Sunday, August 30, 2009

Garden IS Done

It is rare, I think, to be able to say that something is done-complete-finished. Yet, this is the case with my garden. Saturday we put the finishing touches on it; which included the following

  • Installing timber frame along north side

  • Relayed landscape fabric

  • Bought 1-inch clean rock

  • Covered all areas not occupied by raised beds with above rock
It looks so good now.

BEFORE (from May '09)

AFTER (from Aug '09)

Monday, August 24, 2009

Quilt on the cheap

This past Sunday, my Dad and I went to an Antique Mall in St. Charles, Missouri. It was a decent size and had some interesting finds; most of which were a little too pricey for my taste. Having visited nearly all of the antique malls around the St. Louis area, I always find it interesting how varied the prices are for similar products. Yet, if you look long and hard enough, you can come across a great deal once in a while.

So, one can imagine my amazement when I stumbled across a handmade quilt folded up in one of the booths. I love looking at the handmade quilts found in Antique Malls, being a quilter, their intricacies amaze me. Yet the going rate is usually about $75 and up...and usually, the $75 ones can be pretty ratty.

You can believe I took a double take and even asked my Dad what the pricetag said, when I read $24.99

Yep, that's right folks. A penny under $25. Here are some pictures.

It does have a few small tears in the topcloth and the fabric is gently worn along the edges; but it's old, and that adds character. It measures approx. 6ft x 6ft.
Don't know when I'll find another quilt that cheap; but it just goes to show you that there are still deals out there.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Second Anniversary

Okay so technically I'm a day late; but I don't think anyone minds. Monday, August 17th was the 2nd anniversary of owning my old house. You can certainly take a trip down memory lane by viewing any of my older posts. I won't relive them here.

In these uncertain times, it's nice to know that I have a place to call home. Even if the place leaks, has strange noises and keeps my wallet empty.

I think we've had a good two years and I hope for many, many more to come.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Brick Patio is Done

It was tough work (way more Dad then me), but after 2 days work we were able to finish laying the patio brickwork. While I'm not exactly sure how I'll be using this area, at least I have a solid surface to start.

This was the first time either of us had really layed a brick anything and I think it turned out perfect. I think my favorite part is the fact that this brick came from my yard. It is old, has slightly worn edges and small chips which make the patio look like it's been around for years.

Suprisingly, I still have piles and piles of brick around my yard, this hardly put a dent in what I have. Looks like I'll (okay, really we'll) be able to build a few more patios and walkways down the road.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Retaining Wall = New Patio

Now that I had a garden started and a tiny part of my 1/2 acre figured out, I couldn't let the nice weather go to waste. Directly adjacent to the garden was an awful slope, which led to the back yard. I knew eventually I wanted to create steps; but in the meantime, I needed to figure out the slope since it was in the way of my plans. So as the saying goes, I killed two birds with one stone.

About $100 later, we had built a small retaining wall, backfilled it with dirt and put the start to the patio. As fate would have it, the first brick pattern I tried was a perfect fit.

Yet, mother nature got in the way. This past weekend, we had hoped to start laying some of the brick; but after 2 rows the rain poured down and we were left with a muddy mess.
At least I have a plan.

It all started innocent enough

I certainly wasn't looking for trouble, well okay...maybe I was bored. So, as my post title suggest, it all started innocent enough. In my bedroom, the walls are covered with a nasty texture. While textured walls is a pet peeve of mine, at least have the courtesy to make it look nice. This room looked like a 3 year old was given free-reign. Needless to say whenever the time comes, the texture is certainly going to go.

Well, I was curious this past week so I grabbed a flat-head screwdriver (as the scraper was outside in the garage) and began chipping away in one corner of the room. To my surprise, the texture looked like it was put directly to the fiber board underneath. Then the itch got the best of me and I went outside to get the scrapper. The first area I was curious about was this abnormal bump near the east window. I grabbed a damp sponge, soaked the wall and got to work with the scrapper.

10 minutes later and I have this. Several layers of wallpaper which were "oh so nicely" covered over by the textured plaster.

Then it happened, I stood up and figured I would take a look to see what was at eye level, so once again with scrapper in hand...this happened.

By now you are probably wondering what I was going to do next, well I had planned on stopping for the evening when I came across this. It is a little fuzzy; but the wallpaper shows a woman and man in mid-nineteenth century clothing. Of course when you find something like this, you owe it to history to seek out the truth.
Yet, it was about 11 in the evening and I was tired. So, I cleaned up what mess I could and went to bed. When I got home the following evening though that stupid scraper was calling my name.
About a half hour later, I had exposed a 5ft wide by 4ft tall area of the same wall. Whoopsie!!

Yet, what I did find along the way was more of the wallpaper print, albeit it missing some key elements. This time it was a similiar scene with a man and woman; but I could also make out a tree, boat and part of a house in the background.

The best surprise came when I reached the corner of the room. The same wallpaper print was exposed; but this time was in glorious color. Take a look and see what I mean.

The blue dress, red fan and headpiece, goodness, if those were the colors throughout the entire wall, that certainly was a colorful room.
I know that this wallpaper is not the first layer, it's actually like the 3rd; but even if it is from the 30s or 40s, that's still quite old.
I'd love to find an image of the actual wallpaper somewhere on the internet; but I know that's like finding a needle in a haystack. So, to all you home remodelers out there, if you come across something that looks like this on your walls or in your research, could you take a picture for me.