Monday, August 25, 2014

Backyard: Phase 2

A year later, we're finally finished with phase 2 of the backyard. I was initially disappointed when we weren't able to squeeze everything in last year but it was worth the wait.

At least half of the budget is not readily visible -  french drains, new sprinklers and drip irrigation system, and completely regraded soil. Something about having a good foundation.

What used to be a green and lush backyard eventually turned into a swamp as the Leyland cypresses grew from 8 feet to 35 feet, blocking out more and more sun. This was last year:

Backyard 2013: Swamp!

Today: Three of the hulking Leylands were removed (goodbye privacy!), french drains installed, new lawn and new plants round everything out. 

Backyard 2014: Grass!

2013:  Small concrete slab next to the house that was supposed to be a "patio" and grassy mud. We never stepped foot in the back yard unless it was to do the bare minimum maintenance.

Backyard 2013: Patio Before

2014: New... well, everything. We'll be putting up more outdoor lights and then done!

Backyard 2014: Patio After

2013: North "path" although technically, this was just dirt and weeds. Lots and lots of weeds.

Backyard 2013: North path

My wish list for the new pathway included black rocks surrounding the rectangular pavers. Alas, the Mexican river rock was too expensive (about a 1/4 of the budget). WTF. They're just rocks, seriously?!

Backyard 2014: North path

More plants will be going in once we add a new retaining wall and new privacy fence. That's phase 3.
Backyard 2014: North path

I wish we had done this years ago but we didn't really know what we wanted back then.

As it is, this style is more wild and busy compared to my true preference (straight, modern minimal lines and lots of stone and concrete) but it matches the style of the house.

The birds and squirrels love it. Job done.

Friday, August 08, 2014

World Cat Domination Day

August 8th is World Cat Domination Day!!

 All hail our benevolent overlord!

Darth Teddy

Saturday, June 28, 2014

A Little Early

Since my lease is almost up on my Infiniti Coupe, I thought about getting a more practical car, a crossover SUV. One that wouldn't require people to bend over in half to get to the back seat and could carry more than 2 bags of groceries in the trunk. I had good intentions. But I've had 2 door coupes for pretty much my entire driving life and the closer I came to making a decision, the more I hemmed and hawed.

Until finally, the boy did this.

About a month early for my 43rd and I. Love. It!!

Early birthday present!

Although nothing can beat the most amazing present ever: Teddy.

Monday, May 26, 2014

The Genius of Chris McVeigh

One of the things I love about the Adult Lego community is the camaraderie and generosity. I've mentioned and posted photos of Chris McVeigh's designs in the past but I wanted to devote some more time to one of my favorite Lego builders.

Chris has put together a number of instructions which he's made freely available on his website. And if you don't happen to have all of the parts on hand, you can buy the kits from his store. For someone like me, who can only build square buildings, instructions are absolutely necessary.

The following photos are from Chris' Flickr stream - not only are his designs impeccable, he's a gifted photographer!

One of my favorite lines is his series on retro technology. It appeals on so many levels: childhood memories, great design and the sheer "ohmygod, how cuuuute!!" factor. You had me at hello.



Remember these cameras?! Waiting for the image to appear right before your eyes - it was magic at the time.



This is part of his Brick Sketch series. Little portraits of Superheroes, Sci-fi characters, Holiday favorites etc. R2D2 is my favorite.



See what I mean about his photography skills? Eerie and beautiful! The lights in the window are outstanding.



Hilarious and adorable. You just can't go wrong with Star Wars Lego.



Take a minute to browse though his Flickr stream - guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

My Poor Thumb

This brings back so many wonderful, fun memories. And also flashbacks of a very sore thumb. It's not completely finished and I'm waiting on a Bricklink order (600lbs of Lego at my disposal and I'm always missing that critical piece or two).... anyways, I couldn't resist posting this photo.

Design by one of my favorite Lego builders, Chris McVeigh. You can buy kits of his sets at his store, Powerpig. Now I just need to build his vintage TV set to go with this!


Sunday, March 30, 2014

3 Months?!

Since my last update? Really?

I've been busy with work and a new cat (the third and last one) and a little overwhelmed with the amount of Lego that needs to be sorted and organized. I've been avoiding the Lego room.

But today I took some small steps and cleared out one corner in the chaos.
 


X-Wings

 

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Twas The Night Before Christmas

The stockings were hung by the Tower of Orthanc with care,
In hopes that Sauron soon would be there;
The orcs were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of hobbits danced in their heads.

A LOTR Christmas