Archive for August, 2008

Wait, no – I mean, what’s your interior design style?  It’s a 5-minute picture-based quiz (“Which of these rooms feels like home to you?”  “Which of these chairs could you work most efficiently in?”), and pretty accurate, based on my results at least.

Country Modern

“The country-meets-modern look relies on natural materials and, very often, the immediate landscape for inspiration. The result combines the simplicity of colour and form without overlooking basic comfort and, indeed, the practicalities of raising a family.”


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(Astute readers will note that this is the tenth consecutive post without any pictures of, y’know, actual work we’ve done.  Those astute readers are invited to bite me.)

Our kitchen features this pair of oh-hey-look-what’s-on-sale-here-in-1996 fixtures.  While they’re certainly not offensive,  we’d really like to swap them for short pendant lights when we replace the cabinets in a couple years.

Update: And now, thanks to the comments, I can’t look at our kitchen ceiling without seeing an enormous pair of breasts.  Thanks a lot, commenters.

Put yourself in my shoes – where do you come down on the age-old Schoolhouse vs. Industrial vs. Pineapple debate?   Or is there a better option that I’m ignoring?  As awesome as these adjustable pendants are, I think they’re too long for the dropped ceiling in our kitchen.*  Now that I think about it, though, one of them might be perfect above the table in Missy’s studio.

*A dropped ceiling we can’t take out if we want to keep our central air ducts (which we very much do).

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Grandfather clock

My grandpa, Eldon, started building this mission-style clock for us before he even knew about our obsession with all things Stickley.  It’s made of locust, which is a heavy, hard wood often used for boat hulls and xylophone keys.   He’s finishing it with oil rather than stain, which should bring out the natural grain and color of the locust wood.

We can’t wait to see it in person, but Grandpa’s very humble about it.  Here’s what he said in the e-mail with the photo –

A quick look at the Harland clock.  Although I have quite a bit to do yet, I stood it up for the first time a couple days ago.  No glass yet in the front door, and the side panels on the top need to be sanded and finished.  The little yellow thingys under the dial are small clamps holding the dial to the dial board.  I have some different colored cloth to put into the top side panels, other than black ones that came with the order and don’t look like they belonged there.

Just don’t get the photo too much closer or you will see some of the flaws in my work or the boards.  I heard one time that the Amish women, when making quilts, actually design flaws to enter into their creations for people to see, because they say only God doesn’t make mistakes and they don’t intend that they are on a parallel with Him.

For reference, here’s Stickley’s Tall Case Clock. I think I like Grandpa’s – especially the square face and open sides (for the chimes) – better.

Not at all related to the clock, but here’s another e-mail from Grandpa about woodworking and carpentry that I really enjoyed reading –

My father was a great reader of catalogs.  He seldom had money to spend on such things as nice tools, but I discovered from my own experience how much information you can gain just by reading and looking at catalogs.  My grandfather Marsh was an accomplished carpenter.  He learned the trade in England before he came to America.  He built their home on the tree claim he and my grandmother took south of Plainview in 1884.  That house stood until last year when they demolished it to develop the land for irrigation.

Several years ago I went there and took trim boards from that house, with permission of the owner, and made a box on a stand to store family records.  You may recall the house west of Foster on the south side of the highway, where the Acklies lived.  The Acklie girl was a good friend of your mother.  That old house with its spires and third story was built by my grandfather.  He walked to work each Monday morning, worked all week there and walked home to nine miles south of Plainview for Sunday.   The house is gone now, but I regret that I never went to take  photos of it.

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The colonial revival fixtures have to stay for the moment, but we’re slowly swapping out the fancy, fancy, frou-frou shades for simpler ones.  So far, we’ve replaced all six upstairs and five of the eleven downstairs.  The best part – all the shades were $1 at ReStore.

Banished to the basement

Brighter, prettier, simpler

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Cheap art

Do y’all know about Shorpy?  It’s a photo-blog of high-resolution scans of old photos – some all the way back to the Civil War.  The whole site is a great mix of homemade and professional-level stuff, plus lots of those over-focused daguerreotypes.  There are also scans of Depression-era WPA posters, which are some of my favorite things on the site.  So why is it cheap art?  Almost all the photos are high enough quality for Walgreen’s or Target to print 8x10s (2/$10), plus, you can order much more nicely-done prints in a bunch of different sizes directly through Shorpy for $15-$95.   Find a frame and it’s instant art.

More of my favorites:

Beach Policeman (1922)

Dust Bowl Farm (1938 )

Waiting (1940)

Raymond Bikes (1911)

Rural Mother (1936)

Harper’s Ferry (1865)

Starting Over (1935)

Milwaukee Boneyard (1936)

Apocalypto (1936)

Grand Canyon – Dept of the Interior (1938 – WPA poster )

And, finally, my absolute favorite:

Lady in the Water (1947)

Update: Oh my god, I just found a link to to a site called Vintagraph.  If I don’t put one of these posters in my office, I don’t deserve to have an office.

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The kitchen debate rages on

Well, not so much “rages on” as “slowly simmers for another few months until the snow puts it out”.

I found these matte green tiles at Menard’s last weekend and, while they’re not the subway tiles I was hoping for, they’re the right color and over $20 less per square foot than the ones I really want.  With about 35 square feet of backsplash and wall to tile, cost isn’t an insignificant concern.

What do you think of the green tiles and blue walls together?  The countertop will be medium brown and the cabinets painted matte off-white.  (Those are singles in the bowl – no need to rob us, internet predators.)

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The table’s here!

Travis delivered our pile of lumber this afternoon – and will you look at that, he seems to have turned it into a table of some sort!

We couldn’t be happier with the whole process – from sending him our initial ideas, to stopping by his shop to see the progress, all the way to carrying the finished table into place.  Travis said almost everyone who came to his shop gave it glowing reviews, so Missy and I have our fingers crossed that he’s not too busy building duplicates to make us an office table in a few months.

Also, I mentioned in the last post that we still need to find a worthy piece of pottery for the top.  My sister mentioned in the comments that my aunt is a potter (pottress?  potterette?), so I e-mailed Krista to see if we could commission something.  She seems really happy to make a piece for us, and refuses to let us pay her for it.   She’s exceptionally talented, so we can’t wait to see what she does from the pictures I sent.  (But I’m still buying that four-buttress Teco vase someday, even if TOWWAS disapproves.)

Final details:

Material: Quartersawn white oak from Poy Sippi, WI (storm-felled in 2001)

Construction: glued mortise-and-tenon, zero screws/nuts/nails/other metal joinery

Finish: Minwax Golden Oak, three coats polyurethane, two coats wax

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