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June 2009
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Mission corner cabinet by Joel Liebman


Back in 2005, we published a short article on the very gifted New England woodworker Joel Liebman. While many of his colleagues in the region stay strictly focused on the area's Shaker tradition, Joel has melded Shaker lines with Craftsman detailing, producing pieces that are both new and classic at the same time.

He wrote recently to share a piece he finished not too long ago. This corner cabinet, which maximizes space that otherwise might go unused, is made of some very interesting woods - Sapele, Bubinga and Wenge - and includes a nice bit of art glass on the upper doors. The handles are reproduction Stickley designs. It is, of course, a one-of-a-kind piece; contact Joel if you'd like to commission something, and if you do, please send us pictures of the finished product.

historic window expert in Sacramento

Our friend Janice Calpo has been a champion of historic homes - and especially of historic windows! - here in Sacramento for several years. She recently shared the following with me, and I'm very happy to spread this news to all historic home owners in the greater Sacramento area"


Great big news for us right here in River City: nationally renowned historic windows expert and author Terry Meany has arrived! He and his wife have decided to relocate to our sunny climate after 20 years in the Seattle rain … Terry is a window repair contractor and author of the book Working Windows: A Guide to the Repair and Restoration of Wood Windows.

Terry himself has repaired and restored over 3,000 windows in the Seattle area, including residential and small and large commercial buildings. With such experience, his approach is highly efficient, thus keeping time and costs well within reason.

Now Terry is available to work on our Sacramento windows. He can do anything from a few small repairs to complete restoration, and of course weather-stripping.  For those who want to do their own windows work, he is available to guide them through it too. He is happy to talk with people about whatever their needs may be!

Terry can be reached at 206.518.3402 or via email.

the copperwork of Santa Clara del Cobre

Our friend Jean Emery recently returned from visiting her daughter in Michoacan, and visited the town of Santa Clara del Cobre [photos from various Flickr users] while on her trip. Santa Clara is a village of copper artisans near Patzuaro; Jean tells us they've been making copper goods there since pre-colonial times:

They make sinks. bowls, vases, bathtubs - it's all totally gorgeous and of course looks great in an Arts and Crafts setting.  I bought a huge hammered organic-formed vase - sort of pumpkin shaped - for under $100.

Here's a link to an article in a Mexican folk arts blog; the pictures are good but really just barely begin to capture the gorgeous shapes and finishes available.

Tucson's best neighborhoods

I've never been to Tucson, although my friend Keena used to tell me how pretty it is. After reading today's article on the best neighborhoods in that city at Charles & Hudson, though, I'd certainly like to visit. Beautiful old Tudor, Storybook, and Mission Revival homes dot Tucson, and some of them are particularly noteworthy.

Last week we re-visited our hometown of Tucson, Arizona to join the family in celebrating Father's Day. It's been 12 years since we've lived there and my how things have changed. We checked out the resurgence downtown and hope the new movie Public Enemies shines some light on an already very cool Hotel Congress as this is where John Dillinger and his gang were first captured and is now celebrated by a Dillinger Days festival.

A stones throw from Hotel Congress is the West University neighborhood which This Old House just named as one if it's 50 Best Old House Neighborhoods. The homes consist of Spanish Revival, Craftsman Bungalow, and Prairie-style which range from $175,000 to $400,000. A light rail system is almost complete that will flow through this neighborhood from downtown and up to the University of Arizona. In a city where cars are nearly a requirement, residents of West University could almost forgo their vehicles especially if they work or study at the nearby University or downtown.