Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Sand 'n scrub

Last night we worked on details. Tocco sanded and primed these sweet little shelves (check out that speed) for their new future in a warm grey, while I cleaned the ten coats of paint off of one set of kitchen cabinet hinges. Aw yeah

 Initially, we bought all new hinges to replace these, but we realized we couldn't use them. Our cabinets are custom built for the space, which is really the best part about them, but that is also what makes them so damn fussy. They do not want any hinge other than the one they were built for! So, we have to work each one for about 15 minutes to uncover the silver under all that paint. Tedious? You bet. Luckily, we came up with a solution that seems to work well. 

Put those little suckers on the stove, add a few squirts of dish soap, and let 'em boil.

Carefully pull one out at a time. They look unsalvageable. But they're not.

Add more soap, scrub like nuts, get a few layers off, then put them back into the water. Pull out the next hinge. Repeat. Pull them all back out for a final cleaning... 

Et violĂ ! Not perfect, but you'll never know.

Screw them back into place. Cross your fingers you chose the right hinge for the right hole or you'll need to take them off again and figure out where each came from. But it's all worth it. I think these are prettier and better suited to the space than the new Home Depot ones anyway. There's a subtle Art Deco vibe to these that I know very well now, and quite like. 

Monday, March 3, 2014

Crown Beach Restoration

Saturday's amazing sunset was too good not to share. That's San Francisco on the right. Sometimes it's even prettier to see it from a distance, all at once, than to be inside of it. 
Alameda just completed a major sand restoration project on this beach. Erosion had wiped away the majority of the sand over the years so the beach was really just a sandy cliff with a little strip to walk on. It's also a popular spot for kitesurfing, paddleboarding and kayaking so sometimes it felt a little crowded just hanging out there. Since we've lived in the area we've seen ships in the distance pulling up sand from the Bay floor. Now they've put that sand back onto the beach, and recreated it. The improvement is stunning! The water is so shallow for the first 100 yards or so that reflections from the clouds just pop against the water. My new favorite spot.