For MONTHS now, without fail, every single person who walks into our house looks up at the loft and first asks, "Hey, how do you get up there?" Then we point to the entirely inadequate four foot step ladder that we'd hide in the bathroom during the day, and precariously use to slide up into the loft at night. Well, no more! We now have a functional, beautiful ladder that goes ALL THE WAY to the loft! Built with strong walnut and ash, grip tape, and flush bolts to hold it in place during use, it is an astronomical improvement. When we're downstairs for the day we stow it up in the loft.
We also did a little talk about our house at Kenny's alma mater, St. John's College in Santa Fe, and took some nice photos of the house (in clean and tidy form).
No, we did not fall of the face of the earth! New Year's, which was our one year anniversary for construction, came and went. I had been waiting until we had some good news to report on the land purchase and zoning front, but it is still not entirely resolved and I don't want to jinx ourselves by blogging about it. So keep waiting (sorry!).
Several other small projects have come together in the meantime, and looking through our blog I realize now there are a lot of things we've been living with for a long time, but haven't photographed yet. So here they are!
A little rack for cups and such
Some overhead lights! We got these cool Vianne pendant lights a long time ago at Bring Recycling, in Eugene, Oregon. I found a third one on Ebay, and we need just one more to finish the lighting in the kitchen. The company is out of business so who knows when we'll find it. All the wiring in the ceiling is DC, and the LED bulbs we use take just 5 to 7 watts each, depending on the brightness.
Just one in the kitchen for now.
We still haven't made a final decision on lighting for the rest of the house (the loft and bathroom, that is). These three light up the place pretty nicely on their own.
A pull-out for the cabinet! This thing is great.
A place to hang pots, and a cabinet for the dishes! Inside, the plates stand vertically in slots in the shelves to save space.
The welder proves its worth, once again!
And the stove pipe got clogged with soot! We're not sure if it was the fault of some pitchy piñon wood, the narrowness of the 4" pipe, or a combination of the two, but by the end of the winter the pipe was full of fluffy soot and the stove was not drafting well at all, (this all came on pretty suddenly, within a matter of a couple weeks). A SERIOUS cleaning and a resolution to only use the driest wood possible brought her back to life, though.
And finally, the bathroom sink is finished! Yes, it is IN the shower, but it doesn't take up much space. A big thanks to Hanselmann Pottery for the bowl! The rest of it is made of the same cedar that we used to trim the shower and shower window, and a heavy-duty coat of marine spar varnish. Except for a curtain, the shower is now DONE! The bathroom is still the most unfinished part of the house. Since we don't have a real sewer or septic hook-up right now, we couldn't use it anyway.
Also, Billy Ulmer from Portland Alternative Dwellings came by to take some pictures and do an interview for his upcoming book. It sounds like he's interviewing some great people, so we'll be in good company! We'll post more info on that as it becomes available.