an autumn chalkboard

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The chalkboard in our un-dining room has been bare since after the Fourth of July. It was time to get something on it!

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I sketch it out and then of back in and change the hand lettering to the style that I want.

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Lorelai almost always wants to do the same thing on one of our smaller chalkboards. She gets frustrated that she can’t do things as well as me, but I am totally impressed with her artwork!

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home is…an autumn smile.

evolution of my happy place

This year I have been taking “daily” photos of our backyard. You can see them in my instagram feed or #dailybackyardphoto2014.

I actually take a couple a week, but it is really fun to see how the yard changes with the seasons.

I get comments each time about how people love our yard.

It hash’t always been my happy place, but has evolved into my happy place in the 6+ years that we have lived here.


When we moved in it already had “good bones”. Awesome 80-100 foot tall douglas firs, a large deck, a flat grassy area held up by a rock wall that separated a lower “dirt” area that was great for the dogs.


The dog runs fit almost perfectly into the lower corner of the yard.

It stayed this way for 3 years. That was all we needed at the time. The kids were young and we didn’t need much to keep them amused…grass and a few toys and it was just fine.


About a year after we moved in we had some landscaping plans drawn up for the front and back yard. Eventually, I talked Ryan into an idea to build a platform between the two trees in the middle of our yard so that the kids could have a play/tree house.


Later that year we had the landscaping done. It was a bigger project in the front yard. In the back yard, we added a gravel path through the lower dirt, had some stone put in, and added gravel for our fire pit area.


Since 2011, the backyard has been my happy place. We’ve hosted birthday parties, backyard movies, impromptu late night fires with the neighbors, and spent hours and hours out there as a family.


It gets a perfect mixture of sunlight and shade during the summer.


After the leaves fall, it opens up to get more light during the dark winter months.


In late spring, as the leaves fill out the trees and the grass finally fills in, we can fully enjoy our happy place.

Here are more posts about the landscaping and playhouse:

{update} play-tree-house

my husband rocks

{in our garden} the big dig…and move, and build, and fill, and plant

play outside every day

friends around the campfire

home is…evolution of a happy place.




here it is…

summer list

Last year I was inspired by Meg to come up with a Summer List of our own, and I loved it!

I absolutely love how Meg’s looked on her giant chalkboard with the photo collages in what is now her craft house!

{I also adore her old school chairs and would love some of my own.}

Source: via stephany @ on Pinterest

Anyway, it gave us (me) a reason to plan some fun activities each week, but also left room for spontaneity and lazy days.

Although the little guy has been out of school for a couple of weeks, this week is the “official” start of summer break for all of the “big kids” as the last day of school was yesterday.

I have a giant chalkboard like Meg’s, but the kids use it and I am afraid that they would erase our list and I would constantly be re-writing it this summer.

I decided to use our giant bulletin board instead.

You may remember that it has been used to display our christmas cards in the past…

in our playroom

and, in our family room.

Now, the bulletin board is located on the huge wall next to our open staircase in our entryway.

It has been displaying the kids artwork from the school year.

Since we won’t have school work, and we have two other bulletins on the wall to display artwork, I decided this would be a good place to put our summer list.

So, here is our Summer List 2012…

We walk by it every day and we can make sure that we are checking things off as summer moves along!

I printed out our list in a fun font, cut out the items, and glued them to scrapbook paper that was cut into different sizes.

My hope is that each time we do something on the “list” we can write the date on the card and I can write down a little bit about our adventure.

I will also print some photos of our adventures to put up on the board.

See my handsome cousin and his fiancé up there? We’re going to their wedding in August!

I will put additional invitations and postcards (my mother in law sends the kids postcards frequently) up here as well!

And, the big thing on our list…

no more diapers!

So, what do you plan to do this summer?

photos from {m}iphone

Here are some recent photos from Instagram…you can follow me as @homeisablog!

Well, we’ve got to to cross something off our summer list…

home is…hot fun in the summertime.

drills, crib parts, and chalk…oh my!

We finally have summer here in the Pacific Northwest and some of the projects that we have had planned for our backyard are finally getting done.

I went out last week to add some features to the playhouse and found out that our drill had bitten the dust, so I had to wait for Ryan to decide which drill he wanted to replace it with and the kids and I worked on a “drill-less” water wall project instead.

Ryan came home with a drill the other night and due to the fact that I was working on another project (someone is getting a room redesign that I will blog about soon) I did not get to use the drill until this morning.

The sidewalk and driveway at our  house are an aggregate and do not get along well with sidewalk chalk, so I have had to come up with other ideas for using the chalk…one of which was our deck that was in desperate need of refinishing (that is now done) and our fence. While both were fine alternatives for the short term, I needed a long term solution to our dilemma.

I used more recalled crib parts to make an outdoor sandwich board style chalkboard!

Here is a crude tutorial on how I did it…really, the photos are very fuzzy, sorry!

First, I bought pre-cut pieces of plywood at Home Depot, primed them, and painted them with chalkboard paint. Of course, I don’t have any photos of that process, but it’s pretty simple.

Here are the crib parts that I used…they are the small ends of the crib (the large ends were given away as a headboard and footboard for a full size bed as they were still safe to be used that way).

Next, I lined the sides up next to each other and added hinges that I found in the door hardware aisle at Home Depot.

After that I added chain to the side to keep them from opening up all the way while the kids are drawing on the boards.

Then, I screwed the painted plywood to the crib panels.

See, you can see the texture of our driveway…not chalk friendly at all.

Also, do you notice my husband filling water balloons?! He was preparing for a water balloon battle with the boys next door that should happen later today.

So, pretty easy and I feel good about my reuse of the recalled crib parts!

I also added “s” hooks to the chain to hang some cute buckets I had sitting around to hold the chalk!

I have another chalkboard project that I will blog about in the next little while…stay tuned!

home is…mommies who can use power tools!

*linking up with Today’s Creative Blog

Todays Creative Blog