Sunday, January 22, 2012

Antique Chandelier Repairs

A year or so ago we picked up this chandelier light in a couple of boxes.  It was literally in a couple of boxes and in desperate need of repair.  A couple of the light fixtures had brass pieces that had broken off, so we were able to rivet them back together using rivets crafted from copper furniture spikes.  The individual light sockets were in good shape, but needed new insulators which we installed.  We rewired the entire fixture using a new cloth wire.  The light shades have slag glass that is in red and green tints, and only a couple are broken.  Thankfully, all of the glass pieces are still there, so we can glue them back together.

Once the repairs are complete, we plan to install the fixture in the dining room over our dining table.  This light fixture should be good to go for another 50+ years.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Hurry and Wait: An Update on the Tile Work

Home remodeling can be a a roller coaster ride sometimes.  We were pretty anxious to get the tile installed, and so working with our tile installer we figured out quantities and placed the order.  That's the good news.  The less than good news is that our tile supplier doesn't have the tile in stock and therefore they had to order it from the supplier which is located in Wisconsin.  The supplier doesn't have it is stock, and so they have to make it to order.  That pushes the delivery of the tile out 5 to 7 weeks.  Not ideal, but I'm certain we'll be able to fill the time with other projects.

Okay, so now we shift gears, but to what?  Hmmm....

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Winter Wonderland

Icemageddon 2012

The Snowmageddon 2012 event has morphed into an Icemageddon event.  The Seattle Times is reporting 120,000 customers without power.  The Governer has declared a state of emergency for the region.  Snow eventually turned into ice, and at this point we have somewhere between a quarter and a half inch.  So far the power is on at our house, but not everyone in the area is so lucky.  Here are some photos.  Enjoy ~

UPDATE (3:00 p.m.) Still got freezing rain coming down.  When is it going to stop?  You can tell that the birds here aren't use to this.  I witnessed one bird sliding out of a tree.  Pretty funny.  We still have power!  AMAZING

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Pacific Northwest Snowmageddon 2012

Wow, we thought the end times weren't until December of 2012, but apparently it's arrived early!  The News Tribune of Tacoma is reporting Snowmageddon: "If you don't have to go out, don't".  You don't have to ask me twice -- I'm more than happy to stay home!  We officially have 6.25" and the snow is beginning to taper off.

From Tacoma, Happy Snowday!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Tile Installer Starts Monday

Drawings are complete and designs are final.  We thought we knew exactly what we wanted in the kitchen, but we changed the plans last minute.  We're very exited to get this job started.

Monday the contractor is coming in to tear out the floor in front of the fireplace and dry pack it at the appropriate height.  The Motawi tile we've selected for the fireplace is .6" thick, so the floor will need to be cut in deeper to accomodate.

Switchplaces from James Mattson Coppercraft
We're so excited about the progress that we've started looking at finishing touches for the living room.  We're considering ordering switch places from one of my favorite craftsman studios.  We've had a link to James Mattson Coppercraft on our blog for years, but we have yet to incorporate any of his work into the house.  This may be the right opportunity to bring some of his work into our home.

I'll be posting photos of the tile progress soon.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Kitchen Countertops

After months of part-time work on this project balanced around full-time jobs and busy lives, we finally finished up the final countertops in the kitchen.  When we started out, we had salvaged hardwood maple butcher-block counters that had previously been industrial grade work tables.  We designed, cut, glued and reworked them into long countertops that fit the design of our kitchen.  This was a large task, but the final product was well worth the effort.  There is still a decent amount of work remaining to finish our kitchen remodel project, but the end is definitely in sight.  In the coming months the plan is to rework the cabinet faces into a craftsman frame and panel look.  We're also finalizing the tile design so that we can engage a professional tile installer.  To think, in the not-so-distant-future we'll spend more time cooking in this room than sawing and hammering.  How nice that'll be!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Bookshelf Front Installed

As part of the living room remodel, we recently removed the fronts from the salvaged built-ins we picked up from a Tacoma salvage job and retrofitted them to install on our mantle bookshelves.  We completed the initial installation of one, and couldn't be more pleased with how it turned out.  One down, and one more cabinet front remaining.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Bringing A Little Louis Sullivan Into the Kitchen

Sullivan original tile.

8+ years ago we moved to the Northwest from Chicago.  We recently went back home for a visit and had an opportunity to visit the Chicago Art Institute.  On display was a tile piece by Louis Sullivan that was salvaged from a Chicago building.  Interestingly, we had been looking at the Motawi Sullivanesque collection for the tile job in our kitchen.  The one we had picked named Cicero (pictured below) seemed to have a similar flow to it as the one at the Art Institute.  Needless to say, I'd love to have the real deal, but I expect the Art Institute probably isn't interested in selling the one on display out of their permanent collection.  If you're in Chicago, be sure to stop by the Art Institute and bury yourself amongst the art for a day (or two).

Sullivan influenced tile by Motawi.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

2012: The Garden at Rest

It's a pretty peaceful time in the garden this time of year.  It's a great time of year to plan and anticipate the 2012 growing season.  So far this year we've received two seed catalogs.  That always help kickoff the season and get you through the remaining winter months.  The following are some photos of the landscape taken the last couple days.  Enjoy ~

 Above: Lots of interest in the bark and remaining green leaves of those plants overwintering.  The garden is really showing off its "bones" this winter.  
 Above: Snowberry is one of my favorite Pacific Northwest native plants to landscape with.  All winter long it features large oblong white berries that really stand out.  It's easy and simply beautiful.  The green to the right is our bay tree, which seems very happy.
Above: My name is Rosetta, and I am the cutest cat to ever walk this part of the land.  I'm very stealthy, which is why you can barely tell me apart from the rocks.
 Above: Our overwintering Potager kitchen garden.  Pictured are beets, onions and chard which are still hanging on this winter. 
 Above: The few remaining leeks overwintering and keeping the Potager interesting this winter.  
Above: Our remaining woodpile.  A nice fire helps take the chill off the air during cold wet evenings.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Dining Room Legs

We've been on the hunt for a dining room table for more than a year.  We've looked at auction, antique stores, websites, and even at building our own.  Then, the Craigslist gods presented the perfect set of antique table legs (a pair).  That gets us at least a bit closer to having a dining room table.  All we have to do is add a table top, insert a brace between the two legs, and then we've got ourselves a pretty awesome table.