May 22, 2012

Nonsuch House

 Above are the front and rear facades of the new birdhouse. The design work is now 95% finished. The roof edges still need trim, a few other little trims pieces to tuck in here and there. The carving details will be designed later when I have the real parts to work with.

This Elizabethan birdhouse has been named "Nonsuch", not to be confused with nonsense. Unless of course you realize that non-sense means I haven't got the sense to know better than to use a tiny artist trowel to put stucco in between that many jig sawn puzzle pieces. I foresee watching/listening to a great many movies and audio books to get me through those endless stuccoing sessions.

Nonsuch is an old English word. Henry VIII had a Nonsuch palace done in the Tudor style, long since destroyed.

There was a Nonsuch House in Elizabeth I time, also long since destroyed. Now that was an interesting structure, it sat on top of the Medieval London bridge, it too had a passageway through the center and it was also timber framed. The structure was prefabricated in Holland, taken apart, shipped over and then put back together on top of the bridge. I wonder if it was burned up or taken apart and the pieces reused to make other buildings?
Photo of a model of the old bridge at the Dockland's Museum:

So Nonsuch it shall be because it is after all a bird palace and there is none such other birdhouse around although there are other real life, very large, Elizabethan birdhouses also known as Dovecotes.

May 6, 2012

Dollhouse Hill

photo copyright Karin Corbin 2012

The hillside  above my workshop is the land of 1,000 dollhouses waiting to be made in miniature.
photo copyright Karin Corbin 2012

It is a beautiful sunny day here so I went up on the hill to take a few photos to share with all of you.

photo copyright Karin Corbin 2012
I love the roof lines of the Tudor cottages with all their clipped gables, quirky dormers and little bay windows.
photo copyright Karin Corbin 2012
If you look at the house directly above and the one shown above that you will see they are essentially the same house. But one has clipped gables, the window in the gable is different as are the shapes of the dormers. The chimney is placed somewhat differently but the overall foot print of the house is almost identical. It is an old builders trick to keep all the houses in a neighborhood looking very different but compatible with the fashion of the era. There are thousands of these 1930's Tudors in Seattle, some brick faced and some covered in wood siding.
photo copyright Karin Corbin 2012

Birdseye view of my workshop and neighborhood

You can click on the photo above from Wikipedia to enlarge it. The yellow arrow points to the building my workshop is in. The neighborhood I was photographing is adjacent to my workshop  up above me on a steep bluff. This  photo also shows the ship canal that leads from the salt water on through to several of Seattle's lakes. The ship canal has a series of locks to raise (or lower) the boats as the lakes are higher in elevation.

The photo below is one I took today on the little public beach adjacent to the workshop. Lots of boating activity this first weekend of May.
photo copyright Karin Corbin 2012

May 5, 2012

Feathering the nest

The male, black capped chickadee, caught in the act of feathering the nest.