Sea House Conservatory, Pacifica, Santa Cruz

Sea House Conservatory, in progress, February 2019

The Sea House Conservatory removable plexiglass and faux iron beam roof is assembled. It is supported by iron pillars and wood siding painted N-C16 Midnight Stroll by Clark+Kensington. I made new finials from wooden beads and toothpicks.

Brackets join and support the faux iron roof beams

Where the two corner beams met the center beam and roof ridge there was an inelegant gap, so I cut iron brackets and bolts from two layers of black card stock, to reinforce both the roof structure and the illusion :)

Wheelie at the fireplace end of the Conservatory

The fireplace and hearth underwent yet another color change. I wanted something more working/utilitarian looking, less living-roomy. Picture the chaise draped in reference books and aprons and a seaweed drying rack hanging from the rafters.

Sea House Conservatory leaded window design, 3 of 11

Turning my attention now back to the many windows, cutting the original kit grid mullions out of the frames with a Dremel. Tedious. Then sanding, painting, and fitting the cut leaded designs into the frames, front and back. Oh, and finishing (but not mitering) the outsides with 1/16-inch square trim. Ugh.

Pacifica sunset, between storm fronts, 15 February, 2019

We’ve been getting breaks between rain storms, glimpses of the sun, and some beauty clouds.

Ruby at 20 months, shopping in her sister’s vest for her mama’s birthday present

Spent a long weekend in Santa Cruz with my daughter and younger granddaughter Ruby, while her papa and older sister Maddie were in Lake Tahoe getting Xtremely snowed on. Ruby’s choice of outerwear was her sister’s vest. Ruby on the runway.

I like me. Print this out and hang on your refrigerator, lest you forget

Maddie, who turns six next month, is loving Kindergarten. Her mother shared some pages of the journals the children keep. The first remarkable is that upper and lowercase writing is still being taught — yay! So for Maddie, already proficient in capital letters, this manifesto represents challenge, learning, practice. And then the everything else: the sentiment, and the exuberantly joyful self-portrait. Perfect expression, I’d say.

19 thoughts on “Sea House Conservatory, Pacifica, Santa Cruz

  1. azteclady says:

    Absolutely gorgeous work–and even more gorgeous girls! I can’t believe how serious and grown up Ruby looks in that picture. So many important thoughts to think, decisions to make.

    • Nancy Enge says:

      Oh wow, thank you! The girls of course are a force of nature. Ruby is as serious as she is the jokester, but always, always, watching, listening, learning. Remember when you were her age!

  2. mormson says:

    What a glorious place to hide out now and then with a book. I love the attention to detail such as the most necessary bracket and finials, scale and appearance perfect as always.

    • Nancy Enge says:

      Huh. It has become apparent to to me that all my builds include ideal spaces to read, work, think. Some always conjure up bathrooms and kitchens in their builds. Or recycling bins or electrical hookups. Is fascinating, yes?

  3. brae says:

    I love that motto: I like me. :D So adorable. The conservatory looks awesome. The color for the iron look is spot on, and I always love a good paper bracket. :D

    • Nancy Enge says:

      Right?! Would we ever have to compare and despair, or feel confused if we always remembered THAT?
      I’m glad you think the iron color is a good one. I vacillate between the convenience of premixed craft paint and custom mixed colors.

  4. elizabeth s says:

    All I’ve ever done is rusted iron so seeing your conservatory with its NEW iron beams, is a novelty for me and I must say that they look Smashing!
    Love the feel of the interior and the segue between it and the Sea House via the custom windows.
    Little Ruby in her sister’s vest may be setting a new trend in toddler- wear and Little Maddie has expressed the perfect attitude which I hope she’ll maintain as she continues to mature.
    And may I add that it’s a Terrific idea for her mother to have the girls keep journals. I still have some of my kids scribbles and printing from when they were that age, and I still carry in my wallet, a tiny love note my daughter wrote to me from when she was very, very young. It warms my heart whenever I look at it.

    • Nancy Enge says:

      Oh Elizabeth, to see you apprehend the light of well-loved and maintained iron fixtures is a glad sight. The material transcends the ages, and invites guardianship.
      The whole concept of all my builds being part of a connected empire grows within me, and I probably spend way too much time dreaming of their geography. Maddie is my constant helper.
      One of the primary celebrations — and remembrances — of our contact with children must be their declarations of truth telling. Maddie’s “I like me” is, for me, just one step away from her mother’s much earlier missive revealing, “I am doing god. You are kind to me.“

  5. Bennie says:

    The faux iron beams look so real and the room itself looks cozy and amazing. Your granddaughter is adorable as well as her drawing. It’s powerful! Girl power!

    • Nancy Enge says:

      Aw, thank you, Bennie. The iron paint color has a lot of depth, and I’m enjoying researching weathering techniques for well-maintained cast- and wrought iron.
      Granddaughters are as cute as cats — or whatever one’s go-to adorable animal companion is — so I try to limit extraneous posting. But “I like me.”?! That is a reminder for every one of us.

  6. Pepper says:

    I’m extremely fond of rooms with a lot of light pouring in through the windows. I hope you’ll be able to take pictures outside when it’s finished. Love the faux iron, love the tiles, LOVE the mullion design.

    • Nancy Enge says:

      Thanks, Pepper! I’m totally building this in a modular way, specifically to be able to photograph it both outside, and in the studio — a distinct departure from the unabridged lump sum “doll’s house” construction per se.
      Iron was used a lot as a building material, especially in the post 1906 earthquake San Francisco Bay Area, where all these structures are imagined. It’s a wonderful subject for observation and research :)
      And, I’m planning on using your rug and the fine hanging lamp for this interior. The colors and shapes are perfect.

    • Nancy Enge says:

      Oh hello! How thoughtful of you to inquire. We are all well, and living our lives to the fullest, each in our own age-appropriate way :) Part of that for me is stepping back from social media. And I’m full busy with work and my volunteer contributions to Pacific Beach Coalition; Earth Day is coming right up! And reading… pulling weeds, and just a little writing. Happy Spring to you, C’lady!

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