Happy Reformation Day!

Phillip and I's pumpkins!

We took a break from wedding stuff to enjoy a holiday. This was our first time carving pumpkins together. To be honest, we hardly talked. We sat quietly, very seriously carving these pumpkins. We meant business. :)

Phillip carved a windmill. Did I mention he’s dutch? And I carved an owl that doesn’t show up very well in this photo.

We are going to a Reformation Day party at the Avocado House tonight. It’s a legendary event at a legendary house (at least if you are in any way involved in the social life of Westminster Seminary California–my alma matter).


The New Abode on Rockwood Road

We are really excited to be finishing off the shop apartment. I spent a fair amount of time with Jesse and my Dad building the shop from inception and I have a lot of memories hanging out with Jesse working on our cars and motorcycles in the shop.  I never imagined living there but I am glad Tricia is up for moving out to the ranch, it will be a fun place to start our married life together. Even though the flat is a small space, it has character. I look forward to working together on projects in the shop, stargazing, going on morning runs or evening walks in the hills, building a fun patio area, brewing beer, and planting a garden in the spring. I love my “home gym” setup: miles of dirt roads, a big flat topped boulder for bouldering (climbing boulders without ropes), free weights, and lots of quiet fresh air.  We might even put up a climbing wall on one of the shop walls, after all we have our rock climbing projects too! Don’t worry fellow climbers, we will be back on the climbing scene soon enough!

The shop apartment does still need a ton of work.  Finalizing the copper for the plumbing has been frustrating with some leaks that had to be re-done.  Next up is putting in the gas line which is contingent on deciding on a kitchen layout as the stove and refrigerator will be propane.  Living on Rockwood Road for those of you unfamiliar is not simple.  The bumpy dirt road is just a foretaste of the obstacles you encounter when you set out to live on the hill.  Fortunately I have a connection with SDG&E (Steve’s Diesel Gas and Electric).  This means we will be hooked into my Dad’s wells and water tank and we will get electricity from his diesel generator which only runs 8-10 hours a day.  The remainder of the time the lights are run off a giant battery bank.  Solar is an option, but the generator runs several pumps and other houses and so proves cost effective.  Tricia will probably encounter a few lifestyle adjustments, but really it is not that different, maybe the 20 minute drive to the nearest store will be the biggest adjustment.

After plumbing the gas and water is finished it will be insulation and drywall.  I have been watching Heather finish the drywall for her kitchen and living room re-model and it is surely a lot of work.  Painting, kitchen and bathroom fixtures, and flooring will take time too.  Then there are doors to be hung, lighting and receptacles to be hooked up and a myriad of other small things.  Fortunately Jesse and my Dad are on board with the project.

The other night my Dad, referring to DIY,  asked what it is that we “do ourselves?”.  You see, on Rockwood Road, it is second nature, you do it yourself or it doesn’t happen.  I enjoy the work of building and I am arranging to take a little extra time off work (in theory there is less tax work after October 15) to work on our new abode.  It is a welcomed change from sitting in my office, focused on my computer screens.  Building the home you will live in is satisfying indeed.


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Cleaning Up Shop

This past week, while working in the shop, we found a few goodies!

We’re preparing for a large garage sale next weekend in an attempt to empty the place out and picked up some re-purposable keepers. Back when Phillip and I started dating, he brought me up to the shop and I instantly became giddy as we started exploring. It’s a DIY, thrift store lover’s dream! We’ve gone exploring a couple of times since, but this time we found a couple of gems. This should both make you giddy (or sympathetic to my giddiness) and aware of just how much stuff is actually in there to get rid of.

Here’s a list of stuff we found:

  1. Phillip’s mom’s old set of flour/sugar containers that are dovetailed wood boxes that fit inside of one another. Super cute! They have a retro design on them that I’m in love with.
  2. A small brass owl. If you know what the word “hipster” means, you’ll know why I love this. If not, move on to numero three.
  3. Two cheap photo albums (to be used for the project listed below).
  4. A mini overnight suitcase for shower stuff from what looks like the 50s. It’s gonna make a great card box at the reception!
  5. A record player.
  6. A box of wood frames for canvases.
  7. A box of small 8 oz. canning jars for cocktails at the reception.
  8. An old door, complete with antique key hole (to be used for a project listed below).
  9. A small red tool box and a large tool box to keep our craft/project stuff in, such as the wood burning tool we bought! Woot!

  1. Two canvases. Yes they have paintings on them, but I have an idea for them (to be used for a project listed below).
  2. A stack of Rhonda’s, Phillip’s mom’s, records which included The Beatles, Neil Young, Led Zeppelin, and many others. We just brought these back down to the house so no one would mess with them in the garage sale, but I just had to mention them, because it just goes to show you how cool Phillip’s mom is.

So a pretty sweet list. Now here’s what we plan to do with a lot of it.

Project #1: Cheap Photo Albums.

I saw a picture of a wood photo album recently on my favorite wedding blog that I’ve been following for years, Style Me Pretty. Instantly I knew that I Phillip would love this project and that it would be an easy one for us. So while we were looking through the garage and stumbled upon this…White Elephant photo album. Finders keepers. We took the pages out of a photo album and saved the bolts.

Photo Album Pages for Project

So we found a piece of wood, really it’s just a piece of plywood with a veneer that we liked and cut it into two small pieces for the covers. Phillip then brought out an old leather belt that was almost in pieces already so we decided to use that as hinges. I recently purchased a wood burning tool that I’m using for this project.

I’ll do a post about it as soon as we are done.

Project #2: An Old Door.

We found this idea to make a headboard out of an old door from another one of my favorite DIY (Do-It-Yourself) blogs, Design Sponge, so we’ve been on the look-out for a door. We found an old white door with an old knob and keyhole. It’s perfect! I’ll do a post on this project after we are done as well.

Project #3: Canvases.

I have 3 canvases now to work with, one from a thrift store and two from the shop. I plan to create something with them for our bedroom or living room, but I’m not quite sure what to do with them yet. I’ve seen a few options on some DIY blogs, but I have to do more research.

So more to come with projects…

Phillip came up with another great idea recently. We’re going to paint the side of his 54 Chevy panel truck for the reception!

We’re also thinking we might use some of the other cars for decoration outside. When you have 54 Chevy like this available, how can you resist?

While we were playing around in the shop, I also tested out the table arrangement for the reception. Please forgive the rudimentary props I used, but it’s just to get an idea of what would fit on an 8′ x 30″ banquet table.

Option 1: Wine bottles in the center, centerpieces on either side.

Option 2: Wine bottles on one side, champagne on the other and a centerpiece in the middle.

Option 3: Wine bottles on the end of the table, centerpieces on both sides of the table and no center item.

Not sure which one to do. We are going to be making boxes for the centerpieces with succulents in them. I was thinking about adding a lantern from Ikea in there for light. We are going to leave wine bottles on the table for dinner. Other than that, not sure.

Well, that’s all for cleaning up shop. Will post pictures of the shop next week of the garage sale and the aftermath.

Extreme Makeover–the Apartment

Tricia: October 9th was the first day of renovations for the apartment and we are coming up on weekend 3 of Saturday renovations. On these Saturdays, Phil, his brother Jesse, his dad and I head up to the shop and work for a good portion of the day. I really just watch as they work, because I’ve been working on projects for the reception, such as wood signs. They are still in the process of deliberating how to go about doing certain aspects of the electrical, water or kitchen design. So far they have successfully put in a water facet outside the front door and it works! They’ve also semi-completed a design for the kitchen and have been working on putting the final touches on the plumbing. They will be putting up dry-wall as soon as all the details of water and electricity are squared away.

Here's the front door with the water pipe to the right. Woohoo! It's not much but it's something!

We were so fortunate that this apartment was half way done already by Phillip’s brother Jesse. He had built the shop to work on his cars with an attached apartment that was never finished. The apartment is around 550 square feet. Yes, a very small apartment. It’s two stories and has a vaulted ceiling on the top-level. It’s windows open up to the beautiful rolling hills that surround the ranch–completely absent of any other houses. We will barely have room for a dining room and kitchen down stairs and a small sitting area and bedroom upstairs. We have been throwing around the idea of having an outdoor seating area out front with a fire pit, grill, etc. for outdoor entertaining. We love to entertain, but this place will only be able to accommodate people outside for the most part. The plus side: a gigantic garage. A ten car garage to be exact. What’s that you say? Do we want to set up a little area for crafting and projects? Yes, please!

Here's the kitchen and beyond that the bathroom.

Here's from the bathroom looking the other way toward the kitchen and front door.

Here's the bathroom looking toward the front door.

I’ll post pictures of the progress as soon as there is visible progress. For now, it’s just conceptual. 2 months to go with not just a reception hall on the line, but also a place for us to live. Yikes. :)

Phillip:  Slow start, but it will be ready by December 31.  Things are getting rolling, I am learning to do and re-do plumbing.  Come out for the giant farm yard sale next weekend.  Maybe you can buy a tractor…

Paper Goods Update

OK, we finally finished the save-the-dates after a few weeks of working on them. See an older post about the initial process of getting them started here. Phillip and I designed the postcard on Microsoft Publisher. We borrowed the image of the knot from a climbing website and I photoshopped it a bit. We choseTraveling Typewriter, available for download at http://www.dafont.com. We purchased the 110# cardstock from Staples and the extremely small rope from Nomad Ventures in Escondido (a local climbing store). We saved it as a pdf and took it to Staples, had them print 4 per page, which creates perfect post cards. We printed little dots where we needed to punch holes for the rope to make our lives easier. Before we printed them all, we took a sample to the post office to ask about the cost of postage. Since the ropes made the post cards non-machinable (anything of an unusual shape that can’t go through the machine), we had to pay a little extra in postage (about the same as an envelope invitation).

We had fun thinking up the idea, tweaking ideas we found on the web to come up with something unique to us. The hardest part was figuring out which program to use to design it and getting a straight answer of how much it would cost from the post office. We wanted to make sure the ropes and knots would make it through. FWIW, you can tie knots of string on your postcards and the postage will only be slightly more expensive. Good to know.

All of our guests are probably receiving their save-the-dates right now and hopefully checking out the blog to watch our planning progress. Welcome! Enjoy! I hope you enjoyed the first part of the festivities–the save-the-date. I look forward to seeing all of your happy faces at the reception, enjoying a pint of our chocolate milk stout and the twinkle lights surrounding you. We’ve got a long way to go, but only a short amount of time. :)

As for the invitations, much has changed with that and I’ll be writing more on that soon.

Enjoy some snap shots of the process of making the save-the-dates and some how-to pictures for tying the knot if you are having trouble. ;)

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