Wow, so much going on around here.  As you know (if you've been a regular reader), we've been renovating a house for my folks - again (they decided the other house was too big, so are moving back into the little blue house - our LBH, LOL).  Just about done that - I'm laying the laminate wood floor in the living room this week, and that s/b about the last of the major work... though we do still have to install the doors on the new closet in that same room, and I also have to grout the ceramic tile at both doors... but those are minor things.

On top of all that, Bill was off on a mine shutdown for the month of August, and when he went back to work in Sept there was a 2-week notice waiting for him, and he was laid off (sigh)... so he's been looking for a job, and had a few offers - we almost ended up in Holland, but they started getting nit-picky on the contract, and he decided they might be difficult to work with.  However, he was offered a job with a mine in Campbell River BC, which sounds interesting.  He flew out yesterday, and starts work today!

However, if things work out (he's doing a 3-month trial, where they pay his living expenses), then we'll be moving to the island... which will be quite a change for us!  We've already looked at a couple of houses on-line, but don't want to rush in to anything at this point.... though a new adventure is always exciting!

Anyway, just finished Creativ last weekend (in Mississauga), and was just lovely to see so many of you there!  One more show and I'm done that side of things for the year, then we're heading to Florida to relax, so I'm going to keep this short and sweet, and I have 2 newsletters to write, and some flooring to lay before bed (wink)... I hope to have more news on the move soon, but realistically it may be February before we make a final decision!


Well, it's been a heck of a summer!  Here's a quick recap of some of the things I've told you in more detail in previous months... Our oldest DH, who has been my assistant for the past few years, moved to Waterloo, as I'm sure I told you... so now I have to do all my work myself, LOL.   I'm sorry to say this has slowed down progress quite a bit, (GBG), but she stayed a couple years longer than she planned, so no complaints here...

We finally decided on kitchen counters, and they are now installed, and the backsplash is almost done (though I haven't grouted any of it yet) - this is in our house, and we call it Renovation #1...

But we lost the tenant at our apartment, so took the opportunity to do some upgrades (Renovation #2), and have new tenants moving in this weekend. 

We were planning to fix up another place for rental - what we call the Little Blue House or LBH, LOL - then my parents decided THEY wanted to move in there, as the place they're in is a bit big for them, and costs more to heat (they used to live in the LBH a few years ago)... so we did some touch-ups to the place they're in (Renovation #3), and put it up for sale.  We have a conditional offer, waiting for a house to sell in Peterboro, so loud prayers, fingers, toes, and eyes, crossed that the buyers house sells and the deal closes soon, LOL.

However, that means we have to hurry and get the LBH done (Renovation #4), and this is the biggest job right now, as we gutted the downstairs, and reversed the kitchen/living room setup.  I told you last month, how we opened the ceilings in both rooms, and put in extra cross-bracing - so the ceilings now have 24" squares, formed by beams.  We're leaving the ceilings open, as the rooms are kind of short (its an old house), and it makes them feel taller, so we had someone in to paint this, but then did a bunch of filling and touch-ups, and now its looking great! 

Last weekend my sister and I painted and papered the new kitchen, and I got a chair rail up and the big window framed, but can't do the door trim until after the new flooring is laid.  Today dad and my DH (my two Bill's, LOL) are over there putting a closet in the livingroom (by the back door), and finishing up some gyprocking (we also upgraded the insulation while we had it gutted, so now have to put the walls back)... and my Bill and I are hoping to lay a new linoleum floor in the kitchen tomorrow... then the new cupboards and countertop can go in (this is a beginning of October job, so more about that next month) ...

I'm also putting a wood laminate floor in the new livingroom, as soon as they're done mudding and painting... but I have a show this weekend, so will also be next week before flooring happens.  The guys are going to level up the floors upstairs, and then my folks can move in at that point... <whew>.

Fortunately, Bill is home to help with all these plans, because unfortunately, he was laid off last month... so he's also busy looking for work, and has had first or second interviews with about a dozen companies, and two look especially promising.  We are really hoping and praying for one of them, as everything else means a move... and we're talking a move to Holland, Finland, Germany, the UK, or Vancouver, (sigh), as that's where the work is for his talents.  Any of which would be an adventure, but very disruptive of our lives at this point!

We had the Studio Tour this past weekend, and I won't talk about that much as it was work (wink), but it was a lot of fun, talking to stitchers, and people who don't know one end of a needle from the other, LOL.  Christine Allen, of Christine's Swedish Weaving was a guest artist at my place, so was also lovely to visit with her between visitors...

Anyway, that's what my life looks like right now (GBG), running in all sorts of directions (as usual), learning some new things I can't wait to share in my TIPS blog, or new charts, and looking forward to seeing many of you at Kingston or at Creativ in the next few weeks... keep well, and HAPPY STITCHING!


Well, I'm happy to say there has been progress... though not quite as much as we'd hoped, of course!  Poor Bill spent most of his time off working on the blue house we hope to move my folks into.  LOTS of demolition, as we pretty much gutted the downstairs to check the condition of wiring and insulation etc.   We were pleased with most of what we found, but are redoing the insulation, as it wasn't very thick.  Also LOTS of old wood in the place - some of the joists have bark on them, and nothing was really measured, so the spacing between the joists ranges from 18" - 23".  Since they are so far apart they have also bent slightly, making it interesting (but a lot more work) to cut trapezoid shaped cross-bracing!

So, the beam work isn't finished yet... though the kitchen ceiling is done, and the living room ceiling is over half done... I think 2 more days will do it, then we'll start putting the insulation/vapor barrier and gyprock back in place.  The painter can't come until next week, so we have time to finish that up.  He wants to come on a rainy day, when he can't do his outside jobs, but I would like him to come on a nice day, so we can just stack the new kitchen cabinets outside, LOL, as I don't know where I'm going to put them while he works!

I spent about a week on the house my folks are in now, and with some help from my sister we did some touch ups and finished a few projects that had been waiting on us... and that house is now on the market.  If you know anyone who wants a lovely 4 bedroom house in the Tweed area, LOL, have them give me a call.  The realtor has had two people through already, and we got our first offer, though it was too low and we turned it down... but it's a good start.

Over at our house, I got most of the backsplash done, except for the last section of counter where Bill is still building a cabinet and needed to be able to shift the countertop up slightly.  Once he's done, and I can finish applying the tiles, I'll grout the whole kitchen at the same time.

The apartment is rented, and the tenants moved in last weekend... so as I said, progress!

We had a lovely visit with our friends from out west - lots of shopping and eating, LOL... and I've already lost the four pounds I gained while they were here, so that's good too (GBG).  More friends coming at the end of the month, and making plans for the upcoming Studio Tour, so still very busy around here...

The only disappointing note is that Bill received his layoff notice last week, and will be done work at the end of next week... it's been coming for a year, as he avoided the cuts being made, but it finally happened... so if you know anyone who needs an SAP Master Data Coordinator, I know a great one, who is highly respected in his field (wink)...

We were also pleased to see some sunshine - finally - and I hope you've been able to enjoy some too... talk to you next month...


So as I mentioned last month, Bill is on holidays for 5 weeks, and boy are we busy!  You know that our oldest DD moved to Waterloo, after working for us two years longer than planned, LOL, and we sure are going to miss her help!  But she's excited about the move, and has a lovely new apartment, so we're hopeful she will find a new job that will be both challenging and rewarding.

However, that leaves us with an apartment to rent... so we have to do some fixing up there  - we've bought new cabinet handles for the kitchen (some elegant brushed pewter ones), and we're putting new counters in both the kitchen and the bathroom.  Someone is coming in to clean and paint, so it will be all fresh and presentable when we put it on the market.  It's not even listed yet, and we've already had a couple inquiries, so we're hopeful it will rent quickly.

In the meantime, the plan for this time off was to fix up the little house behind us (where my parents used to live), and put that out to rent as well.  We were going to remove an upstairs bedroom, to form a high-ceilinged livingroom, and a loft bedroom.  But then my folks decided they would like to move back to that house, as they are finding the larger house a bit more work than they expected, and of course, being larger it also costs more to heat...

So that changed our plan for the little house, LOL.  Instead of taking out a bedroom, we took down all the old ceiling tile in the kitchen and livingroom, and were pleased to see it is actually pretty well built - except the joists are too far apart, which is why the downstairs lights shake when someone walks upstairs!!  We're going to put in some cross-bracing, but nicely done, LOL, as we are going to leave the beams exposed and paint it all white.  New kitchen cabinets and flooring all through, and a slight change of floor plan, and it will be lovely (wink).

Right now we are in the demolition stage, and have filled 2 construction dumpsters with materials we pulled out of the house... though I must admit we also did some shed cleaning, and got rid of a lot of stuff that has been accumulating.  Next week someone is coming by to quote on painting the ceiling, and we hope to be ready for them to come in the following week - wish us luck!  I'll give you more progress next month...

Meanwhile, a quick update on our house... we have the counters installed (I think I told you that last month), and have selected the backsplash tile.  This consists of metal 'bricks' behind the countertop stove, and mixed glass and metal strips (on sheets), all black and grey and silver, for the rest of the backsplash.  We have the stove section pretty much done, and the first strip of the glass / metal section done... but we have company from out west, so all work is on hold until Monday, and tomorrow we are hoping for sun, so we can go to lunch at a Victorian restaurant in Deseronto, then on to a short cruise through the 1000 Islands.  Sounds like a great way to spend the day with good friends, and I hope you plan some fun activities too... talk to you next month...


Hey guys!  Apologies I haven't been here in a while, but we really haven't done a lot of work on the house - all our time has been spent preparing for show, attending shows, filling orders after shows, LOL, and not much personal plans... though Bill and I did take time to go to a local theatre production of LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS, which was very cute, and quite well done.  And although June was a super hectic month, with a sad family loss and two shows... we actually managed to get some work done on the house!

Really!  We FINALLY decided we were satisfied with the kitchen layout, so we did some wiring and plumbing corrections, to suite the new configuration (the hardest part of this whole thing was getting a plumber to show up for such a little job as re-plumbing the sink inside the new cabinet). 

Once that cabinet was in place, we ordered the new countertop - and it came in way faster than we expected!  I literally got home from a show late Sunday, and had to have all the cabinets emptied, and the sink removed, as they showed up early Monday morning.  Fortunately, our DD emptied the cabinets for me, so I only had to turn the water off and remove the sink, unplug the stove top and lift it out of the old counter etc.  I had to laugh though, I guess I wasn't specific about what was happening, as she emptied ALL the cabinets - even the top ones, LOL, when they just needed the lowers emptied so they would have room to work.

There is still some work to be done, as Bill is building one more cabinet (which will slide into place under the countertop), and we're going to put a half-wall on the back of the lower cabinets between the diningroom and kitchen.

Had a wonderful stroke of luck though... we had purchased a couple of packages of tiles to try with the countertop to see what we wanted for backsplash... we made a decision - these varied thin strips of tiles of metal and tile, on a sheet - but hadn't purchased them yet.  My mom and sister were out garage sale-ing, and they found someone who had used ALMOST THE SAME TILE, and had 5 boxes (that's 25 sheets) that he only wanted $40 for!  Since we paid almost $20 for ONE sheet, LOL, we jumped all over this!  So I have 26 backsplash tile sheets (since we already bought one), and I did a rough calculation, and that's going to be really close to being enough!  I may pick up another half dozen, just to be sure we have them, and I can return what we don't use...

Bill is off for the month of July (actually 5 weeks, I believe), so we are hoping to get new countertops into the apartment in Belleville, so we can start advertising for renters (I'm losing my staff, sniff, sniff, as our oldest DD, who has been working for me for several years not (and renting the apartment) is now moving to Waterloo next week)... and we want to do some work on the 'little house' my parents used to live in, converting it to a one-bedroom (quite a large size one though), with high ceilings in the livingroom.  New flooring in there, reconfigure the kitchen... new carpet in the bedroom... maybe update the bathroom a little... AND finish the kitchen... whew, 5 weeks may not be enough ROFLOL, but I'll let you know next month how we do!

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