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 | Gardening                   AUGUST 2011 UPDATE - Front Yard

We're stilllllll working on the details


10/27/08 Update: 23 trips!





08/2011 Update: We've insulated the attic and added a solar attic fan. We built a Arts and Crafts style awning in the front... many other small things.


For the purpose of storage space we fixed it up first.

After removing the 6 roofs, reconstructing the carport, and replacing the rear sill...

 After a good paint gob, it's going to be  one of the most level 1938 garages on the block.


The Backyard


We never found out whose car it was... We're just glad it disappeared before we closed escrow! Gwen tamed the persimmon tree and I tackled the grape vine.


Sometimes we walk out the back door and can't believe the transformation!

This is the result after... let's just say THOUSANDS of hours!

      Oh ya... the shed and overhang are GONE!


Wow!  That was alot of work!  Again, sometimes we can't believe the result.

The mattresses are gone... The funky tarp addition to the roof is gone... All of the windows were replaced.



What a change!  We're planning on painting the house this fall... so, the blue trim will be gone!

Want to see the POND?


Our backyard.  Complete with cactus garden, lawn, workshed, pond, and patio area

Our garden. Where...

we grew these!

The cactus garden

Our pond...

with 2 turtles...

and 7 Koi

Front Yard

10/27/08 Update: Like we said earlier... Spring 2009 will bring a new paint job and bounty of flowers still hiding in their bulbs. For now, we put a done stamp on it for this year.


Front yard

Ripping the bricks out sure was fun! It was worth it in the end!

Trees, bushes, lawn work, period house number, and improved mailbox... WOW!

10/27/08 Update: We added river rock to the front strip, a new entry arch, some polymetric sand to the walkway, shutters, an enclosed tiled porch, plants, blood, sweat, and elbow grease!

Deciding on a color to paint the house...

how many colors of green are there anyway?!

Just like restoring interior features, 1930 gutter brackets and parts just aren't available.  Fabrication time here we come.

I had to make 9 of them.

I built the shutters and fabricated the awning from 5 pieces of 1-1/4 in steel and some redwood planks.  I think it came out great at fit in with the 1930's craftsman feel.



10/27/08 Update: The bathroom is basically DONE! 

Although it doesn't look bad in photos... it was!  Nothing was installed right and everything had to go!  Thanks to www.craigslist.com, the bathtub is now being reused as a horse trough in some guy's stable  


The sink!   Now you see it...

Now you don't!

 Now the tub is where the sink was


A little glass block work...

new window, and a closet!


New toilet, hex tile on the floor, and some paint... What do ya think?



We changed out the window to gain wall space

The floor furnace in the hallway had to go!



The new fireplace...

Ok, we hired someone to cut the hole in the roof. 



 I spent half a day just trying to find a varnish that didn't have a health warning label.

Oak and Ash made a great combination.

Good Old Shellac!

Shellac is a resin secreted by the female lac bug to form a cocoon, on trees in the forests of India and Thailand. It is processed and sold as dry flakes, which are dissolved in denatured alcohol to make liquid shellac, which is used as a brush-on colorant, food glaze and wood finish. Shellac functions as a tough all-natural primer, sanding sealer, tannin-blocker, odor-blocker, stain (pigment), and high-gloss varnish. Shellac was also once used in electrical applications as it possesses good insulation qualities and it seals out moisture. It is also often the only historically-appropriate finish for early 20th-century hardwood floors, and wooden wall and ceiling paneling.

From the time it replaced oil and wax finishes in the 1800s, shellac was the dominant wood finish in the western world until it was replaced by nitrocellulose lacquer in the 1920s and 1930s. It remained popular in the Southern United States through the 1950s and 1960s. It continues to be a popular candy glaze for pill shaped sweets such as Skittles. Shellac is not vegan. Wiki


Everything has to go!



The "hole" to the right in the kitchen was the ironing board. We moved it to the laundry room/mud room.

The floor gets tiled


Look! This sink comes with a giant fish hook!


As of May 08 

In June the backsplash was added


As for the other side of the kitchen... we're still working on it.


aka Laundry Room

The amount of damage caused to walls and floors that one little water leak can cause.

All fixed!

10/27/08 Update:

Where one small washer fit before... Now there's a big washer and dryer. Amazing!



The breakfast nook gets new windows and an arched entry


We replaced the window with a custom 1/2 size window... of course this led to more stucco work on the outside.

Gwen's got the place painted and it looks great!

We're still working on the trim work.

She loves scraping paint!



This is the room that almost stopped us from buying the house! 

1) Rip down the roof.

2) Replace the window.

3) Change the size of the closet door.

4) Fix all the walls

5) Vault & insulate the ceiling.

6) Etc... Etc... 


10/27/08 Update


(Guest Room conversion)

Painting again!

The crib (after assembly)

Tree house

Mark built the changing table. It still needs to be stained and sealed.

March 2010Update

Leaf valance addition 

Bamboo tree addition.  The bamboo was built from pipe and ikea leaves 

Pillows mark made



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