Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Automoblox Rock!

We had a really excellent Easter weekend. Church services were great, lots of discussions with the kids about the resurrection, and plenty of rousing singing of great Easter hymns. We also colored eggs, had a bit of chocolate, and enjoyed some new toys that I found for the kids. I've been eyeing Automoblox for years but they're hard to find and a bit expensive. Imagine my surprise when I discovered a big stash of their mini cars in the clearance aisle at Target on Saturday night. I snagged one car for each person in the family and brought them home as a special treat. The design of these toys is just fantastic. The wood is incredible, the way they reconfigure is lots of fun, and the "retro-modern" aesthetics are just great. As many of you know, we try really hard to avoid all the trappings of consumerism and the proliferation of "stuff" around the house, especially cheap toys that just break before they're even out of the box. Our kids really don't need any more toys, but if we're going to live with toys all over the house, at least they can be quality toys with great design!

Below are a few sample shots from the kitchen table.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter Photo Bonanza

We've had a very special Easter weekend and really enjoyed having people over throughout the day! Our Easter celebration started with or Good Friday service. College Church does an excellent job of making important services special with a very sensory approach. Our Good Friday service is very visual, and right before our silent dismissal in the dark they usually post a dimly lit banner in the front of the sanctuary. I managed to snap a shot of that on Friday:

Then on Saturday the kids had a great time decorating eggs. Most of the photos below should be pretty self explanatory.

This shot of Josh might need a bit of explanation. If it's not clear, Josh is attempting to eat a hard-boiled Easter egg, shell and all. He was VERY eager to eat the entire thing, but was easily distracted by all the pretty colors in the cups!

Check out the drip I caught on this shot. Click the image for a larger view:

And finally our annual family photo in front of the flowers in the College Church sanctuary.

We spent the afternoon hosting a dear college student and then had a small group family over for evening dessert. The kids had a blast and we enjoyed spending the day worshipping and with friends.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Glass Panels Installed!

Part of our home design involves some creative uses of glass panels in different parts of the house. This is a real highlight for us and we've been looking forward to their installation for a LONG time. Well, the panels finally arrived this week and the guys finished the installation today. Let me take you on a tour.

This first shot was taken in our upstairs sitting room, looking toward the master bedroom door. As you can see on the right there's a normal maple door, but on the left we've used a frosted panel. Actually, it's two pieces of glass with a layer of white laminate sandwiched between. It's trimmed out like a door, but provides a interesting visual ambiguity between the two spaces, as well as extra light. The manufacturer says the glass transmits about 70% of the light, and you can see vague shadows, but it's otherwise very private.

The other set of panels is in the kitchen. We wanted a smooth, monolithic backsplash material that would be visually interesting and also very easy to clean. Again, we went with frosted glass because it also brings the element of "blurring" spaces because of the light transmission. This first shot shows our new kitchen at night. I really love the way the light leaks over the middle wall and through the glass backsplash. It's just how our architect, Bill, designed it.

This next shot isn't that much different, but it gives you a sense of the lighting variations with the cooktop illuminated.

The last photo for tonight is one more night shot of the kitchen with the lights turned up to about 30 percent. We still need to find some good pendants for accent lighting, but everything in the kitchen is very functional. We love cooking and hosting more than ever!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Stair Railing Going In

I've been saying this for months, but our house project is almost done! Our glass panels arrived yesterday (photos to come soon) and the steel workers came to install the railing system. There were a few small problems with the railing so they had to remove it, work on it, and they'll bring it back later this week for final fitting. It was an exciting (and loud) day with all the work going on, and it was also a great day for photos. I mean, how often to do get to take a picture of a steel worker, a grinder, and a fistful of sparks...in your home?

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Published Again

The other day I received a padded envelope in the mail and wondered what the surprise was. I didn't recognize the return address, but I ripped it open and took a peak. Inside I found a copy of Signspotting 2:

As I thumbed through the book I realized why I had received a copy...they used one of my photos:

What a fun treat! If you're not familiar with these books, I recommend them for a funny browse. You can't help but flip through the entire book and laugh out loud through the whole thing!