Since we're still in Knoxville, trying to finish up a Merry-Christmas-I-had-no-idea-it-would-be-so-big trailer renovation project for Michael's brother Nathan, and the weather is decidedly not cooperating, I'm sitting down to recap the major projects we did last year in the hopes of convincing myself that this project too, shall end, and that it can be added to a list down the road somewhere. I've blogged about quite a few of last year's already, but missed some in the shuffle of life. So here goes ...
Painting, Wood Bin, Landscaping, Shelving
Keren and Bobby / Knoxville, TN
Our first stint of 2015 (and the whole trip) was in Knoxville, and that had us chopping down a tree limb, tearing out a fence, and building out a laundry/sewing room. We also built a wood bin out of free wood that we picked up. Lots of yardwork and some landscaping too, for Keren and Bobby, and for the neighbors.
Waterfall / Pond / Stream / Shed / Reorg
Ken and Tina / Crown Point, IN
The long-anticipated Shed Building project turned into a garage reorganization, a pond/stream/waterfall project, and then, of course, the shed itself ... which we left half done for Ken and company to finish, thanks to running out of time. There was a healthy side helping of yardwork too. A well rounded meal, and great fun! The full flicker set is here.
Landscaping, Storage Reorg, Roof Patching, Deck Refinishing, Water Runoff Management
Mom and Dad / Addison, IL
Dad had a small list, and we tackled the deck refinishing and patching, roof-hole-fixing, bush and yard cleanup, and garage shelving with zeal and some distraction, as there were many other things to work on and clean out and organize too, including hearts. Then we discovered a small lake next to the foundation after some rain, and did some dirt and clay remodeling of the landscape. A full and rich 5 weeks. Flickr set here.
Cupola Construction, Yard Cleanout
John and Olive / Addison, IL
We built a cupola on John and Olive's garage roof, complete with a bell (ringable from the bedroom window 20' away!) and a weather vane. Many hurdles, much fun, and with some wild and crazy chainsawing (in the middle of a rainstorm) of a pile of trees in the backyard thrown in for good measure. We never got around to writing the post about it (yet?), though it's a story worth telling ... not least because it turned out that the entire project was a pile of miscommunications and assumptions between us and parents and kids, and everyone involved just graciously rolled with it! No doubts that everyone loved it in the end. Very hot work, and a project that the boys were heavily involved in.
While in Addison we also fixed a broken chair for Jan, and did most of Jon Caforio's summer project list with some rewiring and landscaping and fix-er-up kind of stuff.
Yale and Sol Lewitt / New Haven, CT
In a break from family-based projects, Michael spent 3 weeks scribbling on a wall in Yale University's Art Gallery, along with Tim Wilson and John Hogan. A throwback to work Michael's done since 2005, installing Sol LeWitt's conceptual art pieces. I was a mite jealous :).
Porch Steps, Roof Repair, Landscaping, Painting, Reorg
Tim and Karen / Bangor, ME
Maine was the land of small projects, but satisfying ones. We fixed up Tim and Karen's porch steps, did some interior painting, finished up a roofing job, did some yard work, and reorganized a shed... and yes, this is a favorite of mine, I can't help it! This was the third one so far, though none of them were requested.
Moving on down Maine's coast, we also did some winterizing for Mike and Ruth Anne Dauphin, making their little house more snug for the winter.
Graziella's / Braintree, MA
While enjoying Erica and Ronny's hospitality in Attleboro Mass, where Ronny managed to find a window that needed trim and a play set to refinish (finding anything to do in that immaculate home was hard!), they introduced us to their former neighbor named Graziella. She'd just bought her first condo, and every single surface in the place was painted dark grey. Everything but inside the closets. Hard for anyone, especially a warm italian mamma! We helped her brighten the place up by repainting the entire first floor, and it was an utterly delightful transformation to make! Flickr set here.
Black Iron Shelves
John Snyder / Berwick, PA
We carved out a chilly week to spend in PA before heading south, and spent the first day helping Marcie Snyder (John's sister) put up some shelves, hang closet doors, do some landscaping, and winterize her yard. She had a shelf project on offer too, but (sorry Marcie!) we couldn't resist the lure of John's black iron shelf dream. We were provided some pieces to play with, a pile of reclaimed wood for shelves, and carte blanche design of the nook next to his fireplace ... so long as it could hold media and some treasures. We spent the next 4 days measuring, figuring, modeling, waiting for custom cuts to be made in Home Depot, scavenging pieces from Ace when we'd bought out sizes elsewhere, taping, measuring, tightening ... building one level at a time ... and having an absolute ball! We all ended up pretty pleased with the resulting configuration that included a cat shelf, wine rack (with Sugru padding!), and industrial fittings. Next time we'll see if we can wire it for lights ...
Railings, Landscaping, Gardening
Gary and Jane / Shadyside, MD
While perched on the edge of Chesapeake bay at Gary and Jane's place, the boys and I did some landscaping, and turned over and enriched the raised garden beds. Michael helped Gary build a couple of railings, as Jane was heading into some hip surgery after we left. Gary's an engineer, and Michael delighted in learning from his methods, while feeling a kinship with his thorough thought processes. The indoor railing's configuration provided plenty of angles for discussion, though documenting it fell by the wayside.
Apartment Painting, Floor Tiling, Fall Cleanup
Back in Knoxville for the end-of-year holidays, we picked up some neighborhood work. Timo and Natalie needed their downstairs apartment painted (Orange Sherbet wasn't a huge plus for making the place attractive!), Randy and Dawn had leaves and bushes to tend to, and Michael jumped in on his brother Nathan's job tiling Stan and Marlene's basement. Michael's manic leaf cleanup methods are worth seeing by the way, if you don't follow us on Instagram yet.
Painting, Sculpture, Portraits / by Michael
Michael did some projects of his own this year, a few for hire, and a few just for fun. Painting time is really hard to carve out, so more often than not it's rocks arranged on a beach, or pen-and-ink drawings late at night when there's a picnic table handy and warmer temps.
Logos, Websites / by Bethany
I did some work of my own this year (though Michael often collaborates on the logos), but couldn't carve out the time for too many. Props to those of you who've had the patience to wait for what time I could find!
A huge thanks to everyone this year who let us in, gave us work, trusted us to deliver, and helped keep heartLOOSE on the road!