Friday, May 7, 2010

I Ain't Sayin' He a Hole Digga

Now that we had removed the concrete driveway from our yard, it was time to rent a post hole digger to start on our big fence project.

With our supervisors on hand, we were ready to start digging the holes.

Because we spend so much time with our neighbors, it didn't make sense to fence in our yard on all four sides. Instead, we came up with a plan that fenced in both houses just enough to keep the kids and dogs contained.

The plan included keeping the kids out of the driveway, since it runs right next to the alley.

Because I like to go big or go home when dreaming up projects, I came up with an even bigger plan for laying a brick path from the driveway to the deck. This meant that Jason had to cut the driveway a bit to give me a straight line. He did such a nice job, considering it was all free hand! I am the master of having several projects going on at once, but I love it when they all come together all at the same time!

It was really fun to see Jason operating the post hole digger. It looked like a big arcade game, and he really had fun working with it.

It rained most of the time Jason was digging the holes, but that didn't stop the whole neighborhood (The Village, as my dad calls us) from stopping by to admire his work.

Because it would.not.stop.raining, we had to wait a few days before we could put any of the fence posts in the ground. I thought we'd never get the project done!


When we bought our house, the inside was liveable. The guys who owned it before us flipped the house, so we didn't have to do much to it. Our furniture matched the dull beige walls (boring!), the trim was all painted white (including the windows, which were painted shut), the carpet was new (and white...seriously, who installs white carpet on purpose?), and the laminate flooring was okay for now. Man, given that list, it makes me think about how much I need to shampoo my carpets (again) and give my windows a workout so they might actually open this summer.

Because the inside was okay (or just plain overwhelming), we decided to start making our house a home from the outside in. Because we moved in with crazy, high-strung, neurotic Holly, we knew that the side street next to the house could be trouble. We also knew that Ellen would be drawn to the street, along with the neighbor kids.

Our first major decision was to put up a fence. This was a big decision because the starting point didn't have anything to do with a fence. We needed to start with the second (coal) "driveway" that went right into our kitchen window. While a drive-thru might sound appealing to some, we decided against it.

Since we no longer depend on coal for those cold winter nights, the need for a path leading to the house had to go.

We couldn't believe the amount of concrete that we needed to haul out of there. To save money, we used my dad's trailer, which involved many trips down the highway.

It was such a great accomplishment to get this done. We ordered a bunch of dirt to fill in our concrete holes, and thanks to Chad next door, aka "The Grass Whisperer," we had new grass coming up right away.

With that project behind us, it was time to put up a fence!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Oh, Vera, You're So Fine

I love to wander through fabric stores looking for prints that catch my eye. Imagine my surprise when I stumbled upon this gorgeous VERA BRADLEY fabric!!

I knew it would be perfect for an apron, so I bought everything they had left. I managed to squeeze two aprons out of what I had, and one is sold already! The other one will be for sale on etsy. It was really hard not to keep this one!

Funny story, I was at Michael's the other day, and I saw a lady with a purse made out of the same fabric. I think she thought I was crazy when I told her how much I liked it!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A New Entry - Part 2

Yesterday I showed you what our entry looked like on Saturday morning before we got to work. I also explained the huge need for better storage and organization. As a reminder, here's what it looked like before:

We decided the best plan was to build from the bottom up. Because we were incorporating a bench, we wanted to be sure the base was sturdy enough. Jason worked with the existing trim because it gave him a nice starting point.

The bottom slots are perfect for bigger baskets to hold shoes and whatever else needs to be kept off the floor. I'm trying to decide if these black boxes are what I want. Once it's all together, they might stand out less, which is what I'm hoping for.

Here's where we left off last night. I'm going to use the upper cubby area for hats, mittens, sunglasses, etc. I just have to find the right baskets to maximize the storage.
Jason has done a great job building this thing, even though our house slants drastically toward our street. I'm amazed at how much he's had to compensate for that.

I'm excited to show you my idea for what has always been wasted space in here too!

Monday, March 1, 2010

A New Entry - Part 1

Since we bought our house a year and a half ago, I've had dreams for the back entry. There are many things about our house that need help, and this was a big one. For starters, the entry is not very big. It's also dark, has steep steps into the kitchen, and, if you're not careful, you'll fall right down the basement stairs. We, as a family, have a lot of coats, shoes, and other junk that tends to get piled up in this teeny, tiny, cluttered space. As a solution, I dreamed up a built-in shelf/cubby/bench area.

This is what we started with on Saturday. Fortunately, since my mom will probably read this, I don't have a true before picture with the normal pileup of junk on the floor and the former wall hooks.

To give you an idea of what we were working with in the beginning, where the blue paint is, we had a huge board with five hooks for our coats. About halfway down the wall on the left, I hung a set of hooks for Ellen's coats. On her hooks was a plastic sand bucket to hold all of her sunglasses and the occasional hat and/or mittens. The pine boards lead down to our basement. On this side of the entry (where you see that black triangle) are another couple of hooks that we use to hang our keys and my purse.

The original color of the entry is a sand color. It's a nice, neutral color, but I was hoping for something a little lighter to brighten the space.

We played in the entry all weekend, and I'm very happy with the changes. Tomorrow I'll show more pictures of the progress. I can't believe how different the whole house feels, now that our main entry is more inviting!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


I'm taking the next few days off from work to play around at home. Ellen will be out of school too, and she's excited to be my helper. I've been working diligently on aprons, but I've accumulated quite a stack of cute fabric to cut apart and put back together (my dad always laughs at my mom for doing that). It's amazing how it all adds up so quickly!

I'm planning to finish Syd's dress to match Ellen's, and I have a few other things in store. I'm looking forward to a break, that's for sure!

Monday, February 15, 2010

A New Dress

While I was out playing with Andrea yesterday, we found some cute Dora fabric, and I was inspired to make new dresses for the girls. I have seen several others on the web using pillowcases, so I went off of that. I was nervous that they would be too short by summer, so I added a little ruffle at the bottom. Ellen loves hers, and I'm hoping to get Syd's done tonight.

...and, yes, I do realize that the purple ribbons are too long. I'm waiting to cut them until I know what to do with Syd's.