Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Halloween 2016 Continued

Halloween is my favorite holiday for decorating. Last year, I went for a low budget spooky witch house to compliment the exterior of my pre-renovation house. Considering that we opened up the front porch, ripped out the massive driveway, painted everything, and got new landscaping, the yard trash look of 2015 was not going to work this year.

J lovingly (possibly under duress) agreed to help make the spider of my dreams. Yes, my dreams. I worded the request very carefully because J prefers to call a project good enough way before it is perfect. While my spider did make his debut October 2, Hurricane Matthew sent him back into hiding. Now he is back and better than ever.

My pallet signs from last year fit with the theme. The spider web is made from landscaping burlap, sewed into tubes, stitched in place, and spray painted white. I also used two cans of glitter spray paint and it was pretty worthless. I may get out there with some glitter mixed with mod podge this weekend. Glitter is always appropriate for Halloween.

We followed this guide for making the spider, with some modifications. For one, we bent the pvc legs with a heat gun rather than cutting and using angled fittings. Our body and head have an interior frame of wood dowels and tension wire and are covered in weed barrier landscaping fabric. We also had to drill holes and use pins to hold the legs in place. The spider guide was meant for a spider that stays on the ground rather than being hoisted onto a roof with a pulley. Our eyes are made from a styrofoam ball cut in half, painted with silver glitter, then covered with silver sequins. That task was as painstaking and boring as you might imagine.

I am already thinking about what to add next year - possibly some smaller (and less labor intensive) companion spiders and more webbing stretched out across the rest of the facade. J is just happy to have weekends free of spider manufacturing. 

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Halloween Mantel 2016

Hurricane Matthew got in the way of my exterior Halloween decorating, so here is a look at my fireplace mantel. Almost everything is from thrift stores, the Dollar Tree, or was lying around my house. 

The skull mirrors, spiders, black roses, and tombstones are all from the Dollar Tree. I love that place for filling in the gaps of my decorations. The purple vase and flowers, along with the candle sticks and holders are things I gathered while wandering around my house looking for stuff in the color scheme. The skulls are from thrifted, the chain is from Home Depot, and the silver skeleton hands on the edges of the mantel are a gift from Melinda. The fabric is from Joanns - use a coupon!

I have a timer set so that the purple lights come on in the evening, which makes everything glow. We still haven't renovated the fireplace so for now I have to be content with purple light rather than a fire. 

Monday, September 19, 2016

House Exterior Update

It is about time for an update on my house. A lot of our to do list has been accomplished, but we still have a ways to go!

I took this picture in the middle of my landscaping installation. As you can see, we are almost done with the exterior painting and the concrete work is finally complete. We have made even more progress since this picture, but I am still waiting on sod. Until the grass is in place, the house won't look much different than it does here.

And here is the guest house right after the landscapers were done. I am really happy with how everything is turning out. And now for some before pictures so you can see the difference.

This is a screenshot from Google Street view, which shows basically what the buildings and property looked like when we closed. So much concrete!

This is a close up of the house after we had spent some time working on it. As you can see, the windows on the right have been replaced. I decided to install new wood windows wherever there were metal awning windows. We also opened up the front porch, which really changed the look of the exterior. You would not believe how much more light we get in the front room now as a result. Obviously, both buildings have been entirely repainted and the all concrete removed and replaced with a new driveway and sidewalk design. I finally have a front yard. Now if it would just stop raining, I would be able to get some sod!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Who Knew Driveways Required So Much Thought

You may have noticed from last week's post that my driveway is in rough shape. You may have also noticed that my front yard is primarily concrete.

As our focus turned to the exterior appearance, it became obvious that we need a new driveway. We also need an irrigation system in order to grow grass instead of weeds. Efficiency dictates that we tackle both projects at once so that the irrigation crew has as little concrete to go under as possible. Here are a few inspiration pictures for my new driveway, keeping in mind that it will go from the street to the carport. Instead of having extra parking in front of the house, I am extending the driveway to the left (according to this picture) into the side yard so that we can have something more attractive than a parking lot for a front yard.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Curb Appeal, Stage 1

Now that we are relatively settled inside the house, I have turned my attentions outward. Here is the facade of my house, or at least it was until recently. Many of the old houses in my neighborhood have front porches that were closed in with awning windows a few decades after being built. I prefer a more original look, so J and I did a bit of demo.

Much better, right? There is still a lot of work that needs to be done, but I am saving that for my carpenter. I wasn't interested in watching J take a sledgehammer any closer to the columns than he already did. And in the pursuit of efficiency and good timing, we did all the work the day after Halloween. Why remove the Halloween construction paper bats when you can just yank out all the windows?