Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Activity at the bead cottage has recommenced. The propane people came yesterday to move the 500 gallon tank. They raised a fuss at the thought of piping 5 psi of propane into the studio, but after a bunch of conferences and a visit from the fire inspector, we're approved. Phew. I was a little worried because I know some people have had trouble. I'm glad I didn't have too much. I woke up this morning at 5:30 thinking about NFPA 54 and NFPA 58 (the codes that govern piping in gas). I quickly put that out of my mind and focused on something even more worrisome: the economy. Eek.

Today I don't really know what went on. I think a lot of problems needed solving so that pushed off the actual doing of the work. We all have days like that. Mercury is retrograde.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Apple Picking

We had a really fun day today. Martha, Sarah and Elizabeth came down to Hollis and we went apple picking. Elizabeth had a fun time picking the apples off the tree and putting them into the bag. I was sure she'd tire of it but I was wrong. After the apple picking, we went to the petting zoo where they have goats, sheep, pigs and cows. Elizabeth petted them all.

And after the apple picking, we went to a local fundraiser for a pony ride. Elizabeth loved it. Look at that face!

Here are some sunflowers. I love this picture.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


The plasterers came this morning. They were not nearly as scary as the wallboard hangers. Now the bead studio looks even more like a room than it did yesterday. I'm very excited because I'm seeing the end of this project and I want move in to the studio right away, but from experience, I know that this can be the slowest time of a construction or a remodel. For example, Project A has to get done before Project B can and the necessities of Project B are here, but we can't do it because we're waiting on something for Project A which has to be done first. Stuff like that. So I'm just going to wait and see and be patient.

Plastering is a different thing than drywalling. With drywall, you have to tape the edges and spackle and do a bunch of coats at the joins and fasteners. With plastering, the plaster goes over everything. Keith says it's a nicer finish.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

An open letter to the Boston Red Sox

Dear Red Sox,

You know I love you. I've loved you since 1978 when my friend Lauren introduced me to you. She had a crush on Carlton Fisk so I had a crush on Carlton Fisk. I've been with you through that season of heartbreak; the 1986 and 2003 seasons of heartbreak; but also the 2004 & 2007 seasons of absolute joy. You rock my world. But not tonight. I am turning the channel and getting into a hot, sudsy tub to soak away the memories. Then I'm going to watch Project Runway. I'll see you on Friday after a nice day off for a fresh start.


Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Oh and I just want to say hooray! for the Red Sox being back in first place, even though it's a shared first place. What a sweet win last night. Lots and lots of home runs! This picture is just a random picture from our trip to Fenway on June 23. I use it as my phone wallpaper.


Several very frightening people came today to hang the sheetrock. It only took them a couple of hours, so I snuck out after they were gone to take pictures. Keith told me to stay in the house while they were here and even Artie didn't want to go inside with them. So it's starting to look like an actual room! And with the sheetrock on, you can get a better idea of the workbench configuration. It's so mod and hip! I'm not sure when the plasterers are coming -- they are different than the people who do the hanging -- we hope tomorrow or maybe Thursday.

Here are a couple of different views:

Monday, September 15, 2008


I think this is the longest I've gone without a blog post since work on the bead cottage started. Nothing much happened on that front today; the crew is gone and now the subs come in. Mr. Plasterer came today and dropped off wallboard and that was about it. He may be back tomorrow.

I was feeling very sorry for myself today, because I went down cellar to do some filing and I found that we had some water in the basement that had made the wall in the corner all moldy. That really irritated me because I hadn't found it sooner and there's nothing I hate more than a leaky basement (or a leaky roof). It makes me feel so insecure -- as if there's something wrong with the world and there's nothing I can do about it. (As a corollary, when people are working on my house and making things better, I feel great. I think that's why I started with a kitchen/bath remodel and haven't stopped a year later).

But then as I was driving to the vet's (that's another long story), I heard on NPR about the devastation left behind by Ike and a couple of things happened. First, I felt ashamed of myself and my little pity party I had this afternoon. Second, I snapped out of it. I hate to use other peoples' misery to snap me out of mine, but really, what right do I have being all upset about a little water and a little mold when some people have lost everything? I guess it's a matter of perspective. I'm lucky. It's just a little water. I have a shop vac. I have competent people who can fix it for me. It's all good.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The forge doors are done and hanging. They are beautiful. Here's a picture from the inside with the doors shut.

One other significant development is a new trench from where the propane is going to be placed and going toward where it will hook up with the existing line where the propane is now.

So that's about it for now. The crew is out of here as of next week because the building part is pretty much done. We still have the tile, the sheetrock and plastering and painting to go. But those are jobs for the subs, not the contractors.

It's hard to put into words how much I love this building. I've said this all before but I'm going to repeat it because this is my blog. That people can take a pile of sticks and make a beautiful building out of it just blows my mind. Charlie and I were talking about this this afternoon. It's no different than me using glass rods to make beads, or a blacksmith using iron to make tools or a potter taking clay and making a vase. It's a gift to be able to make things. A gift. From whom, I'm not all that sure. God? The universe? Whomever, it doesn't matter. The point is that I feel very grateful that I have this gift because when I make things it fills my soul. That's when I'm happiest. And I'm also grateful that I have people in my life who also have this gift and can make me fireplace tools, or a beautiful, beautiful building. Now I can continue to fill my soul all winter long and I'm so happy about that. Thank you.

I had my new window treatments in the living room installed today! They look great!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Today the bead cottage got its own electricity! It truly was an auspicious day. I took a picture of Arthur the electrician plugging in the first electrical thing. I would post it here, but I'm not sure he wants his picture on the internet. So I have it in my album. Here is a picture of the temporary lights.

And the first door on the forge has been hung. It is truly awesome. I gave it a little push and it slides very smoothly. I am so happy with the way they came out.

I actually helped build my workbench, because I made a cut with the saw! It was exciting and a little scary. Here is a picture of the 2x4 that I cut. I think I should sign it.

And here's a shot of the framing of my workbench. I'm going to have two workstations back to back. There's a 5-foot workbench and a kiln table off to the left at a 45-degree angle. This is actually a shot of the secondary workbench; mine is on the other side and looks out the sliding glass door. The top is going to be lab-stone. I'm not sure what the true name of it is, but it's that soft, black stone on the top of school lab tables. The gas comes up from the middle and the oxygen concentrators will go under the kilns. It's going to be totally sweet. It already is.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Awesomest Key Ever

I wasn't going to keep a key to the bead cottage on my key ring, because I'm fussy about how many keys a person carries around. I think it should be minimal: house, car, post office or office and that's about it. My husband carries keys to everything: his parents' house, his parents' lake house, any key he may have a remote possiblity to need, he carries. His key ring looks like a building superintendent's. I thought I'd just keep the keys to the bead cottage inside the house and then when I needed them, they'd be there. That was until I got the awesomest key ever from a very thoughtful young gentleman named Thatcher. I will always carry this key with me. I never even knew keys like this existed. Wow. It's so cool.

And today the bead cottage got the cutest little smoke stack.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Decision time

This weekend went by too fast. I had a great time at the lake with my Mom and Elizabeth. This is a picture of her wearing my hat. I had to bribe her with plastic horses to get her to pose with it on for 10 seconds while I took the picture. Having a niece is great because they go home to their parents when you're done with them. But spending the whole weekend with her was a lot of fun.

So my poll has run its course and we've decided to go with the happy sun weathervane. I deliberately left off the prices so that wouldn't enter into the decisionmaking, but it has entered into our decisionmaking. The dragon vane is over 20 times more expensive than the sun, and that really made up our minds for us.

It's a good thing that I can't find a Red Sox weathervane because that would be my first choice. I'm sure I'd have a huge fight from Robert, though.

Friday, September 05, 2008

I'm in love with ship-lap

I know these are not the best pictures, but Robert has my other camera with him at the blacksmithing conference. I have to resort to my other camera that I take pictures of beads with (with which I take pictures of beads -- I know) which has a much more close-up lens. The forge area is really looking amazing. I love the wide boards of the ship-lap. My camera doesn't do it justice. I had to take pictures while work was going on because I want to boogie out of here as soon as the crew does. But I have to say that I am in love with the look. Totally, fabulously, out of my mind, head over heels in love with the forge area. I might have to either 1) kick Robert out and use it for myself or 2) learn blacksmithing.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Nature walk

A couple times a year, I bring my camera outside and shoot random pictures. Today was time to do that again. Last time I did it was spring last year in this post.

First, here's a bead:
Here's a spider at my front door

And some Queen Anne's Lace

A large toad (the second largest I saw today)

A busy bee
Another flower
Charlie's truck door

John's cup.

A critter hole.

A dining table for someone

A feather in a tree

The trim on the overhang

A close-up of the bird house

The biggest toad I saw today

We have ship-lap!

And on the other side, too

A daddy long-legs on my other front door.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

The front is finished

Here is the little bead cottage with the front all sided. It looks so cute. Speaking of cute, Charlie made a fabulous bird house. You can see it up there towards the roof. I cannot wait until next spring when the birds are nesting! Of course, we had to reposition the flag again. But it still flies.

Here are some of the beads I've been making: