Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Olympic Pride Part 2

The Olympic experience so far has been pretty incredible. Paulina was a little overwhelmed by the crowds & noise (I think she prefers VIP access, just like her mama):

"too loud, mummy"

And I get it. It was emotional. It was exciting. It was amazing to see the quickly growing crowd in front of the cauldron last Friday night & hear an impromptu "Oh Canada" being belted out. I am so proud to be Canadian. We ROCK!

And a dance with Uncle Kuckle at the medal ceremonies where Alexandre Bilodeau accepted the FIRST GOLD MEDAL ON CANADIAN SOIL makes it all better:

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Olympic Pride Part 1

Olympic fever is sweeping the nation, the city, our house. We have all caught it... it's a pandemic! We've even created an Olympic Village out of lego to celebrate the occasion:

The torch passed through Edgemont Village & Sebastian got to hold it:

We stood in the rain for about 40 minutes awaiting the Olympic flame & there was some complaining but it was kept to a minimum when you have your buddies & a big stick of candy to keep you happy.

Sebastian in the crowd

Max & his Canada Colours

Sebastian & Michael awaiting the torch

I'm actually pretty impressed with how many people the torch has connected with. Everyone you talk to has either held the torch, knows someone who ran with the torch, or seen it run through their neighbourhood. Very GRASS ROOTS!!

to be continued.....

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Concrete Questions

The design musings continue chez Baker Hills...

My cousin-in-law Tracey asked me: "Some friends are attempting concrete countertops. Insights? Tips? Books? People to talk to?" Well ~ here are the countertops we had in our old house at 1120 East 13th:

(photo by Brent at Anmore Woodworks who did all our millwork)

And the counters being well used...

(photo taken by me, post-party)

And a picture from a photo shoot last year
Photo by my sister-in-law, Karen.
Check out her work at Blooming Pictures

I loved our concrete countertops. The features I liked best were:
  • the thickness of the concrete. It was about 2 1/2" and I loved the beefy-ness of it
  • the industrial feel of the concrete juxtaposed with the traditional woodwork & pulls & house (circa 1908)
  • the colour; you can stain/colour concrete pretty much any colour. I loved our warm gray tone. We used Rempel Bros. BLACK 20 concrete which was added into the mix prior to pouring (not a colour stain applied afterwards).
Cons of concrete are:
  • It stains/marks/etches easily. Our colour was dark enough that you didn't see the staining but anything acidic (juice, wine, coffee, tea, etc.) will leave an etched mark if it isn't wiped up immediately. I'm OK with a bit of a patina; so I was happy with it. But you can't be a OCD type and relax around concrete. Apparently you can seal/wax concrete which should be reapplied every 6 months or so
  • it is SUPER heavy. We hired a small hi-ab to get the slabs up from the ground floor to the main floor & then needed 3 muscle-y type guys to get it into place. IT IS REALLY REALLY HEAVY!
Costs of concrete:
  • similar to natural stone or engineered quartz; and
  • I found a comparison online at Concrete Countertops. I think this is US pricing because Craig said that the cost to have counters installed here would be about $150/sq ft
Craig did the construction of forms & the install himself, Mr. Concrete that he is... Here is a picture of him pouring concrete at our current house:

pouring concrete for exterior hardscaping

It was a LOT of work to do the counters (so says Craig who is a concrete EXPERT). There are people in town that do this stuff... friends have used: Counter Cast . I've never used them so can't recommend them personally, but they'd be worth checking out.

...additional info...
Just the other day I was at my friend, Jenny's, house (more about the fabulous Jenny in another post) and she has awesome light concrete counters. She had hers done by Elementum Concrete & they look awesome. She says to talk to Kevin Wood there. A note on the lighter colour of concrete; Jenny said can scrub the stains out, which I didn't realize. Still not the choice for someone who can't handle the counter showing it's age.

Phew... that was a lot of chitchatting about concrete. You'll probably never look at an underground the same way. I hope this helps your friends, Trace!!!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Window Covering Dilemma

I know, I know. For those of you who are writing theses on world peace, competing in the winter Olympics, or saving lives in Haiti, this really is not much of a dilemma. And really, in the grand scheme of things it isn't. HOWEVER, for little ol' design obsessed me this is a
And a dear friend of mine, Jane, asked for my advice so I thought I'd post my musings here.

Jane wrote: "Gotta question for you...have these hideous fabric blinds for my sliding door that leads to the sundeck. Would love to throw them in the garbage, but not sure what to replace with...any suggestions..." Jane, you are not alone. I think fabric vertical blinds are kind of icky too. Here is a picture of Jane's sliding door. (BTW - Nice casings & trim, Jane!!)

Here are some alternatives to vertical binds on sliding doors:

Regular Drapery on Rods
Act as if the door is a big ol' window. Hang the rods above the sliding doors & make sure the rods have some clearance on either side of the doors so you can have the curtains bunched up on either side of the doors with plenty of room to get in & out... Voila:

I think these are Restoration Hardware drapes - yummmmy!
(photo from Decor Pad)

Another option would be to have the drapery hardware mounted on the ceiling which seems like a great idea:

These are available from Country Curtains & there is an alternative from Pottery Barn.

Another idea might be to do fabric panels that slide. Could be a cool modern option. I see some from Ikea but I'd like to see them in person to make sure they aren't too cheapie.

Hope this helps, sweet Jane.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

New Beginnings

My first post, my first blog. It's all a little daunting, truthfully. Especially with all this going on as I try to figure out the wild & woolly world of blogspot for the first time:

Dad pins Sebsy (he's laughing... Really!)

Lego & block creation

P wrestling with Dad

This blog will be my journal as I begin my interior design & decorating business (http://www.bakerhillhomes.com/Baker_Hill_Homes.html). Plus all the other wife-y, mummy-ing, life stuff thrown into the mix. I'm excited about the opportunities ahead, scared of failing, worried that no one will like my work, thrilled to begin. I have one of my favourite quotes in mind:

"Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power & magic in it. Begin it now." GOETHE

I'm not certain about the genius part as far as I'm concerned but, hello: magic??? I'm all over that. So what better time than now? Thanks for joining me on the journey. Here we goooooooooo....