Tag Archives: review

quick hits of delicious inspiration

Pssssst,  there’s a whole other side to this site that you might not know about.
We tend to save the quick hits of inspiration for our facebook page.

It’s where we post stuff like this

renovationslaves facebooik blueprint for your wall Continue reading

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Marimekko, with love

Currently on display at The Textile Museum of Canada is a comprehensive retrospective, Marimekko, With Love curated by Shauna McCabe.

Marimekko textiles art by the yard

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when it rains it pours

Last weekend we worked and worked and worked, and on Sunday night when we looked around, it seemed like nothing had changed.  Crazy discouraging but sometimes that’s just the way it goes.

Our attempt at gluing the under-mount kitchen sink to the stone counter was a dismal failure.  We had placed  adhesive to the edges of the sink then flipped the counter upside down and put a bunch of heavy stuff on top of the sink once in place thinking that would do the trick…um no.  Note to self, a double sink full of water is going to be 100 pounds or more…this is serious stuff.

While Dale got to work peeling off the adhesive for round two I got on google for some expert advice on mounting a sink.  No joking around, you need the following to do this job properly.

  • A set of bar clamps of suitable length
  • A piece of 2″ x 4″, longer than the width of the sink
  • Solvent, such as denatured alcohol, to clean the surface
  • Transparent silicone caulk
  • Epoxy resin adhesive for granite or natural stone (we used 3m marine adhesive thanks to Dale’s sailboat repair know how)
  • 80-grit sandpaper
  • Utility knife (with new blade)

There’s no easy way to do this job.  It takes 2 people and one of them is going to get covered with adhesive.  Make sure you are wearing safety glasses and crappy clothes if you are the person going into the cabinet to fix the sink from underneath.  Goop is going to drip all over you (and the inside of the cabinet), it will harden and peel off easily once dry, but that’s small consolation if it’s in your hair.  ha.

Our second kick in the teeth came when it was time to assemble the ceiling fans.

We got a deal on these fans $50 each from Home Depot and while the style wasn’t our favorite, the price was worth the compromise and we happily loaded the pathfinder with 7 of them. 

Dale was busy swapping out the kitchen plumbing and electrical and I set up on the front porch to put together the 7 fans.  No sweat since the box said 5min or less…what a shit show.

fan assembly central

Try as I might I could not get one put together.  I called in for help and after Dale reamed me out for hastily putting this together and essentially ruining all the components he opened a fresh box to show me how to put a fan together properly!   Well guess what?  He couldn’t get it together either.  First off, the parts included don’t match what the manual indicates.  Secondly, the screw are so cheap they strip immediately.  Third, none of the pre-drilled holes are the right size for the parts and also aren’t aligned properly.  Total piece of crap at any price.

Luckily the Depot has a great no questions asked return policy so 2 hours into the 5 min installation, back these craptastic fans went.  We went with good ol Hampton Bay fans instead. and managed to get an extra 10 bucks off each fan thanks to them ringing in at the wrong price at check out.  Gotta love that Scanner Accuracy Code of Practice!  Don’t be afraid to call a store out if your items don’t ring in as marked; we saved ourselves $140 by watching the register and speaking up.

3 hours after I had first started tackling the fan hurdle I got back at it.  Guess what? these guys must be assembled in place aka dangling from the ceiling, power off so wires can be bare, arms stretched over head, balancing on a ladder….AARRRCCCGGG! I think it was at this point that I cracked and admitted the house had me beat.   I reluctantly went inside and  asked Dale if he could help me put them up once he was done with all his fun in the basement…sigh.

In the meantime I patched and mudded all the holes, cracks, dents, seams in the walls I could find cause apparently there’s no shortage of work to do round here…

front bedroom patching

middle bedroom patching
Bathroom patching

kitchen patching

Before calling it a day, we did manage to squeeze in the fan assembly.

We got 2 Re-Store fans up (already assembled, Hampton Bay with remotes for $20 each) .  One looks like it has a bad light housing which is total drag.  Once we threw the power back on the blades  were spinning, and the remote works but no light…arrrrg.

Re-Stores usually test everything before selling, and while the Peterborough location claims to follow this practice, but it’s our experience that often times that’s not the case.  There are some serious quality issues with the Peterborough location that need ironing out.  They’ve been cleaning house (some of the difficult staff are gone) and I think some new management is in the works so perhaps it will  soon be as good as the rest of the organization…

Living room be damned, for now we will just enjoy having something other than a bare bulb hanging in the kitchen.

kitchen fan in!

Next up were the 4 bedroom fans upstairs.  With the main electrical power shut off again we got to work putting them up.   Some of the ceiling electrical boxes/mounts needed to be reinforced and repaired by Dale to make sure the fans would  stay up on the ceiling  and not rocket off.  Once that was done it was just a matter of jointing the wires (red and blue are hot, white is neutral and green is ground) and screwing in all those tiny screws, blades, plates and pieces.   By the second fan we were pros, and no stripped screws!

bedroom fans

Power back on , and for the final moral crushing blow of the evening 2 of the 4 fans we installed (fresh out of the sealed box) have motor issues and need to be disassembled and taken back down.   AAARRRRHHHHHGGGG!

upper bedroom fan

So what have I learnt from this wretched day?

No matter how much you spend or where you buy ceiling fans, there appears to be an at least 50% failure rate.  You need to know this going in, and take it in stride when you have to take the damn things back down again.    Leave yourself an hour per fan for assembly time, and then double that for dis-assembly and returning of product, and that’s how much time you will need.

middle bedroom fan

And it’s nice to have a fans overhead now that it’s hot!  Makes that  air mattress sleep just a little better, grin.

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When all else fails, go out for dinner

The renovation process is an odd one.  It’s pretty easy to get discouraged and worse, really bogged down with all of the small steps it takes to move forward.

You will have a couple of great days where you can see measurable differences, like when you paint a room, or put down the floor and it starts coming together.  Then there are days like we had over this last weekend where you stand back to take a look around; wallet empty, back aching, hours spent…and nothing looks any different.  Ugggggg

Thank God we enjoy Peterborough or this could get old really fast.

The food offerings in this town are top-notch, there is no shortage of terrific indie restaurants to try out.  Dale and I are making our way around the town picking a different spot each time we eat out.   Whatever type of cuisine you crave you will find it fresh and well prepared for a fraction of the cost you find in Toronto.

I took the Go Bus up on Friday night with Noodles on my mind so off we went for an amazing Thai Dinner at Cosmic Charlie’s.   Okay  don’t judge from the website which is  pretty terrible ( barely functions at all) but you aren’t going to this place for  web design, you are going for the food. That being said….

In the past service and wait times for food were a HUGE problem with this joint.  Pleased to report that was not the case this time.  The place was full of happy diners and our waitress was overflowing with  Peterborough modesty; charmingly unpretentious,  funny, great at making suggestions and quick with the beer order,  a good start all in all!

Cosmic Charlie’s serves Beau’s and Mill Street on tap, mmmmmmm craft beer!

I ordered the Thai Red Curry Noodles(Chang Mai) with chicken while the mister got Jerk Chicken Wings with a mango salad.  My dish was full of veg with not a green pepper in site, yay! The chicken was juicy and the noodles were perfectly cooked.  The sauce was exactly what I was hoping for (spicy, complex and plentiful)  and with the help of some chopsticks (that we had to ask for) I flicked it all over myself and across the table, in yer eye Mister!

The Wings were crispy and breaded with a Panko-esk type coating.  They were dry cooked with a Hosin style, Jerk seasoned sauce poured over top afterwards.  Dale said the salad was a perfect match with the thin slivers of tangy mango cutting through the thick flavours of the wings.   He did prefer the wings from  Wild Wings across the street, but thought my noodles were amazing.  Ummmm who orders wings at a Thai place? Ha! At least you can say there is something for everyone at Cosmic Charlies.   The menu also has some Indonesian and Indian dishes,  Seafood specials plus some random offerings like Fish and Chips.  It’s really more of an Asian fusion restaurant then straight ahead Thai.

There are three other Thai Restaurants in town that we will eventually make our way to, as per our pledge to try every restaurant, but this one will go on the short list of favs.

About a 10 min walk from the Rubidge House, Cosmic Charlie’s is right smack dab in downtown Peterborough @ 170 Charlotte Street.  You might want to call ahead for a reservation as it’s a small space  (705) 741-6491.  Casual Dress is a-okay, thought some dress up to go here as well.  Street parking only.

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