Home Archives, page 2

As in, my physical domicile.

Our sonic earthquake experience

The last earthquake we experienced was just like this most recent one: it struck in the middle of the night, the shaking was sustained but gentle, and I probably would have slept right through it, were it not for the startling thwomp I received from Stephanie’s arm. I fell back asleep almost immediately. This time, however, we had video of the action to look back on. It’s not the most riveting vantage point, but the sound of our suspended wine glasses clicking together in the kitchen is kind of neat.

A new door

When Stephanie and I first started looking for our place, one of the more specific attributes on our nice-to-have list was “a door that opens to the outside.” Well, we checked that box, but said door, lovely as it was, was falling apart. There were cracks running down its entire length, the glass lites were very fragile, and the door jamb was in bad shape. I knew from day-one that the door needed to go, possibly the entire frame. But being entirely new to the home-improvement game, I didn’t know where to turn.

Front door before replacement
The front door, before

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We got our first real Christmas tree this year, so I thought it was time to start an annual tradition of picking up a new ornament to add to our collection (which my parents seeded during their visit in September). I stumbled upon “the one” last weekend, at the gift shop for the new Walt Disney Family Museum in the Presidio. It’s a decorative reindeer made out of newspaper with very impressive antlers.

Reindeer paper mache ornament
Reindeer ornament

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Painting a room

A few weekends ago we painted our guest bedroom. The funny thing is—and isn’t this always the case?—we didn’t really set out to paint the room. That reality set in when we discovered that the paint with which we’d hoped to cover up some holes didn’t quite match the existing paint on the walls.

While I was fretting about how much work it would take to paint the room (I’d never painted a whole room before), Stephanie was primarily concerned with whether we’d both be able to agree on a color (on short notice). Once I’d adjusted to the fact that our hole patching project was now a room painting project, I promised that I would not be anal about picking a color. Several moments later we were both on her scooter heading to the hardware store.

After initially entertaining the idea of yellow, we eventually settled on red (Windsor Burgundy to be precise). We spent the rest of that Saturday taping off the molding and applying a single coat of primer, and then we spent all day Sunday rolling on two (and a half) coats of paint (it probably could have used a third, but we were exhausted). Later that week we touched up the trim, hung a curtain rod, and slowly started moving furniture into the room, just in time for my parents’ visit over Labor Day weekend.

Justin painting the primer trim
Justin doing the primer trim

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Carving out our new home

Stephanie and I have been looking forward to taking a linocut class with Eric Rewitzer for a long time, but we didn’t have the time (or space of mind) to do so until February. The class took place at 3 Fish Studios, Eric and his wife Annie’s inspiring studio, set in the Dogpatch with an incredible view of San Francisco Bay.

I knew in advance that I wanted to make a print of our new digs to use as a card announcing our change of address. I had in mind a very controlled, high-contrast style, but the end result looked almost dreamy, like an illustration from a children’s book (about a girl looking out the window on a rainy day).

Compared to what the other folks in the class produced (check out Stephanie’s amazing print of her hennaed feet), mine turned out kind of plain, but over time its quiet simplicity has grown on me. Plus it’s our home! We ended up sending all the cards to family in the US and France, but I held on to one ghost print (a second print from the same inking) to eventually frame and hang.

Reverse sketch for a linocut print
Tracing a reversed photo of our building

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