Renovations/Repairs


A Headboard of Burlap


Posted By on Mar 21, 2011

After finding a pattern in the book, French General Home Sewn: 30 Projects for Every Room in the House, I developed this crazy idea for a headboard. While the original was quite stylish and used a real burlap bag, I had other thoughts. While I’m not sure that I like the direction our headboard took, it was made for Crowder House. Taking pieces of the material used to make the curtains in our bedroom, I created a little Crowder House crest. The room is meant to have a bit more of a cottage feel – and I am tempted to make matching scenes of simple images to remind us of the sea to hang on other walls in the room. The Man was also rather ambitious and finally hung the beautiful tapestry our friend Billa gave us. It is in the upper landing and pictured below...

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A dryer at last.


Posted By on Mar 7, 2011

Since moving here I haven’t been caught up with laundry once. Mainly because we didn’t have a dryer. On average it would take about a day for one load of wash to dry, hanging on a rack. Washing clothes would be a protracted event – whereas I was accustomed to doing five loads at once and calling it quits for a couple of weeks. Moreover, our temporary solution – which lasted for four months, prior to which we went into the laundromat in Spencerville – involved much leaking and monitoring of the washing machine cycles. We had hooked the washing machine up to the kitchen sink with a one-to-two piping component that couldn’t be removed from the tap. (It made washing dishes an experience.) And given a long standing leak around the tap, I would need to listen for the change in washing cycles to turn the tap off and on as needed when cleaning clothes. Alas, I know that I am spoiled – but how many of you reading this are too? Judge not hastily lest you too be judged! At last, I am happy to inform you dear readers, that not only is the washing machine installed, but the dryer too. Instead of in the middle of the kitchen, they are both neatly tucked away in the closet under the stairs. The beautiful cupboards Garnet built us provided enough storage to clean out most of what was in the old pantry, creating space for the laundry solution. We had a local electrician, Kurt Roduner, install outlets for the washer and dryer in the closet. Eric Jansen and his apprentice Shane managed the plumbing. The dryer is set up to exhaust into the basement, with a filter that allows for the hot air created to heat the cellar in the winter. The small renovations went off mostly without a hitch – that is until the Man mentioned a small problem with accessing the dog and cat food. Having left the men to manage the job on their lonesomes, I neglected to take a single peak into the ongoing work. The three had neglected to remove the container housing the animals’ food. We can still reach in and scoop some out, but we now await carpenter Stan Bernard’s help to create a small door so we can still access the remaining space beneath the stairs. I don’t think anyone can ever accuse us of not supporting the local community… While we had Eric over, we also installed a new Moen faucet – the Banbury without the hose. It is a bit more traditional looking to suit the direction the...

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Musings on an island.


Posted By on Feb 7, 2011

Our much anticipated kitchen island arrived yesterday – and it looks beautiful. Made by Garnet Carmichael, the new and custom island matches three other free-standing pieces of cabinetry that comprise our changing kitchen. And just in case you were in doubt, that butcher block top was made from scratch by Garnet. The room is certainly different than it was when we began and is still a bit of a work in progress. I look forward to replacing that final (original) wall cabinet…eventually. For now, I’ll just be happy to find some nice stools for the...

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Garnet versus The Widow-Maker


Posted By on Nov 15, 2010

Very exciting times out at Crowder House on the weekend. Garnet Carmichael came over to fell the Widow-Maker. This beastly tree had died some time ago and remained precariously at the edge of our driveway. It made anyone who took notice of it nervous. Garnet made the special trip on Saturday, driving all the way from Lunenburg to take on The Widow-Maker. That tree seemed to bother him as much as it did us. While I very helpfully stood by and filmed the process, it’s probably best to just let the pictures and video tell the story. The video lasts about 7 minutes, it’s worth waiting until the end to hear the crash. (Of course, if Maureen is reading, you might not want to watch. It was a bit unnerving when your Man told us all to “get ready to run”.) Otherwise, the felling went off without too much of a hitch. A few cedars had grown up around The Widow-Maker and would have helped prop the beast up or at least make the fall a lot more unpredictable. Garnet took those trees down first (yeah me! Cedar rails for my fence!) A very grand merci to Garnet for helping us out – and, perhaps an even bigger thank you to Maureen for letting him tackle this...

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It’s been a while. Not because I didn’t want to update you, but just simply because there is not enough time in the day. I promise things will normalise, eventually. It is frustrating not having the time to write – about anything, not just Crowder House. The last few weeks have been a mad rush. In part, because we are settling in for the winter, but more so as The Man had been away in Vancouver again for a couple more weeks and I have been busy working on some websites and other projects. Of those projects, was a fundraiser for a young lady who is suffering from Stage 4 Cancer. The overall event raised more than $5000, HomeStars alone contributed $950 for reviews posted on its site. I was honoured to take part and support the organisation of the event. In four short weeks, the Village of Spencerville will be decked out in all its finest for a major annual event – A Country Christmas Remembered.  That’s a pretty exciting affair around here. With a population of just 300 or so, Spencerville attracts some 1000 guests and volunteers over the course of the first weekend in December. Yours truly is supporting the holiday event with marketing help and in organising a Christmas Karaoke Idol! With the design of the official website the first order of my volunteerism, needless to say, it’s been sort of crazy around here. So without further ado, allow me to make my apologies with pictures of our stop-gap design measures in a bathroom we plan one day to gut. Knowing that we would one day redo the bathroom, we didn’t want to spend too much time or money on it. That being said, it was in a very unattractive state. Thus, we opted to cover the panelling with some left over paint from the office and update the sad linoleum with the same floor paint used in the upstairs. Instead of replacing the cupboard doors that wouldn’t close, I whipped up a little 9 foot long curtain to add a little class. It certainly isn’t the world’s prettiest bathroom, but it was good enough for Carlotta to finally...

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And We’ve Moved


Posted By on Oct 27, 2010

Welcome to our new site, CrowderHouse.com. We hope you will enjoy your time here – almost as much as you would enjoy a proper visit to Crowder House. As it is Friday and as good a day as any to please my Man, I have decided to post some pictures of his handiwork on the main floors. We have a little patch of clear coat yet to apply, but in the minutes leading up to the Open House, the living room and dining room came as close to completion as they likely will for some time. These rooms were also, perhaps, the most labour intensive. The Man and Richard sanded the floors down so that we might be able to refinish them. They were the only original floors in the house to be stained after sanding, as the rest were painted. As always, please find before pictures below to the left, followed by after shots on the right. The plan in the dining room is to add a custom bookshelf with storage cupboard underneath that would span the wall pictured above and reach from floor to ceiling. The “completion” of the living room and dining room also entailed priming the last of the window interiors. We tried to clean them as best we could, but a decade of neglect and insect waste was more than we could conquer. Using BIN, I shellacked those dirty buggers, in every room of the house, much improving the look and cleanliness of the windows – if I am to modestly say so. And what space striving to be some 19th Century worldly gentleman’s library would be complete without a Cat under...

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