So, it’s been a while since I’ve visited Guin’s Yard. Oops. I’ve been a little busy this spring and summer:
In June I visited here:
and since February, I’ve been training to do one of these:
with some of this
<– in the middle.
My first tri was successfully finished a week ago today, although now I’ve done all this training, I’m planning to do 4-5 more races this summer, a mix of tri’s, open water swims, and road races.
All in all, I haven’t had much time for house projects. Nonetheless, I did (finally) get around to finishing the cork wreath… Ta da!
I’m pretty pleased with how it came out, although I didn’t anticipate that it would be so close to the color of the brick.
From any distance at all, it really kind of blends in with the brick facade of the house. I bought some teal ribbon, and am considering a bow for it, just to see if that would help it stand out at all.
I don’t know about the ribbon… we’ll have to see.
In any event, I’m happy to have the project done, off the table, and onto the wall!
Dahlias are pretty. Just sharing. 🙂
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…and, it’s tax time! Time for a project to drown our collective sorrows!
For a while, I’ve been trying to think of a spring/summer/fall idea to take the place of the winter wreath I make every year from the bottom boughs of our Christmas tree. It fills the space on the front porch so nicely, and since it’s covered by a roof, I have some options that will withstand being outside.
Since wine is pretty popular here at Guin’s Yard (we may or may not have had our wedding reception at a winery four years ago), I decided I’d try a wine cork wreath like the one here.
So I gathered up my corks, my hot glue, my straw wreath base, and my
bottle glass of wine, and gave it a whirl:
(I’m not sure whether I’m more proud or embarrassed that I didn’t buy any of the corks; they’re all ours. Well, I guess I did buy them. In bottles…)
Unfortunately, I got maybe 2/3 of the way around the wreath and ran out. Woe! I guess I’ll have to drink more wine. For now the project is stashed in a big shopping bag until my cork reserves bounce back (memo to friends & family: donations gladly accepted!). I’m pretty pleased with how it’s coming along so far though. Hopefully it won’t be too long until I have finished photos to share.
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I’m pretty sure this is a new and daring use of the word “progress”?
what with 3 fabric swatches and countless paint chips strewn about our dining room table…
All kidding aside, we’ve narrowed a few things down. We’ve settled on a window treatment fabric:
and are starting to narrow down paint colors. I’m obviously favoring a gray/aqua – but can’t decide if I want to do the dining room in lighter/darker shades of the same color (above/below the chair rail) or if I’d rather do dark brown below. (Feedback welcome.)
Narrowing down the shade of aqua is almost even harder. Several would work with the curtains, so it really comes down to which shade will look best with some of the wall hangings in the room. This is potentially our toughest customer:
I think with the yellow and brown matting, it’ll be fine, since there’s yellow/gold and brown in the curtains. The colors are generally brighter than the rest of the things we’re picking out, though, so we need to pick the wall color carefully. We got a postcard in the mail that paints & stains are 30% off at Sherwin Williams this week with the ad (seriously, do they ever sell paint at full price!? Not to me!), so maybe we’ll pick up a couple sample pots to try.
Now that we’ve picked out curtain fabric, that also means that at my next free opportunity, I can pick out fabric to recover the dining room chair seats. I’m working on refinishing a pair of end tables for the living room (helloooo Craig’s List!) and three spare chairs which will be painted black, and get the same fabric as the regular dining chairs. Handy to have when we host dinner for bigger groups.
I’m thinking I’ll buy extra fabric to cover throw pillows for both the living and family room couches too. That will help tie the whole floor together. Whee! Now if only I had more hours in the day to execute.
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In addition to working on Guin’s Yard, one of our other hobbies is backpacking in New York’s Adirondack Park. There are 46 peaks that were originally measured to exceed 4,000 ft. in elevation, and the people who climb them all are known as 46r’s. We are aspiring 46r’s, with 12 peaks climbed to date.
Now, thanks to the woodworking skills of Guin’s Grandpa B, we have a way to keep track of our progress:
We just have to decide how we want to mark the peaks we’ve climbed: pins, flags…
We took the map to Michael’s to be dry mounted, to get it perfectly flat. Word to the wise: they won’t let you use framing coupons because it isn’t “framing” (even though it’s a service of the framing department), and they won’t let you use item coupons because it’s a service. Ah well. The frame was custom made to the map dimensions, and then there’s a piece of cut-to-fit carpet padding behind the dry mounted map in the frame. The whole thing is backed by a sheet of MDF screwed into the back of the frame. Hooks for the picture hanging wire are also screwed to the backside of the frame itself.
It’s pretty enormous – the map itself is 35″x45″ – and fun to walk past every day.
* * *
In addition to hanging the map, I also put the first coat of paint on the kitchen cabinets this weekend. I’m undecided on the color. It came out much greener and lighter than I expected. That’s not a crisis; I opted for the lighter of the final two colors knowing it could be darkened more easily than lightened later, and I like green… but it’s not what I expected.
Final judgment is reserved until I see it in daylight, but it may need to go back to Sherwin Williams to be re-tinted a little darker. We’ll see. Pictures to come soon!
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We recently came home from the 2009 edition of our annual vacation to the 7 mile island, Stone Harbor/Avalon, NJ (ahhhhh). I looked at the souvenirs we brought back with us this year, and thought about where we were a year ago (as documented by last year’s souvenirs).
In 2008, we bought a Christmas ornament for our tree marking our first Christmas in “Our New House.” I remember feeling like I was totally jumping the gun. We vacationed in August, having been in contract since May, still anticipating our September closing. Mortgage rates, down payment requirements, and requirements for various other indicia of creditworthiness were a little tazmanian devil of changes, and most weren’t pro-first time homebuyer. We were locking our mortgage for the 3rd time (because the previous two commitments had expired while we waited for our sellers to be ready), and had gotten the worst rate of the 4 commitments we would ultimately go through. We had paint chips hanging in our rental house, but were too afraid of jinxing it to buy anything.
Fast forward to this year: We browsed the Christmas shop, bought a “baby’s first” ornament for our new little niece/goddaughter, and went on to the art galleries for our own souvenirs.
Crabs in a Basket - (C) Elaine Hahn
The crabs are already off to Michael’s to be matted narrowly and framed. They will go in the kitchen above the light switches.
Boardwalk Through the Dunes - (C) Barbara Hails
The dune grass print (which is actually much larger than the crabs) will require a bit more thought; it’ll be a tough one to mat and frame just right. It’s destined for the living room, over the couch (where the wreath is now).
As we brought the two prints home, I thought about how much has changed in the last year. Very happily, I might add. We’ve gone from wondering if Guin’s yard would be a reality to decorating the walls! Whee!
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