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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

a plan of sorts

So I had a fairly incredible weekend -- the con report is up over at the Anapurna Girls blog, if you're interested in the small business side of my life. While I was gone, Don mostly sat around and watched movies instead of doing schoolwork. He did take a few minutes out to do some mapping out upstairs, though, and has figured out where various walls and fixtures are going to go. In the spirit of fair play, he even measured out my bathroom idea. Alas for fair play and my ideas, it doesn't work; the bathroom isn't long enough. Oh well. He did come up with a solution to make the shower less cave-like; once the measuring was done he found six or eight extra inches to put in there, to make it wider. We'll use those inches as a little bench with shelves over it, which will keep everything out of the shower proper and leave lots of extra room. I'm mostly resigned to it now, and the extra space does help. And there's always the fact that we're not staying in this house forever to reassure me.

In any case, Don discovered that the only wall that he can put up right now is the one in between the master bedroom and the middle bedroom; the rest are all too long and cross over into the part of the subfloor that isn't finished. So this weekend he and his dad will put up that wall, and we'll start moving our stuff over to the front side of the house.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

an anapurna sneak peek

I'm occupied in getting ready for this weekend's con adventure -- namely, our second year selling Anapurna jewelry at Farpoint in Hunt Valley. I thought I'd give you all a little sneak peek at some of the new stuff that'll be on our table this weekend, things that aren't on our Etsy site yet. If you're free this weekend, you should definitely stop by. Those of you who read Ancestral Pile in a feed might not know that there's a little Etsy widget in the sidebar of the site that takes you directly to the Anapurna store, with a few images of featured items. We have a lot more available than what goes up on Etsy, though -- the best way to get a look at our whole inventory is to come check us out at a convention.

I don't want to annoy you all with too much salesmaneering, but since I'm out of house pictures for now, and Lindley's product shots are amazing, I pulled a few things from the Anapurna Flickr page to show you a few cool new pieces, since it's on my mind.

This brass dragonfly necklace is delicious; the body of the focal is made of a really pretty smoky quartz cabochon.

This one is iolite with a shell focal hand-wrapped in sterling silver. The necklace ties with organza ribbons the exact color of the iolite (which means it's adjustable!).

Our clockwork pendants are huge hits; one of our famous author clients snapped up the first one we made before it even got out on the table at our last con. This is a new design, more ornate than the first, and I love it. Here's hoping somebody else loves it too!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


I thought maybe all of this 'front half of the house' versus 'back half of the house' talk might be a little confusing to those of you who haven't actually been in our house (although considering my dwindling readership, that might not be very many! Must post more). So I thought I'd snap a quick picture that's the opposite of the 'status' pictures I've been taking.

I took this picture from the 'front half' -- standing on the new subfloor. You can see the staircase railing that's always in the foreground of the status pictures, so it's pretty easy to see where I usually stand to take them, tucked away into the little corner at the top of the stairs. What you're looking at straight-on is what I always refer to as the 'back half of the house.' It's actually less than half, but it's easier to call it that. It consists of the back bedroom -- what will someday be the guest bedroom that you're all invited to come stay in -- and the guest bathroom. We're currently using the guest bedroom as our bedroom, and will move all our stuff over onto the new side once the walls have been framed in, as I mentioned.

The current conundrum is what to do about the wall you see in the picture. It's got to come down -- it's positioned right over the section of floor where the joists mysteriously change direction, and all the joists have to come out so that can be fixed. Unfortunately, it's also holding up the weight of the heat pump in the attic. Which is a very heavy thing. So part of the demolition process for the back half of the house is going to be figuring out what to do about that. Fun times!

Monday, February 09, 2009

hey, what's that?

I'll tell you what it is. It's a FINISHED SUBFLOOR, that's what it is! Holy crap. Don and his dad worked all day Saturday while I was down in Virginia having an Anapurna studio day. They tore down the master closet wall, finished up the joists, and installed more subfloor. Then, on Sunday (after brunch of course), Don and I decided to see if we could finish up. We installed the very last of the cross-bracing and the last seven or eight pieces of plywood to complete the subfloor. (And I used a circular saw by myself and retained all ten fingers, an accomplishment that was dimmed somewhat by the fact that I had to ask Don what the saw was called when I was telling my mother about it on the phone.)

Bear in mind, of course, that this is just the subfloor for the front half of the house. The back half, which we've been using as a bedroom, will have to get done as well. That's the reason you see those strange gaps in the forefront of the picture. The last row of tongue-and-groove plywood is actually just loosely screwed down about an inch away from the tongue of the row behind it. The reason we didn't fully install it is that it'll have to get taken up in order to lay the new joists, which will overlap and come out under that row. There's also a larger gap in between the plywood and the old floor of the back half of the house -- about six inches or so. It's not a huge issue for us, and it'll go away soon enough.

Next up: walls! The framing for the master suite needs to go in before we move our stuff over to that side -- it's hard to build a wall when there's a bed in the way, after all. Then, after we move our bedroom over to the other side (and the office into the living room to avoid raining debris), we'll do this all over again, and then I'll never have to talk about another subfloor as long as I live.

PS - Yes, that is the cat in the middle of the room in the picture. Just try and stop her.

PPS - We don't expect any work to get done on the house this weekend, what with it being Valentine's day and all. We personally aren't doing anything for Valentine's, in case you're curious, because I'll be up at Farpoint all weekend selling jewelry and resisting the urge to lick Alan Tudyk every time he walks by. Swing by if you aren't busy!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

bathroom update

He hates it. But refuses to give any reason for his hatred, which makes it awfully hard to argue against his reasoning. We haven't had a great deal of time to talk about it (there wasn't much I could say to "I just don't like it"). I like the solution because I've never been really crazy about our proposed shower being built out into the landing -- I feel like it's going to feel like a dark, scary cave, whereas this gives us a shower with lots of natural light and also preserves the large upstairs landing I liked so much when we moved in. But it looks like I'll just be stuck with the cave -- Don is completely unwilling to consider this option, and is as far as I know totally committed to the current plan. Yet another reason to finish this house and move on to a new one! One without a scary shower-cave.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

pondering bathrooms

So I was just watching the final episode of this mini-series of "Bathroom Renovations" on the DIY Network, and they had a bathroom-under-the-eaves situation kind of like ours. Their solution was to put the tub under the eave, just as we plan to, but then instead of a separate shower, they just tiled the whole eave area and a shower's-worth further out from it, and enclosed the tub within the shower, with a frameless glass door to separate it from the rest of the bathroom. I am utterly enchanted by this idea. I'm trying to figure out if we could do it in either or both of the bathrooms upstairs; I think the only struggle might be to find room for the toilet in the master bath. But I suspect it's doable. The only problem? Don will probably hate it.

Any thoughts? Should I try to convince him it's worthwhile? Do you agree with his hypothetical hatred? Any better ideas?

Monday, February 02, 2009

minor setback

Clearly, I was tempting fate by posting my last two pictures on Friday. Fate responded accordingly, and Don's dad called early Saturday morning to tell us that Don's mother wasn't feeling well and so he couldn't come over to work on the house. Alas. We spent the day doing very little, which was refreshing, and followed it up on Sunday with our now-regular Grand Brunch with friends. All very relaxing, until the Cardinals up and lost the Super Bowl.

Tentative plans are in place to work on the house next weekends. School has started in earnest, though, and both Don and his dad are taking classes, so schoolwork has to come first. We'll see.