March 26, 2008

Let there be light!

We did it!! We managed to wire two complete circuits and get them both working!

That's a happy man you see before you - I hate to think what his expression would have been like if nothing had happened when he flicked that switch!

We've been freezing our buns off for the past few days, as we seem to be caught in a late winter cold snap. Snow fell on us both yesterday and today, but by the early this evening the sun was out and everything looked amazing.

Perhaps a circuit for the baseboard heaters should be next on the agenda?

March 24, 2008

Days 1 and 2

We got started on the house wrap on Saturday, but we quickly became too short for the job...

...the rest is on hold until we get either taller ladders or scaffolding.

I wired my very first electrical outlet today!

Only 200 or so left to go...

March 21, 2008

And so it begins...

First off, thanks for your nice comments about my little dresser project. I'm sorry that I haven't been responding to each of you individually as much as I'd like, and I promise to be better about it when things settle down a bit!

Speaking of not having a spare moment, the house is finally to the lock-up stage, so the days of having other people to do all the work for us are over, and my husband is officially (as of this evening) on 6 weeks of "holidays", during which we're hoping to get the house to a point that we can actually move in. It likely won't be anywhere near finished at that point, but it will be easier to plug away at things once we're living there, so that's the goal.

This is more or less what the house looks like at the moment (there are a few extra windows and doors now), and I am totally in love! I know it doesn't look like much yet, but I'm very excited nonetheless.

From this side you can see the decks (the closest one is off the dining room, and the small one on the other end is off our bedroom). The pile of gravel on the left is our septic field, which has since been buried.

This is my favorite part of the house so far - the underside of the roof over the front porch, with it's lovely curved brace. The brace is in the wrong place at the moment (it should have been on the outside edge - don't get me started!), but I love the way the soffits look with the rafters.

The first step in our journey starts tomorrow, when we'll start papering the exterior walls so things stay dry inside, and after that we'll move on to the wiring, insulation, and drywall. The scope of the work ahead of us is more than a little overwhelming, but we're trying to keep cool heads about it.

I'll try to post a few photos occasionally, but until then, I hope everyone has a great spring and I'll see you sometime in May!

March 10, 2008


I've been living for the past year and a half with a dresser that only has two functioning drawers. The gliders for the other four have lost all of the little ball bearings that are supposed to make them slide smoothly in and out, and they've seized into a permanent state of not-quite-open/not-quite-closed. If I'm lucky, I can pull a drawer out just far enough to reach in and grab the article of clothing closest to the top, but there are things in the backs of those drawers that I've completely forgotten about over these long months.

I took a quick glance through Craigslist last week and found this antique dresser for $50, and while it was in obvious need of some serious care and attention, it had sturdy dove-tailed drawers (with no gliders to break), and I could tell that it had good "bones".

I had no intention of trying to strip it down to the original wood, so it got a good sanding and priming, and the hardware went into the crockpot to remove the layers of paint that had accumulated on them over the years.

I went to my favorite green building supply yesterday and was lucky enough to find a can of "mis-tint" Safecoat cabinet paint in exactly the colour I wanted (at a reduced price!).

After a few coats of "Autumn" white, the old girl was looking almost as good as new:

A good scrub with a wire brush got the paint out of all the nooks and crannies on the drawer pulls, and they're looking much nicer now. I can't decide whether to leave these handles in place, or whether I should go look for some glass ones to replace them (I just think glass might look better with the white paint).

My favorite part of this dresser is the daisy medallion along the bottom edge.

We've gotten a lot of our furniture from Freecycle and Craigslist over the years for very little or no money. Often all these treasures need is just a little elbow grease and TLC to turn them into something really unique and beautiful.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go use the Jaws of Life to extricate my wardrobe from the grips of my "old" dresser.


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