Saturday, November 24, 2012

Amusing myself with cookies

I've had so much fun assembling and decorating my gingerbread replica of our Beacon Hill Bungalow. I've spent most of the day with my hands gooped up with Royal icing and surrounded by cookie crumbs. Here are some photos of my creation.

Front view, complete with our kitties Tink and Pongo in the front yard. I made the porch from chocolate wafer cookies; the columns from candy canes; and the roof of the dormer from chewing gum. The main roof is green-tinted icing with coffee grounds mixed in to give that "composite roof look". 

 Here we are looking south. I took some editorial liberties and didn't build the bump-out for the dining room and planted a tree instead.

 The rear view. Our back porch looks icy and dangerous without a railing.

 From above, with a dusting of snow.

Home sweet home

Friday, November 23, 2012


We are down the last item on the to-do list for the basement before we call in the professionals: rough in electrical for accent lights under soffit in living room. Nevermind that we keep finding things to append to the end of the list. Like grinding down the concrete floor so it will be more level and take paint better. And pulling the staples from the ceiling joists.

Justin spent the best parts of black Friday grinding the concrete floor. I spent the best parts cutting out gingerbread pieces to make a miniature replica of our house (more on that later).

 Here's Justin attacking the last 15 sqft of concrete (behind the washer/dryer). He's had a full day of vibrating.

Here's a progress shot--taken at about mid-day. Doesn't the ground side look so fresh and clean? It is really dusty so it's not so clean but it does look fresh!

Next week, we'll be insulating. Er, we'll be paying someone to insulate. And the week after that we'll be paying someone to drywall. It'll be a liveable space soon!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Closing in...

A view of our new soffits looking westward.

Well, we made a decision on the duct. It's staying where it is. That's option #1 from the previous post. I had 3 construction professionals over and they all thought it was too minor to worry about and maybe not worth spending the money. So, we'll have a little cave of a laundry room.

Despite a really lousy forecast for this weekend, it didn't rain much during the days so re-framing the window in the basement bathroom was more enjoyable for Justin than expected. The only hiccup was a finish nail that went through the vinyl frame of the window and pierced a hole in it. We'll have to figure out how to repair vinyl window frames in the spring. For now, some waterproof tape will have to do. Justin also finished framing in the walls in the bathroom and built a few more soffits. 

We've modified the exterior with a smaller window, salvaged from the back of the house.
For my part, I tinkered with a bit more electrical work and hammered in a big bag of the nail guards to protect the electrical wire from the drywall screws. And I caulked in the new window and killed the tube of caulk filling in some other random holes.

Let's take a look:

 An action show of Justin putting some sheathing up to fill in where the larger window once was.

My soffit man.

A little electrical re-org--no sooner do we get it installed then we rip it apart and redo it. This is the switch to the living area. It used to be on the wall that the storage room shares with this room but I thought it might be a better fit on an adjacent wall, twinned up with the switch (yet to be installed) for the under-soffit lighting.

 Here's our tidy little bathroom, with a new little window. Justin had to notch each one of those studs in 3 places to fit over the plumbing in the wall.