Thursday, April 17, 2014

Sand Gnats and Flowers.....and Sand Gnats

You know how you move to a new area and everyone wants to tell you what to watch out for and what to avoid?  Yes?  Well, moving to the southern east coast of Georgia, came with many warnings about sand gnats.  "Just wait for gnat season." "Those sand gnats are nasty and mean."  "Watch out, they bite!"  Yeah, yeah, yeah, every place has annoying bugs.  We just came from Florida, we dealt with love bugs!  Oh yeah, Georgia has those too....great.  So, here's a little story about a big idea to plant some flowers.  It goes quickly because we were moving in super speed.

I took my little man, Hago (formerly known as the little terrorist), to Lowe's so he could pick out some "flowers" to plant. I say "flowers" because I was mostly encouraging him to buy flowering bushes instead of annuals, because, c'mon, who plants to replant every. single. year? Not this girl!  He did a great job with the "plant specialist" at Lowe's AND he picked colors that coordinated! Go, Hago!!

This is our target area.  Hmmm, it was much smaller in my head while picking out the plants.  Next step, gloves and shovel.  I wish I had video of the planting, because there is no doubt the video would have went viral and I would now be on Good Morning America laughing it up with Robin Roberts! Because guess what?  All the helpful people who warned us about sand gnats, forgot something muy importante......they live in the mounds of pine straw!  Guess what that faded crap is in the "flower" bed?  Yup, layers and layers of pine straw.  We woke the beasts from their slumber and they were angry and vicious.  We were swarmed and bitten....

After this picture was snapped, we moved in fast forward and we were both covered head to toe in dirt from swatting and rubbing the gnats off us.  Now, that would have been a great picture, but I was focused on getting to the shower!  So, please enjoy some picture of the flowering bushes, or just flowers, that we planted because in all honesty, if it said full sun, I let him put it in the cart....but hey, they all color coordinate!

I do know these are marigolds! And annuals! However, the "Plant Specialist" told Hago that these are natural mosquito deterrents, so he HAD to have "at least one, Mom!!!"

These look like peppermints :)

These are elephant ears, correct?  I know they grow large and can be separated and replanted.  At least, I hope!

Not sure what the red things are, but we bought a single one last year to put in a flower box on our shed, and they have grown and took over the ivy that we planted with it!!!

Ok, so these are some type of lilies (I'm guessing and no, I didn't read the little plastic sign thingy that comes with the plants.  Hello....I already told ya that I just made sure they were all full sun!), but after a day of glorious rain, they bloomed even more and they are my favorite! 


Gorgeous, right????  I hope you enjoyed our horror story and please feel free to picture us, shoveling, jumping, itching, and swatting and planting in less than 20 minutes!  Hope ya'll don't have to hide your Easter eggs in the snow!  And........... GET YOUR SHOVEL ON, BABY!!!


Monday, April 7, 2014

Epic Fail of an Epic Project

First of all....who's over the word EPIC? This is me raising my hand.  It almost hurt me to write that title.  I felt I needed to use it one, er, two more times to tie into my last post title.  Anyway, I saw this impressive and wonderful piece of art at Pottery Barn online and wanted it real BAD!  Well, I wanted to recreate it, because honestly, I do not have $349 to spend on art.  If you do, lucky you, but my little brain cannot wrap my head around spending that much on something I can do for less.  Specifically, for $309 less.  If you take on this project, your expenses may be different than mine because I had all the materials except the "wood" at home already.  You could possibly make it for even less, if you do a smaller version. I made mine almost the same dimensions as the PB version (give or take some inches).  
 This is the "wood" I bought. It is actually paneling planks that lock together.  I think it was $30-$40 for a pack of six. I bought two and ended up returning one pack.

This is a handy dremel saw that I purchased for the hubs as a Christmas gift, but actually, Merry Christmas to me!!!  It worked perfect for the paneling.
Cutting the planks was fun and scary at the same time. I would be lying if I said my family trusted me to use a power tool by myself, but the hubs was too busy watching sports to really concern himself with my potential calamity. (I'm kidding, people)
Once I had the boards cut, I laid them out in a shape I liked. Believe me ya'll, there was no rhyme or reason to my cutting. I would measure out various lengths (18", 23", 30") and then just messed with them to fit them together.
I used more panels to secure them all together. Here's a really important tip: double check that your screws are not too long for your project.  After repairing that mess, I started staining.
Here is where I wish I would have went with a darker stain, but this is what I had on hand.
This is Special Walnut....oh, it's special alright...even after several hours and coats, It did not get as dark as I was hoping.
Nice and rustic looking, right?

The paints and colors I used to paint on the great U.S. of A!
I free-handed the US with chalk, which really worked well.  The chalk, I mean.  The free-handing would have worked better if I would have had enough patience to "erase" and try again.  Have I mentioned that I have a really hard time with patience?? Now you know!

The finished product! See what I mean about free-handing?  It's just a tad too fat bottomed, okay, not a tad....a lot.  *sigh*
I'm not going to lie to you, I did hang it. Two things happened: 1) I hated it. The shape (too fat), was too noticeable. I did try to live with it for a few days to see if it would grow on me. It did not.  2) As noted above, I have no patience, so I brought it in the house WAY too soon and finally figured out what was triggering my three day migraine.  The stain smell, duh. I'm smart like that. Ha!  It has been living in the garage and no longer smells, so I'm going to try to repair my EPIC FAIL (sorry, sorry!). 
Stay tuned for that! I know you'll be waiting on the edge of your seats!