25 April 2010


Well, hello loyal friends. Again, I have not been present on here. I have been busy with:

1. School
2. Gardening
3. Bicycle purchases
4. Random laziness

A lame list, yes I know, but I thought that I owed you an explanation.

Anyway, we have been hard at work on a patio in the backyard. We decided a patio would be a great way to transform the backyard and provide us with a place to hang outdoors. I watched a few online videos and enlisted the help of my parents.

This is by no means a weekend project for 2 people, like the videos claimed. Grab as many capable people as you can especially when unloading the brick.

So, here is how it all played out. We discovered that Menards had the best selection of bricks. Josh and my Dad designed the layout and chose the bricks. We decided that due to the size & prices we would:

1. Rent a truck for some of the bricks, sand, & rocks.
2. Use my dad's van (which is really an old ambulance that is still equipped with the horns and sirens that he insisted on using when we were driving) for some of the sand, rocks, & sod remover.
3. Have 2 pallets of bricks delivered.

There were many back and forth trips to Menards and Home Depot, that drove us all a bit insane. Some of the trips were manageable due to the tasty lunch that my Mom prepared for us, as well as the large iced coffees from Dunkin Donuts.

I have placed all of the photos HERE if you would enjoy viewing them, which I am certain that you will. You will need my commentary to completely understand the task that we conquered. Also, hints in the event that you would like to duplicate the patio.

The project started on a Saturday and ended 3 or 4 random afternoons later. Please enjoy some of the highlights from the project. I will add more photos once plants are in and furniture is painted. Enjoy!

The before shot & the initial plan for the layout of the bricks...a pleasant herringbone pattern.

Adding sand to level the ground & the tedious brick carrying & laying process.

The ridiculously insane brick cutting and the dreaded semi-circle.

Using the tamping machine to work in the mortar & rinsing off the patio!

03 April 2010

Update & Things Coveted...

I wanted to post an update...I have been working on my numerous projects during this Spring Break. It is almost over! I have stripped the ugly blue cabinet that my Dad found for me.

I used my sander and heat gun (both gifts for Christmas). After using the heat gun, I quickly asked myself, why have I been using a sander all this time? The blue paint came right off with the stripper. I still love you sander.

I would, however, recommend not using the heat gun for stripping stain. I attempted to use the heat gun on the chair of my dreams, with little success. I would suggest using some type of stripping agent. I have not gotten that far on the chair project.

Yesterday I felt the need to go thrifting. When don't I? Well, I hit up my favorite thrift store and found a treasure! I ventured down to the HALF OFF EVERYTHING MUST GO! basement section. The basement is always hit or miss. Today it was a hit! Pow! I found this great bench. I have been looking for a bench with this shape for quite some time. As you can see the top is beyond repair...which is fine with me.

Just a side note, I wonder how the top was damaged? Let's imagine the previous owner was an older woman, much like this lady that I met at a thrift store. Well, she was craving peanut butter, but it was on a much too high shelf. She grabbed her trusted bench that has always provided her feet with relief when she has been working at the thrift store too long. However, her trusted friend was not meant for standing. And, yikes, her foot went through! She tumbled off the bench, but was not hurt as her reflexes are cat-like and she landed on both feet! I apologize and return to the posting...

I am considering adding padding to the top or completely removing the top and replacing it. I want to make a tufted cushion for this bench. I saw it on another site, so I may try it! There will be photographs once that project starts!

I finished up my thrifting day at a north-side thrift store. I found these Lincoln Beauty Ware chrome canisters. There is a bit of ware on them, but they are pretty hot nonetheless. I cleaned and polished them and they look great.

As I continued perusing I happened upon this ice bucket/champagne holder. I may use it for displaying flowers? I rarely have flowers, but maybe I will start (faux probably)? I need something with height in my dining room.

Finally, I am quite addicted to these bowls right now, please don't judge me. I find them lovely.

As I end this post, I wanted to share with you all some great stickers that I saw last night as I was reading through my twitter updates. I think that craftyFolk has some great ideas/work, so I enjoy following her posts, blog, and etsy shop. For those of you who know me, I enjoy an owl or two. So, I thought her latest creations were pretty nifty. Wouldn't you enjoy sticking one of these clever creatures on a notebook? I would.

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