Wednesday, December 19, 2007

NOT a home for the VanSwynes Anymore!

Those of you that regularly follow "Pixielated Builders" know that every thing runs smoothly for C. Pender and crew. NOT!!! Ariel came to the job site, and I was in formed that she now owns the Maplewood. It appears that the Van Swyne sisters had a falling out. The two older sisters do not want to live in the same residence. They sold the Maplewood to Ariel.

With the influx of more residents to the Tree House , Ariel has decided to have the Maplewood redesigned as temporary housing for displaced Fae ladies. If it wasn't for the Tax Breaks Ariel will get and the fact that the Fae Government is giving her an allotment for each tenant, I would think that Ariel had developed a "streak of nice". We all know her better then that.

Devika has agreed to manage the "Home", and I will be dealing directly with her. Some of the first floor walls had to be removed, and most of the second floor interior walls , will not be installed. Devika's plan is for the first floor to have a large community room.

The Kitchen and dining area will cover the rest of the first floor.

Since there will be a large number of meals served daily in the "Home", the area under the stairs has been converted into a pantry.

The second floor will be a large open dormitory and there will be a large common bathroom. The attic will be Devikas personal rooms and office area.

The Phist Bros. are back and the work has been going quite well. I've decided that we will try and finish one floor at a time.

The Phist Bros. insisted on having a Company Christmas Party. I'm not going to say much about it. The picture shows Lefty taking a short "nap". Partying can be hard work!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from the gang at Pixielated Builders!

Friday, December 7, 2007

A Home for the VanSwyne's 2 (Permit 102407)

In the last year, I've built or remodeled 6 structures for various denizens of the "Tree House". Some rather large, some a great deal smaller, but one question always comes up. "Whose paying the bill"?

After my problems with "Pixie Gold", I now have a policy of checking the financial back ground of my clients, before I get started. Thus, I ended up at the 1st National Bank of Fae. Mr. Sterling, the banker, was very helpful and assured me that the VanSwyne sisters were very capable of financing any project, as long as it did not exceed 7 figures. I did not ask, but Mr. Sterling seemed to feel the needed to tell me more then I needed, about where the VanSwyne fortune came from.

One story that he had heard from his grandfather (their money has been in the family that long), was that the money came from an inheritance from their uncles of several generations ago. As the story went, these uncles (Norman, Hyrum and Maximillian) had designed the first air conditioning unit that would be of commercial value in the auto industry. This was around 1930. They approached several auto manufactures, and while the auto tycoons loved the thought of automobile air conditioning, there was a problem. At that time the brothers were know as the Swine Bros. (they did not change their name until some years later), and were insistent that SWINE AIR CONDITIONING be on all of their units. The name was not necessarily a great selling point, in the eyes of the manufactures. Finally, a compromise was worked out with Ford. The Bros. sold the rights to their units, but with the stipulation that their first names appear on each unit. That is why auto air conditioners have settings of NORM, HI and MAX. Yes, I know, I'm not sure I believe it either.

It was also suggested that their inheritance may have come from the these same three uncles, but had come from a settled lawsuit . Something to do with harassment, along with pain and suffering caused by a Wolf. Again who can be sure? They appear to be very solvent, which is all I needed to know.

I've started with some of the walls.

I'm hoping that once Wright and Lefty return, we'll be able to get a lot more done.

Friday, November 16, 2007

A Home for the VanSwyne's 1 (Selecting a home)

I met with the VanSwyne sisters at Norm's Dollhouse. There are three sisters Cecilia, Josephine and Mina. They seemed like nice young ladies. The girls kind of scattered around the store.

Cecilia wanted a home with a second floor porch.

Mina liked all of the multi-floored houses.

After much searching and discussion, the girls settled on the Maplewood.

It would be very unusual if a home for any denizen of the "Tree House" did not require "modification". This one is no exception.

Since Cecilia likes the second floor porch and is planning on spending a lot of time there, we will need to add a door from the second floor hallway to the porch. The railing on the porch will need to be made a little higher (a safety precaution). It might upset the balance of things, if pigs all on a sudden started to become airborne.

Josephine has decided that she would like her own "Mother-in-law" type apartment in the attic. This will require the addition of an outside entrance to this space.

Mina seems to have no "special" requirements. It is still early in the building process, and there maybe things that come up later.

The Maplewood construction will be starting a bit slow. Tarin is still working as a "Web Site" designer on a bridge building project, but will be coming back as soon as he can. Taelyn is still very busy with his Fire Department and Construction business. I'm trying to contact the Phist Bros. Last I heard they were traveling the "Thumb Wrestling Circuit". I'm going to start with the preliminary work and hope I get some help soon.

Before we left "Norms Dollhouse" the VanSwyne girls posed for a picture at their new home. Cecilia (the oldest in in the pink dress), Josephine (the purple dress) and Mina (the youngest in the green dress).

I'll be back with you, when there is some progress to report.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

A Barn of a Different Color

A manila envelope arrived the other day. I contained a picture (drawn with crayon), a printed note and a stack of hundred dollar bills. It was from a little girl at the Tree House.

Kelsey said that she needed a house for her pet Una. Don't ask me what kind of critter an Una is. Her father had given her some money and permission to have a house built. I of course called him to verify. It's always a good idea to check thing out when dealing with the denizens of the Tree House.

The project was a go. Kelsey's father said what ever Kelsey wanted was okay. If the envelope money was not enough, just give him a call.

Here's how it turned out.

Kelsey picked the colors, of course. The "Barn of a Different Color" will be leaving for the Tree House.

I've been in contact with the VanSwyne Sisters about building a residence for them. I'm setting up an appointment to visit Norm' Dollhouse to show them some samples. I'll keep you informed.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Sea View Part 12 (The End ?)

I was on the job site ahead of the Phist Bros. J.R. Katscan and Robo-inspector had worked things out, and the Sea View had passed inspection. The safe had been removed from the tower room, but Ariel was still limiting access to the upper floor.

When Wright came through the kitchen door, I said "Goodmorning Wright, how are you this morning"?

Wright screamed and said, "Oh no! Ariel turned you into a frog! I swear Lefty and me didn't say a word about the attic to anyone!

I started laughing, as I watched my friend the frog hop away. "Ariel did not turn me into a frog. I just thought it would be fun to pull a joke on you. After the bad time you are always giving Taelyn, I felt you deserved it."

Wright of course was not amused. Jokes are always funnier when you are the Joker.

The Sea View will be leaving soon for the Tree House. Before it leaves I thought I would take some pictures of the final product.

I've got a smaller project to work on for a little while, it's a home for a pet. There are also three little girl pigs, that are looking for a "Pixielated Builders" special home.

Thank you very much for keeping Ariel from finding out I told you about the attic.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Sea View Part 11 (Inspection part 2)

Once Robo-inspector came down from the attic, Ariel went over and erased part of his memory. She deleted all information about the "special" use for the attic area. Robo-inspector was still able to report any code violations, but only those that did not interfere with what the attic would be used for.

J. R. Katscan had arrived on site by this time, and was not to happy about being refused access to the attic and storage room. He was even more disturbed by the presence of another inspector. These building inspectors can get real territorial!

Robo-inspector came out to meet with J. R. Katscan. At first J. R. was very standoffish. He finally settled down, and listened to Robo's report. While J. R. was not necessarily happy with the lack of information from Robo, he had little choice. This is a FAE residence, and subjected to FAE rules and regulations.

In actuality, J. R. really has no authority on this job site. I guess that since this house was built in his "territory", he felt that he was in charge.

After some further discussion with Robo-inspector, J. R. turned to me and informed me that, he would issue the Certificate of Occupancy from his department. He assumes that Robo-inspector will be issuing a COP from the FAE building department.

Hurray!!! I"m really happy that this project has come to an end. Things were pretty good when I was working for the "Group", but there has been a lot of tension since Ariel has been in charge. The Phist Bros. and myself will be on site early tomorrow to clean up. Then all that is left is to move the Sea View to the "Tree House". Remember, you have not seen anything in the attic!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Sea View Part 10 ( Inspection part 1)

J. R. Katscan notified me that he would be coming by, and was planning on doing the final inspection. As requested by Ariel, I called and passed on this information on to her. She was on the job site quicker than you can say "Jake Robinson", make that "Jack Rubinstien". Forget it, let's just say that she was just there very quickly.

Ariel went up to the tower room, put some papers into the safe and locked it. She secured the tower door with the iron bar, and told me that J. R. Katscan was not allowed in the attic or storage room. When I ask how she proposed our getting a certificate of occupancy, she said not to worry. It would be handled.

According to Ariel, the safe now contained information which was of "TOP SECRET" importance to the FAE Government. NO ONE , but herself had the necessary clearances to be in the attic, or anywhere near the safe. (That included J. R. Katscan).The FAE Government were going to send over an approved inspector to check the attic for any violation of building codes.

When the Robo-inspector arrived, Ariel had a conversation on the front porch with him. As I understand, his memory contains all the building code regulations. However, he can have the "special" use of an area explained to him, and make specific exceptions to the codes, accordingly.

He begain with the storage room, taking note of the iron bar that kept the attic stairway from being opened from above. (Again it looks to me that Ariel wants to keep something in, not something out).
He apparently has the necessary clearances, as he was allowed to inspect the attic. He also was allowed in the tower room, with the safe.

(to be continued)

Friday, October 19, 2007

Sea View Part 9 ( The Attic)

Shortly after Taelyn and Tarin departed the job site, the long awaited material for the attic arrived. Ariel came by with the plans for the attic, and things got strange! The walls for the tower were to be reinforced with brick, inside and outside. I wish that Ariel would have let Tarin have attic access. The way that spider can put down shingles, laying the bricks would have been right up his alley. However, Lefty and Wright did okay.

Bars were then added to the windows in the tower, and also in the black room. No bars were put in Eris room however. If you are trying to protect something in the attic, why wouldn't you put bars in all the attic windows.? The next strange thing was the "special" tower room door.

Where Ariel got this door, I don't know. It looked like it might have been designed for a prison. It had a very heavy duty steel frame, that was bolted through the bricks. There was a slot with a flap on the bottom of the heavy steel door.

Ariel showed up with a safe. According to her the safe was to go into the tower room and was the reason for all the security. The safe is currently empty, but will hold something, that Ariel considers very important.

I've got a lot of questions about this attic. I am certainly not going ask Ariel, however.

1. Why not bars on all the attic windows?

2. If you are protecting this safe, why does the door secure from the outside? It looks to me that the door is designed to keep something in, not someone out!

3. How does Ariel think this house is going to pass inspection, with all the safety violations?

I'm going to talk to the Phist Bros. and warn them again, not to talk about anything in the attic. Once again I'm going to ask you to do the same. I'm getting a little "frog" in my throat, hope it is not spreading. Ariel can be VERY DANGEROUS, when she is crossed. I guess we'll find out soon.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Sea View Part 8 (More Construction and Some Finished Rooms)

While we are waiting for more material to arrive for the attic, we got the appliances and cabinets installed in the kitchen.

The "Group" also got some furniture to try on approval, for the living room and dinning room.

We tried the furniture for effect and then moved it out to a storage area. We still have a lot of work to do and I did not want to take the chance on the new furniture getting damaged.

Since Taelyn and Tarin are not allowed in the attic (per Ariel's direction orders), I am running out of things for them to do. Luckily Taelyn has become more active with his "Fire Department" and has requested some time off. I'm thankful for that! It was getting to be a struggle to keep him out of the attic. He sure is a curious little guy.

Tarin is doing the shingling over the second floor porch. When he's finished with that, he is going to leave and do some Web Design work for a friend. He said he will be available for my next project.

Once, again Tarin did a great job. Eight legs are sure an advantage some times. I'm scared to think of how much trouble Taelyn could get into with that many appendages!

Ariel insisted on my covering the windows in the tower, just so Tarin would not see anything she did not wish him to see. She has also delayed the arrive of the attic material, until Taelyn and Tarin are no longer on the job site. Please remember, not a word to Ariel about anything I tell you about the attic remodeling!!! On occasions I gotten a frog in my throat, but I sure don't want to be one. No offence to any frog or toad, living or squished.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Sea View 7 (Progression)

With Ariel's help in the financing of the Sea View, we are making a lot of progress. "Two men met on the street. The first asks the other, "How's business?". The second replies "I'm busier than a one armed paper hanger". Sounds like that guy is pretty busy, right? Well I have found some one that is even busier. How about an eight legs wallpaper hanger!

The whole crew has been concentrating on the first and second floors.

This is the finished kitchen.

The Bathroom is also complete .

Eris came by to check out her room in the loft area. Who would have thought that a purple hair pixie would like purple decor?

I've had to keep an eye on Taelyn, the little rascal is real curious about the loft. Per Ariel's instructions, I've told him not go up there, but you know Taelyn. Once the first and second floors are complete, the Phist Bros. and I can concentrate on the attic area.

J.R. Katscan has been hanging around a lot. He seems interested in what's going on. You would almost think this was his home.

The material for the loft just arrived. I'm interested to find out just what we are doing up there. Remember, I'll keep you informed, but not a word to Ariel!

Just a note: You may be wondering why all the doors and molding has been painted black. Simple, it's the only color the "Group" could agree on.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Sea View 6 (A Visit)

The "Group" came by for a visit today. Ariel was also with them. They posed for a group picture and spent some time looking over the work that was complete.

Hera spent most of her time following Taelyn around. Remember, she is the one who got Taelyn his temporary appointment as Supervisor on this job. I think she has a crush on him.

Ophelia and Freya seemed to like the foyer and main staircase.

Ariel seemed pleased with the folding stairs to the attic. We had also installed the store room door on a temporary basis, so that we could control access to the attic.

Ariel informed me that we needed to get a good quality lock for the hallway side of the door. She also added that Eris would be taking over the left wing bedroom in the attic, and was to be added to the access list for the attic. Eris living in the attic with the hallway locked from the outside brought up safety concerns for me. I ask Ariel how Eris would exit the attic, in case of say a fire, if the door were locked and the stairs were pulled up. Surprise, surprise, according to Ariel, Eris has the ability to "teleport". She can imagine herself some place else and be there instantly. Pixies have some amazing talents. Even so, I told Ariel that that the building inspector (J.R. Catscan) would not approve of such a safety violation. Ariel said that any time an inspection was needed, I was to make sure that she was informed, and that she would be on site and handle it.

Eris followed Ariel up into the attic, and a lot of discussion, in low whispers. went on. I may be a bit paranoid, but if seemed that they did not want me to hear much of their conversation. I even got a frosty look from Eris, when she thought I was too close.

Eris was established as Ariel's right hand pixie , and would be giving me instructions when Ariel was not available. Plans were being drawn up for the re-inforcing of the walls of the tower area. Ariel took some measurements, and said that she would be ordering a "special" door for the tower also. After Eris picked a color scheme for her room, Ariel and the "Group" departed.

I must say that this is getting stranger and stranger. Maybe, the tower is going to be a "vault" for some of Ariel's money. Whatever it is, she sure is worried about security.