This spring we're having here, which is the earliest and most amazing spring I've ever experienced in the Northwest, is proving to be, like most things, a blessing and a curse. It sure feels nice after a long and wet winter in a yurt, and our home really shines in the early morning light, and the late afternoon sun shines directly into the bathtub on the back porch. The ground is drying out, and we can finally get that load of gravel we've wanted without fear of a dump truck getting stuck in the driveway. The benefits are many, and that's without even mentioning the beauty of spring in this part of the world.
The curse? Well, when things warm up around here and the days start getting longer, the growth rate of all plants can suddenly become overwhelming. That grass that's maintained a neat trim for the last seven months? Well it just grew two feet in the last week and a half! Everything is waking up, and waking up with a vengeance. For those of use hoping to harness a bit of that vengeance and turn it into edible food for us, this is time to scurry. Our growing season is generally in the short side, so as soon as the weather gives you this kind of invitation, you need to get your seeds in check and start breaking ground! That's what we've been doing for the past couple of weeks.
Since this is our first spring living at MFW, we are just now using our two-and-a-half-year-old greenhouse for it's designed purpose! Throughout house building, it served as a catchall dry spot, and became pretty cluttered. It was very gratifying today when we cleared it all out and set it up for plants. Lots of sun, lots of space, and lots of plants. And lots of garden. What have we gotten ourselves into?!
Sunday, May 5, 2013
We had been talking about a coffee bar / hutch piece of furniture for the kitchen for a looooong time. We had all sorts of ideas; ideas to build it, ideas to find it, ideas to scrap it. In the end we decided to scrap it. The space we had marked for this grand coffee bar / hutch was only 29 inches wide, we didn't want the piece to stick out into the kitchen more than a foot, and we wanted to put cookbooks on top so it couldn't be that tall. As this seemed like an impossible thing to find and we felt we had much more important things to build, we set the idea aside.
THEN I found this ad on craigslist from someone selling an Art Deco dental cabinet. I would click on anything that had these words all together and so I clicked and a furniture miracle happened.
It's only 59 inches tall, 28 inches wide, and 12 inches deep. In nearly perfect condition, it even has a light in the upper cabinet and the infrastructure for glass shelves.
It makes me so happy that such a beauty found a space just waiting for it.
Thursday, April 25, 2013
Saturday, April 13, 2013
We've now been in our house for about a month! It has been a lively month full of finish work and settling in, creating a system for things in our new home. Things like where to put the garbage and the books so that the house functions smoothly but nothing is in the way of the next project. We are trying to strike a balance between still working on the place and living here and that requires putting things away but not too much. We ran into an acquaintance yesterday who told us of an old Chinese proverb that says you should never be done building your house. No problem there. The list of things we have still to do is slightly overwhelming, but that is why we are striking a balance between living here and working on it.
The first priority has been covering all the drywall edges around the windows and doors. It is amazing how much covering the drywall edges makes it look done. You may recall that we cut down a massive Doug fir and had it milled into 2 logs measuring 27 ft x 8 in x 10in for the two porches. We were given all the scraps from that Doug fir along with the skookum logs. We have been using those "scraps" for all of our window and door trim. Once again a "labor of love". John took the reigns on most of it and I did the finish work. For John this meant sorting through a huge pile of lumber, all 27 feet long and with varying depth and varying degrees of bark still attached. Then he would cut out the best parts for each window, measure, cut , and usually have to taper the cuts because our windows are not perfectly plumb or square. Then he would plane and sand the wood. Given that some of these pieces are HUGE, this was a very time consuming task. I have to praise John on choosing extraordinary pieces of wood and placing them in the best spots. He was constantly aware of grain pattern and interesting details and the end result really shows. The windows are really lovely, using the natural edges and slopes of the wood. He would install one window in its entirety and then I would follow behind doing the staining and sealing. We are doing a two stain finish, leaving the inside clear and doing the outer edges in a walnut stain on the windows and an "early American" ( more reddish brown) stain on the doors. The taping took most of the time, but I am really happy with the end results. John put so much effort into making them perfect, I was a little scared to follow behind with the stain.
This window shows the most detail John was able to keep in wood. Most of them have some degree of this, but this window pushes it the furthest. It's really hard to capture it in a picture, but the bottom piece slopes as well.
We are still working on some of the others. The next big job is going to be getting the stairs on and I am stoked about that! They will be all live edge Doug fir and a true 2 inches.
Also... we have a guest room ready to go... complete with a cat. Who's gonna be first?!
If you come in June, the 36 strawberry plants we just put in will be throwing strawberries at us. Just sayin.