Saturday, September 13, 2008

Ready for Everything to Die

Brian got 12 bags of recycled rubber "mulch" for the front landscaping last week, and we got another 8 bags today to try to round it out (in reality, we could probably use 4-6 more bags, but we will wait until spring for those).

Here's the final product:

Before and after pictures:

We'll have to replant most of it in the spring, and then move on to the other side of the steps (under the tree) and the back yard.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Landscaping Almost Done

We spent most of this morning making trips back and forth to Home Depot to get the landscaping done. First, we pulled the weeds and moved the irrigation out of the way, then headed to Home Depot for fill dirt.

I realize we could have gone to get fill dirt a million places, but it was cheap enough and convenient enough, so we just got bagged dirt (market topsoil replacement) at H.D.

First trip:

  • 12 Bags of Generic "Topsoil Replacement" (1 cu.ft./bag)
  • 6 Bags Miracle Grow Garden Soil (2 cu.ft./bag)
That barely put a dent in what we need.

Second trip:
  • 12 Bags Miracle Grow Garden Soil
That did better and we got things leveled out, but still about 4" too shallow, so we needed more. We discussed the number to get - and since 12 bags fit nicely in the SUV we just settled on that.

Third trip:
  • 12 Bags Miracle Grow Garden Soil
  • Garden Rake
  • Garden Weasel
  • Ground Cover & Stakes
In all, that pretty much did it - we do realize we'll need to fill in more once things settle after winter, but overall, it looks pretty good. (We got a few compliments from the neighbors - even at this stage.)

Next up was to move all of the mums to one location - we'll fill in with something that blooms in Spring to ensure there's SOMETHING here.

Last, we went to City Floral and got a few things that should last the winter (we'll see - we're planting REALLY late) and a few sale items (the purple tall things in the back) that were $4.99 and will likely die in the next 6 weeks. But overall, it looks pretty good.

Only thing left to do is get the recycled rubber mulch replacement (instead of cedar or wood chips) and layer that in. That will have to wait until next weekend - unless Brian gets ambitious tomorrow while I'm traveling to Chi.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Project Update - Front Landscaping

We've been playing around with the front landscaping for a while now, but finally made some progress.  You can see the "before" pictures from a few weeks ago in this older post.

After a bit of scratching our heads, we read a few things online and then headed to Home Depot to get a few things.  We're not finished yet, but we have the new retaining wall up.

It's actually 3 stones high (18") but doesn't appear so due to the depth of the first stone behind the grass.  We're debating adding one more row to it for height, or waiting and putting in another row behind it (in the Spring, we're done for fall - or close to it) for a terraced effect - which might be kind of cool.  Then we can put our perrenials in the upper terrace and our annuals in the lower one - for a two-tiered effect.  Just have to make sure the irrigation works out.

We're having people over in a bit, so we're done for this weekend - but next weekend we have to back fill it with topsoil (which also helps us not have to worry as much about the horrible clay soil here in Colorado) and then move around the mums and yellow shrubs we have there now - no need for them to go to waste!  After that, we'll probably just plant some annuals so it looks nice until everything dies in the next month or two.

Project Update - Doors on Cabinet

We finally got the glass on the doors for the cabinet next to our wine fridge (where we keep the booze).  Unfortunately, the top 3 designs we wanted all couldn't be tempered - and given this is RIGHT behind the sink, we felt it important to use tempered glass.  We still used a cool grid pattern, but it wasn't our first choice.

Only thing we have left to finish the kitchen is the new backsplash and some fresh paint.  Maybe we'll get that done before Spring!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Three Projects In the Works

So we have 3 projects in the works.

  1. Redo front landscaping
  2. Finish the glass on the 2 cabinet doors (next to the wine fridge on the island)
  3. Get the backsplash up.
The kitchen woman came and got the doors for the glass yesterday, so I'll be able to post pics next week.

Today, I spent most of the day in the yard tearing out the weeds, overgrown grass and general disarray that was our front flower bed. We're going to tear the rest of it out next Saturday - and try to put in as much of the retaining wall as we can to build a planter - and then likely fill and plant in 2 weeks.

Here are the pics of the current state:

Wide shot.

Close up of the sidewalk.

Close up of the center (we'll put the mums & yellow bushes in somewhere).

Close up of the left side by the neighbor's yard.

Much to do!

Saturday, July 14, 2007


One of the things about having a house (vs. an apartment) is the overwhelming need to decorate. This requires artwork, of course. We have a few pictures framed that I took - and some old posters we haven't put up yet (and may not), along with some unique prints that will eventually go somewhere, but we're more or less art-less.

Our first venture was a with It's an old Chicago & Southern airlines poster redone as a high quality print. You can order just the poster, or matte and frame it and have it shipped. We did the latter. It hangs behind our couch:

The second major piece came as a gift from my Mom. She's recently gotten back into painting (watercolors mostly) and wanted to do something for our house. It seems a bit frightening to get artwork from a relative - if you see something in a gallery that you hate, you don't have to buy it. Art from a family carries a certain obligation.

Fortunately, my Mom has been doing some really great work, and I really like her style. She used the color scheme in our house as a base, with an abstract frame of our front porch - and some brown-eyed susans for color and interest. It turned out great!

Mom and Dad brought it with them on their last visit - and we took it in to be framed. I just got it back today and hung it up. It looks fantastic. Here are two views:

I'm so proud to have her work on display - hopefully she'll give us more down the road :)

Saturday, June 23, 2007

New Dining Room Light!

We've been talking about this light since Christmas 2006, so I figured we should order it. I found it on for $333.00 and free shipping (through a 3rd party) so I just went for it. It came in about a two weeks ago and last weekend, I put it in with Brian's help (it's really quite easy). The hardest part was figuring out which circuit breaker shuts off the ceiling lights in the kitchen/dining room!

Anyway, here are a few shots of the cleaned up dining room and new light. Enjoy!

There are four 100-watt bulbs in it (they're full-spectrum compact flourescents though, so they give off a LOT of light but don't take a lot of energy). It really improved the look of the dining room dramatically. It will definitely be an 'exclusion' when we sell the house.