Saturday, March 9, 2013

Hatching Seedlings - Pinterest Myth or Reality?

I love the "seedlings in an egg" thing you see all over Pinterest, so I thought I would give it a try: 

Then my roommate brought home some organic eggs that came in clear packaging that made a prefect little green house for egg shell seedlings.

And then there were seedlings, WooHoo! 

Now we have broccoli, basil, two heirloom tomatoes, snap peas, and lavender.  Verdict:  Not a pinterest myth, it works, and I got a pretty good germination rate.  I'm very happy.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Tiny Paver Patio

You may have seen the little paver patio off the new solarium in this post.  So I just wanted to share some detail photos of the little patio.

This is the area of the yard before both the solarium and the patio.  Over there, where the bike, windows, doors and wood are making a mess, that is were the solarium and the tiny patio now live.

As you can see there was a very bad paver patio there before.  All the pavers for this project were recycled from the old patio.  We got the sand for under the pavers from the beach and the wood was part of the stash that we salvaged from the construction site.  So this projects price tag was, free.  WooHoo!

A wood border gives the little patio definition and ties it into the solarium, because it's the same wood that the solarium is made of.

The patio slopes down toward the concrete wall and at the end I added a little rock gutter for the water to run off into.  We don't get much rain so this system seems to work great, for us.

The price tag may have been free but this a killer project, physically.  The buckets of sand were heavy and the pavers seemed light at the beginning of the day, but by the end of the day I was sure they were 200lbs a piece.  But it was a one day project so the pain was quick and the little patio turned out really great.  So very worth its price in sweat.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Slow March to a New Recycled Kitchen

We are redoing our apartment and we are committed to using mostly recycled materials, whenever possible, but still end up with a beautiful space.  One of the first things we did was put down recycled wood floors in the kitchen. 

Here's the before.  Super ugly grey ceramic tile: 

and some more...

First we had to removing the kitchen:

Everyone's demos include a blow torch, right?  That's not just us, right?

sink in the back yard, very classy:

Then it began:

In its last life this wood was the set of an amazing one woman show, "Stanley Ann", written by my talented partner, about Barack Obama’s mother Stanley Ann Dunham.   

And now it’s our beautiful kitchen floor:


 more to come...

Saturday, February 16, 2013

New Metal Artists - Design Challenge 2012

"Gates on my Journey" was made for the 2012 design Challenge 

Friday, February 8, 2013

The Library

During the battle with The Hoard and because my dear, sweet, and amazing partner has more books than you can imagine, I gave him a Library for Christmas.  (thanks in great part to my boss for a couple of much appreciated home depot gift cards).

Here's that area of the room...


and then...

I would ike to point out that for every book you can see, there is another book behind it.  All these shelves are double stacked because we do not have room for all the books on single shelves.  Seriously the man has hundreds, maybe more than a thousand books, WTHeck!!  

There is a little room to add more shelves and I think we will do that very soon.  But it’s so great to have this cozy nook for reading.   

Sometimes when you finish a project you end up very angry with yourself, for not doing it years ago, when you first had the idea, and this was one of those times.  Must start using the learning part of “live and learn”.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

The Recycled Solarium – Things are stirring - 3

Since last we saw the recycled solarium, I have finished all that puttying, from part1, all the painting, sealing and trimming of all the windows and doors/walls.  The french doors/walls, from part 2, took 6 hours each to paint (three coats of paint) and scrape all the glass clean.  But I’m in love with them and the teal too, so yummy.

Then we built the sliding barn doors for both sides of the solarium, including ripping down 2x4s to get the 1x4s we needed for the project.

And because we made them really tall, we had to build the barn door rolling track thingies ourselves too, or re-built the doors.  Sooooooooo we were off to Industrial Metal Supply with a million measurements and a dream. I wish I had taken a picture, but in my defense it was pouring rain, we drove home, on LA freeways, with 2 ten foot steel track thingies sticking out the back window of our two seater Honda Del Sol.  There were red flags of course, so it was completely safe…right…that makes it safe…right?

And did I mention the miles of trim, made by ripping down 2x4s to 1x1s.  Some days the power of our cheapness, I mean environmentally friendly frugalness, is more work than I want to remember.  But it’s hard to buy trim wood when you have stacks for free, recycled, wood sitting in the yard.

Yard Side - Left Side
(Looking in from the living room)

Patio Side - Right Side 
(Looking in from the living room)

When first finished, not the final plan, but I had to sit in it and 
have a glass of wine that first night.  Exhausted, but so happy.

And now it’s the alfresco dining room I 
envisioned all those months ago.  WooHoo!!

This is one of those projects I started out saying we would “bang out” in a weekend or two.  Hello 6 months later.  But I think that’s a necessary mental game to play.  If I really thought, going in it, it would take virtually every weekend of my life from July to January would I have even started?  I don’t know that I would have.  And was it worth it?  YES absolutely YES. 

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Ding, Dong, The Hoard is Dead!

Happy New Year!!! 3 weeks late, but better late than never, I hope.

Every year starting in December and ending, hopefully, before the end of January I dismantle my house and put it back together room by room.  I would rather have “a new” furniture and object arrangement than “a perfect” one. Change is good!!  This year I tried a new method, and thus The Hoard was born.


Sorry the pictures are so terrible, they are all just terrible, sorry.

I took everything, objects and clutter, from all the rooms of my house and put them in my studio.  The idea was that only the things I couldn’t live without seeing or using would find their way back into the house.  The rest would be packed up, donated or tossed.  And let the sorting begin.

Do you see the great strides?  No.  Me neither.  My partner’s books must be the reason, there are just so many books, no exaggeration, we’re talking about several hundred if not over a thousand books here.  So we’ll have to have that library we have always talked about.  So I built a library for my honey’s books (Merry Christmas) while he was still away with his family and The Hoard is tackled right…. Wrong!!

And then the real work begins. Sorting through, at least a year's worth, of choices good, bad, and ugly.  This method forced me to really look at all the stuff, and for that, it was good.  But The Hoard took on a life of it’s own and put up a fight that was harder to win than a mini, room by room, hoard has ever been.  But eventually The Hoard must, and did, die.

The positive I took from the vanquishing of the hoard was; that if we, my partner and I, were not complicated (yes, insert a little crazy), creative (yes, insert a little messy), and handy (yes, insert a little tool crazy) we would not have had to tackle the hoard; but we would not have a solarium, started here ... and more... now done, (more to follow), a library (more to follow), a cool kitchen cabinet (more to follow) and so on and so on.  So I’ll take the hoard, it was hard to slay but it’s a beast that gives back as much as it takes…..most days.

Saturday, September 15, 2012


Beach stones set in sterling and fine silver

It only took me 6 years, but it's finally done.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Things are Stirring! - 2

We've been working on the solarium!!!! 
Then we started on the framing; walls and roof.


Not easy but very rewarding.
Next we did some fancy pants cross bracing.

Isn't that pretty?
Once the cross bracing was complete on the side walls and roof, 
we installed the french doors that make up the side walls.

It's finally starting to look like something.  It's so exciting.
Next up, the back wall.  It's ready for windows to be Install
and we have to add the pretty cross bracing to the bottom.

Just 2,000 more steps to go and we'll have a beautiful solarium.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Place to Hang My Hat


Salvage and Anthropologie hooks and an old board.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Making a Mark

I have these ugly sliding doors in my studio

....or I should say I did!

With a little help from Martha Stewart's recipe for making your own Chalkboard Paint.  

2 Tablespoons of non-sanded grout added to 1 cup of paint.

The grout makes this mixture start to dry quicker than regular paint, 
so you will want to work fairly quickly.

I ended up mixing several small batches, because the 
calendar needed to be painted in multiple stages.

Not a great picture but you get the idea.


This project took more time than I could of imagined, but 
it was worth it, definitely a change for the better.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Things are Stirring!!!!!

This is the site of my future solarium. 

 So far, we have a deck.  Made from 100 year old douglas fir salvaged, 
with permission, from a construction site in Culver City.  
And we have the 1,000,000 pulled nails to prove it.  
This is going to be a major up-cycle.

And it's a beautiful deck.  The color has me so happy.  No stain, just sealer, incredible!

The walls will be recycled doors and windows.

Which require primer, paint, and putty.  Puttying windows is not easy.


I'm getting better.  Luckily you have a lot of "working time" with putty.

Today we're framing the walls.  Woo Hoo!!!