Thursday, August 27, 2009

Back to School

My oldest helper, Tessa, went back to school this week.

Anyway - before she went we did a little back-to-school-crafting.
Instead of buying her one of the cute, but more expensive, 3 ring binders, I purchased one of the cheap solid color ones with a clean window on the front and scrapped it for her.
Now her binder is totally personalized in her favorite colors :)

Super fast, cheap and easy project. My favorite kind (but the ones I rarely do!)

The Front:
The Back:
The Side:

She loves it, so everybody's happy!

Friday, August 14, 2009


I've been bugging Matt about a pergola almost as long as I'd been bugging him about a swing set.
I'm a real nag.

So this year I decided it was going to get done. I found myself some DIY instructions on the net, worked out a plan, figured out how much lumber (and in what sizes) to buy, and made a trip to the Home Depot for everything I could get myself.
Then I talked Matt into getting the really long pieces with one of his work trucks, the one with the big rack over the bed :)

We got to work on this project over the 4th of July weekend. By then, Matt was as excited about it as I was (he loves me so much ;)
I put a coat of weather protector/stain on the lumber.
What?! Oh! A camera! Let me sit instead of waving my butt in the air!

We drilled holes into our concrete patio with a special drill and attached these metal post base things.
Asher went nuts over this part - such a boy!

Then we put the posts in.

After this we had a bit of a rough time. My original design had a curve in it, to echo the curve of the patio. Awesome on paper - completely ridiculous in real life. Think things through, people. A curve? Really?
I can't believe we didn't think about how the beams would connect the posts. Duh.
Anyway, I made a modification to the design, but only AFTER we wasted lots of time (over an hour!) trying to make it work.

At this point my neighbor came outside with her little girl and I got distracted. We filled up a kiddie pool and ate popsicles. What can I say? It was a hot day and I needed a break.

Matt was only too happy to work alone (and in peace!) for a while, but no pictures got taken. Oops.
The next day we notched the cross beams for the top using a table saw and attached them to the top using nails. Later Matt put the triangular support pieces on.

Here's the before (as in right before - when we were starting the project)

Here's the after
Gorgeous, right?

I ordered a water mister system online and Matt installed it - it's awesome, but we haven't had much use for it this year, since it's been so cool here lately! I anticipate using it a lot in the future, though. It's almost completely hidden when you look at it from the outside, because Matt mounted it up underneath. He's so clever!
BTW, if you spotted the one dark brown post good for you - you're probably very good at Where's Waldo.
I thought I'd like a dark stain better, so a few weeks ago I painted some on...and didn't like it. Now I just have to figure out how to get it off. Or something.

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