Monday, September 13, 2021

It's Time To Play

During the last couple of years when COVID disrupted our normal work and social life, we made some changes to our business.  I have always been a writer and a people person and both my 30 year career in technology and my design career supported those passions.  My creative energies have shifted over the last few Covid years and it became time to let go of my kitchen and bath design endeavors. This was not an easy decision. I have great clients and helping people create life changing spaces has always been my greatest honor. 

In January we bought a Ford Transit Cargo Van. A cargo van is basically steel on wheels with nothing besides the driver and passenger seats which is exactly what was needed.  The traveler in me was happy, although I am looking forward to getting back to Europe, and the designer in me is having a blast. 

 A cargo van comes without side windows so we ordered two awning windows with screens the first week we got the van. I had already done a layout so we knew where the small windows were going.  However, because of product backload created by COVID, it took months for the windows to arrive.

Van conversion is mostly about understanding power and water supply. We have three sources of power: shore, inverter and solar. The inverter allows us to go from direct to alternating current so we can switch on our lights or our coffee maker - very important. The solar allows us to go off grid and still keep the fridge running. As with any remodel the first thing to install is all the material, equipment that is behind the walls. Once we established where to put the lithium batteries, the water tank, the fridge, the shower, the inverter then we could get to work on installing all the materials and equipment that lies behind the walls and behind the scenes. After spraying insulation and running all the wiring we installed the black walnut hardwood flooring down the center of the ceiling.  The flooring on the side of the walnut is a light bamboo but again the bamboo took awhile to arrive so we had to wait to install that piece.  There is also hardwood flooring on the floor. Because of the size of the interior most of the coloring is light color. This is a medium size van so the interior height is 69".  We wanted something we could stand up in.

Our conversion is complete. I was very happy when all my sewing was done. The majority of the cushion zippers are over 45" so my first feat was remembering how to attach a zipper foot to the zipper chain.  I have sewn many home decor items in my life but it's been awhile. We have no intension of living in the van as some people do. It's for play only.  

Al is still focused on work working projects, so feel free to contact him through email.

I have talked to most of you so this is no surprise for the most part. My previous clients can always text me if you need my assistance. I will be happy to help. 

To all of my clients, thank you all for allowing me to come into your lives and help you create the space that you needed. 

Thank you.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Countertops are Installed ---- Hooray

leathered granite 

Hooray, our countertops are in place.  It makes a huge difference in a kitchen when the countertops are down. The window frame on our main window is a wider than most frames. In order to incorporate that modern look we removed the top slab front on the kitchen sink cabinet so the installers could secure the undermount sink properly.  As you can tell the dish washer still has to be installed.
Avenza quarty

                                     The countertops look beautiful. The high polish of the Avenza quartz is offset perfectly with the muted look of the leathered steel gray granite.   I'm happy.                  

It took four men to carry the granite up to the 2nd floor.  It is a heavy stone.  I heard the last guy say, "Faster, Go faster."  They did not want to drop this stone.  Thank you,  Cosmos Marble and Granite Company for doing such an awesome job.  

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Points of Distinction - Measuring For Countertops

LT-2D3D Laser Templator

Last year I picked out the countertop materials for the condo kitchen. I chose gray steel granite in a leathered finish for the island and Avenza polished pental quartz for the perimeter areas. As you all know, it's been a crazy Covid 19 year, so things haven't progressed as they usually do. Last week, George from Cosmos Marble and Granite  came to measure and brought the laser equipment with him. Made my day.

One of the most fascinating tools for measuring countertops is the LT-2D3D Laser Templator.  If I was in the business of tile and stone installations, I would have this tool. It may be pricey, but it's very efficient and accurate - just follow the red dot that marks the digital data point. I jest, it is more complicated than that. However, once you master navigating the software, it is a superb tool.

For those who know me, you know I love tools. As a child I worked with my Dad repairing furniture for the neighbors and with my Mom in a commercial kitchen, both fields have lots of tools.  Later, as a computer programmer I spent 30 years coding applications and as a kitchen designer I love the 2D and 3D aspect of designing on a computer.  So, I was intently watching the functionality of this tool at work.

In the short time George was here, I realized you can draw on different planes with the tool, you can use different colors for different objects so you cut down on confusion, you can aim the laser at the center of the sink cutout and it will calculate the correct cutout, if measuring a wall you can center the laser on the screw of the electrical outlet to get the correct outlet into the drawing. If I was having a backsplash done, he could have used the tool to measure up the wall as well. Yep, it's a great time saver. And once the data is collected you have it on file in a computer format that you can email if requested.  I think he must have been using the tool for awhile because it didn't take him that long to measure.

Next post you'll see the countertops in place.  I can't wait. Stay tune.

Ready for the plotter

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Happy 4th of July

Image result for Free 4th of July

To all my friends and clients as we stay in our homes and dream of next year's celebration:

Happy 4th of July.

Friday, June 12, 2020

Foodie Friday Smoothie

Good morning, my friends.  Although this quarantine is a out of the norm, it does offer you moments to reconnect to your former self or to reinvent a new self.  I vacillate between those two elements.

I've reconnected with my interest in nutrition.  I was always into the ideas imbedded in clean living and healthy environments. I was one of those teenagers who tried making her own perfume because of all the chemicals in those on the market. I smelled terrible and never mastered the art. Eventually, I gave up just wearing perfume and makeup all together.  I was a funny kid.  I'm sure my Mom got a lot of laughs out of my endeavors.

I've been starting my mornings off with smoothies.  There are plenty of internet sites that have good smoothie recipes, Yummly, Sunset,, for examples. I naturally stay away from added salt and sugar, so I tend to minus out a lot of the items from the Sunset recipes.

I'm a slow mover in the morning. I have at least one cup of coffee before doing anything. Just black coffee - no cream, no sugar and definitely none of the foo-foo flavored stuff.  After that first cup I think about what's next.

I like having fruit in the mornings. I also love cucumbers, especially in salads and dips, so  I often combine them when I make a smoothie.

This morning's smoothie is basically water (I used coconut water), cucumber, orange, mint or basil from my plants and spinach.  I'm a spinach freak. I love the stuff.  It's brain food because of the folate and the B-vitamins. Cucumbers are also good for you. They help keep the body hydrated, stabilize blood pressure because of nutrients like potassium. It's better to eat them unpeeled since many nutrients are in the skin.

What I tend to do is have one glass of the smoothie without the spinach, then blend in the spinach and have the rest.  So good.       
I'm enjoying my smoothie mornings but to me breakfast should contain protein. That being said, I usually add an hardboiled egg, oatmeal or at least whole grain toast and sometimes I use Greek yogurt instead of water in the smoothie.  No sugar on the oatmeal, please. It's better if you use homemade applesauce and/or a variety of berries. When the kids were young I didn't think about putting applesauce on their oatmeal, so they'd have to eat it without the sweetening. My son was the oldest, so he remembers. Lucky for me, he's the forgiving and kind person that he is.

Enjoy your day folks.