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Thursday Lovelies October 28, 2010

Filed under: design — ravennagirls @ 9:36 am
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Thursdays are always the toughest (so close to Friday but just not there!) and today the rain is back. To make matters worse, last night I went to a crazy intense yoga class that was led like a football skills clinic. I kid you not at one point the guy actually referred to our series of poses as a “drill”. Ugh, SO not the relaxed focused workout I had been looking for, and I am hurting this morning.

So, to temper things, I’m going to post some pretty bathroom inspiration photos from Sunset/My Home Ideas. I’ve been working with my parents to come up with ideas for their master bathroom remodel and these are some beautiful things I’ve found along the way. Enjoy.

Ladder is so cute!


Love the river rock around the tub


Not so plausible with neighbors 10' away, but perfect for a getaway house


I like the midcentury flair of this one

Oh, and also, loving this crate shelf on casters spotted at Door Sixteen:

Great project for thrifted fruit crates


Simple Veggie Storage August 23, 2010

Filed under: crafty — ravennagirls @ 5:26 pm
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With the infusion of fresh fruits and vegetables this summer (from our own garden and our CSA box), storage to keep these fresh and delicious was becoming an increasingly tricky task.

I saw over on the Juniper Moon Blog that Susan and crew had researched and found that the recommendation for most veggies is to wash and store lightly in an absorbent towel. Susan, in response, whipped up some quick little baggies out of inexpensive IKEA dish towels so they’re all ready to go in varying sizes.

I loved this idea (they’re both CUTE and functional), so i stopped by IKEA one day, picked up 2 packs of towels, and sewed myself some. So far, they’ve been working terrifically. Our greens are staying crisper, onions and shallots staying good, etc. Thanks for the great idea, Susan!

Total cost: $4.


Backyard Part Four: Laying Pavers July 14, 2010

Filed under: diy,house before and afters — ravennagirls @ 8:47 pm
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Finally for the installment to show it all come together! We left off here  with our filled, compacted, and prepped patio base. The purpose of the compacted gravel is to give a nice, solid base so that (hopefully) we won’t see any settling or sinking in the near future. The layer of sand on top is thinner and its real purpose is to give a softer surface for each individual paver to “set”, and to level out on a more local level. So, we spread the sand evenly with the knowledge that we might be moving it around a little as we went.

We chose simple 8″x16″x2″ rectangular poured concrete pavers from Home Depot. Mainly, and I’ll be honest, because this was outright the cheapest option we could find. We’re coming to the end of our “Year 1” budget and looking to do this simply. If you can’t afford to do something REALLY nicely (stamped concrete, flagstone, etc), you might as well go the opposite end of the spectrum and save up for when you can do it. Back in our backyard design post we showed that we were imagining a basketweave pattern, and thats what we ended up sticking with. It gives a nice pattern, but not too crazy. Plus, the best bonus is no cutting of pavers!

Throughout the weekend we  stocked up on pavers a few car-loads at a time (80-90 is about how many fit in the back of either of our cars); we needed 272 total. Then, the best most grueling part of the whole weekend was carrying these from the driveway, up a level of uneven concrete stairs, to the backyard.

And then: began laying. We did the first long row, and the first short row, in order to make sure we had a nice square edge, and worked inward from there.

The three most crucial tools for us during this project were a short level (this we could level each individual paver but also across seams), leather gloves for handling pavers, and a rubber mallet to gently tap each piece to level. Installing the pavers actually went relatively quickly, it took about 6 hours total, but on a sunny summer day it was nice to be out in the back yard about that long.

One suggestion that came from D’s dad was to avoid the plastic and aluminum edgers that hardware stores sell to DIY Patio Installers such as ourselves. These cost about $8 for each 6′ length, which would have ending up costing us about $75. Plus, these have to go in first which is restricting and they don’t last forever. Instead, he suggested we buy a cheap back of quikrete and pour into a trench on all sides. This creates a concrete curb of sorts, but you can leave it low enough so that you can put soil and grass over top. Its a little hard to see in the photo below (the dark gray is concrete and light gray beyond is excess sand), but it was super easy and quick (we left it a little dry and just placed in with our hands instead of truly doing a concrete “pour”. And I have to say, so far its pretty terrific. The edges of the patio are locked in place, nothing is moving, and it cost. . . $3. SWEET DEAL.


Here are all the pavers in place for the first time! While the level of soil is at or actually above the level of pavers on two sides, you can see here that the grade drops away from the pavers on the west side of the patio. We left the board in as a sort of form work while the concrete cured, and then swept soil overtop and planted grass seed so now it looks like its inset all around.

The last step is to sweep playground sand in the cracks to keep everything more or less locked in place. We are thinking that eventually we will install some polymer modified sand, which creates a rubbery sandy seal that won’t wash out, but its a meticulous process and we just haven’t had time. So, for now, just plain sand which does have a tendency to wash out in the drizzle so thats a little bit of a drag.

Woohoo! A completed patio. Its obviously not 100% perfect, but for the price and level of effort we are pretty – darn – thrilled with the result. There is some level difference between individual pavers, but it is overall level and sturdy and thats what we want!

Before we show you the dramatic before and after, this is the point where we need to pause a moment to give a HUGE cyber THANK YOU to everyone who has helped us out with ALL of our house projects in the form of labor, Home Depot/Lowe’s/Ace gift cards, and moral support.


– we really can’t thank you enough. All of your gifts have been so thoughtful and generous, its beyond words.

But now, we can just grill and drink and relax. Come on over any time!

So now for a fun game we like to call Before and After (ha! creative name, right?) From Jungle to Oasis. . .

. . . and hopefully NEVER back again! Now we can concentrate on the final bits of landscaping and finishing some projects on the house itself.


one year June 15, 2010

Filed under: house before and afters — ravennagirls @ 1:33 am
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Saturday the 12th marked the one year anniversary of the day we got keys to our lemon house.

We soaked up sun on the patio and out in the yard to celebrate.

And then we made steak on the grill.  Yum-o.

It felt fitting that one year ago we looked at the house with enthusiasm and a sense of are we crazy-ness.  It has been a year of gallons of paint, lots of digging, transforming the first level’s flooring, tiling, and hours of yard clean up.  Yeah, it has been a lot of work.  Exhausting at times.  It though has been so rewarding to tackle  new things and slowly transform our little house.

And who knows what another year will bring. 

: )

Click here to see all posts related to the house.  and stay tuned while we bring you Backyard makeover in the coming weeks.


o tidings of COMFORT and JOY December 18, 2009

Filed under: christmas — ravennagirls @ 4:18 pm
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Now to the Lord sing praises,
All you within this place,
And with true love and brotherhood
Each other now embrace;
This holy tide of Christmas
All other doth deface.
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

In Bethlehem, in Israel,
This blessed Babe was born
And laid within a manger
Upon this blessed morn
The which His Mother Mary
Did nothing take in scorn
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

From God our Heavenly Father
A blessed Angel came;
And unto certain Shepherds
Brought tidings of the same:
How that in Bethlehem was born
The Son of God by Name.
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

“Fear not then,” said the Angel,
“Let nothing you affright,
This day is born a Saviour
Of a pure Virgin bright,
To free all those who trust in Him
From Satan’s power and might.”
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

The shepherds at those tidings
Rejoiced much in mind,
And left their flocks a-feeding
In tempest, storm and wind:
And went to Bethlehem straightway
The Son of God to find.
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

And when they came to Bethlehem
Where our dear Saviour lay,
They found Him in a manger,
Where oxen feed on hay;
His Mother Mary kneeling down,
Unto the Lord did pray.
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

God rest ye merry, gentlemen
Let nothing you dismay
Remember, Christ, our Saviour
Was born on Christmas day
To save us all from Satan’s power
When we were gone astray
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy



there once was a front door December 11, 2009

Filed under: christmas,house before and afters — ravennagirls @ 12:05 pm
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that was oh-so-neglected.

are you ready for a little before and after?

I know it has been a while, but, well, its rough to finish projects outside and photo them in daylight in a Seattle November.

So now, we bring you a post with two purposes…

1.  To show you how awesome the front door looks painted, as well s the trim AND the front porch!


2.  To show you how cute this all looks when additionally decorated for the holidays!


{this post would not be made possible without help from my dad, made famous by our blog, and his electrical skills.  See here if you have forgotten!}

{also, see here for a little fornt yard history…}


the birthday B! August 18, 2009

Filed under: celebrations — ravennagirls @ 12:31 pm
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happy birthday to b,

happy birthday to you!

You, birthday girl, are awesome.

Why, did someone dare ask?

You are the bestest best friend a girl could ask for.  Seriously!  You are kind, and always smile big especially when I’m grumpy.  You always have great ideas and are so fun to work with on every single project we tackle.  You are crafty.  You make awesome crumble.  and phad thai.  and mac n cheese.  You love to send me new ideas for how to do something I’ve been struggling with.   You love estate sales, trying new restuarants, opening a bottle of wine for no reason, drinking coffee, and reading good books.   You make sure I am happy even though it must be hard sometimes and for that I’m truly grateful.   You let me be ridiculous often.   and then you often join in.

and you are just so awesome.

How do we celebrate how awesome you are on your special day?  Well, to start, we declare your birthday will span more then just one mere day.  (the 18th is nothing to scoff at though!)

Here though, is how the celebration started…

On Birthday Eve, the Birthday B went to bed.  Yes she probably suspected something was about to happen.  Birthday B is too smart for surprises (ask me about last year’s surprise party at another time…).

Midnight struck… marking the official beginning of the day-of-birth celebration.

And the treat fairy arrived! (hehehe)

I mean really, breakfast in bed is so last year.  Treats-in-bed is way more my speed.


….b reaches for her raspberry lemonade cupcake and peach-orange iced tea.

She also got her pre-birthday present from me. 


…modeling her crown.  I mean, what says birthday more then birthday headwear?   And who needs some ol’ hat when you can get a crown?  Especially one made of felt and pink!   The crown was especially important because her big party is coming up this weekend.  And, for that event, all participating guests will be forced excited to wear ridiculous hats that I have so nicely chosen.  And the birthday B?  She needs a special one.  🙂  Plus now she can wear it all day and make graciously have people be extra nice to her. 

And with that she went to bed.  Happy to be the Birthday B and happy for the day ahead.


And me, well, I was genuinely excited that she had not seen the treat fairy coming with cupycakes.  She was actually surprised.  yippee!