Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Sicilian Tiles & Plumbing

Our old friend Joe Z. dropped by to check out the renos and give us expert opinions on what to do for the custom sized metal grills we need. Joe is a master metalworker, soccer fanatic and good friend. Today our plumbing happened in the bathroom. A little more and it should be done tomorrow. It looks lovely with only one small mistake our tiler will have to correct. The kitchen tiles are all down. Next the grout for them. Bruce bailed on our friend Darrin for the day to prep the stairs for tiling the sides. Then the backsplash will happen at the same time as the floors are refinished. The final stretch?

Monday, June 27, 2011

Pottering in the Garden

Our gardens are looking really good. One of our local garden suppliers dropped by a couple birch trees for the last garden bed and admired our little bit of Eden. I beleive I am justifiably proud of our garden. We put just the right amount of thought and work to get the lush green crowd of flowers, fruits and trees that I adore. Over the weekend Chris and I put the plastic on the greenhouse frames for one of our raised beds in the backyard. We want to achieve ripe Windsor Broad beans and the only way to get that in the Yukon is a green house. Our nights are so cool that beans often won't set pods and pods they do set wither. Weird, but true. The 6mm plastic will hopefully keep just enough heat over the night to bring the beans to a harvestable state.

Everybody Must Get Ston(ed)...

You may have noticed that we've got a lot of stone tile in our renovation. Today Fredrick Robert of Beauvais Flooring completed the bathroom tile work by grouting and then sealing the honed slate bathtub surround and the heated limestone floor. The tile in install continued in the kitchen. We are now at the decision point of the kitchen floor installation. We have some Sicilian tiles brought by hand from Modica Sicily by ourselves in 2008. We very much want to include them in this project. In fact that is how we ended up with so much stone - it looks really nice with the Sicilian tile. Every renovation has to start somewhere. Our next post will show you what we decided.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Where are we?

Today was a day off from work on the house. Chris put together a fabulous cedar lawn chair for me to sit in (i've buggered up my back a bit). Some of you may be wondering, if the kitchen is being worked on, where am I cooking. Well, here it is in all it's dirty glory - my trailer kitchen. We sleep thre too. It is rather like being in a kleenex box, you can't see in by you can hear everything and its kinda small. The upside is that I really enjoy the dawn chorus of our local birds. It is always started by a robin and then the rest of the Yukon bird life chirps in.

We've also had a lot of butterflies this past couple of weeks. I thought there was some butterfly resurgence. I was informed that a local elementary school raises the butterflies from larve and releases them on the last day of school. I think they are just lovely and it is satisfying to me how many of them enjoy the flowers in my garden.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Longest Day

We have long days this time of year in the Yukon. It starts on December 22nd with a smidgen more daylight and it culminates today with just a smidgen of darkness. It is one of the best parts atou living this far north. Our compensation for those long dark winter nights are these long bright summer days.

Today the tiling moved forward. The infloor heating works in the bathroom. The infloor heating got laid down today in the kitchen. We've discussed design and look and all sorts of things for the kitchen tiling. Time will tell how it looks.

After a long day out at our friend Darrin's place Bruce rose to the challenge and cut the lumber for the walls of our backyard shack. Here go the walls!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Monday's Activities

We had a flurry of activity in the house on Monday. Our cabinet maker Mark Berube (The Wood Shop) installed a few more doors and did some more fine tuning. We are so glad we went custom. Don (Tak Tar Plumbing) was a star fitting us into his busy schedule to hook up the dishwasher and install the kitchen sink. Dad did help Don but also kept a close eye on him. Frederick (Beauvais Flooring) laid the first layer of the kitchen floor.

Monday will be a slow day with Dad going to help out our friend Darrin Sinclair at thier beautiful new house. Frederic will come back to lay the second layer of in-floor heating and Shannon our electrician may stop by to hook up the bathroom electric floor.

Beam, the sequel

So. We already have a beam up in our kitchen. There is a plan afoot to put up the walls and roof on the back-yard shack. That apparently requires another beam, but much bigger. And not available in Whitehorse. So. The photos are Chris and Eric using our friend Darrin's chainsaw mill to cut the beam to size.

Puppy Photos

We realized it's been a while since we posted a new puppy photo of our girl. She is growing by leaps and bounds. She had a fetching break through when we were in the garden this weekend. She realized if she brings back the ball I'll keep throwing it.

Rain, Rain Go Away!

This is the rainiest spring/summer I can remeber here in the Yukon. Now, that isn't that long, but other folks with lots of years in agree. We haven't had to water the lawns or the gardens for, oh, I can't remember how long. Speaking of how long, the grass is out of control. With all the rain I can't get it cut. Shaggy grass makes everything look a little more unkempt.

Friends of ours were over last evening to assist with the chain saw mill and we were talking about how lush the garden looks now compared to how it looks in the spring. I don't clean the garden out in the fall because I like how the snow forms irregular shapes on what is left of my garden. I also like when little birds, chickadees and red polls eat the seeds left on the dry stems. The consequence is that in the spring it looks like our garden has been sprayed with some sort of chemical defoliant. Until that is our perrenials start pushing up and I take that radical step to clean everthing out.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Star Lights and more tiling

In January Chris and I were in San Jose del Cabo. We ate out at a fantastic restaurant that had a chandelier made up of bent iron and marbles. The iron was bent to form a multi-armed star. I could count the points and tell you what kind of star, but the point is (pun intended) they are very cool. We had been in Cabo for a while and hadn't really bought anything other than food. We decided it would be worth trying to find these stars and try and get them back to our place in Whitehorse. We were flying West Jet and those folks really are nice. They helped me find a place to put the large star that I took as a carry on. It got to our place unharmed. It also created a great deal of curiosity among our fellow passengers.

I did think I'd wire them up, but I didn't. Our electrician did, and I'm really happy with Shannon Moffatt's work. Bruce did the design work - deciding to put the stars with their centres at the same level. An excellent decision don't you think?

Our bathroom continues to get better and better. Here's Fredric Robert of Beauvais Flooring at work buttering the limestone for the floor. There's already a thingame to heat the stone installed.

In other news air tight solutions(Ryan Osborne and his boys) finished their work today in the attic with some 2lb foam insulation to create a vapour barrier. The rest of the area they used 1/2 pound foam equallying R50 in our attic. Already the house feels warmer.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Things are looking Great

So much is going on at the house. The painter has done a lovely and swift job putting colour on our walls. Our electrician came back to hang the lights and install the switch boxes. The tiler is slaving away in the bathroom getting the tile surrounding the tub just right. I just love professionals. We've had the best possible team working with us, for us. I'm just so glad.

And I can't forget the core member of our construction team, my father in law Bruce who has been the spare hands and craftsy mastermind on many parts of this project.

Chris has reminded me that we also had our ceiling vaccumed out. What that means is that the spray foam insulaiton can be extruded into our attic space tomorrow.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Today Tiling, then maybe tomorrow the world?

I'm still waiting for world domination. Even world domination of the renovation market would be nice. Sigh. We have had more progress, awesome - the tiling is coming! Fredrick Robert of Beauvais Flooring is doing a lot of work for us. Here he is in action...

We can't wait until we get to see the tile in place. Soon we hope to see the lights hung. I know it is hard to show off, but we've had a huge amount of electrical work done. The backbone stuff just isn't sexy. Our friends were over admiring the cabinets and I forced them to see our uber-sexy new electrical pannel. It was rather under whelming.

Time Out

Chris was co-facilitating the Little Salmon Carmacks General Assembly this weekend and I attended the Kluane Bluegrass Festival. More news later about today's progress.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Granite Countertops

Here's some photos of the lovely cabinets and granite countertops being installed. They look so good that the installer - Sid of SidRock fame wants a photo for his album. I'm really pleased with our choice. It's hard to look at a small sample and imagine it in place. But wow! Did we choose well?!

We did make a change to our backsplash. After our painter had the first coat of our accent wall on we decided we like the colour so much we'd change the backsplash. The tiles I found on ebay, which are really pretty, don't go with the paint colour. Yes, I know, I hear you saying it; "paint is cheep, tile is expensive". This is true, but what the heck, Chris was never happy with the backsplash tiles and we think the floor tiles will look nice on the back splash. If they don't not a big deal, we can always change it!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Return to Cabinetry

Our flights were long and hot. I absolutely hate the Airbus 320's. I'm a boeing gal all the way. Both Chris and i were stuck in middle seats because our itineraries weren't linked. Happily we were both surrounded by slender quiet types. When we got back it was to a fabulously green and blossom filled garden and visible progress in the kitchen. Our cabinetry is in! And doesn't it look handsome? The ceilings have now been painted by our fabulous painter Paul (English Heritage).