Tuesday, March 31, 2009

28 Days

Last year at this point we were frantically planning our Europe trip. We thought about just leaving everything behind and traipsing abroad again this year. Then we realized we're a part of a tour of homes and we have to get ready for that. We don't have time to do both so we'll have to choose.

Joshua is outside scrubbing down our deck, NOT out buying quick drying underwear.

Here is our checklist of things that we have completed:

Super cool wall hanging in the hall - CHECK!

Exterior doors painted black - CHECK!

Out of our list of twenty or so things to do that's all we've got so far. Should be a busy few weeks before the tour!

Friday, March 27, 2009

The Two T's Head Off

So we have spent an equal amount of our adult life in the two US states that begin with "T." One of the car games Joshua and I played on our fifteen hours south was a comparison of those states. Here are our findings:

Texas has Whataburger and Schlitterbahn

Tennessee has lots of tall trees and their leaves change colors

Texas is dead and dry most of the year

Tennessee has a poor public education system

In Texas there is state pride

In Tennessee you can open your windows for 2 months every year

Texas has access roads and frontage roads

Tennessee has great hiking trails and history

Texas has TexMex

Tennessee has the Smokey Mountains

You have to drive through Pigeon Forge to get to the Smokey Mountains in Tennessee

You have to drive forever to get anywhere in Texas

Can you add anything to our list?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Today we are finishing up our trip to Austin. The family we are staying with is a family we used to babysit for all the time in college. They are an amazing family who everyone wanted to be around and we were honored to have been their babysitters. I made them practice their piano, we played Nintendo 64, did homework and they were even in my last "short" for film school.

Unfortunately, while we were in Nashville their kids have grown up (funny how we didn't get older but they did), now the boys are over six feet and the daughter is quite a beautiful young woman.

I'm a little sad to be packing up our stuff and leaving their house because it just feels so comfortable. Thank you Walters for opening your home to college students 9 years ago and thank you for making us feel like a part of the family!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Forced Parenting

So Tiff and I have been in Texas since Tuesday. We stopped in Conroe to visit a good friend, and we're now in Boerne visiting the in-laws, Tiff's sister Tawna and more importantly her baby daughter (our niece) BriLane.

For those that don't know me well or maybe just don't know THIS- up until recently I've been more than a little freaked out about young kids (playing with them, holding them, or just being in the same vicinity). To begin to remedy this I've spent over a year volunteering with the 2 year olds at church. I now feel pretty comfortable with the terrible 2's but any younger still freaks me out.

I have some ideas about this. They are two-fold:

  1. I've had zero experience. Unless you count a few moments of awkwardly holding a baby while praying it doesn't start crying.
  2. The Fear - I've always been afraid they'll sense my fear and start crying, or worse, I'll drop them creating long term damage (you always hear tell jokes about this, but I secretly believe them - there's always a small amount of truth in everything right? so you know it's really happened)

Enter my lovely helper Tiffany. After I declined her invitation to play with BriLane (and by play I mean throw her three feet in the air repeatedly, completely losing contact control, has she not read #2 above?!) she decided I should have four interactions with BriLane before bedtime last night.

  1. I started by pushing her on the swing while we were at the park. She laughed, I nervously smiled.
  2. Next I held her and we played on the couch. I tried to start her geometry education, she chewed on each of the shapes I presented. Not so bad though, no crying or loss of limb.
  3. Then we cruised around in her toy jeep trying to distract her before dinner. She was getting fussy and tired. I couldn't get her to stop crying, but we made the loop of the house anyway.
  4. Finally came the real test. After dinner I was charged with diaper change, BATH TIME (baby in water, are you kidding me?!), putting on the pjs, feeding and putting her down. I have to say this was my favorite part. She fussed through the bath, but once I got her out to dry off, she plopped her head down on my shoulder and there was some definite bonding. The feeding was a breeze, she practically became comatose mid suck.

Two year olds..........check. One year olds.............check.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


You know what's stupid? Leaving your city without your camera.

You know what's embarrassing? Not even thinking about bringing your camera until you're six hours into your fourteen hour drive.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Thy Neighbor

His name is Sam.
His yard adjoins our property on the back side of our lot where there is a drainage swale, a fence and a continually growing thatch of bamboo.
He is whom I am to love.

The first time I met Sam, it was pouring rain. Big fat rain, the kind where you take a breath and bolt from the car.

We had been living in our new house for about six months. Tiffany and I were down in the studio working away, when there was a knock at the office door. I got up and opened the door to find an older man (I'd guess early 70's) standing in the rain wearing a rain slicker, a rain hat and some very white generic tennis shoes.

The first words out of his mouth..........."I want to show you something".

I obliged, and we trudged off through our back yard discussing the water draining from our property onto his and the ways it was disturbing his life.

There were several...................he drew my attention to each of them.

I did my best not to write him off as a crazy old man with nothing better to do than complain, but it was tough. It was forty degrees and I had been standing in the rain for thirty minutes, all the while thinking "I'm too busy for this."

That was one year ago.

Between then and now I made every effort to address the drainage issue, including man-handling some twenty-three loads of dirt down the hill to fill in a large hole which was creating a scene from Caddyshack. (For those that don't get the reference - during heavy rain, water was going down a large hole in our yard and making small geysers in his yard compliments of the moles).

Then a few days ago as I was raking in the back, I hear someone clear their throat loudly behind me. Before even turning around I said "Hey Sam, how are ya?"

His reply, "I see you moved my stick."

Did I forget to mention that he also periodically comes into OUR yard after a rain and pokes holes in OUR ground looking for bigger holes just below the surface? This last time he apparently left his stick in the ground and not two minutes earlier I had removed it. (Note to self: He watches his stick.)

"Seems you fixed one problem, but I'm still getting mud all over my driveway."

He proceeded to inform me about his efforts to get the city Stormwater Commission to help address the situation, and I fought my urge to cripple an old man with a rake.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Computer vs. Reality

In anticipation of our "tour of home" we decided we needed to execute whatever we were going to do in our hallway. The original idea was to use the different pictures of doors from our Europe trip, however, we quickly learned that you can't frame in camera a picture to be 4 x 6 and then blow it up to 8 x 10.

You might think 2 college educated people with a high level of understanding of math would have realized that. Or maybe a 4th grader!

With that idea put to bed (after an indeterminate amount of yelling), our hallway brainstorm led us to embroidery hoops that held fabric. I had seen that as an element in a wall arrangement and I thought it would work to just make that the whole installation. We spent the last month collecting hoops and fabric. Then, while in NYC I saw a store that had a wall covered in the exact idea. I love NYC when it validates my ideas!

Joshua totally geeked out on this project and made us a 3D model of our hallway and arranged the different sized hoops so that we could really see what it was going to look like. He even went one step further and found online samples of the fabric or scanned in the fabric so that we could make good fabric choices as well.

Here is his model:

Wall Hanging-model

Here is reality:

Wall Hanging-cropped

That is home design 2.0

Thursday, March 12, 2009

I usually hate the trip

Until last week I have never had a trip to Memphis that I liked. Every time I have gone the traffic has been HORRIBLE getting there and most recently someone was shot around our hotel. I'm sure Memphis is a great place, however, my experiences have been memorable but quite short of enjoyable.

I got a call while we were in New York for a small gig for a couple of days. The guy who hired me actually said "Hey I'm going out on the road with this band and I need a tele-prompter. Who do you rent from because I'm sure you don't want to be on a bus full of guys for 2 days?"

Tsk, tsk! How little he knows.

I jumped at the job because
A: boys don't scare me
B: it was work
C: that sounds like an adventure to me.

I went into this totally oblivious about where we were going and had very little idea what we were doing. Turns out that was perfect because I would have been dreading the trip to Memphis and it was totally painless. I seriously might make a tour bus my standard mode of transportation to Memphis because it was perfect. We hung out in the back lounge, watched TV and napped in the bunks and that my friends, is the way to travel to Memphis.

As far as the gig goes, the toughest part of the trip was finding a place to shower on Friday. "The band" was playing at sports arenas and I had NO interest in visiting the rooms labeled "Locker Room." I seriously doubt they had the modesty clause like the YMCA. Early in the morning (you know, like 10 am) I found a dressing room that was unlabeled and hoped that for the next 10 minutes no one would come in and freak out because I was using their shower. I made it through without any yelling although when I was done the room had been labeled for the opener's band so I quickly made an exit.

I could totally live on the road 2 days a week. I did it for 2 months and that'll kick your butt AND make you crazy but I think I could adjust to 2 days a week on the road. So you let me know if you need a producer, writer, tele-prompter operator, designer, tutor, knitting instructor, office manager, or soon to be realtor to travel with anyone for 2 days a week. I'll even go to Memphis!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

What is Up with the Time?

I have heard Daylight Savings Time is a hard adjustment for kids but I have never had any trouble with the switch (you know, except for the annoyance of losing an hour of sleep). This year is quite a different story. This is the third morning that Joshua and I can't make ourselves get out of bed. It feels like someone is jerking us awake at 5 am except it isn't, its 7:30 and half the country is already on their way to work.

We decided to participate in the Lent season this year by giving up our sleeping in. We set a time and we decided to be up by that time Monday through Sunday. Until the Daylight Savings switch it was a breeze. We were getting to bed at a reasonable hour and then popping out of bed in the morning. All of that came to a screeching halt this week and we just can't do it. It is like God said, you know I appreciate the sentiment but lets crank this up a notch and really see if you can handle it. Well the answer is obviously - no.

I'm hoping our bodies equalize soon but until then I just want to give a shout out to all the toddlers who are struggling with the time change too.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Architecture by the Bottle

I love the idea of taking an object or a piece of history and using those items or ideas to develop details of a design or concept. The wine rack above is a detail from Circa restaurant in Memphis, TN designed by 3SIXO architects. The modular design serves as both screens, creating privacy for diners as well as storage for wine bottles. Simple idea, we need storage for our wine, we need privacy for our patrons. Two birds, one stone. They could have just as easily designed privacy walls and wine storage independent of each other. I think the combining of the two creates a new beauty, an added layer.

Johnsen Schmaling Architects used the history of the Blatz brewery company as inspiration for it's conversion into a mixed-use building. These pivoting walls of bottles from the brewery act as both a door and lighting element.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Winter Wonderland

More from our snow day in the park.

Tiff 2

Megan & Tiff

Our goal for the day: Capture an awesome photo for Megan's newly created Facebook page.................I think this is a decent option.

Megan 1

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Thank You Google

Apparently Google thinks we are the top name when it comes to custom residential architecture in Nashville. We are extremely flattered.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The New York Firsts

  • We have friends that live there
  • We cooked 3 or 4 meals while visiting
  • We stayed at 3 different hotels and one home during the visit
  • It snowed 8 inches
  • I went to a designer sample sale and actually bought something
  • Found out I do not like light art
  • We didn't see a show
  • Joshua walked the Brooklyn Bridge
  • Went to All Angels Episcopal Church

Monday, March 2, 2009

No School Today

New York 09-roof 2

New York 09-Brooklyn Bridge 1

So we're in NY, and the worst storm of the winter just blew through last night. 8-10" of snow, made for an awesome adventure in the park, and some great photos. It's been a great trip so far, more to come later.

New York 09-mailboxes

Tiff & Sam-NY 2009