Monday, November 28, 2011

Domestic Diversions

The Fence...
Above:  I wanted a twenty-six foot long expanse of fence to keep the hounds out of the driveway---my girl hound seems to believe the driveway is the perfect potty area in winter.  :o/  I also wanted a removable section of fence for service access to the house or back yard when necessary---wide enough for a truck to drive through.

Above:  Here's the design I came up with, which was functional, budget friendly and pretty easy to build.  I purchased a rusted steel panel from a local salvage yard which is interesting to look at, in itself.  The panel is the "waste" that was left over after circles were punched out for the original purpose.  It is five feet tall (the perfect height for the fence I wanted) and ten feet long.  The method I used to install the steel panel allows easy removal for service access.  (Oh, yes, those big round black bundles are eighteen bags of leaves I raked over the last couple of weekends.  My neighbors who have created a full-city lot size garden and orchard will be able to use most of the leaves for mulching/compost!)

Above:  The rest of the fence utilizes "horse fencing", heavy-gauge galvanized wire fencing manufactured in a 4x4-inch grid pattern.  Each panel of horse fencing measures six-feet high by sixteen feet long.
Above:  We cut the height of the horse fence panels down to the desired five foot height.   The best way to cut the horse fencing is with an electric grinder.  We attached the rusted steel panel (left side of the photo) on the side of the fence posts that will be seen from the house.  The horse fencing was attached to the opposite side of the posts (right).

Above:  We used heavy gauge staples "nailed" into the 4x4-inch treated wood posts in several places to attach the horse fencing material.
Above:  The rusted steel panel was hung on two L-hooks which were screwed into the posts.  This allows the panel to be lifted off  for service access.
Above:   The gate is a simple design using treated 2x4's to build a frame and brace, then infilled with more horse fencing cut to size.
Above:  Latch side of the gate at the fence.
Above:  Hinge side of the fence where the post attaches to the corner of the garage.  I found the galvanized post caps online at Bevo Works here.  The horse fencing was located at an agricultural suppler.  All other materials can be found at Home Depot or Lowe's.

The Gutters...

Above:  Goldfish rain chain.  I decided to use a rain chain instead of a downspout, as the junction of the roof overhang and the main body of the house created an awkward condition in which a huge and unattractive down spout elbow was required.

 Above:  Following the rain chain up...
Above:  ...and up to the corner opening in the gutter.  I needed eleven and a half feet of chain for this location.  There are some beautiful copper rain chains on the market.   I had very little budget for a rain chain and located this "budget" chain via where there was one six-foot length in stock, and via where there was another six-foot length in stock---together giving me twelve feet.  So I ordered from the two different sources to get enough.  This chain is no longer in stock at these two places---I must have bought the last!  I don't know any other place to find it.  Hope it lasts a good little while!

Above:  The section of new gutter across the back of the addition, with rain chain hanging to the left of the door and steps.  Next Spring, I will be developing more landscaping around the addition.  Hoping that we are pretty well set now for winter's arrival---hmmm, where's the snow shovel?  Now...on to the holidays!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving away from "home"...

Those  of us spending Autumn term of architecture school in the Architecture in Rome program through the University of Washington will know this tradition well.  Though we were far from home and family, we produced a fabulous Thanksgiving Dinner under the direction of Professor Astra Zarina.  This has been a tradition for several decades now.

Students  shared preparation of trimmings, accompanying dishes and lovely traditional American desserts.  I recall peeling an endless number of Granny Smith apples for pies.  The turkey?  Well the turkey is something else.  Ovens in our apartments (as with most Italian ovens) are not large enough to accommodate baking of turkeys.  Remember, the last Thursday in November for the celebration of  Thanksgiving is an American holiday and the Italians don't do "Turkey Day" as one of their traditions.

Our adaptation was to carry our dressed, but as yet unbaked turkey across the piazza, Campo dei Fiori, shown in the above photo, to our local baker (located on the street level of the large orange-colored building in the photo).  The baker (il panettiere) could fit the turkey in his grande bread oven (il forno)---no problemo.  Over the years the market merchants (whose umbrellas you see pictured above) transformed our turkey walk into a ceremonial parade, by joining in and cheering our group of students carrying the sacrificial turkey across square from our school building to the baker.  

The  year I was in Rome, our NIAUSI (Northwest Institute for Architecture and Uban Studies in Italy) Fellowship recipient, Catherine Barrett hand painted a little watercolor turkey place card (pictured above) for each student and other dinner guests.  Yes, I still have mine.  ;o)

Wishing you a beautiful opportunity to give thanks, whether with family, friends or far from home, this Thanksgiving Day.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

November GALLERY STROLL is This Friday

Charley Hafen will have the opening reception for Richard P. Stamm
presenting WOVEN - Indonesian Textile Arts
on Gallery Stroll Friday night November 18, 2011 6:00 to 9:00 PM.
For more information see

For the full list of participating venues in this month's Gallery Stroll click here.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Cool Wheels...

While researching wheels to attach to my studio work table, I ran across a cool website specializing in "designer" casters called...Cool Casters!  They have lots of different styles and colors and Ooooh la la...Check it out here.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Things to do with Loose drawers...

and crates
I'm utilizing orphaned drawers and old found crates in my on-going garage/studio organization and storage.  I found all of these provocative photos in my on-line research cache.



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