Monday, February 29, 2016

ANOTHER Fireplace Update on Phase 1

The balls are in the air and we have liftoff! We have had a very productive week cutting and installing the stone for the fireplace. The weather has cooperated for Perry to be out cutting on the master bedroom deck, despite a few chilly windy snowy days. February really has been an ideal weather month for fireplace finishing. The stone is going on without any issues. The new mortar we have been using works like a dream. Sakrete Type N Mortar Mix. The 33 kg bags are heavy with a capital H but worth the muscles I am building. I am using black cement colorant for the Boral - Black Rundle stone and straw for the Boral - Wolf Creek stone. Perfect matches for touching up cuts too. Perry is an awesome stone cutter so there is very little waste. There was a little bit of a trick getting the stones and tools up there but we came up with a very good system, pulleys, ropes and bags. Laying out the stones on the floor of the loft definitely helped in the long run but I still had plenty of substitutions to make. When I am ready to install the rock on the walls of the main floor I will definitely lay them out again in the beginning. Less time standing around looking for the perfect rock. But I digress, first there is Phase 2 of the fireplace, the bottom 20 feet or so.
A view from the top
Cleaning out the cement pail at the end of the day and here was this lil chicken watching me from the deck!!!
Peekaboo I see you
After we applied the scratch coat I used chalk to draw the pattern on. We started about 20 feet from the ceiling. I call this Fireplace Rock installation Phase 1. This is the Wolf Creek color. Nice varying shades of browns.
Starting to lay the tree trunk up the centre of the fireplace. This is the Black Rundle stone. Fun stuff cutting this almost every rock needs a tune up!!
Couple days into installation and we  made it up to the 5th set of scaffolding
Not a whole lot different than the mosaic work I do. Like fitting a puzzle together. My interpretation of a tree trunk crawling up the fireplace
Saturday found us on the top scaffold. Suddenly it is not as much fun anymore!!
We also lost our nice spring weather on Saturday but we persevered. I am pretty sure it was ugly out there but I was stuck at the top of the scaffold looking out!! Feeling bad for Perbear!
A productive Sunday left at this point. Back to black to start the week.
One weeks progress for rock installation. I am anticipating 2 1/2 days to finish depending on weather and circumstances beyond my control lol! Maybe my craft room will be calling me or my workshop where I should be working on stuff right now! Or I may NEED to go for a run or snowshoe?

Relax... Respect... Enjoy... the beginning of the end of "heights"... Dorri

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Fireplace UPDATE

Scaffolding has happened... and we are going to be installing the scratch coat today. There is definitely a learning curve to adjust to the heights again. 30 feet to touch the roof. 6 scaffoldings high. Perry has been industriously securing it all safely to the wall. After a few big gulps I will adapt again!! Its happening....finally. This is how we roll! Here are few pics of the beam installation. Per has two more to cut to finish the sides.

One more set of scaffolding to attach to the top
Shadow play in the late afternoon sun
One of the best purchases we made for building our own home, lots of scaffolding 
One step closer to stapling on the weatherproof barrier and metal lathing 
A different perspective
Perry had to shorten the top scaffolding 5" to give us some walls at the very top
Watch those sparks fly, as good as Canada Day 
I think he really liked this
Can you say....we are ready? Not nearly as sunny out as yesterday boo!
Relax... Respect...Enjoy...getting back to rock it... Dorri

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Thursday Thirst Quenchers

The Firecracker

Watermelon, lime and cucumber cocktail and doesn't it look pretty and refreshing?
  • 4 oz cucumber vodka (good luck finding it easier to make your own)
  • 4 1" cubes seedless watermelon
  • 2 limes diced
  • 2 oz simple syrup (Boil 1/4 cup water with 1/4 cup sugar until sugar dissolves. Add 1/4 cup of ice to cool and refrigerate the leftovers)

Blend and pour into a highball glass rimmed with lime, salt and sugar. Garnish with watermelon slice, cucumber slice and a mint sprig. Recipe makes two tasty cocktails.

Shout out to for this awesome recipe

Relax... Respect... Enjoy... summer ready cocktails... Dorri

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Favourite Artist Finds on Pinterest #4

This week's artist is actually one whom I follow on Instagram as well as see her on Pinterest. Her lovely colourful flowers feel like a summer day. One cannot help but feel happy and satisfied.

This talented illustrator hails from Toronto, Ontario, Canada, with a list of clients a mile long. Yay for Canadian female artists on the rise. Her media of choice is black pen, pencils, watercolour and markers. The colors jump off the paper right at you. So bright and vibrant. Her designs are featured on a great variety of items, paper goods, home goods,  journals, fabric and wall art to name a few. Take a boo at her work and you will surely become a dedicated fan of her art too. Enjoy!

Relax... Respect... Enjoy...the sunshine glow from these images today... Dorri

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Brick Street Chocolate Cake Pinterest Audition

Someone special has a birthday .... yay happy birthday Perry!!! I have been craving chocolate cake for awhile now and when I asked Per what kind of cake he wanted for his birthday dinner he said chocolate. Bonus for me. I found this recipe on Pinterest awhile back and decided to make it for the big day. I am not especially fond of baking, I think I really prefer cooking to baking unless I am sharing it with someone. Leftsa with Ashley at Christmas was fun and Perry & I have a blast when we cook together. I decided to bake like a tv chef and measure out all the ingredients before I started. I liked that. Maybe if I had a helper to measure, lay out and put away it would help. Someday it will be fun to bake with Sawyer and Isla. Can you say mess up grandmas kitchen.....

Apparently I had nothing but time to wash dishes afterwards lol
 Brick Street Chocolate Cake (Conventional Oven)
All your dreams of a rich, dense chocolate cake. Bakes in a regular oven and iced with a rich ganache icing!

Prep time - 20 minutes
Cook time - 60 minutes

Cake Ingredients
2 cups white sugar
1 cup butter softened
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 large eggs (free run of course)
2 1/2 cups cake flour
1 cup cocoa sifted
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup instant chocolate pudding mix (dry)
2 1/4 cups buttermilk
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Icing Ingredients
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup butter
1 tsp vanilla (why you need vanilla in chocolate is beyond me?)
1 cup cocoa sifted
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar sifted
3 tbsp heavy creme (more or less)

Spreading over to the island, cool sifter my grandma Morrison gave me
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Beat sugar, butter and vanilla till smooth and creamy
  3. Mix in eggs and beat
  4. Mix in flour, cocoa, soda, salt, pudding and milk and beat
  5. Stir in the chocolate chips (which I almost forgot....)
  6. Pour into greased and floured round 10" pans
  7. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes
  8. After 30 minutes lower temp to 325 and continue to bake for 30 to 40 minutes. Check with cake tester at 1 hour (mine was perfect at 60 minutes)
  9. Cool completely before icing (the best part)
Chocolate Icing
  1. Heat water, butter and vanilla together in a sauce pan until melted
  2. Remove from heat and stir in cocoa
  3. Stir in powdered sugar and beat until smooth
  4. Add heavy creme (I used whipping creme) until desired consistency is achieved
  5. Ice cake, icing will harden as it cools

The recipe didn't actually call for beating but I gave it a good beating, lots of air and no lumps
The original recipe called for a tube pan which is kind of like an angel food but I decided I wanted a layer cake and the substituion performed just fine
Who wants to lick the one here but me guess I will step up to the plate lol
They rose perfectly
Time to cool before removal
Beating the ganache icing 
The finished product...I can hardly wait. I did try a little bit that I cut off to level the bottom and it was fantastic.
If you really love chocolatey chocolate cake then I can highly recommend this recipe. Thanks to Pinterest and for the original recipe I adapted this from.

Relax... Respect... Enjoy... something sweet today... Dorri

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Favourite Artists Finds on Pinterest #3

This week's artist is Charlotte Gastaut. She is an French artist and illustrator from Paris "I believe". Unfortunately for me my high school French does not help me that much on her pages and Google Translator is a bit of a joke. But for all you art lovers out there all you need to do is Google her and see for yourself what dreamy "other worldy" art she creates. I am starting to notice a trend towards this form of art as my absolute favourite. Whimsical, colourful and full of expression.

Please enjoy a small peak into another world

Can you not smell the Cherry Blossoms?

So much is happening here
I am enchanted 
Relax... Respect... Enjoy... a trip across the Atlantic to France... Dorri

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Favourite Artist Find on Pinterest #2

Diana Sudyka (pronounced soo-dee-ka) is an talented illustrator and printmaker from Chicago that creates in a broad range of areas: editorial, book, album art and screen printed gig posters. Folk art and natural history infusions along with plenty of whimsical birds speak to me. I love the characters and the colors. She has an Etsy store and one also on her web page. You really should check her out along with her blog Tiny Aviary.

The bears will not be awaking anytime soon here in Northern Saskatchewan lol
Flora and Fauna of the Midwest... I love the fuzzy caterpillars, found one on some logs in the garage this winter
Diana adds beautiful sayings to some of her works of art
Summer home
Art enables us to find ourselves and lose our selves at the same time - Thomas Merton

Relax... Respect... Enjoy... Dorri