleaning etc.

This is not quite the reveal as there is still a bunch of stuff to do before I can call it complete.

Off to balance the bedroom makeover and the fence project, all our gardening and grass repair will have to wait, I can't do it all!