Saturday, June 30, 2007

Transportation Day

We had a carpenter and a painter working a half day today, but the real action took place away from the studio. We store the pictured Jeep, which belongs to Marcia's brother, Ken, over the winter. She drove it to Chase Lake (near Lowville) today to pick up Ken, who flew from Boca Raton, Florida, to spend a month in the Adirondacks.

Ken flew in on the wings of his Piper Malibu Meridian jetprop (P46T/G) and landed at a private airport near their cottage at Chase Lake. He then flew Marcia back to the Canandaigua airport, where we had a difficult incident. Despite written assurances in their posted literature and our arrival before 4 pm, no one was there to pump JetA fuel and refused to respond to phone contacts. In our experience most small airports pride themselves on customer service and go out of their way to meet the needs of airplanes stopping by. It speaks very poorly of the management of the Canadaigua airport that they do not even provide the basic fuel service that they advertise as available 24/7!

This is the wonderful real log cabin (circa 1954) with over 200 feet of lake frontage that Ken and Marcia own. Their parents added on extra space and upgraded facilities in the cabin several years ago, and they acquired several acres of property across from the cabin.

The beautiful shoreline of the lake. All the cottages are built at least 50 feet away from the water's edge and are surrounded by tall pine trees. No power boats of any size or description are allowed. It's a real idyllic spot!

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Friday, June 29, 2007

A Busy Day

The cabinet tops arrived. To everyone's chagrin, the section Fred and Sam are working on was cut 2 inches short. As an old math teacher, Bill is amazed at how often simple arithmetic mistakes cause such problems in the adult world!

One of our horses, Crystal, a 20+ year-old mare, has sore feet. Steve Harper, our long-time farrier works on trimming and shaping her hooves. We hope this will help, although he suggests she should also lose some weight. (Shouldn't most of us!)

The masons were here to clean the brick. After applying the detergent and scrubbing, the residue is hosed off. They use Sure Clean 600, which is commonly used for this purpose throughout the industry and was recommended by the brick manufacturer.

Jeanette Decker, our lighting consultant from Bright Ideas in Canandaigua, delivered a van full of products. She was helpful in researching the proper plan for the particular and unique needs of an artist's studio. We hope all of us made the right decisions!!

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Thursday, June 28, 2007

Cabinet Day

A big day in the project. Pictured is the bathroom vanity. We have changed all the countertops from wine vat oak to "Walkabout Character Reclaimed Jarrah." (Some marketing guru must have named this.) Jarrah is a product of a large tree found only in SouthWestern Australia. We were captured by its close grain, mahogany-red color, and the sufficient "figure" for cabinet use.

The upper open shelves and the lower cabinets and files are installed in the "office" corner. The cabinets were assembled off site in their Shortsville shop and transported to our job site.

The quality construction is evident throughout all the cabinets. The reclaimed beech adds character, texture, and depth. We are very pleased.

Sam and Fred do the installing. All the craftsmen in the shop are involved with the fabrication and placement of the final product. Sam recently arrived in the area from Cody, Wyoming. He has friends in the area and likes the green colors of the Finger Lakes.

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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

More tile and trim

Eric comes aboard to work on the interior framing. Here he builds the perimeter of the windows to the south before installation. As the temperature was in the 90's, both the carpenter and the tiler set up their saws inside!

Suki, the inspector, is on duty from dawn to dusk. She comes in for a snack and a two or three-hour nap some time in the middle of the day. We should all be so wise!

More final floorboard appears as the closets are finished off. The reclaimed Douglas fir boards continue to be of very good quality. With some stain applied, they will match the oiled timbers.

The bathroom tile takes shape. The pocket shelves are ready for finishing, and a border accent appears half way up the wall. Robert will stop at the tile store in the morning and pick up more tile to cover shortages where misorders left us with some problem areas with available material.
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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Bathroom tile & finishing lumber

Robert works on the new bathroom tile. He indicates that the bullnose tiles for the corner sides are not as thick as the regular wall tiles and require extra mortar and careful placement. He is a precise workman.

The reclaimed Douglas fir for the interior trim arrived today and is scheduled for installation tomorrow. The material will frame doors and windows and serve as baseboard around the perimeter of the room. We are pleased with the quality of the wood!

The first water lilly of the summer emerges. This small pond contains a dozen such plants and will soon burst forth with multiple blooms and large lilly pads to serve as resting places for the resident frogs.

A nice clump of iris in the front yard. These were a gift from Pat and Lloyd Berardi from the garden of their previous home when then moved. It is our good fortune to have the benefit of their yearly prolific flowering and ability to prosper in their new spot.

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Monday, June 25, 2007

A quiet day

The bathroom gets a coat of final color. The ceiling will remain white, and the walls will be a beige tint as shown.

Painter Jim also finished the first coat of the final treatment for the closets and walls in the studio. The cream color will be close to that of the flannel fabric which will cover the primary design wall (on the left) and the secondary design space (on the closet doors to the right).

The upper part of the northern brick wall is reinforced with metal splines, which are nailed to the wall and laid across the brick surface prior to the installation of the next row.
The corner finish bricks take form as the mason works toward the final fitting of the bricks under the cornice. Although a small space remains, it looks like a few tricky cuts lie ahead!

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Sunday, June 24, 2007

First Sunday of Summer

We had an overnight visitor. This mud is near the new studio and shows a racoon moving through the area. The small print at the upper right was left by Inspector Suki as she made her morning rounds. She slid to a stop as she pondered the intruder's path!

Painter Jim has covered the floor as he applies the first coat of the final paint before window and door trim are completed and the desk and cabinets installed.

If you have been following our blog, you remember we burned down our perennial grass garden a short six weeks ago. We added a new layer of mulch today and nature has worked its magic. The new growth shines and shimmers in the summer sun!

Our spinach is harvested and blanched for freezer preparation. Like all jobs on the farm, this project consumed much of the morning for picking and the afternoon for packaging!
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Saturday, June 23, 2007

Our Bricks

If you have ever driven through North Carolina, it doesn't take much imagination to see the red clay soil as good base material for bricks. Our bricks come from that source. Triacic shale is added and baked at 2000 degrees F. in an automated robot-directed factory.

The manufacturer is Triangle Brick of Durham, NC, and for you inquisitive types, their website is The pallet pictured contains about 550 bricks. Our particular brick is called Cape Cod and is sandblasted to roughen up the finish. Splashes of charcoal are added to provide variety and promote a look of age and maturity. Pieces of rope are used as spacers.

The scaffolding is in place to provide platforms for the workers as they progress up the wall. Our reading about the brick process leads to the conclusion that the making of brick and its consequent use as a building material is both an art and a science!

Inspector Suki has completed her survey of the leveling process on the wall and is now counting the bricks lined up for tomorrow's effort. She reports satisfaction at this juncture.

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Friday, June 22, 2007

Heating and cooling

The Betlam boys are back and vying for "the most photogenic" of all the tradesmen. They are hard to beat! They are connecting the radiant heat feed and return to the current boiler which produces hot water on demand.

The interior section of the studio air conditioning is also installed and tested. We are hoping we can get a different color housing; ie., one that is not so glaringly visable. Bill, in particular, finds this unit ugly and pretentious -- probably an American design!

The larkspur grow toward maturity. They are an especially nice dried flower, as they age with a particularly mild color patina evocative of the Victorian era. Difficult to find in nurseries, these grew from dropped seeds from last year's plants that wintered over.

Suki, the Inspector, checks out the cement mixer. She, of course, was hoping the opening in the mixing bowl was a huge mouse hole! She is leaving after discovering that such was not the case, but moved on to the pile of brick with the same hope!

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Thursday, June 21, 2007

Tile and Bricks

Robert was here today to continue work on the tile in the studio. In the upper part of the picture he has cleaned the surface, which obviously heightened the colors and the overall pattern. He indicates it will get another cleaning before completion.

The bathroom shower is prepared for its base. The wood is temporary to serve as a frame for the mud and will be removed later.

The first layers of brick are applied to the exterior north wall. Mike is very precise and uses strings and chalk lines to maintain a level course.

The corner is neatly finished. We are pleased with how closely the color of the new brick matches the north side of the 40-year old existing house!
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