New Front Steps

Its been a while (understatement, almost 3 years!!) since I updated our house progress. Our front steps were built to be short term until we could decide what we wanted: stone, poured concrete, brick? The wood we used for the temporary steps wasn’t treated, so after three years of use and a constant re-painting, it was time to decide what we wanted so we could finish the entrance.


The temporary wood steps.

I new I wanted some sort of tile work, but was hesitant to make it too Spanish.

After looking at many tiled stairs images, I decided it was the brick or Terra-cotta that gave it the Spanish flair, and I could use a colorful tile riser if I had a different medium for the tread. My husband was leaning toward pouring concrete, so I began to research Brownstones. This image brings together all the elements I was looking for.

I appreciate the lip on the concrete tread and even the little bit of trim flair on the underside.

We knew we wanted iron rail, but will wait to add that as the budget allows. I love the look of the old iron.

So, the new steps begin!



Garden show off

I didn’t have a garden last year because of the remodel work. It was killing me! This garden plot was a weed area for the previous owner. It was covered in comfrey (devil weed), dandelions, butterfly bushes, poppies and morning glories. A few redeeming factors: This arch is now covered in Marion berries. The site gets FULL sun. It tucks in perfectly between the grape arbor and back lawn. arch

I couldn’t wait to start planning this year, and started to design and till the soil in March. Of course, a full till of the soil cut all the morning glory vines into millions of little vines that I will battle until kingdom come, but it needed one good till. We won’t till it again, instead use cover crops to work the soil each year.


This is the progression from my kitchen window. I laid black plastic between the beds for weed control on the paths. I am using raised beds without boxes. We just piled up the dirt high for the beds and lower for the paths.


Wood chips lay over the plastic. By April things were starting to green up.


I have a bed of potatoes under the straw bed right by the arch. I’ve failed at getting a good crop from potato towers, so I’m trying the old-fashioned way of piling up straw around the plants.


By June we were swimming in lettuce and the beans are to the tops of the teepees!

WP_20130628_001Time for the carrots and first planting of lettuce to come out to make way for the tomatoes.



Brass Hinge

I love our step-up door to the attic-master bedroom. So many things in this old house are charming. The brass hinge that had been painted over is one. I posted earlier this year about cleaning this old hinge. You can read that post, here.

Here is what the hinge looked like when we bought the place. I didn’t even know it was something special until a friend pointed it out. And even then, didn’t discover it was brass until I started stripping the paint off.


And, in all its glory!


We installed the trim last weekend. I will be caulking and painted it over the next few days. So, this space isn’t quite done.


Entry Coat and Shoe Shelf

For the last 2 weeks, the entry floor has been a jumbled mess of boxes, coats, umbrellas, shoes and dirt. Here’s my fix.
Before, was this old oak bookshelf Stephen brought home from a job 6 years ago. I’ve always loved the ruffle detail at the top and the casters at the bottom.

I painted it the same color as the wall, because I love how it makes the tile pop.

I need to come up with something cool to put on the top shelf.

Basement Floor

The floor grinding did not kick up as much dust. And, since the machine was heavier and gravity was at work, it was an easier job. (Look mom, he’s wearing his mask! Goggles too!)

It still took him all day to grind the floor.

Cement sans paint:

Cleanup begins!

What do I do?

Stephen leaves the house at  7 am and goes to work until noonish. Then he goes to the house and works there for another 8-9 hours. What have I been doing? Projects, packing and childcare. We only have one car, so I’m stranded. We played lots of games until I packed them all.
And, I’ve had a few compassion visits from friends. I welcome all. 🙂

Coconut Cakelettes

Honestly, I can’t get enough of Sprinkle Bakes. I love making Heather’s beautiful treats. These were delicious!