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December 30, 2007

trying to get back on track

before we are done with all the other painting projects, I have repainted this wall.  another example proving that I'll never be "done".  this wall was a dark orange or rust color.  the mid century modern credenza got lost on the color of the wall.  I am about to start building book shelves to the right of this unit.  I decided to repaint before I start building the shelves.  I like this color better.


REBATE CHECK!!!!! WOOO-HOOOO!!!!! we received the final solar rebate from austin energy!  this was nearly a $12k rebate so we've been checking the mail box hourly for the past month.   we are breathing a bit more easily now.

spent the holiday at my dad's house in the fort worth area.

it may seem trendy to fry a turkey for the holidays but he's been doing it for at least ten years.  this year's was the best yet. 


it was the gamer's xmas

my step brother gave his mom a ps3 and a guitar hero III 

I rocked mississippi queen.

the quizical expression on her face makes any caption obsolete.  let's just say she did not rock.



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December 22, 2007

print your xmas card from austinmodhouse



to everybody occasionally receives a christmas card from the schuster family:

please print the pic above and put it on your mantle.  let's just say this is as close as we got this year.  

 yes, it's that warm here that we are wearing shorts and tee shirts.  has been beautiful mid 70's latley.


and to those who read this via livemodern.com ... sorry for my low brow art muddling up your modernism.  the blogging has slowed down for the holidays.  hope my seasonal chalkboard work can enhance your holiday experience.

I like the way the winter sun casts tree silhouettes down the hall.

those of you who come straight to austinmodhouse to catch up on our adventures may not realize that we are now syndicated at livemodern.com/blogs


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December 18, 2007

modern gingerbread house construction

the holiday schedule continues to dominate most of our free time.  my wife has been very busy at work with projects that need to be wrapped up by end of year.

this is a modernist gingerbread house we made last night at IF+D   but first I'm gonna hit you with the santa happenings

trail of lights 2007

USPS provides post cards to santa

they wasted no time getting the list onto the card and into the box.  

the zilker tree from a distance

 as if the post cards were not enough, they had this fellow in a red fat suit

she first refused to talk to this guy.  she insisted he was not "the REAL santa".  she's very shy and couldn't see wasting her effort and explained to us all how sending an email to the north pole (last years proven method) insured getting her wishes to the REAL santa.  this guy's helpers assured her that he worked for santa and would relay the wishes.  she set aside her shy nature and confidently rattled off her list and counted items off on fingers.

no problems with being too shy

now back to modernist gingerbread house construction night 


sampling sofa for consideration of purchase at IF+D is best done with red wine

this was the designated time-out chair 

when those two get together the time out chair gets a good bit of use, and this was before the sugar loaded house building materials were introduced

they had diagrams to help us understand how the homes assemble.  we promptly set off to do discard the plans.  I wanted a butterfly roof!


wall construction was delegated to adults.  the real task was keeping the kids fingers out of the icing

they were finally liberated and the candy quickly smothered any minimalist intentions I'd had

we provided a few polygal pieces for translucent wall sections.  I know it's not edible but I think it looks good enough to eat.

OH NO!  structural failure results in a sticky mess

our team and the final product

we forced the german exchange student to parade our product around downtown 



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December 10, 2007


made our annual trip to ikea

if you've been over here for dinner and wine but found that the toilet paper in the downstairs bathroom had run out... sorry about that.  we now have a cabinet over our dual flush toilets that is stocked with supplies.  we managed to spend $700 on misc stuffs like this from ikea for quick fixes.  the biggest problem has been organization in my 4 yo son's room.

this mountain of stuff has been here since we moved in.  I've tried to work with my son and his mother on getting rid of extra toys that go unused.  he's the worst about getting rid of anything.

so we assembled the ikea organization devices on saturday and I took the kids to hippie church on sunday while kat stayed home and sorted.  she loves to organize.

he has a room again!

and he has his own desk to work at.  it folds flat against the wall if more room is needed.

our first stop sunday morning was the kids sunday morning show at ruta maya 

afterwards the kids played around this waterscape outside

austin is struck with a bad case of modern condo/loft fever.  like these located behind tacoxpress are popping up everywhere.  they are usually priced at more than what you can buy a small house for.

that's me!  it was a hot december day and hippie church was rockin despite the gray skies and threat of rain!


breakfast tacos with bacon

flowers were distributed to women and children


the south austin body choir dances here for hippie church.  they have this style of dancing that is sort of like flailing about slowly and lots of hand contact.  it done so slow you don't really need to be coordinated.  I'm not making this up, check the link.  you can see one person slowly laying on the back of the other in the pic above.

yes, the guy on the right is wearing a miniskirt and his toes nails are painted pink.  anything goes in south austin.

the sun broke through the clouds and illuminated the band that was wrapping up a two hour set.  the message was clear; God approves of beer and crazy hippie dancing on sunday morning.  the tacos were pretty good too.

I did get back to work on the house this week.  I'm nearly done painting the rail off the master suit balcony.  it looks MUCH better with the gray paint.  

sunday night we got back on our holiday party agenda.  this was a grinch themed party at a neighbor's house.  kat was tired and not into walking the five doors down and then up their driveway.  so we drove.  we only got about 3 houses down when we found the street was getting clogged with cars.  a valet attendant found us a spot on the side of the rd.  then we were shuttled via van up the driveway.  temps dropped 30 degrees in just over an hours time.  it got cold quick.

kat enjoying a non-alcoholic beverage.  I drank wine with the neighbors.  the food served was delicious. 

the parents of the girl in the velvet and tafita dress must've been surprised when they found her sitting in the sand 

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December 03, 2007

something unique

over the weekend we found this needle in a haystack. 


this house is built over a ravine on about 2.5 acres.  the setting is very private.  asking price is 650k.  we've looked at smaller lots in this area that are asking higher prices.  I just hope that whoever does purchase it does not remove this structure.  but scraping has become an all too familiar practice in the neighborhood.  I saw the mushroom house as a place where somebody could live while building a larger main house on the property.  note that even the HVAC vents (seen at the top of the pic above), lights and switches are given the same organic look.  no straight lines.

lots of custom woodwork

several levels of decking and an outdoor shower.

is that a cartoonish bird head?

these mushrooms are actually lighting the front entry.

looking down from the top deck to the lower deck that is over the ravine.

saturday was the sustainable shopper's ball at the sunset valley farmer's market 

fun with red okra 

the kids had fun at the austin eco-school booth making lanterns out of recycled jars.  while the kids were occupied with that, kat and I checked out the cars.

austin EV had several electric vehicles on display.  some were OEM and some conversions.  I welded the battery boxes for this rav conversion seen above. 

we liked this red VW ev conversion.  they also had an old ford escort ev conversion that was for sale.  I admire their attempt to recycle an old ugly car, but even as an EV an old ford escort didn't do much for me.   





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