This past fall …

This past fall Jeff and I had a lovely little wedding full of love, laughter and many of our favourite people.  The rains came in full force starting Friday evening, but miraculously the clouds parted and the sun came out less than a half hour before the ceremony and were able to quickly move the ceremony outside.

Pretty early on in the planning I decided I wanted to sew my dress.  I was lucky enough to find a wool silk crepe that perfectly suited my vision.  I had just given up searching through the bridal section at Fabricana, where everything was either too white and too light, when I decided to take a look at the clearance wool wall.

Alexandra of In-House Patterns offered to help with my muslin fitting.  It was wonderful to have her skilled hands and expertise.  My original muslin was of Butterick B5710, but I wavered on whether or not it was the design I wanted.  I knew I wanted the shape of the bottom half, but throughout my internet research I was drawn to this skirt and top from Amy Kuschel.  After much deliberation I went for it.  The top was adapted from Deer and Doe’s MÉLILOT Shirt.

It was my first time sewing with such wonderful fabrics and for the most part I think I did alright.  I only ran into problems on the bias cut skirt when I failed to heed advice and reinforce the seams and zippers.  There was some puckering, but with the belt I was mostly able to minimize these.

With many thanks to Jennifer Picard Photography, here are a handful of photos featuring my handmade wedding gown and my handsome new husband.



Permits are in, we can Continue

So, it turns out you need permits to raise a house.

We got possession of our house on a Friday afternoon and immediately started gutting it.  We tore out walls, carpet, cabinets, ceiling and bucket and buckets of blown in insulation.  It was extremely messy work, but the open plan and high ceilings will be worth it.  Thanks to everyone who stopped by to help out.



Upon completely gutting the main floor, we found some rot in the basement and decided if we are ever going to make the basement a more liveable space, now was the time to lift it.  Jeff and I are both tall and 6 foot 7 ceilings just don’t cut it.  We weighed our options, consulted engineers and decided to take the risk and raise it up without permits. Maybe not our best decision… but we wanted to take our chances and hopefully save $15000 that we could put into other parts of our home and yard.



The house was raised and we built new walls below as quickly as we could.  Just as the house was coming down, the city showed up!  Unfortunately, there was some concern about one of the trees on our property.  We were shut down until we had permits.  We hired an arborist, engineer, drafter, and surveyor to come up with our tree protection plan and to put our plans on paper for the city.

We now have permits and Jeff is working full time on the renovation, so things should be rolling more quickly. Here’s the front of the house, a couple feet taller with our tree protection plan in place ( fencing around all the trees. )


Unfortunately / fortunately our arborist’s report came back to tell us that one of our very old Garry Oaks was unhealthy.  Since it was too close to the house and unhealthy, we applied for a permit to have it cut down.  Here’s a shot of the trunk, we are hoping to have it milled and use what we can throughout the house.


This past weekend was Seedy Saturday here in Victoria, I picked up some raspberry canes and started my garden in the back yard!


Now that things are progressing and on the up and up I’ll aim to post some more regular updates here.

We Bought a House!

And, we get possession tomorrow! It all happened very quickly. At the end of August we had the idea that it would be fun to find a house and fix it up.  We looked at a few places before we headed east on vacation.  Then, the first place we looked at when we returned, we finally saw some great potential in — that was just two weeks ago!  The property is big for being in the city with three gorgeous Garry Oak trees.  Tomorrow we start our renovations by gutting the main floor. It’s going to be a busy couple of months, but I hope to document the entire process.

Here are the before pictures, lots of wood paneling, a purple bathtub, and even a faux brick wall.

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