September 28, 2012

The most anti-climactic ending to HP#2

If you missed it, read all about HP#2 here. I'm not going to recap…basically I decided the color I painted our back porch was too close to the yellow I was trying to get rid of so I went out and got 4 more paint samples. I totally knew better but I did it anyway. When none of those colors worked I started mixing them together and then I tried those out. When none of those worked I put two of the color samples into the rest of my gallon of tan color and called it a day. You totally can't tell from the pictures but it is a little darker with the slightest smidgen of grey and it's a more noticeable difference than before. I only painted the bottom 3/4 of each wall so I could work on my landscaping (notice another section of red mulch is gone baby gone!). On a positive note, if I ever decide to paint the window sills and/or trim there are a couple of possibilities here in the dark brown family don't you think?
 after paint samples 1-5 but before samples 6-9
you can barely see the difference
I stopped painting about a foot up from the bottom right of the window
 after samples 1-9
see? you can totally tell now
and if you can't, keep it to yourself
I'm going broke on paint samples
red mulch gone, 3 new perennials planted, bulbs waiting to be planted
a window box is on the way
Bernie needs to paint the bottom of the trim before I can finish the flower bed
more to come sometime before snowfall
most boring blog ever…sigh

September 22, 2012

House Problem #2

Before I even knew I had House Problem #1 I had been struggling with HP#2 for at least a month. Come to think of it, HP#2 is actually HP#1. I never understood why our little back porch was painted yellow. It kind of stands out like a sore thumb. The neighbors house blends into their brick and you barely even notice it which is what I would like to happen with our porch since there isn't anything so special about it that you would want it to stand out.
 So I got a few paint samples but our brick is super hard to work with so I got a couple more...
and when those didn't work I started mixing them all together and sampled a few more...

And then I chose a winner which was obviously a different color than we already had…until I bought a gallon and then it wasn't different at all (in the pic below the new color is below the window, old color above). F*ck me. In person it is a toned down improvement over the yellow but if I'm going to be totally honest I think if Bernie painted the whole thing while I was away I wouldn't notice that it was a different color. When I painted the swatch there was a much bigger difference but somehow it didn't turnout that way.
So I was struggling with whether or not to paint the porch the same damn color it already is or go back to the drawing board when HP#1 through another wrench into my plan. I'm off to Home Depot to get some more paint samples which I know won't work because every time I try to put a hint of grey next to those damn bricks it laughs in my face. But maybe this time will be different...

September 16, 2012

House Problem #1

House Problem #1: the color of our house is not very exciting. Bernie actually suggested we paint the whole exterior but I protested. I know that not all brick is pretty, but if it made it 107 years without paint, you kind of have to honor that. All summer we, well mostly me, have been trying to get rid of the red and yellow highlights left by the previous owners. I was considering painting the red steps and maybe the stone window sills which in itself is a huge decision. Then one day I left Bernie an innocent post-it note that said there was a little piece of wood under the mail box on the front of the house that needed painting. I didn't realize calling attention to 12" of trim molding would turn into him stripping every piece of wood on the front of our house. 

But since he started this little project, and therefore we must repaint, if we are ever going to change any colors, now would be the time. A couple of notes: the roof is light grey, but won't be around for much longer. The stairs are brick red but will be repainted. Our mortar is red. The window sill stones are an odd orange color. The bricks range from tan to yellow-ish to burnt orange to some sort of dirty color of all of the above. And the foundation bricks are darker than the main house. All of our windows except for the ones on the front porch have white storm windows so painting the windows anywhere but the porch really isn't an option. But there is an outer wood frame that could be painted. The landscaping will be redone in the next year. 
windows are in the process of being stripped, appears to be cream paint underneath the white
 You can really see the brick, red mortar, window sill stone & porch tones in this pic
 Side of the house, sorry, don't have a full shot. Apparently I was admiring the new plants.
Now you see what I mean about the window sills - ick.
All I can add to this is it reads more yellow in person.
So what do you think?

1. Leave it as-is?
2. Paint some combination of the windows/window frames?
3. Paint the stairs, stair caps, window sills?
4. Paint the corbels and/or any of the upper trim?
5. Some combination of the above?

I have no idea other than the red/yellow highlights and the orange sills aren't working for me. You can always repaint the wood, but there is no going back from touching the stone. I'm actually very fond of the front of the house because I think all the windows add some interest. But the sides and back are a little ho-hum.

a little preview of House Problem #2, more info coming soon
food for thought…

all photos borrowed from the internets

July 29, 2012

Alden Days 2011

I don't think I posted these pics on the ole blog last year after Bernie, Maura, and I went to Alden, and since we didn't make it to Alden Days this year I thought we would attend in spirit. All the Hoffman-Knapp's descend on Alden every year for Alden Days. Last year the DiClaudio's were nice enough to let us use their beautiful home which was just a hop, skip and a jump from the Knapp's house. We had a great time as usual and I hope everyone had fun this year…sniff...without us…sniff sniff.
The DiClaudio's cottage
relaxing at the Knapp's
Bernie teaching Jack how to tinker
a tribute to Tonga
little Charlie Tru charming his Aunt Nenny
 The Alden Run - Maura's first 5k
 Maura wore flip flops
I didn't warn her there would be a 5k in her future
next year I'll teach her the art of looking fast at the finish even if you walk the whole way
the dragon didn't survive the big move
 the big parade
 Jen and the kids in the parade
Maura has her parade wave down
 Bernie and Ginger howling
Jack waving at the po po
 my Dad would be proud, Maura and I made the required pilgrimage to "the sign"
our first trip there together
when I visited a few weeks ago she told me that trip "was like the best 4 days of my life"
*still smiling over that one*
the Knapp's have that effect on people

July 15, 2012

Landscaping Project #2 & Grow Dammit Grow

We did a mini-landscaping project in the back yard a couple of weeks ago in our continuing attempt to rid our property of the red mulch we inherited.  This would have been a super easy project except I had to dig/chop/pull up huge tree roots from a tree the neighbors had removed last year that was busting through our fence and probably would have broken up our sidewalk eventually. It was back breaking work involving a shovel, a pitch fork, tree trimmers and an axe, 100F degree sun, several bags of clay buster and rubber mulch, a lot of sweat, and a few mother f#@$ers said by moi. Side note: I asked Bernie to buy me an axe thinking one of those little hand axes…he bought me Paul Bunyan's axe so I'm surprised I still have all my limbs. Only one sprinkler line died in the process.
I planted a couple of "Golden Thunder" barberry bushes, 3 different lavender plants (Provence, English, and white), and a "Vienna" hydrangea. They are a bit too close together but I had already bought the plants then ran out of time before a trip so I figured I would get them in the ground and move one later if I had to. It isn't 100% done because I want a strip of edging and more mulch but you get the idea. We'll get our yard looking good…one little strip at a time. Another side note: see that fenced in area in the corner? Doesn't it look like the perfect area to keep some chickens??? I'm still thinking about that one…plus I'm not sure if our neighbor would appreciate chickens watching her do laundry.
Not the best picture, but I snapped this with my phone when I was in Cherry Creek and it was my inspiration for this project. I loved the way the green and purple of the lavender played off the bright yellow and green of the barberry bushes. It looked way more pretty in person I swear.

The garden is doing ok this year even though I've neglected it since I've been traveling a lot. The garlic is 90% pulled so I have to finish that up and plant some more veggies in its place. But to be honest, between the garden, the new raised bed, and the two landscaping projects I've had enough of yard work for the year. We're growing pretty much the same things as we have the last two years: tomatoes, cucumbers, brussels sprouts, lots of basil, garlic, chard, kale, lettuce, carrots, beans plus shallots, leeks, and bunching onions / shallots. I planted two kinds of peas too but I waited too long and it has been so hot they were a no-go.

tomatoes, garlic, brussels sprouts, basil, cukes, and leeks
our compost pile and new raised bed with French green beans on the trellis
lettuce, carrots, shallots, and chard


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