It’s snowing in Seattle! This California girl is having a blast as fat, juicy snowflakes flutter and fall.
Here are the top floor pics. I have some before pictures to throw in. They’re more mid-process. We started tearing off shelves, cabinets, rugs, mirrors, etc. soon after we got the keys to the house.
Hallway. We removed some of the wood detailing on the walls and painted the dark wood molding the same color as we painted the walls. We kind of regret not removing all the wood detailing from the stairwell walls. I don’t think those details are original.
Hall bathroom. I had plans for this room. New sink and tile in the bath/shower. I really want those small, hexagonal tiles for the floor, white with a few black here and there and white subway tiles in the shower. But this bathroom wasn’t in the budget, so we just painted it white and removed some lame shelves and a cabinet.
Master bedroom. It is a combination of the the two back bedrooms. The previous owners removed a wall and added a small bathroom. They also added a large balcony off the bedroom which we fondly refer to as our rooftop bar:)
Guest bedroom. Since the two small back bedrooms were combined to make one master bedroom, we only have one other bedroom on this floor.
I’m so proud of Anthony’s handy work in the closets. They’re deep, but with such angular ceilings it was hard to figure out how to attach rods to hang our clothes on. The previous owners put these hooks on the ceilings and rested heavy metal pipes in the hooks. You could barely fit a hanger over the top. Ant attached these from the floor. Once dark, full of cracks, and nonfunctioning, these closets are now fantastic and we didn’t have to call California Closets.
in Seattle than I had in all my first 40 years combined. I still have to stop what I’m doing and just watch. Feeling lucky that I continue to see the sun in mid-November. These photos are from tonight and last night/ afternoon. The sun is setting at around 4:30. It now sets at the absolute opposite side of the lake from where it was setting in June. I promise to stop posting sunsets and Lake Union pictures soon.
A few people have asked me to post pictures of the house. The work we planned to do is now done and the furniture we planned to buy, for the most part, is bought. We still need some end tables in our bedroom and rugs in the dining room area, but I don’t think we’ll be looking for these last details any time soon.
I wish I had more “before” pictures, but I think we were feeling overwhelmed with our purchase and didn’t want to document a very expensive mistake we thought we had made for a moment. I love our house and I am so glad that we we didn’t notice the mash potato walls, cracks and seams in the walls, walls that actually moved when we found the house and made an offer back in February. Boy, were those walls a mess.
We mainly just stripped away as much as we could, revealing the beauty and craftsmanship of this house that was built in 1906.
Now entering the living room, which I fondly refer to as the “boho room.” Still needs a few more finishing touches to truly channel a bohemian vibe, but the super soft shag rug makes lounging on the floor heavenly!
Through the doorway to the dining room and the small room attached to the dining room.
Entering the kitchen, where we practically lived for the months that the rest of the house was being worked on. Thank God we didn’t touch the kitchen! It is still a favorite hangout.
I’ll give you a tour of the upstair rooms tomorrow. This post is already too long…
The changing of the seasons happens quite abruptly here in Seattle. Fall arrived mid-September, while we were in Amsterdam. It was 85 and sunny the day before we left. We returned to much cooler days and much less sun. All of my almost ripe cherry tomatoes remaining on the plants burst from the moisture brought by the first serious rain of the season. The leaves on the trees have turned all shades of red, orange, and yellow (mainly yellow in this part of the country). We have already had nights dip to freezing temperatures. Everything is so new to me. I truly enjoy watching the changes occurring daily, except for the rapidly shortening days. But this, I know, is the inevitable payback time for the days that seemed to last forever in June, July, and August. You can’t have one without the other.
My small harvest of green tomatoes inspired me to search for recipes that didn’t require frying them. I found a great recipe in Batali’s cookbook that allowed me to use other ingredients still found in my garden- mint, parsley, basil, and arugula. You blend all of these ingredients- along with garlic, olive oil, and a lot of salt- to a chunky consistency, add the uncooked sauce to the just cooked pasta, add parmesan, and voila!- a fresh fall garden dish.
Another utterly delicious culinary beauty that the fall brings is chanterelle mushrooms! I’m learning that these golden jewels grow like weeds up here. Yahoo!!! We were able to get them for $7.00 a few weeks ago. I was never able to find them at the height of the season for less than $20.00 a pound in the Bay Area. Chanterelles with Ant’s homemade pasta is definitely one of my desert island meals.
I’ve also learned from reading my Pacific Northwest gardening book (thank you, Nancy!), that the brunt of winter in this region is primarily felt in November and December. Tomorrow is November 1 and temperature highs for this weekend are supposed to be in the mid-forties. Mother Nature gave us a spectacular autumnal parting gift this past Monday and Tuesday- crystal blue skies, a perfect backdrop to admire the last days of fall foliage against. I wish I could take on panoramic photo of the view from our kitchen window, where we have been watching Queen Anne, the hill opposite of us, slowly turn from green to orange. These three shots capture the full scene. Change is good… and beautiful.
P.S.- I can’t for the life of me control where these photos are placed:(
We got a canoe! She’s a beauty! A shade and texture reminiscent of a yellow toenail. So until we have a better name for our boat, I’ll refer to her as “Toenail of the Sun” or (una del pie de sol in Spanish).
It was a spectacular fall weekend- blue skies, 70 degrees, foliage changing to shades of red, orange, and yellow all around us. We took Toenail of the Sun out for her maiden voyage yesterday in Lake Washington. Ant has added a motor so we don’t have to row all of the time. Pretty nice.
We saw turtles, a great blue heron, and a bald eagle perched on a lamppost.
We feel like kids on an unsupervised expedition. The best part about it is we only need to travel a few miles at the most to explore Lake Washington and Lake Union in our canoe.
Van Gogh Museum
What a magical place for Van Gogh lovers. Four floors of his work divided by different periods in his life as an artist. I had a huge smile on my face the entire time. Couldn’t get good pictures without a flash.
This was a peaceful place to spend a few hours. Most of the plants were in greenhouses. It is already equivalent to a cold winter day in the Bay Area here, and it’s only mid-September.
Dutch Botanical Still Life Painting Close-ups- Rijks Museum
RESTAURANT DE KAS
I was invited to join the team Anthony is working with for dinner. DE KAS is very special. It is a restaurant in a greenhouse. The kitchen decides what will be prepared for that evening according to what is showing best in their greenhouse and surrounding gardens. I was so inspired by this place.
More Treasures From Rijks Museum
This museum is huge. The building housing these masterpieces is stunning.
It has been awhile since I submitted a post, the main reason being that my days are filled with housework (boring, tedious, unfulfilling) and constant, shifting “What am I going to do with my life?” internal dialogues. Nothing blog-worthy.
Well, Anthony has to travel A LOT in these next few months and he suggested that I tag along on a trip to Amsterdam. My first concern with the idea was, “Who’s going to water my plants?” My second concern, we’d have a few days together, but for the most part, I’d be exploring the city alone, eating alone, etc. He wasn’t going to let me decline the offer, he bought the ticket- making the decision for me- and I am grateful now, but it didn’t start out that way…
Ten hours to Frankfurt (middle seat, passenger in front of me fully reclined the whole trip), three hour layover, Frankfurt to Amsterdam, train from airport to Central Station, tram to hotel with no place really to place our luggage but our laps, cold rain and wind, walk from the tram stop to the hotel, dragging my overstuffed carry-on every step of the way. We looked like soaking wet street cats by the time we arrived at the front desk. I couldn’t help thinking the entire time, “Is Europe really worth all of this? Do I really need to see another quaint, tourist-driven European town?”
Hotel Lloyd. Beautiful, historic structure. On the water. Just outside the city center.
It was also a prison as recent as 1985.
The attendant at the desk explained our two options. “One of the rooms, has a king-sized bed, but the shower is in the living space. The other room has two twin beds and it is smaller.” We decided to take the shower in the living space. We had been hotels rooms with bathtubs that opened up into the living space- very romantic. I guess we were both picturing this luxurious glass enclosed shower in the room. In the days leading up to the trip, I imagined myself finding refuge in a plush hotel when I had tired of sightseeing alone. Warm bath at the end of the day. Wrapped in a cozy terrycloth robe- with clicker in hand- trying my best to decipher Dutch T.V. Instead, we entered a room that was basically an oversized shower stall with a bed in it. Remember, this building was previously used as a prison. They hadn’t done much at all to the structure when they converted it into a hotel. It’s amazing how little they’d done. After about fifteen minutes of trying my hardest to picture ourselves (myself specifically) in this room for the next SEVEN DAYS, I left it without saying a word to Anthony and went to ask the guy at the front desk to show me the other room. He took me down to the basement. I assumed when he said “twin beds” he actually meant queen beds because those are our only two options in the States. Not here. He showed me this very small, depressing room with two twin beds pushed up against opposite sides of the room. I returned to our shower stall with a sudden fondness for it.
They were able to give us another room by the next night. It is small, but warm. Wood floors, instead of a water resistant red floor, equipped with its own squeegee. Shower where it should be. This place is so intriguing. There are 117 rooms, all of them completely different and quirky. One room has a bed that is large enough to sleep eight (use your imagination).
So here we are in Amsterdam! What a great city. Beautiful, but not cutesy, touristy. A bike and public transportation utopia. And the home of Van Gogh, my artist hero. I’ll be posting about my adventures in the next few days.
My mom left today. She had been up here visiting since Tuesday. Our dearest friends in the Bay Area… on Earth, are celebrating the birthday of one of the best people we know, today… without us. Feeling melancholy…
Life is both sad and sweet.
The beautiful things.
My mom made this gorgeous quilt for our new home.
My first attempt at roses. The rose is called, “Hot Cocoa.”
Sunset tonight. More golden than pink, autumn is around the corner.
My newest art acquisition. A lamp called “Koroko, ” Japanese for “heart.” Anthony laughs, but I think it is a spectacular sculptural piece.
Beautiful things. But these things don’t compare to friends and family. We miss all of you so much. Can’t wait to see you soon, one way or another.
I know it has some time since we returned from our trip to Olympic National Park, but I want to post some more pictures from the other areas we visited. If you plan to visit us next summer, I would suggest making a trip to the park as well. It is about three hours from our house. You can take your car across on the ferry or drive around the water. It’s a nice drive. And I would suggest trying to get a room or cabin at Crescent Lake Lodge. I think that you may need to reserve almost a year in advance, but it’s worth the advanced planning.
Ah, Lake Crescent. It is a deep, crystal blue lake. The lodge was built probably in the 20’s or 30’s. When you’re there you feel like you’ve been transported to the 1950’s- Frank Sinatra playing through the speakers, children and adults diving off the pier all day long. A simpler time. Easy canoe and kayak rentals right there at the lodge. Great hiking trails. This is a great place for families.
We rented a canoe and stayed out on the lake for five hours.
Having an after dinner drink on the pier.