Something totally cool (and totally un-related to DIY)

I took a work trip over the weekend to one of the barrier islands off the coast of Georgia- Sapelo Island.  You can only access the island by ferry and the island itself is very rural- no stores, one gas station.  I encourage you to read more about the history of the island here– it’s pretty interesting.

One really unique part about the island are its beaches- its so rare to go to a beach these days and have it entirely to yourself.  This was my view on one of the beaches over the weekend:

It’s pretty hard to beat that!

Now for the totally cool part (at least I think it’s totally cool- watch out, my marine biologist geek side is going to come out now)- horseshoe crabs.  I grew up on the west coast and we don’t have these guys- they look like little tanks motoring around under the water.  Not to mention that they are living fossils– pretty amazing!  Up until this weekend, the ones I’ve seen have been pretty small.  So imagine my surprise when I came upon the remains of one that’s shell was as big as my foot (note: I wear a size 11 women’s shoe- I have big feet- also, excuse the nail polish)

Then I found a whole one, flipped over, almost the same size:

I’d originally thought he was dead- until I noticed the pattern in the sand to the right of his shell.  That’s from his tail, trying to flip himself back over (he got left on shore when the tide went out- and yes, it is a “he”- only the males get this large).  I flipped him back over…and he started motoring towards the water!!

Pretty cool huh?  I thought so anyway!

Here’s a couple more shots I took on the beach- I hope y’all had a great weekend!

 Jellyfish washed up on the shore

A colorful bird bath- installed!

I put the bird bath/feeder out yesterday evening, and managed to snap a quick (cell phone- boo) photo of it this morning before I left for work, which I thought I’d share with y’all!

Awww- it looks so bright and cheery there, especially with the tulips that are blooming right now!  I have iris and gladiolas that are starting to come up as well, so it should fit in well with all the summer time color!

What do you think?

Another pinterest challenge: Colorful bird bath

So there’s another Pinterest Challenge going around at both Young House Love and Bower Power (here’s a link to the last one I participated in)- and I decided (a little belatedly) to participate!

It started with this pin:

Click the picture for original source

Last year we’d bought a bird bath for the front of the house which I loved- it was so bright and colorful.

Unfortunately, the basin really didn’t hold up well to the weather- the paint started chipping off and then last fall, a big chunk of the basin just broke off completely.  Luckily, the basin was separate from the base, so we removed it, but saved the base which was still in decent shape.

I decided that I could use my pin for a little “pinspiration”- so off to the store I went for some supplies:

I ended up with 3 bright cans of spray paint and a spray paint nozzle ($3- seriously, this is a worthwhile investment if you’re going to be doing a lot of spray painting.  I always end up with a cramped finger and paint all over my hand, but not this time!!  I can’t believe I waited so long!)

I also bought 3 pieces of terra cotta- one large saucer, one small saucer and one small pot.  I gave them several thin, light coats of paint and ended up with this:

After letting them dry for a few hours, I used some clear silicone to attach the large (now blue) saucer to the bird bath base, and the small (now green) saucer to the small (now red) pot:

I let that dry for a couple of hours and then turned everything over and siliconed it all together, to get this:

Tada!  I love how bright and cheery it all looks!  The small green saucer will hold bird seed.  Here’s a view from the top:

I can’t wait to put it out in the yard and put it to work!  I’ll try and post a picture of it once it’s in use.

What do you think?

Something sweet…

Go now and check out O’Malley’s Handmade Confections**- a very good friend of mine’s start-up caramel business.  If you are a salted caramel fan (and if you’re not, you should be- have you seen the salted caramel craze on Pinterest lately??) you’ll love this site: 

**Disclosure statement:  I was not paid or compensated in any way by this company for my opinion- I just wanted to show the love for a friend.

A drool worthy kitchen

My parents have had the same kitchen for the past 30+ years- super dated, galley style that’s small and cramped.  They’d been talking for years about re-doing it, but just recently took the plunge, using John Erwin remodeling**  in Olympia, WA (check them out if you’re in the area- they’re a certified green business and members of Olympia’s master builders- and they do amazing work).

The kitchen turned out so beautifully, it’s hard to believe it’s the same space.  I thought I’d share with y’all how it turned out- I haven’t seen it in person, but the pictures are lovely.  Care to take a virtual tour?

Here’s the original kitchen- old and outdated- ouch there’s a lot of orange going on in this photo!

Here’s the exact same view of the new kitchen!  As you can see, they did away with the wall ovens and separate cook top in favor of a range- the burners are gas but the ovens themselves are electric (pretty snazzy).  They also opted for a micro-hood to clear up some counter top clutter.  Speaking of counter tops, they actually chose the same counters that we have- Corian’s Burled Beach.  They photograph fairly boring, but trust me, they’re GORGEOUS in person.

Continuing with the tour…

Here’s what the kitchen view used to look like as you walked in the front door (this was during demolition, obviously).
Here’s what it looks like now- two nice big openings.  They couldn’t fully open it up because the wall is load bearing.

 As you walk up in the kitchen from the front door, there’s a lot more cabinetry and an appliance garage to store things in.  Plus a drool worthy fridge- so jealous!

They had their pass through widened- before you had to sort of bend down to talk to anyone in the living room.  You can see they like the craftsman look- and they have a lot of wood paneling.  Who else thinks they should paint their paneling??  Is it just me??

 A view of all the counter top space they gained- and the pretty tile back splash they had installed. Plus all that lovely under cabinet lighting!  It’s all LED- they managed to find warm LED light strips which is pretty cool (I’m not a big fan of the blue LED lights).

 And a close up view of the back splash tile, wall color and counter top- probably the closest approximation of all the colors.

 Isn’t it beautiful?  I’m dying to see it in person- it’s so weird to have the kitchen that I grew up in no longer exist!  They are so lucky!!

Linking up!!

**Disclosure statement:  I was not paid or compensated in any way by this company for my opinion- I just think they did a great job and wanted to show it off to y’all.

Still here!!

I’m alive- and haven’t forgotten about y’all.  A combination of too much on my plate/traveling to see family left me with no blogging time- I know I know, no excuses!!

I wanted to here from YOU, my lovely readers, about what you want to read about on the blog in the future- so please, take this quick little survey that I made so I know what you do (and don’t) want to see more of here at DavenportDIY (FYI- you can choose more than one answer per question.  Also if you’re reading this in Google reader, you’ll need to click through to the actual blog to take the survey- thanks so much!!!):