After re-painting the decks and cleaning up our yard, it was time to improve the view. By that, I mean it was time to replace our back sliding-door that had become all foggy. Functionally, it worked, although the lock had always been "iffy" and didn't work quite right. So, we got a new slider installed. WOW! Right away, it made a difference looking outside and the room even seemed brighter! Seems silly that some new panes of glass can improve the view, but they sure can!
Basic idea...sorry it's a little blurred
Today was my last art/craft project of the school year with my daughter's 6th grade class. The kids were all great & I enjoyed being able to share some time with them.
Since it is Father's Day on Sunday, I had opted to have the students make cards for their dads rather than have a more formal art "lesson". Besides, it's only fair since we made cards for Mother's Day, right? With the time I'm allotted, something simple seemed the best route. My idea was to do a basic no-fold card with an envelope that the kids would personalize with a drawn & cut-out fish, some stamps, hand-written messages, & glitter glue. My quick cut-out example (I didn't even draw it first, so hopefully it looks fish-like) is in the pic. LOL. Just the basic idea to show the class. Time was flying & I was busy, so I forgot to take pics of the students cards when we were through.
Previously, I had given them a lesson on hand-stamping for another project, so just some verbal instructions & stamp-cleaning reminders were really all that were needed this time. Of course, I helped them draw or cut their fish out if they needed any assistance, but I told them it was their project & to go for it. Some of their fish were big, some were little, some had eyes & mouths, some had lines drawn on the fins. It was fun to see all the different fish the kids cut out. Plus, they all seem to really like using the stamps. ;o)
Hopefully, they learned a few things during our short time together this year, but most of all I hope they had fun and continue to use their creativity throughout their lives. ART is AWESOME!
Ok, so we have been using a power washer a lot this spring. My husband did the driveway and all of our sidewalk. Then he showed me how to use it. I cleaned off both our decks with the power washer before I repainted them. We took it to our campsite and my husband cleaned the deck off (so I could repaint that one, too) and he cleaned the wintery muck off of our trailer, too.
What I didn't realize before he cleaned the driveway and sidewalk, is that they were really dark & dirty. I never thought anything of it since most everyone's around here look that way. Seriously, they are not like everyone else's now. They are cleaner!
The biggest difference is the fence! It was so dingy and faded looking. Really, I thought it needed to just be replaced. I had no idea that it could look so different just by using a power washer on it.
It's nice to get away, even if it is just to a relaxing corner of the yard. I think everyone needs a little place to escape to. I feel pretty lucky we have a little home away from home where we like to spend time. We became members of a camping club of sorts a few years ago. Being able to spend family time close to my home, but not too close is great.
It was much bigger than the trailer that had been on our site. This one actually fits our family with some room to spare. We love it. Our site is pretty good, too. Unfortunately, the covered deck prevented us from being able to use the trailer's larger awning. Which would be nice for extra shade or when it's raining. We live in Washington, so rain is not that surprising even in the summer months. Plus, as pretty as the moss is when the ground is wet, it's rather soggy. When the moss is all dry, it gets EVERYWHERE. After a few years of it being tracked into cars, tents, trailers, and on clothing - we'd had enough of it. So, we decided to gravel our site like many other members have done. We had it delivered, but it was still a lot of work to finish spreading the gravel around.
We decided to remove the roof from the deck & open it up more in order to use it with our new larger trailer. While we were at it, we did some more painting. Now it matches our shed & wood furniture up there. Plus, all the wood furniture got some touch ups. The table & benches really needed a fresh coat of paint. We also hung some new wind chimes and some pretty string lights that I already had.
Seriously, I can't wait to go up there to relax. We've worked so hard the past two trips there to get things done. I think it has been worth it, though! So, if I'm MIA, I'm probably hanging out & enjoying my little retreat.
While I was painting the decks, my sweet husband was working on another project. We have a little pond in our backyard. It pretty much looks like it is sitting atop a mound from my house. We like our yard enough, but every year the dirt & bark/mulch slide down the hill. It's a silly & repetitive battle that I had grown tired of. So, I asked my husband if he could make tiers there. WooHoo - he got it all done!
It was important to have him finish the tiers, so we could get the rest of the bark/mulch unloaded from the bed of the truck. We did that and spread it in our backyard. (We had already spread the other half in our front yard last week.) We finished just in time, too, since we need to use the truck for hauling a few things around this weekend. :)
Have a great weekend everyone!
Feeling a little dingy
Even with all the plants I potted and had sitting on my front porch (which is a small deck), it looked a little beat up. The lovely plants and wonderful weather overwhelmed me and made me want to continue to freshen up the entry area to my home. So, first I had to clear off the deck and then it was time to use a pressure washer. I had never used one before, but my husband was kind enough to get me set up and started with a quick run through. The front porch looked very dingy to me even after cleaning it with a deck & fence cleaner we picked up at Home Depot.
I had originally picked "wood chip" but once the store mixed it, I ended up with "padre brown" since their mixer had been making everything a shade darker than they intended. I told them it would work fine for me, that I would just pay for it & use it anyway.
Before I cleaned the deck off, I had made a trip to pick up some new paint for it. Since, the decks had always been painted a natural cedar (orangey) color, I thought it was time to change things up a bit. Considering that dirt & scuff marks might not be as noticeable if the deck were a darker color, I opted for a darker brown. I wanted a full-coverage, opaque stain, so BEHR's Deckover product would be great.
After a fresh coat of white on the railing.
With just a paintbrush, an old can of acrylic outdoor white for the railing, and a can of the Deckover for the floor, I was ready to get to work. It took me all of last Saturday, but I got the front porch (deck) finished. No insects claimed my life even though they scared me a few times.
Before & After Shots
So, then Sunday I moved on to the back deck. Seriously, it took me the whole day to power wash and then repaint/touch-up the white railing around it. I only re-painted where it really needed it.
Painting continued on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and I just finished up this morning (Thursday). Yes, it took a lot of time, but I did it all by hand with just a paintbrush. Why, you might ask? Because, I wanted to really get in all the cracks and along all the edges with paint. A roller wouldn't have done as good of a job or put the paint on quite as smoothly. How do I know? I've tried before. Are my paint-jobs perfect? No, but I think my projects look 100% better than they did before I started. :)
Now, I'm feeling a bit more experienced with exterior paint projects...yep, I've painted these decks at least twice by myself since we moved here. Would I want to paint the exterior of my home? No way! Heights kinda freak me out and it seems worse the older I get. We paid someone to do that a couple years ago and I would gladly pay someone to paint my house again the next time, too. LOL
My name is Candie. Many labels describe me including wife, mom, friend, and independent consultant. However, alone, none of them capture all that I am or love and there are too many to list. Some of my likes include cooking, crafting, and creating. Reading, camping, and spending time with my family also bring me joy. I love my life...