Saturday, May 4, 2019

Art you coming over?

One of our long-time motivators in getting projects done around our house is having guests over. Overnight guests get an extra few rounds of progress, but dinner guests get some benefits as well. Before last Thanksgiving (yes, I'm super behind with these blog posts!) Bill got all the cooking rolling and had a few extra minutes before we expected guests. So, he climbed up to hang a piece from his parents' home above their piano in our family room, a perfect spot.

The week before, he worked to hang our collection of fruit and vegetable labels from old San Jose canneries. These are originals (purchased on eBay, natch) that we framed ourselves many moons ago, and we have wanted them to grace our new kitchen for some time.

Who needs a ladder when you have a piano bench?

All done

There are more than this on other walls -- come visit to see them!

Bookin' it

One of the types of things that we have had in storage but missed the most are our books, our own collections plus those of our parents. The house was designed with a study that overlooks the living room (behind Bill in the first photo) and one the projects he has most looked forward to is building the bookcases in the study. And, they are *done*! Next is the organizing and arranging of all that will go on all the pretty maple shelves.

Happy carpenter, working away the day

This section is extra deep for bigger books.
Leveling the (forgot what it's called but very important thingie)


Measure three times, cut once

A carpenter's desk

Moving an electrical box

Power tools!

Coming together!

Friday Furniture

Not our house! Catalog image...
Also not our house. Not enough color in the background!
Our house, our Hank.

Well, now. I'm a bit behind on all of the goodness that we have been adding to our house in the last few months. Some of what we have been doing is some Friday-night furniture shopping + supper out. That's hot date for us, buying a few new pieces after such a long but fun project.

Some of what we look for in new couches or chairs is the feel on our spines, an important checkpoint for two people who met in the chiropractor's office. Online shopping can take you only so far, so when buying a piece that will hold our bums, we've been visiting local stores for one room at a time.

We bought a love seat and chair + table for our front room, and we have already broken them in with Hank's help.

That time I sort of stalked an artist...

When I first moved to San Francisco, I used to admire the pen and ink drawings of Richard Stine that were published in the SF Chronicle. His art included equal parts of hope and frustration + quirkiness that resonated with me. I remember visiting his booth at an art fair in Sausalito and being truly in awe of his work. After Bill and I met, we continued together to love Stine's creative expression.

About ten years ago, I was planning a trip to the Seattle area to see a bunch of people including a friend who I have known since junior high. Or, as the kids call it today, middle school. I called her before the trip and said, "Uh, I want to go see an artist whose work I love. I asked if I could come to his studio on Bainbridge Island and he said yes." Silence on the phone. My friend has never been that person who talks easily to strangers, but it's easy for me. She couldn't believe what I was proposing and seemed a bit stunned as we boarded the ferry to go see him. Hell, yes, we're doing this.

He had two homes right next to each other. One was his home with his lovely wife, and one was his workspace. Richard left us in his studio to look at piles of artwork, including an unfinished book that told the story of a family member's journey with aging. It was funny, touching, sweet, just what I would expect from his work.

Since that visit, I have had my eye on one of Richard's paintings for our home, and we finally purchased a print of House By The River. Ever since we designed our home, we have been holding a special spot in reserve for this print. And, as another friend said recently, it's so appropriate that a vibrant image of a house is the first thing you see as you now enter our home.

Richard and I have kept in touch over the years and he now lives in New Zealand, one of our favorite places on earth. Perhaps we will have to visit (but not stalk) him there, too. :-)

One of Stine's drawings from the San Francisco Chronicle that I tucked away years ago.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Looking trim (or, What's that fir?)

Bill has saved a lot of the original wood from the old framing and has planed it down for use as window and door trim. He is using the original house's reclaimed red fir for trim in the original footprint and new/old redwood for the new sections. Beautiful!

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

*DO* fence me in

Way back in the day in our area, detached garages were built right on property lines and over time, some of them became a pseudo fence. This means that a fence could be built starting at the street, and travel back towards a detached garage. At that point, the side wall of the garage became the stand-in for the fence and the actual fence continued behind it.

Years ago, when we tore down our old detached garage (we wanted to take it down before it fell on its own), we left the side wall as a part of the fence and his most recent project has been to re-build the fence including replacing the garage side wall.

The wood from the old garage wall and old fence will be planed and used for interior trim. Can't waste any redwood or fir!

The stucco first has to be peeled back from the garage wall.

Vintage fir

Some of the planed wood, ready to be used as interior trim

The new fence is almost done

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Comin' out swinging

For a bit of time, like since 1999, our gate has been barely functional. In the last few months, Bill has wanted to open it as little as possible. To open it on those rare occasions, he had to have a helper on one side while he was on the other side with a hand truck to lift up the sagging, large gate and scoot it open or closed. The gate literally has not swung freely for many years, and now it does.

We've been counting the days until our new gates (one on each side of the house) are ready for installation. Today was the day! The crew from Professional Iron Works came in and installed what they had constructed in their warehouse and we are quite excited!

The old gate in the driveway was the only remaining portion of the old house, but it is redwood and will live on as interior trim after milling.

I'm sure the neighbors are just as happy as we are!

Our manual gate opener
The opposite of putting lipstick on a pig -- the old gates
Redwood and iron

The new driveway gate is installed while the old one is dismantled for milling.

The dogs don't have access to these gates yet since we have some surface adjustments to make.

Puppy ports

Big excitement! An actual key!