Monday, May 30, 2011

The Beginnings of a Cedar Fence

Progress on the fence is now noticeable, and noticeable progress is the kind that I like to see. Andrew's parents were in town for the weekend with the intention of getting the ball rolling a bit more. While it was expected that more would get done than did, there was a bit of a road block. Two steel posts needed to be removed and apparently they were installed very well with about 3 feet of concrete going down. So the jackhammer arrived once more. Steel post removal and new cedar post installation ended up eating an entire day's worth of work.

Sunday was spent beginning to install the back wall of the fence-- I stayed out of the laborious portion for fear that I may not do something right (which is often the case in the other half's mind) and let Andrew's parents pitch in. It wasn't a job that required four people anyway, so I just enjoyed catching some rays of sun and documented the progress. As for today, the project came to a standstill with 100 degree weather keeping us inside to enjoy a cool air-conditioned house. The fun will continue next weekend.

Here's the progress:

Monday, May 23, 2011

Summer Waves of Color

My latest stationery design is a simple splash off light, summer color on crisp linen card stock. The wave design started as lines. They became waves by sheer accident when I recolored one set of lines as a fill color rather than a line color. I was happy with the minor mis-click of my mouse and decided to stick with it. I've paired a blush pink with creamy orange, sun yellow with aqua, sky blue with grass green, and lavender with green.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Cedar Has Arrived!

All of the concrete that was sitting in the back yard is now gone. It has been replaced by a heaping pile of red cedar. Not only does it look great, but it smells great too! The lumber truck arrived yesterday afternoon, trying to squeeze through our narrow alley. That was not meant to be-- unless of course the truck didn't mind losing a side mirror or two. So the wood had to be carried plank by plank down the alley to the back yard.

The next step was digging post holes. This is clearly not as loud of a project as the previous one only by default because it didn't involve a jackhammer. Three foot holes were dug out and 6 by 6 posts were set in concrete. 6 by 6! Yes, rather large posts though the plan is to have a pergola on one side of the yard for some shade. The pergola will cover about a third of the space. The hope is to get some fabulous flowering vines to creep up around the pergola for a cozy green space. I currently have a Black-Eyed Susan started in a large pot with a trellis. I am beginning to think that this would be fully appropriate as it is the Maryland state flower. Their flowers are such a vibrant bright orange and when I think about the other options such as wisteria or roses, I would rather lean away from the frilly pinks and purples.

Needless to say, the back yard and fence is making some progress bit by bit.

Post hole-- don't fall in!

Cedar and cement mix ready to go.

The tools-- spade and post digger.

Red cedar


Saturday, May 14, 2011

Thinking of a Summer Fiesta

While we've been enjoying some amazing weather the past few weeks (finally!) it seems that we have still experienced cooler weather than what is to be expected for Baltimore in May. With all of the work we've done lately with out back yard-soon-to-be-garden-slash-patio, I'm longing for those balmy summer nights. I've picked up a few things here and there to add to out outdoor space, yet I've not been able to actually use them since our patio is nowhere near completed. So for now I just daydream of the fun atmospheric additions I could make once we have reached the finished stages-- which may not be for another few weeks.

There is nothing I love more than having a few friends over for some good food and drinks on a beautiful summer evening. And here are some of the fun things I've found that would be perfect for a summer fiesta. 

via Pigeon Toe Ceramics
via West Elm
via My Fathers House
via Aedriel Originals
via West Elm
via West Elm

Monday, May 9, 2011

An Update

There is a huge hole in our backyard.

The next step will be getting rid of that heaping pile of concrete. One option is to rent a dumpster for a day, while the other is to rent or borrow a pickup truck and haul it out in loads by ourselves to the nearby Potts and Callahan Company which recycles concrete. I'm looking forward to having a patio surrounded by my flowers and veggie plants, but it seems it will be a long time until that comes to fruition. After the concrete is removed there will be other items on the list: filler dirt, stone pavers, fencing to be put up, and pergolas to be built. I'd estimate another three to four weekends. But it'll be worth it in the end!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day to My Mother!

I had a chance to go back to Indiana this weekend for Mother's Day, but unfortunately I couldn't take time off from work to go. So I will wish my mother a happy mother's day from afar. I am most certainly my mother's daughter. When I was little, I looked more like my dad. But now, the older I get the more and more I look like my mom. And not only do I look like her, but there are all sorts of other things that I do just like her. I catch myself in the act thinking, I'm just like my mom! I once had someone I didn't know approach me asking if I was my mother's daughter. When I said yes, the woman responded, "I knew you had to be! I heard you laugh and turned around expecting Rachel, but you were the one laughing instead!"

When I was little, my sister and I would tell my mom that she was weird and laugh at her when she mixed up her words (like turk over left key, instead of leftover turkey). We would tell her that her long, skinny fingers were like "witch fingers" or laugh when she danced to the music on the stereo. Now I laugh at myself when I mix up my words (foke it with a pork, instead of poke it with a fork). Andrew tells me that my long, skinny fingers are witch fingers. And I dance around the kitchen to the music on the stereo with no shame. And I'm pretty sure I'm just as weird as she is-- and it's great to be weird!

Aside from being a lot like my mom, I also think a lot of my experiences and interests today have been influenced by her. I love food, art, music, and travel. And she and my father both exposed me to these things from early on. I am grateful for that because I realize that without these things life would be very dull! So from Baltimore to Goshen, happy mother's day, Mama!

My mom and I with the Rachel/Heidi pose at Agawa Rock in Lake Superior Provincial Park in Ontario.

Showing up at my cousin's wedding wearing nearly the same thing.

Hiking Grand Teton mountain in Wyoming.

Riding the train from Paris to Chartres
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