August 28, 2011

Practice makes perfect

Another practice tasting came and went, this time with a few more light fixtures and a few more fixed up chairs. It was beautiful. I was happy. And the food? It was delicious. Which makes the people happy!


It's getting there. It's really getting there!

August 27, 2011

The painted

With our two very different types of white paint, I set out to paint my floor with a million {or two} dots...

And the sign painter set out to paint us another one of his fantastic signs.

Isn't it lovely? Now people milling about the back of building will know that we are a restaurant! Hooray for Jerry! He did another beautiful job.

And he did it about a hundred times faster than I did my floor. Check back with me in three days, maybe by then I'll be done. But time consuming acts of creativity are what happens when you are a little crazy and a bit too ambitious for the time-frame allotted...

Oh well! It'll be well worth it. The world will just have to avoid that part of the floor until then.

August 25, 2011

Here and there. Or not here nor there.

As the restaurant get's closer to completion (yep, we postponed opening again), the tasks I work on get more and more random. Like turning this old whisk into a light:

And turning this cool old thing...

Into this:

And making a little old window a sign...

And testing crazy samples for a floor I'm going to paint (really excited about this one)...

 And hanging a few paintings here and there, and wiring up a few sconces.

So in other words -- so much fun!

August 22, 2011

The best thing on earth

If you don't enjoy looking at freshly made pasta, this may not be the post for you. But it's definitely a post for me, that's for sure.

All this food had to go somewhere, and what better place to go, if you are pasta, than in the bellies of many happy friends who leave even happier than they arrived.

August 18, 2011

The intangible things

Even though I prefer to do most things 'old school', there are a few modern day inventions that a properly functioning restaurant simply can't do without. Namely, a website. And now, thanks to my Z's hard work and more than a few late nights figuring out highly complicated code, we have a beautiful one. 

It's still in progress, but you can see it here!

And while you are at it, you may as well head on over to our other modern-day-invention-thingy, primarily known as facebook. That's where we will announce our "practice sessions" that you locals are more than welcome to attend, and try some of our delicious pasta. Did I say for free yet? Well, for free.

I also added the 'like' button on the right hand side, down a few inches. You can 'like' il vecchio without even leaving this page!

The art of building light

One of the main reasons I extended my stay here {instead of driving back to Brooklyn last Monday} is lighting. There are a lot of things keeping me here, but most of all, it's these damn green lamp shades. You may have seen a few glowing with light in a previous photograph, but it was all a lie -- Yes, I rigged those up with extension cords. And in the restaurant world, that's not cool. So, I've immersed myself in socket-land and am preparing the fixtures for the real thing!

And I've been coming across some real vintage beauties while taking apart the old lamps. I call this one Back when America made things:

Then came the fun part: creating lamps from scratch. My favorite. So I took an old gear from the abandoned farm in Virginia...

... coupled with a few delicately chosen plumbing supplies...

And started putting them together with the help of a beautiful enamel shade and this old copper pipe, which, for those of you who will recognize it, yeah, it is a part to an old toilet.

Which means, yes, I paid a dollar for the privilege of owning someone's used toilet pipe.

Hey, you think I'm crazy for buying it, but just think about the guy who actually thought about trying to sell such a thing! Sheesh. What a weirdo, huh?

So was it worth it? Totally!

August 14, 2011

I still love you Brooklyn, but this place has my soul

The site is officially no longer 'the site'. It's graduated and been christened to full blown, saw-dust free, restaurant status. Nope, I'm not done yet, but I'm definitely creeping closer. However, there's still enough to be worked on that I canceled my planned return to Brooklyn and decided to stay another two weeks. Yep. It was a hard decision, but I just couldn't bear the thought of leaving. I felt as though I was being ripped in two. I love this place. Love it.  My entire soul has been poured out into it over the past four months, and I've never, in my life, been more proud than I was tonight:

We had a party, and it was the most beautiful sight my eyes have ever seen.

This, is happiness. This, is absolute, head-over-heals, giggling, proud, honest-to-goodness joy.

August 11, 2011

Simply had to

Well, theoretically I am supposed to be done in a few days and heading back to NY soon. Theoretically. In practice, it's a bit more complicated than that. And it's because of this 'time issue' that last minute changes are generally frowned upon and heavily discouraged. However, sometimes new materials throw themselves into our lives and we just have to go with the flow.

So this is the material I speak of. Old fence, once painted red, now only sorta painted red. It's gorgeous. It has to be somewhere. Sorry people, I'm just gonna have to take the extra time to bring these beauties into our lives. They'll thank me later.




So much better! It looks a little like velvet.

August 9, 2011


Oh how they fly. But look who's back:

Yes! He just flew in from Brooklyn to help me with the long and final haul to the finish line. And what a help he has been: we cleaned!

Although cleaning is a deceiving way to make the restaurant look closer to completion than it really is. It's scary -- the not being finished part, not the clean part.

But celebration is in order no matter how far along we are or are not. Progress is progress despite how slowly it comes. So, of course, we made some pasta. And ate it on some of my completed tables in the back room. It was... wonderful.

August 6, 2011

A girl of wood and tools

There's many times in my life when I've taken a lot of crap from a lot of people because they simply can't understand that I build stuff. Yeah, I use a table saw and a nail gun. Yes, I really do. Yes, I actually built that. No, I did not have someone else build that for me. I did it myself!

It seems that it's a bit of a tricky concept for many, so I feel I've been burdened with my fair share of sexism. For example, every time I go to Home Depot and a guy feels the need to comment are you making a playhouse? Or Hey, got a little project this weekend? --- as I nearly ram my cart into him filled with forty two-by-fours, two rolls of insulation, and three planks of two-by-eight pressure treated. Really? I'm buying all this and all he's buying is a roll of tape and he still feels the need to say that. Interesting.

The only thing I've found that helps is if a wear my tape measure on my belt a pencil behind my ear -- my respect level increases about two percent. But then I get comments from teenage girls who think my tape measure is a fashion statement. Either way, it's a bit of a mess.

But the good times out weigh the bad, by far. Being a girl in construction is awesome. I'm surrounded my men all the time, and wonderful men at that. 

Yesterday, the electrician gave me this:

It's old, it's oak, it's hand carved. I'm going to put a chalk board in it. I was speechless.

A few days ago, the plumber gave me this:

It's also old, it's rusty, it's the most amazing horse yolk I've ever seen. I'm totally overjoyed.

Then, the general contractor gave me this:

Yes, it's a tree slab shaped like a heart. It's gorgeous. I'm thinking of making a bench/stool out of it. I adore it, as I adore all three things. Not only because of what they are, but because of how they came to me. Who would expect to take a job building a restaurant and make such dear friends with the most unexpected people? For the first time in the past couple days, I've been feeling a little sad that I will have to leave them all and go back to NY.

I'll have to deal with the emotions of that problem later. For the remaining time I'm here, I'm going to thoroughly enjoy being the girl of the construction site. 

August 4, 2011

Chaos {with a little peace}

For the first time, the three chefs came to work in the restaurant. Though, admittedly, and perhaps a little sadly, not yet in the kitchen. But I was quite happy to put them to work with me instead!

And look, I let someone else touch my table tops. *gasp!*

Meanwhile I built some cabinet doors {from my salvaged wood supply which is dwindling quickly}.

We finally filled in that one corner on the bar. It's been a deathtrap for those of us with bony hips for months now. But no more!

And I watched my new shelves fill with stuff, just like every single flat surface in this entire job site. At least these things are pretty. Most other shelves are filled with sawdust filled coffee cups, tools, abandoned screws, lost drill bits and, probably, a few old lunches. Sadly.

So amidst all this chaos, clutter, power tools, and general buzz of creativity, I decided to take up an offer to relax. For a change. Finally.And because I got this in my cookie:

There's simply nothing like a silent, smooth, late-evening sailboat ride.