Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Favourite Artists Finds on Pinterest #6

Vibrant impressionist watercolors. His realistic art gives a sense of movement; teeming with layers of light. David works in a fairly large scale. His paintings make a lofty statement. His love of nature is evident from his former occupation as a botanist/biologist. He shares his talent with many students on the East coast and has ongoing classes at The Smithsonian Institution. I live on the wrong side of the country! What an honour to be able to take one of his classes. Please enjoy and admire this accomplished watercolorist.

Counting Crows
Big Blue
Spring Awakening
Garden Cart
Relax... Respect... Enjoy... the many layers of these watercolours... Dorri

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Favourite Artists Finds on Pinterest #5

Took a little time off to put up a little rock!! 

This week's artist/illustrator is Helen Dardik. I follow her on Instagram, her paintings and illustrations always make me smile and inspire me to pick up a brush. One Lucky Helen will open your eyes to an explosion of color and charm. She was born in Odessa but has resided in Canada since 1993. Wife and mother adds to her many accomplishments. A wide variety of items carry her trademark and licensed art. You can purchase wonderful items made by Helen on her Etsy page. Or you can follow her like me on Instagram and Pinterest 

I would love to have this on fabric
Relax... Respect... Enjoy... life is good... Dorri

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Phase 2 Fire Place Finishing

Work is progressing nicely on the second phase of the fireplace.  I have completed tiling and grouting the four art niches. I used a 12" slate tile for the back and bottoms. Mosaic rectangles covered the top and sides. They look dark but when the lights are turned on I think they will highlight the art we place in them nicely. Somewhere a 3 1/2 foot purple amethyst geode is waiting for a new home. Perry has gotten the beams for the niches cut and complete. Some are installed now. We placed them flush to the height of the outer edge beams but cut them a couple inches smaller for variation. We have the scratch coat on for this phase and a small start to installing rock. It really seems to be such an easy job when you are not 30 feet in the air. We are having a lot of fun doing this project together. 

Perry and I spent a few hours on the sleds on Monday finding a few possible trees for the edges of the two walls we are rocking by the front foyer. Found a perfect one with a limb in the exact right spot. I can hardly wait to see what they will look like installed. The other side of the wall is corner rocks. Next up black rock next weekend.

Close up inside the art niches
Excited to get back to rock installation after the tile
Small beams being added to the top and bottom edges of the niches
The background rock being installed, you can see the outline for the tree branch extension slightly
Next up will be the black tree branch going up, I put a second branch off of the main one leading to the left 
Starting on the foyer/great-room wall. Black background, with a swirl of Wolf Creek brown that will surround our fossils that we have found over the years, exciting. There will be a tree on the right side of this wall too. Flush to the end.
Perry finished up the master bathroom wall last weekend, it looks fantastic. Still need trim on the window and crownmolding. No stained glass installation until the hammering is complete!
Poplar 6" tongue and groove stained Beachwood, a bluish green stain finished with varathane
Relax...Respect...Enjoy...this lovely snowy spring... Dorri

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Fireplace Phase 1 Complete

Phase One is finally complete. I am not going to miss working up so high off the floor. 6 scaffoldings high was a bit much!! It will be well worth it though. We have begun work on Phase Two. I have two of the art niches complete. We tiled them with natural slate. The same slate we used in the garage bath. Rough un-honed multi-color slate from India. We will be installing honed slate on the floors in front of the 4 sets of Loewen doors to add a barrier in front of the walnut flooring, just in case of moisture. I love the roughness of the un-honed for around the fireplace but I think we want a smoother feel for tender toes! 
I can almost see the end in sight 
Clean up and take down another scaffold, no windows were broken in the de-construction of this project lol
Unfortunately I can't get a great shot without scaffold as we still need four sets high for Phase Two. I can tell you that Perry's biceps are rock hard after pulling up and lowering all this iron wink wink!!
Our tree of life....well it's the trunk of life anyways!!!
Perry got the ceiling fan installed. 2 fans above in the loft and the one in the great room should push the heat where it is required. Cool in the summer and warm in the winter
Laying out the tiles for the niches
Niche 1 tiled, not a lot of fun tiling a box that is 15" wide by about 12" deep, tight quarters for my head to look up to make sure the lines are straight and level haha
Niche Two tiled, two left and I have run out of adhesive, must be time for a break
I managed to tile the 3rd niche and the top of the 4th before I ran out of adhesive. One of the first rules about living up north, buy two of everything. Be prepared. Oops. Oh well I don't mind a break this week from tile and will continue on with other projects. Perry cut the wood beams that will trim the tops and bottoms of the niches. Lucky for us we had a free additional labourer up here this weekend to help oil them. Per's mom Violet came to visit for Easter. She wanted something to keep busy. Soooo......We very much appreciated her fine oiling job on the beams while I was grouting the niches. Once I complete them and the beams go up, we will add the lath and get a scratch coat on to continue on with the rock installation. Down to Phase 3 almost yay. 

I hope y'all had a fantastic Easter holiday, I know we did. A little of everything, family dinners, chocolate, work, fires in the snow, sledding, movies, sleeping, eating, and mimosas! Now back to reality, low carb and exercise!!!

Relax...Respect...Enjoy....spring has sprung... Dorri

Monday, February 29, 2016

ANOTHER Fireplace Update on Phase 1

The balls are in the air and we have liftoff! We have had a very productive week cutting and installing the stone for the fireplace. The weather has cooperated for Perry to be out cutting on the master bedroom deck, despite a few chilly windy snowy days. February really has been an ideal weather month for fireplace finishing. The stone is going on without any issues. The new mortar we have been using works like a dream. Sakrete Type N Mortar Mix. The 33 kg bags are heavy with a capital H but worth the muscles I am building. I am using black cement colorant for the Boral - Black Rundle stone and straw for the Boral - Wolf Creek stone. Perfect matches for touching up cuts too. Perry is an awesome stone cutter so there is very little waste. There was a little bit of a trick getting the stones and tools up there but we came up with a very good system, pulleys, ropes and bags. Laying out the stones on the floor of the loft definitely helped in the long run but I still had plenty of substitutions to make. When I am ready to install the rock on the walls of the main floor I will definitely lay them out again in the beginning. Less time standing around looking for the perfect rock. But I digress, first there is Phase 2 of the fireplace, the bottom 20 feet or so.
A view from the top
Cleaning out the cement pail at the end of the day and here was this lil chicken watching me from the deck!!!
Peekaboo I see you
After we applied the scratch coat I used chalk to draw the pattern on. We started about 20 feet from the ceiling. I call this Fireplace Rock installation Phase 1. This is the Wolf Creek color. Nice varying shades of browns.
Starting to lay the tree trunk up the centre of the fireplace. This is the Black Rundle stone. Fun stuff cutting this almost every rock needs a tune up!!
Couple days into installation and we  made it up to the 5th set of scaffolding
Not a whole lot different than the mosaic work I do. Like fitting a puzzle together. My interpretation of a tree trunk crawling up the fireplace
Saturday found us on the top scaffold. Suddenly it is not as much fun anymore!!
We also lost our nice spring weather on Saturday but we persevered. I am pretty sure it was ugly out there but I was stuck at the top of the scaffold looking out!! Feeling bad for Perbear!
A productive Sunday left at this point. Back to black to start the week.
One weeks progress for rock installation. I am anticipating 2 1/2 days to finish depending on weather and circumstances beyond my control lol! Maybe my craft room will be calling me or my workshop where I should be working on stuff right now! Or I may NEED to go for a run or snowshoe?

Relax... Respect... Enjoy... the beginning of the end of "heights"... Dorri

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Fireplace UPDATE

Scaffolding has happened... and we are going to be installing the scratch coat today. There is definitely a learning curve to adjust to the heights again. 30 feet to touch the roof. 6 scaffoldings high. Perry has been industriously securing it all safely to the wall. After a few big gulps I will adapt again!! Its happening....finally. This is how we roll! Here are few pics of the beam installation. Per has two more to cut to finish the sides.

One more set of scaffolding to attach to the top
Shadow play in the late afternoon sun
One of the best purchases we made for building our own home, lots of scaffolding 
One step closer to stapling on the weatherproof barrier and metal lathing 
A different perspective
Perry had to shorten the top scaffolding 5" to give us some walls at the very top
Watch those sparks fly, as good as Canada Day 
I think he really liked this
Can you say....we are ready? Not nearly as sunny out as yesterday boo!
Relax... Respect...Enjoy...getting back to rock it... Dorri

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Thursday Thirst Quenchers

The Firecracker

Watermelon, lime and cucumber cocktail and doesn't it look pretty and refreshing?
  • 4 oz cucumber vodka (good luck finding it easier to make your own)
  • 4 1" cubes seedless watermelon
  • 2 limes diced
  • 2 oz simple syrup (Boil 1/4 cup water with 1/4 cup sugar until sugar dissolves. Add 1/4 cup of ice to cool and refrigerate the leftovers)

Blend and pour into a highball glass rimmed with lime, salt and sugar. Garnish with watermelon slice, cucumber slice and a mint sprig. Recipe makes two tasty cocktails.

Shout out to for this awesome recipe

Relax... Respect... Enjoy... summer ready cocktails... Dorri