I recently took a photo of the back of the house from the bottom of the yard.
I thought it was a beautiful shot.
Unfortunately as I looked more closely I saw all the clutter we store back there. I don’t like the propane grill up by the steps. It needs a cleaning and a new tank of propane. Also a doable project which I would like to assign to Charlie, our Grillmaster.
In some cases the clutter just needs to be rearranged. For instance I can move the round table away from the house and surround it with the chairs we just cleaned.
Other items are more bothersome like the partially-painted oil tank. Some day I hope to mask it but for now just painting it would be an improvement. Last night I pulled out my paint sprayer to get it ready to do just that tomorrow morning.
The red ride-on lawnmower has been sold on Craigslist. Listed in the morning gone by evening. That’s really the easy way to declutter.
One eyesore that I haven’t yet figured out is the trash and recycle cans. I would like to build a structure for their storage that is both understated and utile. My research has not yet revealed the perfect design nor am I convinced behind the house is optimum.
Another bothersome area is under the steps. Charlie keeps his garden tools there especially during summer. It’s a jumble and I feel it encourages rodents and snakes to live near the house. YUK! Perhaps I can resettle these items in Charlie’s greenhouse. I guess he just needs me to work out a system of organization. I’ll put it on my research project list.
Finally I’d like to plant something in the corner by the steps.
Do your little clean-ups take on enormous proportions?
I invited my friend up to the porch adjacent to the master suite for 4th of July morning coffee.
The deck is shaded in the morning and looks over the wooded yard.
After talking for a few minutes and enjoying our coffees she started cleaning out one of the many rain gutters reachable from the porch.
Since they had not been cleaned since before the oak tree flowers had fallen this spring some of the down spouts were clogged. Handily there was an A-frame ladder already on the porch.
We made a tool from a wire hanger to loosen up the muck.
In the corner gutter by the French doors where there previously had been growing some green plants a little froggie actually had been living. She helped him out of the gutter and off the porch.
My job was to turn the hose on and off as my friend moved from gutter to gutter. Honestly I did not mean for the invitation to turn into a chore but I’m happy the gutters are running freely. I am VERY grateful for the help.
Later in the day we enjoyed snowballs on the same porch which also shades over in the late afternoon.
The Cottage has now been painted both inside and out.
We’ve been waiting for all this to happen so my friend and I can hang some new curtains.
The first task was to paint both curtain rods white. The natural wood rod was transformed even before the curtains were hung.
One set of Ikea Aina all-linen curatins was hung over the side window which in summer also houses an air-conditioner.
The front 3-panel window took 2 full sets to give it an elegant, non-skimpy appearance. I sewed together 2 panels with a straight seam from bottom to top to make the double wide curtains.
After sewing the panels together my friend pressed them on her iron’s highest setting using steam.
Each Ikea curtain panel requires 10 curtain rings which come 10 per pack and include both clips and hooks. We bought 6 packs of rings to use for 3 pairs of curtains.
In order to lift the curtains closer to the rod we inserted drapery pins in the lowest slot in the curtains’ buckram header. The wire hooks that attached to the rings were slipped onto the drapery pins.
All the rings, 20 on each side of the large window curtains, were slid onto the curtain rod. The end ring was left outside the bracket so the curtain would always stay closed at the sides of the window.
These curtains are opened and closed daily and are easy to maneuver.
They give a fresh look to the windows in the Cottage.