June 22, 2010

Weekend Project: Pergola - Day 1

We have been saving our credit card points for a rainy day project....or in our case, a sunny day project.  So after years of socking away the points we decided to cash in and build ourselves a pergola.

Pergolas.  Mike has always wanted one.  Plus it's just a fun word to say.

Let me preface this by saying Mike and I may be creative and motivated but we are a far cry from being "handy".  The key to this successful endeavor was recruiting the right friends to help us.  And that we did.  

Day one of the pergola extravaganza began at 8:30am.

The first order of business was to dig really, really deep holes for the posts.  Thankfully with the help of some fellas with very large biceps we busted through these in no time.

Mike and the Colonel mixed the cement by hand.
Tough work.

Sanding and staining.  Hour 1.

Work hard.  Play hard.

With so many people coming and going the gate was left open a couple of times.  Ringo is normally pretty good about staying close but he was clearly bored by us and he slinked away without being noticed for who knows how long.  We found him at his friend Reilly's house scratching at the door - "Can Reilly come out and play?"

The four main posts were set and stained by 4pm.  Nice!

Hour 5 of staining.   The sun is now beginning to set.  Fumes going to the brain....

And 11.5 hours later, day one concluded.   
Bed. Is. Calling.

June 17, 2010

New at West Elm

Living in Minnesota I find it quite depressing when stores start advertising their fall line in JUNE.  Summer goes too fast already - please don't rush me!

But all can be forgiven to West Elm for giving us a sneak peek at their fall collection.

Good looking bedding

This embroidered white duvet cover is quite lovely.  Actually I was more attracted to the walls though.  I know people either love it or hate it - but I happen to be a fan of grass cloth wallpaper.

I really like these curtains.  The sheer quality with the chevron print makes them interesting yet subtle. 

Some beautiful new rugs.  I really like the natural feel and interesting texture of the beige rug.  Again - a chevron pattern.

West Elm always has great lighting

The Triad Coffee Table is one of my favorite new additions.  It also comes with a glass top but I tend to shy away from glass coffee tables.  Too much upkeep for my taste.

This tripod table comes in three great colors.

What a steal!  At $6 this little dish can be used in so many ways.  I am picturing it to hold loose jewelry.

June 14, 2010

Etsy Love: vol. 25

I have about 10 projects bouncing around in my head right now and eventually I will have to stop dreaming about them and actually do them!

One of these projects is to create a "collage" of art in my guest bedroom.  There is a long blank wall crying out for a collection of new and vintage art to complement my porcelain blue quilt.

I have bookmarked about a bazillion things I would love to buy off of Etsy.  Alas, I won't be able to acquire them all so I will be pulling out a little D to the I to the Y to stay on budget.  But I do plan on making select purchases from some of my favorites on Etsy.  Currently I am love-love-loving the new art by vol. 25.  I follow Jessica's awesome blog about art and photography and I couldn't resist sharing some of my faves.  Plus she's having a sale!  Buy 2 get 1 free.

June 07, 2010

Weekend Project: Herbs and Ivy

Traditionally Mike and I try to get one home project done each weekend.  Lately this has consisted primarily of yard work.  Memorial Day weekend we cleaned out the garage (finally!), I planted grass seed in dead places in our yard, and Mike planted hostas.  The goal for this past weekend was to plant indoor herbs and grow some ivy up our fence.

I wouldn't exactly say that I have a green thumb.  I can hardly believe that any of our plants survived 2009 in my incapable hands while Mike was deployed to Iraq.  But miraculously two of them endured.  Granted these varieties are supposedly impossible to kill - but I wouldn't put it past me.  So even though this weekend's project was not difficult - the challenge lies ahead......keep them alive!

Step 1: Trip to Bachmans

We have a chain link fence in a small city lot - which isn't exactly the prettiest thing to look at while grilling out on a Sunday evening.  Installing a wood privacy fence is out of the budget so we thought it would be better to grow vines along the chain link.   We chose an Engelman Ivy because it grows aggressively, it turns a lovely burgundy color in the fall, and it was one of the more affordable options.  We only bought four to start off with.  We want to make sure we can handle it before we invest in doing the whole yard!

Step 2: Select plants
With the Engelman Ivy in hand it was time to select the herbs.  I was bummed to learn that cilantro turns yellow quite quickly.  So I settled for mint, parsley and basil.

Step 3: Play in the dirt

Mulch of choice: Cocoa Shells.  
Mmmmmm....smells like chocolate.

Tools: herbs, work gloves, potting soil and pot(s) 
I was stoked to find this set of pots for the reasonable price of $12.99 at Bachmans.  It saved me a trip to Ikea!

Step 4: Stand back and admire your work

High five from the Ring-dog for a job well done.

Step 5: Use herbs to make celebratory meal of caprese salad and mojitos.  Ok this hasn't happened yet.  So Step 5 at the moment is water plants every day and pray to God that they survive the Lotzers.


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