Friday, 9 May 2014

Outspiration

One of the main features that made us fall in love with (and eventually buy) our house was the
outside space. We have three separate Gardens here; 1 at the front, 1 at the back and 1 to the
side. Considering we'd spent the previous 5 years with just a tiny, paved, dark and dreary
"garden" this was exciting for us. We imagined the kids playing happily together; they'd have a
swing set, a sand pit, paddling pool and a play house. We'd also
have a patio area where there
would be a built in Barbecue with a Trendy dining table set. Family and friends would join us for
lazy summer evenings...bliss!!!

But Martha Grace had other ideas which meant all we could do last year was make the house
habitable... The Gardens were put well and truly on the back burner.

The weather this last week has seen the kids "Garden" toys all come out of hibernation. While
I've struggled to get Osh outside at all I've struggled to bring Isabella indoors for meals and
even at bedtime; it's amazing how different they are. So with Osh in his room playing on his
PSV, Martha Grace asleep in her cot or on her play mat and Isabella playing in the back garden, I
have been sitting in the doorway with my panad in hand trying to look after three kids in three
different places.

I only wish that I had a prettier garden to look out over. It's such a great garden and I don't think
we look after it properly. If we tried we really could make it look lovely so that all 5 of us could
enjoy it. So far this year the lawn hasn't even been mowed yet *cue gasps of horror*


To be honest I haven't got the faintest idea when or how to plant seeds, I wish I could have a little
vegetable patch but I wouldn't know where to start. So what can I do? I so obviously want to do
something, I feel somewhat outspired to do something. Possibly if I was to begin a project and
ask Isabella (the outdoorsy one) to help, it might stir something in me to keep going and give the
garden some TLC that it desperately needs.

I wanted to start small, a little project with which Isabella could enjoy the fruits of her hard work straight away. I figured I wouldn't be able to keep her interested if it was to become something dragged out over
a few weeks; to be honest I'd give up myself. So I decided to put together a Bird Feeding Table.
She already has her playhouse, built since last weekend, and she has been having a ball. I think
she'll enjoy dishing out the seeds each morning for the birds and then watching them land on her
table eating the food she left for them.We bought a flat pack and Daddy kindly built it for us, but it's just a plain wooden one so Mammi and Isabella are going to paint it and make it look pretty for the birds. I'm hoping that by having one "pretty" piece of furniture out there I'll want to keep it at it, doing small projects that, when they're put together, will transform our garden.

For someone like me who is a complete novice, the "Outspiration" app is a perfect companion.

          


I wish we could knock down our ancient sheds and build new ones in their place, but funds won't
allow for that this year and we really do need them to house our freezer, tumble dryer and the
kids’ toys. Also, the black paint is flaking off and I scratch my hand each time I open the
door. We really need to do something with them. The "Visualisation" tool on the app lets me
"paint" the shed in a variety of Hammerite shades to see how they would look on the shed, I have
to say that I have a real soft spot for "pebble trail" and when I've saved my pennies I want to give
them a facelift. According to the Tips available within the App, I'd need to sand down the flaky
paint, before washing with diluted detergent and then giving the sheds a couple of coats of
Hammerite Paint. I think that will be a job for Daddy. I love the country cottage look and I know our house is far from country chic but I think our window sills would look the part if we were to paint them in the same shade of "pebble trail"




I also found a lovely idea for a storage box which would be perfect for our living room.


However I have an excited two year old who wants to help her Mammi paint her new bird feeding
table. The Cuprinol shade I chose for Isabella was "Sweet Pea" which is a pale pink colour; I
wanted to make it girly for her, but there was a whole host of colours I could have chosen at my
local B&Q. I had planned to start painting while Daddy watched the Liverpool v Norwich game on
Easter Sunday; but according to Outspiration we were due some rain after lunch so we didn't
risk setting everything up outside and starting to paint just in case. But the app didn't let us down,
before it was even half time it had started raining so crisis averted. It did however predict better
weather for bank holiday Monday.





So dressed in her scruffy clothes and wellies, armed with a paint brush we headed outside to
paint her bird-feeder. I'm glad there aren't any large surface areas so no one should notice the
different directions of Isabella's brush strokes[N1] , but this is hers and it would be great if it would last
a few years; she's growing so quickly it's going to be nice to look out the kitchen window as I'm
doing the dishes in a few years time and remember spending the time with Isabella painting it she's
not going to be my little girl forever.




The "Outspiration" app is available now to download from the Apple App store, to celebrate it's
launch AkzoNobel are giving away a beautiful Barbeque and a hamper worth £100 to help you make the most of your outdoor space; simply download the App and enter your email address on the home screen. The competition runs until May the 12th.

I've been having a nosey through other users projects, from sheds to garden tables and even
pagodas it seems there is no project too big or too small for this nifty little app. It's only May so
as long as we have the weather this summer, I'm hoping that at least our back garden is
transformed in to a space the 5 of us can enjoy...oh and not forgetting any little Birdies that join
us. I hope that you're also feeling outspired to transform your outside space.



GM
x

**disclaimer: This is a sponsored post and I was gifted a £30 B&Q voucher to purchase the painting materials for the purpose of this post. Isabella used a child freindly paint to help Mammi paint the Bird Table.