Monday, April 30, 2012

Creative Reuse

This is the wood that was cut out of our floor to make room for the stairs.  I am hoping to repourpose it and have it made into the table top for the breakfast nook we plan to add to the kitchen.  Fingers crossed!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Our Very Own Winchester Mansion Stairs to Nowhere

The rough framing for the stairs from the basement to the first floor of the house is finished.  The hole where the stairs will come into the house has been cut out, but plywood has been nailed over it to keep anyone from falling through. 

We're getting closer...

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

I Married MacGyver

 We got a few recommendations for epoxy for our lock and J-B Weld topped everyone's list.

We took pictures of the inside of the lock before Rob took it apart.  The first attempt at gluing failed because there was nothing holding the two pieces together besides the epoxy.  Rob set an x-acto knife blade inside the lock and glued the two pieces to that.  Big improvement, but still not super secure.

After scavenging around in the basement he found another thin piece of metal that he wrapped around the outside of the mortise and cold welded in place.

Seems pretty sturdy, but the moment of truth will be when they put it in the door...

Monday, April 23, 2012

Last weekend we went on the Theodore Payne Native Garden Tour.  We saw white poppies and decided to plant some next year.

Yesterday when I came back from the Farmer's Market I discovered we actually had two already growing in the yard.  No idea how they got there, but we plan to harvest the pods so we  can plant more next year.

Sunday, April 22, 2012


My orchids continue to LOVE the light we are getting in the dining room.

Rob bought me this phalenopsis seven years ago when we moved back from France.  This is the first time it has rebloomed.  Hurray!

Thursday, April 12, 2012


The basement doors have been stained the same cherry as the windows and finished with the same clear coat.

Ultimately the doors will be trimmed with the same yellow as our windows, but our number one priority is getting the locks installed. 

The door manufacturer prepped the doors for an antique lock.  Somehow, a chip came off the mortise and the latch won't stay in place.  The first glue we tried wasn't strong enough, so we are on the hunt for a stronger epoxy.

Fingers crossed!

Monday, April 9, 2012

One of our native irises bloomed just in time for Easter. 

We spent a good chunk of Saturday in the yard. 

I cleared out dead poppies and pulled rusty leaves off the roses.  We've got a few blooms -- all red.  I'm curious to see what color the other bushes are since the Phoenix roses are a mystery.  One of them had a light purple tint before we transplanted it, so that would work well with the sage, rosemary and lavender.

I'll be glad when the rest of our landscaping looks as good as our parkway.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Slow Growing, My Ass

Last year, we had a weird growth pop up next to the Englemann.  Rob thought it was part of the tree, I thought it might be a phoenix rose.  Rob was right, as you can see in this photo the shows how our trunk is splitting into several arteries.

Here is Rob, a year later, posing next to that growth, which is now the tallest part of our tree.

Rob is over six feet tall and the Englemann is supposed to be slow growing.  Yeah, right.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Stepping Up

These are the stringers for the stairs.  (And that's Rick, the framer!)

We had some issues because the engineer didn't account for the fact that half the foundation on this side of the house is sistered.  That leaves us with extra space to the side of the stairs; we're going to build in a bookcase.

Thursday, April 5, 2012


The framing in the basement has begun.

The room to the left will be our bedroom until we convert the attic to living space. Once the attic is converted, it will be Rob's studio.

The area between the two posts below will be our much heralded staircase. Woo-hoo!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Going Dutch

The door to the basement has been installed.  It's a double Dutch door we had made by Real Carriage Doors.  Solid douglas fir.  I LOVE it.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Boxed In

We spent the weekend moving crap out of the spare room so we could make it our bedroom.

We had to move out of our bedroom because they cut through the floor to work on the stairs to the basement and sleeping over a sheet of plywood was too nerve-wracking.

I can't believe we've been in the house for a year and a half and still had this much to unpack. We filled 11 bookcases and still have boxes of books. Feel free to apply for a library card.