Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Oh NO she di'int!

Oh yes, she did! I just made the worst DIY mistake in the history of DIY'ers! I kid you not! I'm almost embarrassed to admit my horrible faux pas, but in the interest of helping others by exposing my own mistakes, I've decided to confess my sins to you, my readers.

Hot Rod and I are in the process of remodeling our hall bathroom. Now that the master bath is done, we have decided to move on to fix and remodel the hall bath. The tile was literally falling off the wall in the bathtub. Well, yesterday Hot Rod and our son-in-law A-Man started the demolition. They actually removed the entire tile surround on the tub along with the glass brick wall that was on the far end of the tub.

So, guess what I didn't do? If you guessed take a before picture then DING, DING, win! Yep, I totally forgot to take our before pictures. So, now when we finish the bathroom and have this wonderful brand spanking new tub and surround no one is going to know how truly awful it was to start with.

*Slapping forehead*

How can I be such a dum-dum? Ugh!

Unfortunately I can't even post a picture now because I STILL haven't taken a single picture. I plan to remedy that tonight and pronto, but I'm so disappointed in myself.


Thursday, April 21, 2011

And now...for your enjoyment!

Just a really quick post here. I went to my local Goodwill the other day on my lunch hour and found some really cool stuff. I'll be doing some posts on my trash to treasure projects as soon as I can. In the meantime though I added all of the blogs that I follow over there > on my blog list. When you are needing some inspiration or some ideas, or you just want to look at pretty things take a look at all of these wonderful blogs. People always ask me, "how did you think of that?" My answer 99% of the time is "I didn't, I copied it." As they say "Imitation is the finest form of flattery!" So feel free to take a gander at one, two, or even all of the blogs over there and get some inspiration.

I'll have my first trash to treasure Goodwill makeover soon!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Terri Terri Quite Contrary...

How does your garden grow? Let's hope this year it is by leaps and bounds! I admit it, I'm obsessed with gardening. I love feeling the rich soil in my fingers and digging into the earth. Unfortunately for me though, gardening has been less than kind to me. When we first moved to this house...oh 20+ years ago at this point...we decided to take advantage of our acre of land and plant a HUGE garden. Big Mistake! HUGE! First of all, we were very ill equipped to handle something of this magnitude. Soon the garden became a hot bed of weeds, stickers, and little bunnies that would eat a bean plant to nothing but a stalk! Mean bunnies, mean! So, years went by and we gave up. I decided maybe it just wasn't meant to be. Then a couple of years ago I got this brilliant plan to try a garden again. This time I was going to do it much smaller, inside the fenced part of our yard, but quartered off from the dogs. This way the garden would be manageable, and hopefully the mean bunnies would be kept out by their fear of my bunny killing dog. Don't judge. He is just protecting what's his and I applaud him for it! So, the hubs and I made this corner garden in the corner of our yard. I thought we were brilliant!

We erected 2 X 6's as a base and then filled it with dirt. The dirt we bought was less than good so then we supplemented the dirt with fertilizer (aka cow poop) from a local nursery. We put up lattice as the walls and even went so far as to build a gate. I worked, and worked, and worked, and worked at the garden that year. All for naught. I think by the end of the summer we had harvested one jalapeno and 2 tomatoes. That's an awful lot of work for that little of a crop. In our infinite wisdom on where to plant we just didn't take into account that the fence would shade the garden for 70% of the day, so basically the garden got about 1-2 hours of sun a day when the sun was noon high. Definitely not enough to grow anything of value. So, for the last 2 years, the garden has sat empty, just growing weeds.
This is what it looks like today! Pretty pathetic is it not?

Well, this year I wanted to try again. There is just something to be said for a freshly grown vine ripe tomato. You just can't get that taste from anything you can buy in a store and I live in a town where there is no such thing as a farmers market. You either buy it at the grocery store or you are SOL.
My first task was to decide where to plant a garden. I thought about the original garden place, but even after trimming the trees I watched it for a few days and it still just didn't get enough sun. Between the lattice and the fence on the other side, it is just basically shaded most of the day. So, I needed to find a new place. Eventually I will tear down that eye sore in the corner but for now, it is still there.

I looked all around the yard and found this to the well house. I wanted to find some place that got a lot of sun, but wouldn't make mowing more difficult for Hot Rod. I picked this spot and then asked his opinion. He said it would be perfect there because that spot is already very difficult to mow. First step was to remove my makeshift potting table. Basically all that means is an old patio table that I've been using to put my potting things on. What I wouldn't give for a cute real potting table and cabinet. One day, one day...
OK, that was easy. I just moved the table to the back side of the well house. Eventually I want my REAL potting table and cabinet to replace this ugly eyesore of a table. That's when I actually find one that is!

Next step, is to plan out the garden. We bought a raised tiered garden from SAM's. The instructions for it said to measure out a space 4' X 4'. Here are my tools for doing just that! (yes, the beer was an essential "tool" in this endeavor. I mean what isn't better than an ice cold beer when you are working out in the sun? Am I right?)

I used my level and then marked the 4' X 4' space using twine and the little brads that came with the ground fabric I had bought for the original corner garden. Once the area was marked off, I spray painted it using the cheapest spray paint I had laying around. A Wal-mart brand black paint that was 99 cents a can. Hey, whatever works, right?

Next step...water, water, water, water the ground. I needed to be able to dig it out a little. The instructions for the garden said to remove the sod and turn over the ground. In addition to this though I had to dig one side of it lower than the other side the ground there was pretty uneven. I watered the ground (actually the entire yard) for a couple of evenings.

Saturday morning I got up and started digging. All I can say about that is I definitely DID NOT miss my calling as a ditch digger. Man, that is some hard, hard work. I'll take my system administrator job any day over that kind of manual labor. But, it worked out and between myself and Hot Rod we got the area dug out. What I did was remove the twine and brads so they wouldn't get in the way but the area was still marked off by the paint. (in case you were wondering the purpose of the paint when it was already marked off) Then we built the garden and put it in place. It is perfectly level too which is a big accomplishment because the ground was very uneven there.

Then we filled it with dirt and planted a few plants. I missed taking pictures through this part though. We made one mistake. The garden comes with a trellis for the back. Well, we placed the garden and I started filling it with dirt while Hot Rod put the trellis together. Turns out you were supposed to attach the trellis to the rest of the frame from the BACK side of the frame. Well, that just happened to be butted up next to the well house and pretty much unreachable at this point. On to plan B. Hot Rod just attached it from the front, no big deal. I finished filling it with dirt (and man did it ever take some dirt!) I think by the time I finally got it full it took 8 of those 56 quart bags of potting soil that you buy at SAM's! That's quite a bit of dirt.

Then I got to planting. I bought 3 tomato plants, one jalapeno plant, one fresno chili plant, one crookneck squash plant, and one cucumber plant. I also bought several herbs but those I put in pots and keep them on the patio in this really cute little shelf my mom gave me last year. Super convenient when I need the herbs for cooking too. I just run out with my scissors, clip off what I need and head back in to use them in cooking.

After I planted the plants, Hot Rod had another brilliant idea. When we got the tree's trimmed last week there were 2 trees that were basically killing each other. The guys said we needed to pick which one we wanted to keep and cut down the other. One of them was in really good shape and the other pretty much looked dead. The one that looked dead was a cedar tree. The trunk of the tree is super gnarly and Hot Rod fell in love with it and wants to make something out of it. I think he is actually going to make a home made totem pole for our yard out of it. Anyway, I digress. So, he's been working on the tree trunk and has been removing all of the bark of it. He suggested I use the bark he removed as the mulch for the garden. Thus, saving me from buying bark and also getting a double duty of using cedar which is a natural bug repellent. Win Win!
So, I gathered up all of the bark and spread it all over the garden after the plants were put in place. Tada! My lovely garden! Now all I need is sun, rain, and time. The rain hasn't been very generous around here so watering will have to be done for now.

While we were out shopping for the plants, I picked up the herbs and some flowers as well. Time to pretty up the patio at the same time. I planted flowers in all of my existing pots. I just love flowers on the patio, don't you?

Also while I was at it, I decided to separate a few of the baby spider plants from their mama plant. I've had this plant in my kitchen forever it seems. It just keeps producing babies. So, I cut a few of the babies off and put them in pots to start new ones. I'm hoping they take and then I can give them to my kids so they will have a pretty spider plant as well.

Once that was done, I started working on cleaning the patio from the winter crud. I rinsed the house down, swept the porch, sprayed off the porch, sprayed off all the patio furniture. Moved the stand up heater to the side and put the lounge chair out. Ah! We are ready for Easter and the annual Easter Egg hunt that we have at my house every year. All that's left at this point is to get the hammock out and enjoy the season.

*Note, I will post update pictures on the garden as the season progresses...please wish me luck that I have better luck this year and we have a bounty of peppers, squash, cucumbers, but most of all tomatoes!*

Monday, April 11, 2011

Spring Table Version 2 and 3

So, last Friday we had the tree trimmers come to our place and trim all of the trees in our back yard. Oh my goodness! What a difference it made. Not only did they take all of the dead and broken branches out of all of the trees, but they really spruced up all of them at the same time. added bonus...they raked the entire yard to clean up after themselves, thereby raking up and cleaning my entire yard! I no longer have the dog poop hall of fame in my back yard! They got out the trash under the lilac bushes that had been there for YEARS I'm ashamed to admit. Oh, it was definitely well worth it. Take a look at my beautiful black walnut tree now! I wish with all my being that I had taken before pictures of all of our trees. I think I'm going to try and find some old pictures that I may have trees in the background or something so I can do a before and after. All I can say is it was SO WORTH IT! If you've never had your trees trimmed and you have very old, very tall trees like we do, call someone and get it done. You'll be so glad you did!

Now most of the tree debris they shredded with this machine that scared the living daylights out of me. I mean if you just by chance put your hand in there I really think it would suck your entire body in and you would be compost from then on out. It just made sawdust out of huge limbs! But, they did leave one small patch of branches in our burn pile. Of course we won't be doing any burning any time soon as our county and I think pretty much the entire state of Texas is on a no-burn watch right now. It's so hot and windy and dry a small spark could light up the entire neighborhood. So, this pile will have to remain for a little while. But, actually this worked out for me VERY WELL for my Spring table. Yep, out to the pile to pick out some cool looking branches to use.

These are the ones I came up with. I chose them for their height and the branching quality of each of them. My plan is to turn them into fake cherry blossom branches to decorate with. So, I started with these...

Next, I purchased 2 silk flowers at Hobby Lobby (half off of course!!!). These were the perfect ones! They had just the right small blossom on them. And they were a nice blend of white and pink.

So, I removed all of the blossoms from the big cluster and was left with these.

Then I just hot glued each of the blossoms to the branches at each intersection and wherever there was a "bud" looking spot on the branches. I ended up with these lovely "Cherry Blossoms".

Next, I bought this moss sheet from Hobby Lobby. It is basically green moss that comes in a solid sheet.

I took half of it and put it in the bottom of this glass jar I already had. Then I added the rest of the eggs that I got at TJ Maxx and voila...a nice apothecary jar with grass and eggs.

I also cut a square of the moss and lined the bottom of the bird cage, under the bird nest in there.

I used one of the small branches and put it inside the bird cage to give it some more interest and height. I really want a small bird in there perching on the branch and I know the perfect one to use, but it's an ornament in my Christmas decor and I need to go in the attic to get it. I'm just not convinced it will look great because the bird is gold and I think the bird needs to have some color in there. I may look online and see what I can find. In the meantime, I like how it's looking now, even without a bird in there.

So, back to the branches. These are the rest of them and I just got busy gluing the blooms on them.

I went to the spare bedroom and found this cute pitcher that I had back there. It is perfect for holding the branches and it keeps in line with the bird theme going on too. The branches look great in it!

On the other side of the table with the apothecary jar I just used a single branch and put it in an extra large green wine bottle. At this point I called it done. I liked it. But, I didn't love it. I slept on it overnight and kept looking at it, thinking what is wrong? I decided it was the single branch in the wine bottle. It just looked small and WRONG! OK, back to the drawing board on that side of the table. I went back out to the branch pile and picked out a few more branches and glued on more blooms. Then I had to put my thinking cap on and figure out what to put them in. AHA! I remembered this pitcher I have in the kitchen. The colors were perfect and actually brought a nice punch of color to the table as well as being the perfect size to hold the branches.

Oh yes, so much better!

Now, it's done and I'm so happy with it. My final (well so far anyway) Spring table. I'm still going to look for a small bird for the cage but in the meantime every time I walk by this table I just love it!!!!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Making the hard choices

Well, you've all been waiting with bated breath, I can just tell, so here it is...wait not "Spring Fling in the Closet" post is now here! (hands clapping I'm so sure!) So, this is where I started, in my closet. Yes, it is super full and I was having a really hard time. Every time I went to get something to wear it would be crammed in so tight that it would get wrinkled and I was having to iron...Eee GADS! Not that!!!!

The first step to cleaning my closet and moving out the heavy winter things to make room for the lighter, cooler summer things is to first of all pick out all of the winter things into 2 stacks. One stack is to be hung in the spare bedroom closet to save until next winter, and the other stack is to get rid of. I made myself do some hard choices too. Things like this. Do I really need 2 gray turtlenecks? Um, no probably not. I mean seriously, how often do I actually wear a long sleeved turtleneck? The answer, not often. You see, I'm VERY hot natured. I get hot very easy. So, I looked at the 2 of these. One is a thick sweater like material, the other is a thin cotton. You guessed it, the thin cotton won out. The thick one got tossed in the "get rid of" stack.
Now comes another hard choice. The blouse below. I LOVE IT! Seriously I really love it. It's long and is perfect with jeans or with leggings and boots. The problem you ask? Well, every time I put it on, I ended up taking it right back off. The top part is just too damn tight around my boobs. So, while I still love this, it had to go. It was just taking up room and never getting worn. To the "to get rid of" stack you go. sniff sniff
Next, I have a serious addiction to ruffles. I ADORE them. I just went about ape shit crazy when ruffles made a come back. But, do I REALLY need 4 white ruffled shirts? REALLY? Probably not. I can see needing 2 of them, say you wear one on a Monday and don't do laundry until the weekend and want to wear it on Friday, then yeah, you could possibly need 2 of them, but not 4. So, I took all of my white ruffled shirts down, looked them over. Actually tried each of them on and picked out my favorite 2. The other 2...yep..."to get rid of" stack they went.'s getting easier now!
Oh now wait a minute. This one didn't actually qualify as a ruffled shirt per se. The collar has a slight ruffling on it, but it wasn't truly ruffled. What it is though is my all-time favorite white blouse of all time. It is from Cold Water Creek and it is iron free and they are serious when they claim that. I've never had to iron it. And, boy howdy did I wear this blouse. But, as you can see from the picture below, I've obviously worn it just a little too much. The cuffs on the sleeves were positively gross and I could not get them clean. Now, I still wore the blouse because I loved it that much. But, I found myself hiding my hands so people wouldn't see the stained cuffs, not good! So, as much as I hated it, I made myself get rid of my beloved favorite blouse. (pausing for a moment of silence here....)

Oh, and yet another white blouse. Go ahead, ask it. I know you want to. Just how many white blouses does this chick have? Well, it's a lot less now thank you very much! So, the blouse below, isn't it just adorable? You may be asking, well what is wrong with that one? The answer (which you probably can't tell from the picture) is it's too see through! I found myself being terribly uncomfortable whenever I wore it because you could see through it like it wasn't even there. Now while I do love many of my pretty bras I don't really want anyone besides the hubs to see them. :) To the "to get rid of" stack you go missy!

Whew! OK, white blouses are done and I actually have room now to move my black, white, and brown shirts around. How cool is that?

Moving on! OK, time to go through the jackets. I was on a roll at this point and decided to be good and keep the momentum going. First thing up, the jacket below. I bought it on clearance one day at New York and Company. I thought it would be so cute. Turns out, it was hot, and tight, and just didn't feel "right" for me and my age. Out it goes.

Next, is this really pretty jacket I got at Cold Water Creek. I loved this jacket, and still do as a matter of fact. The problem? It is too short waisted for me. The button would hit right below my breasts and that is definitely not where it was supposed to be hitting. Out it goes.

Now is the really hard choice. A long time favorite Harley jacket. I loved this! I asked my hubby for it for my birthday one year and he got it for me. Unfortunately they didn't have my size so he got it a size smaller. I wore it for a couple of years like this but now is the time. It just doesn't look good to wear clothes that are too small. Period. The. End. I'm not fooling myself anymore thinking "oh, when I lose weight it will look so good." Yeah, if that hasn't happened in the last 2-3 years, it's probably not going to happen. Time for my poor beautiful jacket to find someone else to cherish it. On the upside, the lady that does my nails is also a Harley girl and I know this jacket would fit her, so I'm going to give it to her next time I see her. Good bye old friend!

So, it's done! I've gone through all of my clothes and pulled out all the winter stuff. This is what I have decided to part with. Whew...that felt good!

And, this is how much more room I have in my closet now. It is looking so good!!!!!

Now, it's time to bring out the spring/summer stuff that's been stashed in the closet in the spare bedroom. Wow, I didn't realize I had so much back there!!!!

But, after using the logic from above and being super duper strict with myself, that stack whittled down to this stack! That's right, this is all that is going into the closet now.

And, this is what I'm getting rid of. Quite a difference don't you agree?

After bundling up everything to get rid off, I ended up with 5 large garbage bags full of clothes!

Now, back to the closet and let's start with the shoes! This is what it looks like before I start.

I moved the boots to the top since I won't be wearing them until next winter, and then I went through the rest of the shoes and got rid of anything that just seriously hurts my feet or I just won't wear or are just old and tired looking. For some reason my foot seems to have shrunk recently. I know! Go figure huh? Too bad the rest of my body didn't follow suit! ha ha ha So, I have all of these shoes that are really just too big. Out they go! I mean, how can I buy new cute shoes if I have no room for them right? ha ha ha

After going through them all, this is the stack to get rid of.
And, this is how my wonderful closet looks now! So much more room, I can actually see what I have now!
Now, there are 3 things that I've decided I love just too much to get rid of, even though there is something wrong with them. With these 3 things I've decided to get them fixed and/or altered. The shoes are some of my all-time favorite little summer sandals. I love them but they are super old and way worn out. I'm going to take them to a shoe shop and get them to put a new sole on them. The black and white pants are so cute but they are too long and really too wide at the bottom on the legs. I'm taking them to be altered to sew up the legs a little and take a little off the length. The jeans are these really cute Lucky's but they are too short. I'm taking them at the same time as the pants and having them turned into capris. So, you don't necessarily have to get rid of everything that isn't perfect. You can also have things fixed!

So, that's it! My closet is complete. I'm ready for Spring baby! Bring it on!!!!

How about you? Have you done the Winter/Spring switcheroo yet?