Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween Tune from the other Georgia

Excepting the pumpkins I don't enjoy Halloween decorating. I do enjoy the candy and the children at our door. Why adults got nuts I don't understand.

But Halloween writing led me to reviews of Warner Herzog's 1979 Nosferatu and this Georgian folks song. No words necessary for me.

One by Hamlet Gonashvili isn't enough for me today:

Friday, October 30, 2009

Préparez vos mouchoirs - stuck song

"Get Out Your Handkerchiefs"
Last week Blue had a song stuck in his head. Not always a bad thing, I think. "Theme from Harry's Game" was written in human souls long before Clannad wrote it in 1982. I don't need the words.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Teardown: Foundation and wet sticking, 10-23-09

Once they finished grading and the rain stopped, it took less that 48 hours to dig and pour the foundations. Getting it right is hugely important. The architect, supervisor, foundation guys, and surveyor, lay it out, measure and remeasure. "Measure twice; cut once."


So, what it wet sticking? After the pour, while the concrete was still "wet," they "stuck" in the vertical rebar. They remeasured, snapped chalk-lines, and measured them out.


Next the'll build the structure, assemble the wall forms, and pour the walls.

Here is the project so far.


Sunday, October 25, 2009

Avant-Garde? A Gordon re-do on our big room

I'm participating in Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch!

Our designer friend Gordon insists we change things up from time to time. Yesterday he came over determined to re-do our big room. We certainly didn't tell him no. His rules: nothing the same, no cost. Only 2 pieces of furniture stayed in the same place. We can live with it for a while, tweak it, or change back.

Let me just show you 2 walls. Here is the double-round-sconce wall.


Here it is now. You can make the pictures bigger if you click on them.


Gordon said, "Got anything round?" We searched and tried everything round. I remembered our broken $20 plant roller from Lowes. It used to hold a giant pot on our porch. I removed the wheels and now it's wall decor. Every piece has a back story. Everything was somewhere else: the mirror, the fish, the lizard, the ballet dancers, vases, the deco-flowers

Gordon is amazing. We don't always understand where he's going. He searches the entire house for things to use. He assimilates it in his head. We try everything out. You get to a point where you think it's done but Gordon isn't satisfied. It can get a little frustrating and testy.

Here is the fireplace wall at Christmas. Our huge $70 Van Gogh was beautiful but it was time for a change.


This is a more professional photo:


We went avant-garde and witty with two of our son's graffiti paintings, coral and fish bones. Both hung vertically elsewhere in the house. I'm not objective about my own children. But these paintings are 60" wide. When you are in the room with them, they are stunning.


We'll fiddle with the bookshelves later. I'm sure there are some tweaks ahead.

If there is anything we've learned about ourselves, it's that we are not "searching for our style" at least in the sense you'd expect. We don't seem to have a style. We certainly don't have much cash.

Every time I've thought, "I don't like this style," I find something in that style that I love. And I get tired of the same stuff, even great stuff if I see it every day.

So changing, if we can, pumps us up. It's great having Gordon: watching a pro work, his delight in doing it, his delight is pushing us, his delight in spending nothing.

More money would help though.
Thanks to Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Best window-boxes in Morningside

(Please see the update at the bottom)

I want a window-box planter for our triple window. So I've been scouting around the neighborhood, checking out the Internet. Now I "see" them when I'm out. Here is the best in Morningside; it's not even close.


It's a teardown that didn't try too hard to blend. I think it turned out great. The window-boxes are a big part of it.


Those things are way up there. How do they water them?


Aha! A drip system:


I think these are metal lattice with matching planting pans. I guess you could use individual pots instead of the pans.

Here are a few more from the Duck Pond Tour. This one contains more plants that my whole yard. It's wood in a very straightforward rustic style, probably my style.


This one too. It also has a drip hose.


Here it is in context with your umbrella toting host. This is like our house (stone, white brick, sage trim) but kicked up by orders of magnitude:


So where do you get them? Smith and Hawkin is gone but there are plenty of ready-mades. They have several standard sizes but our triple window isn't a standard size.


Ideally we'd get a custom design and thus custom built boxes. They'd cost more than furniture. Well as Tara says, they need to look great when empty and they have to survive in the rain and sun.

The Atlanta architecture firm, Spitzmiller & Norris, offer professional plans on their website, a very good thing from a very good outfit.

Here is an actual Spitzmiller & Norris window box in one my favorite homes/yards in Atlanta. This house has been on "Homes Across America."


This house:

Windowbox, gravel, dovecote, and everything else by Spitzmiller & Norris.


Seen any good window-boxes? Tell where I can fix some pictures and plans.


Update: Thanks much for Pam Kersting at the GardenDesigns & More for the comments, please read them. She's a pro and raises the questions that magazines can't answer:
  • Is there a higher priority than a window box?
  • A style and size of box that compliments the house?
  • Boxes for one window our how many windows?
  • The right plants in context with the house and landscaping?
  • The right plants by seasons?
Here is the triple window from the street:


Here it is at Thanksgiving


Not long after the famous front yard drainage and sewer massacre.


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Teardown Week 7

It's been rainy, muddy, and messy since our last report, "Teardown Week 4." The building inspectors came, the erosion control inspectors came. Did I mention the rain? Finally it dried up. The architect, the supervisor, the surveyor, the grader arrived to figure out how exactly where and how deep to dig the hole.

I think the elevation of the basement is about 888' above sea level.

Here it was:

Here it is today. Lots of good Georgia clay:


Here is the whole sequence so far.


Moving photos, people, and Arabesques at Besharat Gallery

I was moved unexpectedly by pictures, people and music in one serendipitous evening. Katherine's and Laura's smiles confirm the good times.

We started last Thursday evening at the White Provision art and loft tour. At 8 we half-hardheadedly headed to Besharat Gallery at Castleberry Hill. It was a reception for Steve McCurry and Parish Kohanim. I knew nothing.

Moving Photos
So, we entered Besharat. On one side were National Geographic style photos by Steve McCurry. We've seen these. Up close, they are uncannily real.

On the other were stunning fine art photographs by Atlanta Photographer Parish Kohanim.

And lots of happy people in the middle:

MOVING Pictures
Can a picture make you weep? Make me weep? Maybe I was in the mood: We three Architecture Tourists have found something special, unexpected. I don't know. This one made my eyes tear up. It's by Parish Kohanim, huge, layered, shiny: floating dancers twirling into a blur:

Your results may vary of course. I can't explain it. I kept returning. It kept it's magic. It didn't affect Katherine or Laura the same way but they appreciated what it did for me. What will happen when I see if again?

I kept returning to this portrait with a flower by Parish Kohanim. Against an impressionistic background, this woman seemed more real than the people in the gallery. The flower in her hand seemed supernaturally natural. Her slight smirk let us in.

Steve McCurry's subjects also seem to be in the room with us:


MOVING Arabesque #1, Claude Debussy
Dania McDonald Lane played harp for the reception. Perfect yet most folks pay little attention: A beautiful sound, a beautiful instrument that is fascinating to watch. And watch I did while looking at my hyper-real girl on the left.

After a bit more wandering around Ms. Lane started playing Debussy's Arabesque #1. I rushed to the harp, listened and watched from 3 feet away with misty eyes. Never this close.

You've heard it many times. It may even be your ring tone. You might enjoy listening while you finish this post:

Laura, a well traveled photographer herself, knew who Mr. McCurry was. Katherine and I took it on ourselves to get pictures with Mr. McCurry and Mr. Kohanim and to make sure Laura got to speak with them. Mission accomplished. Both were delightful.

Laura, Katherine, Steve McCurry, Darrell Lane, Parish Kohanim at Besharat Gallery - Reception Thursday, October 15, 2009

Mr. Kohanim enjoyed our crew:

Turns out that Mr. McCurry asked Laura questions:

This is a hard act to follow. But I toured more of the gallery, frequently returning to my red, ballet triptych. Does it still "get" me. Yes:

Outside, there is a deck with this amazing whatever it is:

For chair mavens:

Upstairs: Art and furniture:


It was a moving night. Thanks to White Provision. Besharat Gallery, Steve McCurry, Parish Kohanim, Dania McDonald Lane (and Claude Debussy), and Architecture Tourists: Laura at Exploring the World in Atlanta and Katherine.

What a great evening and a hard act to follow. We'll certainly try.

Oh, what about Debussy's 2nd Arabesque?

Friday, October 16, 2009

White Provision Tour with artists: Nancy Ballew and Miguel Sartori

Three architecture tourists visited White Provision on a foggy Thursday evening. It was one of those nice events hosted by Denise Leitch Jackson that promote artists and real estate. We'd done a similar event at the Troy Peerless Lofts.

Here is the old White Provision building, an industrial landmark where 14th street T-bones into Howell Mill. It's been gutted and boutique'd.We toured the new residential building from which we took this photo:


New condos/lofts are pretty much the same these days (nice). At White Provision it's the view from the west. Here we are looking east from the master. Amazing view in spite of the fog.


Here is more. The city and the still industrial neighborhood. Your blog host swoons over places like this.


Nancy Ballew, an Atlanta mural artist, showed some of her series, " Atonement" which we liked. It was worthy of the 9th floor penthouse.



Artist Miguel Sartori showed "Horizons." We didn't meet him but like his serene landscapes.



White Provision also includes a bit of new urbanism. We did some delightful exploring on foot.

What is the building with yellow ears?


The iron works across Howell Mill:


West Egg for breakfast:


Tanner Hill Gallery


A footbridge crosses railroad tracks north to Bacchanalia and other restaurants.


Folks were dining outside (one of the great things about Atlanta autumns).


Yoga from the footbridge:



Altogether, quite a nice evening. Here are all the pictures. But we had other places to go. More on that later.


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