Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Makings of a Bluestone Patio

This is my back entrance. I know, I know, it looks like crudola, but this pic was taken WEEKS ago! I've cleaned up a bit since then....and things have changed!
When I first looked at this house, I just loved the bluestone walkway against the back of the house, but realized how impractical it was, since it butted rightupclose to the foundation. I mean seriously, who walks rightupclose to their house to get into it? Not us!
So the rocks came up, and were destined for THIS lovely spot:
(again, a wreck, I know...I hadn't mowed yet, and BF brings those damnable pallets home all the time...I finally foisted those upon my sister last week. I don't know what she's going to use them for, and I don't care. They're gone. That's all that matters.
In preparation, BF mowed the grass VERY short. Hey, see that rattan couch over there in the background? You'll see that transformation soon too! ($50 for the couch, two chairs, and an ottoman. Ka-ching!) I also spray painted the rusty fireplace with stove paint.
Note the sad little tree that never got planted last year. Well, it's planted this year, along with its brother, and they are both in lovely pots flanking my front door. Stay tuned for those pics as well. Also note the bass boat that has been sitting in my driveway for a year. Anybody need a boat? :-/
Nice, right? I spray painted all the pieces with Krylon's plastic paint stuff. That scary floral is no longer on the furniture. I've replaced it with Sunbrella outdoor fabric:
Since BF got a tad over-zealous and started moving all the stones without a plan, this is where they sat while he (and then me) was away in San Diego. While he was gone that first week, I broke out the graph paper, and cut out little tiny paper stones, and got busy plotting the layout.
I was left with fresh garden space at the back of the house. I filled it with dirt and compost in anticipation of planting:
....and THIS is what I did at the back entry where we pulled the bluestone up. Those 18" "stones" came from Lowe's. They're cement, and they actually have a very similar texture to the bluestone. This was sort of my test run for the patio, because this is how I wanted to do it, with the pea gravel in between the stones:

So....since my camera has apparently been stolen from my car, (I'm thinking I must have left a rear window open by mistake--I ALWAYS lock my car) I don't have any afters of the patio and furniture yet. I'm going to have to use Kathleen's camera until I can scrape up the cash to buy myself a digital SLR. I figure why go back to a point-and-shoot, right? It's time I moved up in the world. Now, if only my birthday were NEXT week.....sigh....anybody got $699 bucks they're not using?

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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Legoland (AKA the reason I got to go to California!)

Hi y'all! It's been a while! I don't know what happens to me. I guess I get so much going on that I don't feel like sitting down and blogging about it because it's already come and gone. But San Diego was beautiful, and I'll be sharing more pics with you over the coming days. I've decided to add them in small doses, so I don't get bloggy burnout (which I suspect may be a foregone conclusion.)

So BF works for a company in Selkirk that builds custom interactive equipment for water parks and museums. Mostly water parks. Below is the giant splash tower that I saw being built in the shop a few months ago! It's amazing to me to see a bunch of metal pipes go together and become something like this:

This is part of one of the interactive lego water tables. I saw them when they were first welded up--no paint!:
...even the adults were getting in on the action. This guy has his hands on two protrusions that had holes with water coming out the tops. When you plug up the holes, water fills the clear acrylic tubes, and eventually comes spilling out the top:
I think she was having fun with her brother!:
BF had to play too. The tube on the right filled much slower than the tube on the left. I'm pretty sure he had that fixed by the time we left. The water guns that were attached to this table were also fixed on day two. They were spraying so hard the first day they thought some kid might take a finger off! They adjusted the water pressure and voila!
Legoland wasn't ALL we saw. We went on a lovely harbor cruise one evening, watched the sunset from a couple of waterfront restaurants, went to the zoo, and I spent one day at the San Diego Botanical Gardens while BF worked at the park. Oh, and we spent a little time on the beach as well. The Pacific is beautiful!! I have lots of great pictures to share, and I will try to do so in between working and reading (which is my latest free-time pastime).

Oh, and I had a birthday last Saturday. There was a lot of patio building going on last week before my dinner party. I'll have pics of that for you too! Stay tuned!

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