Saturday, October 4, 2014

Fall and Football Themed Projects

Fall has arrived mildly here which has been wonderful and has given us the opportunity to continue work on projects outside.  

The grass next to the path has been completed.  My folks helped us cut the sod, level up to the path, and replace the sod so now it's all level with the new path. I'm sure this will make a big difference this winter so the snow won't all melt towards the house anymore.   

The Before by the edge of the path

In progress.  
And the after.  Makes a huge difference.
We made it all the way down the deck with getting it leveled.

We didn't have enough sod at our house to finish, but luckily my folks were putting in a path in their back yard to the shop so we got to use the sod they took out.  Here's the progress on their new path so far.  

Grass cut for their path

Bricks in, path mostly done

Also at our house, my mom worked on laying bricks under the edge of the fence to keep the weeds and such from our neighbor's from coming over.  She almost made it the whole way!  I'm sure we'll get this project finished in the next week or so.  And the best part of both of these projects, they were completely free!  We used the bricks my parents had from taking out their fireplace which worked great, and got them out of the way at their house.

Bricks under the fence

We also started putting blocks in for the flower bed in the dog run.  Hopefully we'll get the brick phase of this project completed before snow arrives.

Start of wall for flower bed

I have also been keeping busy with more gift projects.  Another of my dear friends is due to have a baby boy in just a few weeks.  She loves football so I whipped up some themed gifts for her shower.

To start of course, a blanket.  I found a neat tutorial here which helped me with this and added some of my own flair with my mom's help.  My mom just got a new sewing machine which made a huge difference for a beginning sewer!  It has an adjustable speed and a guide (this was a lifesaver for me, I highly recommend it).  I'm excited for more sewing projects now as I think this one turned out really cute.

The top cut out, in progress

Top piece

Bottom in progress

Completed top view

Completed bottom view
And of course a tag. 

I had been wanting to make a wooden kids puzzle for awhile and thought this was a great opportunity.  So, with a little trial and error it worked out great.  As I am much more familiar with working with wood, this project went significantly faster than my sewing project.  I really enjoyed both of these and am so excited to meet this little guy in a few weeks!  

Staining the pieces after I cut them out

The completed puzzle

We're enjoying settling into fall, have the house all decorated, have had some wonderful fall sunsets, and are looking forward to the projects we have on deck to finish up.  


Saturday, September 13, 2014

Walkway Completed and End of Summer Ventures

As August came to a close, we strapped down to finish up some projects outside.  And we did!  Our list of what we want completed before winter is nearly complete now (we still have a couple of things to go).

The river on the front hill is now completely planted.  I am so delighted with the way it turned out.  Two years, more rocks than I care to count, and 30 some grass plants later, we have one stage of the landscaping complete with the front hill.  Let's go back first to the hill as it started:

The hill, before we did anything

And now the after.

The River from the top

Another top down view


So nice, and pretty low maintenance

Couldn't be happier with the way this turned out!

We also completed the walkway out back.  It is so nice to have this done and I'm sure it will save our grass getting trampled by the dogs this winter.

Cutting angles for the Window

Cutting blocks for by the window

Building the steps to the dog run

Steps nearly completed

Cutting the support beam for the walk to go over the Window on the edge

As a reminder, here was what the back looked like before.

Note the rough condition of the grass and that the yard slopes toward the house

And the completed project!

Looking towards the Deck

Looking towards the Dog Run

Turned out so nice, now just to finish up the egress window!

Finished step into the dog run

Next project to level the sod to the edge of the path.  Hopefully this fall.

Cassie approves!

Another project crossed off the list

Oh, and here's the newest craigslist bargain (I couldn't pass this one up!):

Not sure this is it's forever home, but I'm certain I will find a spot for it

Red Canoe Shelf

And some miscellaneous pictures from the last few weeks:
Aria loves her soccer ball

Our first harvest of peppers, we'll get one more off the plants at least this big if not bigger.  

We used the fresh peppers for a fresh taco salad, yum.

Red Mums I planted out front for the fall
Labor day weekend we had a wonderful visit from my best friend from high school.  We enjoyed her company very much and kept quite busy with ventures in peach picking and fresh sweet corn, hard cider tasting, wine tasting, a late lunch and a movie.  The next day some shopping of course.  The weather was perfect for her visit which made it even better!

Look at all that delicious fresh produce and local hard cider!

After she left my hubby got to be my helper to can the rest of our peaches.  What a nice way to end the summer by putting some fresh, local produce on the shelf for the winter.


Fall is beginning to show her colors here at the lake with brisk mornings, shorter evenings, and the delightful crisp air I love, and while it's my favorite season, I hope she holds this mild transition for a bit as there are still several projects on my list that I need decent weather for!  More to come as these come to completion.

Sweet Home Montana and Beautiful Wedding

Wedding Reception Venue
Wow this post is long overdue!  August was a delightful month and the highlight was my brother's wedding.  We got to spend a week in Montana leading up to and following the wedding.  Montana, as always was beautiful.  My mom rented a house near the wedding venue so the whole family could stay together and we had some amazing views from the house and venue.  We prepped for the wedding by making pies for the reception (and meals for the house for the week):

Strawberry Rhubarb 


Then it was on to Montana for wonderful family time, delightful evenings with our family and the bride's family, laughter, and games.  The wedding was gorgeous and I'd be hard pressed to find a happier bride and groom!  Here are some pictures of the amazing Montana scenery (one of our favorite places for sure) from our time there and some of the things we made for the wedding (sorry, I'm not actually putting up pictures of the wedding as those are the bride & groom's to share :).

The bar my dad made for all the Homebrew 
Our wedding gift we made for them, a Mason Jar Chandelier

The ceremony site, up the hill, you can just see the gazebo

Wonderful Wedding View


The rain waited until after the ceremony and stayed only briefly 

How many weddings have a Rainbow as a backdrop?  Amazing

Sunset from the Reception Hall

Lovely end to a lovely wedding and beautiful start for an amazing couple!

After the wedding we had family time Friday and enjoyed both families again plus lots of games and laughter at the house.

The view from the back deck of the house.  Not too shabby.  We also had some amazing and beautiful summer storms.  And some delightful games of Bocce Ball and Croquet. 

Old Montana

Summer Storm

The Guest House

Makes me miss Montana

Rolling Clouds

Sunset over the Valley

Sweet Home Montana

Old Barn

Bridge over the creek between the House & Guest House

We came home on a Saturday so after unpacking, putting in a little face time at  friend's BBQ, and my hubby going back to work, we got to spend Sunday evening at our lake with aunts, uncles, cousins, and my grandma.  I think a sunset boat ride and swim was exactly the right ending to a wonderful week.

Sunset on the Lake back home

Wonderful evening for a sunset swim and boat ride

Perfect ending to the week

Next up: Walkway Completion and Peaches