June 28, 2011

We are always getting the finger

That is the finger we have started to notice a lot lately. Groups of two or more in cars, or walking by our home, and if you happen to look out a window you get the finger. I can only imagine the conversations that are going on behind the finger. Sometimes I do hear snippets of the chatter.
"Sure looks like things have slowed down, they must have run out of money"
Ah, come on folks... we are working solely on the inside of the house, the part you can't see from the street, but I know you want to! 
"they raised it 20 feet in the air because it was collapsing in on itself"
Well, kinda but not really. Every finger seems to know all about us and what we are doing, or at least they think they do. Not one single finger ever comes up to the house to ask what the true stories are, they just point and jabber away.  On the other hand I suppose its nice to be a topic of conversation, I think...

We continue progress inside the house. We are focused on preparing the remaining rooms on the first floor for plaster. One more window casing and completing the crown moldings and we will be ready. The casing moldings that are to be reapplied around all of the doors and windows can wait, but baseboards are virtually all reinstalled along with their decorative cap. We plan on returning to the world of veneer plaster the middle of July, so we need to shake some proverbial legs!

Remember the Dining room before?

Now we have this...

You can see the beginnings of the crown which is made up of five different moldings. Two have been installed so far in the dining room and the living room. The other three are being made as I write and will soon be added to the stack.

Bay windows and Crown molding... not my idea of a good time!
The baseboard and the doors have gone back into the center hall. We are currently so enamored with the five doors that we keep them closed all the time so that when you enter the house from the front door it all seems so mysterious, hmmm, which door leads to where? At any moment you expect Scooby Doo and Shaggy to run out of one and into another, followed by a group of maniacal monsters chasing them.

Phillip has been hard at work of a medicine cabinet that was recently given to us by our friend Clifford. The cabinet was built in 1901 and came out of a home in San Francisco. It also had been painted ten to twelve times. Slowly he is removing one hundred and ten years worth of paint. I hope this cycle does not begin again once the cabinet graces the first of three guest bathrooms.

So many pictures for this post.
Here is one more for the record. A few days ago I was bored with the projects I was working on and I had that itch. You know the one. The Itch that makes you want to do something that you know you shouldn't do yet, but you have been dying to tackle it. With hammer and wrecking bar in hand I headed for the center hall. I took one look at the staircase, and started prying away the trim, slowly and carefully I removed the first sixteen spindles, that's when Phillip walked into the hall. Ouch. Lets just say he was not very happy with me. We have a slightly different view of what needs to be completed within the year so that we can refinance our mortgage, and the staircase did not fall into his  scope of the needed items. 

The single spindle has had its finish removed.

Now I am only allowed to work on the staircase on my own time, whenever that is.
So next time you drive or walk by, using the finger, and you see me working on the staircase, you will know it is "whenever that is"

June 23, 2011

If the shoe fits

The latest issue of California Home and Design hits the street today, as well as launching their brand new web version of the magazine. The story of our home is in the July issue as well as on the California Home and Design blog. They are both fun reads and definitely make us both seem like we are crazy... well, if the shoe fits!

There was a small chance we would make the cover of the magazine, but this did not come to pass. But it does not really matter as the journey has been fun and it is great to see our home in print, even as rough as it is now. There are also beautiful reprints of Tania Amochaev's photographs that were taken before we bought the house.

Read the magazine story here

Read Mary Jo Bowling's blog post here

And you can see more of Tania's work on her website here

Photo Art by Tania Amochaev

June 08, 2011

Andale! Arriba! Arribe! VIVA LA DIY'ERS!


Rumor has it that a "crew" descended on 227 North Street a few weeks ago. Local gossip has confirmed that a photographer, an art director, and a Magazine editor, were holed up in the old house for hours. As this goes to press we are still trying to find out who, what, when, where, and why... so stay tuned for more details that will surely follow. Now back to your regularly scheduled blog entry.

* * *

The over the fence chatter is true. Let me take you back to the beginning of the story. I am waving my hand in circles, in front of your eyes... circle "you are getting sleepy" circle "sleepy" circle "you cannot keep your eyes open" circle "when you awaken it will be Sunday morning the 15th of May" circle.

Ugga Bugga stuff!
May 15th was the Healdsburg annual Home tour. For the second year in a row our home was the special attraction. "Special attraction, indeed!" Roughly five hundred people were led by eight of us, acting as tour guides, through the house. Followed by a thank you tour guides, Sunday dinner della familia. We had such a great time and all that toured the house seem to find it fascinating and intriguing. Except the guy that I almost got into it with over single pane glass windows... but that's another story!

Drassa Frassen idiot who has been swayed by big window manufacturers.... arg!  Ooops, story for another time...

Monday morning I received a phone call from the editor of California Home and Design. Mary Jo Bowling had been on the tour and she was so impressed with the DIY nature of our home, from design, through construction, to decorating, that she wanted to do a feature article on the house and our journey, focussing on our Kitchen.

Andale! Arriba! Arribe! VIVA LA DIY'ERS!


Speedy Gonzales 1953

We first did a two hour phone interview, followed by a five and half hour photo shoot. I had been around the film industry for years, but I have forgotten the amount of time it takes to set up, get approvals, and then take the picture. It started with a tour of the house, and then discussions of how to set our Kitchen for the best shot. Something that would show the not quite finished edge to it, and yet make light of its beauty at the same time. Then the focus turned to the two of us. We had cleaned ourselves up that morning and dressed casual, but nice, in preparation of the dreaded camera. The Editor and the art director took one look at us and asked, "is that what you wear when you are working on the house?"

Suffice it to say that wardrobe swooped in and a costume change was made. Out came the ratty jeans, the faded T-shirts, and the shoes with holes in them. Two setups of the Kitchen, and two different rounds of the two of us, and they swept out of the house and were on their way. The Magazine comes out latter this month and there were small hints that our Kitchen may, and I mean may make the cover.

Mary Jo waving for my Iphone.

My snapshot of the first picture. Note that we did indeed uncover the raw wood floors.

My snap of the second shot, more unfinished bits and a few props... hehehe

It feels really amazing to know that we are being published, guess we're not quite the hacks we thought we were, and keep your fingers crossed that we end up with a cover shot.