Martha Stewart, eat your heart out!
For whatever reason, I swear I feel like I am going through some sort of nesting phase for winter preparations. Even Martha Stewart would be proud of everything I am doing. I know back South we never had to do much winterizing since we could depend on having a few odd-ball warm days in the middle of winter plus total lack of any “real” snow. Up here, however, things are just different. Winters are cold with plenty of ice storms and snow and never any warm fluke days to count on in case we forget to get something done outside.
So…since I’ve neglected the yard for this summer, I’ve been working *really* hard to get things back in shape so that things will be ready to go next spring. For the lawn, I’ve spread fall mixtures of weed/feed/seed mixes and watered liberally each day that we don’t have rain. I’ve cleared out all but two of my gardens, cutting back dying summer foliage and pulling up things that don’t belong or plants that need to be thinned out/divided. Next I need to layer thick mulch down around the bases of the plants to make sure that they have extra protection against the cold winter ahead. All that I really have left is to rake up dead leaves that cover the lawn each week until the trees are bare.
The sculpted patio in the back yard developed a layer of green growth wherever we had furniture or other items. So I moved things around so that I could bleach and scrub the patio clean. Luckily it came right up and now looks fabulous. I put the swing underneath the 2nd story porch on the mulched area to protect it from snow. The weight of snow severely stretches and tears the fabric. I put C’s gas grill and our fire pit against the house out of the way after cleaning their respective covers. I moved our dining table and two of the four chairs down onto the patio. I am making a little sitting area with the remaining two chairs on the 2nd story porch and will eventually convert the porch into a little play area for Nathan for the warmer days.
I also need to construct a little gate for the porch. I am also going the large playard gate/corral up as an extra safety measure and will possibly put up the coated “chicken” wire around the railing as well. Never can be safe enough!
Inside, I’m making progress with Nathan’s playroom plans! I’ve got a lot to do: painting, decluttering, clean the carpet, hang pictures, mount new wooden blinds. I did, however, make great strides with one of my more time-consuming projects. We kept an old oak living room side table/coffee table set from when we first got married. They are ugly as sin and have been given plenty of “character” from lack of any sort of drink toasters and also plenty of chewed wood due to unrestrained and bored mutt activity. Since I have never (ever) even attempted the intimidating task of refinishing furniture, I started out with doing one one of the side tables.
First I hand-sanded all of the glossy paint away, then wiped it down. Then I applied primer, 2 coats of left-over beige/ivory-ish paint. I was nervous that the paint would chip off so I also spray-painted several layers of clear Rustoleum laquer top-coat and couldn’t be happier! The top coat made all the difference in the world. It is definetely protected now from chipping and watermarks, which is perfect for the playroom.
For the coffee table, I am thinking of doing the base and trim the same ivory/beige-ish color and then painting the top of it with chalkboard paint. I can paint little matching chairs for the table and he will have himself his very own play table!
I like this chair from Ikea because I should be able to just paint right over it and it is inexpensive:
At the base of our stairs I am hoping to make a little photo gallery collage. Our house has a very open floor plan so we do not have much wall space for pictures.
I will be sure to post before/after pictures later on!