Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Rain control

We have a downspout in our backyard that pours right onto the brick patio. I've tried hooking up extender tubes to escort the water off the brick and into the yard. This has worked but only marginally, it either gets kicked or blown by the wind and detaches from the downspout.

Last weekend, in preparation for the rain, I executed a plan I had thought up a few months ago ---- buy a narrow garbage can and have the downspout pour into it instead. So I bought this "slim jim" 23 gallon can from Home Depot:

The problem is, with the heavy rain, it was filling up in about 3 hours. Dragging the can 10 feet to dump it out into the garden/lawn was difficult and a pain. This was finally realized when I went to empty it before work, dressed in work clothes and the darn thing fell over creating a small 23 gallon typhoon of water getting me wet.

So, to solve this, I drilled a hole in the lower side of the can, installed a ball valve hose bib. A standard hose bib fits a 1" hole pretty well. With some silicone, washers and a nut on the back side, the drain valve seems pretty sturdy.

Next, I took some old hose, and made a new hose out of with a replacement hose attachment:

Now, the slim jim can collect 23 gallons of water, and I can then turn the valve and pump the water anywhere within 15 feet. 

In the future, I'll build a more decorative box around the garbage can. And, when it's not rainy season, I'll disconnect the hose and store in the shed.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

More house history

Exchanged some emails with a Sacramento Mid Century blogger who runs Eichlerific. And she pointed me to this website that has vintage aerial photography.

We know that some major renovations have been done to the house, and I wrote about the garage addition earlier

There, I showed the current aerial photo with the estimated additions (the fuchsia squares below):  has aerial shots of our house from 1957 and 1964:

1957,  Notice the sparse trees and where the driveway is located

1964, Trees have grown in the last seven years:

Garage progress

So, first post on the garage in a while...mainly due to focusing my energies on other parts of the house. I wanted to add another workbench to increase storage and general workspace.

Did this a few months ago using mostly left over scrap wood I had laying around:

Then, I added four pull out drawers (no pictures). This weekend, I got it nearly finished: 

Still needs a second coat of paint on the front doors. I'll be building more workbenches like this around two other walls of the garage. The sliding doors were really cheap and help keep things looking organized. 

Friday, January 13, 2012

Status: The Baby's room

The dresser is now complete (the photos I posted earlier were with just white primer).

Rachel embroidered this:

The bar cart

I've been wanting one of these bar carts for a long time, maybe since Mad Men season 1:

I think Rachel thought they were tacky. I persisted and almost convinced her. Then, a baby is on the way and the deal was when the little one moved out and went to college I could get one. I reluctantly agreed. 

After a Nate Berkus episode last week, I may have gotten Rachel to agree to the bar cart via an awesome loophole, the bar armoire (it even rhymes):

This is currently on Craigslist for $95, wouldn't it be perfect?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Baby's nursery just got a little more awesome

After we found these three prints on etsy. As mentioned previous, we've tried to have a woodsy theme to this nursery, foxes do that well:

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Cheap art, again

If you subscribe to Veranda, Better Homes and Gardens, House Beautiful, and Martha Stewart Living as well as read the popular home design blogs such as Young House Love, Apartment Therapy and Design Sponge (as we do) you're going to see a few chevron patterns here and there.

Not wanting to be left out of the trend, we found some chevron fabric online for the decent price of around $10 a yard. But then there's another $10 for shipping and handling. Eh. So when we were in Target the other day and saw these chevron napkins, it was like game on.

Rachel wrapped the napkin over a piece of cardstock paper and mounted it in an Ikea frame we had bought a few years ago to decorate her office in Boston. Now, one corner of our massive (both in size and lack of decoration) living room is a little more trendy.

Rachel wanted me to post a better photo:

Monday, January 9, 2012

One last laundry post....

Added the second laundry shelf over the weekend. The contact paper is possibly temporary, not sure if it works for me. But for now, it works.