Thursday, March 29, 2012

Spring Break=Yard Work

This week has been my spring break from school and I have enjoyed it SO much.  I have gotten many things accomplished, one of them being cleaning up our yard.  
Here's a picture of our house right after we closed last April.  

Here's a picture taken last Saturday.
We had some large boxwoods on either side of our porch that, although large, were not very healthy.  Up close they were scraggly and needed some love.  We decided to cut them back a bit and hope they grow back nicely.  Right now they look kind of sad. haha
As you may notice, there's a gap between some bushes.  This gap has bothered me from day one of owning our house.  At first I thought that shrubs once grew in the gap, but from all the old drawings and house plans that we have found, there has never been anything growing in this space.
So we plated 5 Wintergreen Boxwoods in the empty space.  (From the street you can only see two of them.)
It makes Cory & me laugh, but the small bushes were cheaper.  Hopefully they'll grow a lot this summer.  We have been mulching around our house as well.
In September we got rid of some dying boxwoods by our porch and planted some Hawthorne bushes.  They are now blooming and so nice.  Our shrub beds are lined with monkey grass up until where the large bushes used to be so on Saturday we planted some monkey grass to continue the edging.
Oh, and this is not yard related, but I got a new doormat and I think it's cute.  So here's a picture of it.
This is the side of our house where monkey grass had grown everywhere.
Here it is now.  Our azaleas need a little loving after this season too.  Their blooms are beautiful now, but their leaves aren't growing.

This is my favorite spot outside of our house.  I love the little iron gate with the ivy growing up on post.
This is to the right after entering the gate.
We added some monkey grass and mulch to clean it up and make it more defined.
Here's a shot of the back of our house.
We have(had) some scraggly bushes back here too!
They were getting too tall so we chopped the down.  Hopefully they'll grow back!

We had lots of things growing right here.
 We had some neat ferns but they kinda took over so we took them out.

 Here's a shot after we butchered those bushes.

Mom got Cory & me some little stepping stones with a crown (for King) and a "K" on them that we used to make a mini-path to our backyard's water faucet.
The back patio is not in great shape.  The tiles are breaking and coming loose in some spots.  We'll eventually redo the whole thing but for now we just cleaned it.

Here's a dogwood tree in the corner of our yard.  I love the pink blooms!  We had to cut a large branch off of it because it was dead.  

It looks naked now!  The pretty pink blooms are still on top, I just didn't get it in my picture.  Eventually we would like to put a bench or something to sit on in this spot under the tree. We also are going to plant some flowers in this bed at some point.
And here's the other gate on the other side of our yard.
You can't really tell but there were TONS of dead oak leaves all over our yard.  They were piled up in crevices around the fence and monkey grass borders.  
I can't even remember how many loads of leaves we dumped in the woods that day.  It made a big improvement, though.
This is a before shot but I thought I'd add it anyway.

While it's not a huge yard transformation, it's a step in a good direction.  I just wanted to post our progress and let you see what our backyard looks like. :)  
I have enjoyed working outside with Cory on this project but I must say, I'm glad it's over.  I don't think I am made to work outdoors for long because during this experience I have gotten poison ivy, bark in my eye (it took forever to get out and hurt very bad), chased by a few bees...seriously, got scared by 2 frogs that were snake-like, and found a tick crawling on me.  Yep, I'm a wuss.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

New Bed & Office

Well, I am here!  It's been since DECEMBER since I've posted anything on here.  To say that this semester has been busy is an understatement.  I honestly don't think I've been this busy with school related events in all my years of teaching. I can't complain too much, though, because I have a job. :)

Anyway, today I'm posting a project that has been finished since January.  This is another wonderful example of how awesome Cory is. Our house has 3 bedrooms but until January, only had 1 bed.  That wasn't a big problem since Cory & I share a bed but we both decided it would be nice to have an extra bed in the house in case one of us was sick or wanted to stay up and read/watch television without disturbing one another.
I didn't want the bed to take up too much room so I thought we could get a day bed and use it as a couch like   seat for the most part.  I had two daybeds that I admired and showed Cory what I had in mind.  Instead of spending a lot of money on a bed we would seldom use he said he could try and make one.

Here's the inspiration picture that I showed Cory.  This bed is from West Elm and was about $500 (it's not there anymore).

I also found a pattern for making this bed that Cory based his design on.  He actually tweaked it a bit. Here's the pattern.

And here's my lovely bed that my cool husband made:
He made it out of out 2x4s so it's not really high quality looking wood, but we painted it and you can't really tell.  It ended up costing $45 for the bed! (minus the mattress)
As I was taking a picture of the bed, I realized I've never posted a picture of this room.  
Here's where it is located in our house:

If you'll notice the "office" is connected to the master bedroom.  When we first bought our house we had quite a few family and friends come and see our new place.  When we would show this room to our guests and I would say it would be "our office" numerous people would recommend that it would be better as a nursery.  Now, I'm not mad that people would say that but at the time I was frustrated at the thought.(don't worry if someone reading this said that, I honestly don't remember who said it)  This may sound silly but I had wanted a house for a LONG time and was so happy to be at the homeowner status and felt like people were thinking I should graze over the fun home owning stage and skip to the having babies stage.  I know I was reading too much into that remark but it made me determined to make this room functional for our lives now, not for something that will (hopefully) come down the line. Not quite there, yet. :)  Maybe one day it will change into a different room but for now, this works for us.

Here's our all peach room when we first bought our house:
We started to work by patching up cracks in the ceiling and walls.
My sweet mom helped with this room.

We then painted the ceiling.  You may have noticed that our crown molding sat about an inch below the ceiling.
A friend of my dad, his son, and Cory added some extra trim to fill in the gap and it made such a huge difference!
 I forgot to take a picture of the old light fixture but here's the base of it.  It had a small glass dome around it and was flush with the ceiling.
 I know fans aren't a beautiful focal point, but in the South, they're a necessity.  We added a medallion under it to dress it up a bit.
We painted the walls Glidden's Woodsmoke.  It's a grayish tan.

With furniture.

 I made some pillow covers with some of my favorite fabric.
 This is the door that goes into our bedroom.  The doors on either side of it are two closets.  This room used to be the master bedroom before the old owners added on in the 60's.

 Like I said, the old owners added on in the 60's and when they did they also closed in a screened-in porch, making it our sunroom.  The shelf along this wall was actually a window until the add on.  You can see it on the original floor plan that we had framed. I'm glad they made it into a shelf instead of replacing the wall.

 Here's a new-to-us table that my grandfather found for me.

 It's weathered and worn a bit and I like it! I can't believe I inherited a piece of furniture and didn't paint it.
 And here's a close-up of some newly made art.
 I saw directions for this on the blog A Beautiful Mess a while back and decided to give it a try.  Mine isn't perfect, but it works. It's made  by using paint samples from Lowes.  I used my yellow pillow fabric as inspiration of what paint colors to use.  Then I used double-sided tape to apply them to a poster, making sure to cover the paint color name.  Then I chose some words to put on the poster.  It was a toss up between two lines from Beatles' songs: "Ob-la-di, ob-la-da, life goes on" OR "Here, There, and Everwhere".  The one I chose was played at our wedding (an instrumental version) so it had a little more meaning.  I just printed some letters out from a Word document I typed and then traced the letters on a poster board so the letters would be thick and opaque.
Fun fact: as I'm writing this blog I'm semi-watching the Friends episode where Phoebe gets married and as she's walking down the aisle "Here, There, and Everywhere" is being played on a steel drum.  I didn't know she had it at her wedding too.

Well, that's our office.  It still needs some more things added (like window treatments and artwork) but as I have learned, decorating is an ongoing process.

I hope everyone is happy and well.  Maybe I will post more regularly.


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