Happy Friday everyone! I hope you are all gearing up for some fun for this long Labor Day weekend. Although I have to admit: our household isn’t getting a long weekend. Justin has to work on Labor Day – bummer! However, we’re still going to attempt to relax and enjoy the weekend anyway! But first, one of the tasks will probably be tending to our garden – I’ve let the weeds grow in a bit in my attempt to stay inside and out of the really hot weather. Now I’m going to pay for it. On a good note: our garden has been doing very well despite the heat of summer. We’ve been protecting the garden with a shade/screen that Justin constructed! What a crafty guy I’ve got…
Last year, we noticed that our plants could not handle the combination of heat, direct sunlight, and rain that we get here in Florida during the summer months. The spot our garden is in is GREAT during the fall, winter, and spring, but summer is a bit of a problem. Justin pondered it for a while; I could tell he was kind of sad that our garden was sitting there, vacant, for a month or so after our spring vegetables were pulled up in the early summer. I can tell when he gets an idea: he begins doing research online, he draws out diagrams, he is ON it. It’s best to let him just go with the idea when he has it, because once he sets his mind on a project, he intends to complete it.
Justin decided we should construct a shade/screen to protect the garden – it would diffuse the direct sunlight so the plants wouldn’t burn and would also prevent the rain from soaking the plants constantly so we can control the amount they are getting. Seemed pretty brilliant to me. So, he ventured to the store and came back with PVC pipe, a roll of plastic sheeting, and some rope. He measured our garden area and got cutting – he created a frame with the PVC pipe, along with support legs to prop it up.
The trickiest part was creating the screen. I was actually quite impressed when he figured out on his own that he could use our iron for this project. To attach the plastic sheeting to the frame, he wanted to create pockets/loops to slide the pipes through. We set our iron on medium heat, then looped the plastic sheeting around the PVC pipe to create the perfect sized “loop.” We placed parchment paper down on top of the plastic sheeting (so it wouldn’t melt onto the iron itself), and carefully ran the iron up and down the length of the sheeting/pipe. Justin also made a few extra small loops to make sure the plastic sheeting was secure in the middle of the structure as well as on the ends (so it wouldn’t flap up/balloon when wind hits it).
After the legs were attached, we stuck our structure over the garden and added a bit of extra security by tying rope around some points and securing them to our garden fence. We set the shade on an angle (angled down at the front edge of our garden) so rain water would run down and off onto the ground in front of the garden instead of pooling inside of our screen and weighing it down. Overall, I think it turned out pretty great!
The proof of our screen/shade’s success is now showing in the garden: the tomatoes and zucchini that would now be either drowned by the rain or burned by excessive sun are now thriving. Hooray for handy husbands, right?
Do you have plans to be productive around the house during Labor Day, or will you be taking advantage of extra relaxation time?
So, there have been some pretty big changes going on around our house lately. One big alteration? The paint color. Yay! At the end of May our house was repainted from the brownish color I was not so fond of to a beautiful blue-ish green. LOVE it. But now that the outside of our house had a makeover, it was time to talk landscaping. Because let’s be honest: it was a bit of a mess.
The previous owners of our home did a great job of keeping up the lawn and some of the other plants in the front of the house, but there was a LOT to be desired when it came to two spots in particular. There was a HUGE vine plant/bush thing on the side of the house, and a half moon shaped area near the walkway to the front door was looking a mess. Thankfully, we managed to spruce it up a bit.
I don’t know about you, but I am such a fan of color. The front of our house had zero flowers on it and I thought it was such a shame. I knew right from the start there was a particular bush/plant/whatever you want to call it that I absolutely HAD to have: bougainvillea.
Our next door neighbor has a coral colored one that has grown to crazy proportions/grown over the fence. The beautiful clusters of flowers are so bright and happy. The farmer’s market we visit on the weekends just so happens to have a nursery vendor who always has beautiful baby bougainvilleas…so we bought three of them to replace the horrible vine/bush abomination on the side of our house.
I absolutely could not resist the hot pink and fuchsia varieties. We purchased a few new fan trellises (in white, so they blend in against our white fence) and guided the vines through them. It makes me smile to see those pretty flowers every day!
As for the front walkway? That was a bit more work to figure out. That particular area doesn’t get enough sun for bougainvillea (single tear…), so we had to rethink our options. In a perfect world, I’d have bougainvillea growing everywhere. So, Justin and I scoured our local home stores and nurseries to find some plants that spoke to us. As soon as I laid eyes on these Aloha Lillies, I was in love. They have such a unique shape, and their eggplant purple color looks awesome as a pop against our new blue exterior.
We knew we needed a few more plants aside from the Aloha Lillies, so we searched for another option to arrange around the outside of the flower bed. We settled on these plants with light lavender and orange flowers. Apparently they are butterfly attractors…and they smell like mint! Bringing them home with us in the car was a nice treat – the entire interior smelled heavenly!
I wish I had a photo of what the flower bed looked like before Justin got his hands on it. He was so eager to remove what was existing that he forgot to let me take the full “before” photo. Not only were these strange grass plants hanging around in the flower bed, but there was also some sort of small tree with red berries that was taking up residence. Sorry tree – you had to go. After pulling up all of the extra plants from the bed, it was time to arrange our new finds!
We placed the Aloha Lillies in the back, and lined the outside edge of the bed with the minty plants (we read that they spread out over time, so we’re hoping to see them grow together and form a small hedge-like area eventually. We’ll see.
…and after digging holes, planting the flowers, and adding some mulch to finish it off, that was about it for now! We were happy to tackle a project that added a bit of beauty to the front of our house. Now…let’s hope we manage to keep the flowers alive and thriving! Gulp…
It’s time to spruce up my living room even more! Since January, I’ve been talking about how my goal for 2014 is to finish up the decor in our house. I’ve been making headway with our bedroom, living room, and even the outside of the house, but it is still incomplete as of yet. Little by little, I’ve been adding new details to make our house into a home.
Our living room is a combination living and dining room, which means the back wall is a large expanse to cover. I was thrilled when I snagged a huge canvas artwork piece to hang above our couch last year, but that only covered about 1/3 of the entire space. Luckily, a trip to IKEA resulted in finding our new sideboard table, which takes up a portion of the remaining space…but only on the lower part of the wall. Some height definitely needed to come into play to complete the space. I thought about scouring the stores for another piece of artwork, but I realized what I really wanted was a bulletin board. And wouldn’t you know it: I found an old corkboard I used to have hanging in my office. After placing it on the sideboard, it seemed to be the perfect fit for the space. But something had to be done about the color.
This I know: paint can make an enormous difference in the look of your home. When we moved into our current house, we repainted every single room, which completely transformed it from top to bottom. The right paint color on any piece in your home can truly set a tone and mood for a room. It was clear from the start that my bulletin board needed to have a dramatic change made in the form of paint!
After my project was determined, I began searching for inspiration to help me take the PAIN out of painting. I curated a Pinterest board to help with my color scheme. The shades of blue are so relaxing, don’t you think? It wasn’t difficult to decide that was the direction I wanted to take. The next step involved a trip to The Home Depot for supplies. I walked up to the Glidden Premium paint display and knew that I’d find the right hues for my project. Glidden has a simplified palette of colors, which made it easy and painless to select some paint chip samples. I really loved how the Glidden paint chips are larger than the average paint strip; they are about the size of an index card, and they aren’t paired in a strip with 5-6 other colors like other paint chips you see. All of the various shades on the same strip can be rather overwhelming to deal with. The larger paint chip and simplified palette really made it a breeze to test the colors out when I returned home. I stuck an array of chips onto the frame of my bulletin board, and my two favorites quickly stood out to me: Tropical Lagoon and Deepest Aqua. They were practically a match made in heaven not only for my room’s color scheme, but the two hues seemed meant for each other in general. Plus, they suited my home’s current color scheme of blues and greens, accented with metallics!
Here’s the truth: for the majority of our furniture painting projects in our house, I’ve kind of pushed Justin into doing them for me. I am great at spotting decor pieces and coming up with ideas, but painting has not necessarily been my strongest skill. I am happy to report that with the Glidden paint, the project was pretty much a breeze and I was confident to tackle everything by myself from start to finish. First, I used a small paint roller to apply two coats of Tropical Lagoon to the center of the bulletin board. I was really impressed by how smoothly the paint glided across the cork, and the coverage was almost perfect after only one coat. Being the particular one I am, I made sure to apply a second one to complete the look.
I used a sponge brush to apply Deepest Aqua to the frame portion of the board. I was confident with the steadiness of my hands, but if I hadn’t been I would have taped off the frame before starting the detail work (after the center cork portion was fully dry, of course). Again, the paint was easy to apply!
When I saw my finished product and was able to attach my photos to the bulletin board, I could not have been happier. I finally have a place to display a few snapshots. I am the WORST at putting photos on the wall; I like that I am able to change them up with this bulletin board!
The beauty of this project for me was that it reaffirmed in my mind that everyone can paint. It can be a small piece of decor or a large piece of furniture; either way, Glidden makes it achievable. I am so pleased with how this project turned out, and I am officially one step closer to completing our home decor! Glidden paint truly made it easy to turn my inspiration into action, and this new pop of color in our living room is perfect!
How about you? Are you one to tackle painting projects in your home? I want to make it a breeze for you as well, so make sure you answer the question below to be entered to win a $100 Visa gift card!
What would you like to spruce up with paint in your home?
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