Sunday 21 June 2015

Changes and a few projects

Life has been a little busy lately..... our baby girl was supposed to arrive April 12 but she decided she was going to be fashionably late.  This left time for her crazy parents to go look at houses, one of which we decided to buy!  So in the span of a couple weeks we bought a new house, sold our house and had a new baby join the mix.  We are now counting down the days until we get to move into our new house but before talking details of the new place I thought I would share a few projects around the old place that I've never posted about before.

Sundeck planters:
Our current house is on a corner lot and our sundeck faces the ominous side of  blue vinyl of the neighbours house.  I designed some patio planters that HH built to distract from the big blue wall. 
The planters are constructed of marine grade plywood and cedar. They are a few years old and have held up pretty well.  The cedar trim around the base has been replaced as they previously had mitred corners that split apart and were quite sharp now they have butt joints.

Sidewallk to the frontdoor:
Last year we dug out more sod and dirt for a paver walkway leading to the front door.  We compacted approximately 4 inches of stone crusher dust and added the pavers.  We filled in the gaps with pea gravel. Pea gravel is a bad choice if you have children.  They love to play with the pea gravel so it ends up on the pavers and driveway and as part of rock collections in pockets. I'm all for making yards kid friendly but this was not intended to be part of the play scape and is really annoying to step on rogue rocks in your bare feet. 
I was planning on building a short modern cedar fence along the paver pathway to provide a little more privacy in the yard and to prevent slow kids down from running on to the driveway/roadway but that is one project that is not going to be realized!

Our latest project:
Our baby girl born April 22, 10 days late.


Monday 30 March 2015

DIY play area stepping logs

Spring is here and the dirt digging sisters are back in action.  Shannon has completed a very early prep. of her vegetable bed, turning the soil and doing some planting.  She is 8 months pregnant.  I guess some people "nest" at this stage while others garden. 

On my side of town I started a new backyard project.  My parents recently had some trees taken down on their property and I spotted some nice sections of a log.  They looked like they would make perfect stepping logs for the kids in the backyard.  Dad dropped them off and I hauled them to the back yard.  I also had a stock pile of other logs from a friend who took down a large pine.  Below is me digging the last hole for the last log. 

Below: I am placing a log into one of the hole.  If you look closely you can see my fresh manicure.  I'm glad there is a picture of it for posterity as my purple nails did not last long.  The final step, not pictured, is me jumping up and down on the logs to make sure they were settled into place.  This took more balance and skill then I imagined.
Some people may view this structure as a bit risky for kids, it has  uneven and rough surfaces which could pose harm.  Even my Dad who seemed more than OK with his own kids playing in the creek, tree tops and a fire pit without supervision warned me that the surface of the logs could get slippery for the grandkids.  With reports of swings being removed from playgrounds for fear of injury (and liability)  the counter viewpoint is recognising that kids need to have opportunities for some degree of risk  in  play and exploring. Here is an interesting article that reports "emerging research suggests that imposing too many restrictions on children’s outdoor risky play hinders their development."

Interestingly my almost 3 year old son, enthusiastically, wobbly stepped from log to log.  He paused on the lowest log (about 3 inches off the ground) smiled at me and successfully landed a jump.  He beamed and I smiled back as he raced to do it all over again.