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Well, here it is all finished! It turned out much better than we ever expected. We hope you enjoyed watching our progress.

-KR

Tree House

Sorry to get so behind in our posts… summer and all. My sister and brother-in-law were in town for several days so we took advantage of the fact that he’s an architect and builder and blasted through a ton of work. At this point our tree house is fully functioning but not fully completed.

There was one big long day with lots of rain. A good amount of time was spent cutting lumber in our garage but the guys (Marc, John and Kent) were up there even in the rain while my sis and I watched from the kitchen. Dedication! Over the course of a few days they constructed the whole back railing for the “balcony”, completed the main walls including all the randomly placed windows, installed extra support beams with cement feet and last but not least… the trap door and ladder! Fin (7) was essential to the railing. Marc measured out and spaced the pieces and Fin drilled most of the holes. Kent worked on constructing the walls and windows. John constructed the ladder. Put a handle on the trap door and boom! The kids are up there a lot. I’m finding it’s getting easier each day to watch them going up and down. The 2 year old is the one to keep an eye on – she of course thinks she can do everything her big brothers do and she’s actually pretty good on the ladder but I still stand there with her all the same, afraid she’ll lose her footing.

Up next is a biggie: the roof! We’ve gone back and forth between these cool shade systems we found and an actual hard, integral roof. We decided on the regular roof, although it will be the hardest part possibly. I am wanting some sort of wooden/cedar shingle treatment – not asphalt but I need to do some research. Then the all-important pulley system for the bucket. Currently the bucket is flying out of a window and then manually yanked up sans pulley. Stay tuned! It’s getting close…

– JF

Tree House

Hey, this is Kent writing today. It has been a while since we have updated our tree house progress so some of the details of this day might slip my mind. Today’s main goal was to fit the extremely tricky, oddly shaped floor piece that fits around the tree. Most of the day’s progress was on paper as John and I measured and remeasured the area that needed to accept the floor.

We decided the best way to transcribe the shape of the tree and all the necessary cutouts to the plywood would be to use a series of measurements every 6 inches. We marked those measurements to the plywood and just sort of connected the dots. I am proud to say we fit the piece snugly around the tree with only a few minor adjustments to our original cuts.

Once that section of floor was up the kids FINALLY had a chance to climb into the thee house for the first time. Needless to say they were excited to see the view from up there.

– KR

Tree House

The guys managed to sneak in a little more floor time before lightning started bolting all over the sky prompting Kent to say, “huh, I think maybe I shouldn’t be standing up here now, so I’m gonna go ahead and get down, right?” Just in time because within a few minutes the sky went almost black and just opened up.

As you can see, our trashed Ikea chaise loungers that we were going to get rid of have come in quite handy. Really, the lounges and the recycling bins have become the outdoor workbenches. Oh, and the kids’ picnic table. You can see the high tech system they have developed whereby Kent carefully stands on the piece of plywood which is on top of the chaise lounge allowing John to trim it down with a circular saw.

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– JF

Tree House

The first part of this day was spent beefing up the stability by bolting the structure to the tree. It’s amazing how much more solid it got once that happened. After that, they hoisted up the first section of the floor. The kids were going crazy when it went up and were begging to stand up there but as you can see, it’s way up there and oh, I don’t know, I guess sides would be a good idea before the children actually stand up there. Kent made me climb up to check it out and I never took my hand off one of the posts. It’s an amazing view. I should have brought the camera up to snap a few panoramic views but then again that would have required me to remove my hand from the post and that wasn’t going to happen.

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– JF

I think guitar god Eddie Van Halen might be losing his skills.

Danzig needs to get his act together too.

Come on guys, you’re better than that!

– KR

Tree House

Just a few hours spent on this day because Kent was in NYC so John had to fly solo. He hung the floor joist brackets and beams and suddenly this thing started really taking shape as a serious structure to me. The kids too – somehow even the idea of a floor made them even more excited about the tree house.

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– JF

I don’t really know what to say or think about this. I hope you enjoy this clip of David Bowie and Cher singing about 300 songs in 6 minutes as much as I do.

– KR

Fireplace Mantle

I had a little cocktail party last night and received a lot of compliments on our new mantle and tile surround. It made me think I ought to give credit where credit is due and give a shout out to my very talented pal Erik Gustafson who designed it. He is a woodworker and designer who did the mantle at our previous home (made out of zebra wood) and he constructed this with one of his colleagues, Bill Schick. He does furniture, chandeliers, all sorts of really unique pieces.

Fireplace Mantle

My request for this mantle was modern but still rustic and cozy. He suggested holly based on the tone I wanted for the room and because the pieces he had at the shop had a lot of excellent knots. When people look at it they can never figure out what it’s made of and are always so surprised when I tell them it’s holly. Who knew?! I didn’t see the finished product until it was installed and I couldn’t have been happier. I adore this thing. The knots are really expressive. I chose the tiles from Heath Ceramics and Erik designed the layout. I think the two elements really compliment each other and for sure they both achieve the perfect marriage between modern and cozy.

– JF