Sunday, July 29, 2012

Elbow Grease

This week we were busy with small projects.  
-Painted Kitchen Door
 We removed a little blind and an eye and hook from the kitchen door a long time ago.  I lightly sanded those area, filled the holes with filler, and painted it to match the door. 
-Dumped concrete/brick
 This was a third load that we have dumped.  The pile in the back of the house is looking much better.  It will take probably 4-5 more loads to get rid of all of it.
-Cleaned Oven
  I made White Macaroni and Cheese, and it overflowed out of the dish while baking so there was a huge mess.  I did a search on Pinterest, and found a great recipe to clean the oven out.  It doesn't have any weird chemicals you'll find in other oven cleaners.  Perfect for my sister!
4 drops of dish soap
6 tbsp baking soda
splash of vinegar
Make a paste and spread on oven.  Let sit for for hours.  Scrub with some elbow grease.
 I tripled the recipe for my mess.  I also found that pouring extra vinegar on the baking soda paste in the worst parts of the oven helped.  I think next time I will use a spray bottle instead of pouring.
-Cut and Sanded shelves
 Yep, we finally got the shelves cut and sanded.  We will dry fit all the pieces, and then paint.  Hopefully soon.
-Adapted frame for art
 I bought a piece of artwork on Etsy, and found a frame I liked, but it didn't have anything to hang it on the wall, so I added 2 small eye hook and wire to hang it.  

So lots of little projects worked on.  Maybe I'll finish some so I can start some more.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Concrete and Cookies

When we moved into the house we found a lot of broken concrete from an old patio.  We're not exactly sure when the patio was busted up, but we're thinking it's been awhile.  We've been taking truckloads of concrete to the local dump.

This is our second load of about ten or so.  Each load has been a little less than a ton of concrete.  

About twice a year I have cookie weekend.  I make 3 or 4 different kinds of cookies, and I freeze the cookies, so we can have them anytime.  The trick is to freeze individual cookies first, then pack them together.  No need to thaw a pound of dough to have 3 or 4 cookies.  

 These are my Reece's Pieces Peanut Butter Cookies.  I'm posting the recipe here, a blog I share with my college friends.

What are your favorite cookies?
Sunday, July 15, 2012

Summer Planting

Last week I showed the progress of the exterior plants, and because of that success, I decided to plant some potted plants for the porch and inside of the house. 
 This is what I started with:
 Three pots from Ikea (years old) and one sad plant.  It is very top heavy, and the bamboo skewers that were keeping it upright when it was younger no longer do the job.
 This is what I bought:
 I love my Hibiscus tree so much, i decided to get this little guy. I picked up the violet at the grocery store after looking at it for weeks.
 Here's what I ended up:
 I'm hoping to keep these alive.  Potted plants have been difficult for me in the past.  

I'm thinking about getting a bigger pot and adding it next to this one.   Maybe sometime next year.  

Anyone do any plantings recently?
Sunday, July 8, 2012

Exterior Progress: 4 Months later

It's been 4 months since my parents, Nick and I worked on the front landscaping.  Since then, we have had lots of flowering, growth, and even a hair cut for some of the plants.  
Here's how it looked when we planted them:

Here's what it looks like right now:

The fountain grass grew fast, as well as the trailing lantana.  Both of them have gotten trims, but it's hard to notice.  The bougainvilleas grew fast as well, but are out of flowering season here.  The gardenia is finally looking bigger.
 The fountain grasses are too large and distracting.  I am thinking about moving them to the side of the house, to "hide" the air conditioner, and plumbing access pipes.  The trailing lantana with probably be moved to either pot gardens, or the backyard.  I am also planning on adding another bird of paradise when the fountain grasses are moved.  
 I love the hibiscus tree though.  It was the most expensive plant we planted, but it is my favorite.  It blooms constantly.

I'm proud to say that none of the plants died.  I was fully expecting at least one of them to die.  Hopefully I can keep any other plantings alive in the future too.
Sunday, July 1, 2012

Patio and Art

This weekend, we picked up the supplies for the closet shelves.  We had some plywood cut down at Home Depot, and are going to be sanding it this week, and hopefully painting it next weekend.  
Saturday afternoon, I decided I wanted to work on the back patio.  It hasn't been getting the attention it deserves as of lately.  We picked up all the remnants of other projects, sucked up leaves, and rinsed it down.
We finally found some chairs we like at Home Depot.  They are called Windflower, and were only $25 each.  

It looks a lot better, but it still needs some love.  I'm thinking about capping the block half wall with a 2x12, which would provide seating, and adding about a dozen pot gardens around the patio to bring in color, textures, and softness to the space. 

This weekend Nick finally got the artwork he has been pining for.  We bought it on Etsy through stormstriker.  He does fantastic work with sports logos.  I thinking about getting him to do some Packer artwork for me.  Nick thinks an old ACME Packer logo would be cool.

Please check out his store here, if you're interested in some unique fan art.  He's got NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, NCAA artwork available.  You will be impressed with the quality of his work.

Any plans for the 4th of July?