Sunday, September 30, 2012

Black Mulch...the Gardeners "other Black Gold"

If your a gardener you know what "Black Gold" is....... right? 
Well, if you don't it's another term for COMPOST..... every garden needs compost. Last week I added compost and planted my fall plants.... well today I discovered BLACK MULCH! Wha? Black!? I LOVE the color BLACK!!!!! I LOVE Mulch too!
So here we again! 
I was thinking I'd better get me some of this Black Mulch....
so of course I did....
I picked up 8 bags at Lowes for $3.97 ea
it's frickin' BLACK!
All I was going to do was get enough mulch for the new plants...
nope...
I went all over the back yard adding the Black goodness...
Apparently Black mulch is a popular choice among many gardeners and landscapers not only for its style but also for its function. For example, black absorbs and retains sunlight more so than other colors, thereby warming the garden soil and enhancing plant growth.
(I wish I would have know about it sooner!)

It came out so great, held the water and helped with the drainage problem that we agreed I should do the whole side yard where I just planted the Maiden Grass...
Here's some pictures of the side yard currently with the new Maiden Grass.
It will grow 5-7ft tall
and remember this Before and After?
YUK! 
It was such a mess! 
I think the Black Mulch will look great along the side....
One more project to add to the list! 
We also added the roof to the Peacock Aviary today

It's at a slant towards the back of the pen so the rain/snow will slide off and drain down the hill away from the house and out towards the grass field. Living in Seattle, we obviously have drainage problems with all the rain we get, so we need to think about these kinds of things. With the 2x4 up and the wood angles, it leaves a triangle shaped air vent through the sides of the roof which will help with air circulation once we get the solid sides up, we also added a large 2x4 perch for them up high for them to roost on, they finally jumped up there once it was to dark to take pictures...
but here's a picture of our cool patio in the back...
once the grass seed grows in between the blocks it will be AWESOME!
You can see the Fargesia Rufa Bamboo with the Red Cordyline  I planted in front of the Ivy towards the back, right now they're about 2-3ft tall, but will both grow to 6-8ft. The Bamboo on the right is a Yellow or Gold I believe, currently it's about 6-8ft tall and is a runner so it should fill in that space nicely next year...look at that Black Mulch! Yummy!





Friday, September 28, 2012

A Magical Place...

Seriously! 
It's a hidden gem, right up the street from our house, my son and I decided to walk there today..
here's just a little of what we saw...
Giant Bamboo, Ornamental Grasses, Hostas....

 Pitcher Plants to Banana Plants...
 Seedlings to Giants...
All colors and patterns...
Clinton Bamboo is clearly the coolest place around! 
They have such a variety of plants, not only Bamboo, they have Ferns, Citrus Trees, Cannas, Hostas, Fuschsias, Gunnera, Palms, Peonies, Pitcher Plants, Venus Fly Traps and much more!
If you want to just go for a nice stroll, go take a visit to them, the giant bamboo is AMAZING! It is beautiful there, plus you'll be greeted by three amazing dogs that will help you find your way around if you get lost. The owners are wonderful too! I really didn't want to leave and my son enjoyed it too, we've been talking about it since... we will be back there soon!
Of course we didn't leave empty handed....
We came home with four, 1 gallon pots of Fargesia Rufa
I planted it on the hill in the back yard above the brick wall to make a border, it's a clumping Bamboo, once it gets bigger you won't be able to see the backyard from the driveway, it will be fully sheltered, like a "secret garden" plus it will give the Peacocks some greenery and shelter from the north winds in the winter. (that's the Peacock Aviary in the bottom two pictures)We still need to put the roof on, it's leaning along the side there, hopefully this weekend we'll have time, we've had great weather although I don't think it's going to last much longer.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Todays CHA-BANG!....

Set of 6 Black, Old School Cafeteria Trays = 6 for $3
I'm going to use them for parties and future BBQ's, it seems like I always need trays and these are perfect!
and the ultimate thrift SCORE!!!!!
ready for this!?
CHA-BANG!!!
The seat it frickin' 2ft wide! My feet don't touch the ground when I sit in it!
I don't know how old the rocker is, but it's big and sturdy as hell!
I'm going to put it on our front deck, I think I might leave it the "rustic" look, I love that it's been painted flat black (of course) although, it would look good a new flat black...we'll see...
and I LOVE the curves of scallop design under the seat...when I saw it, it reminded of me of the rocking chair in Beetlejuice.There was another woman eying it too, she rocked it and I scooped it up, sorry lady, you can come over and sit in it at my house
So.... guess how much?
......
!!!! $9.99 !!!!
Yup! Seriously! 
Now all I need is a Banjo, some Moonshine and a Shot gun... oh and a dog named "Gus" and I can sit on my porch in style! 
YEE-HAAW!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Off to a good start then....

BAM! 
I'm down and out sick! Fortunately it only lasted Monday night thru Early this morning, I  literally slept 31hrs... whew! Everything must have all caught up to me at once, but I'm back and feeling great!
Since I missed a few days I need to back track to Sunday....
The Housewarming Party was a blast! Thank you to everyone who came and celebrated with us!
Here's the some shots:
 We ended the night with a nice fire in the pit...and lots of melty marshmallows!
 Monday:
 After work I thatched, fertilized, seeded and patch composted the lawn..
the bag said it should sprout in 7-10days
Tuesday:
 While I was sick in bed my honey switched out the toilet in our bathroom
the one on the top right was an Flushmate, didn't flush well and was OLD, he found the new one on Craigslist for $100, brand new, full set, in the box! Just a newer version Flushmate, we need this type because our septic system is level to where the toilet is, Flushmate has a super power flush system...it's awesome!
He's also working on his new band space, it looks like it used to be a workshop of sorts, it leads out the the garage,the concrete floors were GROSS! He ripped out some cabinets already and is sealing and painting the floor
 Wed: (today)
 I checked on my grass WHOA!!!!
Here them baby sprouts come! Only been 2 days!
Grow - Babies - Grow!
This is the type of Grass Mix I used
and my bamboo...
all are looking good after the transplant but one...
 one stem that is... I chopped it so the plant will have enough energy for the rest...I think I may have accidentally cut the stem when I was trimming the root ball,
 
Tonight we went to the thrift store for the first time since we bought the house....
we just wanted to look......
and look what I found!
Cool Pottery, Butchers Twine and Fabric!

The pottery now holds my Salt & Peppa and oven mitts! 
Think that's it for now! Time to relax!






Saturday, September 22, 2012

Today's DIY and all the other Fun Mayhem!

My friend and fellow artist Kathy picked me up a KICK ASS Hippo mask!!!!
Oh HELL YEAH!
(of course I have paint spilled on my shirt.. when don't I have paint on me... that would be NEVER)

So, I've been super busy working in the yard before the rains come, Seattle must have earned some good weather Karma finally, it's been a late and great summer so far! 
Mention of being covered in paint, I'm getting ready for our housewarming party tomorrow (Sunday)... I decided to touch up the old Ikea (Bollo table and chairs) wood tables with shades of gray stripes, First I painted the blue and then decided I didn't like it so I went over it with dark gray. I didn't want to put to much effort or time in them,they're all warped and old,  so I gave them a  weathered look ... I also painted the chairs and left all the legs wood, being we have kids, guests and animals they get roughed up a lot and I don't want to get mad when somebody scuffs up my new paint job...

This was the old, temporary Peacock pen, they since have moved into their new, larger Aviary, I took the old one apart and cleaned up the area- mulched and weeded.
They're both happy now, lots of room and they can fly a bit, I still have to add the solid roof, the two solid outer walls, perches and some other little details...
Mean while back in the yard, I decided to move some brick around...
Then, I decided I needed something in that space right NOW so I divided up my giant pot of Bamboo, it broke the pot is was so thick, I had to use a hand saw to cut the roots apart
I had enough divided to plant in both spots along the fences in the backyard..

 I'm hoping it will take in the ground well and get thick enough to hide the fences...although it would be nice to pick up some more and get it in the ground before winter.
Our soil isn't very good, it's dry,dusty and not draining so I got some compost from our local Dunn Lumber, the compost is made local by Cedar Grove
I added the compost into the soil and a layer on top, looks much better! I know gardeners don't like slugs but I felt bad that I woke up this big guy (bottom right) he laid there and watched me...
Moving to the side/front of the house, again with bad soil, the water runs right off the top..
I added hand picked beach rocks that my daughter, her friend, her teacher and I have collected to make a sort of french drain to catch and slow down the water, it runs to the front yard and it's about 15-20ft long.
Pruning a vine out front that has delicious white flowers... it's done blooming and I don't know what type of plant it is, if you do, tell me!
and we relaxed with a wonderful sunset at the beach...it was nice, I love that sea smell...
In between all this fun mayhem, I've been battling our dry-dead, dandelion covered lawn, I mowed, watered, aerated and thatched, after the party tomorrow I'm going to reseed and turf boost fertilize!


Friday, September 21, 2012

Etsy Shop Re-Opening for Fall and Winter

Every year about this time I open up my Etsy Shop for Fall/Winter...sometimes until Spring... 
Every painting is an Original and come from a photo that I take (unless it's of a famous or dead person!) So all the birds... yeah, I know... I like to "put a bird on it" I've heard that a million times.... tell me who doesn't like birds? Anyway, I photographed all the birds in various places, some are friends pets, at zoos, in my yard... you get it.. I photograph all the animals and other subjects in my paintings..I print out the photo and start cutting layers out of to make multilayer stencils, the paintings are mixed media paints and the image is spray painted on, then a clear finish on is applied on top...Like I said each one is an Original, I DO NOT make prints or cards or anything else, just the paintings on canvas AND I will not be making these sizes anymore, so you might want to grab one or five while I have them! They're all ready to hang with a hook included!

Oh... and I've been going crazy with the Yard, the Peacock Aviary, the House..and we're having a "house Warming" BBQ/Potluck this Sunday, so if you want to come, leave a comment and I'll send you the address! So I'll be posting house/yard pix Saturday! Stay tuned....

Friday, September 14, 2012

Todays DIY in the New House, with three days off!

Alright.... so I had a day off by myself in the New House, Mr. was at work, one kid at school and the other out looking for a job....so....I started to play around with decorating (of course)...
I started in the kitchen, I had forgot about these Buddha paintings I painted back in 08' they're perfect for the kitchen! 
So, I hung them up! ...and a bunch more art!
 They (the Buddha paintings) will be available in my website soon (http://urbansoule.com)
I hung the large blue graffiti painting in the corner... it is currently for sale on
and the Bullzeye painting on the other side of our living room
available here
then we cleaned up the yard... actually this is from last night...
here's a before and after picture... gross huh? 
My son helped a lot, Thank goodness...
Back to today....
this is our entryway/foyer, I wanted to give it a make over...

so I started taping


and adding texture to the wall
adding shades of gray paint...
to make it look like concrete
the other walls are just Steel gray, not textured
here's the sexy, faux concrete wall at night
and the steel gray wall
I decided I'm going to paint the door, but not right now because I'm writing this post, so maybe tmrw
oh yes! this is the view of the wall I have sitting at my desk right now...
yes, I'm in a black room,with black furniture, at night and yes that is a rib cage in the corner and an Eames rocker...
My parents always said "I will grow out of it" but no, I haven't, I love black and am still weird...

Oh... and after painting the entryway/foyer this morning, I repainted this outdoor bench to match the house...
and painted more on the Peacock Aviary but forgot to take pictures... more tmrw!