Friday, June 3, 2011

Backyard update.. Mini/Major-Pick-Up #2.

You've missed my stories about my backyard hell, haven't you?  I know. I can tell. Well... work was done today. A lot of work... I can almost see it now...

 We added a new worker. George. The college student.

 Checking out the progress. Pew. Smells like manure. But yes, it is getting flat.

 That would be a 1' drop-off. We will be spending some money here to create a new mini deck. 

 A path. What? Solution to be determined.

 The crazy, bitchy neighbors perfect back yard. They totally hate us. :) That makes me smile. 

 We are so ghetto. It's awesome. Even my dad said we should clean up the driveway. 

Finally, this one comes to ask me for bread so she can go bird watching. Wow.

Yep. There you have it. The backyard update in a nutshell. 


To go to the next post for this project click here

The Beds I really want.

So I received email confirmation that our bed has shipped! Yay. Now to get the room painted before the bed comes in. Then the room will feel all fresh and new and ours. I am going to go one step lighter that the shade on the right.Very exciting I know. Though with all of our colorful bedding, I think calmer on the walls will be better.

On another note... I would much prefer to have a white bed. Yum. Relaxing. Yum.  Alas, I am married to a man. Who works in the mud as you have seen. In the past when I tried this dreamy white bed it ended up the yellowy stained white bed. So, color my world we shall. In the meantime, I thought I would share my dream beds, so you can see how much we saved.

The beds that I waffle between for our "real" bed are:

 The BlutDot Nook Bed... $1499.00 for a queen.

Or this from Design Within Reach. The American Modern Collection at $2,400.00 for a queen. This would look the best with our dresser for sure.

So, there you have it. What I really want. See how much I saved! Wow.


The 36" Planter...

   Every year for the past couple Eric and I have been putting together the planter out in front of his office Architectural Alliance. This year we are a bit behind, but finally got it done last night. I lurv this one. It is by far the best one we have done.

  We hit up Sunnyside Gardens. One of the many, cute local gardens shops on the south side on Minneapolis. The only thing we knew was that we had some birch logs from our cabin to add to the mix. So, we wondered around for a bit, looking at this and that... and as I type I just realized I did not photograph the things that did not make it. Whoops. Sorry. Anyhow, back to my story. The planter they have out front is 36" wide and low. Which means we need some height. Last year we got this cool tropical palmy leaf plant. Which looked cool on the first day, but then was immediately shredded by the wind after that. So, this year we thought grass. Thin and wispy which the windy will like to blow around, but focusing on that word thin.. It will not shred. After seeing a lot of grass options we finally settled on one that has a little purple and green. It will get about 4" taller than it is and have some plumes. Fabulous.. color and texture! Next... which flowering item do we choose. We looked at some bright yellow daisy's. Cute. Hmm. Like the daisy. Not sure about the yellow, but we will see. Then we spotted this more traditional looking white daisy and thought.. Hmm.. with this white birch this might look good. Actually after reading the labels the white daisy is actually a Chrysanthemum. A Neptune P.P.A.F. Chrysanthemum to be exact. So, we piled those into the cart. We do a lot of guess work as to how many we need as the planter is 36" wide. This year we were only short 3. Pretty good, if we don't say so ourselves. Onto the next flowery type plant. First we grabbed this cute straw like purple ball with bright green leaves. It was considerably lower than the white daisy-like plant which we thought could be interesting. We had started to lay out the planter in fields. An area of grass in the back with a field of white on the right side of the planter. The grass being the tallest with the white a little shorter and the next item a little shorter yet, was looking to be an interesting composition. So, we grabbed a bunch of those and continued to wander and noodle. Then we saw this cool looking purple triangular leaf item called Charmed Wine Shamrock (Oxalis) ... Super cool.. We like it with the grass a lot better than the purple ball like plant. So, back went that plant and in comes the Shamrock plant. We wanted to add a little more green and after looking at and rejecting the traditional Sweet Potato Vine we settled on Colorblaze Alligator Tears. We liked to two colors of green in this particular plant. We tossed a bunch of those into the cart and went off pay.

Anyhow now after all those needless words get ready for the big reveal....

 Moving around the dirt after a winter of Spruce tips.

 The Sunnyside loot. 

 Laying out the planter. This is the most important part. I do this with all my planters to make sure it looks good before I plant.

 OK... We like.
Now to cut the birch.

 Eric with the chain saw... He scared a few co-workers who were diligently still at work at 7 pm..Poor guys.. :)

 The final look. The birch were hard to photograph from a true scale. They are larger than they look and a little more spread out. There are three if you can't tell at different heights. 

 As you can see we need one more of the alligator plant and we are going to get 2 more of the Shamrock as well to fill in. It was super windy also as you can tell. We had to work hard to keep all of our containers as well as the plants. 

 The much needed detail shot. Love the planter this year. Very Minnesota natural looking.

Hope you enjoyed our 36" in planter experience. 


Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Last Minute Skirt.

Well, I would suspect most parents kids come home from school forgetting to tell their parents that they need to bring snack to school until.... 'oh, about 8 pm'. If you are lucky. Since those parents will have just enough time to run to the store before it closes. Otherwise, you are racing around in the morning trying to get said snack.

My house is no different with the exception that the other night I was told the choir concert is tomorrow and I need that skirt you promised to make me. Tomorrow. Wow. This happened to me on Tuesday night. Welcome back after a nice long weekend to you too. So.... at 9 pm I started making this much needed long skirt for her choir concert. The concert was music from 'The Music Man' and was fabulous by the way. (It was yesterday evening.) Little skirts for Miss Avery typically do not stress me out but this one had a lot of elastic. Lots. All needing to be brought through little pockets. Reminder, I started this at 9 pm Tuesday. I finished at 12 am.

 The fabric I purchased from Sewtropolis.  I picked up the pattern information there as well. The pattern is actually from Anna Maria Horner. It is the flirting skirt in the upper left hand corner.

Let me take you on my journey from 9 to midnight.....
 9 pm.. Started with a few rectangles... (shown here... the liner fabric)

Next.. sew the sides together for the outside and the liner. Though for the liner she has you baste 4" of one side to allow for easy entry when you get to inserting the elastic. The next time I make this, I will probably baste 4" on both sides as I ended up opening the other side up as well. You'll see below. 

 Press seam open. You will do a fair amount of ironing with this as with any sewing project.

 Once that is down put the right sides together and sew together at the waist area.

 Next create the channels for the elastic. The elastic channels are 3/8" with a 1/2" spacing between. There are 4 channels. Count them. 4. Doesn't sound bad until you try threading the elastic through.

 Open up the basted side at each channel. Insert Elastic. Now comes the fun part... inch each piece through. It works best to keep the all at about the same point moving one forward a bit then onto the next one, etc.

 This was about 10:30. Remember when I talked about 20 pounds of Trouble trying to get up on the bed. Meet Trouble. He is 20 pounds of really dumb cat. Amazingly, he has a brilliant sister. Oh, yes Trouble. What I wouldn't give to hang out on the floor with you right now.

 I was having trouble getting the elastic through at this point because of the pressed seam so... I seamed ripped the channels open here. This is where I would baste again, in a future project.

 Meet Hazel. Teasing me with sleep as well. We are getting to about 11:30 or so... She is Trouble's brilliant sister.

12 am. The final product... I hope she likes it! 

 And she does like any good, angelic child. :) 

 Here she is at the choir concert during her narration part. The concert was super fun. The kids were smashing.

Aww... now if this doesn't make up for the last minuteness of this project, I don't know what would...

Off to work! I will catch the spelling and grammar mistakes later today!


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Twin City Tidbit. Walker Art Museum - Gather Grand opening.

Gather by D'Amico is opening at Walker on June 2nd.

Check it out.. The following is from the email that I received.. hot off the press..

Grand Opening: June 2

Target Free Thursday Nights at the Walker already feed your eyes and mind; now they feed your culinary appetite. On June 2, Gather by D'Amico opens with an exciting, new chef-driven sampler series, inaugurated by D'Amico executive chef Jay Sparks.

This series will continue on the first Thursday of each month, as an acclaimed guest chef introduces specially created small plates to be featured on the menu throughout the month. In July, we will be joined by Alex Roberts, followed by Isaac Becker in August.

D'Amico executive chef Josh Brown's lunch menu will feature globally inspired American cuisine served in a casual, elegant setting. Featured dishes include a
salad of warm salt-roasted beets with asparagus, pistachio, parmesan, and saporoso vinegar; halibut with spring onions, favas, and morels; barbeque beef short rib banh mi sandwiches; and buttermilk marinated chicken with artichokes, sweet peas, chard, and burrata; along with many other meat, fish, and vegetarian entrees; desserts; and wines by the bottle or by the glass.

Tuesday-Sunday, 11:30 am-2:30 pm
Open late Thursday, 5-9 pm 

Pinterest Post. In my next house.

I will have a slide.


Ps. The rest of the story is here.

Etsy find of the day!

This basket (with handles) would make it FUN to get organized. That is why it is my pick of the day. I think it's a huge bargain at $27.99! If you sew, I bet you could make one. Otherwise head over to Sewingmomma on Etsy and buy one.

You can even choose from the above fabrics! Buy a few of for each family member's extra stuff. We all need a place we can put the extras! Yikes, good luck deciding which one to get.

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Etsy find of the day...

This is my Etsy find of the day for you. I think it's the sweetest little print and would look cute in your bedroom to remind you how much you love your sweetheart. I also think it would be ESPECIALLY cute in a babies room. If you choose the latter, know that you will be singing this to babykins all the time!

This print just happens to cost $22.00. Let me tell you a secret....get yourself a 50% off coupon for Michael's and pick out a frame for it, then bring it to the framing department and have them finish the back off for you for about $5!

Addicted to Etsy yet?

The Bed Dilemma.

Some of you may have visited my house page. (For those of you who don't know who you are reading.. It is me. Alyssa. Smiling right back at you from my computer to yours.) Anyhow, if you visited my house page you will have seen my bedroom. If not, let me refresh your memory.

So, now onto the dilemma. We had a very uncomfortable king mattress in here once upon a time. It was OK for the occasional stay but did not have a lot of give (reminder this was our guest room prior to my office moving home). When we moved down here my hips started hurting pretty regularly and I finally had an aha moment after staying some where else that my problem was the mattress. Our first problem was getting a queen downstairs. We could get the mattress down, but not the box spring. Which meant we either had to put the mattress on the floor (no go.. I am creaky enough) or come up with an idea for a platform bed. Simple solution really, just add wood slats to the bed frame and voila, instant platform bed. Alas, when I sold the king mattress, I had to sell the frame as well and then we had nothing. But slats. So.. my lovely husband said, I can remedy that as well...... and did this.... 

As you can see from above he added a series of slats that go perpendicular to the original ones. (original ones are the ends at the side of the bed showing to the right of the picture) Then created a "box" for lack of a better term for the slats to sit on.  Now, this does solve the problem. It doesn't not take into consideration the nice sheets and knit blanket we have on the bed. The blanket is forever getting caught on the rough edges, because..oh, I forgot to mention. None of this is sanded. Eek! Also, we have a problem keeping the sheets tucked in at the bottom of the bed. Enough to make me crazy.. But it was cheap and easy and solved said problem. As we are on a pretty strict budget for the next year,  (it is my supreme to goal to get out of debt), in some situations we make due. This current make due solution  is making me too crazy to speak though.. so onto the next solution. A real bed. Being on a budget and liking more modern things, I kept my selecting to West Elm & Ikea. (I get a discount at West Elm as it is in the Williams Sonoma family and hey.. Ikea is just inexpensive.) I looked at the following.. did a few test drives at Ikea and West Elm and finally chose one that I have not seen in real life.. so here is hoping! 

The following were the contenders... 

We'll start with Ikea.. 
He was by far the most inexpensive. The problem with him was 2-part. First, we would have to keep up our make due cedar head board.. which is only there for the sake of having somewhere for curtains to go without them getting caught on our pillow at night and us pulling them down in our sleep. The second negative is that his "walnut" veneer is just a sticker.. Our cats are declawed on the front.. but not the back. Getting 20 pounds of Trouble up on the bed sometimes requires a little help from the back claws. Moving on.

 Well, she was the next option. I liked her for our cabin-to-be. But I thought she was a little too country for our city home. Thinking ahead as we are buying something that is still a little make due, this might be a good option as I can see this moving on to a cabin in the next fives years or so.. hoping we can make a cabin closer to home happen. Yet.. perhaps too girly for us. Sooo.... moving on somewhat reluctantly.

This was the last Ikea option. I like the white and the wicker on this one. It feels airy and light. though perhaps too airy and light for our bedroom with the 50's mid-century modern dresser and hopefully,as soon as I can find some, nightstands.  Eric was a big fat 'No' to this option. So, it quickly was scratched off the list.

Moving on... 

After seeing the last one and mentioning West Elm. Eric quickly went to their site while he was on the phone with me. (I was at Ikea test driving the above beds.) He saw this one right away and thought perfect. 

He said let's get that. You get a discount so it will be close to the Ikea options and let's just get the base. No headboard. It comes in dark or white. What do you think? Well, I think. Neither. I want a head board and our dresser is a medium golden tone. White would be OK, but not what I would love. Also, I am thinking bunny chew toy. So.. moving on...

The final selection. Yes. The most expensive. But, hey I get a discount. Why not use it! :) 

This bed has it all for me. It is has the herringbone pattern. I like. It also looks twiggy. The cabin in the future likes. It is metal. The bunnies like. Oh, wait. No, they don't like. Oh, that makes me like it more!  So that dilemma is solved and moving on to paint colors. Eric will be excited when he comes home to this in our bedroom tonight. Keep in mind we still have the backyard hell going on.


Have a great night all! 

Ps.. I am leaning towards the one on the right...

Welcome to my Tuesday.

Out of coffee beans. Yup.  
You'll note Connie the Cuisinart in the background anxiously awaiting the beans.
Off to the grocery. I'll be back soon..


Monday, May 30, 2011

Remember, Thank & Honor.

Happy Memorial Day. 

-the gals from the cozy urban home. 

Sneak Peak of a project for this week!

 Avery's messy room. Oh, how I miss the days of her babyhood when her room was as I wanted it. Clean and orderly.... not full of little bits of things that make her happy and me crazy! :)

Can you guess what I will be doing? 

This should be a wonderful little clean-up. 

I don't want a cabin, I want a....

HOUSEBOAT! This one:

I can't even see inside, but summer makes me long to be on the water. I've had this picture forever so I can't give credit where credit is due...sorry for that. I just imagine lazy days and nights filled with guests. Every single weekend! Hope you had a fabulous Memorial weekend and gave kudos to veterans and the people who are currently serving. They are doing that while I am sitting at home enjoying life. For that, I honor them. If you know a sure to thank them!

Best wishes,
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