Sunday, December 31, 2006

Lighting our way into the new year

So, it seems I've become a bit of a Home Depot junky. Dave & I rambunctiously spent many, many bucks at the big, bad box store yesterday while redeeming gift certificates we received from siblings this Christmas (thank you guys!). I'm delighted with our purchases. We were short of a few light fixtures (all of our others are refurbished antique fixtures) including one for our dining room...and voila!

We also decided to install fans to push the heat down from our vaulted ceilings. We've been struggling for many months to find one we liked that would also suit our light-coloured, rustic timber frame (My gawd, there are so many *ugly* ones. Hello people! Where are all the good designers in this field?).

For once, we were actually together in a hardware store at the same time, enabling us to [finally] make a decision to buy some bronzed fans with lights like this chandelier below (can't find an image of the fan itself):

We also found our bathroom vanity fixture - with a cast iron look that will blend in with all of our iron accessories [again no photo yet].

We're off today to do a little mudding at the house before we drop by to visit friends in celebration of the new year.

Here's to a safe, fun and happy New Year! I've resolved not to make any major resolutions!

Friday, December 29, 2006

Stairway to completion

Just moments before we got our hands on Mike Holmes' phone number, it seemed our sub-contracting worries finally came to an end. I'll avoid the nitty gritty details since we're so relieved to have our loft and stairs finally complete. Overall, we're delighted to have a rather unique, and very solid stairway in our home. Here you can see them as they currently appear - before sanding, touch ups and varnishing begins.

Our peeled log railing is complete around the loft. We have a lot of sanding work to do on the rungs, but we're happy with the overall look.

Plastering continues once again now that Christmas is over. Here's Mom working on the kitchen so that the walls are ready for the cabinet maker to begin his work this week.

Here's Dad the Electrician finishing the wiring on the boiler that will keep our radiant in-floor [thermal] heat running.

I estimate we're looking at four more months' of work now (and a lifetime of upkeep like any home). Lots of finish work to do and mucho, mucho plaster work ahead.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

An early Christmas present...

We received a most delightful present recently from our friend Carol Taylor. Carol is a local visual artist/potter/volunteer who has helped us a lot with our home, particularly in plaster work. Working with a clay-based plaster was second nature to her, of course, and you can clearly see which sections of wall she worked on because they're so perfectly done. Much to our surprise, she slipped a lump of clay home with her one day from the sprawling pile of soil on our site, sculpted it into this sweet birdie and fired it in her kiln. Dave and I love her work and it's really an honour to have such a personal piece in our home. We're hoping to embed it directly in the plaster of a wall.

As we approach the Christmas holidays, we're still negotiating our way through the world of sub-contractors in hopes that we'll have most contracts near completion by end of week. Bah humbug. The final plumbing won't happen until next week with Christmas so close, and cabinet-making will begin after that. All of the added stress has us more than a little frazzled, and we're working hard to keep it from running us done completely before the holidays. I even went so far as to declare that I wouldn't be 'doing' a Christmas tree this year [the devil made me do it]. At the whisper of such nonsense, my mother promptly delivered a loaner tree to us. It's the first time we've ever had an artificial tree, but it's lovely all the same. Thanks, Ma.

This weekend, we'll take a full two-day break (since Dave has to work the rest of the holidays) before throwing ourselves back into the swing of construction. Ah, looking forward to sipping sociables by the tree...

Monday, December 11, 2006

If we make it through December...

Ah, progress. Winter temperatures dropped quickly last week, making the interior of the house cold for the first time. When the temperature rose to +9 degrees Cel, my folks took it upon themselves to rush down to KV to install the last exterior door. Much to our surprise, they found that the rough door jamb was several inches too small. Many hours of labour later, [a few nerve wracking ones I should add as my folks contemplated how to adjust the door jamb] we have a gorgeous porch door. Here's a view of it from inside in the darkness of the house. We may paint it in the spring when the weather is warmer, but we're still debating over the colour.

And, a second view from the exterior. Check out our new light fixtures too!

A shot of our new one-piece tub/shower. This one involved a bit of stress last weekend. I plastered the wall in the utility room directly behind the shower before I noticed that the plumber had mistakenly installed the wrong faucet set...

Four hours of plaster work had to be removed in order to remedy the situation. Now, we've decided to cover that wall in the neighbouring utility room with tongue & groove pine. More expensive, but durable.

Here's a glimpse of the peeled-log loft railing underway. It was supposed to be complete a number of weeks ago along with the stairs, so we're hoping we'll see it done very soon.

A rough photo of one of the nichos we've carved into the wall. These are little indented shelves that we'll plaster. We used a hedge trimmer to do the cutting.

The fireplace should be complete this week; the propane has to be hooked up and the trimming has to be put around, so we're close to having that as a heat source.

Our in-floor radiant heat and solar domestic hot water should also be complete this week, as well as our bathroom plumbing (yeah, a functioning water closet!).

The electrician (aka Dad) is humming along now, with a significant amount of wiring complete. If we didn't keep distracting him with carpentry work i.e. studding, door installation and drywall, he would probably have been done weeks ago.

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