Friday, June 25, 2010

It's Getting Hot Out There

I've heard that the sound of moving water actually makes you feel cooler on a hot day.  I don't know if that's really true, but who doesn't love the sound of water falling?

This house came with the pond in the front yard. Just the pond, no fountain. I have to admit I was very intimidated about maintaining a pond at first. I had no idea how to take care of it and the whole filter and pump thing really was daunting to me.

Front pond

Now, three years later I have not just one but two ponds and I'll be in charge of the elementary school pond and courtyard starting in the fall for at least the next six years. (I was nominated by my neighbor.)

A couple weeks ago a friend of mine was having a party/fundraiser in her backyard.  I don't know why, but I felt compelled to create some atmosphere for her party by installing a little fountain in the flower bed by her patio.

You don't have to have a pond to have the sound of splashing water. You can create a fountain just about anywhere (you just need a power source). It's a high impact project that doesn't have to cost a lot and can bring so much pleasure to you and the birds-- I encourage you to give it try!

Clearly I'm partial to the urn fountain, but you can create one with any vessel you have that has a hole in the bottom. I've even seen a stack of rocks with holes drilled through them. (That's a little too involved for me, but it looked cool.) 

If you want to create a little outdoor atmosphere and possibly cool down while you enjoy it,  here's what you'll need. 

- Outdoor pond pump 
Just determine how high your vessel will be and get one that will pump water that high. This one from Home Depot cost $21 and will pump up to 4ft high. It's the one I used for my friends fountain. 

- A watertight basin. I used this plastic planter that came with a plug.
- Tubing

  1. Just put your water-tight base where you want it to be. You can even bury the basin put chicken wire over it and then cover them with river rocks. 
  2. Place the pump in it.
  3. Attached the tubing to pump.
  4. Feed the tubing up through your vessel.
  5. Fill with water.
  6. Plug it in and sit back and enjoy the sound of  water flowing. 

Note: It does start to get a little more complicated if you're going to add fish because then you have to have a filter too. 

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Getting My Gold On

Up until now most of my posts have talked about how much I like black, white, beige and my general lack of color.
Beige/gold stools

 I admit that gold doesn't really stretch my limits much, since in my palate it's generally just a darker form of beige.  But recently I've really been adding the gold accents by way of old brass.  I'm shocking myself with this one because I never liked brass.

Brass bowl with bamboo rim and beetle 

Old brass letter holder w/ letter opener on top - on entry table holds outgoing mail

Old brass chandelier my friend gave me back in February now hanging in my dining room

Wheat base table w/ gilt finish in sunroom

Brass reading lamp

Extra large and very old gilt mirror 

Faux brass/gilt finish chandelier in sunroom

I've even taken this color into my jewelry line.  I thought this necklace would be perfect for summer and can go formal or everyday. 

And since I'm wearing gold again I needed a gold watch. I picked this one up at Target yesterday. Cute and fun cuff style.

The best part is,  since brass has been so out of style it's very inexpensive. I don't think any of these items cost me more than $12 :)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Fixture Fixation

I've been working on my lighting fixtures this week. I had this chandelier hardwired into the ceiling in the sunroom. 

This chandelier actually started out like this

But I fished it out of my friend's trash and turned it into this 

It's been hanging in the dining room for about two years now. It was too big and felt too craft-project to me. The silver paint was too modern.

So this week I painted it again and moved it to the sunroom 

But I don't know if it looks too faux antique and if I should just be done with it once and for all. 

Today I found this old italian chandelier (that's what the guy at the flea market said anyway).  I think it's unique and very pretty. But is it right for the sunroom? Is it big enough? Does it belong in a powder room or my office?  Do I need professional help (therapy) for my fixture fixation? 

Blogger friends, please tell me what to do!!

This one?                                            

Or this one?

Or neither :)

Also, while I've got your attention can you tell me if you think this table I got at an estate sale Friday looks better with the glass top it came with? Or the marble I put on it. Or, if it's not working at all. 

Thanks for your help on these very important issues:) 


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Fine tuning the Sunroom

I had a fantastic week last week, and this one is off to a pretty good start too.

I finally found a chair that I think is interesting that works in the sunroom.

After bringing this one home I decided it was time for me to finish the chair I had been working on in the upholstery class. It's still not finished, but it's in the room and can be sat upon.

Can you see the cute little reading swing-arm lamp next to the chair. I found it at my favorite thrift store. It's perfect, because it is not messing up the view to the garden but Matt has the light he needs to read.

It think it looks so much better on that side of the room now that I don't have two very large dark green chairs.

I found these gray wicker lidded baskets at Ross for only $11.99 and $7.99.

They go nicely with the bigger blanket basket I got a few months ago and the tin-lined baskets I'm using for my ferns. (found at Marshall's on clearance for $2.99.)

I think I'll use these gray boxes to organize the toy and craft closet in the sunroom. I'm always so mortified when the closet doors swing open. I think these could actually make it look cute in there. The biggest one cost only $6.99. Again, I found them at Ross.

The smallest box was $2.99 and I'm using it for S&P shakers and napkins.

I made a couple pillows for the living room. They are a very luxurious chenille and velvet. I've got a dark and light thing going on in there. It's a work in progress, but I do think it's coming along.

In other creative ventures I created a little water fountain for a good friend of mine. You don't have to have a pond to have a fountain:).

This one only cost $25 because we used things we already had. I'll do a separate post about how to make a patio fountain later this week. (I hope you're not getting tired of the urns.)

We ended the week by hosting about 20 people for a going away party/lunch for one of Matt's staff people. It was a lot of fun and I did some really cute things with the food and the yard that I would love to show you, but I forgot to take pictures. Everyone had a great time though.

Thanks for checking in with me today!