Monday, June 22, 2009

I'm a Basket Case

The rain started on Thursday, and it didn't stop until Sunday. Dropping an amazing, 7.5 inches total. The garden loved it, especially after the temperatures began to rise on Saturday morning, and the humidiy followed suit at 95%; but my plans to have a beautiful patio finished and ready for a Sunday Party, which of course would allow for a great met Monday post: were squashed!
Knowing that I wasn't going to have a finished patio didn't deter my working on it though - just slowed the process to a snails pace. Saturday I worked on the patio most of the day, in the rain, by myself. Scott worked late that night, and after laying only about 80 sq. feet of brick, I called it quits. I was soaking wet, and a little aggrevated at the earlier problems I'd had with the pattern. I started working in the herringbone pattern we'd discussed, but there was something terribly off about that grid and the different sized brick. (The price you pay for 60 year old, reclaimed stock.) So, I had to come up with an alternative layout for the patio, one that would work well with the brick I had, and eliminate the need for cutting or chipping the brick, or worse - having huge gaps in the pattern.

Enter the idea of a basket weave. Above is an example of a traditional English basket weave. It's very beautiful, no? The brick is obviously made to look a little old with it's man-made nicks and scars atop the brick, but having laid actual vintage brick - I know that the lines here are much too square and uniform to be brick cut years and years ago.

Now, I have to admit that I tried a few other patterns, but the basket weave worked the best. In laying it though I thought it looked a little too "something". (You know when you can't find the word - it's on the tip of your tongue, but yet it's still missing and all you can come up with is "something" - well, that's what this was!)

So I played around with the idea of a half basket weave. Instead of placing two bricks horizontally, I would only place one.

And please, forgive my out of focus, very blurry picture - but here it is in living color. Now, this is not the finished product, but close. The brick has a wonderful patina, don't you think? The variegated color of age, the acid wash, and lime residue; together with the Bunglehouse Grey paint of the garage, and the emerald green of the arborvitae (which will rest behind the new retaining wall) the rich clay tones of the brick add a sophisticated flare to the space. I'm in love.

Now, the weather is finally cooperating with me, and I have a couple of sunny and warm days ahead. There is much on my to-do list, as my house is being photographed for the "Home of the Month" feature of the Buffalo News on Tuesday, yes - TOMORROW. So please, look forward to my slew of photos on my Tablescape Thursday post. Til' then - peace!


  1. Will you come to my house and help?
    I remember back in the 50's when they tore up old Hyde park Niagara Falls.My parents and all of our neighbors went down and got bricks for patios.When you're a kid you think that's fun!

  2. Artie -- it's great -- I think that's what I love about brick and terra cotta pots -- the patina that looks so good with garden green and the color of flowers. Brick abounds in Linderhof's gardens and I wouldn't have it any other way -- and yes, ours is old brick as well -- Fort Scott brick (the same as the base for the Indy speedway) which came from some of our brick streets that they repaved ages ago.

    I can't wait to see pictures of your house -- how exciting for you to have it photographed for the Home of the Month!

    And I can't wait to see your brick patio done!

    I have nothing against decks -- but ah, the romance of a brick patio -- especially one that has ivy around . . .our patio (poured in 1948 is brick colored but I still yearn for a brick one!)


  3. Way to carry on Artie...even in the rain. Job well done...looking forward to the finished pics.
    Loving this blog!

  4. It looks as if it has always been there. Truly old world. Great job!

  5. when you're all finished, you're welcome to come give me a hand replacing our wooden deck with a basket weave brick one!

    it's going to be lovely!

  6. Artie,
    You are working hard friend! I think it looks good, good plan B to come up with to fit your brick size. I like the different colors of the brick, makes it aged and old worldly.
    Going to be nice to have a party on when done!

  7. Congratulations on your home being chosen and photographed as the Home of the month! We all know that to be true, it's nice that the press is getting on the band wagon! Plenty of room for eveyone!

    The weather has been wacky here, too. I have half-baked things I was hoping to have finished by today, but alas... =) Story of life at the McMini here at Museville!

    LOVE the brick work and those old bricks! My favorite! I cannot wait to have dinner on it underneath your beautiful pergola to be!
    xo Isa

  8. i had the very same problem with the herringbone pattern at my place.
    i ended up with 'plan B,' the basket pattern as well.
    it works just fine.
    you did a great job !

  9. are the gardening trooper!

    The basket weave pattern is very pretty and in keeping with the style of your house.

    Let me know if you need to borrow my new power washer to clean up when your finished!


  10. Congrats! I love the pattern, it is a wonderful bricked garden accent! Kuddos to you!!
    I bet you could use some R & R ...I know, we laid a stone patio a few summers ago! Backbreaking work!
    Give your self a "pat" on the back!

  11. Hi Artieness! Oh, you poor thing! Hope you didn't catch a cold working out in the damp like you did! I like your bricked patio and love the direction of the bricks! You're doing a great job!
    Oh, congratulations on your home being 'Home of the Month'! That's fantastic!
    I'll be back for pictures! :)
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  12. Wonderful news about your home, being Home of the Month, Artie!!

    I love the pattern of the brick. Beautiful!!

  13. When I heard of Fox News how much rain ya'll were getting, I thought of you and your outside work...hope you didn't get a sore throat from being wet so long....
    Your brick looks fabulous..I love the color and the pattern is great!
    Good job, my man!!
    And many congrats on your home being published...I'm excited for you.

  14. I think the word you may be looking for is typical. You are far from it & naturally would want to reflect your sense of creativity & fun in every aspect of your life.

  15. You are a trooper and a creative one at that. Your finished patio will be a thing of beauty. I'll be back to view the pictures of your home. How thrilling it must be for you to have it featured. Blessings...Mary

  16. De-Lovely! I can't wait to see it finished. You can't either, right? You may come over and use the jacuzzi for your poor back! **blows kisses** Deborah

  17. major congratulations, Artie!
    and well deserved!

    cut to chuck:
    searching for Buffalo News live stream!

    my God - AND he lays brick?
    the man's a L e g e n d !

    nice, nice going - Bravo!

  18. Artie, How cool! you'll have to share that feature with us! I can't wait to see it! Plan "B" is lookin' good. ~ Robyn

  19. It's wonderful Artie! It looks amazing. I can't wait to see the finished product.

  20. Absolutely prefect Artie! It looks as if the bricks have always been there and to me nothing is more exciting than patina!
    Congratulations on "Home of the Month". Now all of Buffalo will know what we've known all along. But I do question "Month", how about "Year"!?!?!
    G in CT

  21. Great idea & a wonderful solution Artie! ☺ Diane

  22. Artie - it is going to be fab and I can't wait to see it all done up!!

    I've missed y'all - been so busy but now I think I'm finally at a place where I can start blogging again - yeah!!

    Looking forward to following the progress!

  23. I love this Artie! I'm glad you fiddled with the pattern. Your half basket weave is perfect. Looking forward to the photos.

  24. There is nothing better than a creative mind that can also think, "Math," too. It reminds me of my grandparents home years and years ago. I played on that brick for was cozy and beautiful...

    Love your style...

  25. I think this pattern works well and looks perfect there - great job, xv.

  26. Artie, I can't wait to see your finished patio. I can see why you fell in love with that previous house tour. Gorgeous! I am wishing for a big porch right now, but it's not happening anytime soon. Your brick is so beautiful.

  27. Ooh, FINALLY a peek at what you've been doing! Oh, I can't wait to see it all finished. And wow, you're being featured in the paper? How awesome is that?

    Justine :o )

  28. The'basket weave' is looking good Artie!

    Congratulations on being featured in the Buffalo newspaper. Hope you will be able to share the article with us. Hugs

  29. Artie, I think this is perfect! I love the brick and the pattern. Congrats on being featured in the paper. Isn't it fun???

    I look forward to seeing the pro shots and how great I know things looked for the shoot.


    Sheila :-)