Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

This year, Ella wanted to be a "Tiger-Faced Koala Bear". So there you have it...

Happy Halloween!
Honor and love your dead, leave a little food out tomorrow night, their favorites, on Day of the Dead.

Ella's Room

We just needed to buckle down and finish up this room, and now we've done it...plaster is done, trim is done, floor is done, loft railing is finished, and over the weekend, we moved some of Ella's play scene into the space!

In this room, we tried a new floor finish product from Ecoprocote. It's a glossy finish sealer, and we love how it looks. It completes the fun variability of the basic stain. We also figured out how to appropriately use the glossy wood finish to make the redwood sills and trim really pop. I'm excited about the look AND the clean-ability of the end product here.

Glossy Floor

Glossy Redwood Windowsill, Ooo la la!

Drew spent a good bit of time building a beautiful loft railing out of cedar wood. It has mortis and tenon joints. He found he didn't quite have the right tools to do a perfect perfect job, but we are both happy with the results, and know that it will keep everyone who ventures upstairs safe (once there is actually a ladder...maybe when Ella is 15?) We are also still missing some closet doors and an actual bedroom door. That door seems important for her, once this new baby begins crawling/walking. Ella keeps a collection of chokables that are not to be trusted!

Loft Railing

Closet Trim

We're hoping Ella will want to begin sleeping in her new room soon, though I must admit, the thought is a little bittersweet. She's been right near us almost every single night since she was born over 5 years ago. People tell you that it's hard to let them go as they grow up, but I didn't realize how true that is until recently. Sigh. It's all a part of life. You nurture them and help them and hold them, and then you let them fly, and hope they fly back to you!

Play Space Ready for FUN!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Clerestory Finishing

Aaron installing window trim

The finish effect, with the beam now visible!

A few weeks back, Aaron built finish frames to go around the clerestory windows. He plastered the open drywall first and then put up the frames. Then Drew was finally able to take down the plastic drape that has covered up our beautiful redwood beam for almost a year. What an unveiling! Then Drew completed the final step, which was to install the low-wattage LED rope light along the whole clerestory, which provides a very low energy ambient light for moving about the house at night after dark. It's a small thing, but it's so fun to see parts of the house we've designed a long time ago come into fruition.

Kitchen Cabinets, Oh My!

Kitchen Before

Kitchen After!

Sink Area and Corner Run

Close Up of Cabinet Door

Almost two weeks ago, the delightful folks at Forbes Cabinets in Eureka came to install the upper and lower cabinets, upgrading our kitchen overnight from 2x4-plywood world into fantastic-functional-beautiful-awesome place. It didn't take so long to get used to, though we are still having a little trouble finding some things!

The cabinets were built by a local shop in town. We've been so happy with their service, and commitment to getting it right, while making it beautiful, all at an affordable price. The cabinets are vertical grain fir, and we added some redwood accents to allow them to stand out a little bit from our background plaster and ceiling. One of my favorite parts, beyond the pretty wood and its pleasing grain and color, is the easy-close drawer slides and door hinges that make the drawers and doors close softly at the end. Oh, and that all kitchen items are now in the kitchen and organized in a way that is easy to access.

Another feature that we are very much enjoying is the small built-in window seat/couch we designed into our kitchen. It's really the perfect size and has three big storage drawers underneath. You see it immediately when you walk in the door, and it just looks cozy.

Built-In Couch (Has yet to acquire a cushion)

Our next step now is to work on our concrete countertops. Drew has built the template, and now needs to move on to the actual forms. We're excitedly planning the colors and inlays. Our friend visited over the weekend with lots of small watch parts that we hope to include in the counter. I'm excited to see how that project unfolds. Beyond that, there are still several finish details to get to as well, like a backsplash, and plaster finishing above the cabinets and around the vent hood. All in good time...

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Back in the Saddle

Gardner Thomas Rain Barber
born July 10, 2011 @ 12:07 PM !!!! 7 lbs. 12 oz.

It's been quite a long while since my last post. I wasn't doing anything much, just having a baby, keeping up with our garden, sending my oldest off to kindergarten, and continuing work on our house. It's all continuing, but life is settling onto its new routine after adding a new family member, and I have been missing my blog.

Plus, there are some exciting things happening in the's a short list:
  • the pantry is finished and moved into
  • Ella's room is nearly complete
  • the clerestory is finished
  • our shower got tiled and the tub was installed, so we have a shower in the house now, and,
  • we just got our kitchen cabinets last week (!!!!!!)
Oh, yeah, and we have this beautiful new baby, who is really interesting and fun, and so much joy. There's certainly no shortage of things to write about, so stay tuned for more frequent updates...