Our Lowe’s Backyard: Fire Pit, Seating, and the Weber Genesis E-310 Propane Gas Grill

This is a partially sponsored post.

We bought our home on one potential-filled acre about 15 years ago. In all that time we’ve rarely enjoyed our back yard. We had a play structure back there for a while when our kids were younger, a few inflatable swimming pools over the years during the summer months, along with a portable hammock. But we’d never done landscaping, planted a successful lawn, or much of anything else to tempt us to hang out back. Most of our activities came and went only through our front door.JSIM-Lowes-Backyard-11Our kids will all be away to college soon enough and it’s due time we found a way to spend more time together now and enjoy this private area of our property that is actually quite lovely in its own “rustic” way. So with a small budget in mind, my husband, Jeff, and I headed to our local Lowe’s home improvement store for inspiration.NSI_Lowes_logo_280_354 In the garden area we found a do-it-yourself flagstone fire pit kit for $200 and picked up a few bags of gravel and concrete caulking as specified in the kit instructions. We also spied these comfortable brown stacking resin Adirondack chairs for under $18 each (which come in several colors.)JSIM-Lowes-Backyard-10 With our purchases made, the friendly Lowe’s staff loaded the large fire pit kit into our pick-up truck using a forklift and we headed home with our Sunday afternoon project. Jeff measured and dug our pit ring a bit deeper than the instructions directed as we prefer more heat at leg level when sitting around a fire, (the surface of the bottom flagstone ring now flush with ground level.) I organized the stones according to the simple directions and caulked them into place.JSIM-Lowes-Backyard-08 We added the gravel, and the metal fire ring from the kit, then placed the Adirondack chairs all around.JSIM-Lowes-Backyard-09Jeff later rolled three large tree rounds, taken from a eucalyptus tree in our pasture he’d been cutting up for firewood, over to the area to serve as side tables. Petaluma is not too far from the Northern California coast, so it cools down significantly here year-round in the early evening. A warm spot to sit outdoors is golden. Fire, s’mores, and good converstation- we love this new gathering spot!JSIM-Lowes-Backyard-05I contacted my source at Lowe’s, who had previously sponsored amazing products for my Inspired Barn project, to share how pleased we were with our new backyard purchases. I mentioned that we were also in the market for a new barbeque grill- a Weber of course. They recommended the Weber Genesis E-310 three-burner propane gas grill and generously sponsored it for this review. This grill features:

  • Front-mounted control panels with cast aluminum end caps
  • Porcelain cast-iron cooking surface
  • Individual electronic ignition modules at each burner
  • Safety grip control knobs
  • Wind deflectors located under control panel
  • Restyled stainless steel work surfaces with cast aluminum end caps

JSIM-Lowes-Backyard-01 We chose the Espresso color (a beautiful rich brown exclusive to Lowe’s) to coordinate with our new backyard setting. When we picked up the new grill we also bought several Weber accessories: a grill basket for vegetables, a 3-piece grilling tool set and a vinyl Weber grill cover. Once home, Jeff assembled the grill and cart within one hour. (We joke how he’s not much for direction reading, so we laughed when we saw there were no directions to read, the assembly was so simple it was completely described with pictures!) He said it was the most simple assembly of a complex product he’d ever done.JSIM-Lowes-Backyard-07Up and running, we were barbequing burgers and dogs in no time for our kids and their friends as they all gravitated to the backyard. Our home is quite removed from town so this new backyard set-up from Lowe’s is proving to be the perfect solution for spending more time with our teenagers, and now their friends are driving from town out to our place to visit more often.JSIM-Lowes-Backyard-06We raise market lambs in our pasture for meat, so naturally lamb chops would eventually meet the grill to share with neighbors. (That’s my Sarah demonstrating her marinade brushing technique.)JSIM-Lowes-Backyard-04 Jeff had always favored charcoal or wood grilling of meat, so asked if he tasted a difference when cooking with the new propane gas grill he was actually surprised that he didn’t…at all.

Next meal on the Weber- Hawaiian burgers (teriyaki chicken and pineapple sandwiches) with sweet corn.JSIM-Lowes-Backyard-02xAfter several meals cooked on our new grill, we easily give the Weber Genesis E-301 five stars with these additional notes from Jeff:

  • He likes the insulated lid that keeps the heat in but is cool to the touch from the outside.
  • The grill is easy to take apart to clean, and he likes the ease of removing the grease pan below.
  • The built-in thermostat is a very convenient feature.
  • Having the mechanism to keep track of gas tank quantity is really great.
  • He appreciates that entire cart and grill are high quality and substantially built, and the doors that cover the gas tank and storage area have a good, strong latch.
  • He would recommend this Weber grill to any of his friends or family.

Thank you Lowe’s for the excellent home products to get us started on our long overdue backyard venture, bringing our family and friends together more often and for many years to come. A very special kudos to the Cotati, California Lowe’s staff and management for their excellent customer service through the making of our happy backyard retreat.

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US Mollie Makes Issue 4 and Custom Paper Tape

If you subscribe to the US Edition of Mollie Makes, there’s a good chance Issue 4 has already been delivered. You’ll know by the smile on your mailbox. Not a subscriber? Well get on it! You can subscribe here.

I’ve sworn off of all houseplants with the exception of succulents, thinking no on can kill those, not even me. I was wrong. So naturally, I adore the cover project, a hand-sewn succulent arrangement in a teacup. No watering required.MMUSA4-2014When you turn to page 63 you’ll find my Custom Paper Tape project and can find the step-by-step instructions here using positionable mounting adhesive. (You can also use double stick tape, just be certain it’s the kind with backing paper attached if you’ll be rolling the finished tape around a spool.)ooh_paper tape

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Summer Cherries Tablecloth Weights

Cathe-Holden-Cherries-Weights-15We have a new backyard fire pit and barbeque grill (more on that to come very soon!) so we’ve been spending a lot more time than usual out back for dinners and s’mores. I set food and drinks on a sweet, old table covered with a vintage tablecloth from my collection. There’s often a good breeze blowing through our yard in the evenings and I’ve always used fishing weights hung from drapery clips to weigh down the corners of the tablecloth. I even have a set packed away in our camping gear for our many outings throughout the year.Cathe-Holden-Cherries-Weights-04 The weight clips work just fine as-is, but after having so much fun crafting with Plasti Dip a couple of weeks ago and with this sweet card image as reference, I came up with a much more charming version of tablecloth weights. (Click here for free Summer Cherries card label downloads.)Cherries-CH-WL-PostcardI had all of the supplies I needed in my studio, but if you’re just setting out to craft this same project, it could get a little costly for just one set of four tablecloth weights. Therefor I recommend you craft a lot of these and package up multiple sets of 4 to keep on hand as the most awesome host gifts ever. They would also more cost effective in quantity for a large outdoor event with cherries hanging from all the tables.

A few of the items I started with for my weight project are:

  • 2-ounce cannonball sinkers (found wherever you can buy fishing supplies)
  • Metal curtain clips (found at most homewares stores, Ikea has the best price for bulk.)
  • Scrap green leather (repurpose swatches, thrifted purses or skirts!)
  • Plasti Dip Create Your Color w/tints (see more info on this product in my last project here.)

Cathe-Holden-Cherries-Weights-01I mixed up some bright red Plasti Dip in a small aluminum cup using the clear dip and the red tint.Cathe-Holden-Cherries-Weights-02I hung the sinkers from the clips and attached the clips to a cake pop stick (shown above stirring) for dipping. Slowly into the Plasti Dip just to the wire loop and slowly back out.Cathe-Holden-Cherries-Weights-07I hung each sinker to dry from my studio clothesline.Cathe-Holden-Cherries-Weights-05Once dry, I dipped again, this time I just brought the dip to the hanging sinkers.Cathe-Holden-Cherries-Weights-08While the sinkers were drying, I cut out cherry leaf shapes from folded leather pieces based on the shapes shown on the reference card. I kept the middle section wide to create dimension when crimped in the next step.Cathe-Holden-Cherries-Weights-09 I used galvanized fencing wire, just slightly narrower guage than a wire hanger and much easier to bend. Cathe-Holden-Cherries-Weights-12Using needle-nose pliers/wire cutters, I cut a 6- 8-inch length of wire. Using the pliers, I made a loop in the middle, tucked the leather leaf into it and cinched it tight. Cathe-Holden-Cherries-Weights-11I trimmed away the top length of wire about 1/4 inch above the leaf crimp and created another loop for the clip to attach. I trimmed the bottom section of wire about 2 or so inches below the leaf piece and and created a semi-closed loop at the end for attaching the sinker.Cathe-Holden-Cherries-Weights-10Once all sinkers were completely dry I removed the drapery clip and hung them each from a wire stem,  closing the loop with the pliers.Cathe-Holden-Cherries-Weights-13I attached the clip to the top loop and bent its loop closed.Cathe-Holden-Cherries-Weights-14Here’s my newly crafted set of Summer Cherries tablecloth weights.Cathe-Holden-Cherries-Weights-16You can certainly add more than one wire and sinker to the curtain hook for a cherry-bunch effect, but 2-ounces of cherry per corner works just fine for my little table and tablecloth.Cathe-Holden-Cherries-Weights-17

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