Monday, May 11, 2015

Rip My Heart Out!

Our house was built in the 1930's.  It has a lot of the cool elements of old houses; taller ceilings, cool wood work, and a beautiful walkway like this.
Actually, really similar to that.

Here is a picture I found online from when our house was sold years ago before we bought it.  It's blurry but you can see the cool glass bookcases with columns on top.  The window you see straight ahead is where the sliding glass door to the deck was put in and the wall to the right was knocked down to open up to the kitchen.  Isn't the difference crazy?

But then the previous owners had the gall to RIP. THEM. OUT!  They claimed the columns were cracked or something.  I couldn't really hear them explaining it over the sound of my heart crying.

Anyway, we also had to rip the header out of the walkway because when the previous owner replaced it, he didn't use a big enough one and the second floor was sinking.  You can read about that horror here. 

We framed out the walkway ourselves and put some rosettes in the corners and called it good.  The seams between the boards always REALLY bugged Joe because since our walls are old and no where near straight, some of the gaps were pretty big.

Then one day, Joe being the Pinterest loving teacher that he is (don't deny it babe, I love ya for it) he came across this idea to use lattice strips to create a neat dimensional casing all while covering up the cracks.

The seams still need to be caulked (as does everything else in the house) but it looks one million times better than it did before!  We love it.  For the step-by-step, check out this blog.  We didn't do the crown on the top because when we put the crown molding on our ceilings, there wouldn't be a enough room between the top of the walkway and the ceiling.  We have tall ceilings but we also have tall openings.

Doesn't it look awesome!?  That man never ceases to amazes me!

Friday, May 8, 2015

You Raise(d) Me Up

Last time I posted I was headed to Fargo for College Gameday

Which was an absolute blast I might add... 10,000 people packed downtown Fargo all with a common hate for UND love for NDSU created the most unreal atmosphere.  WHEN Gameday comes back to Fargo (because they said they will and they absolutely love us) I will be there and you should be too.  It was awesome.

Fast forward like 8 months *yikes!*

After a year and a half of working on projects inside the house we were both feeling a bit antsy to pay some attention to our poor neglected yard.  Joe really wants the interior of our house to look pretty but I know his heart truly lies outside.  He wants to take pride in his man cave (coming soon...maybe...probably not, it hasn't been touched in over 8 months), and in the landscaping, and the greenness of the lawn.  His father's yard is something to behold so he wants to keep up with Pops.  But ours has pretty much just been an eyesore since we bought it.

Since we bought the house in December, we were not really sure what condition the yard would be in or what kind of plants would grow.  Last spring, our first in the house, we came to the realization that the yard was, well, awful.  And the plants that did grow were pitiful at best, few and far between, and completely outnumbered by the weeds.  We didn't end up doing much to the yard, though.  We wanted to give it a whole spring/summer to see what there was and come up with a good game plan of what we wanted to do.

The few projects we did do last year were our garden and adding some mulch and edging to the front of the house.  So this year the list is long, and overwhelming, and will most likely be split up over a couple summers.  So sorry neighbors, you'll have to stare at the ugly paint job just a little longer.

But there is something new and pretty to look at in our backyard!!  Look at these babies!  Raised cedar garden beds. Aren't they great?!  If you compare them to what our garden looked like just a few weeks ago, it is a MAJOR improvement.

We covered the existing garden area with heavy duty landscaping fabric which will be surrounded with double-tall landscaping timbers, and then everything around and between the beds will be filled with mulch.  The two long parallel beds in the middle will have an arch of hardcore wire fencing between them (forming a walkway or tunnel of sorts) that the climbing vegetables will grow up.  The part I'm probably the most excited about is SO.MUCH.LESS.WEEDING!  All the black area you can see is now area that won't need to be weeded.  With all that extra time this summer I'll be able to tackle so many more projects....or spend more time sitting on the deck in the sun with a magazine, we'll see what happens :)

If you're wanting to build raised garden beds for your own garden, make sure you choose a wood that is going to withstand being outdoors.  Cedar is naturally rot resistant so that's always a good choice.  The boards we used are actually cedar fence posts that we cut the dog-eared end off of!  $1.89 was much better than the $5+ cedar building boards.  The corners are just garden stakes.  I stapled cardboard on the inside of the beds to keep dirt from spilling through the cracks. The beds all got filled with dirt from a farm field and was shoveled into each bed a shovel load at a time.  They'll be topped off with garden soil.

We lucked out on the 'filler' dirt. Joe had mentioned that we were going to purchase a couple truckloads of dirt to fill in the bottoms of the garden beds to our neighbor.  Our neighbor said he would take his truck and trailer out to his buddy's farm and fill it up with dirt from his farm field...for FREE!  And then he wandered over while we were shoveling it all in and helped!  They've helped us out on a number of occasions so yeah, our neighbors are pretty phenomenal and I'm very thankful for them. 

This weekend will consist of: Me going to Junk Market which is this awesome 2-day event of the best painted, repurposed furniture, beautiful antiques, vintage finds, salvaged treasures and handmade treasures found in the upper Midwest! It's spread out over 3 HUGE buildings at the fairgrounds.  It's literally a big Pinterest-fest as the Hubster so affectionately calls it.  I LOVE IT.  Check it out some summer if you're ever in Fargo while it's going on.

And Joe will be hauling the landscape timbers, garden soil, and mulch to finish off the garden beds from Fargo to home.  I personally think my weekend sounds MUCH more fun than his but he vehemently disagrees.

I'm hoping to come home with some great finds, maybe some awesome new piece of furniture...sshhhh!!  Don't tell Joe, I've been grounded from taking in anymore furniture!

It's good to be back! See you in another 8 months!  Just kidding...hopefully.