Thursday, November 29, 2007

between thanksgiving and christmas

I think that November was the fastest month ever. With just a few more days til December I am trying to figure out how I can squeeze more hours into a day. I might have to start getting up at 5:30 just to stay on top of things. Anyway...Thanksgiving was great. My parents drove up from the central valley and I had a few friends who joined us as well. I am sad to say that I wasn't able to get great photos of the table because I was too busy overcooking the turkey.

I am posting up to date photos of the apartment. We just picked up our tree so we will start the holiday decorating in a few more days but here is a little in between holiday progress. We have hung a lot more art and finally dug our way out of almost all of the boxes. You can't see them in these photos but they are totally there.

If you want to see some before photos you can check them out here in the archives. We still need curtains and a million other things but for now we have a space where we can sit and work on things or just relax. It feels like it is really coming together. I have a lot of detail shots that I uploaded on flickr if anyone wants to see close-ups of our stuff.

We are also fine tuning the office and I am posting a couple of those photos.

more later....have a great Thursday!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

catch up

I have been trying to catch up on everything from my blog to my after thanksgiving apartment and it hasn't been easy. I wanted to post something so I am leaving you with a few new friends we found at the flea market on Sunday and decided we couldn't live without. I am also posting a few random scenes from the flea that I liked enough to photograph. I will do a proper apartment post once I have better pictures. It has been nearly impossible to find time!

this almost looks like a painting but it is made like a quilt

a marble fawn

cute little girl

I am working on a more thorough post for later in the day. I can't believe the month is over and I am this far behind....crazy.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

happy thanksgiving!

Monday, November 19, 2007


The last few days have been really busy. I have been trying to make time for a good post but I think it is going to have to wait a little longer. We have agreed to have Thanksgiving here for my parents and the apartment isn't quite ready so I have been up early and doing all sorts of organizing, hanging more art, cleaning, sewing curtains etc. I took progress photographs yesterday but it was overcast and none of the pictures have enough light. I am going to try to re-shoot them today. In the mean time here is picture of Richard's studio chair from L.A.. We've decided to keep it here with us but it needed a bath first.

Have a great Monday!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Holiday sale

While we were in Los Angles our friend Cupcake gave me the most adorable ring that she had made. It is a photo of Grizzly bears that she saw on a recent trip. I am posting a photograph of the ring and also a photograph of an invite to an amazing holiday craft event that she hosts every year. If you are living in the L.A. area and want to see truly inspired pieces by local artists this is the place to be!

Where is the month going?

Richard and I drove down to Los Angeles over the weekend to patch and prime his old apartment. We had thought of keeping the place so we would have a little spot to go when in LA but in the end Richard said his final goodbyes to both his apartment and his studio. I am posting photos of the before and after but we didn't really paint we just patched and primed the walls so while it was a dramatic change and a very long day it may not appear so in the photos.

While we were there we had the chance to see the Murakami exhibit at the MOCA. I have never been able to call myself a huge fan of Murakami but after seeing the show I have to say I really loved it. I heard that you couldn't take photos but I was able to find a few photos this morning on Fecal Face and Riott. You can also go to the Moca site and watch video of Murakami talking about his work. If you have the chance to see it you should try to make it. I am really hoping I have the opportunity to see the show again before it comes down in February.

Happy Tuesday!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

One more little wall

I bought this great map years and years ago. I used it as a window treatment for my bedroom when I was living in Brooklyn. Since I've been back in California I've had to store it..until now. Welcome back Polar Air Age Map. I missed you!

happy kitchen

I occurred to me today that I haven't really posted good before and after shots of the kitchen. I did a little work in there today so I wanted to post a few good pictures. I am really proud of the kitchen as it was the hardest to stay optimistic about. Make sure to take a good look at the before pictures.

As you can see from the before picture I had to strip paint off of the glass cabinet doors. We also replaced the above sink cabinet with two red Ikea shelves. The stripping took a long time. Just looking at this picture makes my hand start to cramp up in the shape of a shrimp.

We were really lucky with the Wedgwood stove. The stove is gorgeous and works great but I think it may have to go. I need something a lot smaller so that I can actually work in my kitchen. If you know anyone who wants a gorgeous Wedgwood stove please have them contact me via email. I am so torn but ultimately I need more space and less stove.

There was a lot of cleaning and priming and painting. I am including an action shot of Richard painting behind the stove. That was super nasty. Those of you who have been reading from the beginning of this project know that the apartment wasn't exactly clean when we got here. The kitchen was by far the worst. I will spare you the details but I was afraid of the kitchen for a while if that tells you anything.

Another little project was the former ironing board area. We have very little space for food storage so Richard turned our ironing board area into a tiny cupboard.YAY!

I am going to work on posting some detail shots of the kitchen on Flickr later.

Thanks for looking!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

the tough boxes

We have been unpacking and putting things in their new homes for what seems like months. As we do this the ends of boxes, with their little bottom of the box bits have been poured into other boxes and yesterday.....I worked all day on those boxes. I am cautiously posting before and ALMOST after photographs of what I was able to do yesterday. Don't judge me. I honestly feel like this part of the process is the hardest for me. I have so many small things floating around needing a home. Once this part is finished I can get to my work table and make our curtains. I am almost there.

I really miss the one day it looked like this. SOON!

We were also able to install one of my favorite pieces from our friends Castaneda/Reiman. I love it!

I am also posting a photo of a little merman that I saw on Monday at my friend Bob's house. Bob is an antiques dealer specializing in tribal art. He just bought this little merman with no idea where it is from or when it was made. All He is able to sort out is that it was probably made on the high seas. I think he is just adorable.

Back at it. Happy Wednesday!

Monday, November 5, 2007

perfect weather

The weather this weekend was perfect. We went to the beach twice. We also managed to go to two flea markets yesterday. The first was a once a month flea market in Alameda. The second was The Alemany Flea here in SF. It was so great to be outside in such perfect weather. The flea in Alameda was enormous but honestly we didn't find that much. There were a lot of overpriced 'antiques'. Something that should have been $10. was $140. that sort of thing. Between the two flea markets we managed to find two cute stools, one super cute Steiff looking mouse and a great pendant lamp for the hallway. I was really excited to find the lamp. I have been a bit obsessed to find something for the hall so to find it is a huge relief. Now I only have the bedroom lamp to obsess on.

All together our new items only cost $17. so I am quite pleased. I hope the weather holds up this week. I want to get our curtains up before it starts to get really cold.

I received my '1800's Victorian walnut curtain rod brackets' any my 'Victorian brass curtain drapery rings' last week from ebay so I have everything I need to put up the bedroom curtains.

Have a great Monday!

Friday, November 2, 2007

a house flip before the flip

Before I started this blog I helped my parents with a house project they had in Fresno. They bought a honey of a house and wanted to upgrade just enough to keep it current but not so much that they killed the character. They hired me to help with the overall feel of the project and we set out to finish it in one month. We did it. I wanted to post some before and after photos of that project for a few reasons. First of all I am especially proud of the project as we worked on it as a team and I feel good about that. We were also able to do almost all of the work ourselves and that was fantastic! We were able to keep our budget slim while still ending up with a beautiful finished product. Next, that honey of a house is ready to be sold. And finally...the open house is this weekend. If you are in the area and are in need of the perfect house for pennies then do stop on by.

Above you see the before picture. The cabinets were homemade and were really in need of being replaced. All of the drawer slides were crumbling and the wall of overhead cabinets made the kitchen seem smaller than it needed to be. The tile was cute in theory but had a lot of cracks and so we just decided to take it all out and upgrade.

Above you see the end of a long day of demo. I was in there with a sledge hammer for a while. I gotta say nothing satisfys quite like a demo project.

Above you see the after photos. The kitchen upgrade makes the kitchen a lot more open and user friendly, less overpowering. I think the changes keep the integrity of the original kitchen but just a bit more modern. We used Ikea cabinets and I built all of them myself.

I am including a great detail shot of the tile we put in. I found this gorgeous hand made Italian tile and my dad came up with this great design for it.

Now we move on to the bathroom. I wasn't able to get a before shot of the bathroom with the tub in but let me just tell you the tub was gross. The size of the tub was fine but it hadn't been maintained properly so it needed to come out. Here is a movie of Richard and my dad dragging the tub out of the house and onto my grandfathers truck.

And the rest of the before pictures. Now those of you that think pink is cute let me just tell you right now...this color was not cute.

I wish I had a picture of the seriously awful bathroom counter that was here. I was so excited to demo that I forgot to take a before shot. There is, however a movie of me taking out the tile in the shower. Power tools and demo are the best.

Here are the after photos. We wanted the bathroom to feel like a tiny spa. We kept the colors clean and calm. We upgraded the plumbing, tub, floor and light fixtures. Instead of a huge vanity we went with something that would allow for a little more space in the bathroom.

The rest of the house was relatively easy. We ripped out carpet from one of the bedrooms and had the floors refinished thought the entire house. We also freshened up the paint and added a few new light fixtures and curtains. Here are a few before and after photos of the rest of the house.

Above you see the before and after of the cute little dinning room area. The refinished floors look great here. We took out the weird little built in cabinet, ceiling fan and mini blinds. We replaced the fan with a cute ceiling lamp and new curtain situation. We also painted.

Above you see the living room area before and after. I wish I had before pictures in color but you get the idea. We didn't need to do much here. We switched out the big ceiling fan with a smaller one. We painted and changed the curtains. Of course the floors look amazing!

These two are of one of the two bedrooms. You can't see the ceiling fan in the before shot but we took it out and added a simple overhead. We also changed the curtains and painted.

For some reason I don't have a before picture of the front bedroom. This was the room with the wall to wall carpet. We ripped that out and had the floors redone. We also replace yet another ceiling fan with a simple overhead light. There is another set of windows to the right but I have no shot of that. Basically all the rooms in this house get lovely light.

One of the most appealing parts of the house is the enormous back yard. We didn't need to do much but we did make a few changes.

The first photo above you see the before shot. The second and third shots are of the the outdoor living area we put together. We also added bamboo fencing, a willow tree and plants.

One of the coolest parts of the little back studio area is the new door that my dad built. Here is a close-up.

We didn't have to do much with the inside of the shop/studio. We painted the floor and the walls. We also put in a new window.

And finally the front of the house. We didn't have to do much. It is just the cutest house. There is a mature Persimmon tree in front of the house which is just gorgeous.

That about sums it up. I so wish I could have this house in San Francisco. For the price and the available land it is pretty much an impossibility. If you are in the Fresno area and are interested in checking out our little project click here for more info.

Have a great Weekend!