Backyard Progress

Remember how I said I was going to work on my back yard last fall?? (And I didn’t) Remember how I also told you it was going to be my spring project? Well, the yard has made a TON of progress but still has a long way to go. Today I thought I’d pop in and share with you the progress so far.

I’ve planted a few herbs that have been alive for more than a week (victory!) Clockwise from the top left they are: Italian basil, red basil, sage, mint and chocolate mint.Backyard Progress 2

We planted a garden! It’s not much to look at but yet but I planted things that fare well in the hot, dry Texas summer. From the right we have: tomatillos and okra, Anaheim and bell peppers, and finally jalapenos.Backyard Progress 3

I also planted some garlic and onions. Leland, our ‘big orange cat’ is very curious about the garden but mainly the sprinkler. He is both intrigued and terrified.

Backyard Progress 4We’ve also gathered a few supplies for the yard most notably of which are some rolls of awesome cedar edging. . . .

Backyard Progress 5 . . . . .and this lovely hammock! (Yes, it’s the garage right now .  .. . I’m working on it!)

Backyard Progress 6Perhaps the greatest transformation in the back yard thus far has been my climbing rose bush. Just to refresh your memory, here’s a picture of it last fall, before we removed the brier bush that was entangled in it.

TFP Yard 4Yuck-o. Here it is today!

Backyard Progress 7If ever in my life I have wanted smell-o-vision it would be right now because man let me tell you, these roses smell great!

Backyard Progress 8How are your spring projects going?

A year in the making – 1 Year Blogiversary

365 days ago, a dream of mine became a reality.TFP Sign

It started probably a year before that when I stumbled across a blog called House of Hepworths. Who even knew DIY blogs existed? It was the first one I’d ever heard of and I was instantly infatuated with Alison and her amazing DIY skills. I was hooked. I read every post she’d ever written and waited anxiously for new posts to be published (yeah. . . I was kind of a creeper). I began to dream and really think, I could do that!

TFP 945 Front Poarch

At the time we lived in a tiny 2-bedroom duplex whose owner barely let us install a ceiling fan (it had NO ceiling fans. . . in the middle of west Texas. . . . yeah, not smart) so I knew a DIY blog was out of the question as long as we lived there. Time went on and I began to follow other blogs like I Heart Organizing and Primitive and Proper and as the DIY bug grew within me and I worked on small projects around our home.

DSC_0225

In January of 2012 this all changed when, through a series of God sized events, we bought our first home. I was ECSTATIC. Long before we moved my head began to spin with renovation ideas, paint colors and flooring options. (Side Note: I didn’t join Pinterest for a long time because my friend Katie told me it was like my brain on steroids. She was right.) I immediately knew the time had come to launch my very own blog, and that my friends is how it all began.

I was so excited I had probably 2-3 posts written before we moved. That’s right, in two weeks time I packed our entire house, we cleaned our new house, did all the techy stuff that goes along with starting a blog and I wrote several posts. Oh yeah, and we both worked a full time job. Needless to say, we were pumped about this dream coming true.

TFP 626-2

Over the past year we’ve learned a lot. A LOT. We’ve learned about working together and communication. We’ve learned that if you give a mouse a cookie, he’s going to want something to drink. We’ve learned that I am a mouse. . . .and I want a cookie. We’ve learned that I have big dreams and can always see the final product where as Phillip never sees the final product and often says things to me like,

“You aren’t finished with that project. . . are you?”

“You want to paint what?”

“Those things don’t match.”

Yet he always loves the result. It’s been an entertaining year of growth and discovery.

TFP House Numbers 5

I’ve learned 3 things about myself over the past 12 months;

  • I love to dream up big projects and see them through to completion.
  • I love writing about what I’ve done. I do the staging, shooting and editing. . . .so that I can write.
  • I love that there are people out there whom I’ve never met who actually read the things I write. It never ceases to amaze me.

So to you, faithful reader, thank you. Thank you for reading, dreaming and learning with me. You are the reason that I continue to write so thanks for the encouragement and love.

Speaking of love . . . . wouldn’t you just LOVE to win a new purse?? I thought so.

Daily Tote Giveaway - thefrontpoarch.com

Without further adieu, the winner is. . . .Heather Jernigan!

Heather be sure to check your email for prize details.

 

Here’s to many, many more DIYing years to come!

Spring Project

Have you ever decided to work on a project. . . . and then not done it? As in, had a plan, made a list, then procrastinated. . . .for 6 months . . . .and did absolutely nothing . . . . yeah, I did that. Last fall. I was supposed to work on the back yard and well, things are still looking pretty bleak. Let’s just take a look around, as you look out our back door, the back left corner will hold our spring garden.

TFP Garden 2

The center part of the yard has lots of dead trees. . . .

TFP Garden 3. . . . and the back right corner isn’t looking much better.

TFP Garden 4

Yikes. Looks like we have our work cut out for us.

In the name of accountability and of actually getting something done this spring, I’ve decided to share my plan with all of you.

Here’s my project list:

  • Remove dead trees and all other dead plants
  • Weed and seed the entire yard
  • Regularly water the yard through the summer
  • Plant a vegetable garden
  • Rid the yard of mosquitoes
  • Create a well-lit eating area
  • Build a fire pit with wrap around seating

We got a jump start a few weeks ago when Phillip tilled a garden space for me.

TFP Garden 1It’a a small plot, probably 4×6′ but I think it’s plenty to start off with.

TFP Garden 5My friend Katie also gave me this awesome vintage patio table.

TFP Garden 6The finish is mostly in great shape but It will eventually need to be sand blasted and repainted.

TFP Garden 7

It also has a hole in the middle for an umbrella but the part I’m most excited about are these chairs. They’ll hopefully have some new cushions in the near future!

TFP Garden 9So there you have it, I laid it all out so now I have to follow through. Feel free to ask me how it’s going or even come help me out on a Saturday afternoon! Do you have any big projects you’re hoping to tackle this spring?

 

 

 

 

House Numbers

Leah PoarchWelcome to The Front Poarch! My name is Leah and I write The Front Poarch, my story about the low-cost renovation of our 1950s ranch style home. I love all things mid-century especially if I can get them for free of next to nothing. The hubs and I are Craig’s List junkies and are always on the hunt for a good deal. Enjoy this story about my re-purposed baby crib railing!

 

Our house is looking a little like this these days. . .

My in-laws are here from Florida this week so we’ve been stripping wallpaper, building seating and making one final addition to my pantry! I promise I’ll give the full run-down next week but for now, here’s one final update to the front entry!

When I revealed my updated front entry, I mentioned a small ladder with big plans. A few nights ago a took the ladder down, (side note: the ladder is really an old baby crib railing) and prepped it for staining.

I chose Minwax Classic Black in Gloss. I was hesitant to go with the stain and poly again but once I started staining, I was glad I made the choice! This bad boy got 2 coats of stain per side and I definitely wouldn’t have had the patience to go back and do poly as well.

I cut out the numbers using my Silhouette Cameo, glued them to some heavy cardstock and gave everything a coat of Modge Podge so that it would stand up to the elements. So without further adieu, here’s the finished product!

Pretty dreamy, huh?

At the sake of sounding like a broken record, isn’t astounding how a few little changes can make a BIG impact? Here’s the entryway, with just the new planters. . .

. . . and here it is with the water hose tub and new house numbers!

And did I mention the Crete Myrtle is blooming?

Made any small changes that have made a big impact lately?

Wrangling a Water Hose

With my re-purposed black planter boxes in place, the front entry was beginning to look pretty good. . . . with one exception.

This unsightly, mess of a water hose.

I’ve recently found a good amount of hidden treasure in our garage and this project was no exception! After taking photos for my entryway post, I remembered a large galvanized bucket that was just sitting in the garage waiting for a home.

Within a few minutes, Phillip had the drill out and drilled a few holes for drainage.

I then re-wrangled the hose so that it would unwrap correctly, without getting mangled and called it a day. Ahh, much improved.

George approves. Can you believe he not only posed himself, but smiled on cue?

Front Entry

When we worked on our back yard last weekend, I also spruced up the front entry a little. You may have noticed that in the middle of our back yard sat 2 large, heavy and dare I say ugly black planters. See what I mean? They even had nasty, rusted grill grates in the top!

On a whim I decided to try the bad boys out in the front and wouldn’t you know they look AMAZING!

I started some honeysuckle in one planter (yes that’s a tomato cage, I’m on the look out for something better) and purchased a yellow gerber daisy for the other, which clearly hasn’t been planted yet.

You may also have noticed this small hanging ladder which I have big plans for in the coming weeks!

Isn’t it awesome how a few small changes can make a large impact?

Back Yard Update

Last Saturday Phillip and I welcomed my Aunt Elise and Aunt Mary Ellen to The Front Poarch. Fortunate for us, they both have green thumbs so we spent the morning attaching our back yard. If you’ll remember, when we moved in last fall our yard was over grown and looked a little like this.

We spent the most of our time digging up this brier bush and several small mesquite tree seedlings.

If you’re an amateur gardener like me, here’s your tip for the day: if you see any mesquite sprouts like the ones below, DIG THEM UP ASAP!! Mesquite trees are nasty water sucking, thorn covered trees that will quickly take over your yard and are a real pain to dig out once they’re grown.

Rant over. Where were we? Oh yes, Saturday. Here’s the most drastic change, remember that brier bush I mentioned earlier? Here are the cascading roses we discovered underneath!

Again, here’s the before:

Here’s the after:

Thanks for coming Mary Ellen & Elise helping me with the backyard! You’ve given me the inspiration to finish what we started so stay tuned for more back yard updates.

A Pop of Color

When I revealed my DIY Garden Art I realized I have another piece of Garden Art that can’t even be seen! Can you spot it?

Here’s a hint:

I pulled this large metal pineapple out of the flower bed on Saturday and decided to give it a little face lift.

I grabbed a can of my new favorite spray paint, Valspar Hacienda Tileand.

After a few lite coats I had this little pop of color!

Feed the birds, tuppence a bag

One of the first pins I ever pinned on Pinterest was this little teacup bird feeder.

[source]

I loved the simplicity of it and I knew I had had dozens of tea cups in the my cabinets that had never been used. So, a few weeks ago I finally pulled them out and began to make my own teacup bird feeders.

I began with my go to 2-part epoxy and glued each cup to it’s saucer.

I let it dry over night and then set to work stringing each cup with fishing line (more on that later).

On my front poarch I screwed 3 j-hooks into the beam directly above the railing and 2 more hooks about 2 feet out on the overhang. I then began to hang the cups and in a few minutes I had this masterpiece!

Since the fishing line is clear, it’s hard to see but basically I took 2 of the cups, green and blue and strung them from the cup handles. With the coral and cream colored cups and used 3 different pieces of fishing line, tied each one to the base and strung it to the ceiling from three different points as you can see here.

**I do recommend wrapping your fishing line around each cup/handle several times to add durability. Remember, these will be outside blowing in the wind and weather so a single line will likely not hold it.

With the addition of my new garden art my front entryway is starting to look well, good! (Please notice my cat who came and posed himself at the exact moment I took the picture.)

The finishing touch? A few spoonfuls of birdseed!

DIY Garden Art: Mushroom

If you go the ReStore very often, you know it’s always good for one thing: glassware. Everything from bowls to stemware, vases to vintage tumblers can be found a pretty regular basis. When I visited my local ReStore last Saturday I found the inspiration for this cute little mushroom that now has a home in my front flower bed!

Here’s what I found, this small vase for $1 and this detailed candy dish for $.50.

I wanted to paint them but I was afraid that it might chip off from the wear and tear of being outdoors so I decided I wanted to paint the inside of these two pieces. I taped off the exterior with painters tape and gave the interior two coats of Krylon Gloss in White.

The finished product was looking really good but I still had one more issue to tackle.

As it turns out, most glass bowls/candy dishes and make out of thick, substantial glass that is pretty heavy while most vases are very thin and fragile. I discovered this while at the ReStore and I was able to pick two pieces that were evenly matched but I was still worried about my little mushroom being top heavy and falling over. To remedy this I gathered a few small rocks and placed them in the vase before I glued the 2 pieces together.

A little two-part epoxy and eight hours later I had this beauty!

It’s home is in my front flowerbed next to my crepe myrtle and rock collection! (Please do not pay attention to the withered looking wandering jew. Turns out Abilene in August is really hot and it doesn’t rain much, who knew??)

Needless to say, I’m on the hunt for more ‘mushrooms’ but I think for  my next one I will paint the cap a different color. Classic red perhaps?