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Sunday, April 8, 2012

Picture Updates

Before you take a look at our pictures, take a look at our new website: 

Rooftop deck, construction still in progress

Amy on the couch

Sitting room, living room, and bedroom 

View into the kitchen

Over Amy's shoulder into the sitting room

The commercial storefront

Our OSB hallway

Some more angles

Humboldt AdventureWear photo shoot at the Coat Shop.

Organizing the clothing before the shoot.  We just sold Butch the Bull to another Humboldt company.

Some models next to our corrugated metal wall and custom-made bar

Jon Marx Photography in action


Making it good

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Arts Alive

We held an Open House/Art Show/Housewarming/Jam Session at the Coat Shop during Eureka's Arts Alive on Saturday night, March 3rd. The first Saturday of every night, Eureka's galleries and shops stay open late and feature local artists and musicians, along with wine and food.  It is one of our favorite things about living in Old Town Eureka (second perhaps only to sea lion sightings in the bay).

 We featured the art of several Hospice nurses that I work with, and the photography of Peter Carlson.  We thought a few friends would drop by, we serve some wine and cheese, and be in bed by nine.

Eureka had other plans.  

Kindred Spirits bluegrass jams
Ole and Butch the Bull.  Ole's mom worked at the original Coat Shop!
Art Everywhere
Artist's works displayed in our work in progress
We had a great time!  We brought lots of people upstairs for tours of the space, which was our first time  having anyone besides our friends/work crew inside.  It was incredible to see peoples' positive responses to the loft.  We got a few inquiries about renting the first floor, and met lots of our neighbors, including the owner of The Local, a new beer bar around the corner.  Score.

Sunday, March 11, 2012


Over the past year, and especially in the past three months, Jon and I have agonized over details.  Door placement, pendant light hanging, appliance arranging, color selection.  And when I say agonized, I mean argued, negotiated, made and remade decisions.

Since we relied so heavily on scrap and salvaged materials in this projects, sometimes decisions made themselves based on what was on hand.  For instance,  I fantasized about installing a tin ceiling in the downstairs commercial space.  But when a friend offered us a load of rusted corrugated metal panels he had sitting in his backyard, the tin ceiling (and its $1000 price tag) dissolved before my eyes.  But the corrugated metal turned out amazing well, especially when paired with the scrap redwood walls.

Joey digging through our scrap wood piles to create magnificence.  
Some items we researched and purchased brand new.  I read an article about The Nest, a programmable thermostat that "learns" your lifestyle and energy use patterns and anticipates when and how you will use heat and cooling in your building.  We had to get on a waiting list to purchase The Nest, but him was worth the wait.
I named him Hal, for obvious reasons
Remember what I said about obsession?  The central light feature for the commercial space had multiple iterations.  
#2 Was more promising

#1 Just didn't work
#3 The final product.  This we like.

The process has been exhausting, but ultimately more rewarding than disappointing.  Whether we are  working with what we have in the basement, stalking materials at the scrap yard, or buying extremely specific items on the world wide web, the result is a space that represents us.  

When I look at the light fixture or the ceiling, I see the compromises Jon made to make me happy.  I see the laptop spreadsheets and the diagrams drawn on bar napkins.  I see OSB floors I worked all night to finish, even though I wasn't crazy about the idea to begin with.  I see a building I never would have purchased, a thousand decisions I never could have made, and ideas I never would have had if it wasn't for my partner.  The devil has surely been in the details during this process, but the joy has been in there, too.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

We Live Here

On February 23rd, we moved into The Coat Shop.  Well, technically, Jon moved into the Coat Shop.  When I left Jon and The Coat Shop on Friday morning, it looked like this:

The Coat Shop as construction site.
Then I went cycling in Healdsburg, CA (which is lovely this time of year) with my father and brother.  Three wily Cirinciones, roaming the hills on road bikes.  Good times.

While I was riding my bike and drinking tiny sips of wine out of goblets, Jon and his buddies were belaying our furniture (see earlier post) up to the second floor.

The move: in progress

Jon spent Sunday evening unpacking and organizing for my homecoming. When the weekend was over, I drove "home," but for the first time "home" was not a tiny apartment above an Irish sweater shop.
Said tiny apartment, now free of Jon and Amy
 Instead, I hauled my grubby panniers through a steel gate, up a flight of stairs, and into this:

 BAM!  Fire roaring, bed made, drinks poured, and Jay Z playing on the stereo.  I dropped my paniers, kissed my husband (who gave me a tour of our newly inhabited home) celebrated.  We live here now.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Little Disasters and Big Ups  It's maddening.

The past three weeks have been a shocking flurry of activity.  We met our inspector for the first time.  He was very friendly.  He said he liked the work we were doing and was impressed with how much we had improved the building and what a positive influence we were on the neighborhood.  He loved us!  Then he made us change a bunch of stuff.

So for a few days we were two steps forward, one step back.  Put up a wall.  The inspector inspects.  Take down the wall.

Neither Jon or I takes kindly to being told what to do, so we both bristled under the directive gaze of the inspector.  But we breathed deeply and smiled and nodded and did what he said until he left, satisfied that his power reigns supreme in the fiefdom of Eureka.

Our friend Dan visited for a week.  He brought his friend Montana.  Montana staked out the Coat Shop as her territory immediately, if you knowhatimsayin, but:

It was worth it.

Dan is intelligent and talented.  He's also a bit nuts.  One day while Jon and I were working, Dan did this:

And this: 

FOR REAL.  Dan hauled our appliances up from the first floor to the second floor by his damn SELF. He said it was the highlight of his week with us.  I pointed out the nights we made drinks and dinner and told old stories until midnught.  He just smiled.  Dan is awesome.

In other news, we hired a guy to fix the drywall we (ahem, I) thrashed during the Demolition Derbies.  I got a little carried away with the crow bar and did some pretty serious damage to parts of our walls that were supposed to stay exactly where and how they were.  

I did some research on drywall work and quickly assessed that it required patience, an eye for detail, and a lot of time. That eliminated Jon and I as candidates for this particular task.  

Every day this week I've watched the guy we hired diligently mix and spread the drywall compound, tape the seams, wait for everything to dry, sand it down, and then DO IT AGAIN.  Good call, Jon and Amy.  This dude is Sisyphus incarnate.

We're having another work party this weekend.  Lots of little projects to set us up for the big guns arriving next week: The sprinkler installers, HVAC, and roofer (Jon will have to write about that particular project.  It's his baby).  Once we get those guys done, we're doing the floors and then we move in.  Simple as that.  So...close....

Monday, February 6, 2012

Little bit of progression

stay tuned

Going the Distance, but Still so Much Farther to Go

Joey plaining our redwood beams down to beautiful 1x6 siding and molding.  We were super lucky to find him, his tools, and a kindred designer/maker's soul.

Dan, so tired after attaching our roofing material to the interior commercial storefront.  He came down from Oregon to give us some help for the week, so great!

This is our interior wall in the office/storefront - depending on the renter's choice.  It will look great with bright white walls/ceiling and shinny OSB flooring.

Here is our loft space closer to being complete (redwood walls to come).

Our first dinner with friends in the loft, more to come

Nicole and Wanda came to celebrate Amy's birthday and to help us scrub walls, floors, and get the place ready for our next week (and closer to completion).  So much help and awesome company.