Saturday, May 17, 2014

The Money Pit: What's the Stories...?

...Morning Glories!

Found these beauties creepin' over (through?) my fence in the morning, and it was such a lovely treat to wake up to.  I'm a little torn about the idea of letting vines grow over/around/through/under my fence, but the plants in question - morning glory AND honeysuckle - are rooted on the city property that my yard backs up to.  It's not completely out of the question for me to climb back into the dry river bed and dig it all out, but I would by lying if I said I didn't enjoy the greenery.  Besides, my fence is reinforced with a chainlink behind it...and while it looks all pretty and white and painted, the fact of the matter is that the fence is actually very old and if I ultimately have to rip it out I won't be sad about losing it.

So for now, the flowering greenery stays.  I expect that I will regret this decision in the future.

The SIDE YARD is a bird of a different feather...or a flower of a different color...or whatever.  From the start, I knew that I wanted our side yard to be where my fruit-and-veggie garden took root.  In the last week, I've actually started this process.

That thar is a completely temporary fence that I put up with chicken wire and 79-cent posts.  The next gentle breeze will be knocking them down, I'm sure.  But for the time being it's keeping my pooch away from where I'm digging (as soon as I break out the shovel, Boo-dog is usually like, "Oh hayyyyyy...let me help you with that!" and I'm gifted with holes akin to crater impacts throughout the yard) and the fragile little plants that are setting into the ground. 

Did I say "fragile little plants?"  Take a look at this tangerine sapling that my amazing in-laws got me for my birthday.  This little sucker is already trying to pop out some delicious snacks...I don't really expect that we'll actually be able to eat anything off of this tree any time soon, but I'm excited that I was gifted with such a tenacious tree!

Actually, all of the plants that I've acquired thus far for the garden have been gifted.  Aside from the tangerine tree, my coworker gave me three tomato plants.  I guess she was culling her own garden.  We've got a big ol' selection of potted herbs that I can't wait to transplant, received as a hostess gift.

The only thing that hasn't been gifted is a little packet of bell pepper seeds that I bought for $1.99.  I have NEVER grown anything from seed, so I'm curious to see how green I can encourage my thumb to be.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The Money Pit: Accent Chairs, or "Another DIY Project"

Everything in my life is DIY right now.  I love it, but it's also infinitely frustrating to know that there are so many things in progress that I'm actually responsible for finishing (let alone starting).  It's really good as a practice in patience, though, since the most important thing about DIY projects is not rushing things.  Lawd knows I'm guilty of trying to rush things.

Anyway, here's my latest haul.  Sexy, right?

Found these babies on the side of the road coming back from breakfast one morning.  Can you believe someone was actually going to throw these out?  I mean...I mean...buh...come ON.

I mean, REALLY...pot o' gold right here.
That chair on the left in the first photo had actually already been cleaned up a little bit.  At first, it looked exactly like the one on the right and then I was all like, "Pictures.  RIGHT."

Contrary to popular belief, I don't actually just grab people's garbage with a "Rifle through it first, throw it away later, ask questions even later than that" attitude.  I've been an antique hobbyist since I was very little...and while I would still not be able to answer any Jeopardy! questions in a category called "Antiques," I still know a good piece when I see one:
          - These chairs were sturdy.  They didn't require any
             reassembly, they weren't missing any pieces, and
             they were not rickety.  Also, they're pretty!
          - They didn't have any damage.  Okay, I mean,
             besides the obvious holes, there was no termite
             damage, no water damage,  and they didn't smell of
             cat pee (extra bonus!).

Ignore the man, er, laundry behind the curtain!
So thusly began the restoration process.  These babies required sanding.  The scraggily looking red and white paint actually came off easily.  I chalk this up to the likelihood that someone tried to restore them simply by splattering some paint on the wood without giving these babies the love and care they deserved first.

So at this point, I've finished the initial sanding process on each chair.  I've ripped out that awful wicker seating on each (don't worry, it wasn't doing anyone any favors), which ended up being the hardest part since I had to get in there with needle-nose pliers.  The beautiful color of the natural wood on each chair is really glowing, even with its age.

My next step is going to be filling in the cracky sort of spots with wood filler, after which point I'll give everything a solid sanding again, just to ensure it's all smooth and even.  Once that's all done, the fun can begin!  There will be priming, there will be painting, there will be upholstering...and then, as a facebook friend of mine pointed out, there will be sitting...which for whatever reason I left out of the initial process list.  Kind of important.  I mean, otherwise what's the point?

I'm excited to show everyone the colors I have picked out for the paint and upholstery...but I'm not quite ready to reveal that yet.  There's much work to be done first...

Saturday, April 12, 2014

The Money Pit: Target and Subtly Overpriced Accessorizing

I saw a message center at Target that I really wanted, but it was $23. So I bought all this stuff for $15 and made my own. 

Target, you are such a scam BUT I LOVE YOU ANYWAY. #cantquityou

Friday, April 11, 2014

The Money Pit: Supporting the Latest in Pony Express Technology!

Despite an awful sore throat, I made a little bit of progress on the house! Destroyed the AWFUL mailbox and put up a brand new one. Next weekend I want to plant some flowers around it (and figure out how to have the city pop by to repaint the sidewalk numbers). 

Left to do in the front: new bay window, seeded lawn, knock down the awkward wall, new porch, and repaint the whole house!!!! 


Thursday, April 10, 2014

A Moment with Boo: Rainy Day Conundrums on February 27

"Not sure if want to go outside and roll in mud.........or stay inside and roll on couch.

What the hell, I'll do both."

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Money Pit: The Man-Cave

My wonderful husband turned 30 this year.  Ever since we've lived together - gosh, seven years now? - he's always been desirous of having his own space.

...let me put it this way: my husband lives with THREE women.  Four, if you count Boo.  This guy NEEDS his own space.

Thusly, plans for The Man Cave were born.  After carefully crafting a clever cover story (how's that for alliteration?), my father and I built the framing for his office as a surprise when he came home!  It's not terribly large, but it's his, and only his.

Stage 1, complete!  Happy birthday to the love of my life and my best friend.

The Money Pit: The Side Patio Saga

Ladies and Gentlemen, the Side Patio.

Let me tell you, this part of the property has been a train wreck from the start.  First, it was covered with piles of dirt and junk from the flip that the previous owner did.  Not a really big deal, considering that the rest of the house was very well done.  But frustrating, nonetheless, when it became very apparent than I wasn't about to have aforementioned piles of dirt and junk actually STAY there.

Problem 1: Where was I supposed to put it?  Transporting dirt and junk from one side yard to another wasn't going to solve the problem.

Solution 1: I actually sifted through it.  That's right, I got down on my gloved hands and knees and went through aaaaaall the dirt, throwing away actual trash, salvaging rocks and bricks, and hefting the dirt that was left into a wheelbarrow to even out the opposite yard.

Problem 2: What was I going to put there instead?

Solution 2: Actually, this part has been pretty easy.  After growing up in a house where my father built walls and patios in our back yard only to knock them down and build new walls and patios when he ran out of room (long story, confusing childhood...but all true), I had a really good launching point.  Additionally, my father taught my husband how to do these same sort of patios at our last home, which ended up increasing the value of the place when we sold it. #highfives

PLUS, there were LITERALLY piles of bricks and pavers stacked up on the side of the house.  I'm guessing that the plan was to use them in the flip, but we ended up buying the house pre-market and it wasn't worth it to the guy to bother finishing the job.

Lucky me!

Problem 3: I have a dog.

Solution 3: There is no solution.  She sees me digging over there and she's all, "OOH, I CAN HELP WITH THAT," and every five seconds I'm chasing her away with a broom as she digs up the bricks I've only just lay down.  Because of course she does.

At any rate, I have been laying out these bricks and pavers and having a puzzle-y time of it.  The issue is ensuring that the space drains properly in the rain, but that's harder than it sounds.  Nothing a solid level can't figure out!  My goal is to connect the two already-paved areas together to make one patio that circumvents the house...and also make a nice little spot for me to set up a gardening and composting station with easy access to our trash bins.

More to come on this side patio as we go.

After the trash and bricks had been sorted out.
The pavers start to go down!  Notice the piles of them in the background?  There's an even LARGER pile of bricks behind me as I take the photo!