Monday, December 31, 2012

Details, Details

Nearly a year after we bought it, the bathroom sink is in and working.  Woo-hoo!  It actually looks a lot better than we expected since it's essentially a temp sink from Home Depot until we can afford to get something like this.

We still need a mirror.  Maybe chrome to go with the sconces?

Sunday, December 30, 2012


Remember these?  They've been stripped and the first layer of clear coat has been applied.

The guys are going to hang them, plane them, and they they'll go back to the woodworker for final touches.

All of the doors but one are Douglas Fir and nearly every panel has a completely different grain. Some of them are quite crazy!

Can't wait until they are hung for good.  It's bit dicey using the downstairs bathroom with no door!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Stalled! In a Good way!

I took my first shower in the new bathroom tonight.  There are still some little details we have to work out (like a shower screen!), but on the whole, it's pretty close to being done.  Finally, the end is in sight on some part of this crazy project!

The walls and pan of the shower are concrete.  At one point, we talked about leaving it concrete, but now that the tile is in, we can't imagine not having tile.  It's a warm brown with just a slight grain to it that adds some much needed depth to the room. 

Friday, December 28, 2012


I have been ridiculously bad about posting.  Lots of progress in the last few weeks and very few pics up here to prove it.

These are shots of the plaster going up on the blueboard.  We have walls in all of the basement rooms now.  Hurray!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Another Nook In the Wall

We have another nook above the toilet, where we will keep our soap.  It's the only part of the basement bathroom where the concrete of the foundation walls will show through.  

You can see two knotholes from the plywood that was used for the forms when the concrete was poured.  They look like eyes to me.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Shiny, Happy, New

We got our gutters installed just in time for a rain storm tonight.  They're copper and should age with a nice patina -- if our thieving neighbor doesn't pry them off the house!

This is in the back of the house, looking out our bedroom window.  In the front, we have a rain chain instead of a downspout, but I forgot to snap a picture of that.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Towel Rack

In a flash of inspiration, we decided to recess the towel rack. It adds a precious few inches to a small bathroom and creates a very sleek look.

The bar itself is from the shower set that got stolen.  The thief foolishly left this part behind.

We are recessing a couple of other elements as well.  Stay tuned for details!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

All Boxed In

We had these cubbies built to go between the ceiling and the top of the foundation wall along the front of the house.  It gives us just that much more storage in Rob's office, the wine cellar and the laundry room.  In a house that was built without closets, every square inch of storage helps!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Wall to Wall

The blueboard is up downstairs.  This is Rob's studio.  Now all they have to do is plaster it.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Grass Growing Under Our Feet

We've had our welcome mat since we moved into the house two years ago.

Because of the construction, it's spent a chunk of its life laying in the dirt and not in front of the door, but recently it made its way back to its proper home.

It's rained  the last couple of days and today I discovered hundreds of tiny plants have sprouted in it.  Can't wait to see what they are!   

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Step On It

This is the staircase that was built on the side of the house where the leak was.

Basically, they dug the dirt down, away from the foundation wall and then built stairs from the front of the property to the lower level in back.  I call the little ledge on the side a "smooch bench" because it's the perfect place to get a kiss!

And yes, they are the same bricks from the original fireplace that we've been using for this and this and this and this!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Another Brick in the Wall

Been traveling for work and have gotten a bit behind on the posts.

The guys finished covering the foundation in brick and built two little bumpouts next to the back door that I can sit plants on.

At the top of the door, you can see the wiring for the outdoor lights.  We bought them, but won't install until the deck for off the kitchen is done.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Signed, Sealed, Delivered

We had the concrete walls and floor sealed so they don't get stained.

We wanted a semi-gloss finish, but only matte and gloss were available.  The contractor mixed a container of each and got exactly what we wanted.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Going Native

We took a class on native landscaping at Theodore Payne.

Our final project was to create a master plan for our entire garden.  Rob is going to do the bulk of the big stuff on his hiatus, but we did get started on the front yard.

To the left, is a pitcher sage.  It's supposed to be remarkably fragrant.

At the bottom is a western redbud.  It'll grow to be about 20 feet tall and is one of the most beautiful native trees I've seen.  Its leaves are getting a bit rusty, so I hope it's not going to crap out on use like the sycamore did last summer.

Monday, October 29, 2012

All Clear

I spent a ridiculous amount of time clipping dead leaves off of poppies and weeding out dandylions in the front yard.  I know this doesn't look impressive, but trust me, it's a HUGE improvement.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Digging Out

We have decided to excavate the ground on the side of the house with the leak.  Even though the foundation wall has been resealed, the contractor is concerned that water will slowly break through the new seal if there is wet ground next to it.

The plan is to level out the dirt and build a set of stairs from the front yard to the backyard out of the bricks from the old fireplace.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

A Tree Grows on Sunset

On one of our wine-tasting trips, we were given a few Coast Live Oak samplings.  We planted two of them in neglected parkways, the others died before we could get them in the ground.

Unfortunately, the city decided to clean up one of the parkways and topped the tree to the left with a weed wacker.   It's starting to make a comeback, but I'm guessing it might end up with a pretty strange canopy.

Someone else in the neighborhood has figured out this is a tree and has been giving it some TLC.  The weeds in the bottom picture have been removed and the sapling has been make-shift staked.  This might be a bigger miracle then the tree surviving the weed-whack in the first place!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Follow the Red Brick Path

Rob reworked the path he did back in the spring because late spring rains had washed away some of the dirt.  He raised the bottom of the path so it was more level and got some grama grass to grow between the bricks.  

The grass is a HUGE help at holding the bricks in place, but back in August he had to give it a trim by hand with a pair of shears!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

That's All I Got!

This summer our tomatoes ripened so that we had a steady supply -- and still do!

We did have one exuberant burst of productivity, so I did a little canning.  Hard to believe that 20 pounds of tomatoes could be reduced to just this!

Monday, October 22, 2012

It's a Match!

Last fall we bought a couple of half wine barrels at Zaca Masa, and over the summer Rob finished them with a light oak stain to match our wine barrel chairs.

We have a ficus in each of them.  This particular ficus we inherited when friends moved to Washington D.C.  I hope they're reading so they can see how healthy it is!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Summer in the City

August and September are brutal in Los Angeles, and when it heats up outside, work tends to slow down here at Goodin's folly.  This year it got so hot the lumber on our staircase bled little beads of sap.

We did manage to get a few things done, which I will post over the next week.  And work has started up again in earnest, so stay tuned for updates!

Monday, October 1, 2012

No Great Pumpkin Here, Charlie Brown

Eek!  It's already October and not a single fruit on my pumpkin vine.  We might have to resort to carving watermelon instead -- those we have in abundance!  How many can you spot in this picture?  (Yes, this is like those kooky puzzles you did in Highlights magazine when you were a kid!)

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Pièce de Résistance

The house that got demolished contained a Wedgewood stove, almost identical to the one we have.  The biggest differences are that it has two ovens and a griddle.  

As much as I LOVE our existing stove, two ovens is hard to resist -- especially around the holidays, so we decided to get this refurbished for when we redo the kitchen.

To get it out of the house, the demolition crew had to rip out a wall because it wouldn't fit through the door.  Then they used the bobcat to bring it down the street.  Best delivery service in town!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

What Once Was Lost

There is evidence our house once had a bookcase/column system separating the living room from the dining room.  The hardwood floor has been patched where the bookcases once were and you can see small indents in the header where the columns were once attached.

The house that got demolished had managed to retain this system over the years on one half of the duplex.  One side has a pull down desk built-in, but the pull down part of the desk is missing.

The back of the system is covered in wainscoting that matches our dining room.  Hurray!  More wood to strip!

Rob bought a battery operated saw to cut the built-in out of the duplex and moved it to our driveway.  (Yes, we are starting to look a bit like Sanford & Son.)

We hope to have this repaired and installed in the house.  It's a tad wide for the space we have, but we'll get creative on that.


Monday, July 30, 2012

More Doors from "The Haul"

The demolished duplex had classic Craftsman five panel doors.  Many of them had the original hardware.  And some had an extra door knob of the contemporary kind -- is it really so hard to replace a door knob that you would just add a second one?

All in all, we now have ten of these doors in our basement.  They range in size from 24 inches to 36 inches.  We plan to reframe the doorways of some of the doors in the basement, so we can use all of these.

In what is becoming a familiar statement, Rob started to strip one, so we know it's douglas fir.  And the hardware is gorgeous.

Ultimately, we'll be taking all of these to Azusa to get stripped, just like the cabinet doors.

Best of all, when Rob was pulling these from the house, the guy we think took our shower set came by and asked if he could have them.  Rob had already claimed all of them.  Even though it's petty, that felt really good!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Doors from "The Haul"

These leaded glass doors are from a cabinet in the dining room of the house that was torn down.  It's the same cabinet all these drawers are from.

The house was actually a duplex, so we're lucky enough to have eight of these doors, mostly in good condition.

Rob started stripping them; the hardware is almost the same as the drawers, but the pull is more of a teacup shape.

Yesterday we took the doors to a wood stripper in Azusa.  We're hoping to use these for our kitchen cabinets.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Taking It All Off

These drawers are from a cabinet in the dining room.

The drawers themselves were not that interesting, but the pulls caught Rob's eyes.  He saw four little square indentations that indicated these were not some cheap thing from a contemporary hardware store.

Under all that white paint, beautiful brass!  Woo-hoo!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


Neighborhood eyesore.
Halfway down.

This eyesore was at the end of our block.

It's been vacant for months.  We'd heard it was going to be torn down and have been trying for a few weeks to get in touch with the owner to see if we could get inside to do some salvage.  No luck.

On Saturday, Rob saw a demolition crew when he was walking the dogs.  He talked to them and they agreed to let him inside.  Of course, I was traveling for work and couldn't help.  Just my luck...wink!

Over the next few days, I'll be posting pictures of what he found.  It's quite the score. 
All gone...except for what Rob salvaged.