On Schedule

We’re only about 2 weeks behind schedule so far, which is actually about 2 weeks less behind schedule than I thought we’d be at this point. So we’re actually ahead of schedule.
Work on the taps is going swimmingly. I’ve got 16 tap designs that we’ll be launching at the end of the month. We’ve been testing finishes and getting the process down, faster and faster.
Derek will be doing some big upgrades to the CNC in the next couple of months. We’ll post a video once it’s done. A shopping cart will follow in fall with more products coming in spring (bar stools, pub signs etc).
Here are a couple of new taps freshly engraved on the CNC ready to be cut out and filled with epoxy.

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Our latest taps including this one, as well as our bar stools are currently at the GPAG till the end of the month.

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Narwhals!

Thanks everyone for voting on your favorite East Creek Session Ale tap handle!

The Narwhals were the clear winner and not just because my Dad voted 50 times.

Below are a few photos of the taps I’ve been working on this morning.

We’ll be working on lots of new designs in the coming weeks as well as a few jigs and racks that will make the process much faster. We’re hoping to have a shop set up in the next few months with tap handles to start and cooled beer towers, stools, bar tops, signs etc. down the road.

We believe any home that doesn’t have its own private pub is just uncivilized; (background music swelling) an oversight by home builders causing needless deprivation and suffering. We want to change that. You can call us heroes, but we’re just regular people that want to change the world…(camera pans out, background music crescendo!) one home pub at a time!

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VOTING TIME!

At long last! Not just one, but two East Creek Session Ale logos!!! I’ve been promising an East Creek Ale logo ever since we made the West Creek Homebrew beer box a year or so ago, causing feelings of alienation, tension and jealousy. Creating a rift between East and West Creek, a rift that can only be healed with narwhals and submarines.

Time for all the East Creekers to weigh in on what your ale logo will look like. Well, actually everyone is welcome to weigh in. Everyone has an equal vote, but the East Creeker’s votes will be a bit more equal than the others. Give your two cents on Facebook or here in the comments. Which ever one gets the most votes will be the new beer tap, and beer box…and …well whatever the heck we feel like making! So what’ll it be people? narwhals or submarines?

OPTION #1:

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OPTION #2

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Beer Tap Handles!

It’s no fun pouring a pint from your own built in beer tower in your own custom pub when you’re still using the original crappy plastic tap handles.
Okay, yes it is. It’s always fun. However, it’s even better with custom tap handles.
That was our project this weekend.
The beer tower is a dual tap so we have a beer keg on one and a keg of fizzy water on the other.
The first tap is a pretty simple one for the fizzy water:

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The beer taps are going to be a bit more interesting. I’ve been working on designs for every beer style. We cut our West Creek Homebrew tap this weekend and I thought I’d take a few photos of the process.

Here’s Derek lining up the CNC to 0,0,0:

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A shot of Big Ben (the CNC) doing all the work as usual:

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Then comes the cutout, the clean up, sanding and finishing with tinted epoxy:

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This is my initial drawing of the next tap. I’ll post a photo once it’s cut and finished:

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My Monster Easel

Some of my most treasured possessions are things that people have made me. A scarf from my niece, a quilt from my Mom, paintings from my Mother-in-law, an intricately wood burned Ouija from a friend, a drawing from my nephew…the list goes on. I’m lucky to have family and friends that love to make things, and better yet, love to give them away.
One of these treasured possessions is my monster easel. It was built for me by my father-in-law Alvin. In true Al “Go big or Go Home” style, it’s a monster. Over 9ft tall, it holds multiple canvasses up to 8ft tall on both sides. Today, I wheeled the big boy out to work on a few drawings.

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Speaking of things I treasure, finally finished Emma’s bench this weekend. It wasn’t up ten minutes before Scrappy the crow crapped on her face. Thanks Scrappy. Asshole. Scrappy is the crow that I nursed back to health a couple years back. He used to fly in the house to steal Emma’s food from her bowl. He still comes to hang out every summer, now with his mate. I’ll post a photo of him one of these days. Probably a photo of him being an asshole.

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It was a perfect weekend to work outside in the sun. Millie found a sweet shady spot to cool down.
Hmm seems to be a dog theme today.

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Chapter One – The Great Renovation

It may have appeared as though Derek and I dropped off the face of the earth sometime this past year. Rest assured, we have just been wholly preoccupied with what is now referred to in hushed tones as “The Great Renovation of 2016” or “The Renovation to End All Renovations”. It has been all-consuming and exhausting, driven by obsession bordering on madness, and has left time for little else. And now…dare I say…we’re done? No, I’d best not, that’s just begging for trouble.

As you may already know, Derek and I bought our first house in 2013, beside the beach in Roberts Creek. It’s a lovely spot, and has been a dream come true after many years of renting.

carpetThe house was about 1000 sq ft, and badly in need of some attention. It came with 30 year old, stained and peeling kitchen cupboards, some creative wiring and the infamous blue carpet that you will be all too familiar with if you’ve ever been a guest here. The blue carpet has endured decades of use with different families, children and pets before we finally finished it off. Daily tracking in sand and dirt, muddy paws from the garden, one incontinent senior dog, 2 new puppies were more than our carpet cleaner could handle. Gross. Why, yes it was.

We tackled our first, smaller renos in our first year here. The first stage of our workshop and the bathroom reno. (old blog post here) The bathroom was a surprise, high-priority item when we realized that the base of the toilet was leaking into the floor which of course was made of particle board and not plywood. Surprise! The swelling of the particleboard caused the toilet to recline further and further back each day. I fondly referred to it as “The Lazyboy”.

These first renos gave us a good idea of what to expect for time and cost as we started planning for the Big One. Even so, it was a daunting project to take on.

The first stage of drawing up the architectural diagrams, floor-plans and elevations and planning all the interior finishings, was actually a lot of fun. That’s because the project was still imaginary in my head at that point, and imaginary projects are easy and don’t cost anything. That all changed.

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I think it was when the concrete boom truck showed up in the driveway that I realized, “Oh shit, this is actually happening in real life” and “Who’s in charge here and how is it that I was allowed to make these decisions like I’m an actual adult?”

We have hired Laurie Lacovetsky of Sound Construction with his capable crew, Scott and Andy for all our renos and we’ve never regretted it. They are hard working and knowledgeable with great attention to detail. pour1Progress went very quickly on the back extension to the house and workshop and within a few months they were tearing up the inside.
It was a colder than normal winter this year when our drywall and insulation was removed from the walls and ceiling, and our kitchen torn out. It was then, with impeccable timing, our dryer gave out.

Here are a few photos from December:

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The dismantled kitchen and new cabinets piled up in the living room, our wet clothes hanging from makeshift clotheslines, but best of all, no blue carpet. In hindsight, it might have been a good idea to move out during this part.

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Once the main renovations were done, we did much of the finishing work, wood trim, painting etc. ourselves to save cost, and to be honest, because I enjoy using power tools. This kept us greatly occupied for many months.

Fast forward a few more months, we have no more blue carpet, and lots of cool before and after photos. I think it was worth it. What do you think?

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counter1P1070023Beautiful concrete counters by Julien of La Cote Concrete and Maple counter by Christian of Lafor Wood Products. Why yes, that is a plumbed in beer tap in the above photo, on the left. Also on the left, a cutting board I made from cherry wood from a tree we cut down in the back yard.

In the photo below, the pebble floor beside the patio door is mostly sourced from the beach and is a great way to hide the dirt that the pups track in every day. The cedar panel along the front of my desk came from a cedar tree we took down in the back of our house. The center of the tree was split and rotten but there was still plenty of perfectly good wood that we have used throughout the house.

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New Guest Room