Google+ House Revivals: June 2010

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

W is for Wedding Decor, a what not to do list

Some of you may know our family is planning "the wedding of the century."   Just in case my daughter reads this blog, I won't use her real name.  And I won't use the name Bridezilla, either -- just in case she reads this blog.  We'll just call her The Girl.

The Girl is getting married-- to a wonderful man, I might add.  And she has BIG plans.  She has done drawings and budgets and booked a band and located a venue and found the perfect site for a beach ceremony.  It's going to be wonderful -- she's doing a great job.

Did I mention The Girl is an"oldest"?  Which is the same as saying The Girl is very bossy and likes to think she's in charge.  So, "We're" planning a wedding.  Which means "The Girl" is planning a wedding.  And "The Mom" is writing checks.  Lots of them. 

But there are some things money just can't buy.  Well, money can buy them, but they're not as good.  So.  I've been wielding a hot glue gun.  At my computer desk.  Since it's the only surface I can use in our tiny, temporary-until-we-buy-something-in-our-new-city apartment. After a day and a half, I have emerged not quite victorious, nowhere close to finished, and certainly not unscathed.  But I did create a list of how not to make wedding decorations.

1.  Don't use a hot glue gun in the dark.  I know this seems obvious, but some of us are old pros with the glue gun, and we think we don't need light, especially if our husband is sleeping right behind us on the fold out sofa while we're working.  Hmmmmmm, wake a sleeping bear by turning on the light?  Or glue in the dark?  The answer is: don't do either one of those things!  They're both bad ideas.  Just order the decorations from the internet.

2.  When driving across the city to find every marigold colored or turquoise colored lei in the entire metro area to later take apart and make into amazing lanterns, be sure plan your trip for the rush hours.  Also, if you can hit the streets with construction work, do that too.  Really, time alone in the car is great "down time".  You can meditate, or mentally plan your day.  What's left of it. After you sit in traffic for hours. 

3.  Don't hot glue any part of your face.

4.  When the silk flower you're so carefully gluing to the paper lantern falls off the lantern and into your lap, and the hot glue is branding your thigh, don't quickly grab up the flower.  And burn your hand.  And when you burn your hand?  Don't quickly grab the hot, molten flower glue combination with your other hand.  And when huge globs of glue burn your thigh and both of your hands?  That's why you're supposed to keep ice water handy when you use a glue gun.  Supposed to.  Unless you're an old pro who glues in the dark.

5.  Peel hardened hot glue from your face or your thigh or your hands carefully.  This is not a band-aid, that just rips out some hairs.  This could take off a layer of skin.  If it doesn't peel off readily and easily, leave it alone.  It will come off in it's own time.

6.  Wear pants when hot gluing any wedding decor.  Just do.  Remember the "thigh branding"?

7.  If you decide to save money by buying the white paper lanterns with butterflies printed all over them to use as your "base"(instead of colored lanterns that match the color of the flowers you are gluing on them), paint or cover them somehow -- before you spend five hours gluing forty dollars worth of silk flowers all over them.  Because those butterflies?  They show through.  And the white paper?  It shows through, too, meaning you have to glue lots more flowers in all the little spaces....

8.  If at all possible, buy a house during this process -- not just any house.  Buy a complicated house. One that requires drafting construction documents, and tricky financing.  This way, you can have tons of financial paper work, drafting supplies, and a craft project all piled up together on your keyboard. If you can throw a pile of orphan socks into the mix (because you live in a tiny apartment, and what in the world do you do with the orphan socks?!), then all the better.  This way, when the lantern starts to roll from the weight of the glob of glue you just put on it, you can get glue on everything-- financial documents, socks, and building plans.

source glue gun image  source mouse image

9.  By all means play several games of live online scrabble while carrying on multiple online chats.  In the dark. While using a hot glue gun.  It's especially nice if you momentarily forget the mouse is sharing space with a glue gun, causing you to mistakenly grab the glue gun on the hot barrel instead of the mouse.

10.  Decide to take a picture of the partially finished lantern with a light on inside it, to send to The Girl in another state. To show her that you have not been slacking.   Mistakenly think you can easily slip the lantern over the bulb in your floor lamp.  Get the wire armature of the lantern stuck in the curling tube of your compact fluorescent. Really, really stuck.  Take the picture.  Post the professionally embarrassing picture on the internet.  Because, after all, who wouldn't hire a designer who could make a lamp look like that?

This post is being linked to Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

V is for Vault

This week's alphabet meme letter is "V".  I thought about writing about the TV series "V", which I love, love, love, but alas it really doesn't fit the mission of this blog.

I do have the other blog, which is sort of a "catch-all" for topics that don't fit here, but I don't have time for two posts this week -- because, I think, just maybe, if I cross my fingers tightly enough, we're going under contract on the BEACH HOUSE this week!

And it's really hard to type with your fingers crossed.

So, this week I'm writing one post about vaults

Really, though, I won't write much, because it just takes too long (since my fingers are crossed, and all). Instead, I'm giving a pop quiz!  Hopefully Mrs. Matlock won't mind.  I'll even give you the answers-- just try to match the answer to the correct picture.  Easy peasy.

Here are the pictures:

And here are the answers (click on the word to cheat or to see the image sources):
Dome Vault
Barrel Vault
Groin Vault
Pole Vault
Rib Vault
Fan Vault
Bank Vault
Radium Vault
Vault Beverage

And there are prizes!  If you get all the answers right, without cheating, your prize will be a really good feeling inside.  If you have to cheat a little, your prize is that you learned a new thing today.  Good luck, and thanks for stopping by!

This post is being linked to Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

U is for Usonian

U is for Usonian. As in the adjective!  As in Frank Lloyd Wright's description of a type of affordable architecture for people in the United States of North America.

Although, Frank Lloyd Wright probably was not the original author of the term "Usonian", his Usonian philosophy was definitely an original concept in architecture.  

 image from Frankk Lloyd Wright Foundation website, here.
To see an interview of Mr. Wright by Mike Wallace, click here.

Always an independent thinker, often a ruffler of feathers, later a more soft spoken and thoughtful speaker, Wright has come to be known as one of the great architects of all time.

Wright's Usonian homes were designed to be affordable and  elegant, simple, and built from interlocking concrete block.  The idea was that they would be easily reproduced and built in garden cites all over the country.  The Usonian house was a response to the automobile and the over crowded conditions in most cities of the time. 

Although Wright designed the house around a lifestyle concept for the common man, the Usonian house never quite caught on the way Wright had envisioned.  In this way, architects can be similar to politicians-- they both have strong opinions about how other people should live!  

Another big problem with the Usonian houses was that they were too expensive for the common man to afford.  The few homes that did get built, were customized to the point that they came in way over budget.  There is no denying, however, that they were beautiful pieces of sculpture.

 Perhaps the most beautiful example of Usonian architecture 
is the Pope-Leighey house, shown here.  To see this, and other 
striking images of Usonian houses, click here

With it's concrete block walls, concrete slab floor, and attached carport, the importance of the Usonian concept was probably not in it's own execution, but in it's function as a precursor to the popular ranch houses that later popped up all over the country.  And those ranch houses did, indeed, help define a unique American style of living!
American architecture and lifestyle began
to center around the automobile, as 
predicted by Frank Lloyd Wright, during
the second half of the last century. image source

This post is being linked to Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Tuesday.  To see more posts on the letter "U", click here.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

T is for Tudor Revival

We're about to leave for the seashore again (we are still in negotiations for the beach house, but also looking at other houses), so this will just be a quick post.  This post is being linked to Mrs. Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday, and this week's letter is "T".

T is for Tudor Revival!  One of my all-time favorite architectural styles, the Tudor Revival style is influenced by English Tudor or Medieval architecture.  You might also hear it called Medieval Revival, Tudorbethan, Black and White, or other names, depending on your region.

A Tudor Revival home is likely to have all or some of the following characteristics:  decorative "half-timbers", steeply pitched roof, prominent cross-gables, tall and narrow windows, small window panes, and massive chimneys (  Here in the States, Tudor Revivals are usually brick or stucco, or a combination of materials.
The style was very popular during the 1920s and 1930s, and many cities have excellent Tudor Revival examples in their historic neighborhoods. 

You may recall that we looked at this Tudor Revival while house hunting in a local historic neighborhood.
This home combines typical Tudor Revival half-timbering with popular Pacific Northwest shingle style. 

Leaded glass detailing through the home referenced medieval style windows, as do the quatrefoil patterns created by half-timbers.

source This building is located in Shropshire, Great Britain is
an excellent example of "Black and White" architecture.

I hope you enjoyed our little jaunt through Tudor Revival architecture.  See you all next week!