Moving day!

It’s officially here – Moving Day!!!

This one doesn’t know it yet, but he’s about to be boxed up and set on a new adventure. We’ve got a two-hour drive ahead of us with three caterwauling cats (the longest any of them have ever been in a vehicles is 30 minutes). It’s going to be fun!

I’ll report back from the other side as soon as I can!

It’s starting to look like a home again

As I mentioned yesterday, this past weekend was our last chance to work on the house before we move in. (As you are reading this, I’m probably in frantic packing mode).

When we started this crazy adventure, our plan was to redo almost the entire main floor before we moved in. Then a couple days after we took possession, we hit a small financial snag. Some money we were expecting was not going to materialize. So we scaled our plans back to finishing Dave’s studio, and the lower part of the living room which is where our TV and couch will live – the rest we could do as we could afford after we moved in.

Well.. as they tend to do, things snowball, small jobs become bigger…. and we are close… but no cigar!

Dave’s studio is the closest to being done. It just need a few spots touched up, primer, painting and floors. We should be able to finish it in short order after the move.

The living room, which once looked like this…

Currently looks like this.

Dad and Dave got all the drywall up, but I still have to do the seams. Then like the studio, it needs priming, painting and floors. If we get this done by the end of August, I will be a very happy girl!

So… that’s it until we move. Renos will still be all encompassing, I’m sure, but at least I won’t be driving two hours to do them!

Cool cat(io)

The last weekend to work on the new house before we move has passed. As you know, one of my main priorities was getting the catio fence up.

While I never complain about rain in summer (it helps to keep the humidity down), the fact that it was always falling on the weekend was really putting us in a bit of a crunch. But… by Saturday afternoon, things started to dry up, and Sunday was clear and sunny.

We had a later start than usual, but once we got there, the plan was that Dad would give me some guidance (mostly on how to drive self-tapping screws) and I’d be off and running, while he turned his attention to finishing the walls in the studio.

But… after a couple of screws… it was apparent that I was not going to have the muscle to get them through the metal – self-driving or not. Even Dad was having issues – and his poor hands got some pretty good wounds by the time we were done.

It took all afternoon… but this…

Has been transformed to this

Dave said the neighbours are going to think we have an orangutan… and Dad says it looks like a kitty prison. But I am very happy with it!

There’s a heavy-duty “chew” guard at the bottom (plastic coated wire mesh) that’s staked into the ground every few inches so they can’t get under it. And the curved overhang means they can’t climb over it. The fence with over-hang is 7.5 feet high, so both Dave and I can move freely under it.

All tolled, it gives them about 350 square feet of outdoor space to enjoy safely, and they also have full use of the sun porch (which is at least another 100 square feet)

If you look closely, you can see my up-cycled garden cart in there. It will be the base of operations for my gardening endeavours, and eventually the “prison yard” will be nicely landscaped inside for both humans and felines.

This is the current view from the inside (from the steps that come off the porch.

As you can see, I’ve got my “garden” in pots right now. The cats won’t mind it all there, and by fall everything will be in the ground.

This is the type of thing I always wanted at the townhouse but could never have! It’s so nice to have it finally become a reality! I just hope the cats like it as much as I do!

FO: Mr. Dress-up

Despite all the craziness of the last few weeks, I’ve tried to take a few minutes each day for me to decompress and do a little knitting. As a result, I finished up my Mr. Dress-up socks.

Because of the time of day that I finished them, it was hard to get a decent picture on the fence. So I decided modeled shots would be better. I took the socks off the blockers and sat down to put them on my feet…

Umm… thanks Relic.

Really Relic????

Well… despite Relic’s “help” I did manage to get a few decent shots.

To refresh your memory, the yarn was some Wollmeise leftover from the cardigan I made Paisley for Christmas. It had a nice semi-solid tone that was perfect for the pattern.

And now it’s official… all the knit stuff (needles, doodads, EVERYTHING) is packed. There will be no stitching for a few days. But as soon as things settle in after moving day – I’m cracking open those boxes and starting a new project!

Mandala mystery tour

If you’ve been on our Bearbottom Facebook page, you’ve already seen these… but I convinced Mom it was time to see if there was any interest in her amazing mandalas from other crafters.

So they are in the shop now and ready for you!

There’s so many things your can do with them. Once we get settled, I want to dye up some of my own, and use them for a quilt (they’d make a great centre piece for a quilt)

As you know, Moms’ been doing her fancy quilting on them…

… and turning them into pillows. But you could also use them to make tote-bags, wall-hangings… the possibilities are really endless.

They are all dyed on 100% cotton – a nice quilting quality. Shipping the the U.S. and Canada is free. Our etsy shop doesn’t ship to other countries, but if you’re from further away and are interested, just send us a note at bearbottomquilts@hotmail.com and we can figure something out.

Wrapping it up.

This will be the last garden post from the townhouse.

I’ve pulled up everything I’m taking with me, and hopefully most of it takes well at the new house. I am leaving some stuff behind for the new tenants – the berry bushes, butterfly bush, and lilac. The daisies, coneflowers, and susans in the back yard are staying too. (there was more than enough of these to take some for myself and leave some behind.)

In the side garden I’ve left a mile of lily-of-the-valley, and black irises (and taken some too), and out front, there’s still plenty of orange daylilies to keep the front yard cheerful and welcoming.

I am bringing all of my fancy asiatic lilies with me. I love these classic white ones.

The echinacea (coneflower) is in full bloom. While some will stay, I’ve got a good chunk to come with me. It’s a wonderful butterfly magnet – I just couldn’t be with out.

The yarrow is showing off it’s nice dark pink shades now. Pollinators love this one. It comes in lots of colours, so I’m hoping to get more for the new place next year.

The butterfly bush is just starting to bloom, and I’m so glad I got to see her flower before we leave.

I’ve even had a monarch visitor already! This will be one of the first plants I buy for the yard – I’m thinking maybe a purple one!

My White Lighting rose bloomed. It’s coming with me. She’s my absolute favourite – she has the most amazing smell.

The raspberries are starting to ripen – just in time for me to enjoy a few before we’re gone. They are small this year, but still yummy. The neighbour at the new house has some – they are growing through the fence and hers are HUGE! I’ll put new bushes in there next year, and see how well I do with them.

The big success of the garden here has been the strawberries.

They’ve been big, abundant, and juicy! And I’ve managed to get most of them before our little yard critters. All of the strawberry plants are coming with me, an I can’t wait to build them a garden box just for them! I want miles of strawberry plants now that I have the room!

And last, I leave a little present from our Squirrelington patrons.

I didn’t plant and sunflowers this year, but I still got some! And who could object to such happy, cheerful interlopers. You can bet more will be planted yearly at the new house!

And while I’m a little sad to say good bye to this little space – I worked eight years to turn a barren yard into a little floral oasis – I’m very excited about the clean slate I have to work with at the new house! Onward and upward!

Drywall and nicotine – just another day in our glamourous remodel

Another weekend is here, and as you read this, I’m hopefully at the new house, building a catio fence.

I mentioned earlier in the week that we got a fair bit of rain which put paid to my plans for last weekend at the house. Sunday, it poured, so while Dave prepped the livingroom for drywall (running tubes to hide the cables for our electronics, insulating where needed, and fixing some small electical things) I was in the studio playing young grasshopper to the drywall master (my Dad).

I was equipped with the tools and a trough of drywall compound and set to covering all the screws. Once that was done, he taught me how to bed drywall tape.

We were back at the house on Monday, to direct the digging of the internet lines! (We’ll be up and running with internet this weekend!). Before Dad got there, I put a second coat of compound over all those screws (and I’ll probably be doing a third this weekend). When he arrived, he decided my talents would be best put to use elsehwere.

I’ve mentioned before that there’s a serious coating of nicotine through the house. The kitchen was bad. The downstairs bathroom was worse… but the room that will be Dave’s studio… it was probably the worst of all. We solved most of the issue by ripping out the carpets and panelling. We plan to paint the ceiling tiles, but before we did that… I had to clean one thing. The ceiling fan.

Our original plan was just to replace it… but money is getting tight, and that won’t happen right away. I could tell the fan was coated in nicotine, but based on what I had seen in the rest of the house, I assume it was an off-white fan, with a moderate coating of the gross, yellow, sticky stuff.

But… then I got up there with the Fantastik.

Um… yeah…. it was THAT bad! the fan is actually white. Pure white. It ate up a good chunk of the day but…

Yowza! Of course, now the ceiling looks even more gross. We might get to painting it this weekend if all goes well.

While I was at it, I also scrubbed the sliding glass door (which needs to eventually be replaced) and the window. It’s amazing how bright it is in there now without nicotine blocking out the light.

This room at least, it’s really coming together. And with any luck, we can finish it up not long after we move in. (Just one more week!)

Adventures in catio building

As usual… I had all kinds of expectations for getting things done on the house this weekend…and as usual… they went awry!

The big plan for this weekend was to get the out door catio area rototilled, seeded, and get the fence up. The fence 100% HAS to be up before we move, because keeping Mr. Relic inside a house for more than 12 hours is not an option. And I’m not about to let him run free in a brand new town.

The area is about 300 sq. ft of lawn. Well – it was probably lawn at one time. As you know, the previous owner had a small dog. It had access to the same area (we took down the old fencng). Those of you with dogs know…. dog urine just destroys grass. I’m guessing when the dog was there, it was pretty bare.

But then the house sat empty for a while, and with not dog… the weeds moved in a took over. Dad and I cleared the area out the first weekend, and I’ve been maintaining it since to keep the weeds at bay.

But I really wanted to get all that soil turned up and so I could plant some grass seed, and create a nice lush green carpet for me and the fur babes.

Dad brought out his rototiller for me. It’s a family heirloom… seriously. My Grandpa bought it in the ’60s and it’s been going ever since. (with a little mechanical help). Dad made sure it ran before he brought it out… but…

Yeah… once out there, it just didn’t want to work.

It’s not the end of the world. It just means I will have to turn that soil up by hand. I decided that could wait until after I got the fence up. So I set to sorting that out.

All the fence materials had been delivered weeks ago. When we got them, we piled the boxes neatly in the garage. There were seven boxes in total – most of them big long boxes that contained the various posts needed. But a couple were small square boxes, containing all the hardware and bits to hold it all together.

As I was unpacking one of the smaller boxes, I noticed several large carpenter ants in the box. No biggie. But as I kept pulling more things out of the boxes… there were more ants. When I finally got to the bottom of the box, and started pulling out the last items… I discovered why.

The ants had decided the box was the perfect place to set up a nursery. Every time I removed a bar, I uncovered more eggs. I’m not particularly squeamish, so it was actually kind of neat. You could tell the eggs were all in different stages of life – some you could even see the baby ant through the casing. And every time a picked up another bar, ants would scurry in and start picking up all the eggs to get them to safety.

I felt kind of bad when I picked up the empty box and dumped all the ants and eggs on the lawn. But I had work to do… and they were in my way.

Finally, I got down to the last, smallest box. As soon as picked it up… well you know in movies, where there’s a whole pile of insects scurrying about an you can hear them? I always thought that was made up… how could those tiny little legs make that much noise…?

Let me just say… it’s true. I could hear literally hundreds (maybe even thousands) of ants scurrying about in the box. As I said, I’m not really squeamish… so I got out my phone and decided to record it for posterity. I knew it was going to be good…

If you’d like to see the video for yourself… you can see it here.

But fair warning – it’s pretty…. um…. wild.

For those who don’t want to watch it, there were about 20 times the ants and eggs in that box than there were in the other one. They all got dumped on the lawn too.

That made Mister Robin happy. He’d followed me around first thing in the morning as I mowed the lawn, pulling up worms from the grass behind me. Now I was giving him a full-on buffet!!! Soon a few othe robins came in an joined in on the feast. Ah – the circle of life!

After de-anting all my parts, I made sure everything was there, and then it was too late to actually build the fence. We were at the new house for two days after, but it rained both days. So… the catio fence STILL isn’t up and the clock is ticking! Just one weekend left. Pray for dry weather for me please! At least just one day!

Oh… and for anyone who’s wondering… I went out that night and got a couple bottles of ant spray. Normally I’m a live and let live kinda gal, but the garage is wood, and carpenter ants can be pretty destructive. And Dave wouldn’t be quite so calm about ants all in his stuff as I was. the perimeter of the building got a good spraying, and we’ll be keeping a weather eye out for any more six-legged interlopers.