Monday, March 28, 2011

Weekend Progress Report

Another busy weekend. T-minus two weeks till the pumkin-monkey's first birthday.

In the Atlanta area, we had a lot of rain over the weekend. It was "supposed" to be in and out on Saturday. Instead, it was off and on all weekend making it's presence known with loud thunder and bright flashes of lighting. Despite Mother Nature's attempts to foil my weekend progress, there were some accomplishments:

  • I weeded the plant beds a bit more
  • I laid the rest of the path from the patio to the pool
  • I leveled everything and secured the pavers
  • I cleaned and treated the pool -again-
  • My brother helped bag the leaves and pinestraw from the yard and cleared the pool deck

What else? I made two trips to the home improvement store. One stop to a big box store to find a better deal. Showed the boyfriend's house to a potential renter. Went to a hockey game and had dinner with some friends.

We did get some quality time in with the pumpkin-monkey too. I either work during naps or Daddy keeps an eye on him while Mommy plays in the dirt.

This week/weekend I have to complete the following because it is the LAST full weekend. Thankfully the party is on a Sunday, so I will have one additional weekend day to work before show time:

1. Mulch the plant beds next to the patio
2. Clean the dogquarium AKA the sun room
3. Clean the patio furniture
4. Clean the house (yeah- just lumping it all together)
5. Clean the carpets (guess technically I hired a company to clean them for me)

In other news, with all the rain, I found my leak is still a problem dispite my caulking efforts. Next step is to check the gutters and maybe call a roofer. This sort of thing always happens when I have my hands full *sigh*

Have a good week everyone!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

What is my Aesthetic?

What is my Aesthetic? This is something we all ask any time we are choosing a design. Whether it is our first place and we are debating whether that poster screams "punk rock" or "poser" or while keeping up with the Joneses "Will Mrs. Jones know I bought that at Walmart?" *GASP* (side note: it isn't Wally World but I just saw a showcase of one of Sarah Jessica Parker's homes and she had a simple IKEA table in the living room. Love that!).

I have been asking myself that question over and over. Something I have realized is aesthetic doesn't always draw all of its influences from a person. Often it comes from the home or the surroundings. What does that mean? Well- it may be hard to take your shabby-chic French Cottage decor and move it into an ultra-modern home filled with glass walls and steel. Sure. You could do it- but you have to be brave and resolute in your decision. Just because you live on or by the beach doesn't mean you HAVE to have white-washed wicker furniture and coral and shells in every nook and cranny.

As for my own, over the years, I have painted, tiled, stripped (no, not that kind!), plumbed, sanded, purchased and filled many a room with furniture and decorative do-dads. I have a varied and expansive collection of... stuff.

In my early 20's I thought themes were the way to go- I wanted an Asian room,

a modern room, a game room and so on. Themes are an easy go-to and can be fun. Now that I am in my 30's, I no longer want that. I want quality and longevity.

I know what I don't generally like- I am not into fussy or frou-frou. I don't buy by the room. I don't like clutter (my boyfriend would laugh if he read that last part. Hey- like and do are two different things. Recall, I mentioned, I have a lot of suff!).

I know I like a few things a lot- I really like glass. Glass of all colors and types (well most).

I like original art. I paint- but I am not always happy with my own art, but I am not afraid to use it. I like copper, metal
and I like solid wood objects and furniture.

Does all of this add up to my aesthetic? Well, I am not sure. In ways, I think I am still discovering it and I can also recognize that it may be a moving target as my tastes and moods change- as they do for us all. Perhaps that is why many of us are always asking that question.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Weekend Progress Report


The weekend is over, right? Wow, what a whirlwind.

My yard looks somewhat disastrous, but I consider that progress. "Why?"You may ask? Because it takes a little destruction and deconstruction to make big changes- right?

I have a bit of a photo fail on my "before" pictures, so we will have to make due with the in-progress pictures.

As you can see, my dogs also like to be part of the picture. I figured I would let them be since they are a major part of why the back yard is such a mess.

As you may ALSO see, the pool is actually a normal pool color! YAY! You may also note the pool equipment in the photo because I figured I would also leave it to illustrate my many hours of hard work transforming the pond to something that looks more like an oasis. We aren't quite there yet, but -so- close.

This weekend, I cleaned the pool (again), bought supplies, removed the old thin and brittle flagstone from the path (minus the tiny stragglers you can see on the patio in the photo), dry fit some new stones in a basket weave pattern, weeded the planting beds on either side and pruned, pruned, pruned. If I had taken a "before" photo, you would notice the rose bushes were about two feet taller and wider.

It wasn't all me, my guy raked up about 15 BAGS of leaves and pine straw in the front yard. What a difference out there as well.

All of this and I managed to wrangle an 11 month old, get an oil change, go to a birthday party and do some laundry.

And to wrap-up, may I introduce my beautiful Cherry tree in full bloom? So pretty. The blossoms will be long gone before it is party time, but I always like to capture it in its glory before the petals blow away on the wind.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Design Inspiration - Dreaming Green

My outdoor spaces have MUCH room for improvement. I often dream about what my spaces could be. Over the next few weeks, I plan to make some real progress, at least in the back yard.

Here is my design inspiration:

In the area between the patio and the pool, there are two large, square planting areas. These are currently dominated by lots of weeds and pitiful planters from years past. I would like to add some low-maintenance plants to this area so that it is more naturalized and less mulch-ized. I love Lavendar, so that might be an addition I'd make.

Then I have the ivy covered retaining wall of doom. I want to take the upper area and make it more accessable. I think I would have a lovely, meandering stairway with a stucco retaining wall:

I would like to clear out some trees on the upper level and build a patio area with a fireplace:

Doesn't that seem great? For now, everything but the plantings are what the title suggests- a dream.

All photos in this post are from

Monday, March 14, 2011

Weekend Progress Report

This was another weekend set around the pool. Sounds glamorous, no? No.

The rain last week set my pool progress back quite a bit. All that PH changing, chemical diluting rain caused it to revert back a smidge. I am still unable to see the bottom yet and I skimmed and scrubbed and poured money chemicals in to get it to that perfect crystal clear/blue color I want to view out my windows all Summer.

On the bright side(s), I got a really good work out and I managed to find a mail-holder I liked for this project. My guy, who is actually very opinionated about design, approves- but now he expects full-approval rights for every other component. We'll see ;-)

In addition, I made some progress on the yard clean-up. Starting with the patio. My dogs have made it their domain all Winter, so I am attempting to reclaim it. I am about 80% there. Next step on that front is to weed and re-mulch the area between the patio and the pool.

That's it- I hope you have a great week!

Friday, March 11, 2011

What to do

So I mentioned the tan, tan, tan room with the dirty and wet carpet and the need for color a few times. Said room also has a lot of bare walls namely this one:

Can you tell I took full advantage of the natural light? Mother Nature was very generous with it this day. Hope none of you loyal readers goes blind!

So, besides the blaring block of sunshine and many vents, there is nothing on these walls. I think art would drown in the space. I have thought about hanging some wrought iron art piece- but it that too blah and over done?

While taking pictures of the room, the carpet-mussing offender decided to ham it up a bit:

Hello world! Look at my teeth!

So besides the padded table legs and ugly floor lamp, the room lacks any flava, decor, mojo. You see my liberal use of the word tan wasn't an understatement, don't you.

What. To. Do.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Weekend Progress Report

The weather was on the wet side this weekend, so I wasn't able to get any much needed yard work done. However- through dilligent effort throughout the week, I was able to turn my pond pool from a dark, swampy green:

To a much more pleasant and much less scary seafoam blue:

It is still a little cloudy and there is a little more leaf raking to do, but it is coming along nicely!

On another front, my carpet that needs to be cleaned, took another hit by being the victim of a leak. From where? Who knows. Home ownership is fun, folks.