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Archive for the ‘Projects’ Category

We finished the second half of our porch make-over this weekend. Step one was making the inside awesome. Step two was replacing the tree we cut down and putting a flower bed in that reaches from the sidewalk to the front door. Our goal was to plant a bush that provides shade and privacy year round for the porch. While the camellia we planted has a ways to grow, we hope it will grow as big as the camellia on the other side of the front door, which completely blocks the window. We planted another camellia that was on clearance closer to the sidewalk. We also planted two althea bushes that I started from cuttings five years ago and had been growing in pots. I love althea because it blooms in the heat of summer and attracts humming birds. When picking plants and bushes, we try to think about balancing how everything will look year round. Althea will lose its leaves in the winter, but the camellia is evergreen. Camellias bloom from January to March and altheas bloom in the summer. We tried to balance the bloom times for everything else we planted in the bed.

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a porch remake

Let me refresh your memory about what our porch looked like. In front we had a gnarled, nearly dead tree and a younger scrappy junk tree. While they provided so much appreciated shade, the bigger tree needed to be cut down because so much of it was dead and hanging over the house, and the younger tree wasn’t anything that was treasured.  Behind the trees the porch had plastic white lattice that provided lots of privacy. However the lattice was becoming brittle and breaking, and the plastic was kind of cheap looking. Behind the lattice there was screen that had long been destroyed by dogs, and it let in plenty of wasps and mosquitoes. Inside the porch, the trim and ceiling were painted white, and the paint was chipping and moldy. Our initial plan wasn’t to re-do everything, but as projects do, this one just sort of spiraled into a total overhaul.

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haint blue

I am excited that things around the casa are getting more Southern. To be more specific, we are planning on painting to screened in porch ceiling haint blue. Now you might be saying to yourself, “What? Who paints a ceiling, especially one on a porch?” Well, superstitious Southerners do it to ward off bad luck and haints. I had a friend in New Orleans who painted every ceiling in her house blue after Katrina figuring she could use all the good luck she could get. Now I am a porch lover, and it would be hard for me to live in a house with no porch. In the spring and fall, my heart would ache with no where to go to relax with a glass of gin and a book to read. Our porch is getting a make over, and I thought it was the perfect time to add a touch of sky to the ceiling. Not only that, but I convinced my poor husband that it would be fun to paint the bathroom ceiling blue too. He loves me. In addition to painting the ceiling (and the trim needs a touch-up as well) we need to re-screen and lattice the porch and install our outdoor ceiling fan. I can picture myself now this autumn laying in the hammock staring at my blue ceiling and being cooled by the nice breeze of the fan. So here are the blues in the running.

Edit: Make sure to click here to see the finished product.

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How we turned this room –

Into this room.

I really loved our wedding venue. We got married in an old school-house-turned-community-center out in the country near my families lake house. I love

it because it is close to where my father and grandfather grew up. I love it because when I lived at the lake, I would stop by on Friday nights and watch the old-timers play some great country music and slow dance sweetly. I love the bead-board, wood floors, and high ceilings, and that Hank Williams allegedly played there. I loved that it would be newly rehabbed, it has plenty of room, a giant kitchen, more tables and chairs than we would ever need, and that we could rent it all day for less than $200. I spent more money on Indian food for the wedding than I did the venue. Ain’t that sweet. But this place wasn’t without negatives. No booze, no balloons, mismatched plastic tables and chairs, and one vast and bare room. I kinda liked the chairs, and who cares about balloons, but I was having a really hard time wrapping my head around how we were going to decorate a room this big with super high ceilings.

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driveway canna

I confess, sometimes I buy plants with no plan on where I am going to put them. I really try to keep this to a minimum, since we have a small yard and lots of plants that already need places to be planted. I need a plant plan. But I saw these so so pretty deep red canna plants for dirt cheap. I love canna because they look so exotic and they return year after year. We have some at the lake that are older than I am. So I couldn’t help myself. Luckily they have found a home (because they really needed to get out of those tiny pots.) Since adding onto the driveway, we now have a narrow strip of grass between the fence and the concrete. A narrow strip that is rather annoying to have to cut with the mower. Dave is always looking for an opportunity to eliminate areas in the yard that we have to mow. They are good in this spot because they won’t scratch or drip on the car, and they provide something a little pretty and lush along our bare chain link fence. Now to take any credit in the execution of this project would be dishonest. Dave did everything in the heat and humidity: he dug up the grass, planted the canna, and spread the mulch. He is pretty awesome, and the plants look great.

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Early along in the wedding planning process, I came up with the idea of making seed bombs for wedding gifts for our guests. I figured it was something that was a good representative of us, and who doesn’t love wild flowers? But honestly gifts were way down on the list of diy priorities, and in the final month of wedding doing, I figured it might not happen. I had to admit that I just didn’t have the time to make everything I wanted for the wedding, including seed bombs. But in the last two weeks, the internet swooped in and saved the day. I found some very lovely wildflower seed bombs (shaped like hearts no less) for an affordable price (yay!) from lovebybean on etsy. Not only that, but I was able to purchase perfectly sized envelopes at the same shop, making my life way easier. I bought a couple pretty stamps, and stuffed in the seed bombs and some instructions into the envelopes. I finished the whole project in a couple hours. I ended up with cutely dressed wildflower seed bombs for our family and friends without every having to get my hands dirty.

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I am on a budget, a very tight wedding budget. We are making the most of the food and decorations ourselves. I am hoping I can get most of my flowers for free from green-thumbed friends and family. But mainly we are being pretty minimalist. I don’t have the time or interest in crafting an intricate and beautiful seating chart. Umm no. But if I am going to have flowers, I need something to put them in. I snagged several vases (some uglier or more boring than others) for less than a quarter a piece. Now despite the fact that I am the Spray Paint Queen, I think it makes glass look dull and cheap. However, I saw some tutorials about pouring paint inside to create almost a glazed look. I purchased 4 different colors of acrylic paint and got to business. At first is was so tedious. I had no idea paint would move so slow. But I got most of the bottles completely covered and things were looking good. Hell yes. Mission accomplished- vases on the cheap. But I think we should all learn from past presidents and not prematurely declare a job done. I could not get the paint to dry, for like a week. No matter how many times I turned the bottles, I would get spots where all the paint just slip off the glass leaving it bare. I have bought more paint, and am going to give it one more go before I declare this project a bust. Fingers crossed!

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