Monday, May 21, 2012

Relocating Bees and Gate Update

Roni inspecting the progress of the arbor.

P has made great progress on the gate. The arbor is now up and looks amazing. We decided to add the arbor to help support the weight of the gate--plus it looks really cool. The beams on either side of the gate had to be extended to the new height. P drilled the center, added dowels, added brackets to the outside, then wrapped the whole thing in cedar so all the interior support mechanisms are hidden.

Two posts connected with brackets. One side wrapped.

Post wrapped on all sides.

Yesterday P comes into the room and says, "You have got to see this! I thought I heard a really quiet leaf blower. I looked outside and there's a guy with a vacuum." I said, "What is he vacuuming?" P said "Bees."

Because I'm nosy, I went out and talked to the beekeeper. Apparently my neighbor has had a hive of honeybees under his house for more than three years. His new roommate is allergic, so he called to have it removed. The beekeeper used smoke to get the bees out of the hive. Then he used a gentle vacuum to catch the bees, so he could cut out the hive and relocate the whole thing somewhere else.

He had a few of the smaller pieces in a tray.

The dark part is the honey.

He gave me a piece of the honeycomb to taste. I but into the most amazing fresh honey. You chew up the wax with the honey then spit it out.

Should I feel bad for eating a piece of the bees' house?

I hope all the bees make it to a new, safe home. I bet the neighborhood gardeners loved having a colony close by to pollinate their flowers and vegetables. I wonder if there will be a difference in the crops this year.

I also finally finished one of the set of curtains for the bedroom.

She looks rather disapproving.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

House Bath, New Gate Underway and Historical Fences

I had the house pressure washed yesterday in preparation for (eventual) painting . . . and because it really, really needed it.  I’ve posted other photos of the front of the house. From far away, it doesn’t look bad. 

But up close . . .

Ew! And that wasn’t even a particularly bad spot. It looks SO much better now.

I have been thinking about exterior colors since I bought the place. The neighborhood is full of colorfully painted craftsman bungalows. I plan to do a tour for you soon because they are really worth seeing. I want my house to look cheerful and fun, but not obnoxious. I love light turquoise, but the house across the street from me is turquoise. Next to it is a yellow house, then a green. It might look weird to have turquoise houses across the street from one another. 

But what color can I paint that isn’t going to be boring, or make me look like a copycat? Red and purple are out. I thought about pale grey with turquoise trim, but I don’t think it will look cheerful enough. 

Today I had the thought to go ahead and paint it light turquoise like I originally wanted, but paint some of the trim (not all) a deep salmon/coral/terra cotta color. The rest of the trim will stay white. What do you think?

Benjamin Moore's Palladian Blue and Dark Salmon

In other (awesome) news, P is building me a beautiful craftsman gate. The existing gate is three feet tall and chain link. Roni in her younger days could leap six foot gates in a single bound. She’s older now, but a three foot gate is not enough to discourage wandering. P had a five foot width of something like chicken wire that we rolled out next to the gate and secured it with metal ties. It’s kept her in the yard so far.

I don’t think P knew quite what he was getting into when he said he’d build me a gate. No plain picket gate would do for my craftsman bungalow. These were the photos I showed him of what I wanted.

Gate design by Kirsh-Korff

Gate design by Kirsh-Korff
Here is my gate under construction.

It’s made of Texas red cedar and smells amazing! This is the back side of the gate. The back side of cedar is rough, the front is smooth. The front of the gate is smooth and there are no nail holes showing at all. It’s so, so pretty and it doesn't even have the small pickets at the top yet. The weather is not cooperating  today so my gate will have to wait to be completed. Once hung, it will be stained similarly to the one in the inspiration photo.

You can see that the fence along the south side of the property is in pristine condition. When P removed a few boards to sink the post for the gate, he discovered the remains of what was probable the original fence.

The metal bar and twisted wire are the old fence. The wide boards are the current crappy fence.

If you look closely you can see the twisted wire that used to hold the wooden pickets—now completely rotted away. I will replace this fence at some point but for now it keeps Roni from checking out the neighbors yard.