Category Archives: Projects

Asheville – Land of the potter

I had my final sampling robotics presentation at the Air Force base in TN, so I took advantage of the flight to visit my good friend and college housemate Hannah. Hannah is making some incredible pottery in Asheville,  NC which also happens to be a really beautiful slice of the South. 

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Whale and Elephant mugs!

Asheville is really a special place. It has incredible mountain biking, hiking, boating, and climbing. If it had skiing I would be tempted to move there. The coolest part of the town is the artistic spirit. Almost every bare wall has a mural on it, every corner a pottery studio. Pop up pottery and woodworking sales are the norm, and people are super friendly. Hannah had a popup holiday sale, so I got to flex my inner salesperson before we went for a hike and a climb. Good times, good food, even better people. img_2123

DadSUP Finished!

Rob and I went back east this summer to visit family and to help fiberglass the DadSUP! It was great to hang out with the grandparents, swim, and play some ping pong while taking a break between fiberglass coats! Plus, the board looks fantastic! What do you think?

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It was Grandparent Birthday week!
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My grandma even helped me with the board!

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Some ping pong
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Nala wants the deer!
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The SUP in action

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Secret Spot

This may not be a huge secret, but my family didn’t move out to Colorado until I was 8. Up until then, I was a bit of an oddball in NJ. I preferred toolboxes to purses and kickball to gossiping. After school I would swim in the lake behind our house or dig in the mud with my brother, leading to a tug-of-war between said mud pit and one of my brother’s shoes. (The mud pit won, and there will be a fossilized Nike running shoe in a century.)

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In the NJ world where lawns are manicured and the houses are packed in tight, it is hard to find a peaceful outdoors space. I was really lucky. Long time Pines Lake residents, John and Dorothy Knippenberg owned a 30 acre lot a few houses down from us and made it into a beautiful arboretum originally known as Laurelwood Gardens. It was full of great wood chipped paths, beautiful exotic trees, and hideouts where I could just sit and daydream. It became my workout arena during the summers, and the best place to walk the dog.

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Towards the end of her life Dorothy donated the land to the town, making it an official park. The arboretum had a large burl that they were saving for display. My parents suggested that they have a bowl turned for the education center, and they knew someone to take on the project; I instantly signed up. Luckily I was able to find a lathe to turn the bowl and finish it, but the best part was crashing one of their volunteer meetings and presenting  the bowl to Jojo, the lead arborist. Just look at the smiles all around.

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I know this moment can’t even begin to give back all the magic that Laurelwood Arboretum has given to me, but hopefully it can inspire some magic for others.

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Dad Board Part 1

Rob was off throwing his brother’s bachelor party, so I headed east in order to help my dad build a SUP. You may remember this story from a while ago – like 4 years ago. Freshman year of college I cut out the pieces for my dad to build a SUP. Each summer, my dad finished a step or two, but enough was enough – it was time to finish the project.

The other goal of the trip was to visit with my grandparents. Along with gluing the top of the board together late at night,

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sup bldg w Hellen

I was able to sneak in some quality NYC time. We went to a Broadway show (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time), walked in the park; I got my butt kicked by my grandmother’s pilates class, and did some pajama yoga (the best king of yoga).

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Back to the SUP, we recruited neighbors, friends, and even my grandfather for extra hands putting the thing together. It was a whirlwind blast of a trip, but you will be seeing DadBoard on the water soon!

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The Great Move

Rob and I made some moves. We left behind the gorgeous Teton range, packed up and landed just 4.5 hours away in Park City, Utah. A big challenge was leaving behind the bike trails that wind their way through Cache Creek right out our old backyard. Another was saying goodbye to friends, biking and skiing buddies, at least until our next visit. 

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We landed an incredible apartment, but quickly learned that there were still a few things that we needed. Pots? Pans? Tupperware? Food? Spices? Yeah, we had some work to do. Finally, we set up the kitchen, and we were able to cook everything! The first thing to come out of the oven? Cookies, of course!

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Next up was the entryway. I wanted a table to store shoes, and a place to put things down – your basic entryway table. I couldn’t find anything suitable for under $80, so I figured I would just build it myself. I started off with a trip to the recycling center – you would be surprised with what you can find for sale if your recycling center has a resale store. The one in Steamboat is incredible. The one in Park City wasn’t bad either, and I found all the lumber I needed for about ten bucks.

Next, I cut all the pieces out on the porch with a circular saw (having pretty serious miter saw envy right now), then put it all together. Rob wanted drawers, so I compromised by building in a shelf for drawer boxes that I would build later. To get the finish I wanted, I painted the whole thing black.

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Then sanded and put on brown stain.

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I later made the drawers, finished with polyurethane and moved the table into place. I think it adds a nice Lorin Paley slightly improved look to the place? What do you think?

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With the house all set up, we began organized our attached storage unit. Rob piggybacked power for more lights out of the single light bulb fixture, and I made a space saving bike hanger. With a few magnetic strips and shelves, the place was up to standard. Now we just need to explore the bike trail right out the back door.

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