Saturday, April 13, 2013


I just noticed that the last photos on the blog included huge piles of snow. Well winter is over, spring is here! I have several large projects that have fast aproaching deadlines, so any work done on my house has been spontaneous and unnecessary (I have very interesting and productive bouts of procrastination). It has mostly been limited to work on the "front yard". Here is a quick summary. Enjoy.

First there was a garden. The parking lot is going to be repaved soon, so the raised garden beds had to be moved. Together with shop-goers Amanda, Jennipur, Josh and Dave, we tossed some rocks up on the concrete pad and extended the garden bed that was started last summer. It is nice to see more fresh dirt ready for plants! This summer much of the industrial landscape will be transformed and beautified.

Next came the safe. This thing has been sitting out here unopened for longer than any of us have been here. One warm spring night, curiosity got the better of me. Wielding a cold chisel and hammer, I started in on the steel exterior. By the end of the evening I had made it through the first layer of steel, about eight inches of concrete, and managed to punch a small hole though the inner layer of steel. Two musty Polaroid photographs of early CAD drawings of alien looking structures were all I could manage to fish out before I gave in for the night. The next evening with renewed energy and sore muscles, I enlarged the hole with a sawzall and retrieved the rest of the booty. Unfortunately, there were no bags of coins, gold bouillon, or stacks of cash. I was really hoping to find the money to hire myself to finish the house. Instead I was left with a soggy moldy mess of years of business records for a company that owned the building in the eighties. Nothing even worthy of blackmail. The worst part of it is that the hundreds of rubber-banded bundles of check copies I handed out really felt like those wads of cash you see in movies. Now I need to figure out how to get rid of it... Oh well, at least I know.

I have been hoarding half of an old lamppost for a couple of years now. I have always wanted a street lamp outside of the house. The idea seemed enchanting when it was out in the woods. Now I think it will go very nicely amongst the rock garden beds. I have just been waiting to find the right base for it. Last week Josh, the blacksmith, came home with some big steel pipes from a demo job he helped with. One of them looked perfect to finish the lamp post. It even had a big bolt flange on one end.

After a few hours of digging through the scrap bins and some welding, I had a complete post! Luckily we had even left the perfect little curve in one of the garden walls to mount it in. 

Now I need the lamp. I had been envisioning some sort of twisted iron light perched on top.  Something like what you might see in a Tim Burton movie. Today I found these.

They are hand blown glass globes inside of a steel structure. The glass bulges out around the steel. The perfect start! Now I need to come up with the rest of the design.

With some help from Josh, I'm sure we will come up with something interesting. He is already scheming.

Once these jobs are finished in the next few weeks, I will jump onto finishing the exterior of the house. I have some siding to finish, a bit of trim, a new coat of paint and the roof to think about!

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