Garden

It’s good to be outside again

I’ve been spending so much time outside lately and it is just lovely. The hubby and I have been working hard to get our yard in shape for spring. It’s been a challenge for a lot of reasons. First, BGE destroyed a part of our yard fixing a leak in our gas pipe. And then there’s the added challenge of the 8-foot-wide circle in the yard where a well used to be. Oh, and out of pure laziness, we didn’t rake the leaves well this past fall. So we’ve hadĀ lots to take care of.

We spent last weekend tackling the front yard and my garden area.

First, I cleared out backs and bags of leaves, weeds and general crap that had accumulated in my garden area from last year. When I had filled several yard waste bags and was ready to call it quits, I was instead inspired to attempt to remove the stump from my garden. We’d cut down the small tree in my garden last year and gotten the stump as small as we could, but it has always driven me nuts that I was losing that space where I could be growing more tomatoes!

After an hour and a half of hard work (digging, pick-axing, kicking, prodding, etc.), Brian and I actually got the stump out! I joked that we should start our own stump removal company. Yeah, right.

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See? No more stump! I just gained an extra 4 feet in my garden!

Once we were done with this, we filled in the hole with dirt and I promptly fenced off the garden from my evil dog. Remmy isn’t a huge digger, but he can’t resist large spans of dirt.

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There are still a few sections in my smaller gardens that I need to work on, but I am so happy to have this part complete!

The next day we started on our front yard. We decided it was a great idea to hand till up the circle where the well used to be. Two hours, eight yard waste bags and two sore backs later, we finished. Then Brian bought top soil and planted grass seed in the circle and in the patches of soil where BGE left its mark. They said they’d come out and fix the lawn, but at this rate it will be winter again before they come back out.

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I must just have that itch to be outside and do yard work, so I figured I’d take advantage of myself and this sudden inspiration to improve our yard. Last night I spent two hours raking our old leaves and clearing out large branches from the back of our yard.

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I raked everything behind our shed so it can compost down over time. Our yard looks infinitely better and my wrists are infinitely more sore. Ugh.

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It was worth it though. The yard still has a way to go and we still need to figure out what we are doing with some parts, but it has sure come a long way in just a week.

What lawn projects have you guys tackled this spring? Each year I get more and more into gardening. Who knows what else we’ll tackle this weekend!

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Graphic Design

Stand Tall printable

I love to play around with the Adobe Creative Suite because every time I do I learn something new. For this printable, I was inspired by a tattoo I saw on Pinterest. Here are screenshots of the project as I went along.

I like to start any project with words or a quote by simply adding my text to the page and fooling around with different fonts until I find one that is just right. You’ll probably notice two different fonts between these first few images and my final image — I exed out of my original design and lost everything I had done so far so I had to start for square one again. Whoops.

After the text is on the page, I start manipulating it, sometimes adding different parts of the words into different text boxes altogether. For example, the “s” in “stand” is in its own text box, while “tand” is in another. This allows you to maneuver your text exactly how you want it. Since I wanted the “S” lower and in a larger font, it was easier to create a new text box for it than to leave it with the rest of the word. In that same vein, each letter in “tall” has its own text box.

After I squeezed, stretched, angled, shrunk, etc. my letters, I started adding the rest of the picture. I used the pencil tool and the smoothing tool to add these lines.

Notice the switched fonts? It worked out for the best I think.

With the InDesign portion of my printable done, I grabbed the vector image I created and dropped it into Photoshop.

On many different layers, I tinted the background, added the paintbrush texture, added giraffe spots and added the grass border. I had to play around with the opacity of each layer, but once I messed around with it enough I think I got it just right.

What do you think of the final product?

Garden

So much landscaping

Saturday was a day filled with dirt, dirt, dirt and more dirt. With the awesome help of my dad (he did most of the work), the hubby and I spent all day Saturday landscaping the front of our house. The weather was fantastic — not too hot, a little muggy, and it even rained to cool us off! Thank goodness it wasn’t too hot.

We started bright and early at 8 a.m. and finished mid-afternoon at 3:30 p.m. Then, I went to bed at 8 p.m. because I was too tired to do much of anything else.

It. Was. Exhausting.

But it was all worth it.

Here’s our house before the landscaping overhaul:

These are the goodies we planted:

And, on top of what we bought at Home Depot, we were able to replant the bushes from one side of the house in another location! Because of that, we took out the rose bushes and moves the spaced out bushes on the right side of the house to the left side of the house. We planted them way better than they were before — you’d never know they are the same plants!

After hours of intense manual labor, here’s how the house turned out!

So much nicer than before and so much more well thought out. The black mulch also makes a world of difference!

I love the new plants, especially my liriopeĀ and speedwell (thanks, Ann!).

Once all of the excess dirt washes away the whole front of the house will look even better…. Now, we just need some shutters :p

So pretty. It’s nice that you can actually see our house, now that the rose bushes are gone. Our bay window lets in a lot more light now and looks even bigger than before. I’m really glad we put in all of the hard work to make the front of the house look as nice as the inside.

Happy Monday!