Sunday, November 18, 2012

Landscaping Continues....

Work continues on the hardscaping for the yard.  We had a bunch of left over stones that used to be our foundation.   We are re-using them in the yard.  After the steps are done, we will fill with a gold colored pebble.....
From a Pile O' Stones (that used to be our foundation...)

...To placement

To finally done..

Thursday, March 08, 2012

I'm Still Standing

Is a house ever "really" done?

I know it has been awhile, and some people thought I have fallen off the face of the earth, but you will be happy to know that I'm still standing...and so is the house, which is a good thing.

While the house itself is done (although my wife will tell you that we need some furniture) the yard is still a "work in progress." Here's where we are (in pictures)...

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Sometimes You Gotta Do It Yourself

There have been times when I fully intended to find a piece to fill a particular need, but ended up making it myself...Take the simple door for example. Our closet was in need of some doors, but I couldn't find any to fit so, I'm making them myself.

Here's the closet:

and here's the doors in progress:

We're doing the same thing for the medicine cabinets for our upstair's bathroom...eventually, there will be mirrors in the doors, but for now, here's the progress:

Here's the downstairs medicine cabinet (finished) that we made awhile ago. Inside, we cut some extra marble for the shelves.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Millworker Man

Millwork ain't easy
Millwork ain't hard
Millwork it ain't nothing
But an awful boring job
I'm waiting for a daydream
To take me through the morning
And put me in my coffee break
Where I can have a sandwich
And remember

Then it's me and my machine
For the rest of the morning
For the rest of the afternoon
And the rest of my life

(James Taylor--Millworker)

Friday, October 12, 2007

O.K...My Mojo Did Go--But Only For A Little While

Again, as previously posted here, and here, we've been working honest...although we did have a great summer visiting family in San Diego (Beach!!!), and then, later, spending time in Boston (Great City!!!) and then Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire (beautiful!!!). So our Mojo did go, but only for a little while...

We have been working our butts off for six years--forgoing outings, and visits with friends and families--this year we took some time off (two months, actually) and didn't do too much on the house...We did manage to get a few things done as shown below, but first the fun.

Our friends Brian and Tami (and family) have invited us out to Lake Winnipasaukee for years--and always we have declined because the house was in such disarry....but this year things were tied down enough that we thought we could go--and I was afraid that we wouldn't be invited again if we blew them off yet one more time.

Our other pals, Paul and Cami, flew out from Seattle, and we flew out from San Francisco...spending a few days first in Boston--our first trip there. What a great city. We loved every minute. We then went up to the lake and had a great time thanks to our generous hosts (If you are reading this--thanks again)

Paul, diving into the lake...

Lake Winnipasaukee

...And Boston

We did manage to get most of the downstairs finished (most, not all) and much of the time was on trim work--wainscotting, baseboards, door surrounds and the like. This took an incredible amount of time...and I'm glad the trimwork is largely done downstairs.

So here are some obligatory "before" and "after" on the house on the entry of our home.



Did My Mojo Go? Part Two

As I explained in our previous post, we've been busy--too busy to blog much (my bad). But we have been working....

Before we moved downstairs (yet again) to complete the upstairs (trim, floors, bathroom), I wanted to complete as many projects as possible--this included the fireplaces.

As you can tell on the "before" pictures, there wasn't much there...We found some pretty beat up, cast iron fireplace surrounds and had them "powder coated" to prevent further rusting...I then got some salvaged marble (that came off a library) and tried my hand at marble fabrication...Which didn't come out too bad, considering I only had a skill saw, a diamond blade, and a 4-inch grinder to work with...It was surprisingly easy--but I haven't reached Michaelanglo's mad skillz.

Dining room fireplace before:

The dining room after (with fireplace)

The livingroom fireplace (before)

The livingroom (after):

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Did My MoJo Go? Hell No!

I've been busy since my last blog entry. I need to catch up. So periodically I'll add a post and pictures to prove that my mojo didn't go.

We are still camping with a mortgage. We continue to live downstairs as we do all the trim, floors, and finish the upstairs bathroom. But before we could move downstairs, we had to finish a bathroom...and we did!

Here's the Pics...


Thursday, November 02, 2006

Enough About Corn

I think all the sex talk got me so flustered that I forgot to deliver on my promise to Carol…I had promised to give her info on the materials used in kitchen...So here’s my resource info for Carol (and anyone else who might be interested).


The tile is your standard 3x6 subway tile. The manufacturer of the tile is B & W Tile. We purchased the tile from our friend who owns Tile and Stone in San Rafael…(if you ever want to see some lovely eye candy you should check out the show room…)


The cabinets are somewhat of a long story—because of the limitations in the room (fixed windows, chimney, wall openings, etc.) it became apparent that we would need custom-sized cabinets to make things fit properly. After trying to get bids from local cabinet makers—who failed to return calls and return bids, I decided to go in a different direction…And I'm so glad I did.

Instead of having the cabinets built locally, I decided to purchase “Ready-To-Assemble” cabinets from Scherr’s Cabinets and Doors. Let me just say that working with Leon Scherr was a pleasure—he was extremely helpful in making suggestions in the design—and wasn’t bothered by the fact that I would constantly make changes to the plans and send them back (Note: these changes were because I was changing my mind, not because the plans were wrong). Leon went through about five sets of plans before I ordered…He was extremely patient throughout the process.

Almost every cabinet is a non-standard size—which is no problem for Scherr’s since they built each cabinet to order. You can specify the type of wood and the finish…all the drawers are dovetail construction.

Because the cabinets are ready to assemble, the cost is considerably lower than other cabinets—but the materials are generally better. Putting the cabinets together was relatively easy…and because we saved considerable money on the construction, we opted to upgrade the drawers and inserts with “Blum-Motion” slides—where the door shuts itself at a certain point. If you have some basic construction skills, using a rubber mallet and screw driver, you easily put the cabinets together. The difficult part is hanging the cabinets---get some help with this one…and check out a book on installing cabinets.


The hardware came from House of Antique Hardware (They have great hinges too at reasonable prices).

Sinks and Faucets:

The Sinks are Shaws Fireclay from Rohl and the Faucets are Perrin and Rowe and Country Collection from Rohl.


You can get a complete description of the countertops along with a link here.

So hopefully this helps Carol—and thanks for the nice comments.

Sex and Corn and the Kitchen is Done

Garrison Keillor once said that “Sex is good, but not as good as fresh, sweet corn.” I’m not sure what they are growing on the prairie, but I’ve never had corn that good before. Maybe my mad culinary skillz are not as proficient as Keillor’s. That being said, living without a real kitchen for the past six years has given us a renewed appreciation for real food—albeit, not to the level of Keillor.

(The Kitchen "Before")
Preparing a thoughtful dinner, some crusty bread, and sharing a bottle (or two) of wine with friends and family, while lingering over dinner and enjoying each other’s company has been something that we have missed terribly as we have gone through the rehabilitation process. We took a step toward getting this back recently by (mostly) finishing the kitchen.

“In cooking you’ve got to have a ‘what-the-hell attitude,’” wrote Julia Child. We took this inspiration to heart when it came to our kitchen—both in the planning and execution. In our previous apartments and homes, we have never had a dishwasher, a garbage disposal, or new appliances. Not this time. Since this is the home in which we will stay, we tried to include our dreams and our wishes, and not feel too guilty about it….So for the first time in our marriage we have a dishwasher, and a new range, and our wishes. And while dreams seldom match the reality that follows—this time it did.

(The Kitchen--After)
There was a time, during the holidays, I would do my best to prepare a “gourmet” Christmas Dinner for our friends—choosing recipes from chefs like Alice Waters or Thomas Keller and try to replicate them—mostly to mediocre results. But that didn’t matter so much. What was nice was to be surrounded by people who mattered to us and us to them…and as the wine was poured and shared, the culinary mistakes became less noticeable.

Slowly as we all had kids, home projects became all encompassing, jobs got more demanding, and time became harder to hold, we stopped having our Christmas Dinners. That may soon change. Our friends, Michelle and Glen, have put us on notice that they have procured some special bottles of wine that are awaiting an attempt at cooking well…

"One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well." Wrote Virginia Woolf. Perhaps it is time to start planning a meal….