Monday, February 28, 2011

Mudroom light

One of my favourite things is having new lighting installed. It's like putting sprinkles on a cake (or maybe a candle, since it gives off light...oooo relevancy!). It is also something that throws me for a bender since I'm horrible at committing to light fixtures. They need to make me happy every time I see them, but they also need to be practical (I'm looking at you, dust). And no, I'm still not decided on the entry light either, which is like slow torture.
Look up, waaaay up.
I'm really satisfied with this light, even though Trevor has a few beefs with it (pokey bit of metal, slight paint blip in the power-coated finish on the inside). I'll pass it off as character since I'm not in the mood to nitpick with it and have to return it.

I'll also fess up and let you see that the white desk chair in there is mine as well. I had to move my office inside the mudroom so that the planks on the living room ceiling could go in. So far it's the nicest place I've had my my desk in a year and a half.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Things that keep doors closed

So here's a funny thing: all of our doors, with the exception of one, are stacked in a pile just around the corner from me. The only door that's been hung is this one to the basement (where all of the scary things are, it's true). It's so the cats don't wander down there and never come back.

I had been looking for the perfect door knobs for months. I wanted an old-fashioned looking set that would go with our whole modern meets farmhouse deal. Finally, I came across the the New York set from Nostalgic Warehouse that fit the bill -- but the price was better here, so don't be throwing your money away. If you're like me, you need all of your little pennies at the moment.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The barn in the winter

Way back in August of 2009 we were left with a small landfill in this field after the previous owners did a hoarding blowout with all of their 'stuff' in the barn. They literally went inside of it and threw bits and pieces out of it that were in their way, or in my view, did a lot of dumping just out of spite.
This is what the barn (and surrounding area) looked like when we came to do a house inspection.
And here's what was left for us less than 2 months later.

Strange that the urge to run away from this place has never really hit me -- maybe it's denial or I have a super power?

Our next door neighbour wants us to tear the barn down, but it's simply not in the budget at the moment. Besides, it seems like it's doing a good job of self-imploding in areas, so give it five years and it will just knock itself down.

It has a few pretty areas to it, like the neat little square windows where there are horse stations (if that's what you call them, I'm not a horsey person, so I have no clue). Mainly the barn just holds a bunch of junk still, the odd raccoon family and bird nests.

Monday, February 21, 2011

What a walk to the mailbox looks like

A roundtrip wander to my mailbox (we have one of those group-style boxes) is around 1 kilometer from my front door and back. Lovely when the sun is out, not so great when it's raining like mad, which is seems to do a lot here lately. 

This day, it was sunny. Sometimes you need to take a photo of the sun to remind you that it exists.
Corn field! Much more exciting when it's growing, but in a few months the seeds for this year will be planted.
Horses. Always nice to visit.
Shelby, the neighbour's dog. Very friendly and never barks. She loves to try and eat the cat food we put out on the porch (sometimes she's successful, I think that's why she keeps coming back).

And speaking of cat food, here's outdoor Kitty waiting for a refill on the porch. 

Friday, February 18, 2011

The treehouse

No, this isn't from my yard (I wish), it's down the road from me. It's the quirkiest little treehouse that kind of looks like it was built years ago, but the tree has grown around it and just lifted it up. It comes complete with a little window (sad photo I know, I'm thinking I might look a bit dorky standing on the road with the big camera instead of the iPhone one).

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The mudroom light

Well, there was one light I was able to make a decision on (and Trevor managed to like it as well -- miracle!): it's the Barn Light Flush Mount Warehouse Pendant. I've liked it for a while, and that right there passes my test.*

It's going to be in black, even though most of the fixtures I've got in the works are oil-rubbed bronze. Living dangerously here. (Plus it comes in every colour under the sun other than oil-rubbed bronze.)

* It's the 3-day test. After I see something I like, if I still like it after 3 days, we're onto something.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Bringing the planks to a bedroom ceiling

Here we are, back on plank duty again. This time, we're starting on the ceiling in one of the bedrooms. I'd like to say that this is my favourite of the two spare bedrooms, with it's slanted walls and dormer window -- but I'm torn. The other bedroom has a larger window that looks straight across the ravine, where you see nothing but trees galore. I like to call it my treehouse room, because that's what it feels like, plus that one will be my future office.

But this room...it has a good feel to it. Warm, friendly, inviting. It used to house two cats that peed up a storm in the closet (and other places), but those days -- and smells -- are long gone. We reworked the walls of this room so where you walk in is actually where the old closet used to be. Confused? Stop by sometime and I'll give you the guided tour.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Stairwell lighting

Just in case any super-spies had noticed the odd ankle-height loops going up the stairs, I can explain: we're going to get all crazy up in here and have lights shining down on every other stair tread.

They're little LED mini lights that are hardwired in to switches, and will look groovy-doovy when it gets dark around here.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

So what is this v-groove plank panelling you speak of?


A long, long, time ago, when my brain cells were still firing and I was unaware of the fact that I could humanly lift a 237 lb. washing machine with my partner in crime, I had a mad idea that wherever you entered this house, there should be panelled walls. I think it came to me late at night, when you're laying in bed and these sort of ideas sound (and look) so great in your mind.

Not to make it sound like I'm doing this all on my own here...Trevor is master carpenter/plumber/tiler/minor electrician extraordinaire. I just seem to come up with all of the labour-intensive ideas -- like plank panelling.

To put the planks up, you have to have your ducks in a row (no, not the ones outside splashing about in the pond -- although I do have thoughts on how I can attach little harnesses to them and have them walk planks into the house). You need to think ahead with things like, do my ceiling joists run the right direction? 'Cause if they don't, you have to put supports in between each and every joist. Is there plumbing/venting/electrical behind this that I might puncture with my air nailer? If the answer is yes, you need to avoid those land mines. How are you going to cut the holes for light fixtures/switches/plugs? Get yourself to the hardware store (or the internets) and buy yourself a Fein, it will become your best friend. (Ask Trevor, he sleeps with his.) And beyond all of those, possibly the most important question -- where in the heck are you going to store all of these 16 ft. long planks? My answer: buy yourself a fugly shipping container (or three).


Once you have all of your bases covered, mentally prepare yourself for endless nailing, cutting and carrying of these planks. And then grab yourself a few gallons of Benjamin Moore's Oxford White paint, and trim the v-groove joints first, then roll until you can't roll anymore.

Then, and only then, stand back and admire all of the amazing plank-y-ness you've got going on.


Oh, and for anyone who goes out and buys the pine planks that aren't pre-primed -- don't ever invite me over to help you paint.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Now with less scaffolding

I became possessed at the beginning of this week. The scaffolding was still in place, and my time reenacting monkey moves was over, I was done with this yellow THING that was always in the way. (And let me tell you, if you've really got to go to the bathroom, you can dodge, swivel, pivot and wrench your way up that thing faster than you think.)

Monday was relatively quiet (working from home has some perks), and with Trevor out of the way for 9 hours I was free to bust a move with the paint roller.

And paint I did.

Trimming the little v-grooves? Check. De-fuzzing the roller for the 1000th time and slapping oxford white all over this joint? Check. Only waiting 90 minutes between coats? Check. (What can I say? When the painting moment strikes, one must take hold of it and go go go!)

By the time Trevor was home from work, the yellow beast was taken apart and civilized stair life returned.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Options for the entryway light

So I'm officially peeved at the selection of lights there are for semi-flush and flush fixtures. Either that, or I'm just not looking in the right places.

I've managed to short list a few from the hundreds (probably verging on thousands by now) of lights that I've looked at. The fixture needs to have a bit of a farmhouse feel to it...or something that could fit in with that sort of vibe. Maybe I should hold back on making up my mind until there's new spring stock available, so I don't end up settling on something now.*

*That common sense may be waived if an ├╝ber sale suddenly breaks out.

Cottonwood Flush Mount Ceiling Light - Barn Light Electric
Pros: Nice detail with the screws on the side / Cons: Looks a bit 'humpy' with that glass bit hanging down
Rutherford Flushmount - Restoration Hardware
Pros: Has etched and clear glass / Cons: Looks too cylindrical (like a popcorn bucket)
Spokane Flush Mount Light - Barn Light Electric
Pros: Cool metal tabs on the top sides / Cons: Trevor thinks it looks like some sort of porthole