Thursday, May 24, 2012

Backyard Beautification - Just Add Water

Devin and I decided during one of our regular shopping trips to the home improvement store, that what our backyard was missing was water.  So this is what we brought home. 

It was an awesome deal for the pool and it included a pump, skimmer, vacuum, tarp, ladder and cover.  We could not wait to take a dip and subsequent dips as the weather here in Austin begins to be reminiscent of hell.  It gets H-O-T here.  But, don't let the name of this pool fool you!  This was by no means an "easy" task.  These babies have to be set up on practically perfect level ground.  Our back yard is not. 

So it began. 

Step One:  Mark our perimeter that the pool will occupy using a steak in the center with a rope tied to it the length of the radius.  Walk in the circle with a can of spray paint marking the end of the rope on the ground.  Mow the grass to the shortest level we can with the mower in the newly marked circle. 

Step Two:  Use a tiller to break up the dirt so that we can move it around easier for leveling.  Digging down on the high side and adding to the low side. 

Notice Devin's super sweet headband?  It was part of the 2nd year anniversary gift I got him to represent cotton.  And he needed it.  Tilling is some tough work, and he is sweats...alot. 

Step Three:  Use a long board approximately the length of the radius with a level attached to it and steak one end to the center of your circle.  Move the board around the circle leveling the ground as you go. 

Step Four:  Once you have it level, wet down the ground and compact it down to prevent the earth from moving around under the pool. 

Step Five:  Start installing your pool, placing the tarp down over the circle.

Step Six:  Lay out the pool, air up the top ring and fill it with water. 

This is when we discovered that our ground was still not level!  ARGHHH!  We did this 3 times and finally decided we had to bring in the big guns.  The pea gravel that we have an abundance of. 

Step Seven:  Remedy the un-levelness buy installing a small retaining barrier by cutting 2x4s into small lengths and staking them into the ground.  Then add pea gravel until level with the center of the circle. 

This time it worked!  EUREKA!  And we now how this in our back yard. 

YAY!  We still have some work to do to continue the "Backyard Beautification" process, but at least we have a place to cool down this summer.  Maybe it will encourage us to get our backyard patio done...

Friday, May 4, 2012

2 Down, 2 to Go

As you may remember in this post of yore, I scored some sweet goods on Craigslist with the intention of re-inventing them for our house. 

Well, I have successfully completed item number 2 of the 4 I purchased.  This guy!

With a little sanding, cleaning, priming and spray painting, I was left with this.

Just a few facts, the top of this nightstand is white melamine, so I did not paint it.  It was in good shape after some cleaning so I just taped it off with painters tape to prevent over spray.  Also, melamine is not the easiest thing to get paint to stick to. 

I replaced the knob with this pretty mercury glass one I scored at Home Goods a while back.

The inside of the drawer was not in great shape, in fact it looked pretty darn gross.  It had some staining in the bottom of the drawer. 

So I drug out some of my leftover wallpaper from the dining room project and cut it to fit in the bottom of the drawer.  The wallpaper had ready to use paste on the back, so I just wet the paper and applied to the bottom of the drawer.  Voila, a perfect fit with the perfect amount of adhesion. 

All in all, it was a quick, simple, inexpensive ($10 table, paint and primer I had on hand) project that makes a big difference for me.  The new table is much bigger over all.  The top affords much more space for my reading material, which are often times rather large hardback books, (I'm reading The Passage by Justin Cronin, and I am totally into it) along with my alarm clock and telephone.  It also provides some space for some pretty things like a vase (that will someday have flowers in it) and a candle with our monogram on it.  And, can you spy my helper behind the curtains?  Remember you can't see her if she can't see you. 

The transition is happening slowly in this room, we went from this...

to this.

And still, there is work to be done.  A new headboard, re-paint the walls, something fun with the curtains and a small bit of convincing my husband that he would really enjoy a new nightstand courtesy of my Craigslist finds.  I will be slowly working on the latter.

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