It has been noted by several people that I haven’t updated the blog site in quite some time. It will mostly be snippets though as there hasn’t been any big start/finish projects. A snippet by the way is defined as a small piece of something so that fits perfectly and I will add some pictures of the “snippets”.
One of the snippets is some exciting news that I find it hard too believe I haven’t shared already. Last fall I found enough tin ceiling tiles for the basement living spaces!! We always look in every antique store we go into but usually they just have a few pieces and they are often in very poor shape. He had 3 pieces in the store with a tag that said 125 pieces plus trim in the back shop!! It came from a hardware store in Calgary and had obviously been painted once and taken down with care so was in great shape. The price was reasonable – the downside was that it was just outside of Stettler, Alberta. It was in a really little place called Erskine. I wasn’t in a vehicle that could haul it so the next weekend Ron went out and picked it up. I have since taken 3 pieces to Saskatoon Custom Powder Coat to see about getting it cleaned up. As you will be able to see from the three pictures it will be an expensive clean but well worth it. Then we will install it as a hybrid – suspended ceiling with tin tiles. Everything will be painted an undercoat of “desert” camel with a copper metallic overcoat (yet to be determined how best that will be put on). Can you all imagine a big painting party to get all of that done?? There could be lots of good food, drinks and laughs. The down side is that it won’t be until next winter some time but it is exciting that one of the elements I really wanted to see in the house is going to come together.
Sandblasted Only
Heat Treated Only
This shows a close up of heat treated and then sand blasted. Yes the most expensive option is the best one!
Crap – lost it all!!! Insert many bad words here – I typed 7 more paragraphs and hit save. It bounced out to an unusual screen and I knew instantly that it was all lost. Usually I don’t start losing content until the pictures which is why I do the text first and then insert the pictures – saving after each one. So needless to say it was a bit frustrating and it was 11:50 so didn’t think I would attempt to rewrite it all. I’m sure my second attempt won’t be as good as last nights but here goes (as a word document to be copied and pasted I might add). OK – the ongoing saga. I got the text all inserted on second evening only to discover that the camera with most of the pictures I needed wasn’t here this weekend so I won’t publish it until the camera comes back.
So where was I? Hm – having trouble getting the creative flow going again. We’re in the middle of a spring blizzard and the howling wind and rattling windows are getting on my nerves. Well I guess that’s a good starting point and something that I actually hadn’t touched on last night. The one back porch never had an inside window just a storm so last summer we ordered a new window for there. Ron and Spencer put it in on one of the last nice days we had last fall. Ron used some spray foam insulation around it and we just need to add 4 inside small trim boards and then I can stain it. The difference between that window and the kitchen windows (face the same direction) on any given day in the winter was noticeable. If you put your hand on the new sealed glass unit and then put your hand on the wavy glass you would notice a serious temperature difference. We could upgrade the chalking, seal up around the edges better but unless we buy and install storm windows (replacing them in the spring with screen windows) we won’t achieve any R value with the glass so we made the firm decision to replace all of the windows. This will save us the climb up 4 flights each spring to replace the attic windows and we will only have to employ some height lifting devices once. This will be our entire summer project along with some screen doors {{found a custom millwork outfit in Ontario that creates screen doors with storm door inserts – not cheap but the look with some winter R value so well worth it}} and plenty of work on the garage. We might get a smidgeon of landscaping done – i.e. does planting a garden count as that? – but I won’t hold my breath. I’d love to also take off the ugly vinyl siding and start on that project but Ron wants to see how the windows go first. We will definitely be installing the siding on the garage and the walk out so that will be nice. I actually picked up paint chips and got pricing on two different paint products/stains for the cedar siding today. Spencer always jokes about our 15 year plan but we are seriously hoping to sit out on the veranda in less than 5 years and watch the garden grow!!
porch window insertion.jpg
Ron installing the insulation around the new window.
window list.jpg
The start of the window list – 30 windows each a slightly different size!
A number of things did come together this winter – we made a decision and implemented our shelving unit for the walk in closet and the bedroom downstairs. We chose to go with a modern unit (Rubbermaid) and wicker baskets. We just felt that using stained wood shelving would make the room/closet feel smaller and darker. We also rationalized that walk in closets aren’t period anyway. Let’s face it – they had tiny little closets because they had very few clothes (kind of like a certain nurse some people know). We used wood trim in both closets and have a funky radiator in ours and the bedroom downstairs has a nice little dresser in it that put in some period “charm” as they call it on TV.
walk in closet shelving.jpg
Another winter project that was completed were the final pieces of trim on the main floor. We have been working on crown mouldings that were salvaged from the Hosegood house up near Borden and had been painted a lovely pink or yellow or green. So more stripping, sanding…and then fit to size and install. Sounds so simple. Two sentences and it is complete but it has taken several months in reality.
The pantry door with the completed crown moulding.
Back to “charm” pieces — this one we picked up ahead of time — is the mantle for the basement fireplace. This stroke of bad luck for someone else was a stroke of good luck for us. One of our favorite antique stores (La Petit Mason) was broken into and robbed in February so she has decided to go out of business. The mantle was part of her display and has never been for sale before – I was the first one to ask if it was for sale! She put it on hold for the weekend at the antique/collectibles/gun show while we went home and took measurements. It fits and so I picked it up on Sunday afternoon and it is now residing in the garage as the basement is already full of projects!!
I suspect in a year the picture of this mantle installed around the gas fireplace will have the wood stripped, sanded, stained and varnished. We already have a couple of ideas for the hearth and a display feature above the mantle.
We also purchased two mirrors from her and that helped complete the upstairs bathroom and the down stairs bathroom. The story on the upstairs mirror is a bit depressing though – the plan was to paint it green like the rest of the room but it has some chipped paint. So I scrapped it and within 10 minutes the whole entire mirror was down to a really nice wood!! How come that doesn’t happen when I want it to!! So now debating on whether to paint it or trade it with the one in our bathroom. Eventually some day we will have a wood vanity in our bathroom and so could match them up. I say eventually as we haven’t been able to find one that fits the space and the function we need from it. {{This weekend while Ron and Alyssa were in Olds/Calgary/Nanton Ron bought the vanity that we looked at last year in Nanton so that piece is now found and the last of those boxes will be unpacked.}} That’s the thing with antiques – it’s not like walking into a big box store and having tons of options. Hey, maybe we should look in an Eaton’s catalogue!!
The mirror with its chipped paint which came off so easily.
The previous music cabinet that will be our new vanity unit just arrived home today – needs some work on it but not really a lot compared to some projects.
Speaking of catalogue pieces we have a new dresser for the second bedroom upstairs. It has been liberated from its previously neglected life in a granary. The T. Eaton’s sticker is still on the back but the top is sadly neglected so there awaits another project (unless we just cover it with a little dresser runner which would look very period). It will look very nice along with the brass/painted bed we picked up that has a lovely antique quilt on it. I saw it at the antique store in Lumsden and couldn’t resist plus the price was really reasonable. The quilting is absolutely stunning and the few worn pattern material spots don’t show up very well as it is a whole cloth quilt with the pattern design on top.
This picture shows both the quilt and the lovely bed frame. Apparently the bed frame/mattress is only comfortable for guests who are under 5’10” – stands to reason. People were not as tall back then. We learned from this and as we aren’t guests in our own home we modified our frame both for length and width to fit a queen size so we could be comfy every night.
Back to the second mirror which is for the downstairs bathroom. We have actually installed the toilet paper holder, towel racks, trim, the door and the mirror (as it as it needed no work). We are just waiting for the plumbing to be completed and that room can have a check mark. Well almost a check mark – needs a little corner unit by the shower but that has to wait until Ron’s workshop is up and running.
This view of the bathroom also shows the door which in the last blog entry I was stripping and sanding. It isn’t perfect but fairs up fairly well under a quick glance. Funny enough this view doesn’t actually show the mirror!
We’ve been on the look out for several other pieces. Some we haven’t found – like bedside tables as they weren’t really common in the prairie style of furniture. As my mother states they got up with the sun and went to bed when it set – there were no books to read or alarm clocks. We are somewhat restricted by the size on the one side with the radiator and the wall. We were very lucky to be given two chairs by our friends Jackie and Colin that fit into our concept of a cozy reading space within the master bedroom. We also found a lovely little round table for between them and a nice lamp. We matched that up with a dresser with a curved front and curved mirror. Plus we found a wrought iron bed frame. It was kind of like the house – required some vision to see the end result. The funny thing is that Ron and I, without discussing it, both had the same end vision. Off to Saskatoon Custom Powder Coat and voila – a beautiful bed frame that looks outstanding. We added a bed skirt (to hide dust bunnies and the frame) and new linens (although long term there will be a log cabin quilt for this room with material from my fabulous 50th birthday party). So other than covering the wood beam in this room, hanging some pictures and braiding a rug we are pretty much complete in our room.
A close up view of the powder coated bedframe with the new linens.
The other upstairs bedroom has my grandparents wedding furniture in there and we are so pleased that my mom gave that to us. I have created a double nine patch quilt for in there (also using material from my 50th birthday stash) and it is in Ogema waiting for its turn at a hand quilting bee.
double nine patch close up.jpg
An up close picture of the double nine patch before quilting.
I’m well aware that this is too many words for you blog readers that just like pictures!! I haven’t even touched the garage topic so I will just add that the roof and loft walls are finally complete after Ron, Bernie and Spencer (and Terry thanks very much for your morning of help) slaved away in the winter weather!! Now we get to hire professionals to put on the cedar shingles and then we move on to windows and doors (not a minute too soon as the pigeons seem to want to live in the loft and that is definitely not who I wanted as an upstairs tenant!!)
work crew of 3 on roofing.jpg
The crew of three working on the east side. The garage is square to the world so we can actually agree on which is the east side. We always worked on whatever side the wind wasn’t on!!
The weather is now spring like and this picture shows Ron installing the last board to complete the walls.
So on my third evening of blog site frustration (this final night it has been picture issues!) it is finally ready for publication for all of you blog readers to enjoy. Please feel free to leave comments so that I know that you are indeed enjoying it. I am fully expecting that the newest blog site reader, Michelle, will leave a comment. But some of you like Ruth, Liz, Janice, Doreen, Thelma, Arlene, Gordon, Peter, ….. (you get the drift) won’t leave comments. Leaving a comment is really quite simple – I gave a tutorial on it a couple of blog entries ago!! So it’s time to ante in and let me know your thoughts on how many years the outside will take us!!
PS 14 paragraphs and 16 pictures! Hope it uploads all right for you all. There maybe some typos that spell check didn’t catch but at this point I will accept them.

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9 Responses to Snippets

  1. Georgina says:

    makes my life look slow!!


  2. Cyndi Cunanan says:

    Thanks for the update! I kept going back and seeing the “Once in a Blue Moon” entry and waiting for a new one. And waiting. And waiting. Because we all know you don’t have anything else to do (ha).
    Love all the minutae you’ve included this time round. Great to see.


  3. Ruth Halyk says:

    Great to see you guys at soccer. Sorry for never leaving a meassage but I have read and admired all your hard work! The house looks fantastic! Keep up the good work and stop in next time you are at the antique dealers!!


  4. Gary Cruikshank says:

    Great work guys. Love the entries to the blog you make as we don’t seem to make it to Sask. as often as we would like. Now that I am totally retired and only have a list of things 2 pages long to do maybe we will see you this year. Would love to help some more. Good luck and keep up the excellent work. Just finished fixing up some plaster in a bedroom and bathroom in the heritage Haney House here so have a feeling for what you are doing.


  5. Melanie Rempel says:

    Looks Great! That tin ceiling is going to be so worth it! My husband is making trips down to Minot,ND to pick up stuff for our house. So much more selection. Good luck with all the painting in your future!


  6. Karen Letourneau says:

    Ok, now I understand why you want to take the summer off. Fantastic pictures. This would be my dream, if I can ever get my ass off the couch, and stop watching reality TV.


  7. Claire B (Saskatoon) says:

    love all the finished stuff like the bathroom door, your bed, etc. Also looking forward to the beautiful restored mantle and fireplace surround!
    I have been wondering for some time what you are intending to use the garage loft for?


  8. Helen & Lorne says:

    Thanks for the update. You people actually make me tired thinking about all the hours you put in on your home. Keep up the good work! Helen


  9. Anonymous says:

    Hi, I log on to your new stuff regularly. Your story-telling style is awesome, keep doing what you’re doing!


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