This is a blog featuring my personal stories of food, gardening, yachting, photography, travel and life.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Another Paint Job!

The 2008 Bellingham Chalk Art Festival was held this weekend and what started out with so much promise quickly fizzled as the rains came. The chalk art really never got off the ground, but Cornwall Street was still crowded with artists of all types, food vendors along with the Bite of Bellingham celebration and lots of home grown music. Bellinghamsters don't let a little liquid sunshine keep our webbed feet from getting out for a little fun.

We drove down in our little red Miata, top down in cloudy skies with sunshine making occasional appearances. Each artist had their own covered booth and we walked from artist to artist without seeing much we liked until we came upon Pham Quoc Hung. We were immediatley drawn to his work. The artist himself was there. He struggled with English but his humble pride in his work was apparent. His work was almost flying off the wall of his booth.

We walked back and forth between his acrylic pieces and the wood block prints he displayed. One piece we loved was sold out from under us, but we finally settled on an original acrylic (left) in bright hues of red, orange and browns, a real departure for us. The still life titled Tropical Fruit is about 2' X 3' and as yet has not got a home on one of our walls. We just love it!

The block print, right, was of two lovers nestled next to an ox with birds flitting about, a frequent theme in his work. The colors in thess photo are pretty close to the actual print.
We purchased our two new acquisitions which were fortunately, carefully covered in black plastic for as we drove home in our open Miata, the rain began to come down in buckets. By the time we pulled into our garage we were drenched. So we are spending a quiet afternoon preparing for a dinner party this evening and deciding where these beautiful new additions to our art collection should be displayed.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

A New Paint Job!

After many years of needing it, months of planning, much rending of garments and tearing hair out by the handsful, we have finally got our house painted.

We have known it needed doing for years but kept putting it off figuring it would cost us a small fortune. When we finally got serious about it we started asking around. One day while visiting at some friend's home we noticed they had a new paint job and that it looked great. They gave us Ken Anderson's number and we had him stop by to bid the job. We were shocked at how inexpensive his price seemed. We loved the job he had done on our friend's home and so we gave him the job.

Ken came by about 2 weeks before painting began and pressure washed the entire house and even did the deck. He also handed off two paint sample booklets and said he'd be back to begin painting August 1st. In the meantime we had hundreds of colors to select from and no idea where to start.

We recalled a house a few blocks over that had a color scheme we liked. So we walked by their house one afternoon and asked if we could put our paint samples up against their house because we loved their colors so much. They were very flattered and invited us to go ahead. Leslie held one paint sample after another up against the wall until we found what we thought were the right colors.

Time passed and got away from us and the day came for Ken to arrive to begin prepping the house for painting. We still hadn't done what we had said we would which was to go to the paint store and bring home some quart samples. We intended to paint a strip of paint and the coordinating trim color on the side of the house just to see if we liked it.

So the day came, Ken arrived and we zipped off quickly to buy the samples. Arriving home we painted a swath of color across the side of the house and stood back in horror! NOOOOOOOO! The color was hideous. Impossible! No way!!! The color looked like a pastel green Easter egg. What do we do? Ken needs to know what color to buy gallons of paint tomorrow morning so he can begin painting.

In a panic we drove around through several neighborhoods looking for something we liked. Nothing. Finally we decided to just drive back to the paint store and hash it all out until we made a decision. I wanted the paint to go more gray. Leslie was just not sure anymore. We looked at the same several strips of color options we had been focused on since the beginning and our eyes finally settled on this one color that was green but more towards the gray side. I don't know, it's hard to explain. You really have to go through this process sometime to understand the pressure and frustration it can be. We purchased a quart of that color along with a darker trim and also selected an even grayer option and trim color.

Back home we applied the paints to the wall of the house and waited. As it dried the color popped and we had our choice. "Dishwater" was the color name and "relic" the trim color. Not great names so for fun we elected to change the names for purposes of better story telling. The body color of the house is now called "Puget Sound Foam" and the trim color "Great Northwest Forest." Much better, huh?

We informed Ken of our decision and the next morning at 7:30 am we awoke to the sound of Ken making final preparations for painting. About 9:30 am we went out to go mattress shopping (a whole other blog entry). We returned a couple of hours later to what appeared to be a white house. I thought it would change once it dried. Leslie was worried it wouldn't. We decided to leave again and do more shopping. Leslie was nervous the whole way home, sure she was going to hate what she would find when we drove up to the house. Surprise! As we slowed and turned into the driveway we looked up at exactly the color we had chosen--It was beautiful. The lightest of greens, almost an overtone if that makes any sense. The color had dried while we were gone and the color popped just as it had in the sample we painted on the house the day before. It is a strange color though as it seems to be one color when the sun is on it and another when it is not. Cool!

So, here it is. The on-line unveiling of our newly painted home.