Monday, October 24, 2011

View from Celo

Click on image for a larger view, identifying points of interests.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

First cookout on the deck!!

Gas grill works great. Susan is grilling veggies, and we also grilled some almond crusted flounder.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Amish Country

Here are a few pictures of Susan's new craft table; we had it custom made in northern Indiana's Amish country, also depicted here. Three beds, one dresser, one computer table, one office chairs, eight plastic lawn chairs, five plastic end tables, Susan's sewing machine cabinet, her craft table and some assorted small items (including Addy's and Elena's play table and chairs) were crafted in small workshops adjacent to the homes shown here.

Upstairs Balcony

Now you can see what the upstairs balcony railing looks like - those are stained locust posts holding up black metal, child-safe railings. In this picture you can also see the door to one of the guest rooms, and the linen closet. The staircase to the 2nd floor is on the right - it is open to the ceiling and has two landings, for easy access.

We have granite!!

Granite was installed yesterday, so now all the sinks are in, as well as the gas counter-top range. Lots of details still, but occupancy inspection is scheduled for Friday. We went to Spruce Pine yesterday to purchase mattresses, which will be delivered next Tuesday. We also have the furniture scheduled for delivery next week, and we may move that up to coordinate with the mattresses.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Birthday Present

Check out this handmade Amish cherry desk chair Mom bought me for my birthday!! We also went right to an Amish workshop and picked up bunkbeds for the grandkids as well as another Amish dresser for the "bunk room." And, we got a cool wooden hanger for the quilt Helen is making for the cabin.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Cabin Picture

Here's a nice view of the cabin as it looked several weeks ago. Our neighbor across the road, Keith Phillips, whom I grew up with at Cattail, took this the 2nd week of April. Notice the porch now on the upstream side. This will have a ramp to it. The cabin looks a bit small in this picture, until you notice how tiny the people are on the far left!! Trust us, this is no "cabin!"

Randy, our builder, told us yesterday that the siding is on now, and this week they will start the stone work on the front. They also plan to finish the back deck this week and start the drywall next week. He also reports that the grass is up!!!

Here too is a picture I forgot - this is a child's oak table and chairs, made by Mr. Bontrager and his sons. Perfect for finger painting!!

We are returning this Saturday to get me a desk chair and more patio furniture, as well as a quilt hanger. And of course we will stop at an Amish bakery for hot cinnamon rolls and coffee! Maybe even pick me up a birthday pie!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Amish Furniture from Indiana

We’ve been having a wonderful couple of Saturdays driving up to Amish country (Shipshewanna) and tracking down the last furniture we need for the cabin. We’ve been actually going directly to the workshops, usually down very long farm lanes, thus dealing directly with the craftsmen and eliminating middlemen and showrooms.

Here you can see mom sitting on one of our new patio chairs, right at the workshop. Six green for the deck and two red for the front porch so we can watch the kids and grandkids arrive. These are made from recycled plastics, and we are getting matching end tables too.

Also pictured is a hall tree we picked up Saturday, along with a footstool. We’ve met a Mr. Ervin Bontrager , who with his 12 sons operates an incredible workshop. He actually jumped in the back of our Jeep and drove with us to the patio chair place (he doesn’t do plastics, just oak and cherry; the plastics take a special shop, with an oven, etc.).

This coming Saturday he will help us with a desk chair, bunk beds and another dresser.

We also tracked down another Amish craftsman, who is making mom a custom sewing table and a craft table. Paul Miller already makes the sewing tables, but didn’t know what a craft table was. When he saw mom’s pictures, he said, “I can do that.” Maybe he’ll be able to start a new line!

This has been a lot of fun, networking with the Amish, and the furniture of course lasts multiple lifetimes – this is an heirloom project, all around.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Trip to Amish Country

We had a super day Saturday, driving up to Amish country in Northern Indiana. Instead of going to a major store, we looked for small roadside signs and followed a long farm lane 'til we came to a workshop behind a barn. Ervin Bontrager and his 12 sons (90 grandchildren) made the above laptop computer desk and chair, which we purchased for the upstairs. It's solid oak of course.

We intend to take a similar excursion next Saturday, looking for someone to build Susan a sewing desk. It is super fun talking to the people who actually make the furniture. We also bought a wonderful hall tree as well as a rack to hang coats or towels on. After we left Mr. Bontrager, we went to an Amish bakery and ate superior Cinnamon rolls. Then we went to a major store and priced the same items we had just purchased at about forty percent more than what we paid without the middleman. Pretty cool.

Below is a picture we took today of our campsite at Lukens Lake where we'll live May 6 - June 17. We are hoping we don't have to pay extra for the truckload of scrap metal that seems to share the site! Oh well.

Friday, April 8, 2011

April 8 Update

This has been a crazy busy week at Cattail, with everything finally happening at once and hordes of workers and subcontractors at the site. Among the seemingly hundreds of decisions we’ve made in the past five days are these:

Landscaping (see pictures - grass got literally planted today, amazing); we interviewed the landscaper, inspected his work, and are contracting this out ourselves

Steps to the creek (see picture)

Stones by easement (see picture)

Drainage for the drives

Split-rail locust fence along the front

Electrical and water to the camper

Cabinet fittings

Desk for my office

Built-in bookshelves around fireplace

Rollout bed and window seat and cabinet and shelves for the bonus room

Handrails for the balcony/upstairs hall

Ramp for the sideporch and entry to laundry room

Tile for the baths (we interviewed the tiler, inspected his work, and our contracting this out ourselves)

Dozens of little electrical and lighting decisions

Moving the powerpole and burying the lines to the house

Built-in wiring for the TV, dvr, iPod, etc. hookups behind the fireplace

More Amish furniture for the upstairs (one more bed, one dresser, and two rocking chairs) – that entailed a trip to Hickory.

Location and hookup for gas grill

We also visited our banker and our attorney, and we hiked to a nearby mine up the Bolens Creek road to pick up a few pretty rocks for the fireplace.

And we also found a designer (the woman who has helped us with our cabinets) to help us pick out the paint colors for each room (that will be a walk-through when we come back in a few weeks).

I’m sure I’m leaving something out, but it is been both exhilarating and tiring. Not to mention we have gone on long walks every day with the doggies.

The other pictures here show the color of the roofing (sans copper metal over the dormers and porches) and if you look carefully in the chimney picture and the dormer picture you can see the “battens” going up over the “boards” that comprise the “board and batten siding.”

Tired as we are, we are already looking forward to our next trip, in about three weeks!

Friday, March 4, 2011

New Porch

These pics show what the crew did today. The porch roof is on. Everything in this picture that is now cinder bock will be covered with stone, plus a ton of fill dirt will cut down the overall height you see here.

The picture with the jeep shows 20 feet of azaleas and day lilly bulbs that I dug up and temporarily transplanted so that the fill process, after the septic is in, won't destroy all the planting that were along the road.

Locust Posts

It all started with this pile of locust logs, cut in Yancey County.

The above picture shows several pieces of unstained cedar, from the Tennessee border. The real gnarly piece on the bottom is our fireplace mantel.

These two pieces are locust, from Yancey county. When stained, they will frame the fireplace.

These two locust posts, from Yancey County, are now stained and will support the bonus room.

Ron Chandler makes all this - he is the former principal of Pensacola Elementary School.

Here is another picture of the fireplace, which Tony worked on today. It will be all stone, all the way to the cathedral ceiling. Picture the above locust logs and cedar mantel framing the opening.

This picture is from the kitchen - the two posts you see here will be replaced by the stained locust poles you see in the above picture with Randy and Ron. They are on either side of the split level bar/counter which separates the kitchen from the Great Room.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

March Update - Downstairs

This is the fireplace - notice how high the cathedral ceiling is. The fireplace and chimney will be faced with stone, and there will be a 55" TV above the mantel. The fireplace itself will be framed by stained locust posts, which are "themed" throughout the house (see "Upstairs" update as well as description below for more details).

This is the master bed room - very high ("tray") ceiling.

Great room looking towards the kitchen and the bonus room (upstairs). There will be two stained locust poles supporting the beam you see that goes from left to right. The window in the center of the picture is over the kitchen sink, and the window to the left is in the laundry room.

The workers completed the framing for the roof over the front porch today.

View of deck up the stream.

This is a little hard to explain, but there have to be two very sturdy beams supporting the upstairs hallway and bonus room. Rather than using steel beams, we are using actual locust trees (stripped of bark and stained). Randy and Ediwin picked out four nice ones, and the other two will be split and used for the fireplace and also for two exposed corners at the end of the downstairs hall. This will tie the great room together and give the house more of a mountain cabin look rather than a country home look.

March 3 Progress Report - Upstairs

This is a bit hard to describe, but it shows a small part of an upstairs guest room - this room is shaped like a Z with a straight bar connecting the top and bottom; interesting and full of usable space. The dormers create cool ceiling lines.

This is the upstairs hall facing toward the bathroom - look high on the right and you will see a special shelf for pottery, pictures or Christmas decorations - it can be lighted.

This is the upstairs hall looking towards the bonus room and down into the kitchen.

Looking down the hall to the upstairs bathroom and towards the fireplace in the great room; the railing will be made of stained locust beams and wrought iron.
This is the storage area above the master bedroom, accessed off the larger of the two upstairs guest rooms. It will be drywalled, and there there will be shelves and hanging rods in here.

This is the storage area above the kitchen, accessed from the bonus room. On the right you can see the framing for the recessed book shelf.

Bonus room - a custom bilt king size bed disguised as a window seat will be folded together under the windows.
This shows the stairs going up into the bonus room - all the sloped ceilings up here will be stained tongue and grove.