It’s Coming Together At Long Last

Since the entry of August 29th (so barely 3 weeks) we have made some serious progress. The light is finally showing at the end of shortest tunnel. The shortest tunnel marker being move in date and the completion of all items necessary for a comfortable existence in the house. Longer tunnels/goals exist such as a garage/shop, retaining walls, veranda and balcony, walk out complete with hot tub and some landscaping. But this weeks entry is going to focus on how far we have come since the last blog entry and how close we are to move in date.
As many of you know (because I invited all of you to join it) we had a fancy painting party last weekend at the house. I sent Ron off golfing with the Dodgers (his soccer team) and thought we would have the house all to ourselves. I hadn’t counted on Spencer coming out and building the storage shelves or finishing the insulation and grade level around the garage so there still were a few male interruptions but overall I would have to say a good time was had by all. Thanks to the lunch crew of Helen from Helen’s famous bun catering company!

creating eureka.jpg
My “much” younger cousin Lynette, creating the perfect color paint for the parlor. Called Eureka, of course!! She says that playing in paint is hard on the manicure but despite that she had a good time!
queen of tape.jpg
My good friend, Janice, who I now bow to as the “Queen of Tape”. It might seem like an endless frustrating job but her attention to detail was outstanding and her mumbling was kept to a minimum (she was heard to repeat endlessly was that inside the line or outside!). And we even let her paint a couple of times!!
plymouth brown lines.jpg
Janice’s lines, Lynette and Joanne’s painting and my firm decision that yes this was the correct brown resulted in the second set of lines being completed by the end of day 1.
perfectionist painting.jpg
Joanne, Janice’s “much” younger sister from Edmonton, being anal (oops is that a politically correct word?) about a paint spot and using a Q-tip. She is now known as Miss Perfectionist – I occasionally overruled her (being the stern project manager that I am) and told her to get the lead out and no she couldn’t repaint each line that wasn’t 100%. Now having said that she can come back anytime and paint the 1/4″ lines of contrast in the front room because only a perfectionist could do those without tape.
brush on rag off.jpg
A strong project manager knows when to call in the pros so met Vicky Taylor She is an old friend (well actually she qualifies for the “much” part of younger for real not for pretend like those other two) of ours with a strong sense of purpose and an adventuresome spirit. We needed help with the finishing of the parlor paint and she came to our rescue. A few hours Sunday and a few more Monday – poof it was done and we laughed a lot while we were at it.
parlor paint.jpg
The picture says it all – looks outstanding. Similar to the original piece only brighter and cleaner. Looks a bit like suede in person. Warms the room up considerably.
miss tim hortons.jpg
Presumably if you are reading this blog you know me. Who I ask would arrive at my house without their own coffee? Really people – if I won’t make it for my husband what makes you think I am going to put on a pot for you? So they whined (and almost revolted) and when Helen was coming out with lunch and the emergency 1/4″ tape they had her do a coffee run (well in this case she just brought the whole thing). I mean there was booze in the fridge! Coffee?
queen of clean.jpg
Met Claire; our Queen of Clean. She is the most industrious determined cleaner of filthy brass you are ever going to met. She slugs away at it most weekends and sometimes even takes it home to work on! On top of that she walks the dogs down for a swim every week; picks and identifies flowers and has been known to bring out the most outstanding chocolate brownies! We’ll keep her and in fact we’ll even invite her to Christmas dinner!
brass before and after.jpg
This picture shows off Claire’s before and after handiwork! Some of the early stuff I cleaned up now has to come back off and be cleaned again as it doesn’t match these standards!!
We moved on Sunday from the parlor to the front room and commenced the measuring, taping and first outside lines. We had debate about the color options and finishes for the inside sections. Now being married to an engineer I know they want to explore their options so we painted two complete test sections in two different colors and with that we ran out of time. Fortunately Vicky had promised to come back and help again another day so we lined that up and this gave Ron and I sometime to study these two options and come up with a decision.
test sections.jpg
The picture quality is not that great as it is from my Blackberry but it shows the two color options (Eureka from the parlor or the green from the dining room). The picture doesn’t do the sponging in the inside area justice – it is quite subtle compared to the parlor but still mimics what was originally there but just in a milder color.
This picture shows the decision and the execution of it. The wall facing the dining room became the green and the other three walls are the Eureka color. The gold line which shows up well in the parlor and the first color block doesn’t show up well in the inner color block with the sponging. SO next time Joanne is bored; wants good hugs, her butter ripple schnapps, no coffee and good food she can come back out and paint that 1/4″ line without tape to her hearts content. No one will beat her to it because we all need tape to do that! This next time I would be pleased to offer her accommodation in one of the three guest B and B rooms!
As a post script – Vicky was back out today; she completed the sponging while I marked out lines and did the first coat of the Eureka. Tomorrow I will finish the second coat – the green was completed today so by this time tomorrow those two rooms will be finished the fancy painting (except for anal type touch ups!)
Now moving on to other areas of progress and one of those would be lights. As the days shorten (don’t mention the w word though as I panic a little about not being moved in before the s word) we need lights to work by in the evenings. So Ron is slowly doing a few here and there; takes more time than you would anticipate but I don’t complain because I don’t want to risk being told to do it myself as I really don’t like electrical burns.
kitchen lights.jpg
This lighting picture was actually taken when the guys were installing the kitchen counter tops and the transition/transaction piece. But it shows the kitchen lights off really well. We are very pleased with how the reproduction lights fit the period of the house so well.
lynette light makeover.jpg
Ah, this picture shows one of the few new lights in the house that didn’t really fit the period very well; the style worked but the white was so jarring. Lynette looked at it and said let’s paint it so that it blends in better. She sat down there with a Q-tip and a cooler and went to work. It looks great and I can’t wait to see it installed in the attic.
clean antique lights.jpg
This picture represents many many hours of carefully disassembling, cleaning and partial resembling of antique lights. They haven’t been rewired yet as that is a last minute to do as they are hung. Really looking forward to getting more of them up in place and seeing how they change the look of the rooms.
Another major accomplishment was the much anticipated installation of the soap stone counter top. Ron did his research, asked questions of the helpful staff at Canadian Soapstone and “hired” a young helper for the weekend. The amazing thing was that they almost got the whole thing done in two days – worked a couple of evenings cutting out the sink and now we are just down to oiling it every couple of days. Talk about pleased with results; it is amazing. Absolutely stunning – fits the period of the kitchen so well and has such character. Ron and Spencer did an outstanding job of the joints. I was a very good vacuum operator and oil-er!
countertop placement.jpg
The first piece of the counter top being slide into place after some debate about something! It is really heavy but these two worked well as a team and smoothly got all the pieces into place.
sink cutout.jpg
This is the final stages of the sink cut out. Long story shortened into one picture. First the sink that we bought months ago was too big and the color didn’t work. So I zipped to the city during the installation of the counter tops and found a different version in a new color. Fortunately there was one in stock so back I came with it. Then Ron did the template and marked the lines and then used two different saws to cut the lines. I was the vacuum operator and before you poho the importance of that job you should see the amount of dust that soapstone creates. Without the vacuum in the right spot you really wouldn’t see the line. There were times that we used central vac on one side and shop vac on the other.
countertop with sink and dw.jpg
One of the great thing about being married to an engineer is that they can always seem to figure out how to do things. In this case he figured out how to get the cutout done and not a single chip nor any crashing of the cutout into the cupboard. Really it went very well as did the 4 holes required for the faucet mounts. They are now in place but the trap was the wrong one so the sink looks good but doesn’t function just at this moment! The dishwasher is now installed and plumbed and could work if we had dished out there! The counter top has been oiled a few times when this picture was taken.
nanna and bompa 1926 bedroom suite.jpg
Now that we are getting closer to moving in we are thinking about furniture. We don’t have much in the way of antiques so we were thrilled when my mom decided to give us my grandparents (Nanna and Bompa) 1926 (I think that was the year) bedroom suite. The name of the company is stamped on the back of the vanity mirror. Unfortunately the foot board has a bit of water damage from the trip north but I am a pro at restoring old wood so I think that by the time the guests arrive to sleep in the bed it will look outstanding in the guest room upstairs.
Martin ensuite.jpg
Martin was back as promised last Monday and Tuesday and set to work. Unfortunately he was missing this or that and so not everything was complete when he left but we now have 2 functioning toilets but still just the one sink but most fixtures are a little bit closer. And he did the gas line for the stove and installed the plumbing for the dishwasher as well.I have no pictures of the heat pumping from 5 rads on the main floor but I can tell you in the evening that we know it is there!! It was worth a hug to Martin. He needed more water to be able to complete the rest of the rads, slant fins and in floor heat so on the weekend Spencer hauled 4 loads worth so tomorrow night we should have even more heat.
Ron is also working on weather proofing while I work on packing. He has installed an outside plug in; worked on a motion sensor light for the back door, completed the caulking around the boiler outside vent and installed the window pane in the dining room!! Yeah I say although I failed to notice for 2 days that he had done it!! He and Spencer, on Saturday, spent some time building a frame for the new chimney that will go from the kitchen attic up and out. It will actually have purpose and function in that it will be used for the microwave vent. It will also fill the whole of where the original chimney was. Sunday saw him start the installation of the brick so he can add stone mason to his resume.
I was dreading hauling the bricks up as I was the only one who fit easily thru the attic door and so I hauled them down but he has to cut 2 bricks per row so has to come down for the saw anyway so carries up his own brick back on the outside! He didn’t get it completed but has put up a temporary weather proofing and will get back at it next weekend if the weather holds (cross your fingers for us and the farmers).
OK – enough is enough. It is now 20 pictures long and has taken me numerous nights to get at this stage. I will spell check it and then send it out. Enjoy; come for a tour or better yet help us move in!!

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