Hubby and I really appreciate our hot tub revamp we just completed for under $1500. We took time and effort to drop it INTO the landscape and rock around it so it is beautiful. See post.We enjoy how soothing it is. Rich and I tend to Overdo a lot. It really has helped my chronic back problems. After 3 weeks of daily soaks, pain down >50%!A tub or spa is covered up MOST of the time to retain heat and keep it clean.Alas, the cover it came with is OLD and UGLY and CLUMSY.It had a lever system that didn't fit our deck situation. Yes, I could reupholster it and customize the system.But I found a beautiful solution from Canada, searching the net: Cedar slats over foam like a yoga mat, can roll back easily and look lovely.They quoted about $1000 for a custom cover for me. OUCH! I found a resourceful DIYer who made her version out of tarp, insulation material and cedar slats.I made a temporary cover out of the taped tarp and insulation material while I researched for a better solution. Here's what I came up with:
We had happy hummingbirds until the Yellow Jackets came swarming to their feeders. I did my research and tried a few tricks, including putting pennies in a plastic baggie with water and making a fake paper-bag nest to activate their territorial fears. These are not bad tricks -- but they seem to also scare the hummies away. Moving the feeders into shadier spots also reduced the wasps, but I couldn't see them as well from my window. The best attack was to LURE Them AWAY with Sweeter Aromas... into a trap where they could not easily get out.I caught over 100 very quickly.Here's how:
One of my fave New Year's was spent in an outdoor spa at Glacier Club with my son Steve, daring one another to get out in our bare feet and bodies... into the snow around us. We did, for a few seconds. It was our own Polar Bear adventure and felt exhilarating.I have enjoyed hot tubs on vacations and at sports club. My indoor jacuzzi was much appreciated after skiing and heavy gardening, but not quite the same... As I get older my body feels the daily creaks and aches a little more. I wanted more. I deserved more.This month I will start on Social Security. And, now that I will have a little extra time to relax, and a bit of extra income, I decided to TREAT myself and my hubby to an outdoor hot tub. Although to respect a tight budget, keep it no more than 2 months SS$. We have put so much into our outdoor space over the past 15 years, adding waterfalls, ponds, trees and gardens. I was very insistent that it be blended into the natural setting, and NOT stand out as a big ugly elephant. We had a perfect spot, but it would take a lot of hard work to make it look natural. I don't mind... if you give me a nice hot tub and a glass of wine to ease the situation.
This is not really a step-by-step DIY... but rather an overview of a major remodeling project that DIYers offered input on -- here at Hometalk. 18 months ago I posted a Hometalk Challenge on the Discussion page. I was searching for ideas about how to open the vista... I posted my concepts and shared past projects. It's been a long time in development, using contractors for the heavy lifting and specialized expertise, and me overseeing and handling finish details. I hope some of the details will inspire other Hometalkers as much as you all have inspired me. Here's the capsule story:
Even though I am now retired, for the most part, I get called upon to offer my design services for volunteer causes. This month I agreed to help our Gem & Mineral Club with a major fundraiser Show and exhibitions at the local libraries and tourism centers. (Midway in project 2,600 acres of National Forest caught on fire, near us. It became even more important to get this right and keep HOPES STRONG. See notes at end.) Low budget, simple, but very classy, hmmmm.I did not intend to make this a DIY entry, my priorities are elsewhere. But THIS IDEA is a RAVE: A rotating turntable pedestal base. I thought I'd snap a few pics and share with our DIY Community before I take these on the road. You can adapt this concept to use as a base for anything from planters to birdbaths to bar-tops and dining tables. One, two, three or four legs, up to 7' tall!You can adapt it to hide electric cords, such as if you wish to hide a lamp cord or, in my case, an electric turntable...You can weight the base to support any weight and motion.It's elegant to look at, but unbelievably cheap! and oh-so quick and versatile.
"Hmmm." I wondered. Why aren't the hummingbirds using one of my two feeders anymore? They used to, but now they don't.Was it the color? The spouts? The mixture of sugar to water?I'll post a pic and you see if you can figure it out.
If ever you come to our oasis, you'll find dozens of planned clean places to sit, enjoy the scenery and relax comfortably.... but you will only see store-bought furniture on the decks. We dig them out, carefully position and arrange rocks to invite you to linger and dissolve into nature. It's not as casual as you might think! Or as spontaneous as it looks. Every functional piece is designed to blend into the surroundings, optimize the views and fit your tushee to a tee. Imagine yourself in these chairs and benches. Set a glass of vino on one of our pedestals or tables. This is a slice of heaven that the finest stores could NOT furnish. God provided the basics, and we use our creativity to make it all sweet and comfy.
It's a dreary walk up the narrow stairs staring at a plain metal door.I brushed a copper red tone over the manufacturer's standard white. That was better. I added intriguing art from my studio on the walls. But a stairwell is NOT a lingering space. Something still was missing.I wanted to see light at the end of the tunnel.I had seen expensive gorgeous doors with frosted or stained glass insets. I wanted one, but they seemed "too much" in several ways. Our home is a personal one, highly creative, country understated. I would need to wait until I found the answer.Years later I was at an antique shop, admiring stained-glass panels that had been ripped out of old buildings.The shopkeeper commented about how they could be used."They look so lovely propped against a window!" she suggested."Or inset into a door," I said. I was holding an authentic leaded glass piece, 14" square. Wheels spinning, happily I turned it to its side, like a diamond.I bought it for a bargain price.And took it home.Here's what we did after that:
I wanted to redirect the lighting in my hallway to spotlight some art and special features. So I bought a 3-LED ceiling light to do that. It was blinding bright and not very focused.Yikes! What to do?Disclaimer: According to research, LED bulbs are very unlikely to pose any fire risk as they don't get hot enough to be flammable. Please do your own research before replicating this project or trying a similar solution.
Now that we're all trying to be oh-so-good taste -- lightening, whitening and neutralizing our palettes... It's time for some dramatic flair!I like to add bold drama to at least one wall in each room.Here's how I took my little Creative Space and spiced it up!
I love helping others do the same, sharing the love and enjoying the fruits of our creativity. I have taught children and adults at my studios, at an Art Center I founded, and at the International Academy of Merchandising and Design.
I studied at the Institute of Design at IIT and married a architect. During our 18-year marriage we transformed several homes into proud landmarks. Not by spending a lot of money, but by brainstorming creative solutions that are practical and sensitive, that withstand the tests and tastes of time.
After 25 years, I gave up rat-race lifestyle to settle in the mountains of Colorado. I received certifications as a Master Gardener and as a Natural Healer. You will see both reflected in my approach to design and DIY.
We live on 20 acres, care-taking another 120 acres of mountain & valley vistas surrounding us as a Certified Wildlife Habitat, quiet & inspiring. Nature is our constant guide, always in flux and transformation.