on the auction block

sweet pea & chrysanthemum 1, originally uploaded by isabelle gr.

My friend Brittany invited me to donate artwork to benefit the Washington Park Arboretum. Each year they host the Northwest Flower and Garden Show at the convention center, which kicks off with a big gala the night before the official public opening. In addition to thousands of plants over six acres and lots of fancy snacks and about 400 guests all dressed up, the gala includes this benefit auction. I am so excited to participate!

Here are the two pieces I donated, titled Sweet Pea & Chrysanthemum I & II. They are each about 6 inches wide and 8 - 10 inches tall. They are framed and archivally matted; the first two pieces of a new drawing series I am working on.

The Arboretum is a gorgeous 200+ acre park in the heart of the city. It was founded in 1934 and designed by the Olmstead Brothers, sons of the Olmstead who designed Central and Prospect Park. The Arboretum's history notes that the construction of the Olmstead Brothers' beautiful landscape provided work relief to Depression-stricken Seattle laborers. Today, the Arboretum features expansive trails and countless native species as well as an elegant Japanese Garden. I just love it, and I'm pretty jealous that Brittany gets to work there!

raise high the roof beams, carpenters*

We hoisted the steel beams for the second floor! (And by 'we' I mean the burly team of Nick, Don, and Chad). Earlier this week, Nick placed the four steel columns that stretch from floor to ceiling, with help from Chad and Mike. Now the beams float along the columns without touching the walls on either side.

*my favorite story by JD Salinger
On Monday Nick laid down the flooring for our airy upstairs. It is made from the same fir boards as the ceiling, called car decking. Tongue and groove car decking got its name from its original use: as the floor, or deck, of railroad cars. Once the floor was in place, I began to clean and paint each of the tall columns yesterday. It was hard, dirty, rusty work, but I was so entranced by Super Tuesday coverage on public radio that the day flew by. Today I will paint the beams, try to avoid painting the car decking, and think about how I will cast my vote in my new state's caucus this weekend.


more progress!

shop panorama 4.jpg, originally uploaded by isabelle gr.

Our space is looking quite polished these days. Looking back at the month of January, we've accomplished nearly everything on our construction list, from the front door to the bathroom sink. Last night, we spent the night there for the first time since we got to Seattle two months ago! It was so quiet and airy. The morning light crept in gradually until the whole room was glowing.