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Pea gravel and pillows

We’ve been trying to spruce up the back part of our home’s lot. It was overgrown with weeds and some tree-like wild plants for a while — OK, years, really. We never gave it much thought because it’s in the alley and we park our vehicle next to it.

This is the same area where my husband accidentally grew a “spider garden” last summer. I made him get rid of it because it was out of control with spiders and weeds.

So he did and it grew back only some. Well the other day he decided to really go after it and he cut everything down. The only thing standing is a nice little tree near the retaining wall beside the alley. I couldn’t believe how big the space really was. He tore down two sections of fence that were damaged. We’re going to put up a couple others that are in better shape and paint them to match the rest.

We bought some bags of light colored pea gravel and he spread it over a section of the area. Then I got lucky and got a free two-seater bench from a friend who was going to throw it away and I put it in the middle of the pea gravel. Now my son Henry and his neighbor buddies can sit (not that they ever sit for very long) and chat for a moment if they want.

The bench still needs some sort of cushion. I might be able to find one on clearance somewhere. Or maybe I can make one if I’m feeling creative enough. I do have some old fabric somewhere upstairs. It was leftover from a pillow-making kick I was on a few years ago.

This might sound sad and/or funny, but while I was waiting for Henry to arrive (it took about three years before the stick turned pink), I decided I would start making pillows and decorating my porch. It was an outlet of sorts, I think.

I went to yard sales and bought old pillows and fabrics I liked and my creations turned out pretty cute, I think. But because I’m not a good sewer and I don’t have a sewing machine anyway, I used safety pins instead. No one could see them because they were at the back of the pillows.

Perhaps it’s time to get a sewing machine or maybe I can borrow one and see if I really like it. Or maybe I’ll switch to duct tape; it’s strong, comes in all colors and I won’t have to worry about the kids getting poked with safety pins.

Hanson can be reached at shanson@timesleaderonline.com.

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