Sunday, August 28, 2011

Welcoming Entry

I love walking up to a welcoming entryway.  Our front entrance is not much space, a porch which is more stoop than anything else.  But I do try to have it convey a sense of homeyness. I love the white dogwood wreath I put there for spring. Okay, spring has sprung and I should have gone to something more seasonal, but it didn't happen, I don't mind. My favorite statue, my little deer, has been moved here. A pot of flowers to admire as I pause outside the front door. I have been intending to replace these chrysanthemums with some deep red impatiens, but every time I think to remove them, I notice that they are sending out little buds for their next flowering, and lose heart at the thought of uprooting and discarding them. I actually first planted them last fall, for that season, meaning to repot different blooms every few months. Again, not being updated that regularly, but that seems less important all the time.

Yes, this is one of those cheap little cherubs from my local drug store. Shhh, don't tell her that. Her soul is as classic and artistic as when the design was first imagined.  She looks so sweet and serene there.

It's not much, not lavish, just the final few feet before stepping into my humble home.  It will be finally updated in another month, to allow for a Fall look. In fact, in several more weeks it will look entirely different. We are contracting for new windows and a new door, and will not have that screen door again. But for now, it continues to cheer my soul and make me happy to walk up to my special place.

I am linking up with Cielo from The House in the Roses for Show Off Your Cottage Mondays

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Blinging the Brick

The brick patio is done. Almost. Okay, there's still that cleanup issue, some extra wood and unusable or just a few extra bricks to get rid of. For my good friends - and a few stalwart bloggers - who have heard me moaning about spending the past several weekends immersed in replacing our decaying wood deck with brick, this probably seems to have been in process much longer than should be expected. Well, at least that is how I feel. Seriously, you imagine a project like this lasting 2-3 weekends, not 2 months. Most of the first month was spent just demolishing the existing deck and getting rid of the boards & rubble, some of which I explained in my prior blog. I wanted to put in another blog or two of our work in process, I really did, but my daughter used the family's digital camera on a trip to Austin for 3 weeks, and the pictures we took on my hubby's cellphone never were sent to our email. (I haven't found that button yet.)

He mortared these used brick pavers to an existing concrete step by our patio door, but a few of them did not take, so we need another layer of glue-mortar. Then he is supposed to have a piping bag to put more concrete in between the bricks. So yes, a bit of touch-up there still needs to be done. The sand is a bit unfinished feeling as well, the idea was we were to sweep sand over the bricks and have it fill in the areas between, much like grouting tile. Sounds simple, right? I was thinking this would take all of 30 minutes to an hour. Hmmm. We've swept and stamped, and tried to work sand in between all those lovely bricks, and maybe my hubby placed them just a bit too closely together, because that sand just did not want to fill all those little spaces in between. Oh well, I told my sweaty darling, dirt happens. I'm thinking in another several weeks there will be enough dust and flotsam happening naturally that we'll not be noticing many empty spaces. For right now, there are some stray lines of sand still hanging around corners, but they'll find a permanent home eventually.

What do you think of the bold pattern we used? We were going for a mix of used and new brick treatment. I myself would have spaced the used brick more sporadically, aiming for a more organic feel. My husband really wanted a pattern, though, so our basketweave brick work looks rather like a ribbon has been woven through it. I do hope it's not too bold.

I am very happy with the outcome. Besides cleaning up and finishing the last few things, at least it feels done. I now have my patio back (mostly) and my weekends back. Good thing, because there's a bit of housework needing to catch up on.....when I rest up a bit more...... maybe next weekend.

I'm linking up with Homemaker on a Dime: Creative Bloggers Party
and Between Naps on the Porch Metamorphosis Monday
and Passionately Artistic linky party