Monday, 23 November 2015

The Times They Are a-Changing!

I can't believe its been almost 6 months since I posted anything. Dave has a habit of starting a project or three at the same time and rotating between them when he gets bored or frustrated. I want to wait until whatever it is, is finished before I blog about it, so time passes and all of a sudden its six months later. However, things have progressed, so here is what we have been up this summer.

Dave mounted this bit of carving that came off my old boat over the entrance to the doorway to the living room. He plans to go back and bevel it better and stain it to match the wood its attached to but nice to see it find a place in the house!


Every winter, my plants would always die as soon as the temperature dropped below zero. I got some wooden sliding glass doors for free as well as some free sidelight windows and Dave cobbled them together to close in the the space in front of the french doors. This allowed us to put a heater in there and maintain a temperature above freezing without having to heat the whole house. In the springtime, we can put shelves in this area and start seeds for the garden.
Before

After

 I am loving the look of them!


I got the big brown TV cabinet for free and it served its purpose but we were finding it to be too bulky for our living room. We didn't want to just throw it out and I really liked the electric fireplace that came with it, so it got recycled throughout the house.
 The same wall without the TV cabinet. Eventually we will probably put a sectional couch along that wall. I had two nice old chairs in the living room but they had spent some time in storage and had a musty smell that Dave couldn't stand. He finally convinced me to get rid of them. As soon as I said yes, he had hauled them out, dragged them up the ramp and set them on fire just to make sure I didn't change my mind. So, the living room looks a little empty right now, but its kind of nice to have some space. We put it to good use and had some friends over for a jam and potluck dinner. We had 20 people in the living room and it was still comfortable.



 Potluck feast!
 


We finally got around to moving the pantry behind the kitchen, so what you are looking at now is the old pantry now turned into more workshop space. The TV cabinet got broken down into a workbench in front of the window and the doors made a storage unit for the water purifier.


 Dave is busy carving an eagle to be the back of a bench he built outside to store the generator and batteries for the solar panel system which we haven't installed just yet. Its on the list.......

 When we closed in the area in the living room for the plants, we ended up taking out the door that had led into the pantry and blocked that wall in. The doorway got moved onto the back of the workshop room wall and the beautiful wood door got put in between the living room and workshop. This looks much better and is much safer as it has a window that is protected with a Plexiglas plate over it. This allows me to look into the workshop before entering and making sure I don't scare Dave when he is working with power tools or knives. We are still contemplating more changes. We may take down that wall in front altogether and instead put a sliding patio door at the closet end of this picture. This would divide our two workshops into half instead of 1/4- 3/4 which they are now. The glass would allow us to seal off one room for messier stuff like sanding so the dust doesn't go everywhere yet still allow for maximum light from all the windows. If  Dave needs more carving space for longer poles he can open the sliding doors to make the room bigger again.

This is the bench that the eagle will be going on top of. In the summer we have it covered with nice plush pillows for a perfect suntanning spot.

 The generator and batteries are stored underneath.
 Dave has spent a ton of time carving every inch of the bench. Moon face on one side.
 An arm rest that is a phoenix rising out of the flames(they are made of different wood which was inlaid) This is all still a work in progress.
 The other armrest is a dove carrying an olive branch.
 The cats were driving me crazy making me get up and let them in and out every 20 secs all night long, so I finally got fed up and made Dave put in a cat door. We were concerned about other critters finding their way in, so we put it in a window and added a ledge for the cats to jump onto. Mamas sleeping much better now!
 Had a quiet Thanksgiving dinner for two.

Here is the new pantry. We took out the stairs that had been there and closed in the wall behind the bookcase. Its smaller than it was but we still managed to get everything we wanted in there. Its great having all the food and kitchen appliances right next to the kitchen, makes much more sense!

                                                                 Before
After
 This is the other side of the pantry wall. The two portholes were from my old boat as well, the window was a freebie.

I always wanted a reading nook, so Dave built me this......

 This is the view from that seat.
 The docks covered in frost, we need more tiles for this side of the house to make it safer.
 a cold November day but at least it stopped raining!
 The electric fireplace got recycled into another old fireplace mantle we had kicking around. Dave found some huge beams floating down the river and cut them into shelves to make an entertainment center against the north wall. The TV and speakers, VCR, PS3 etc is over the fireplace, the large mirror beside that hides our octopus of an electrical system, there is a bookcase built in beside that.
                                                              Before








After

 

 


We had to build a box around all the electrical stuff anyway so couldn't really use that wall for anything else. By moving the TV, books and fireplace over here, it really opened up the living room. Now that we have the patio doors that allow us such a good view from living room, I wanted the couch to face out not inwards like they were before. Since we enclosed the living room with the reading nook, the plant room and the  old pantry area walled off, it feels more like a room now. The way it was before it felt like a large hallway with furniture in it. I like it way better now!

I haven't been very creative the last few years, but recently was inspired to build a few instruments. The first was this cigar box guitar. It has 3 strings and is played with a slide.

The other was this cajon. Its a wooden drum with a snare from a snare drum mounted against the front playing face. I love the sound of it and am motivated to make more of them. I need a table saw if I am going to go into production but I am sensing a change in career some day and building instruments fascinates me.


I didn't make this, but got it at the folk festival this summer for the paltry price of $35 CDN. I love didgeridoos, have three, still cant master circular breathing :(





I found this super cute old buggy in a thrift store and got it for half price when they couldn't sell it. I really couldn't justify it taking up space in my house but decided it made a useful carryall for my zillion and one musical noise makers.


 The whale bone got shifted around again. I think someday it may end up being a coffee table. It will rest on a base with wheels and have a glass top. I have been dragging this thing around for over 20 years now, it weighs ten tons but I love it!

I went to the dike down the road to set up my camera and see if I could get any decent shots of the blood moon this summer. The little white point off in the distance is Mt. Baker which I hoped the moon would rise beside. It did not, it just rose in a bare spot in the sky with nothing to add to the photos.

 This is the moon reflected in the pond.
 



 Here's a couple of the better shots I got.


 This was an accident when I joggled the camera but I like it!


This was another night, long exposures of the moon, venus and mars reflected in the river.


 We get a lot of amazing sunsets here, these were a few of my favorites this summer.

 


 

 

 

 

 


 This one was from a day trip to the island to visit my friend Cora and get my hair cut. I also saw a humpback whale on that trip which  was a first after 25 years of taking the ferry.

 



The flower baskets looked good again this year. This one was a new one on the shady side of the house and it did well so will put up more  on that side next year.

Got a couple a wicker chairs from the thrift store. very comfy!
 Dave caught a few fish.
 The grapevine I planted as two small sticks 3 years ago, finally bore fruit. They were A MA ZING, so much better than store bought, Very sweet and delicious, I couldn't be more pleased as I had no idea what they were supposed to taste like.






 I recently took in the new Bodyworlds show in Vancouver. This one was all about animals. It was quite interesting but I wish they would have had more of the human exhibit as well as it is such a good teaching tool for me.



 Check out the eye on this squid, how cool is that!



 One of my cats sat still for second, so here's a picture, Minou says HI!



And last but not least, I finally quit my job in Steveston. I really didn't want to, but the 150 km round trip commute was killing me on so many levels. I called around to see if there was a demand for massage therapy where I live and there was, so I gave my notice and shifted my practice up here. I cant believe how much better my body feels. I  knew the commute was stressful but had no idea that at least half my pain was just from that. Business is slow but steady. I am really enjoying finally getting to meet some locals. I am close enough to come home for lunch which saves me more money and if I have a quiet day, I can come home and get things done in between clients which feels more productive.

So its been a busy summer. We had lots of forest fires which was scary for the environment. We elected a new Prime Minister who promises to be good to the environment. For the first time in a long time  I feel hope again. The world is still going through a lot of growing pains but people seem to be finally waking up. Maybe if we can switch to renewable resources and get off the oil tit, we can get out of the middle east and peace can prevail.


Imagine there's no heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people living for today
Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people living life in peace, you
You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope some day you'll join us
And the world will be as one
Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people sharing all the world, you
You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope some day you'll join us
And the world will be as one
Songwriters
JOHN LENNON


Playing with camera effects. Goodnight from the eye in the sky!

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6 comments:

  1. Nice to see all the changes you have made. Raising your cat door was probably a good idea. When we lived in California we had a cat door set next to the sliding door to our bedroom. One day I came home to find what I thought was a stray cat in the kitchen eating from the cat dishes. NOT, it was a skunk. I only discovered that when I tried to chase him out. Then there were quite a few possums that came in. They can really hiss and try to bite when angered. We would chase them into a corner to capture them in the cat carry case, then take them on a long drive to the park. The nastiest visitor was a raccoon. Rather than running, he charged me when I tried to encourage him out. He ran into the bedroom so I closed the door and waited for him to decide to leave on his own.

    Glad you are working close to home now. I love Steveston, but I know driving from Fort Langley to and from must have been a grind. Love the sunset shots, and especially the moon ones. -- Margy

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  2. I love seeing all your projects. You're living my dream...working on a home with your significant other that truly reflects yours and your partners spirits. Your little place is so beautiful.

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  3. Thanks for the update on your progress, it's always exciting to see an update from you in my feedly account. You and Dave continue to make your house a cosy home. What a beautiful place to live! I love the windows/door you put in for the plants. Working closer to home sounds like a great move. Your photography always calms me.

    Last summer you encouraged me to find a home on the water when we moved from Oklahoma to Minnesota. Well I'm excited to say we took your advice. We now have a home on a lake. The view is fabulous because of the four huge windows across the front of the house. I had no idea how much I would fall in love with living on the water. The only disadvantage is the time I waste, because I'm zoned out just looking and dreaming. It's always changing, the birds, waterfowl and squirrels are so much fun to watch. I'm evening looking forward to seeing it freeze over. Thanks for the update and the great advice.

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  4. I love your blog and the updates! It would be nice to get some more detail on "how" you do your projects - like installing windows, building reading nooks. Also would love some more details about the neat things you find in thrift stores. your home looks full of interesting knickknacks.

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Thank you so much for taking the time to leave me a comment, Rhianna

The Eclectic Ark