Wednesday, October 24, 2012


I am finally going to show my finished pictures of the back yard project along with "before" pictures so you can compare.  Hopefully I can show the best parts of this yard and you can refer to the before pictures for a total perspective of the change.

The first before picture is from our master bedroom looking out onto the old planter.
That section of planter has been replaced with a big ol' kitchen, and although this was the one design issue we weren't sure about, it now doesn't seem to bother us waking up to stone and metal.
This next old picture is looking toward the master bedroom at the other side of the original planter. Our kitchen consisted of the big barbeque.
The kitchen is bigger than the planter was, and the main large planter is still there and even larger than before.
Here were Kara and Lena standing where the main patio meets the brick.
Vantage point from the kitchen window toward the pool house (casita).
New entrance to the pool house. Wider stairs and nice solid landing at the top. Our dog house area is now a planter. (We haven't had a dog for 5 years, but that is still what I think of when I look at the planter.)
The sidewalk and planting area at the house end of the pool, were where the biggest change was planned.
Sure enough, it is a pretty big change. This is where we added a whole covered room, fireplace, etc.
The old basketball standard on the southwest end of the pool,
was where the plant on the left of this next picture was located. This overflow fountain is on the direct south side, parallel to the house. The point of the pool was straightened out to make room for this feature.
Remember the diving board? No longer there. Sorry Lexy, but in its place....
is a nice little retreat area. The smaller arbor with a nice sized cabana in it is a great place to watch the world rotate. You could read a book or take a nap here too.
Michael always enjoyed the deep end. (when the fear of shark attack was at its lowest point)
Now, there is less walking room and the concrete coping around the pool is a little smoother on the thighs than the old used brick.
Lexy jumping into the pool and towards GramVi from the hot tub area.
Same pool sans brick, cum stone. Love it!
Looking like some cold swimmers there.

Playing on the old stairs that are pretty identical to the new ones.

 Now we need to watch extra carefully, however, because the
pathway to the other side could be somewhat treacherous.
Remember our drainage problem?  Our Ellery played happily in the ever present puddle.

The plantings right next to the house are much more friendly than the concrete right up to the edge.
And there are no long lived puddles anymore. Pretty nice.
Looking toward the house from the big arbor.
These wind sculptures are great addition to the plantings.
Old brick edging went around the grass too.
Now it is just plain bark dust. (you can tell I am an Oregonian at heart sometimes.)
The Hubby got his Palm trees too.
Back to the brick. For a long time we had a walnut tree in the middle of this circular brick pad. It didn't survive being between the huge Ash trees after about 45 years.
This circle of brick has been replaced by a short sidewalk from new stairs coming up the center area of those two big trees.
Nice finely bladed fescue grass. I really like the look of it.
Below is the old. Not a ton of difference in this part of the yard. Apple trees are still intact.
Here's our vegetable garden from last year.
Here's the area transformed for next years garden. A little amendment still to be worked on.
The Hubby did a fine job building these raised beds.
From the large arbor looking across the pool to the smaller one. Notice the ball hoop on the left. It'll be a bit different game, but still doable.
The plants are happy as our weather is turning to fall. It is truly amazing how fast they have been growing.
Have you had quite enough of this? It was a bit of an organizational mess with the pictures and all, but hopefully this is a good comparison to before and after, for this large project.
All's well that ends well.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Warm Weather School Dress

Last year I made a cute little sun dress for Lena and  it caused some angst in her big sis. She liked it and wanted one too.  So toward the end of this summer, I thought, "I'd better make her one from this pattern because next year it could be too late and her tastes will start changing."
Well I never got a picture of her in it, but I'm gonna post it anyway. This color wave is probably not her favorite. I love these colors together and the main fabric lends itself to have purple and bright sagey green matching fabrics to go with it.
I also made up some flowers out of rick rack and funky buttons to match the thing.