Patio Update…

So this weekend sucked. Friday night, I lost my wallet and its contents thanks to a frantic attempt to avoid having Scruffy flattened into a pancake when he ran into the middle of the street. Saturday, I was informed that my computer is pretty much a lost cause and I should consider purchasing a new one. Sunday — well nothing bad happened on Sunday but I think I had bad luck “hangover” and was just grumpy.

So yeah – this weekend sucked like a Hoover. However, on the flip side, I was able to hang out with a good friend and browse some thrift stores (more to come later in the week) as well as I am hosting a dear friend from college who is in town for a reading of his first novel. So with every rain there is a little sunshine….

Speaking of sunshine, the other bright spot in my life is my patio! It is close to done – WOOT! I have two more major projects to complete and I can call this puppy finished. The remaining projects are creating a planter table out of a tree stump and installing accent and task lighting. In the meantime, here is how it looks now. This is the seating area outside the double sliding doors. We opted to recycled our existing patio set because (1) we actually quite liked it and (2) it saved cash….

I created a second seating area on the newly paved section of the patio with the butterfly chairs I found on discount at Urban Outfitters ($9.99 each — can you freakin’ believe it??) and the fire bowl. I opted not to make the fire bowl for several reasons but the most important was safety. I knew I wanted to a clean burning fire bowl and therefore would need a way to hold (and extinguish) the fuel. After several brainstorming sessions, I was left with a very expensive option (individual canned fuel gels) and a variety of unsafe options. Weighing my options, I realized that purchasing individual canned fuel gels add up quickly, negating any savings from making my fire bowl. Second, building-wise rigging a fire-proof, tip proof and spill proof contraption for liquid fuel was proving an engineering nightmare. Last, knowing that the fire bowl would be used around pets and small children, I just didn’t feel comfortable going the DIY route. So in the end, I ended up buying a fire bowl and have been quite happy with it…..

I chose the Hampton’s Fire Bowl from Amazon and I am quite pleased with it. It’s provided several nights of relaxing ambiance and at least one round of s’mores.

But here is the rest of the second seating area….

And I would not be true to myself if I didn’t create at least one vignette on the patio. I took some pottery, a large branch and an air plant to fill in some dead space in the plantings. Eventually, the tree stump planting table I am working on will occupy this space, but for the moment, I loving the pottery vignette….

Fortunately, not only does The Partner like the changes to the patio, so does the head of the household…..

While Scruffy may not appreciate the patio in the same way as we do, I think we all enjoy it fully.

I will do a full breakdown of the items on the patio later in the week. Until then, have a GREAT MONDAY!

Fire Bowl Quandary

So I have a dilemma –

I am torn on whether to make my own fire bowl using this piece of pottery I found at a stone/pottery yard….


The bowl itself is 25 in in diameter and $80 thanks to my haggling. To add river rocks, a fire grate and gel insert containers it would be another $80-$100. In total, it would cost $160-$180 to complete this DIY project.

OR……

I could simply buy a prefabricated bowl approximately the same size for about $220 from Amazon.com:

fire bowl
So I need to decide, is saving $50 worth it? After all, this will contain FIRE in some form, so if done incorrectly, there could be repercussions. I would hate to burn something down (aka my house) or worse have someone hurt due to my “burning” need to DIY. But $50 is enough to buy a few final touches for the patio.

Okay, am I just being cheap? What do y’all think?