Senin, 24 Desember 2007

The biggest Christmas present...



Two Fridays ago, I arrived home from a work retreat to find my crazy parents had been slaving away on their knees for many hours grouting our newly stained and sealed floor (I say "crazy" with a lot of gratitude and amazement at their energy). I quickly donned my grubby clothes and got to work - we finished that night!

We were scheduled to move in that Sunday afternoon, but the weatherman (I have several other names for him that I won't use publicly) was forecasting the storm of the century... of course. We haven't had this much snow in December in many years! We couldn't switch to Saturday because it was the only time Dave & I could get into a prenatal class before our birth due date, and lord knows we need all the help we can get in the "soon-to-be-first-time-parents" department.

Once again, my parents surprised us and moved a large load of furniture while we were tied up and helped us load up our vehicles so that we were ready to go early Sunday morning. With the help of our friends Charles and Phil, we finished moving in mid-afternoon on Sunday. And, yes, it was storming...*a lot* by that point, but we finished ahead of the dangerous part and everyone made it home safely on the snowy roads.



This week has been as hectic as ever with the usual Christmas preparations still to do - only I did them WEEKS later than I normally would have each evening after work. Note to friends: our Christmas cards will come in the form of...hmmm...well, they may not come at all, even in the the new year. Now we have to finish unpacking, preparing for baby, and making the transition to take a year off from my university gig. Dave and I have always agreed that we enjoy a challenge...good think we're both on the same page here...

Above, a glimpse of our newly arranged dining room. Still some finishing touches to do, but this gives you a view of our finished floor.



An image of our fireside seating area in the same room. Miraculously, between unpacking many, many boxes (and there are still many to go) I managed to decorate the Christmas tree after my Dad and the tree finished WWIII (hmmm... my Dad and tree stands have never gotten along well... it brought back many childhood memories of me trying to watch the classic Rudolph and Grinch cartoons amidst flying fir needles).

The artwork above the mantle and on the next wall are Bruce Stonehouse originals...couldn't resist the plug for Dad Stonehouse...

We still have much to do in preparing our other rooms for the long term, so look for more of the story to be posted in photos later this week as I work my way through each room over my holiday week (while Dave works away at the newspaper).



A Carol Taylor angel snuggled into our living room nicho seemed like an appropriate bookend for a Christmas eve blog post. Happy Holidays all!

Jumat, 07 Desember 2007

A test: the acid stain

After moving the three pets with us out to our little cottage last Sunday to enable us to finish the floors, the week brought more snow than we've seen in a long time. More snow meant we had to move back in the straw house b.c our cottage in the country would leave us in peril of not getting to work (at least not safely, or perhaps not at all). It snowed off and on all week, messing up our floor staining schedule drastically, but this week, we'll finally get things wrapped up.



Above is a pic of the acid stain test patch we mopped on with a sponge mop. I like the colour and it's a lot less messy than spraying it on with a garden sprayer.



This is the StainAstar product we're using to colour the concrete to look like tile. It runs about $65/gal which covers 400 sq ft. We'll apply a concrete sealer after we stain it, then grout the cracks. The grout is the most expensive part.



This is a test patch we did using the garden sprayer. A lot more liquid was required to cover the surface, making the overall colour much darker. Having liquid sit on the surface was bad for our wood work and plaster - it soaked right through the painter's tape and stained both surfaces.



A little view of the beauty brought by the multiple snow storms around our house.



Believe it or not, I wouldn't give up a view like this for anything. When I lived in the American South (yes, it must be cap'd), I desperately missed winter of this kind.



Here's a sneak pic of the antique wall sconces my Dad installed in our master bedroom in the little nichos we carved in the wall.

Senin, 03 Desember 2007

A brief update in pics before we move in...



The soon-to-be new babe's room (10 weeks to go!). None of the main floor is finished yet.



Dave working the phone in the living/dining area with lots of junk piled 'round.



A partial, poorly photographed take of the kitchen. (Who has time for tripods and good composition when you're desperate to move in??)



One of our new fan fixtures installed in the loft.



The master bedroom with some wall scones still to be installed.



The west end of the loft (where we're currently sleeping). Possibly a spare bedroom or home office...or both. The debate is still on.



The east end of the loft to become our movie/reading room.



The dormer area in the loft and top of the stairs.



Dave hard at work scrubbing the concrete floors in preparation for the acid staining. Most our free time will be spent cleaning and taping off the walls and woodwork in preparation for acid staining...