10 February 2009

Progress we can see - at last

Finally, finally our new wood stove is installed. Even though it's small, due to the soapstone, at 560 pounds, it's the second heaviest model the store carries, so it was no small feat to get it in just the right place on the hearth pad.

Tonight we had our first fire and it was great! The house is so cozy and warm from the dry heat and the warmth radiating off the soapstone. Kevin is proud of his fires too though you won't find him admitting it. I happen to know that the day it was installed, he spent the better part of an afternoon peeking at the pictures I sent him over email to admire his new acquisition, and the hard work he'd done on Sunday to patch up the black column.

Ignore the boxes to the left - they are first floor items we had to pack up while the radiant flooring was being installed. As soon as we complete the tiling, their contents will have a proper home again.

On Sunday I painted the basement with Savannah. I wasn't supposed to do any of the painting, even with the low-VOC paints, but Kevin decided to work on the black chimney and the room had to be painted before we could start tiling, the upcoming weekend project.

I also created a fabric switchplate for my project room using the tutorial from Pink Chalk Studio.

I used the same fabric that my future drapes will be made from and used some fabric to accent the bulletin board I made from homasote. Homasote is an eco-friendly product that's made from 98% recycled paper (the company also recycles the water it uses in the creation process 100% in a closed loop system) and is mainly used in construction as a sound insulator for family media rooms, etc. Pushpins stick into it easily so it's great to cover with fabric and make into a bulletin board. Since the homasote boards come in standard 4' x 8' sizes like plywood, I used a jigsaw to cut it. The wood blade works well for the homasote, which cuts easily, without making too much dust or mess. I did use the jigsaw outside of the house in the barn though - less mess to clean up.

I covered one piece to make a bulletin board and another much larger piece with a neutral flannel to make a design board for my quilting. I also wanted it low enough so Savannah could reach the bottom half to play whatever she wants - with fabric cutouts or felt letters. I know many people like to use the 1/2" staples for this project, but I preferred to use the upholstery length, 5/16" staples since the homasote board is only a 1/2" thick and I didn't want staples to come all the way through the material.

Kevin helped me mount it into the studs with finishing washers while I held it in place.

I also had the chance to paint my thread organizer from June Tailor. I needed a 120 count thread rack but they were out so I ended up with two 60 spool thread racks. I decided to paint them to bring some more color into the project room. I will mount them close to a corner since I won't need constant access to thread while I'm sewing.

I'm selecting colors that I like in the fabric print. I hope it turns out well. I've never centered a room around a piece of fabric before, but why not? I suppose this time of year is dangerous when it comes to color - everyone's yearning for something bright and colorful after a long winter Christmas so far behind but spring not quite yet bursting with her pastels and greens.

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