Friday, October 29, 2010

A little dirt dont hurt

So I usually like to take myself on little photo shoots each week to keep me creative and laugh a little, but this week there was no time to dress up and feel girlie. The last couple of days have been down right dirty.  Concrete was poured yesterday for the footings and yes I was a happy when I'm not wearing thrift store / vintage items I'm wearing the latest trend in carhartt contractor wear......haaaaa. Happy Friday!

Thursday, October 28, 2010


This last weekend we wanted to get away from all the stress of this construction process so we decided to go camping.  Well it's not exactly camping season up here, (its starting to get into the rainy season) but we couldn't resist taking our trailer out.  So we packed up and headed to Seabeck a small little town on the hood canal.  We had a really nice time, the campground was completely empty minus the ranger so we got to enjoy the entire place to ourselves.  This camp ground was huge, it even had a homestead house built in 1910 that we got to walk around.  We hung out on the back porch for quite some time watching the rain fall  feeling a little homesick.

We are having a hard time transitioning from where we moved back in July, basically all of our belongs live in a storage unit and we are staying with my mother until we decide where we want to end up.  I needed to be available for the construction progress, so we are in limbo for awhile.  Its not so bad, feeling like a gypsy has its benefits, but it also makes it hard to feel comfortable.  I miss my sofa, my space, my record player but we uprooted our lives for the very reason that we wanted more then the life we had settled for. We had a wonderful life don't get me wrong, we own a house and an amazing apartment building both of which we have fully restored, good jobs, great friends, thrift store spending sprees whenever we wanted.  But we felt a little too plugged into the matrix I suppose.  I need adventure, big challenges I get restless........... so here we are homeless (not really but a little), a little miserable, but together growing and discovering our new world.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

And so it begins.....

I have been through QUITE a bit of political bullshit while attempting to get a permit to build this ADU. This small town is quite challenging to navigate into.  Its very much about who ya know and being the new girl in town I guess I had to go through my initiation period.........BUT........................ without further ado............I finally got my permit! So inspections start tomorrow and the little structure in my mind that developed onto these pieces of paper will finally become 3 dimensional before you know it! Yippy!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Cowboy Up

The amazing vintage store I found in Spokane housed this kick ass sweater that I knew would be mine even before I put in on.  You know how you just look at something and you know that it will be apart of your wardrobe forever.  Well, that's this sweater, living in the Northwest one doesn't live properly with out a sweater, and to have one as stylish to boot, well that's a bonus.  Does anyone else out there in blog land have items of clothes that kind of define them? Not in a superficial way, but well for me, I'm practical to some extent, (this sweater is warm and cozy), I'm pretty frugal on spending money for clothes, (sweater was $40), I'm a out of the box thinker, big ideas and dreams (stitching is jockey running full gallup towards unknown) I don't know maybe I'm reading into things to much, but it just makes you wonder why you feel so connected to things?

This barn is a bit of a funny story.  One of my husband's students who has lived here all his life told my husband about this barn.  We are a little obsessed with old barns and eventually want to restore one to live in, but the story was that we could go there and shoot and no one would care, it was abandoned and not in use........  Well......... it happened to be SOMEONE'S barn right in the front of there house!!!! No one was home so we decided to shoot quickly, we aren't ones for just going onto peoples property and acting like we own the place, but it was so beautiful and I couldn't help it!  Needless to say, we live in the country with the most friendly people, it probably would have been fine. Lets hope the next barn really is abandoned.....we hope!!!

Monday, October 18, 2010


This is an amazing salvage yard that I will be purchasing from for my current and future construction projects.  I have been to quite a few salvage/ building recycling places, but this one clearly has there crap together.  Its called Second Use, and they are located in Seattle.  It took only an hour or so of driving around in circles, back streets, Aggravated moments between me and my husband "no its this way I'm sure, trust me......crap dead end".  But it was worth the head ache.  There entire building and yard is full of every possible material from old antique to new commercial grade products.  Lines of doors old and new, windows, cabinets, wood molding, lights, hardware, tile, flooring must I still go on.....

My projects budget is getting smaller and smaller with all the added costs that spring up, but I'm not about to let my design suffer because I don't have a unlimited bunch of money at my disposal.  So, at Second Use I purchased a new commercial grade entry door lock set in the box for $15 dollars.....marked at regular cost for $130.  And, these amazing metal angle iron brackets that are going to be mounted on the exterior siding as wall supports for a metal / wood awning I'm designing.  Each metal piece was only $45 dollars!!!!  Now, I don't know if you know much about metal, but that pile on metal sitting there and the cost of construction would cost well over $800.  I'm so excited with my little treasures and will be back there quite often I can imagine.

Possible metal stairs to Treehouse, got to make sure it will work!

Love, love this sink, it is going to live in a my furture barn house dreams....

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

My backyard my new backyard.  Living in the desert most of my life, I have always craved visiting water places.  I have always felt out of my element in the desert, it just doesn't agree with me. Now I wake up I see water, I drive into town I see water, I take a ferry into Seattle on water. I'm in love with water........

and crazy jellyfish things....

There are the most wondeful purple shells that wash up along the shores of my house, I have gathered a bag or two and plan on using them in my building project as a design idea for countertops.


Monday, October 11, 2010

Non Original Idea

I haven't shared with you until now, that I call my project The Treehouse.  It is a guesthouse / garage that I'm building first, and the second phase will be the main house. I am doing this in phases so that I can shift my mother and ourselves around while living here and also to tackle a smaller project to get comfortable with running a job site.  Its not necessarily a tree house per-say but it will be overlooking a wonderful grouping of trees and being elevated on the second level gives you that hidden / secure effect of being protected.

While in Seattle last weekend, I stumbled across this building with the EXACT same material that I was planning on using for exterior siding. Everything about this building made me want to jump out of my skin,  with excitement of course......I have been in search of raw, unusual, off the beaten path materials for quite some time.  Even though I'm estatic to see that it works, I'm beginning to believe that there are no original ideas left out there in the universe.   

Friday, October 8, 2010

Its a Mans World

I have been digging in the dirt for the last two days. While prepping for the foundation footings to be poured I looked around today, while hammering spikes into the ground, it occurred to me that I am definitely in a mans world.  As a designer I mostly work with contractors all of whom have been men. I usually get the eye rolling facial expressions and comments like "oh YOUR the designer" making me feel a bit like an outcast. It usually takes me awhile but eventually they except me and realize I'm not just some floozy decorator. Slowly they forget that I'm a women outcast in there manly world.  I am just a person like them, wanting to learn to grow. 

This project has been a little different as I have taken on a larger role as owner/builder, the big "general contractor" of sorts.  I still got the uneasy little look at first (them sizing me up), but I don't care anymore, I'm running the job, I'm making the decisions. So today I put on my carhartt overalls and started hammering away, building my foundation footings from my drawings, solving problems.  Thankfully I hired a wonderful foundation contractor who enjoyed the help, and taught me a thing or two as well.  I feel that I am just where I need to be in my life, I couldn't be happier in this mans world!

Documenting the foundation with carhartt's seemed a little blah, so typical, so my husband and I decided when everyone left to do a little photo shoot.  This wool jacket and shirt are vintage from Austria bought and handed down to me from my grandmother.  I don't know how many times she wore them (actually there is a beautiful wool skirt as well I will have to show you that sometime) but it is in pristine condition.  Every time I look at this outfit I think of my grandmother, her strength, her love and belief in me.