Saturday, June 16, 2012

Happy Father’s Day

Today I want to dedicate a blog post to my Papa who is featured on this blog pretty frequently as my go-to electrician, plumber, arborist, carpenter and handyman! 


If it weren’t for his endless help, I would not have a finished basement, a lot of lovely handmade furniture, a fence for Riley, or an awesome custom-made office desk.  Without Papa, I would have a bunch of gum balls in the yard, a runaway dog, and a bad attitude. :)

Over the years, he has taught me how to paint…


How to drive a screw, how to sand and how to stain.  (Okay, I might have had some help from Mama on that last one.)


And he taught me not to be afraid of trying “scary” things, like putting up a light fixture… 


or using a nail gun.


He’s tried to teach me plenty of other things, too… like canoeing,


constructing a fence,


and replacing steps.


But some things just don’t stick. :)

Mostly he taught me the value of hard work.  Thanks Papa for not giving up on me all those times I felt like quitting.  You’re the best!

Happy Father’s Day to my Papa and all the dads out there who encourage their daughters to become DIYers!


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

English Garden Revisited (again)

The English garden is one of my favorite blog topics.  It has so much potential for improvement that its easy to update and show you the fantastic results!  This week I'm back to show you the finished paver pathway and a few new plants, too, of course.

Here's where we left off last time (back in April!):

All the plants were just sprouting for the Spring and the leaves hadn't yet filled it and sapped the sunshine.

Here's what it looks like now:

BOOM!  Summer is here!  And we finished laying out our paver pathway around the planting bed.  The liriope border continues over to the other side of the garden, now and the pathway winds its way over to the swing on this side, too. 

We also added some more hostas (yes... more!  I know...but you can never have enough hostas) and also a couple of coral bells in bright green for some contrast.   It's really starting to look "finished" now.  I didn't really appreciate how unfinished it looked until I saw the before pics.
  We also transplanted some coleus and impatiens down here.

Here is my favorite view:


The swing is still missing because I haven't repainted it yet.  Bad Sarah.  And we also need mulch... badly.  Don't worry, I'll get there...

Happy Summer!

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

A Sunny Yellow Kitchen

Greetings friends!  Last weekend I finally did it!  I finally painted the kitchen!  (With some help from my Mama, Thanks Mama!)

I've been talking about painting our kitchen since forever, and painting the cabinets more recently.  Since I have decided that painting the cabinets is not gonna happen for a while (if ever) I decided to stop talking and start refreshing those walls.

We spend a ton of time in the kitchen, so do Riley and Bandit.  It was dirty, the trim was worn, the walls were covered in spackle marks and scratches.  :)  It was desperate for a new paint job!

And my color of choice... you guessed it!  Yellow!


After much deliberation (and $20 in paint samples later) I finally decided on the perfect shade of yellow.  Creamy and sunny with warm undertones... It is Butter by Valspar.  Which is ironic since I kept saying I wanted to paint the cabinets "butter yellow".  Ha!

I even painted our laminate backsplash.  I found a tutorial ages ago that suggested using Zinsser B-I-N primer which adheres to vinyl and glossy surfaces to prepare the surface for painting.  It even works on tile!  Anyway, as far as I can tell, it worked great on our backsplash.  After priming and spackling a million holes around the walls, I rolled on two coats of butter. ;)
At first I was a little worried that this corner was too bright.  Maybe it is, but since we don't have the pendant light on all the time, it should be okay. :)  It sure is cheerful!

This picture shows the paint color best.  I had to turn off the light and set a really long exposure to get this shot. I really don't know what that means, but at least I got the shot! :)  Sarah does not equal photographer.  Those are hydrangea, butterfly bush and astilbe from my garden. :)


Over the table I have my little white shelf displaying some kitchen accessories, including my glass cutting board that Michael refuses to use.  This is the first thing I ever bought for our first kitchen together and I can't bear to part with it.  For now, it makes nice wall art, no?

And last but not least, here is the before and after comparison!

I love the new color... and more than that, I love that everything is fresh and clean!
What do you think? :)  I think I have a lot of work left to do... like painting the appliances to match!  Stay tuned...