Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Ironwork Find

A couple of months ago, my husband came home and said he had seen a piece of ironwork on a trash pile and was wondering if I wanted it.  Don't you love a story that starts out this way? 

 I told him, "Yes."  sight unseen. 

This is what he brought home. 

Yes, he is a good  wonderful man in so many ways.  It is a fairly large piece and pretty heavy, too.  We decided to give it a try on our patio.  As soon as it hit the patio, I knew I was going to want to do something else with it when I had the chance.

I had these five glass votive candle holders that didn't work for another project.  As soon as the ironwork showed up, I knew just what I was going to do with them.

I had some scrap wire on hand, too.

I didn't do anything too fancy.

I just twisted the wire into a double loop that would fit the votive holder.

It didn't take very long to twist the wire.
  Thank goodness, even in the morning, it was pretty WARM.

Here's what the votives look like when they are lit at night. 
 I know you can't tell very much, so I did take the next picture with the flash on.

I'm happy with my cheap project.
I know that the piece of ironwork
would have been expensive if I had found it in a store.
Now, I'm just going to have to wait for some
cooler weather so I can enjoy my new treasure!

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Friday, August 19, 2011

An A for Effort

I think my plants deserve a post because they've tried so hard to maintain their beauty through the rough times...or is it me who deserves the pat on the back for keeping everything watered?  Hummmm...either way, I give an A for effort.

I thought I would share my back yard with you guys today. I've posted on some parts of it before--especially in the spring when we had our nice comfortable temperatures. But since spring, our temperatures have been high with lots of humidity which makes it feel even hotter. Right now, it's 98 at 4:45 p.m. without the heat index (before I could finish this post, we went to dinner and it was 104).

If you were to visit me, and entered our back yard from the
 side entrance, you would walk through this gate.

You would be at the fireplace that we had built last October.
  We had the patio put in  a year and a half ago because
 the area stayed damp and the grass wasn't doing well. 
 Then last August I saw some fireplaces on
 display at a home improvement store.
 Wow!  I thought, as I almost drove off the road,
 I'd love to have a fireplace in my backyard. 
 I have a friend who has one in her yard and I love it,
but I never thought I would ever be able to have one at MY house!
We called the guy and the price was right,
so we ended up with a fireplace and this new outdoor room. 
 I'm having so much fun decorating it.

These cypress chairs were built by a local man. 
 I could never decide what color they should be, so they have stayed natural.
I think I would want to paint them bug green for spring, turquoise for summer,
a dirty orange for fall, a red for Christmas,
 and frosty blue for winter. 
 So, you see why I haven't painted the chairs...I'm lazy.

Here's a view of the back part of our home.

Here's the patio addition we had built in late October of last year.  The fireplace guy called to see how our first fire was and then asked if we had thought any more about the quote he gave us to extend the patio. Again the price was right--even better really, so we decided to have this patio put in. 
All of this really fell into place.  We didn't have a master plan for these improvements.  We just had a problem with our grass...

This gazebo is in the back left side of our yard. 
 We had a hard time trying to decide what to do with this
part of our yard when we first built our home. 
 The lot slopes here and we waited about a year and a half
 before deciding what to do.  I watched almost every
 landscaping/gardening show on HGTV every Saturday
 during all that time, too. 
I just knew someone was going to have a solution
to our problem in their 30 minute show. 
All the ideas I liked in magazines were for flat spots,
but finally, we found someone who helped
 us with this portion of our yard.  He took the ideas I liked and
was able to visually create a more level-looking spot for the gazebo.
We like the way it turned out.

 The gazebo has built-in seating.  I've hung a little candle
chandelier from the ceiling.  The piece of stained glass is antique and
used to hang in my daughter's bedroom.

Here's another view of the patio from the gazebo.

I love this patio set.  I WON it when I registered for it at a parade of homes weekend.  It is extra sturdy and came with an umbrella and an outdoor rug.  This spring, we had a storm blow up and as I dashed outside to lower the umbrella....I got there just in time to see the umbrella and table FLIP off the patio!!  WOW!

I had a great idea this week.
Most of my flowering plants were looking tired
 and it was making me feel sad.  Why not go get a plant
or two to perk things up on the porch and patios? 
 Less than five dollars for a new plant and a bug green pot and I'm a happy girl!
It really did make things look a bit more cheerful in all this heat.

I've had several pretty butterflies visiting this lantana this week.

The piece of iron work my husband found and brought home.

I enjoyed working with my plants on the porches yesterday.   Mr. Toad surprised me by hiding on the windowsill behind the hose keeper. Usually, I am picking around in my plants and discover him half buried in the pot in an attempt to stay cool and damp.

Our back porch.

The plants on my baker's rack always do well.
 This is where Mr. Toad is usually hanging out.

My little fountain.

I found some naughty caterpillars on this fern yesterday....munching away!
 Maybe Mr. Toad can move over here and police this fern for me.
Right after we built our home, we were visiting my husband's sister at her home.  Her husband is a big college football fan. We were sitting outside when I noticed a t.v. remote in a zip lock bag.  Odd, I thought, and then I started looking around.  They had a t.v. on their porch!!  My husband loved the idea, so for Father's Day we had a cable t.v. outlet installed for outside.  He loves to grill out and watch a game.

I love the blue patterned pillow I got at Target a couple of years ago.

I am so blessed that I may call this place my home.

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