Tuesday, May 28, 2013

At Last - Patio Makeover

Click here to see Part One and Part Two

This is the blank canvas, boring

These are the shutters my hubby built with 3.5" x 5/8" boards.  Can you believe the one on the right is the untouched one?  The one on the left I painted with some very watered down Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (ASCP) - Graphite.  I used the Graphite color paint just to have an old aged look underneath the top coat.

I used ASCP - Arles for the shutters

The shutters are painted and almost dry.
At this point we had stopped the renovation of the patio due to my mother-in-law falling ill*

This was Monday morning - Memorial Day 2013.  One shutter up!

The second shutter is up, the window flower box is installed, plants and flowers have been added, a faux textured look has been added to the walls and the curtains are hung.

At each end of the plants on the ground, I added vine plants.  On the left there's Wine Red Lofus and on the right is a Black-Eyed Susan Vine.  I planted them into large pots so I'm praying they will survive and thrive there.

Yea, don't look too close to the wall, that continues to be a work in progress and even though I'm not keen on the result, I am positive I can continue to work on it and give it the finished look I want.  

All in all I am very happy with the way this has turned out.  With our table and chairs near this spot, I can relax and enjoy the view.  Makes me feel like I'm back in Germany.

Hubby and I worked hard at getting this patio cleaned up and ready for the Summer.  We are blessed.

*My mother-in-law passed away a week ago today after falling ill a few days before Mother's Day.  Her last week we had a lot of family come in to be with her.  She did not wish to have a funeral but we do plan to take her ashes up to NY this Summer and bury them next to her husband's grave.  We will have a small, private service with family only.  The house is definitely quiet and it's going to take a while to get used to her being gone.  Hubby is doing as well as can be expected, just taking one day at a time.  We take comfort that she's no longer suffering and that she's resting in her Father's arms. 

**JUNE 29, 2013 Update**
We found a bench up the street on our way to church. In my Sunday best, I got out of our car and hauled it into our mini-van.  It's in great shape, made out of real wood and I knew exactly where I was going to put it!  My Red Vine Lofus (far left) died so I had to resort to planting some Black-Eyed Susan Vine seeds in order to give it some balance.  I also added some red Impatiens at the bottom. I almost have to water everyday and I must say, for having a brown thumb, I'm not doing too bad.  Warm regards, -Bev

Monday, May 27, 2013

Low Country Boil at Elise's House

14 cups of water
1/4-1/3 cups Old Bay seasoning
1 bay leaf

4 garlic cloves,
3-4 pd red skinned potatoes quartered with skin left on
2 pd
Andouille and Kielbasa sausages
4 ears of corn 

2 pd shrimp, deveined with shell still on

3 lemons, cut in half
Yesterdays newspaper, spread over table top
1 loaf Crusty Artisan Bread

Wash the potatoes real good, slice the potatoes in half

Take three fresh corn cobs and slice in half

Take the sausage links and slice in 1 1/2 inch pieces.

In a stock pot enough water to cover all the ingredients.  Add the seasoning and bring water to a hard boil, then add the garlic cloves, bay leaf, potatoes, corn, Kielbasa, salt and pepper.  Simmer for an hour.

Add the corn and let boil for 10 minutes.
Finally add the shrimp and let boil for 3 minutes then drain all the liquid

 Pour drained ingredients onto newspaper.   Sprinkle with lemon juice (we completely forgot this step, ugh!!)  Serve with bread and butter

We spent a lovely evening at our daughter's house.  She invited us over for dinner on this Memorial Day.  She told us she was making Low Country Boil.  I had to google it, I never heard of it.  She sent me a picture of one she had pulled off the internet and WOW!!  My eyes bugged out and my mouth was already salivating.  It looked delicious!!  I couldn't wait.  After a morning full of yard work, hubby and I worked up an appetite and we were more than ready to eat when we got to her house.  The aroma was amazing and fortunately we didn't have to wait long when we got there, it was all ready to go.  Suffice to say, this will be a Memorial Day tradition from now on!

I pray you had a blessed Memorial Day

i Savor the Weekend

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Patio Makeover - More Than Halfway There

Don't worry, the shutters aren't hung yet.  This is just a quick post.  I mentioned before I had a two days off to make it a four day weekend for me to work on and finish this project.  Things we're going smoothly until it all of the sudden came to a screeching halt.  My mother-in-law fell ill and had to be admitted to the hospital.  She's stable and will probably be there a couple days more. Not sure when we'll get to finish this project but I'm sure it won't be too far off but this is what I have so far.  In the meantime, spend precious time with your mothers and make sure to let them know how much you love them!

Click here to see the 1st Part of my Patio Makeover.
Click here to see the final result

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Sneak Peek - Patio Makeover

A sneak peek to how I hope my patio turns out.
 picture taken from Dishfunctional Designs blog
This will be our 3rd year living at Spottswood Place.  Ever since the first year, I've been wanting to do something with our patio to make it more pleasant and charming.  When we lived in Germany back in the late 80's, I envied all the homes that were odorned with plants and flowers galore similar to this top picture.  As I sit in my patio at Spottswood Place, all I see is a blank canvas.  No color, no depth, no nothing.  Last year I even drew up some ideas about how I could paint the walls and get some potted flowers and even thought about adding an awning just to make it look better.  A few weeks ago I somehow bumped into this picture on Pinterest and my first thoughts were, "That's it!!  that's exactly how I want it to look".   It  even kinda resembles my patio wall and window.

This is our blank canvas.  This is our patio in it's current dull, boring state.  

I was fortunate to get some advice from the Annie Sloan Facebook page and she suggested I buy the Red Primer to paint some of the bricks to make it look old and distressed like in the top picture.  My hubby has bought the wood to make the shutters.  I will paint them Annie Sloan's "Arles" (yellow).  I'm anxious about what kind of plants to buy, I just don't want to kill them and I want them to last all Summer long, any suggestions?  This project should be completed by the end of next weekend hoping the weather stays decent plus I will have a four day weekend so I should have plenty of time to work on this project. I'm so excited :)
I'm cooking up some Carnitas and fixins' for my Cinco de Mayo feast today.  What are your plans? Whatever they may be, may you savor every moment!  Have a great one :)

Click HERE to continue...

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