The Pond at the New House, finished!

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It’s nearly June and I’ve been working on the yard like mad. It was pretty much a moonscape when we bought the place, so I have much to do. The first area I tackled this Spring was the pond. The previous owner did the hardest part, digging the big 3′ hole, as well as lining it and adding the filter box and pump (see the “BEFORE” pics). I dug out the stream and hole at the top for the filter box, lined it and added all the rocks. (thankfully there is an great rock place right up the road from us). I’ve been adding plants and the dwarf Japanese maple bit by bit and now it’s done! Feels good to have one big project completed.

I have bits and pieces of other projects done as well, but will wait to post those images until they are complete. Still a long ways to go but making headway! Other projects I am in the middle of: Adding a cutting garden to the side of the house and adding 3 small raised bed vegetable gardens on the lower level. (Working on the inside of the house as well, mainly painting and wallpaper) Yard projects still to go:

Painting the fence, Staining the decks, Adding walking paths on the lower level, Adding a low rock retaining wall/planting bed on the lower level, Adding a bit of artificial turf (for Max the Pug!), Landscaping two bare areas behind the house, Planing along the back fence (likely lilacs and snowball viburnum), Adding a graveled seating area on the lower level. Painting the arbor, Painting the house. All this and then the upper level by the entry, which will require a landscape contractor. I sure have my work cut out for me! It is very satisfying work though and I know I am adding to my property values 🙂 So without further ado here is the pond project:

BEFORE:

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A Little Sparkle for the New Year in the New House

Call me Scrooge if you must, but the Christmas decorations are all packed away. I wanted to do something I haven’t before, and decorate a bit just for New Years (without it having to compete visually with the Christmas decor.) The man and I are having a nice quiet evening at home, just the two of us, with a special dinner (we’re making seafood paella!) and champagne. I thought it would be lovely to have a simple and elegant table-scape we could enjoy all week. I dug through my holiday decorations and found 4 lengths of sparkly silver beaded wired garland (I think I bought it at the thrift store years ago) and added some chandelier crystals from my stash of craft supplies. I draped these over the current light fixture (I have a new one that will be going up soon) and that’s it! A sparkly New Year for us 🙂 I also picked up about $13 worth of hydrangea and spray roses from trusty ol’ Trader Joes. Simple, elegant and easy. I think this may have to be a new tradition for us.

I’m liking the way things are looking here at the new house, (but of course I can’t wait to paint, wallpaper and change out the light fixtures! 🙂

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Holidays at the New House Part Deux…plus the First Big Project!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

As promised, here is the outside of the new house gently done up for the Holidays. You may recognize the decorations from previous years at the old house, all recycled here this year. The one new addition is our delightful Christmas Goose, a curbside find (ie: free) here in Salt Lake City a few weeks ago. I’ve named him Gustav the Goose (yea I know, I’m a dork :-). He is lit by a section of led rope light. (I just poked it up through the hole he has in his feet 🙂

Also FIRST BIG PROJECT REVEAL!  We had new steps and a gate put in a couple weeks ago. We love what it does for the entry to the house both functionally and aesthetically. We are planning to add wall caps to the new concrete walls as well as paint the house a coordinating grey in the spring and will also refinish the deck. Here are the before and afters, during the day and at night.

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We Moved! First Holiday in the New House…

2 months ago we moved from Denver, Colorado to Salt Lake City, Utah. It’s been a crazy whirlwind but we are finally starting to feel settled in our new city. There is still a ton of work to do, lots of painting, wallpaper, landscaping etc. etc., and of course I will be blogging lots of “Before & After” projects as things progress. It’s been a big challenge as we have seriously down-sized (the new house is much smaller) and got rid of at least half of our stuff in the move. It’s been good for us 🙂 Even though I havn’t had time to do any painting yet, I just had to get some holiday decorations up. It’s definitely scaled down after our over-the-top Denver Victorian, much more streamlined. On the bright side, I can do it in a day instead of the 2-3 days it took in the old house. You’ll see that most of the decor has been “recycled” from the old house. The only new holiday stuff are some stunning flowers and fresh greens from good ol’ Trader Joe’s (I wouldn’t have moved here if SLC didn’t have a TJs 😉  I spent a total of just $29 on 3 bunches of flowers, a bunch of greens, and cedar garland, and got enough goodies to make 3 flower arrangements and had enough greens left over to spread around the house. Oh and a tried a couple waxed amaryllis bulbs on the dining room table (also from TJs, $7.99 each) and I love them! Zero maintenance, perfect. TJs is the BEST place for flowers!

 

I will get pics of the outside in the next couple of days. In the meantime, enjoy. Happy Holidays!

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The entry to our house is actually what was originally the back of the house. Long story, but they apparently moved the street some time ago, so we live in the Backwards House 🙂 For now our front door is a sliding glass door ( we may change it to French doors in the future). The front room serves as an entry and my art studio. More pics in the near future, I promise. holidayhouse2017o

I spoiled myself with a lovely flower arrangement and an orchid on my desk. (all from TJs) It’s the perfect spot to work at, with a view of the yard and the city and mountains to the West.

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Happy Holidays House Tour 2016 – Outside

Happy Holidays all! As promised, here is the outside of the house this year, scaled back from previous years but still festive and fun. (See he inside here: https://theyearoflivingfabulously.com/2016/12/23/happy-holidays-house-tour-inside-2016-with-helpful-hints-tips/ It’s all multi-color lights out front (the secret to a mish-mosh of decor items, a cohesive color scheme). Nothing new this year, just a few things moved around. Everything is either alley finds or thrift store scores collected over the years.

At night, all sparkly bright 😉 My favorite is still the bubble lights, I’d cover the house in them if I could…

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Happy Holidays House Tour, Inside – 2016 (with helpful hints & tips)

2016 has been a rather mad year (broken foot in March, graduating my tattoo apprenticeship in July, getting married in September, hubby’s surgery in November, and that crazy election). I am very much ready for 2017, but that won’t stop me from sending 2016 out with a good time. We have so very much to be thankful for…

I scaled back just a bit this year (I know, it’s still completely over the top 🙂 We now have a smaller tree (I’ll describe what I did below) and I left a few decorations packed in the basement this time.

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A Fabulous Red Shelf For the Bedroom…Free!

Another fabulous Alley Find…someone threw out this great red Ikea shelf unit just a block from the house, and it works great in the bedroom. The bottom shelf was broken off, but easily repaired with glue. Gotta love free! My neighbors toss out the best stuff 😉

(all the stuff on the shelves we already had. Matchbook art by artist friend Paul Moschell. The black hand is a recent thrift store find for $3. See more of the bedroom projects on the Decorating link.)

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Halloween Decor Parts 3 & 4…Outside and Other Spaces

Happy Halloween! I am a bit behind  so I am combining Halloween Decor posts 3 & 4 into 1 post…Outside and Other Spaces.

This year the Crawling Eye is attacking our front porch again, with a few changes. I added the blow-up eyes I had around the yard last year around the eye like “babies”, added a black backdrop (heavy black plastic sheeting with white string lights poked through to resemble stars), 2 wierdo “planets” (a neighbor’s science project they were throwing out that I sprayed with florescent paint), and a new color-changing water-type light that makes it all oh so spooky at night.

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We did the rest of the yard and porch a bit more refined this year…

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Halloween 2016 Decor Part 2 – the Main Room

Welcome to Halloween Decor 2016 Part 2! The Main Room is our party room, the first room in the house through the entry and the one seen through the front window, and so, it is the room that gets the most attention. Ie: all the coolest Halloween stuff. Just about everything is either diy or found at thrift stores and yard sales.

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Above is an admittedly crappily pieced-together panorama of the main room. (hey, photoshop isn’t my strong suit)  (see the Voodoo entry on the right in Part 1) Here are some details:

halloweenhousemain1Looking into the main room from the entry.

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