the sunny saturday June 19, 2013

I’ve been dreaming of making a real patio in our little backyard for years (and have the aspirational pinterest board to match), but things have already been way too busy to pull it off this year… bummer. So, feeling stressed out with a ton of freelance work on my plate and plenty of regular life stuff zipping past me too, I decided to at least start on the backyard of my dreams. And now just a couple of weekends later, it’s our favorite place to hang out!

my little spot

Andrew and I bought our pair of Adirondack chairs in 2009 and I love that bright cheerful orange (although one has aged way better than the other so now they’re essentially different colors, sigh)… that’s always been my inspiration and starting point. I also love aqua and light blue – so harmonious with my favorite bright colors like yellow, orange or lime green – so I chose a palette of my of those for inspiration, signed up for the Portland Nursery email list for the 25% off ceramic planters coupon, and started rounding things up. I bought planters and smaller pots at Portland Nursery, Garden Fever, and Little Baja (which I have been wanting to go to for YEARS but never had, it’s awesome and wow that strawberry pot reminds me of my childhood). Then I repainted a small, ugly, markered-on wooden table that had kicked around various parts of the house in “Seaside Resort” and that worked out perfectly for a 15-minute project, counting washing the brushes afterwards.

backyard hangout space

I moved some bigger plants like the tall grass and Mexican orange from other places in my yard and took succulent cuttings from my garden to start things off. I also bought some coleus and a few other new things I liked, and thanks to Burgerville‘s kids meal seed packets, started some little peas and zucchini in pots that are going gangbusters too.

mini patio #1

Finally, I got a recommendation from a friend for Portland Rock & Landscape Supply and headed out there to pick up twelve 12″ square pavers . A quick hour of digging out grass and leveling out dirt later, I had two mini (2 x 3 paver-sized) patios for my plant container islands and was happily done and mixing a cocktail!

mini patio #2

I don’t have a photo of it but here’s the drink I made up to celebrate our little patio project finale: the Sunny Saturday. It spun off of this recipe, thanks to turning a bumper crop of sage in my herb garden into simple syrup, and asking duck duck go what I should make with it. I highly (HIGHLY) recommend it, it’s written into my family cookbook now…

The Sunny Saturday

•1 1/2 oz gin
•1/2 oz lemon juice
•1/2 oz sage simple syrup
•1/2 oz St. Germain elderflower liqueur

over ice, top with club soda, stir with a swizzle stick, and garnish with a few sage leaves. This one is perfect for sharing, especially in a tall glass full of ice.

Western shirt for Everett

Then in sewing news, after going a full month without even touching my machine, I’m starting a little Western shirt for Everett – my muslin will be in this strawberry vintage fabric I’ve had forever. I’m pretty excited about it! With luck the rough draft will be wearable (those strawberries are so cute) and then I’ll get to sew him the real shirt in an awesome red, white, and blue sailboat print for a very special Fourth of July wedding. Hope to have some sewing photos to share soon!

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