Thursday, March 28, 2013

Pine-Cone the Printer

While pulling up layers of paper and cardboard off an old work table in the basement, I found a bunch of doodles, apparently by someone named "Pine-Cone."  I hope Pine-Cone comes back and hones his art skills in our studio...he's not bad and seems like he'd be fun to hang out with!

Mrs. Pine Cone?

Who hasn't felt like this at work?

Poor product naming...

Found this in the basement...words fail.  They seriously couldn't have come up with a better name???

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Chainsaw fun!

Even though it may be a little too early for gardening, we were out there yesterday doing a bit of "landscaping."  We're pretty sure nobody will bother us after seeing Tom walking around carrying a chainsaw AND an axe, especially if they've seen enough horror films.

That's good advice for anyone.

Anyway, there was a tree-weed-bush, or a tweedsh, as we affectionately liked to call it, that was growing in front of the building.  It must have been growing there for years because it totally mangled the steel fence post, which takes a lot of force, and it was absorbing the fence into it as it grew:


Leatherface, uh, I mean Tom, took his chainsaw to it, and make fairly quick work of it.  The roots are so embedded and it's so hardy, that we're definitely going to have to get the stump pulled out before it starts growing again.

Here are some before and after shots:

This is what it looks like in all its glory in the summer

I can see clearly now, the weed is gone

Friday, March 22, 2013

Brickwork beauty

Brickwork around the front door is done!  Not sure whether we're going to paint all the bricks over, get them sandblasted and not paint them at all, or leave it kind of the way it is - some painted some not - kind of artsy, no?

Anyway, it looks worlds better than it did with the paneling covering everything.

Here are some before and after pictures:



Monday, March 11, 2013

Going once, going twice...


Our vintage steelcase tanker desks generated lots of interest!  I posted them on Craigslist and eBay.  Someone from Craigslist emailed me and said she wanted to buy them all, but when I replied saying that the price of $100 was non-negotiable, she disappeared from the face of the earth.  Which is a really good thing because they sold on eBay for a total of $246.72!  There was a bidding frenzy at the end, pushing the price up for one desk to $137.72.  The others sold for $89 and $20.  Not bad for some old junk someone left behind! 
This one sold for $89

This one for $20

And this beauty, which I thought about keeping for myself, for $137.72! The buyer loved it so much, he's coming from Annapolis, MD to pick it up.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Bathroom adventures!

Tom started gutting the upstairs bathroom, which will become the public bathroom.  Here's what it looked like before:

Nope, don't even want to know what those reading materials are...

The drop ceiling and light/fan.
And here's what it looked like after Tom took the groovy 70's paneling down...

It looked like there was black paint over the brick, then they painted over the black with green, then they paneled over that in the 70's. 

Our plan is to knock out the wall in between the bathroom and the gross black janitor closet and make it one large bathroom. 

As Tom was gutting the bathroom, we discovered several interesting things.  First, we realized that originally it was probably two bathrooms, his and hers, next to each other - we assumed the gent's was originally the one on the right because it was much smaller (guys don't need much room, right!?)  We came to this conclusion because there's a board nailed to the floor covering what was probably the hole where the toilet was. 

The the original door hinges remained on the doorway on the right, even though the door is long-gone.  The beauty and ornate detail, even for something as ordinary as a door hinge, is truly amazing:

After Tom took the paneling down, there were a few disturbing holes through the wall into the original ladies' room.  Peep hole?  I don't know, you be the judge...

It looks directly into the whole bathroom.  Creepy!  Yes, we will be covering that up with paneling again!

We really didn't know what was over the drop ceiling, so it was a mystery as to what we would find up there.  Tom was betting on Jimmy Hoffa.  I thought perhaps a colony of extremely pissed off bats, but fortunately, neither!  No, it was actually good news for once!  The drop ceiling was hiding yet another gem that had been hidden away.  Double windows that have long been covered, but not anymore.  We've decided to open up the bathroom all the way up to the high ceiling and keep the double windows exposed. 

No point to showing you this, except for the cool dramatic lighting!

Finally letting sunlight in after decades of being closed off

Sunlight happy to be streaming in once more!

We had two more surprises with the bathroom:  one pretty cool, the other not so much.  First, the not so cool surprise.  When Tom broke the wood out from the window, some bees came at him, which he valiantly fought and killed.  They left behind a few honeycombs.


The big surprise, though, came when Tom was cleaning off the top of the drop ceiling on the right side and a ladies boot came out!  WTH??  Don't know how it would possibly get on top of the drop ceiling, but I just hope no one stashed a body up there!  We haven't taken the other half of the ceiling down yet, so who knows?  If you drive by and see yellow crime tape around the building you'll know why. 

Stay tuned for the "after" pictures!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

One man's junk is another man's treasure

The previous owners left behind a lot of stuff when they left, which was a bit of an annoyance at first because it meant more work for us getting rid of it.  But, as we looked everything over, we quickly realized that they had left behind a lot treasures we could use, and now we're thankful that they did!

They left two great old light tables, which we will definitely use for the darkroom area and, although I can't draw a stick figure, Tom tells me artists can use them as well.  These will save us lots of money!  They need a little TLC: a good clean up, a little rust removal and a paint touch-up in places, and new glass on top, but they are solid and will probably be around a lot longer than any of us.

Some of my favorite things they left behind are four steelcase/tanker desks.  I picked one to keep for our office, and the other three are listed for sale on Craigslist and eBay.  I  absolutely love them all and would love to keep them, but they weigh several hundred pounds each, and I really just want someone else to take them out of the building.  My hope is that they get into the hands of someone who is going to restore them and that they don't end up being sold for scrap.  They don't build beauties like these anymore but unfortunately so many end up on the scrap heap.  They look a little rough right now, but with some elbow grease they could be stunning enough to make Don Draper envious!
This one has 3 people watching it on eBay and it still has 6 days to go before the end of the auction

This has 1 person watching it on eBay

This has 2 eBay watchers!

This is the one we're keeping for our office. OK, I know it's not much to look at now, and maybe some of the drawers stick and maybe it has some rust on it, but I absolutely love it and have big plans for it!

The top is Formica and is in near-perfect condition, amazing after 40+ years!
We'll let you know how the auction goes.  I want to sell them but it will make me sad to see them go!