Sunday, December 22, 2013

Adventures in Remodeling Update #3 It's About To Get Warmer

Since my last post SO much has happened around here.

I have begun substitute teaching which I absolutely love.  Here is me on my very first day with my older son as I subbed in his AP US Government class.  

And of course the house has been changing.  In my last blogpost I left off with this - demolition complete with new lumber in stacks ready for the walls to come up.  

In early November the first wall went up facing the street. I remember thinking, "It's so tall!"

The huge beam went in which delineates the kitchen area from the living area.  

Ceiling joists began to appear.  

I was given a sign for the Garage Kitchen.  My boy is so silly & awesome. 

Roof line began and I was finally able to visualize what I'd seen on paper.  Exciting day! 

Then the beginnings of my new front porch.  

Ugly original garage roof in process of demolition.

New garage roof to match.  It's chilly in the garage kitchen.   

View facing south:  Roofer has arrived!  

Then there were windows!  

This is where things stand now.  After weeks of inside rough work (electrical, plumbing, etc.) which makes it appear like things have slowed down, they are now ready to start wrapping the house.  
Wrapping = warmth.  

Inside facing east toward front of the house.  Drywall has been delivered!  

Facing north.  My new range will be set directly in the middle of the sheer wall. Window on the left is my kitchen window and the sink cabinet will be centered there.   
The doorway left of the kitchen window is the entry for my pantry.  
Has there been a shred of sewing or quilting going on during this time? No time or space.  That will be resolved soon enough in February/March when things should be done and we will be living in our new space. I commented to my contractor the other day that I still couldn't believe that this space would be mine someday and he was a bit offended as he thought I was complaining that they were taking too long. Quite the contrary I replied as I meant that it still seems surreal that this big beautiful space will someday soon be mine.
Wishing you all the Happiest of Holidays! 

Friday, November 1, 2013

Adventures In Remodeling Part II

In my last update I left you with a photo that looked similar to this one.  We were still living in the front part of the house and I was still cooking in my kitchen. 

As of about an hour ago, it looked like this.  

My 1950's kitchen  

is now gone. 

 This is my new garage kitchen.  It's a bit chilly but it does the job.  

When I took this photograph I realized just how big the new space was going to be.  This picture is taken from the vantage point of my old front door looking toward the kitchen, dining area and hallway to the back part of the house.  With the stucco, drywall and plaster starting to come down it already looked so big even without the outside walls down.  

In order to do all of this work on the house and still make it livable for us, the guys built me a wall.  Dry walled on both sides and insulated.  It's great as it is keeping the back part of the house warm and dust free.

These photos are taking from my south side yard looking into the living room.  
Taken at 7:15am Friday, November 1, 2013
Taken at 4:00pm Friday, November 1, 2013
Old kitchen window and dining area from north side of house.  
Taken at 7:15pm Friday, November 1, 2013
Taken at 4:00pm Friday,  November 1, 2013
It is fascinating to watch it all come down so fast.  In my next update I'll show you the new walls come up.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Adventures In Remodeling

It's finally begun - Phase II!

This is Phase I from 2002: we added on living space to bring the laundry facilities inside the house and added a second bathroom.  This was all on the back of the house.
I love this photo of my youngest "helping put the brown coat on" (stucco).  

Now in Phase II we are adding more living space to enlarge the front of the house, gutting the kitchen to open it up to the family space and remodeling the original bathroom.  The exterior of the house, including the color is not reflective of my style at all and I'm happy that it will finally change.  

These are BEFORE pictures taken September 29, 2013 of the front of my house:  

September 30, 2013 Day 1:  Removal of the landscaping.  

My White Birch had to sad. :(  
 By Day 3 we had a fencing and a beautiful new outhouse.  

Day 5 brought the removal of my Air Conditioning unit just in time for the heat wave that weekend.  

By today the forms (for the new foundation) are almost ready for the concrete pour later this week. It doesn't look like a lot, but the guys have dug out about five truckloads of dirt and concrete for the new foundation and crawlspace underneath the new part of the house.  

My front door is no longer accessible and I heard that tomorrow they will start pulling off the stucco and by the end of the week my temporary kitchen in the garage will begin to take shape.  

Next week things will really change as the walls will start coming down and we will be moving into the back part of the house.  Next time I'll share inside photos.  

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

History Quilter Podcast Episode 40 1933 Quilt Contest Controversy

Somewhere in our lives we have all been the part of a contest.  It could be a running race on the blacktop when in 1st grade, it could be for Homecoming Queen in high school or it could be for making the best pie. Unfortunately though, almost any contest is bound to court controversy due to the subjectivity of judging. Back to my examples, in the running race there would be a clear winner but in the contest for Homecoming Queen or who made the best pie, those winners are subjectively picked - judges are influenced by their own personal feelings, taste or opinion.

Quilt contests are no stranger to controversy based on the subjectivity of judging.

This past weekend I recorded HQ Podcast Episode 40 where I spoke about the 1933 Chicago World's Fair Quit Contest Controversy. I discovered this topic in The Quilt Life with an article called Hot Controversy - Of The Quilt-Contest Kind by Merikay Waldvogel in the August 2012 edition.  This new episode is now available on iTunes, Podbean and Stitcher Radio.

Here is the quilt made by Ida Mae Stow whom I spoke about in regards to her frustration over the judging process for "an unusual design to depict and commemorate the Century of Progress".
Ida Mae Stow's Century of Progress Contest Quilt - from International Quilt Study Center & Museum 
If you have been a judge or a participant in a quilt contest where you felt that quilts had been judged unfairly, share it with me.

Me Before You by JoJo Moyes
Finding Casey by Jo-Ann Mapson

New Exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art: 
Interwoven Globe: The Worldwide Textile Trade: 1500-1800

5th Annual Good Food Pie Contest - go here for pictures.

New Podcasts (non quilting):
The Alton Browncast
Here's The Thing with Alec Baldwin

Lastly, I'm packing!

Have a great Tuesday!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

So Much Pie, So Little Time: Pie Contest Wrap Up

My first pie contest was a blast!

If you have been reading this blog for while you might remember that I entered in the 4th Annual Good Food Pie Contest last year (2012) but wasn't able to bring my finished pies to the contest as my older son was injured in a soccer game that morning.  My presence was needed in the ER, not at LACMA.

Fast forward 365 days and I am still enjoying the high from yesterday's contest.  Yesterday was the 5th Annual Good Food Pie Contest which was held at LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art).
If you are not familiar with Good Food, it is a Santa Monica, CA based local food show hosted by Evan Kleiman.  Visit the Good Food blog to take a listen ~ it's so good!  What a treat it was yesterday to see Evan in person and observe what a gracious host she is, even in the 90 degree Los Angeles heat.  

A few practice pies: 
Blueberry Practice Pie

Savory Practice Pie

Caramel Custard Practice Pie

I entered in two different categories this year: Custard and Savory.

For the custard category I made a Caramel Custard Pie with Graham Cracker Crust which I created last year.  We were instructed to make two pies per category; one for the judges and one to give out slices to the public.
Caramel Custard Pie with Graham Cracker Crust 
For the savory category I created a meat and potato pie infused with Indian spices with a buttermilk pastry crust.  The crust recipe came from Jaye of - thanks Jaye!  The name for the pie originated with my guinea pig whom said this pie was "the bomb".  Love it. :)
Suz's Bombay Pie
If you are interested in the recipes for either of my pies, comment below or email me.  I would be happy to share with you.  

At approximately 12:15 pm I loaded up the car with my four pies, butterflies in my stomach and my exact plan of how I would get to Los Angeles in 45 minutes. The cutoff time for pie dropoff was 1pm.  Yikes!
Just after I've dropped off my pies I'm thinking, "What Am I Doing Here?"  
I walked around viewing the other pies before the public was allowed in to taste.  Loved the shapes and creativity of the names of pies.  

Here's my custard pie! 
My poor pie was having a hard time in the heat. 
Attention Quilters - look at this awesome pie made by Mary : It is a Blueberry Peach Matisse Pie which was part of the LACMA inspired category (pie was to somehow convey any artwork inside LACMA). Quilters, this is an Applique pie - she cut out the shapes and then laminated them to the top of the pastry crust! It was a gorgeous, gorgeous pie.  I was truly bummed when she did not win or place in this category.
Mary's Blueberry Peach Matisse Pie
Here is Mary and I - neither one of us knew this was being taken. I had a blast standing next to Mary in the hot sun (vampire me stood back in the shade most of the time) while chatting about pie and meeting her adorable niece.  What do you think Mary - next year?  

Anxiously waiting for the public to be allowed into the area to serve our pies. 

Of course I was going to try my fellow baker's pies.  So good!  
Serving the public was awesome. 
I had so much fun - I could of cared less that I didn't win.   I met so many nice people, had a wonderful time making people happy with my pies and was able to see some of the Los Angeles area food luminaries that I admire.  

Almost every baker wore an apron to the pie contest as it has become a tradition. Do any of you quilters recognize mine?  
Happy Baking Everyone!