Our Week in Pictures

There’s too much going on at the Root Simple compound for a coherent Monday blog post. Our backyard resembles a strip mine in the aftermath of removing a poorly designed concrete patio (a concrete mess done in a style that Root Simple reader Peter describes as “mid-century incompetent”). We also thought it would be a good idea to start a bunch of interior projects at the same time.

In the midst of the chaos I managed to make an unfashionable lamp from these Wood Magazine plans:

And I finally, after much experimentation with finishes and ammonia fuming, I completed a reproduction of a Stickley #603 tabouret:

Better known as a cat stand:

While hunting for a window for our new/old closet I spotted this Moroccan style ceiling at Eric’s Architectural Salvage and wished that I had the lifestyle that would justify its purchase:

Instead of a that lifestyle, which I imagine involves robes, hookahs and a reclined posture on a couch, I instead find myself at the Glendale Home Depot which features this statue of a hot dog applying ketchup and mustard to itself:

If we were still in the 1990s I’d be tempted to write a whole book written in obtuse, post modern theory-speak on the recursive nightmare that is this hot dog statute but I’ve got contractors to juggle and more unfashionable furniture to build.

What projects are you tackling this spring/summer?

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  1. I LOVE this update, definitely helped start my Monday with a laugh!

    My husband and I have many plans for summer projects: build a new deck in the backyard, demolish and rebuild our front patio, install a walkway next to our driveway, build a record storage console, and (finally) finish our kitchen which has been backsplash-less for 6 months .

    Here’s to ongoing progress!


  2. Maybe moving in a few weeks, which will start a whole project avalanche (one acre of neglected gardens and drainage problems, comes with 1940s fixer house!). Even if we don’t bag that deal, we’re spring cleaning and decluttering. It’s time to plant tomatoes and squash here in coastal BC finally, and I’m due to have a baby in seven weeks. It should be an interesting summer.

  3. I have plenty of examples of mid-century incompetent around here! I absolutely love that lamp! So far, I have been struggling with getting someone to mow the lawn and not charge me a small fortune to do so. I need to sow flowers in a place where they can just bloom amongst chaos. I also need to plant tomatoes and basil and peppers.

    • There’s certainly no shortage of mid-century incompetent go go around. Good luck with the garden!

  4. Love the cat stands. Living in the oak-hickory terminal forest, I have dreams of a small sawmill and tons of quarter sawn oak. I’m currently making sharpening strops for more people than are interested and other, stranger, things.

    • I have a sharpening strop for chisels and planes–are you making the kind for shaving?

  5. Beautiful table lamp and tabouret (catouret?). How come you are allowed to do neat stuff like this? I have two outstanding jobs:

    (1) Restore lovely Craftsman staircase, which has been insensitively ruined (not essential).
    (2) Move three cubic yards of 3/4 inch drain rock from huge heap in driveway to where it is meant to go (essential).

    Guess which job I am going to be made to do first!

    • Man, three cubic yards, that’s a lot! I often wonder in what order we should tackle tasks. What goes first, should or want?

  6. 1. Lots of yardwork.
    2. Must find a tree surgeon who doesn’t charge an arm and a leg.
    3. Continue creating a top for the gazebo to replace the crummy canvas top that lasted less than two years. The plan is to cover the top (first) with a round solar pool cover, with a small hole cut in the center to accommodate the pointy thing at the top of the metal framework. Second, cover the pool cover with a very large square of shadecloth (almost an entire roll of tan shadecloth from the big orange store), cut into four strips and sewn together–with a small hole in the center. Finally, to (somehow) clip the two layers of this top onto the edges of the top of the gazebo with large binder clips. All of this while hoping for no wind.

  7. I love the table–and the lamp is SO cool! Your woodworking skills rock!
    I’m working on my fourth knitting project, a knit-in-the-round cushion cover to go with the other one that I completed last week. I’ll send photos when I finish.

  8. Absolutely stunning lamp and table!

    Everything around here is decorated with cats and/or cat hair, too.

    Projects: our house came with a 24′ x 30′, two-story barn that was built on a rectangle of cinder blocks laid directly on the ground. In this neck of the woods (almost-central Vermont), smart people make sure to build everything on supports that extend below the frost line which means digging at least 4 feet down. The cinder block “foundation” has heaved (surprise!) and, in spots, fallen over and the sills have rotted, so our ongoing project involves lifting the barn, one side at a time, digging a trench, pouring a footing and building a proper foundation with block, then replacing the sills. One long side was completed last fall, so this spring it’s a repeat on the other side. We are hiring out the block work and the excavation. When that’s all done, there are parts of the barn walls to repair and the water and electric lines to install. Fingers crossed it’s done by this fall so the animals can move in before next winter.

    As if that’s not enough, we’re finishing the greenhouse (do not buy a Clear-Span greenhouse kit, people. You will regret it.) and a 6 x 8 garden shed plus assorted other repairs. Should be a busy year.

  9. Beautiful pieces!

    PS A “whole book written in obtuse, post modern theory-speak on the recursive nightmare that is this hot dog statue” would be the kitten’s mittens. Surely it would reference Bob’s Big Boy and the Second Amendment Cowboy?

  10. That hot dog statue(?)is disturbing but especially disturbingly “well endowed” from the angle of the photo.

    I’m digging a stock pond by hand! Except my 2 wheeled cart broke an axle, so I need to redesign/fix it and dig fast until the ground is too hard and dry to dig any more.

  11. Gah! You make me LAUGH!!! I thought Cat Stand was good and then we got to the Hot Dog…. Seriously though: Good luck on all these simultaneous projects. I hope they’re going well/wrapping up nicely.

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