Broken Ground

At last we have broken ground on our new home!!  That’s what’s kept me so busy and unable to post regularly last week.  It sure is a lot of fun picking out all the details, but it takes a lot of time, especially when you’re working within a budget. 🙂

So here’s a little look at the progress thus far.  This is the view heading toward our property.  This is where the pavement ends.  We are still two more bends in the road away.  Notice all the fireweed lining the road?  Some of that is gonna end up in my garden!


And here’s the driveway from in front of the house.  Yes that is a slight bit of a mountain view through the trees!  Something I hadn’t expected, but absolutely love!


Here’s the foundation thus far from the front corner of the garage.


And from the side.  With the well going in just beyond.


This is the yard on the side of the garage.  The septic system will go here, so some of this will be filled in before construction is finished.  The rest will be filled in at some point later by us to make it more usable.  I’m thinking some of this area, possibly closer to the driveway, may end up being used for my rain garden due to the natural slope.


A little more mountain view from the back corner!
I’m thinking I’m going to need a bench out front to enjoy that!


This will be the view out the back of the house for now.
We will clear a bit more to create a yard for the dogs next summer.


Here is the view from the area near the well.  I love that you can just barely see the edge of the neighbor’s driveway, but not the neighbors themselves!  And that means they can’t see us either! Just how we planned it!


The view from the front of the house.  The pink flags on the trees are the property line.  But the lot next door is the same size as ours so it’s likely that when it sells and is built on the owners will build farther forward so we won’t really see them either.


And the best view of all.. our well hitting water at 135′!  Read more about that on my photography blog.

10Stay tuned.  There will be more pictures as things progress!

Bring On the Rain

Where has the week gone?!  It’s somehow Thursday and I have yet to do a post this week, but I guess I have good reason.  We were dealing with construction allowances for the house on Monday, drove to Whittier to drop off a trailer for a friend on Tuesday and had friends in town Wednesday so there just hasn’t been a spare moment to blog until now.

During my allowance budgeting I did do some research on a couple of things we’re looking at tackling right away when we move in.  I’d like to get some planting done, if we get in before the first frost, so that I have things started for next season.  I toyed with the idea of going to the nursery plant sales to snag up all the 40-50% off perennials and shrubs I plan to use, but I’ve held off just because I don’t want to be stuck with a bevy of potted greenery that I can’t plant because the ground is frozen and needs somewhere protected to winter over.  So instead I decided to research things I can prep for spring.  One of those things was rain chains from our eaves to a barrel which will collect run-off water.  I plan to snap up the supplies during the off season for less and prep them so everything is ready to be put in action as soon as weather allows.

While researching ideas for that project I discovered that our community has a Rain Garden program.  I had never heard of a rain garden, but it sounded interesting.  Described as a vegetated areas, built specifically to manage storm water runoff from driveways, sidewalks, roofs and other paved surfaces, it provides runoff an area to spread for removal of sediment and pollutants while also preventing flooding and erosion.

What a perfect complement to the rain chain and barrels I was already planning to use.  Plus the natural ravine we have on our property provides an excellent footprint for this type of garden.  If we can get it installed before winter takes hold it should be a big help in controlling spring’s thawing run-off.

What’s even better is that the local program encourages the use of rain gardens by paying home owners to install them!  They will reimburse up to $500 of the cost you incur to install your garden, green roof or porous pavement.  How awesome is that?  Check out these gardens that have been created around the community through this program.

The hard part will be deciding what vegetation to include in my rain garden.  Although I’m pretty sure the first round of plants will be those that are currently living in containers around my home now – iris, hydrangea, strawberries, lavender, marigolds, and daisies along with bulbs that I have not yet planted because I’m out of room. I’m sure not all of them will survive the transplant and impending winter, but those that don’t will create pockets of space to try new things come spring! And then I’ll be singing Jo Dee Messina’s “Bring on the rain” to watch our handy work in action!

Simple, Rustic Monograms

6I recently created these monogram wall hangings as inventory for a local craft show using materials I had on hand.  A cork square, a little burlap, some cord, my Silhouette machine and a sharpie is all I needed.  First I covered the 6” cork square with burlap, wrapping it around the edges and securing it on the back with hot glue.

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Next I designed a variety of popular initials and cut them out on either paper or wax paper.  This was the first time I’d used wax paper to make a stencil and found that it tended to curl once removed from the cutting mat, so the regular paper seemed to work a little better, although I had to be careful not to tear it.

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5I pinned the stencil to the board and traced an outline of the letter with my sharpie.  From there I just colored inside the lines to fill in the remainder of the letter.

Then I attached a bit of fabric cord in a loop at the top of the board on the back with some more hot glue to make a simple hanger.  I think they turned out pretty darn cute and priced them at just $5 due to their simple construction.  I still have several available in my Etsy shop and still have materials to make more if you need a letter I haven’t created yet.

I also made these fabric bulletin boards using the same method, sans the stenciling portion.  It makes them just a little prettier than the basic cork tile on the wall.


I just love quick, easy craft projects, don’t you?!

A Sneak Peek At Our New Kitchen!

We are finally breaking ground on our new home this week!  HALLELUIAH!!! Now that means we’ve been given the green light to get all of our materials chosen, including cabinets and counter tops for the kitchen.  We had these done up at Home Depot and even ended up almost $1,600 BELOW our cabinetry allowance!  Now we’re trying to work that same magic on the counter tops and flooring.

Picture 3Ignore the additional walls in the background.  They were used in the design software to plan out the bathroom vanities but the computer ‘sees’ them and renders them as plotted.

Picture 1 Picture 2
You’ll have to imagine our invisible pantry door on that corner wall, and our fridge will be a 3 door, but it’s close enough for a rendering.  We will also have a more mid-tone variegated flooring and a warm tan/beige wall color, so the contrast won’t be so pronounced.

Picture 4Picture 5

I left these two adjacent to give you a panorama effect of the back and side wall.  What’s scary great is that we’re such planners we already know what each cabinet shall hold!

And all of the drawers and cabinets are quiet close!  *Cue heavenly music*  Depending on when our builder orders them we may also get a free double cutlery divider in one of our drawers and roll-out bins rather than shelves in a few too!  Now we have to sit and count out how many knobs and handles we have to order.  We found some pretty ORB style hardware that run about $2.50 each so that shouldn’t break the bank either.

Lighting.  Check.  Cabinets.  Check. Counter tops.  In Progress.  Flooring.  Still the budget buster, final decision TBD.