Friday, January 17, 2014

Dreaming of Spring


We're dreaming of spring.  Just a few short months away and it'll be time to get the plant starts going in the greenhouse.  We hope to start a woodworking project in the next few weeks to get the frame and panel installed in the library.  More updates soon.


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Formal Dinner in the Studio


We recently used our finished studio space to host a formal holiday dinner party.  To do so, we decked the halls a and brightened the place up with some live garlands and lights.  The following are some photos of the finished work.

The space worked great.  With the 3/4 kitchen space, and the plate warmer, it performed beautifully as a dining space.  It allowed our guests to use the house as a social cocktail space, and then migrate our for the dinner portion of the evening.

Outside view of dinner table
Outside with garlands

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Saturday, November 16, 2013

2013 Project Retrospective

Wow, it's hard to believe that 2013 is coming to a close so quickly.  It was a quiet year for the blog.  Our lives have been so full with day jobs and our newly adopted project on the water that it seems that there isn't enough time to document everything.  It was still a rather accomplished year.  The leaves have now changed, and so it is time to close the books on the 2013 projects and start a new chapter.











Garden

I'm going to start this years retrospective with sites and smells (you'll have to improvise from the pictures) from the garden.  It was a rather productive year in the garden.  The backyard botanicals have grown in an amazing amount, and our potager garden was quite productive.

It all started with a very colorful and vibrant Spring:

Snowball tree and Rhododendron in full bloom

Dogwood in full bloom

Cherry tree bursting with blooms

Greenhouse starts
Native Goatsbeard showing off
Oregon Iris in boom

Potager veg/flower garden

A bee bathing in Allium bloom
Old ladder we found in the attic being used to trellis cucumbers
New "Fire-Patio" fresh after installation
Colorful and shiny new deck chairs.  Oh so comfortable!
Garden from above in full glory
A large bounty of tomatoes!
Chrysanthemum blossom harvest.  Makes a tasty tea
Dogwood showing off in the fall
Crabapple tree showing off it's bounty
With fall comes rain.  With rain comes interesting mushrooms.
Back Patio

 This year we put a lot of work into finishing up the "fire-patio".  This was one of the last major projects that was part of the garden master plan we drew up when we purchased the property in 2007.  This patio is in the far back corner of the backyard and is hidden from the house by a panel of trees and shrubs.  This gives the patio a secluded and more intimate feel.  Long-term, the plan is to build a raised fire pit so that we can enjoy warmth during chilly Pacific Northwest evenings.




Studio


We spent more than six years dreaming about this project.  There is something about discrete and
separate spaces that set the mood for different tasks.  We long wanted a multi-use studio space that could serve for our many hobbies.  We wanted a place where we could cook, read, paint, and display artwork that was separate from our home.  To do so, we converted out 800+ square foot garage into a studio and workshop.  One-third of the space is studio and the rest workshop.  We wanted the exterior of the space to complement our house and bring forward some of the craftsman characteristics that were just missing with the more modern construction of the building.  We think it is coming along quite nicely.

Exterior Upgrades:

Before the old garage door was removed

Building the patio using recycled brick
Exterior after removing garage door and completing patio 
Exterior after installing new siding

Interior Space:

Desk/countertop side of studio


Table on rolling casters for ease of movement
Bedroom

We completed a majority of the buildout of the upper bedroom space on our 1/2 story upstairs.  For our bedroom, we installed a set of recycled french doors, we lofted the space and installed box beams, and installed an opening skylight to allow for additional air flow and light.  Altogether, we have really enjoyed this space.  Even during the heat of the summer, it was completely tolerable to us.












Before picture
Wallpaper


Library Honeysuckle print
 We had the upper wallpaper installed in both our living room, dining room and library.  It is hard to understand where we are going with this project by just looking at these photos, but both areas will be finished off with wainscot installed below, and a simple wood crown molding at the top.  Eventually, it won't look like these papers are so lost on the wall.  More to follow on this project in the coming months.
Living room Willow leaf print
Library

 We made really good progress on the library.  In late 2012/early 2013, we finished up the drywall and painting of this room.  This room had fallen victim to numerous hack job remodels over the years, and so little was salvageable.  At one point, even the window in the room had been removed.  Since we purchased the house, we replaced the aluminum sliding door with the nine-light french doors, and re-installed a window in the room that was repurposed from the kitchen.  The original window that was in this room was nowhere to be found.  Somewhere down the road, we will be designing custom cabinetry to replace our current bookshelves.  The cabinetry will be built-in to the wall, which is why we added the bump out that you can see in the picture below.
Library with new bump out above bookshelves and with the windows reinstalled

Boat

Just when you think you have enough projects, you buy a boat!  We became the owners of a 1967 Fairliner boat that was manufactured right here in the Puget Sound.  Needless to say, it needs some work, and that has required some of our time.  It's been fun exploring the waters of Puget Sound.  Next year we hope to have more pictures and memories to share with this project.


Saturday, July 20, 2013

Finishing Up the Fire Patio

Finished fire patio.
Since day one, our landscape plans included a patio with a fire pit.  Here we are seven years later, and we have realized this dream.

This patio started out with large 6x12 pressure treated timbers we picked up at a second hand store.  Then, we used the wooden structure as a garbage dump for old bricks, concrete chunks, and miscellaneous other bits and bobs.  Once we got it filled up, we topped it off with sand and laid down pavers.  The process from start to finish was relatively easy.

We constructed a temporary fire pit using fire brick and a fire grate.  Long term, we'll revisit the fire pit itself and hopefully build something more permanent in nature, but this seems to be working well for now.


Patio after leveling with sand, and laying weed barrier.

Laying pavers.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Potager Garden 2013

Select photos of the Potager Garden 2013:

Tomato plants.

Attempt to trellis cucumbers up ladder.

A bees paradise.

Kale


Apples on the vine.

Artichoke preparing to bloom.

Marigolds, Nasturtiums, Tomatoes and Green Beans.
Drying Chrysanthemum and Lavender.

Harvesting Chrysanthemum blossoms.


Other 2013 garden photos: