Nick and I have been enjoying a warm spring in D.C. (despite the rain we had this week), and we’ve been able to tackle lots of little projects around the house (and on the boat too, in between our time on the water).
A few weekends ago, Nick made a stop at the nursery and purchased all kinds of plants for the dozen garden pots we have on our porch and around our property, and we spent a whole day beautifying our little yard. While our front yard gets some sun, the planters under the porch and the ones in the back yard get very little light – so we love coleus, caladium, sweet potato vine and begonias since they all seem to grow well in shade.
We also tackled the small walkout porch off our kitchen. In summer we set a small cafe set out there and some containers for vegetables and herbs since this little area gets the most sunlight on our property. The porch has a wood base and was then weatherproofed with several layers of acrylic paint over a reinforced mesh, and other than clean it a few times per year, we haven’t done much maintenance.
In the past this patio cleaned up really well with some water and a stiff brush, but it seemed like it was getting progressively dirtier each year. What we think was actually happening was that the acrylic was wearing down, and the mesh was starting to show through. We were so lucky that the previous owner left us with a few gallons of the acrylic cover.
After scrubbing and sweeping it clean, Nick used a cheap paintbrush to spread the acrylic around the border of the patio and then used a paint roller with an extension pole to quickly cover the rest.
It looks so much better now! We have more than half the gallon left (and a spare gallon) so we’ll likely start doing this on an annual basis.
We also noticed recently that the paint on the side of our stucco porch was starting to bubble and peel. We treated the seam between the roof and stucco wall with some expanding foam to help eliminate any moisture that may have led to the issues, and then Nick used a putty knife to scrape away all the bubbles and visibly loose paint. Afterwards, we hosed down the area to remove any dust and dirt and then let it dry overnight.
Thankfully we already had a gallon of exterior paint, so we were able to repaint a thin coat with a roller the following morning. It looks as good as new!
We’ve also been spending a lot of weekends on the boat and trying to tackle projects inside and out.
First, the inside of our boat is very neutral, so I wanted to bring in some added color and personality. So of course I sewed some pillows 🙂 I found some great fabric that matched the leather and wood tones (it’s Premier Prints fabric from the Birch Barkcloth collection called Neda and Chino).
I’ve only recently started sewing zippers into my pillow cases, in the past I’ve done simple overlapping envelope enclosures, and while it took me 3 hours to sew four pillows, they turned out perfectly (hopefully I made my seamstress mother proud)!
I sewed the larger dinette pillows to hold 20×20 inch pillow inserts, but for the smaller settee, I sewed 12×20 inch pillow covers.
Nick also bought and installed a small grill for the back of the boat, which we can use at the dock or when we are away mooring or anchoring.
The small propane tank gets removed when we are underway and the grill swings in towards the boat – and it came with a really nice weatherproof cover, which you can see in the photo below (Nick is looking up the sails to see the wind direction).
Another boat project that we completed recently was to remove the table’s second folding flap. It’s hard to tell in the photo below, but that flap made it really hard to get in and out of the dinette on the right side without banging your knees on it.
Also, if you were sitting on the settee to the left, it’s impossible to put up or down the table flap while you are sitting since there is only a few inches clearance – so if anyone sitting on the far side of the table wanted to get out from the table, everyone seated would have to stand up and move out of the way to put down the table flap. Just thinking about that scenario is annoying!
The table flap was so simple to remove – Nick was able to unscrew the table and brackets and found some matching wood filler to repair the screw holes. I’m so incredibly happy with this change!
With the flap gone, there is more leg room as you walk past the table, and it’s also much easier to slide in and out from the dinette. And we still have plenty of other eating spaces for guests.
So that’s what’s keeping us busy lately! I hope everyone has a lovely weekend.