Backyard M(adn)ess

This is the first home project I'm blogging since Miles was born. We are so excited about our backyard potential.

We have plans to turn our lower level of the backyard into an outdoor living room. We started looking towards the end of August at furniture knowing that there would be some great prices for end-of-summer outdoor furniture. We looked around a bit at Target, Lowe's, Home Depot etc but most of what we saw was over $1,000 which was more than we really wanted to spend. Then came Mr. Craig and his lovely lovely list. 

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We were the first ones to email about it (we happened to look 20 minutes after it was posted). After some back and forth emails and a truck rental it was ours. We feel so lucky and fortunate that this amazing piece of furniture is now ours. It's 9' x 6' and will fit our space perfectly. It's in great shape aside from some sun wear but we love the color and know the quality is excellent. We also have a fire pit that we'll use in place of the ottoman. 

Now comes the tough part. 

Here are some "before" shots of the backyard:

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And some "during/in progress" photos. I'll admit that I'm not a very good gardener (maybe for lack of trying) but I'm really freakin' good at what I can ungardening. I pulled up those plants/bushes in about two hours. Hacked, shoveled, ripped…and I was so proud of myself. The last thing in our way was the Japanese maple. 

 2013-08-30 14.36.41

 
2013-08-30 14.36.41

We decided that we really did want to salvage it and replant it higher up in the backyard. Matt did some research and then started digging. 

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We'll see how long it lasts but so far it's doing great. Now onto the rest of the project. Drainage rock, weed cloth, sand, paver stones and then grass or clover in between. Also some tree stakes to use for string lights. Can't wait to show more progress photos and also the finished product! Hoping to get it up next weekend so we can use the space for a little while before the rain starts. 

Any suggestions on how to do the patio part? Have you done a backyard project recently? Would love to hear from you!

DIY: Padded Headboard

I have seen a bunch of posts on Pinterest that were the inspirations for this project. This post has been two months in the making and I'm finally getting around to posting about it. I know…it's late but better late than never. Here is what our topless bed looked like before the headboard. Pretty plain and boring. 20120702-203532.jpg
The materials list:

  • Fabric (I think I bought 3 yards)
  • 2" foam (I bought the biggest strip they had at my local JoAnn's)
  • Spray adhesive
  • Staple gun and staples
  • Wood (or a discarded headboard)
  • Patience (a must…you'll learn why)
  • We started off with a discarded wooden headboard from friends which was a great template: 20120702-203616.jpg

    Used our Ryobi hand sander to scuff it up a bit (totally a technical term): 20120702-203653.jpg

    Then I laid the foam out and kinda traced and cut the right size to fit inside the lip of the headboard: 20120702-204350.jpg

    But as I learned early in life you can't put a square peg in a round hole piece of foam in a round headboard crevice. So I got creative… 20120702-204506.jpg

    It doesn't look great but it'll do the job and I'll be covering it with fabric so it really doesn't matter what it looks like underneath. I then sprayed the wood with spray adhesive. And applied pressure to the foam 'til it stuck real good. Then came the fun part. I will preface this with the fact that I did this at the end of the day and "thought" it's was going to be a quick project. I'll refrain from using that kind of thinking in the future.

    Things started off great I laid the fabric down and made sure it was centered and lined up: 20120702-204853.jpg

    Then I started stapling like a madwoman: 20120702-204954.jpg

    Issue #1: not sure if it was the staples/staple gun/thickness of fabric/type of wood BUT those little staples sure didn't like to go in the wood very well: 20120702-205110.jpg

    Issue #2: since I was applying a lot of pressure to the board to make sure the staples were in nice and tight I ended up snapping the leg off the headboard. Crap. 20120702-205214.jpg

    And close up…to see the damage:

    20120702-205500.jpg

    I don't remember now if I intentionally removed the 2nd leg or if it came off on its own but either way this poor guy was legless for a majority of the stapling, which ended up being much easier to manage. 20120702-210017.jpg

    Here is a front shot to show the awesome thickness of the finished product: 20120702-211146.jpg

    I worked around the rough spots and got everything all stapled and in place before calling for help. I have been told/shown how to use the power drill (a few times) but it never seems to work for me (that's right…I'll blame it on the drill). So Matt came down to help me out and he saved the day by drilling new holes and screwing in the legs. The headboard has two legs again and a pretty new outfit to boot: 20120702-210147.jpg

    While the front looks pretty darn decent the back is another story. This is the mullet of headboards…business in the front, party in the back: 20120702-210258.jpg

    But we figure that only people creepin' on the side of our house will see the back, and well there shouldn't be any weirdos creepin' on the side of the house so I think we are all good. So even though my this-should-only-take-45-minutes project turned into about a two hour ordeal and I had to bring in reinforcements it was worth it in the end we are very happy with our new padded headboard, it brings a lot of color to our room and keeps our pillows from sliding off the top of the bed and also allows for plenty of light and air to come in when the window is open: 20120702-210856.jpg

    Have you tried to recover a headboard? How did it go?

    DIY: Padded Headboard

    I have seen a bunch of posts on Pinterest that were the inspirations for this project. This post has been two months in the making and I’m finally getting around to posting about it. I know…it’s late but better late than never. Here is what our topless bed looked like before the headboard. Pretty plain and boring.

    20120702-203532.jpg

    The materials list:

    • Fabric (I think I bought 3 yards)
    • 2″ foam (I bought the biggest strip they had at my local JoAnn’s)
    • Spray adhesive
    • Staple gun and staples
    • Wood (or a discarded headboard)
    • Patience (a must…you’ll learn why)
    • We started off with a discarded wooden headboard from friends which was a great template:

      20120702-203616.jpg

      Used our Ryobi hand sander to scuff it up a bit (totally a technical term):

      20120702-203653.jpg

      Then I laid the foam out and kinda traced and cut the right size to fit inside the lip of the headboard:

      20120702-204350.jpg

      But as I learned early in life you can’t put a square peg in a round hole piece of foam in a round headboard crevice. So I got creative…

      20120702-204506.jpg

      It doesn’t look great but it’ll do the job and I’ll be covering it with fabric so it really doesn’t matter what it looks like underneath. I then sprayed the wood with spray adhesive. And applied pressure to the foam ’til it stuck real good. Then came the fun part. I will preface this with the fact that I did this at the end of the day and “thought” it’s was going to be a quick project. I’ll refrain from using that kind of thinking in the future.

      Things started off great I laid the fabric down and made sure it was centered and lined up:

      20120702-204853.jpg

      Then I started stapling like a madwoman:

      20120702-204954.jpg

      Issue #1: not sure if it was the staples/staple gun/thickness of fabric/type of wood BUT those little staples sure didn’t like to go in the wood very well:

      20120702-205110.jpg

      Issue #2: since I was applying a lot of pressure to the board to make sure the staples were in nice and tight I ended up snapping the leg off the headboard. Crap.

      20120702-205214.jpg

      And close up…to see the damage:

      20120702-205500.jpg

      I don’t remember now if I intentionally removed the 2nd leg or if it came off on its own but either way this poor guy was legless for a majority of the stapling, which ended up being much easier to manage.

      20120702-210017.jpg

      Here is a front shot to show the awesome thickness of the finished product:

      20120702-211146.jpg

      I worked around the rough spots and got everything all stapled and in place before calling for help. I have been told/shown how to use the power drill (a few times) but it never seems to work for me (that’s right…I’ll blame it on the drill). So Matt came down to help me out and he saved the day by drilling new holes and screwing in the legs. The headboard has two legs again and a pretty new outfit to boot:

      20120702-210147.jpg

      While the front looks pretty darn decent the back is another story. This is the mullet of headboards…business in the front, party in the back:

      20120702-210258.jpg

      But we figure that only people creepin’ on the side of our house will see the back, and well there shouldn’t be any weirdos creepin’ on the side of the house so I think we are all good.

      So even though my this-should-only-take-45-minutes project turned into about a two hour ordeal and I had to bring in reinforcements it was worth it in the end we are very happy with our new padded headboard, it brings a lot of color to our room and keeps our pillows from sliding off the top of the bed and also allows for plenty of light and air to come in when the window is open:

      20120702-210856.jpg

      Have you tried to recover a headboard? How did it go?

    We have you surrounded

    I was the assistant on this project so I'm not taking any credit for the handy-ness of my hubby. Today was the day to hang the surround sound speakers. Plan A was to run the wires through the walls so that we wouldn't have them running up the wall (my preference). But when does Plan A ever work out? The wall behind out tv was stuffed with insulation (which isn't a bad thing normally since we like to be warm…right dad?) which made threading the wire impossible.

    20120414-204713.jpg So Matt hopped up into the attic and crawled around…

    20120414-204954.jpg Kirky wanted to help…it was cute.

    20120414-205053.jpg Matt was able to run most of the wires through the attic and once I take care of getting a super long curtain rod and make curtains (that I've been talking about for months now) they will pretty much cover the wires that are tucked in the corner, but running up the wall, behind the couch. So I'll be happy. It's all about compromise right? Photos to follow…once I get the curtains taken care of. We headed over to the UC Berkeley campus today to watch a baseball game. Great weather. Great game. Did you have a good Saturday?

    We have you surrounded

    I was the assistant on this project so I’m not taking any credit for the handy-ness of my hubby.

    Today was the day to hang the surround sound speakers. Plan A was to run the wires through the walls so that we wouldn’t have them running up the wall (my preference). But when does Plan A ever work out? The wall behind out tv was stuffed with insulation (which isn’t a bad thing normally since we like to be warm…right dad?) which made threading the wire impossible.

    20120414-204713.jpg

    So Matt hopped up into the attic and crawled around…

    20120414-204954.jpg

    Kirky wanted to help…it was cute.

    20120414-205053.jpg

    Matt was able to run most of the wires through the attic and once I take care of getting a super long curtain rod and make curtains (that I’ve been talking about for months now) they will pretty much cover the wires that are tucked in the corner, but running up the wall, behind the couch. So I’ll be happy. It’s all about compromise right? Photos to follow…once I get the curtains taken care of.

    We headed over to the UC Berkeley campus today to watch a baseball game. Great weather. Great game. Did you have a good Saturday?

    Around here

    Here is a little view of what our weekend looked like…from the point of view of my iPhone:
    I finally hung the canvas DIY art.

    20120318-172058.jpg

    20120318-172110.jpg

    20120318-172115.jpg
    I planned it out using pieces of 12×12 paper before nailing holes in the wall and they are spaced 4 inches apart.
    I also took care of some sewing projects:
    I made another stroller/baby carrier blanket for an upcoming baby shower…this is the only peak you'll get Tina :).

    20120318-172353.jpg
    I made a few pillow cases for some old nasty floral ones that I have had for, um, maybe 7 years!! I think this fabric is a much better pattern and they are now brightening up our couch quite nicely.

    20120318-172359.jpg

    20120318-172410.jpg
    And after all that sewing I realized how much I hate my current pin holder so I made a new one. I used and old jar and sorta winged it with some batting and leftover linen fabric… and a glue gun. It is so much better than the old one and now I want to come up with some more projects just to used it.

    20120318-172543.jpg
    I also needed to sew a button on a pair of shorts for Matt and decided to finally organize all my little buttons and thread pieces that come with sweaters etc. and came up with this solution…another jar!

    20120318-173514.jpg
    I also created a fun St. Patty's day feast of bangers and colcannon. I had never had or heard of colcannon before until I saw a pin on Pinterest and it looked delicious . It WAS! And so easy too.

    20120318-173904.jpg
    And to round out the weekend we went to brunch at a place I've wanted to try (that Matt has already been to) Brown Sugar Kitchen. I had the chicken and waffles. They were delicious.

    20120318-174136.jpg

    Around here

    Here is a little view of what our weekend looked like…from the point of view of my iPhone:

    I finally hung the canvas DIY art.

    20120318-172058.jpg

    20120318-172110.jpg

    20120318-172115.jpg
    I planned it out using pieces of 12×12 paper before nailing holes in the wall and they are spaced 4 inches apart.

    I also took care of some sewing projects:
    I made another stroller/baby carrier blanket for an upcoming baby shower…this is the only peak you’ll get Tina :).

    20120318-172353.jpg
    I made a few pillow cases for some old nasty floral ones that I have had for, um, maybe 7 years!! I think this fabric is a much better pattern and they are now brightening up our couch quite nicely.

    20120318-172359.jpg

    20120318-172410.jpg
    And after all that sewing I realized how much I hate my current pin holder so I made a new one. I used and old jar and sorta winged it with some batting and leftover linen fabric… and a glue gun. It is so much better than the old one and now I want to come up with some more projects just to used it.

    20120318-172543.jpg
    I also needed to sew a button on a pair of shorts for Matt and decided to finally organize all my little buttons and thread pieces that come with sweaters etc. and came up with this solution…another jar!

    20120318-173514.jpg
    I also created a fun St. Patty’s day feast of bangers and colcannon. I had never had or heard of colcannon before until I saw a pin on Pinterest and it looked delicious . It WAS! And so easy too.

    20120318-173904.jpg
    And to round out the weekend we went to brunch at a place I’ve wanted to try (that Matt has already been to) Brown Sugar Kitchen. I had the chicken and waffles. They were delicious.

    20120318-174136.jpg