New House Noises

Whether a new build like ours, or a new to you home, there are noises that this new home makes that you have to become accustomed to.  But after a couple of weeks in our new home we were  surprised to be awoken by a new noise in the middle of the night.  It sounded like some kind of motor.

When DH got up to investigate, the noise stopped.  DH got up to investigate anyway.  I heard the motor start again then stop just as quickly.  When DH returned, I asked what the noise was, he replied that he had no idea, he hadn’t heard it again.  I explained what I heard and assumed that he had found the offending item and fixed it.  Then it started again.  DH hopped out of bed again, I could hear him rummaging through a cupboard in  the bathroom next door.  I got up and joined him in the search and found the offending item.

So, what was this object that caused such disruption?


Yep, a battery operated Crest SpinBrush toothbrush that I had just unpacked that day and put in the cupboard.


Happy New Year!

I can’t believe another new year has started, the last one went by so fast.  Probably the reason for only one blog post last year!

A lot has happened since that post.  We sold our previous home in what can only be described as a bit of a whirlwind.  Ottawa and its surrounding areas had been experiencing record house sales and prices, and we were no exception.  We were listed for one day when we received and accepted an offer.  A lot of work goes into a house to get it ready for sale.  A lot of cleaning and editing of furniture to “stage” it for pictures, then you have to keep it that way for showings, ugh.  We had just two months to get the new house finished and move everything over, and there was a lot of stuff to move, but we got it done in the end.

While we still have some work to do inside (and a lot of landscaping outside) this is what the inside looks like now:

main room 4

Looking across room from kitchen area.

main room 2

Looking towards kitchen from living area.

Even though we built a new house, we wanted to add a bit of character to the space.  The kitchen island was a general store counter from the 1880’s.

main room 3

Looking to kitchen area from stairs.

kitchen island

Kitchen Island



The large south facing windows allow for a lot of sun to come in and heat the house, but if temperatures dip too low, a wood stove provides additional heat.  The one thing I am not really happy with in the house is the wall behind the stove, we will have to see what we can do about it next summer.

Fireplace 1

wood stove

A propane stove on a thermostat in the basement provides further back-up if required, or if we go away.

basement fireplace

basement stove

The one thing I felt was missing in our last house was a large entry to come into, with a place to sit to put on boots and shoes.  That shouldn’t be a problem here.

mudroom 1


Behind the sliding barn door above is a laundry area, followed by a bathroom.

2004-01-01 019

A place to sit.

mudroom 2

Looking into house from mud room.

The sliding barn door, the french doors above, and the pair into the pantry, were all kijiji finds from people renovating homes.  The tile in the entry was given to us by a friend, there was just enough to do the entry, laundry and bath.  The light fixture over the dining table is an antique brass fixture that we purchased years ago at an antique store and that DH rewired.  We brought it with us from our last house.

pantry 1

Doors to pantry.

pantry 2

Pantry Inside

pantry 3

Pantry Inside

The pantry is not yet finished.  More shelving is required.  The sink in the pantry was another kijiji find.  It is a Kohler sink from 40’s maybe, and is much larger and deeper than most sinks.

That is the tour for now, I hope you enjoyed it.  There will be more to come.









Still Weaving after 20 Years Show & Sale


The MERA Schoolhouse hosts an art exhibit every month, this month the Schoolhouse Weavers are exhibiting their craft.

As the title says, weaving has been going on at the schoolhouse for 20 years, since its inception in 1998.  While weavers have come and gone, the tradition continues.

There are many items on display, many of which are for sale.  With Mother’s Day quickly approaching next month, why not get a unique one-of-a-kind gift for mom.  And be sure to bring your appetite, as the Steady Way Community Cafe serves up delicious lunches, baked goods and coffee.

2003-12-31 003.JPG

Handwoven Dish Towels

2003-12-31 007

Floor Rug

2003-12-31 010

Floor Rug


2003-12-31 013

Table Runners

2003-12-31 009

Table Runner

2003-12-31 012

Recycled Shopping Bags

2003-12-31 018

Scarves & Wraps


2003-12-31 019

More Scarves

2003-12-31 022

Blankets & Pillow

While taking these pictures today, I got to meet this adorable kid:

2003-12-31 002

Happy weaving,


Construction Progress Update 4

I can’t believe I haven’t blogged about house construction since November!

While construction did continue throughout the winter, I guess most of the stuff wasn’t “blog” or “picture” worthy (if this was a more technical blog maybe it would be).  Insulation, vapour barrier, plumbing, electrical and ducting don’t create the same excitement as say…….SIDING!

2003-12-31 001

South Facing

Now the house is taking on the look of a home.

2003-12-31 003

South and West Facing

The North and East walls have yet to be finished.

2003-12-31 004

North Facing

We ended up going with a vinyl board and batten style of siding.  Our original thought was to have the house sided with stained or painted cedar boards and battens.  However, that would have required more work and maintenance in the long term, something neither one of us was prepared to deal with.

Drywall is right around the corner, stay tuned.


I’m Still Here

I can’t believe it has been November since my last blog post.  I have been busy.  As my husband and I head into what I hope are the final stages of house construction (blogged here), and prepare our current home for the resale market, I fear it might be a while before I post again, but we’ll see.

So, my last bit of weaving for a while has been another set of modified star dish towels woven with Venne Organic Cotton in Fawn and White.

2003-12-31 011

2003-12-31 017


Happy weaving,




Construction Progress Update 3

The biggest change to the house since my last post is that we now have windows and doors, yay!

The windows are triple pane argon filled European style tilt-and-turn windows from Bonnechere Valley Windows in Eganville, Ontario.  From other blogs that I have read, it seems that many passive house builders have chosen to purchase their windows from European suppliers because they are more efficient.  While that may be true, I’m not sure if the added expense to bring them here is offset enough by the energy savings they will have.  Also, by buying locally, I know that we can contact the company if we have any problems, and besides, it doesn’t seem right that my windows have done more travelling than me.

In addition to the windows, the roof is now covered in tin.  There is still a roof to go across the south side of the house that will shade the windows in the summer time, as well as a porch roof on the north side.

2004-01-01 001

South Side Exterior

2004-01-01 010

North Side Exterior

2004-01-01 004

South Facing Inside

The next two pictures show the opening options with the tilt-and-turn windows.  When the levered handle is up, the window tilts in with the top opening.

2004-01-01 008

And when the handle is sideways, the whole window swings in

2004-01-01 007





Construction Progress Update 2

Progress is being made with the second floor now framed and roof trusses installed.

progress pic 5

North Side

progress pic 4

South Side

You will notice in the above pictures that all the windows have a box around them.  To help make this house energy efficient, our exterior walls will be thicker, with more insulation than your average house build.  To do this, we are having Larsen Trusses attached to the exterior sheathing, which creates a cavity for the insulation.  Our builder, Paul Coutts, can be seen in the above photo applying a special tape to cover all the joins in the OSB to make the house air tight.  The picture below shows what the trusses will look like.

progress pic 6 (269x800)

Larsen Truss

We are hoping the windows and doors will be installed in about two weeks time.


Construction Progress Update 1

With the great weather we have been having since construction started in August, the house has been progressing quite well, faster than I can write a blog post about it.  Framing has started and it looks like this:

Progress pic 1

North Side

progress pic 2

South Side

progress pic 3

View out the dining area window.

Framing of the second floor has started and I will hopefully have pictures soon. Meanwhile, on the the other side of the yard, the studio/shop is slowly taking shape.

studio 1

Studio Front

studio 2

Studio Back




Construction Has Begun

We had hoped to begin building in the spring of this year.  First, our drawings were done later than expected.  Then there was the arduous task of getting contractors to quote on the build.  I guess in the end, it all worked out.  With the rainy spring and summer we’ve had, I’m not sure how much progress would have been made.

But construction has begun, and we’ve enjoyed a pretty good stretch of weather (except for one day).  Heavy equipment moved in and began to clear the house site.

construction 1

Next was a shovel to excavate the hole.

construction 2

There were a lot of large rocks.

construction 3

But before long, it looked like this:

2003-12-31 006

And four days later, we had this:

2003-12-31 001

Happy to be making progress.