TCOB in the Yard

I'm kicking it into high gear trying to get my yard into a presentable fashion. And I keep biting off more than I can chew. Thankfully, I had the brains whilst trimming the front hedges to NOT try to pull them out just yet, and wait until the backyard is less...unfortunate looking. YOU SEE, all the bushes in my yard, the ones I delicately trimmed in hopes of green leaves, WERE DEAD. sly buggers. So out they came! The three bushes behind my garage though, they are some tough homies. They DID green up a bit, but some nice rabbits have been creating a home in them for the better part of what looks to be a century. So they look funny, top-leaf heavy n such. 

So I gathered various bush-trimming mechanisms and got to work. 4 hours of sweaty work (+a beer break with my neighbor) got me here:

I have tried EVERYTHING short of buying a truck to try and get these roots out. Saw? Sawzle? 2 different shovels? My next idea is to buy a dog and have him start digging? Thoughts?! ONWARD, come hell or high water these roots will be out this weekend. Or i'll be in the emergency room (jk mom i'm always safe :) )

But wait! That's not all! Remember that canopy gem that I destroyed and was going to build back a nice little herby vertical garden ditty?

WELL, i'm SO CLOSE. A few more tweaks and i'll be ready to plant. Hopefully by that time my new hostas will look less-sad.

Fingers crossed i'm SUPER PRODUCTIVE this weekend!

Sans carpet in the bathroom round deux

Sometimes, things move to the top of your to-do list, quick. Like when after it rains a whole lot and your basement is extra smelly/musty because your exterior drain was covered in leaves so water was seeping through the door frame. Whoops my B, sorry house. 

Brick patterned linoleum dries a heck of a lot faster than beautiful red carpet. We both know that the previous owners were into the whole carpet-the-bathroom dance. UNFORTUNATELY, carpet in bathrooms doesn't function very well, you know with water being a primary resource in the space. 

After a few smelly trips to the basement, it was brought to my attention that this carpet needed to hit the road. *tear*...haha jk happy dance. About 5 minutes after this decision was made, it was up and out. Literally just peeled back one side and the whole thing lifted up. One nice soggy mess. What was....interesting...was that this carpet had the padding ATTACHED to it. So the black stuff you see below is just some of the padding left behind. 

Super easy removal. I kinda like the look of the concrete flooring, and this room wasn't going to seek my attention until the better part of next year, so we're going to stick with this for awhile. Kinda makes me wanna rip up that linoleum...

Crafts most likely to be found on pinterest

Yesterday was this little gem's birthday! So in cele we had a little grill sesh at my casa. We are a super low maintenance crowd (who are all on a budget in preparation for our next big adventure!) so beers and burgers on a warm sunny night made us all happy. To amp things up a bit for the birthday girl I put on my crafting pants and got to work! Strawberry cupcakes are a MUST, and for my little hippy girl, a flower crown. (don't mind my hole to china behind her, still trying to excavate that dern clothes line...)

First, I needed a cupcake stand to make these babies look regal as SHIZZ. Since I don't have one (i'm not exactly...the best my things don't typically need to be presented well either) I just glued two things together to make-shift one! A small pink bowl and a large plate. Should have chosen a plate without curves on the edge, but hey there's still glue in the world so you KNOW i'll be making more. HA.

I just used some construction adhesive, since I had it on hand. But liquid nails would work too! Then I just set something heavy on top and let it dry over night.

Oh, and cupcakes just aren't the same without a cute banner. I got handy and used paint chips (potential bathroom colors!), kite string, skewers and some tape. And yes, I did use a needle to thread the string through to make it look more LEGIT. It's all in the details, people.  (p.s the sign says HBDLG (happy birth day *initials*) will need smaller flags next time?!)

The headband was my favorite to make. This defiantly won't be the last time i'll be doing this. I bought a bouquet of flowers and some really thin jewelry-making wire.

I measured out a circle using the precise method of testing it on my head.

Then I added flowers by wrapping the wire around the stems EVER so delicately. I cut small pieces of wire to attach the flowers which made it easier to thread through.

And there you have it! A few easy crafts to spice up ANY day!

The Great De-Browing

My neighbor stopped over the other day, it seems whenever i'm outside I get at least one visitor wondering what i'm up to. I was removing the side panels on the canopy and let him know that later that day I was removing the window coverings and he goes "oh, you are taking off the eye brows?!" Love it.

So, here is where we left off after Monday's round of demo. This project, well all projects, reminded me to make sure you have the right tools (and know what tools you need) for the project. I tried taking this beast off a week ago, with the wrong tools. Thankgoodness my dad immediately knew of the perfect tool to get the job done making this a super painless process. The plan was that we'd remove the side screws, then the boyz would hold that up while I removed the middle screws and the support bracket. 

Back off ladies, he's mine. "What's wrong with being Sexay" - name that movie...

The screws were long, so we were able to get a nice forearm workout in. But after about a half an hour of de-screwing, we lowered the beast down!

The screws left some holes in the vinyl siding, which was fixed immediately (rain seems to be a daily occurrence) with some silicon. I was surprised at how nice the vinyl looked under the awning, half anticipating needing to replace a panel, so finger snaps for that. All it needed was a little power wash. Sidenote, powerwasher = best thing ever.

Canopy: Phase Uno

Remember what my backyard looks like? The theme was "cover all the things with metal panels!". I knew from day one the shade over the two windows out back had it's days numbered (more on that later this week!). Homie NEEDS that sunlight into the dining room. The canopy - seen as a metal tunnel - initially was on the hit list. BUT after a nice loooooong winter of not having to shovel up 6 steps (the tunnel leads down into my basement), I was semi-convinced it needed to stay. And by semi- I mean that SOMETHING needed to be there, but it just needed some help looking less...industrial.

This is about what I was thinking. We already got rid of the concrete/installed the rain barrel, so it was time to move east. Phase uno of the canopy project includes demo. As you can see from the poorly photoshopped photo above, I will be replacing the sides with wood slats and some planters. Initially I was going to replace the top of the canopy with new metal panels (the side panels don't fit on top, unfortunatly), but more on that in a bit.

So, with a few tools in hand I started unscrewing the panels to the frame, which seemed to gather much attention with the neighbors "whatcha doin girl?" followed by an offer to borrow tools anytime (thanks!) and their relation to the previous owner ... "my friend repaired the concrete here!" Cool story bro.

 Anywho, it took about an hour to de-screw the panels and rip them off. It was about this time that I was sick of unscrewing rusted screws and started to conjure up a plan B for "replace the top."

It was in a decent condition - it's a panel made of a fiberglass material + 60 years of gunk. So I grabbed a hose and a scrubbing brush and uncovered it's past 'beauty'. 

That section took  about 30 minutes of scrubbing by hand. Then I got smarter and called dad for the big guns (pressure washer)

Ah yes, much better. Not ideal as looks go, but it IS a roof, so we're rollin with it. 

Next up:
-Paint rusted frame
-Build wood structure (paint/seal)
-Repair concrete
-Attach wood structure

But first, time to keep this demo train rollin' with the shade over my precious windows...

Make it Rain!...Barrel

Another beautiful weekend, another step forward on beefing up the exterior of this shack. This weekend I focused on the area below. Which was an interesting compilation of concrete and rocks shoved in making what looks like a water feature? There was a small drain in the middle of a very shallow pool...however this drain went no where. It fed into the middle of this concrete pile, meaning that there would just be standing water encased in concrete....super close to my foundation. I wasn't cool with this...also it was ugly.

The main motivation to getting this done was that I got a RAIN BARREL! And this would be the perfect location for it (right by a gutter). So, with that motivation in hand, I got to work. 

It came apart pretty easily with a few whacks of the hammer. Many layers of concrete held together by wire and a few dozen strategically placed rocks later, I found dirt.

There was a little the right of this. I was originally going to keep this as a foundation to my rain barrel. Unfortunately, it was hollow under the concrete, and once the rain barrel is full it will weigh much more than an inch of concrete can that got the hammer.

 Once I found dirt I started to create a solid base for the barrel. I used two pavers for the base, and then two additional ones to raise the barrel up a bit. Making this level is crucial. A tipped over barrel of water wouldn't be the BEST thing to happen...

Cutting the gutter is fairly simple. A good pair of scissors will work just fine. Wear gloves though - homie is SHARP. Once it was all hooked up, I covered the post-concrete area with some rocks and added a few planters.

Muuuuuuuch better. NOW it can rain, so I can water those little pots right there and get some pretty flowers up in HERE.

Sidenote, does ANYONE know what this is?!

Its back by my garage, It looks to be some sort of planter perhaps? Or a super old trash bin holder? Either way, it's encased in concrete...OF COURSE. I didn't feel like ripping up the street, so I did the obvious next option - paint it.

Once it dries i'll put some plants in it....until someone is like "haha wtf are you doing that's totally a ______" and then i'll be like...uh reuse?