Monday, December 8, 2008

Our First Turkey Day! Success!

I hate to gloat, but I have to say we kicked some major ass on our first Thanksgiving.

Our recipe for success:
  • Double the capacity: That's right, we Ballard Power Rangers combined forces to create a super-ultra Thanksgiving celebration. Between 32's perfect pre-diner lounge to 30's make-shift giant "formal" dining table, we crafted the optimal dine-work-chill space. Double the kitchens meant more birds and other awesomeness (see below points). Perfect for our total of 15 attendees.

  • Fancify the cocktails: Outdoing herself as usual, Jean busted out a mean array of potent, refreshing, and tasty drinks beautifully arranged complete with typewritten labels. Drinks included red and white Sangria, Egg Nog Brandy, oolong-infused plum wine, pomegranate-mint vodka lemonaid

  • Triple-threat birds: We assembled a delicious trio of foul. Dave brought his freshly killed 12+lb new feathered friend formally known as "mash potato", who's white meat melted in everyone's mouth. Chika's scrumptious deep fried grouping of Cornish Game Hens looked gorgeous and tasted the same. Finally, my Peking Duck (complete with the head) tided everyone over as we waited for the final diner preparation.

  • A top notch supporting cast (of munchies): For appetizers, Jesse assembled multiple platters of culinary delights including Bacon wrapped prawns (Yummo!). Chika rocked the mashed potatoes (which also included a bacon boost). Drew, Jeff, and Sarah showed up Le Creuset's in hand with delicious soup, salad, and from-scratch brioche
  • Killer deserts: Jared provided the quintessential pumpkin pie and Apple Cheddar pie both done up right while we gorged further on my Mom's carrot cake bites and Jean's toffee chocolate crunch.
  • Good friends and family: We of course could have never enjoyed ourselves so thoroughly without the fine company we had. Thanks to everyone for coming and contributing.

More photos here.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

stitchin' pictures together!

been stitching pictures togehter of some of the work on 2432... maybe I should just get a wide-angle lens?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Beginning to see the light

Things are slowly but surely coming together on the '30 side. We are finally getting some painting finished up and getting rid of the hideous boob ceiling lights that were installed in our unit.

The bedroom is the first one shaping up. Here's the before as found when the previous tenant lived there. Note the boob light looming above us.

Pull out the carpet, add some awesome furniture, light aqua blue paint, and a vintage George Nelson bubble lamp and we have a nearly complete room we can be proud of. The GN light definitely steals the show. We purchase it from our friends Cheryl and Casey at Tiny Modernist via a random Craigslist connection. Thanks guys! We love it in the room. Craigslist strikes again!

Jean mixed the paint from opps paint we got from Homie D's, so all said, the improvements have cost us $65. $50 for the lamp, $15 for paint and supplies. Not bad, ehh? We still need to tackle window treatments and base trim. Sigh. Back to work.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The "Dupe" of the future??

This post doesn't begin to hold a candle to Jean's Power Range post, but it does involve more photoshop trickery.

Here's a rendering I did of the house's front facade when we were all psyched up in the time between the offer and closing.

I'm sure this is the first of many ideas about revamping the front, but I think this one has some potential. The goal would be to unify the front more to make it look less like two separate units. This would be done via a 8-10" frame around both windows that would create a window box below for wicked awesome plants that we'd probably enviably kill with neglect. We would then change up the siding in between them and it would create this awesome huge-looking single window thing. Oh, and we'd also paint the outside some bold dark grey with color accents under the roof. Where's the $ and time going to come from? I'm banking on a high likelihood of a Federal bail-out, but we could also get higher-paying jobs as a back up plan.

What do y'all think?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Ballard Power Rangers to the Rescue!

As you read on the first post with Chika's intro for Thirty.Thirtytwo...while this may not be a reality doesn't mean that it can't an awesome show with 5 kick ass super heroes (Chika, Dylan, Jean, Jared, and Jesse)....actually 5 and a half, counting Jesse's cat. We are the NEW Mighty Morphin Power Rangers-Home Improvement Edition 2008. (We're currently trying to pitch this idea to HGTV for kids...) Our mission is to save this old 1962 building from it's ugliness and turn it into total awesomeness. Each one of us has our own superhero powers with our own special power ranger weapons....and with all of us combined, we're gonna kicking some major ass....did I mention that we're awesome?

Here's our character break down:Chika-Founder of Chikabird Inc.---morphs into--->Pink Power Ranger-Unlike the ditzy former Pink Power Ranger, Chika is sharp and meticulous. When she sets her mind on something, she makes it happen using her Pterodactyl Power. She can also use her half-Japanese Crane Power to cut through kitchen cabinets, as well at shooing all the squirrels and crows away.
Dylan-Product engineer at HenryBuilt Kitchens & Co owner of L&G Vintage---morphs into--->Red Power Ranger-Similarly to the former Red power ranger to be known as the "class clown, good nature, spirited and likes to have fun. With lower IQ level but has the power of the Tyrannosaurus." Dylan's Tyrannosaurus power can spot super deals from Craig's List in a blink of an eye. He also uses his Power Sword to cut up HB scraps and turn them into awesome cabinets and furniture.Jean-Co Owner of Chikabird Inc. and Founder of L&G Vintage---morphs into--->Yellow(Asian) Power Ranger-Unlike the lame former Yellow Power Ranger, Jean is much cooler and doesn't do all the stereotypical Asian spiritual/kung fu crap. Instead, Jean uses her Power Dagger or whatever thing to ensure that the team uses minimal resources for maximum results. Jean also can now apply with her saber tooth tiger power she uses for L&G Vintage, to spot deals and one of a kind finds from afar at garage sales, estate sales and thrift stores for decorating the house!Jared-Head product designer of General Assembly Product Design---morphs into--->Blue power ranger-Like the former Blue Power Ranger, he's the smartest of the group who wears glasses and has "super genius IQ level." Jared is a perfectionist and a whiz at making things work even if he's never done it before. So far, he has installed a kitchen range, a vent hood, a sink, and even a door bell with his Triceratops power without even looking at any instruction manuals.....okay, maybe that's an exaggeration. But he did install the door bell without looking at the manual!Jesse-Store manager at Starbucks---Morphs into-->Green Power Ranger-Like the former Green Power Ranger Jesse joined the team soon after the other Power Ranger teamed up. It was the perfect time to pull out his green Power Ranger costume from his closet and start wearing it once again! (since Starbucks wouldn't allow him to wear it while serving coffee) Now, as part of the Power Rangers, Jesse provides the team with unlimited supply of coffee and insures that everyone is caffinated and woking on the house 24/7. Jesse also works magic in the kitchen and on the grill. Currently, his Dragon Dagger (also doubles as a flute) is still packed up, but once retrieved, he will surely be back in action making amazing gourmet meals.Baby-Jesse's pet cat---morphs into--->Black Power Ranger-Although not an African American human like the former Black Power Ranger, Baby is a cat who also enjoys "dancing, magic, and is a good friend with a good heart." Baby always know to cheer up the group with her cuteness....Besides that she just hangs out around the house all day and gives high fives.

All these fab glamor shots were done by Jean's late night saber tooth power as well...Everyone's hair styles are authentic to the former ranger's photos . So check out the before shots. Trust me....we don't usually look THIS good.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Us in the New York Times!

We got mentioned on the New York Times! Well..not exactly US...per say...more like Ballard..the neighborhood.... Close enough though!
In any case, the NYT wrote this travel article on how cool and awesome Ballard is with their organic farmer's market, Salmon locks, Nordic Museum, nice shops, cafes & restaurants, and everything nice. It's exciting to think that people all the way in NEW YORK are reading about Ballard while riding on the subway trains or in their NY lofts probably thinking about how nice it would be to visit....and here's us...with a house and actually living in Ballard. NEAT!!



Tuesday, October 7, 2008


With the loom of google-spam-watch threatening to lock up our blog - I guess we'd better post something in between chores!

If this were a reality show, I would say "This is the story of 2 couples who thought it would be a good idea to buy a duplex together. See what happens when the stresses of financing, moving, and fixing-upping take it's toll on their relationships." And then I'd try to stir up drama and ratings by hiding tools from the person who needs them, and leave trash in weird places so a rodent problem develops.
BUT this isn't a reality show, just a home progress log of 2 designing couples teaming up to acquire and achieve more than possible on their own. So far, that's meant a tidy 1962 duplex in the heart of Ballard. We'll get to consult with each other on projects, pool resources, learn from each other's mistakes, and work together on our investment and home. On the West siiiide is Jared and Chika and on the East (siiiiide) is Jean and Dylan. All four of us have an industrial design background, and like to travel, shop, and eat. Jean and Dylan have a penchant for seeking and finding vintage treasures, and Jared and I tend to comb supermarkets and stationary stores for everyday modest delights.

I think we'll post progress reports, before/after pics, maybe the occasional how-to, and restaurant reviews from the neighborhood. So far, the 7-11 at the end of our block gets 4 out of 5 high fives! 4 for convenience, slurpee and pop-tart selection, and for stocking my favorite ramen. I'm holding out on that last high five because they were out of taquitos once when I really needed one. Before you cast doubt on my judgement criteria and qualifications, I'll tell you the one thing NO ONE tells you when you buy a place - you end up eating a LOT of fast food that first month. Between projects and trips to Home Depot (hereby referred to as Homey D's), who's got time to cook?

Lots of catching up to do - like harrowing tales of cleaning out the rat infested crawl space! And an update of what we've done (and haven't done) to our kitchen! And what projects we've started but won't finish until Winter forces our hand (installing new heaters!). And just what is up in that attic crawl space? Which brave soul will be the first up there?

Stay tuned....