Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The sewing island

No, this is not desert island sewing.  This is the multi-tasking kitchen island that also serves as my cutting table.  The island's countertop uses up nearly an entire 55"x120" Cambria quartz slab.

Because I work with stripes and remnants often, I cut single-layer.  A WIDE cutting surface was on my wish list.  If I'm working on a small project, I only need to use the side facing the living room.  Bad Dad chops veggies on the corner near the stove; the trash can pulls out right underneath that corner.   We put in Cat 6 data ports on the HVAC column to the right so Iris can sit on a bar stool and surf the web on the other side.
The cutting surface is almost a little bit too big.
My cutting tools and art supplies reside in the right cabinet.  Sewing WIPs, occasional-use serving dishes and a few overflow patterns reside in the left cabinet.  The drawers on the left were designed to hold china.  But, since Bad Dad and Iris are still using our wedding china in LA, and Bad Dad accidentally left my mother's china (which she gave to me when she downsized) in our garage in LA, I have no china in Boulder.

There is no point in buying good dishes when some will eventually make their way to this kitchen.  In the interim, I eat on thrifted or hand-me-down dishes, which fit in the glass-front cabinets over the dishwasher.  Hmm, I wonder if patterns would fit in the drawers?
Pattern drawer for large Vogue designer pattern envelopes.
The top drawer is a little bit deeper than the bottom one, so I put the taller ones up top.
Shallower drawer holds smaller form-factor patterns.
I had to remove the peg drawer insert panel because I needed every bit of depth.  Our architect/GC saw the Simplicity patterns and told me that his mother was a Home Ec teacher and his father was VP of printing operations for Simplicity Patterns.  He saw the divine intervention of his departed father in the sizing of those drawers.  ;-)

Everything fits perfectly--as long as I don't buy any more patterns.  If I buy one, I have to chuck one. But, I'll never part with any of my vintage Issey Miyake patterns.  Yipes, I already showed IM coveters on the interwebs where I live.  I'm going to have to buy a fireproof safe for those collectible patterns.  If you search for IM patterns from the 1980s on eBay, you know that I need to find a safer place for those.

* The kitchen is not yet done.  I'm using a loaner range while waiting for my back-ordered range.  The final counter section will be installed after the permanent range arrives.  We're also waiting for the false door panels to complete the island.  I'll post more complete photos when it's done.

Monday, June 29, 2015

No Go

Remember when I made such a point about aligning the doorway to make moving furniture easier?
I should have trusted my instincts and insisted on a wider door.  I went with standard 30" doors (with 29" wide openings) on all bedrooms and 24" wide doors on all bathrooms.

The couch was 4 inches too long to go through the 78" doorway while upright.  The 36" wide hallways were too narrow to angle the couch through.  So they took the feet off the sofa and tried to go in straight and horizontal.
It's a no go.  If the door opening was just 3" wider, the sofabed would be in the sitting area on the east side of the condo today.  I should have insisted on a 36" door there instead of being talked into the standard sizes.
Instead, I have two big leather couches in my living room.  It looked like a furniture gallery.  Ugh!

Initially, I was hysterically calling Bad Dad and the lady who sold me the sectional.  But, it looks fine for now.  When Iris graduates from HS and Bad Dad moves out here to join me, we were going to embark upon a second round of remodeling tweaks on the eastern side of the condo.

We were going to replace the aluminum sliders with wood-framed French windows so we'll replace two doors instead of one.  We took all of the asbestos-laden sheetrock off the wall with the doorway that needs to be widened; the tweak will not require the asbestos-removal team to return.  The sofabed will eventually reside in the east balcony sitting area.

I feel better about it after laying down an area rug and doing a little sewing.  The view from the ironing table is inspiring!

I bought 25" square pillow inserts.  What color(s) should I make the pillow covers?

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Truly a Bad Mom

Every now and then, I am reminded that I am truly a bad mom.

Exhibit n+1: Iris slept in a closet on her recent visit.
Embarrassing evidence.
The bed that I ordered for her had not been delivered. The sectional that I ordered for the living room was also enroute, but not here. She had the option of sleeping on the sofabed in the open-plan living room, where she would have been awoken by parents making coffee and breakfast; or putting the sofabed mattress on the floor in her east-facing bedroom, which doesn't have window coverings yet. What a dilemma for a night-owl teen.

Hiding the evidence.
She looked at the closet and asked, "Can I sleep in the closet like Harry Potter?"

We pulled out the sleeping bag and two yoga mats. (The 2" camp mattress is in LA, not Boulder.) The bed was a bit firmer than she liked, but this was her preferred alternative.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Code words

I'm too upset about the shooting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, SC to write about it.

But, I couldn't let this use of code words close to home (where my child lives) go uncontested.
Sunny California Vacation Rentals owner Robert Reyes said the council is overdoing it with a complete ban, and he would have rather seen regulations address the problems.

“There are 225 vacation rental properties in Manhattan Beach, but only 58 are currently licensed and properly registered. Two- to three-day rentals are the problem,” Reyes said. “People coming from the inner city are bringing their buddies, who want to party. There is a right way and a wrong way to do this (short-term renting).”
When things didn't go the way he wanted, Robert Reyes chose to blame black people. I'm not going to use code words. I'm going to come right out and call him on his racism and race-baiting.

Wordless Wednesday

Monday, June 22, 2015

Fathers' Day Hike

I'm told that restaurants are busy on Mothers' Day and trailhead parking lots are jammed on Fathers' Day.  We discovered that the truism is--true.

We started relatively early, but still encountered a full parking lot at the top.  Add the 1.0 miles we needed to walk from parking to the trailhead to the mileage to Upper Copeland Falls.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Living history

I was locked out one day and sat at the front entrance awaiting someone who had the new key to the condo. Not a bad view, eh?

Bridge to main entrance.
This is the North Boulder Farmers' Ditch, built in 1862.  This is not the ditch that started the madness of the doctrine of prior appropriation of western states' water law.  That honor goes to nearby Left Hand Ditch, which transferred water from St Vrain to James Creek in Left Hand Canyon.
The North Boulder Farmers' Ditch entering the property.
The ditches were built about the same time, though.
The modernist building straddles the ditch.
Read more about Boulder's ditches at The Ditch Project and view the interactive map.  (The bottom three pictures were taken off the real estate listing for this condo.)
Is it a coincidence that the Dairy Center for the Arts lies on the other side of this fence?
The case went all the way up to the Colorado Supreme Court.  The court ruled in favor of the water diverters, thus establishing the right of prior appropriation of Colorado water rights.

Riparian rights means that the owners of land adjacent to water share the water equally.  Prior appropriation means that the first person to put the water to "beneficial use" and to file a paper claim to the water owns the water rights.

Eastern states tend to follow Riparian rights.  Western states tend to follow prior appropriation or "first in use, first in right" doctrine.

Wildlife doesn't count as beneficial use.  Use by native Americans and other non-whites also seldom counts.  There's more paper water than real water in the west, particularly during normal and dry years.

This doctrine is being tested right now in California as even senior CA water rights holders there have been ordered to stop drawing water from CA rivers.

I say good riddance.  I'm not a fan of John Locke and his worshippers.  They have a planet-sized blind spot regarding who does the real work and who reaps the benefits of work.  Water and the laws of physics don't give a f*ck about John Locke and neither do I.

A lively history about the St Vrain-Left Hand water war:
The Battle that Wrought Colorado's Water Law

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Details and schedule

Wow, I was surprised by the number of people who want to see design details.
New door opening with glass door.
This is an especially stressful time at work. Last week, I audited an NCL Workshop and gave a short demo on how to find data for analysis. This week, I'm attending a WRF Workshop and giving a poster presentation of how to find data for numerical weather prediction.

In between, I moved into the condo (which looks more finished than in the picture above).  My family is arriving about the same time the WRF Workshop winds down.  Amid all this activity, I'm helping to write a NASA science education proposal due in 1 week.  Yipes!

Design detail posts will be posted gradually, and in a rushed manner, as I come up for air.

Meanwhile, I found a photo of the doorway we moved.  It used to be on the right, which seemed unnecessarily complicated.  Why go around a corner and then turn again to enter a room?  How does one move furniture into this room with 36" wide hallways (and 34" clearance door jamb to door jamb)?

36" wide hallways are the minimum width required by code.  Now, 40" and 44" are more common.  We couldn't really widen the hallway without MUCH effort because of the immovable adjacent posts that support the concrete floors and ceilings.  This is a 1960s 'hung' concrete high-rise building for those of you who speak architectural history.

I $plurged*and moved the door about 40" to the left, to align with the hallway.  I'm not sure if this was a good Feng Shui move.  But, it sure simplifies getting bulky things in and out of the room.  A door with a glass insert also allows the room and hallway to borrow light from each other.

Originally, I wanted ribbed (aka reeded) glass.  But, tempered safety glass is only available in clear or frosted.  We went with frosted, to match the rice paper in the Shoji screen closet doors.

The door is at the door workshop so that they can take the protective coating off the glass.  More pictures later.

* It was a splurge as anyone who has ever paid to move a 1960s asbestos-laden wall can attest.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Treehouse 2

When Bad Dad and I were shopping for our first home, we nicknamed the houses. We called the house we eventually bought in California 'the treehouse' because of the several large trees on the north, east and south sides of the home.

I bought another treehouse in Boulder.

Poang chairs with Lack table and my hand-knitted bolsters.
This condo is in downtown Boulder, with a walkscore of 91/100.  Yet, I look out through trees towards the mountains on the north and west sides and across trees and a creek on the east side.  The shuttle to work stops two blocks from here.

We installed mirrors against one wall to amplify the view.

We have two architects.  One architect/general contractor (GC), and an hourly architectural consultant who is a retired architect.  The consultant came up with the idea of cutting the mirror into pieces about the same size as the windows and then sizing a chair rail the same depth as the windowsill and kitchen countertop.

The line continues across the kitchen countertop, with glass-fronted kitchen cabinets and a window along the rest of that wall.  The effect is all light and line.

The GC primarily builds gorgeous (and large) custom homes.  The consultant primarily built 'not so big' homes that are modest in scale, but with many thoughtful extra touches.  Are you interested in seeing some of the other details they designed?

It's starting to feel like home as I unpack and put my hand-made items out.  I intended to tie-dye these IKEA Poang chair cushions.  But, I love the tone-on-tone creaminess of my hand-knitted bolsters layered on top of the natural unbleached and undyed cotton canvas.  I may leave them in that state for now.  Do you recognize the patchwork Valentine pillow I made for Bad Dad?

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Monday, June 08, 2015

Sewing Area Progress

The contractors are putting the finishing touches on the condo this week. I spent most of the weekend unpacking and running the type of errands that you normally do when moving.

I set up my new sewing table, but didn't unpack my machines yet; they are still doing drywall patching, and plaster and paint touchups.  From the right end of the table, you can look out the window at a peek of the Flatirons through the tree branches.

New Sewing Table under track lights with sunlight temperature LED bulbs.
Do I really have 7 bankers' boxes of patterns?  Apparently, yes.
Patterns and books.
Today is the start of a very busy two weeks at work. Then, I need to sew under time pressure before Bad Dad and Iris' visit. (Iris asked for a replacement of a nightgown that she wore to shreds.)

I packed a suitcase of clothes so I could stay with friends for a few days between when my apartment lease ended and the condo was ready for occupancy. However, a few days turned into two weeks.

I learned that I can live on a capsule wardrobe if I have to, but I prefer not to. I like more variety in my wardrobe.

What was it that Bartleby the Scrivener said?

Wednesday, June 03, 2015