Thursday, April 12, 2012

Raised Bed Garden

When we moved into our house I was excited to see the raised bed in the far back of our yard. Although the bed was very neglected (overgrown weeds and structure issues) I envisioned a bountiful harvest growing back there. Now six months later I am ready to set out and begin an edible garden. I was trying to figure out how I should go about fixing the structure issue and posted on one of my favorite home forums. I posted a few pictures and was told that the wood that the bed was constructed of are railroad ties and that it is not recommended. I googled and found a bunch of stuff that convinced me those have to go. The railsroad ties are treated with creosote and the EPA does not suggest using them. I have been doing a few searches on building raised bed and I am hoping to get my husband on board. I was  hoping to plant the few little plants that I purchased a few days ago but that will not happen. I will just have to keep those alive in the container long enough to plant in a few weeks. Through my research I have noticed that the typical width of a raised bed is between 3 to 4 feet in width and maybe around 8 feet in length. I plan on building 2 raised beds instead of the 1 large one that I currently have which measures 15x7. If things go well maybe more. I think this will make for a more comfortable gardening experience and will avoid having to walk on the soil. I would have loved to walk back there and just plant but it looks like I will need to really work at getting the area more suitable for a healthy garden. I am exited to see if my thumb is in fact green. Here are a few pictures of the garden as it stands right now. All the wood will need to be replaced but I haven't figured out with what just yet. You can see the previous home owners put concrete blocks and I did find some gardens that were constructed out of the concrete blocks. I also found plans on constructing them out of cedar fence pickets on Ana White's blog. Her cost ended up being $10, I like that dollar amount and I think my husband could get behind that. I looked up the pickets at my local stores and they are $2.05 vs. the $1.59 that she spent but still I think I could construct them for under $20 each. I am going to continue to research and will let you know! 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Feeling a Little Blue..

What do the paint colors Serene Sky, Nurture (Behr Paint), Rich Navy at 100% and lightened twice (Glidden), Palladian Blue, Tranquility (Benjamin Moore), and Comfort Gray (Sherwin Williams) have in common? Well let's take a look, shall we...(in order of what is listed above except for lightened Rich Navy)

Have you guest yet? Well if you guest that they are in the blue, blue gray or blue green family you guest right. Not only that but each of those colors have found their way into my house. I am not sure how it happened but I am surrounded by blue! Growing up and to this day Blue is my sister's favorite color, her room was always some shade of blue and I have never gravitated towards blues. Now, when we bought this house I new with certainly my craft/guest room would be Palladian Blue.  I love this color, it was the color of my daughter's bedroom in a house we had a few years ago. Once that was painted I moved on to my younger daughter's room. I had planned on painting the top half of her room a pink color for the sky. When I was showing her the mural I would be painting and some pink paint chips, she straight out told me the sky is not pink it is blue and she wants it to be blue. She knows what she wants, so up went the second blue. My son's room is a nautical/pirate theme and what speaks nautical more then blue, so blue continued into his room. My master bedroom's bedding is an interesting shade of blueish greenish paisley pattern and after putting sample after sample the only color that seemed ot work was Nurture, okay 4th blue down. On to my dining room, I am happy to say the actual dining room is not blue it is Weimaraner by Benjamin Moore:

I love this color, love it! It is however a strange shade that changes dramatically throughout the day. When we were painting it it looked purple, then red, then finally in the morning it looked a beautiful shade of grayish brown. Then it changed all over again, I didn't like the ceiling being white it seemed to stark for this color. I will be back in the future for a complete post on my dining room once it is complete so as not to repeat myself in the future, the ceiling was painted Tranquility! Now this weekend with the down pour of rain and a husband who does not care to be indoors while the sun is shining up went Comfort Gray in our family/kitchen. I did not intend for so much blue to be put into my house, in fact I am a little blue about it. I love color and my house has taken on such a neutral palette. My living room and entryway is not blue but they are Bleeker Beige and Manchester Tan:

Where is the color in my house?? For what ever reason I have played it safe, no red no yellow just blue! I will say that while trying to get design ideas for my house I went to a few model homes and they were full of color.  What I noticed in many of those homes was that the walls were all the same color but it was through the drapery, pillows, art work and furniture that the color came from. What does that mean for me? Well, that there is hope of a bright and colorful future ahead! Have a wonderful day!

Linky Parties:

Thursday, March 15, 2012

A Tale of Three Mirrors and a Lamp

I have been home bound since Sunday with the start of my little girl's fever. It has moved on to my 18 year old and my 4 year old. I am really hoping it stops there, mama don't wanna get sick and I am sure daddy doesn't either.
Yesterday was a sort of an in between period.  My son hadn't gotten sick yet and went to preschool, the teen/young adult is able to look after self, and I only kept the 5 year old home to rest an extra day. That gave me an opportunity to look around at some home stores. I have been on the hunt for lamps for my master bedroom. That isn't exactly true, I have found lamps, several of them in fact but none have seemed to work in the space. I finally settled on two lamps that I really liked. The lamp shades were the same color as my bedroom walls and blended so the only thing I needed to do was find different shades. I really had no idea how expensive lampshades were. I ended up buying two cheaper lampshades, put them on and they just looked cheap. Hubby even thought so and said "we have this really nice bed, don't cheap out on the shades". Makes sense! So I  returned them and bit the bullet, purchasing shades from Pottery Barn. I adore Pottery Barn but they just didn't look right with these lamps. The lamps have just been sitting there blending. While I have been trying to  find the perfect lamps I have been sadly thinking about two lamps I had spotted at a TJ Max (one further away) about 2 months ago. I liked them, I even had them in my cart but I thought they were going to be too big. I really thought the bedside tables we had ordered were much smaller but when those arrived a day later they were actually quite large.  I immediately ran drove a few days later to the store but only one was left.  I needed two and my journey to find lamps began. Well, yesterday was a good day all around. I went to my local TJ Max and low and beyond those lamps were there, the ones I spotted 2 months ago. I grabbed them up and brought them home. Do I absolutely love them? Not exactly but I do really like them and they work well in the space, I am happy.
My house has area's of wall space that need to be filled, some of those spaces are stumping me. I knew that I wanted a mirror or a series of mirrors for a particular wall in my master bedroom. In addition to TJ Max I went Ross where I found a mirror for my entryway and Home Goods where I finally found the mirror for my bedroom and one for my dining room. There were actually two mirrors that I was looking at for the bedroom and I all but flipped a coin to decide. I am actually pretty pleased with this mirror and it is just one more element that brings my room closer to being complete. It is amazing how in just one day I found some great decor for my house and yet I have been in these stores time and time again leaving with nada.
I am working on a spring mantel of course pulling inspiration from others (thank you to the amazing blog community). I have a couple of things I would like to do and then it should be ready to share. It will be the only thing I share from this room, it is a long way from being viewable..
Here are some images of my new mirrors and lamps:

Dining Room Mirror (Home Goods): adds a fun element of bling a pop!
 Entryway Sconce (Restoration Hardware) & Mirror (Ross)
Don't mind the wrapping on the shades (I need to take those off).
 Master Bedroom Mirror it's measures 36x50 (Home Goods) and yes, that would be my beautiful Colette bed peeking through! Still can't believe hubby bought it for me us!

 Finally the lamps that were meant for me (TJMAX)! The  lamp shade is linen with metallic silver threading weaved throughout. It's a soft look, not glittery. There is also a very light peacock feather in silver printed on the shade. It is so light I missed it the first few minutes I looked at these lamps. I think it's perfect since my bedding is a paisley and the shape is similar.
 My little corner of our Master Retreat! From this picture it looks all put together but it's not quite ready.

Thanks so much for visiting!
Linking to these Parties:



Monday, March 12, 2012

A Project Here, A Project There, A Project EVERYWHERE!!

I am afraid to look at the date of my last post, goodness! I have never been a consistent blogger although I really admire those who can do that. Even still I think about my blog and all things I wish I was doing that could fill up these virtual pages. The last project I completed was of course my daughter's bedroom. Since then I have been in the process of trying to complete not one, not two, but five (possibly more) different projects. My beautiful bed arrived shortly after my last post and my husband and I got busy painting our master bedroom. Right now we have our bed, bedding, two new bedside tables and sitting chairs but not much else. I need to find things for the walls, curtains etc. My son's room is so close to being done, in fact it is so close I am going to post pictures of it anyways. The thing that is holding me up is the mural, which has proven to be more time consuming then I had realized. I have taken breaks from it for various reasons (birthday party, visiting in-laws, work on the house...) and I work on it a little at a time. His room has turned out exactly how I had envisioned it all but the part about not being done yet.
We have lived in this house since November and a few weeks ago my husband decided it was time to paint a few of the main living spaces. We painted the living room, entryway, hallways and the dining room. None of these areas are complete. Each have there coats of paint on them but that is it. We had all our lower level (plus master bedroom) windows cased out and added window sills. They have added such an amazing look but this would be another project that I am needing to complete ie: fill holes, sand down, and paint. My craft room/guestroom is functioning really well as a guestroom and a catch all room but not much else. We painted it, built a work table (hubby rocks!), and I built one Ikea shelving unit, that room needs some work. I would love to snap my fingers and it all be done and avoid this constant limbo of projects. I will say I love that we got rid of the horrible flat dirty white walls even though I really need to paint all the trim and molding. The paint has made such a huge difference. I am not a home decorator and really am having a time bring in design elements for the various areas. I know it will be a process especially since we really don't have furniture. Much of our furniture is piecemeal and left over from my husbands single days. I am dreaming of the day we bring in furniture that creates a cohesive look and feel.
Well I am going to pretend that my son's mural is 100% done vs. 95% and do a big reveal? Either way I will come back and post the completed mural at some point.

I had two inspirations for my son's room, Pirate and Nautical. I meshed the two together and these were my starting points, a pirate mural from Elephant on the Wall  

and the second was this photo  from HGTV but I can't find the link now.  

Once the mural arrived my husband and I got to work on painting the room. My son's room is the only room so far that I spent little time picking out the color. I went to Home Depot picked out Rich Navy by Glidden (using Behr paint). On the suggestion from the color mixer person (not exactly PC..) we took the Rich Navy and lighted it up to create the 2 other colors (map background and the lower wall color).
If you have textured walls and would like stripes here is a little tip for you: 1) Tape the area off that is to be painted in stripes. 2) Use clear paintable caulking, with your finger smooth the caulking along the edge of the tape overlapping the edge and the wall. Let dry and then paint.
The caulking seals the tape and leaves you with minimal bleed through and little if any touch up. You can also do this for your ceiling and transitioning between colors.
The mural is  Paint by number and is 8'x6', that need to be traced and then painted on to the walls. I had calluses on my fingers for 2 weeks after tracing. It was a bit difficult because of the textured walls. I just visually went back and touched up the areas that didn't trace well. I ended up not tracing out the jagged edge of the map for two reasons, one I was exhausted and two I was exhausted. I may go back and paint a straight boarder but then again I think I won't. So without further ramblings here is my son's room:

I was able to find a few "almost" before pictures on my phone. It doesn't show the room in the color that it orginally was or the doorway that went to the master bedroom. The previous owners used this room as an office. The picture quality isn't the best but it gives you an idea:

Taping  off for the navy blue stripes
 8 foot x 6 foot sectioned off for the map
 Hours of tracing ahead

We are pretending his race car bed is a boat!
 The mural is very close to being done just one big section (upper middle) then little details.
 Pirate Ship we found to complete is room, he LOVED it!

 Ikea Trofast, love the storage..
I am not sure when I will be back to share another completed project but in the mean time I am linking up to these link parties:

Sumo's Sweet Stuff
Keeping It Simple

The 36th AVENUE