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March 2013
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May 2013

1 post from April 2013

I'm back in my studio

The six weeks my assistant had off work for medical leave were very intense for me, there were days I felt as if I might as well set up a cot in my office so that I could sleep there too.  Her surgery went well, her recovery is complete and she is back to work.  I gave her last week to settle back in...this week I'm taking a week off.

Here's where I'm at so far with the new contest kit...

The openings for the doors and window have been rearranged and re-sized, with the exception of the right wall.  I am building a fireplace on that wall...a hutch will sit to the right of it.  I bought three unfinished hutches (dimensions not listed) that haven't arrived yet, so I can't measure for the fireplace.  I can't start finishing the walls until after the fireplace and chimney are built...I can't glue the walls together until the walls are I'm practically at a standstill.

The hazards of building or buying before measuring leave one with this...

Since I can't do anything with the walls I built some windows from scratch, then turned my attention to the floor. First I had to cut a new floor from a piece of plywood, since I cut pieces from the mdf floor which came with the kit to fill in window openings.

In the picture above popsicle sticks have been cut to fit...they are all numbered on the back so they will go back in the right place.  I made nail holes marks on all the ends, stained them, glued them in place, then weighted them down to dry.  The next day I filled the gaps with HobbyLite, which I found at the hobby store my brother frequents while we were out together one day.  It's used by makers of model airplanes to fill balsa.  I love it.  (My brother builds and races radio control cars.)

P4210033  P4210036

I don't know that I'll take the time to mark nail holes again, it's such a subtle detail that it is hardly noticeable on the finished floor.

After the filler dried I sanded, sanded, sanded, sanded, aged the floor with a wash of brown paint-water, sanded again, then sealed the floor with three coats of satin finish polyurethane, sanding in between coats.  This floor is smoother than the skin on my daughter's lovely cheek.

I cut some mock-up cabinets out of boxes to test placement, then ordered some stock cabinets online.  I was planning to build my own, but if I build everything from scratch I originally planned to my family won't see me this summer.

I didn't work on the house was warm and sunny so I spent the morning out and about, dropping in at my favorite art gallery, antique stop and fabric store after running some errands I'd been putting off.  It rained in the afternoon and I had the house to myself for the first day in months, so I made a giant plate of deluxe nachos, paired it with cold beer, and watched action movies the rest of my family don't like.

My plans for today, since I can't work on the walls yet, and it's still raining, are to build a water heater and furnace for the utility room/larder/pantry addition which the door on the left wall will lead into.  I'm basing it on the set-up in my own utility closet, which I quickly sketched out.  My goal with this build is to de-stash my art supply closet as much as possible, so I will be using nothing more than wood bits from my scrap bins....should be fun :D

If the rain lets up and the sun comes back out I'll venture outside again.  It's in the 70s, which is a delight after a very long snowed as recently as last week.  I took this picture two weeks ago, after an ice storm made my world sparkly (and slippery!).