acreage renovation: white modern jungle gym

Oh, this jungle gym.

When we moved to the country, there was nothing in our yard except an old, neglected sandbox in the front. We needed something that the children could play on and with. During that first summer, I spoke often of how I wanted a play structure for them. However, because we had just bought a trampoline, I said that we could wait another year until we got one. In the meantime, they could play at the park that was within walking distance.

It was my brother-in-law that told me he often saw free jungle gyms on Kijiji. I asked him if he ever came across one to then send it to me. Over the next few months, he had sent me a few listings. I would message the owners within a few minutes of them posting the ad, but someone always seemed to beat me to it! Finally, one day in early fall, he sent me a listing that I was able to secure. On Geoff’s first day off, they went to the Kijiji-er’s house, dismantled it, brought it home, and set it back up.

Fast-forward to nearly one year later and after putting it off for this long, we decided to fix its problems. The jungle gym was missing structural pieces to make it sturdy. The sandbox was nearly empty. The rope ladder wasn’t getting used and was tripping us every time we went to turn the corner. Most of all, it desperately needed a roof to provide shade on our hot, shadeless property. Above is what it pretty much looked like before.

I happened to stumble an outdoor playset on Instagram one day that was stained white with black accents. I immediately sent Geoff a picture and told him that I was going to try replicating that. The next day I got to work on building a roof.

Admittedly, I had no idea what I was doing! I had never built a roof before, and so I Googled how to do it. Insert eye roll here. I followed the directions from one blog where they basically did what I was trying to do. I used the proper tools (including a saw and rafter square) and it turned out to be not nearly wide enough. Because I was home alone with the children and didn’t want to take them shopping, I was using scrap wood. That meant that I didn’t have enough to fix any mistakes.

Luckily, Geoff came home from work later that day, and was able to fix the roof as best as he could! It ended up being incredibly sturdy, it just didn’t look very professional, thanks to me. Haha.

I bought two cans of white Beauti-Tone acrylic stain which covered the entire structure nicely.

We took down the inconvenient rope ladder and in the process some of the rungs broke and the rope became tangled. We discussed the many ways that we could try to fix it and rehang it somewhere else, but because the kids never even used it, we eventually gave up on the idea.

I ended up painting Wilder’s baby swing white, in order to match the rest of the jungle gym.

Geoff had to secure the slide better to the playset in order to ensure its safety.

I bought a black hammock swing that we could all enjoy and hung it where the rings used to be. Finally, we moved the rings to the end in order to utilize that empty space.

Really, all this makeover cost was two cans of stain, metal roofing, and a new swing. What was once a neglected, hot structure on our property, is now a well-loved, well-played on, shaded spot for all of us.

Emory

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stairway to heaven, or something like that

e5556d9f070dcb71dbfdfbde1c06d0f9(Image via Pinterest)

The day is getting closer for when we’ll be able to move into The Little Barn. I would say in two weeks, to be exact. This also means that the decisions are becoming finer in their details and much more rushed at that. Our contractors are scrambling to finish last minute projects, both little and big, and we are calling them almost on a daily basis asking when it is that we’ll be able to bring our belongings over. The only other time that I’ve felt this nervous during our house building was in the beginning, when we were waiting to hear back from the bank regarding our mortgage. It’s torturous!

Anyway, that’s not the point of this post. What is the point is that we were asked to pick out a railing for our staircase. Actually, I was texted that question. My first response was that I didn’t bloody know. My contractor then told me that I had to pick something. Obviously, but what a vague question. Who thinks about railings? Didn’t they just appear when the staircase was installed? What are the different kinds of materials that can be used? How would I know what would look good and what wouldn’t?

In a desperate attempt, I had asked my husband to pick out a railing. He was about as shocked and overwhelmed as I was, and asked me what look we were going for. 

“I don’t know,” I said. “Just type in rustic staircase.” 

So he did. What we came up with was a reclaimed wood railing.

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What would you have chosen for your own house?

<3

Emory

in october

Screen Shot 2014-10-28 at 8.30.30 PMNot only is today Halloween, but it also marks the last day in October. Another month has come to an end. I always feel a bit nostalgic on these days. Like something important is concluding. Do you agree? Yet, at the same time, I like these days for the sole purpose of being able to sum up the entire month of blogging.

Screen Shot 2014-10-28 at 7.59.24 PMWhile 30 days may not seem very long ago to most people, to a blogger who publishes 5 posts a week, it feels like a lifetime. No longer do our previous posts seem relevant, as we are typically already planning an entire month in advance.Thus, something that we posted one month ago, in actuality, is really two months ago in our minds. A lot can happen in two months!

That being said, let’s finally discuss what did happen in October.

BeFunky_04.jpgI began the month with the introduction of my store’s website, as well as the grand opening of Potomac Trading Post, Ltd. itself. I also published my Pinterest finds on my store inspiration.

Holly03Next, I described the big changes that I’ve gone through emotionally this summer, as well as dealing with Holly’s health problems and being able to witness the self-effacing beauty in a dog’s own strength and will to survive.

Screen Shot 2014-10-09 at 10.41.45 AMWe celebrated Thanksgiving in Canada. I wrote about what I was thankful for, in addition to showing you my outfit for the delicious holiday.

01.jpgSpeaking of food, my husband was October’s guest blogger and he made the most delicious Butternut Squash Pasta.

J+J 08I was hired to shoot a prairie couple and their dog, seen here and here.

Moon.jpgI also blogged about my discovery of RAW format, not to mention testing it out on the night of the partial solar eclipse. (The former of which has become one of my most liked posts!)

BeFunky_2.jpgIt wouldn’t be a successful month without including at least one home design idea. Here is my reigning kitchen concept. 

Screen Shot 2014-10-14 at 9.58.13 AMThis was probably the most that I’ve ever blogged about The Little Barn as well. I showed you our roofsiding, and appliances in these posts. I also discussed the idea of a dream home and you guys had some really amazing and insightful advice on the topic.

Processed with VSCOcam with a6 presetOn a rare evening out, we were able to see the film Pulp Fiction in theatres. What a great night that was!

IMG_1050 copy06.jpgOf course, Halloween also occurred this month. I began by showing you the cutest pumpkin DIY, not to mention 10 scary film choices, a healthy holiday treat, a makeup tutorial, and finally, our costumes for that night (tonight, in fact).

Screen Shot 2014-10-28 at 7.58.56 PMIt was such a busy and diverse month. Bring on November, baby.

<3

Emory

put the lime in the coconut and drink it all up.

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(Image via Pinterest)

I realize that this may be a strange title for a post, however, when I was thinking about how to cleverly add the word ‘kitchen’ to the title, I could only think of the Harry Nilsson song. You know, from the film Practical Magic when they’re dancing in the kitchen and this is the music that is playing in the background? My mind works in mysterious ways.

While we’re on the topic of kitchens, the one that was featured in that film is pretty much the look that I am trying to attain with ours for The Little Barn. It’s funny how you can completely put something that you like in the back of your mind, and suddenly when you’re writing a post for your blog, it comes rushing back to you with many other childish memories that tie into what you’re discussing. Come to think of it, I don’t ever recall seeing the movie in its entirety. Dammit. Now I have another one to add to my list.

I digress. I need to stop doing that. What this post is really about is Pinterest and it’s unending supply of rustic industrial kitchens. Who needs books and magazines anymore when you have the internet? Wait. I work in a library. Who needs the internet when you have … Ok, so we need it all.

Here are my most influential finds so far:

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And just to add a little music to this post, and because Halloween is nearing, here you go!

<3

Emory

the young couple and their antlers

IMG_1.jpgIMG_2.jpgIMG_3.jpg IMG_4.jpgIMG_5.jpg IMG_6.jpgIMG_7.jpg IMG_8.jpgIMG_9.jpgIMG_10-1.jpg More and more I am moving Little Green away from its modern style and into one filled with rustic goodness. If you have been following my blog for awhile now, you may have seen some country aspects already creeping in like with this post here, or this one here. Living in the prairies, it may seem like a logical shift to have a more rustic-inspired home. Contrary to popular belief, while I did grow up on the fields, we Canadians don’t all currently live on them. In fact, our first home as a married couple was a new, ultramodern, very green condominium. We had granite countertops, engineered hardwood floors, expensive European appliances, custom window treatments, high ceilings, the works. Do you know what? After about 6 months of living there, I hated it. Everything eventually broke, and what didn’t break, I somehow damaged with either doing crafts, having pets, or in just being a living, breathing entity. It felt more like a museum than a home, and I couldn’t wait to move into an old bungalow that was already broken into and screamed character.

When we bought Little Green, we went from a place that was built in 2010 to one that was built in the 1920s. It was a daunting time warp, and one that I wasn’t quite sure how to style. My first mistake was reusing the same paint that we used in our condo to apply to the walls in our new home. Suddenly, the cool greys, blacks, and stark whites were clashing with the stain that covered our hardwood floors and baseboards. It looked off to me, yet I couldn’t put my finger on why. I began to panic, and so we ended up rectifying our paint scheme by either adding stripes to the walls and  adding furniture with cool tones. Then, one day, I finally figured out that we had to go with warmer paints. By choosing softer yellows, greens, and whites, Little Green felt more like a recipe that was coming together rather than one that left an aftertaste in your mouth. I also slowly got rid of our modern furniture, and over the course of the past year, we have almost replaced it all with more natural fabrics, warm woods, and more recently (and completely inspired from my mum’s decor), animal subjects.

Our newest addition is our antler light that I bought off of eBay for $100. We changed out our modern light in our front entrance with it, and it’s beginning to pull our entryway and dining room together nicely. I think that it plays well off of our more rural motifs, and with our 8 foot ceilings, our tall visitors will no longer be getting a string of crystal beads caught in their hair when they enter our home. I feel that this fact alone has made it a winner.

Emory

  • Welcome, friends! My name is Emory. I am a wife and mother to three (two on earth and one in heaven). This is our life on the Canadian prairies.
    email: helloscarlettblog@outlook.com

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