I've neglected updating this a bit so this will be a big post. We got a ton accomplished this weekend around the house. Sunday was spent chopping down tree branches in the front and back yards. We still need to get a professional in to get down the really big branches in the front of the house (they hang over the roof into the gutters), but we were able to make some progress on some of the smaller ones.
In the backyard, the big pine tree's branches were reaching out over the roof and most of them were completely dead. So we cleaned the tree up.
Here's the best "before" I could find...
Remember the giant shed we ripped down within the first week? And the overgrown rhodedendrons? Yeah, I had kind of pushed them out of my mind too.
Here's the neat and tidy after...
This backyard has come SO far from when we bought the house. It's so different and much more spacious. Night and day back here. The retaining wall that Branden and my brother built has held up really well. We dumped a ton of soil behind it, as well as the day lily bulbs that I pulled up from elsewhere in the yard, and they've already started sprouting behind the wall. Resilient little guys.
You can see Branden's handywork. I'm just glad it wasn't me way up on that ladder. :)
The next backyard plan is to get the fence installed in the next couple of weeks before the ground starts to freeze. Stay tuned for that!
While Branden and his dad did the tree chopping, I hung out with the dog and worked on inside projects. That bookcase that I mentioned earlier has been the bane of my existence. Despite a coat of primer and two coats of paint, it all somehow easily chips off with practically a light tap. I've taken chips off with just my fingernails accidentally tapping the surface. So I got some polyurethane to seal everything. Fingers crossed that this works, cause if not I'm out of ideas! I was about ready to toss the whole thing into a bonfire this weekend and dance around it like Maleficent's weird goblin guys in Sleeping Beauty. I'm working on adhering fabric to the back and though it's been really tough, it seems to be working. I hope to have a solid after photo to share soon because if not I'm probably just going to lose my mind.
One little project that did go a bit better was our recent Craigslist find. We came across this sweet vintage telephone table with a hidden seat (!) a couple of weeks ago and definitely had to make the drive out to snag it.
Secrets! I just love love love secret hidden things. It was in pretty decent shape when we got it, but needed a good refinishing, and the seat was pretty dingy and beat. That rusty looking hardware wasn't working for me either.
I primed the whole thing (it was a pain in the butt getting in all those grooves with a brush) and then Branden spray painted. Some primer, a few coats of spray paint, and new hardware and we came out with this:
I love it! The table now lives in that previously puzzling blank spot next to our television. Not sure if this will be its permanent home, but for now it works. I recovered the seat with some remnant fabric we had. It's actually leftover fabric that Branden used inside the cases at his jewelry store. It's not quite right (too pink) but for now it works.
Solid project, right? Well... umm, right after the last coat of spray paint, Branden asked me to hold the table up while he sprayed underneath. Somehow I let the whole thing topple over (it's really top heavy!) and smash onto the patio. So now there's this teensy weensy chunk missing off the top...
Whoops. Stay tuned for a post on how to fix chipped wood! This is why I'm not to be trusted with important jobs, people. I know this. It's also why I didn't try to be a lumberjack and stayed inside, far away from ladders and saws and sharp things. I know my limits.