We’ve had a relatively mild spring – not too warm – and it’s been lovely. We’ve been able to get a lot done outside before it got too hot.
That’s about to change because summer is coming with vengeance. This weekend it’s supposed to hit 115. That’s pretty toasty even for seasoned Arizonians. With heat like that the kids are dying to be in the pool and I’m singing praises that we finished the yard. No yard work for us this weekend. Thank heavens.
As a sidenote: Our yard has been the talk of the neighborhood for almost 6 months. And now that its done we’ve received many accolades for sticking with the never ending project. As Hallie’s bus drove by one of the last times for the school year, the driver yelled out the window, “Love the yard.” Our observant UPS man also commented on how nice it came together. He also remembered that we removed the step up to our house – the step he didn’t notice one time and tripped sending our packages flying – he’s glad we did away with it. And some stranger who clearly has seen us out there working honked repeatedly as he drove by giving us thumbs up. So glad that project is behind us.
I’m not sure how I missed posting this sooner – considering it’s been done for over a year now!
I know I’m not alone in my love for shiplap – thank you Joanna Gaines! And yet it always seemed like a lot of work. Not only that, but I questioned just how long I would love shiplap. And when I get tired of it, I will have to rip it down and repair the wall behind it. Yet, I had a wall in Hunter’s room that was screaming, “Cover me in wood!” And I obliged.
I found a pinterest image of a wall in a nursery room that I fell in love with. I loved the variation of the color in wood, I liked the relclaimed look. I found a company locally that sold reclaimed wood and I priced it out – over $2000 to cover one wall. That wasn’t in the budget. I went back to my inspiration picture and traced it to a design group website – who just so happen to sell a tutorial to the wall. Part of me knew it couldn’t be that difficult and I could definitely figure it out on my own. But part of me wanted to follow a step by step instruction and get it done. I spent the $15 and bought the tutorial. I’m glad I did.
The tutorial walked me through step by step as to what to do. I did deviate from the plans just a bit. It called for pine boards in different widths. I knew finding nice, straight boards would be hard. I bought plywood and had Home Depot rip it down to the different widths that I needed. The most helpful part of the tutorial was being told what custom stains to purchase and the process of creating different colors. Paint white on these boards, stain these boards wipe off after 3 minutes, stain these boards, wipe off after 7 minutes…you get the idea. It gave me the color variation I loved in the reclaimed wood.
Here’s how the room started out.
I prepped and stained the boards per the tutorial.
I located the studs on the wall and used a brad nailer to nail the wood directly to the wall. I started at the bottom (I chose a plywood depth that worked with my baseboards) and worked my way up putting a penny in-between for spacing.
It was a weekend warrior project while Steve was out of town and he was pleasantly surprised to find it finished upon his return. It’s very masculine – perfect for my boy’s room and definitely a look that will grow with him.
The front lawn has become the longest and most drawn out of any project I’ve worked on – it’s also the most labor intensive. Almost every Saturday, we find ourselves outside working in the yard…for the entire day. And much of the time it’s been back-breaking labor. Digging a hole in our clay/rock soil to plant a bush is a long and tiring process. And we’ve planted a lot of plants so far.
Steve and I had a date (with Briggs and Hunter in tow) at the nursery to pick out our plants. Steve wanted an easily maintained hedge to line the walkway and patio – but a hedge is made of many plants…that’s why we’ve been digging holes (which ended up being a trench) for days. Not only did we have to dig holes, but we had to run individual water lines to every single plant. Steve’s shoulders were burning from the digging and my thumbs and fingers were cramping from running all the water lines.
Another Saturday was dedicated to running low-voltage wire and hooking up LED landscape lighting.
Another Saturday was spent breaking up concrete from a previous garden bed that just so happened to be exactly where we needed to plant.
Another Saturday was spent picking out the rocks from our lawn area. I’m pretty sure the kids are tired of hearing us say every week, “Go get your shoes on, you need to go pick up rocks.”
I keep trying to convince Steve that we’re nearing the end – but then he lists off all the things we have left and we’re both discouraged once again. I’m not sure if I’m more excited to finish this project to get our Saturdays back or to be done tracking crazy amounts of dirt throughout our entire home.
We’re crossing our fingers that we’ll be ready for sod in three weeks – I think all of our neighbors are crossing their fingers too!
I found these cool animal head hooks at Home goods over a year ago. I wasn’t sure how I would use them but I picked them and put them in Hunter’s closet until I figured out a permanent place for them.
They found their permanent place on Hunter’s wall just before Briggs was born.
They were different finishes when I purchased them, so I used a glossy Rustoleum spray paint and gave them a couple of coats of paint.
I had a scrap pine board in the garage that got a fresh coat of white paint and I mounted the hooks to the board. Hunter was excited to come home from school and find he finally had a place to hang his hats.
When we drew up our landscaping plans we had these pretty brick borders lining our planting areas; keeping everything very linear and clean. When we started our paver work I asked how much it would be to do the brick landscaping borders – I almost choked when I heard $6-7 a lineal foot, plus materials. I’m pretty decent at math and I knew the dimensions of our yard and after dollars signs started exploding in my head, my next question was, “How difficult would this be as a DIY project?” The guy we were working with on the pavers is a neighbor and had been more than helpful throughout the process (he’s the one that showed up on a Saturday morning unannounced to help us knock down our trees with his bobcat). He was encouraging saying we could handle it – he said it’s labor and precision and takes some time. With that, I knew the project just fell into our laps.
I figured while my dad was in town, this would be a good project to tackle. Neither of us had done anything of the sort (which could be the asterisk to all of our projects!) but we did some research and didn’t look back. The first day was a Saturday so we had Steve’s help as well.
We decided to concrete set the bricks for a permanent edging. We set our string line and the boys dug the trenches and mixed the concrete. I handled the trowel and laid the bricks, making sure they were level and in line. All my work was done from the sitting position which saved my back but my tailbone was more than a little sore. We got halfway done in one days work.
By Sunday the real soreness had set in and I pretty much made up my mind that I would not be returning to that project Monday morning. It would have to wait until after the baby came because I couldn’t mentally get behind it another day. And sure enough late Sunday evening rolled around and my dad was willing and ready to work the next day and I knew we could get it done and not have to worry about it later. So I mustered every ounce of mental strength and started again Monday.
It’s funny how mental blocks go – starting is the battle. Once I’ve committed and started, I’m good. And that’s exactly how this project went. I was not looking forward to it and it wasn’t nearly as bad or as long as I thought it would be. And as we cleaned up late afternoon I was giddy with excitement. It was done. It was done and I was totally happy with how it turned out. I had to send Steve (who was out of town) a picture of our labors.
And remind him that he has the coolest wife ever.
And the most willing and generous father-in-law.