I'm in the middle of a LOT of projects right now, and I keep hoping to get at least something all the way finished so I have something to contribute to my sadly neglected blog! Due to various time constraints, weather issues, material availability, and a host of end-of-the-school-year events, my progress has been, um, sporadic at best. So this will have to be yet another work-in-progress post!
My kids have been longing for a treehouse their whole lives...and since we don't have any trees suitable for a real treehouse I wanted to build them the next best thing. It doesn't look like much yet, but I promise it'll be totally kid-worthy when it's finished!
Steve helped me put all the posts in the ground (16 footers are a bit unwieldy to handle in windy conditions by myself) and he helped with a few of the horizontal pieces, but since he's at work all day I've done all the other stuff, including the 2x6x12 floor joists and the big plywood rock climbing wall - boy, was that fun! I used the decking from our house that had to be ripped off (to fix the rot issues) for the clubhouse floor, sides and roof. I really want to get this finished soon so they can enjoy it before the muggy summer heat descends upon us and drives us all indoors.
Here's another project that I'm needing to finish SOON before it gets too hot and muggy...our huge firepit! It's 13 feet wide and 20" deep (don't worry, the entire pit is not going to be filled with fire), and it took me much of one day and an hour or so of the next to dig it out. Steve came home when I was about 80% done and saved the day by helping me finish digging - my shoulders were pretty sore by then!
I'm now waiting...and waiting...for the flagstone that I ordered 3 weeks ago to arrive. Real flagstone is hard to come by around here, and it apparently takes a long time to show up! I'm going to dry-stack it around the perimeter of the circle to create a retaining wall/seating area. Then, in the middle of the dugout, I'm going to mortar in a 5-foot-wide stone firepit. It's so windy in this area that I wanted the firepit to be below ground level, and by the time I plant shrubs in the mounded berm surrounding the pit, it should be a very cozy and protected area. Can't wait to have this project complete so we can start using it - there's nothing like a summer campfire, especially for pyros like Hyrum and myself!
Steve worked really hard ripping up the old deck, and he occasionally had help from me and the kids. Hyrum had a great time pounding the old nails through so we could salvage all the decking wood for other projects (like the clubhouse).
The rot in the back of our house was more extensive than we realized, and our contractor spent all month (minus several days of rainy weather) getting it fixed and putting everything back together. What a mess, what a frustrating and expensive nightmare that never should have happened in the first place. Grrr. It just got all buttoned up this past week, so thank goodness that's behind us.
Remember these chairs? They used to look like this:
They have been intimidating and frustrating (to put it mildly) to refinish, but by the time they're all done it will be worth it. Every step of the way I keep thinking "Okay, I've just finished the hard part...from here on out it will be easier" but it hasn't really been the case! The mere fact that there are 4 of them guarantees a huge time investment, of course. As usual I underestimated the time and work involved in removing every single tiny upholstery nail with pliers, patching and sanding and painting and glazing the wood, cutting new foam, cutting out all the fabric pieces, making piping, sewing the piping on with a million box corner angles, stapling on all the new upholstery (the inside curve of the barrel part's a real fun one, let me tell you!) and making and attaching the gimp to cover all the raw edges (which I haven't done yet). I got pretty burned out on these, and I still haven't upholstered the last chair yet. Gotta do the outside projects first though, because of the impending summer heat.
They're real beauties on the inside, eh? Good bones, though.
Ah, house painting. After painting every single wall of every house we have bought throughout the years (this is house #5) I'm really. tired. of painting walls. But apparently I'm not too sick of it because I keep on doing it! I've never moved into a house without feeling it absolutely necessary to change the paint color(s). It's a curse. We've lived in rentals 3 times, but only until we could find a house to buy in the same area...because I can't handle living in a place that I can't spruce up with paint and remodeling. Like I said, a curse.
We weren't able to eliminate the awful sheetrock pillar with the obnoxious (and dangerous) sharp-angled trim because it was load-bearing, so we did the next best thing = replace it with a pretty one instead!
Actually, we didn't do it - our contractor did. We had him put a matching one on the other side of the room so it would look balanced and intentional, and it makes a huge difference in the room. So do the new windows!
This is the same area, after Steve had carefully removed the sheetrock and the corner fireplace. We had the one illogical window moved over and added 2 more so the great room has a spectacular view of the backyard now. Beautiful. I still need to finish painting everything in that room, and install the stone and millwork around the fireplace/mantle, and make drapes for the new windows. After I finish the clubhouse and the firepit. :-)
Awwwwwww... I love my Hazel.
I am trying really hard to spend time with my kids in the midst of all these projects. Because I know the day will come when they're not little anymore.
This is also why I haven't been blogging or designing fabric or making artwork this past year...between trying to get our house functional and trying to spend more time with my family, there just isn't enough time to do the other stuff right now. I've also been trying to get more sleep because I just can't pull the 4 or 5 hours-of-sleep-a-night thing anymore...at least not without being exhausted and grumpy and unproductive the next day. So again, my blogging, designing, and creating has suffered. Hopefully by the time school starts next fall I'll be able to do those things on a regular basis - I have enough on my plate right now!
We hadn't taken any family photos in a long time, so I convinced everybody to endure a tripod self-timer session on a beautiful, wind-less evening. Unfortunately they turned out really grainy and blurry because I set the ISO high, the aperature wide, and the shutter speed fast (to accomodate the fading light and the fact that we're moving targets). I should have set the aperature much smaller but it was too dark for that. Sigh. They look okay on screen but I won't be able to get good prints from them because they're not sharp. Bummer!
This was the Attack Daddy pose.
I really, really love these pics of the kids...I'm so disappointed that they're so blurry. I didn't realize they weren't sharp until I came inside and put them on the big monitor. Not sure how to check for sharpness during a shoot when the LCD screen on the camera is so small that I can't tell it's blurry until after I'm back inside.
the Zombie Walk.
I love my kids! Can't imagine my life without them.