Home Sweet Home

We’ve been married for a month and a half and one of the biggest surprises being married has been how quickly the time we have together passes by.  I always look forward to spending the evening doing projects and cooking dinner, but before you know it, it’s 10 and time for bed. We’re trying to settle in to our apartment slowly but surely and still have quite a bit of work to do.

After we returned from our honeymoon in San Francisco, Phillip immediately began working on installing our floors. Living on concrete was just not my thing. Once the dance floor at our reception in the shop, this beautiful laminate is now our kitchen floor. Phillip first put down the underlayment (the red stuff), which is pretty expensive stuff, and piece by piece put the floor together like a puzzle. I found out later that cardboard can be used as underlayment and it’s what most housing developments use!

After the kitchen floor was done, we began playing Tetris with our kitchen cabinets and decorating. A friend of mine recently inspired me to put up a rack for pots and pans. It’s something I’ve always admired in magazines and blogs, but those were designer kitchens with islands and high ceilings. Unfortunately, our ceilings are low on the bottom story so I didn’t think it was possible. Then it dawned on me to put up a coat rack, since we have a few laying around in the Shop. We slipped a few pots and pans on it and bingo, a wall rack for our pots and pans. A good solution to free up space!

To save even more space, we put up a wine glass rack that we got as a wedding gift from Bed Bath and Beyond. It’s perfect above the sink because A) there was space for it and B) you can wash and hang the glasses to drip dry. It works great and looks good, saving us a whole shelf or more in our cabinets! See that 3 drawer bread box thing? That was yet another treasure found in the Shop during clean up! It’s got a space for bread, potatoes and onions. I love it. Since we plan on having a big garden, this will come in handy. I think it would be rather easy to build something similar with shelves or cubbyholes for storing veggies and bread. Project idea?

I spotted this copper rack at a local antique consignment shop for only $125. I can’t use it because my ceilings are too low, but it was a beauty. Just had to share…  This is the ultimate rack.

Many of the cards we received from our wedding were hand made or very creative, so we wanted to show them off a bit. I strung them up in our dining room. Not sure when I’ll take them down. For now, it works well in place of actual art.

Remember one of Phillip and I’s first projects, the cork board? I’d collected corks over a long period of time working as a cocktail waitress during my undergrad and acquired an old, glassless, gold frame from a friend. We painted it with crackle medium from JoAnn’s and white paint. Phillip’s sister used it to display pictures at her wedding reception and so did we.  Now it’s in our hallway.

We also got started on our patio. Rather than pay top dollar for pavers or a wood deck, we used a stack of broken concrete that Phillip’s dad had been storing. It’s usually pretty easy to come by, because people are always demolishing concrete. Not only is it super cheap, but it’s also a good way to reuse material that would typically end up going to waste.

This is my official before picture. Notice the dirt and aimless plants.

Patio construction

Patio construction

We put pavers around the perimeter and then filled the center with sand so we could adjust the height of the concrete pieces. We used a level to make sure they were all on the same plane and pitch (sloping down away from the front door a hair). Then we pour concrete and smoothed it out a bit, giving it a quick brush with an old broom to give it the classic broom finish.

Patio construction

We also added some broken tile pieces (lovely landfill that’s spread all over the place out here).

Patio construction

We also had some help. :)

Patio Construction

My brother threw together a planter box for me in like 5 minutes. He used the chop saw to cut the ends and just nailed these 1.5″ x 11″ boards together. I desperately needed a place to plant some of the plants from the reception, because they weren’t doing so hot stuck in their plastic pots.

Planter box

We are still working on getting the patio finished and the plants planted. It turned out to be a little time consuming to make sure all the pieces were level and to spread the concrete, but two weeks (really only about 3-4 days of actually working on it here and there) is not too bad.  I’ll give an update as soon as we are done.


Chick Moment

For starters, here’s a great clip. Do you know people like this? I hope it’s not me. It is isn’t it?

So Polyvore says for Spring 2012, “With the warm season approaching, we’re taking cues from the spring 2012 runways for fresh makeup trends to try. Classic red lips, cat eyes, sun-kissed cheeks, strong brows and smokey eyes are all on the horizon.”

Yeah! These are a few of my favorite things!

Also, I’m in love with chunky rings and bright colors. You can kind see the bright color trend in shoes and even furniture! I can see where the neon trend is going, but I think the farthest I can go is neon purple, which never gets that bright.


These Baggu leather bags and pouches are kinda awesome. Now I’m not wealthy enough to own one of these, but they aren’t terribly priced. I’m going to make my own out of fabric, because I think the design is cute. And I will just dream of the real leather one.

Fork Rings.

This tutorial on More Design Please shows you how to make these. I’ve got a few old forks and spoons laying around and I can’t wait to try it. Two birds with one stone: chunky ring and DIY craft I’ve been wanting to try. Also, the bright furniture I’ve featured here I found on their blog. They incorporate a few neon colored pieces into rooms with relatively neutral colors and simple clean design. I really enjoy the look!

But, I digress…

So, when I said “chick moment”, what I really wanted to tell you about wasn’t shoes and trends. As much as I love exploring current trends and finding a  way to incorporate repurposed products into those current trends… I was actually going to tell you about our newest addition to our household–our chicks! We bought chickens! Yes, just a month ago I was living in a condo in town, now I have chickens.

Phillip and I headed over to the feed store and purchased 3 chickens last Saturday afternoon. They are three different breeds: an Astrolorp, an Americana, and a Dominique. We actually named the Americana and the Dominique after their breed names. I know, really original. The Astrolorp is a tiny little thing, a couple weeks younger than the other two. She is adorable and wont stop peeping. We’re building a coup and a little chicken run behind the shop in what use to be Phillip’s brother’s soccer field when he was a kid. For now, they are in a cardboard box in our dining room. Lovely.

In a few months we will have fresh, free-range, (insert all sorts of other foodie terms) farm eggs. They are super easy. Food + water = chickens that will one day give you a daily supply of eggs.

The youngest is always trying to hide under the other two. We shall call her “Chiquita”.

 “Americana” (on the left) and “Dominique” (on the right).

Oh Yeah, New Years Resolutions!

Phillip and I technically got married last year, but I feel like a honeymoon is a great way to start a new year! We are super excited to design and decorate our new home, start a ton of projects and just be a happy married couple. We are enjoying married life, but there is just never enough time to spend with one another… this working 9-5 thing is really getting in the way. OK, so maybe it’s essential to life, but I can’t wait for Phillip and I to start get our hands dirty on some home projects.

Now that wedding planning is over, I’ve found myself actually reading my google reader again. It feels so good to get back in touch with old “friends”. Not that I actually know any of the bloggers I follow, but I feel like I know them. I’ve made a resolution to comment on more of my favorite blogs and actually give feedback. Who knows, maybe I’ll actually make connection with the artists behind these fantastic blogs!

I’m also investing more time in the blog to help improve it. I purchased a domain name, so now the blog phillipandtricia.wordpress.com will redirect you to oururbanfrontier.com. Yay! I’m hoping to journal our exciting first year of married life and life on the ranch. You know, kinda like Pioneer Woman, but of the hipster variety that live 15 minutes from the mall, in southern California, but live on a ranch. :D I want to share all of our projects and crafts, along with all of our adventures here in the sticks and in the the city. Hopefully it will be a blog that DIYers, crafters and those who just love to look at cool pictures of DIY stuff will benefit from. If you read this blog and enjoy a post or have a question, I encourage you to leave a comment.

Other resolutions? Here are a few for me…

I saw these prints on a favorite blog of mine, A Pair of Pears (their last name is Bartlett!) and had to do my own. Chris Streger at toresolveproject.com started creating new years resolutions prints and has gathered together a host of fabulous designers. He also provides a template so you can create your own! Sweet!

1. I always come away from conversations wishing I had talked less and asked more questions.

2. This applies to starting businesses and climbing. I’m a huge wus.

3. Contentment is not my strong suit. I always want more and fail to love what I have. I think that is one of the best parts of the repurposing movement, I can take something I have a renew it.

4. Now a bit harder since I live in the sticks, but I hope to start biking a little more. I need a new bike… shoot… must remember number 3.

5. The hardest one of all. I want to learn Spanish before we take our trip to Spain, read like 5 different books at the moment, get chickens (and maybe a goat), plant a garden, build a patio, practice more photography, learn how to letterpress, do a project every week for our house (for the blog), etc. etc. The list goes on and on.

Here is to a great first year of marriage!

Almost finished: Apartment Photo Update

We have a new address! You know how we got it? Phillip mailed me a letter and Phillip’s dad put up a mailbox at the end of the road. Done. I received my first letter this week, making our address official. Not very technical and probably not technically the way to do it by the book, but it worked! Phillip wrote me a beautiful letter welcoming me to life on Rockwood Road.

Another new addition: cement and lots of it.

We also got carpet! So close to being finished! The finishing touches are going in this week and I am moving in this weekend!

 And IKEA furniture! Yay!

Another Apartment Photo Update

Cabinets were installed Saturday!  After much deliberation we finally decided to go with Kitchen Emporium for the kitchen cabinets.  The color is espresso and the other selling points are the door-trim style, all wood construction (opposed to particle board), pullout drawer-shelves in the lower cupboards, and the self closing hinges.   The installed price was good which meant it could get done fast.   We had looked at Home Depot on-the-floor cabinets, IKEA cabinets, and most recently new all wood cabinets through Restore (the Habitat for Humanity store).   When it came down to it our espresso ones were by far the nicest and with move in day fast approaching we stretched the cabinet budget a little and went for it.

The actual layout that was decided on also seems to be great.   It is certainly rewarding to see decisions that took so much effort to make turn out so well.  Sometimes you feel like you are really over thinking and wasting precious time as you hammer out the details.  We have many opinions involved in this project with consensus sometimes being hard to find.  But I think today there is consensus that all the time spent exploring the options in the kitchen has paid off.





Knowing the Lingo

When I first got into climbing years ago, I don’t really remember learning a bunch of new technical terms. Since I climbed mostly in doors and didn’t stick with it, I guess that’s understandable. That’s also why I was taken aback when I got back into climbing this past year–there was a whole world of climbing vocab I never learned! 

I was constantly staring blankly at people because they were using terms I’d never heard before. As a newbie in a group of seasoned climbers, I had a hard time keeping up because they used so much climbing slang. If I just couldn’t figure out what in the world they were talking about, which was quite often, I’d just suck it up and ask. Lame-o. I’m keeping you from my folly. 

It might seem like using these terms is unnecessary or that you could get by without learning them… but you can’t. You have to learn them and you have to use them–it’s just all part of the experience. You might feel like you’re nerding out on climbing, but everyone will understand exactly what you’re talking about and you wont skip a beat. 

So here’s a list of helpful climbing terms that you will most definitely hear if you venture out doors. I stole these definitions from Rockclimbing.com but added my own two cents. If people are yelling some of these terms from below as you climb, now you’ll know what the crap they mean.

Here’s one I just learned that I thought was kind of cute–Belay Betty – usually a non-climbing significant other designated to belay.

Beta – n. information about a route. This was one of the funnier ones because my friend Laura and I felt so official using it. Here’s an example of how it’s used, “This climb looks hard, give me the beta.” The beta is basically how you climb it, how you use the holds, which holds to use and where the route goes, etc. etc.  

Campus – (1) vb. to work out on a campus board. (2) vb. to climb with feet dangling as if using a campus board. When there are no foot holds to speak of, sometimes you have to campus. 

Chicken Wing – n. A type of arm bar useful in off widths and tight chimneys. Bend arm at elbow so that hand touches shoulder. Insert in crack and push against opposite sides. Works especially well vertically in squeeze chimneys, with elbow pointing up and pressing against one side of chimney, and heel of hand against the other side. 2.(v.) To Chicken Wing: bad climbing form on a face climb where the climber’s elbows point out and back at an awkward angle.

Chickenhead – n. A knobby feature (resembling a chicken’s head) which provides excellent holds for hands or feet.

Clean – (1) v. To remove protection devices (gear). On a multipitch climb, the climber who seconds (follows the leader), takes out all of the removable gear placed by the leader. (2) adj. A clean climb, or a climb that “goes clean” is one that can be done without using a hammer to pound in pitons or mashies. This method is called clean because it does not damage the rock. (See pin scars.) (3) adj. To complete a climb or project without hang-dogging or falling, especially on top-rope. Oh yes, hang-dogging, that’s another one. You haven’t really done a climb, unless you’ve done it clean. 

Crimp – vb. to grip in a way such that fingertips contact the hold with knuckles raised slightly.

Crimper – n. a small edged hold which is conducive to crimping.

Crux – n. the most crucial, difficult part of the climb. Climbs are rated by their most difficult move, aka the crux. 

Dyno – n. abbreviation for “dynamic movement”, a move that requires some use of momentum. (antonym: static movement) 2. (vb.) to perform a dyno. I can’t do this very well yet, but I’m working on it. It’s when you have to “jump” to get a hold. 

Flag – vb. To dangle a leg in a way that improves balance. Also refers to using feet without 
holds to improve balance and create sideways momentum. Its when you cross one of your legs behind the other to help your balance. This is kind of a counter-intuitive move, but it really helps once you get the hang of it. 

Hike – v. To send a climb in excellent style. Usage: “I was falling all over that climb then I took a rest and hiked it.”

Jamming – v. Placing and wedging a body part into a crack in order to hold yourself on the wall.

Jug – n. A big hand hold, usually a great relief to find. (See also, bucket.) Also a verb meaning “to jumar” or the act of ascending a fixed rope with jumars. Usually 5.6 and easier climbs are “juggy”, because they have giant holds. 

Lay back – n/vb. a move requiring pulling with arms to the side and pushing with the feet in the opposite direction. (syn. lieback)

Locking Carabiner – n. A carabiner with either a screw gate, or twist lock, locking mechanism.

Locking off/Lock-off – v./n. A powerful holding position in which one elbow is fully contracted, allowing the other arm to reach out for a hold. Limits the amount of reach available. Locking off is super hard for women because it requires a lot of upper body strength. You’re basically in a one handed chin-up position and reaching for another hold. 

Match – v. To place both hands or feet on the same hold. This was one of the first terms I learned. Its usually very helpful when people suggest that you match on something. For some reason, its easier to tell if you should match from the ground. Maybe its because you feel like every extremity should have its own hold, you are generally against matching… dunno. 

Mantel – n./vb. a climbing technique involving the transfer of upward force from a pulling action to a pushing action much like a child would climb the kitchen counter to reach the cabinets above.

Pumped – adj. tired. referring to the state of forearms in a desperate state, swollen and unresponsive. 

Protection – n. Gear placed on a climb to protect the climber in the event of a fall. ie: nuts, pitons, cams, bolts, quickdraws.

Pinch – n. Any hold that must be pinched.

Quickdraw – n. two caribiners connected by a webbing (usually) or rope. Used to link elements of protection, or more commonly, to link the rope to a piece of protection. It’s good to know what this is when you start building anchors, etc. If someone asks you for a quickdraw, you’ll know what they’re talking about. :) 

Rack – n. The set of protection equipment used for a climb. No, its not what you think. It’s referring to all the gear that climbers lug around with them. 

Redpoint – n/vb. a clean ascent with no falls, placing protection while climbing. Just like “clean”, you didn’t really climb it until you redpointed it. 

Ring lock – n/vb. a Jam for a crack that is wider than fingers and narrower than hands. Involves bridging the crack with the thumb, and stacking the fingers on top of the thumb.

Runner – n. a sewn or tied loop of webbing or rope used to connect protection elements. Another piece of gear that is good to be familiar with when someone asks you for it. 

Roof – n. a 180 degree overhang.

Send – vb to complete a route successfully. Similar to “hiking” something. You’ll probably only hear this when you’ve been complemented for “sending” a climb. 

Slab – n any climb that is less than vertical, especially those devoid of features requiring smearing of the feet. Just like a crack or face climb, this is a particular kind of climb. 

Sling – n/vb a loop of webbing or rope (see runner).

Sloper – n. a downward sloping hold. AKA really freaking hard to hold on to. 

Smear – n/vb the act of placing a large surface area of shoe rubber on a hold to create maximum friction. When there are no foot holds, you have to smear the wall. 

Stem – n/vb movement requiring opposing outward pressure much like a child climbing a door jam.

Taping up – v. The action of applying tape around the knuckles or used to improvise gloves with bare palms in order to protect from rock crystals digging into the flesh. Especially useful in crack climbing. I was recently mocked for taping up. I guess people have mixed feelings about it. However, I climbed a crack without tape over a month ago and the scabs are just barely healing… don’t fight it. Tape up. Chicks may dig scars, but I have a feeling guys don’t.