I can’t find that illusive opening paragraph that draws the reader in so perhaps I’ll just let the pictures do the talking. Continue reading

Just when you thought you’d seen it all! 

Seriously just when you thought you’d seen as far as the mind (not mine) could go something tops it. Then something else jumps out and grabs your attention. Before you know it the list of weird things is longer than the list of classics.  Continue reading

Why Math Matters 

Or why to stay in school and pay attention. 

Despite a less than stellar math teacher I made it through high school because my best friend grew up to be a math teacher. So she’s brilliant that she could teach me then. 

My husband is also smart like that. His helping the kids with math and my helping them was like night and day. His math skills now get used in different ways but they still rock. 

Here is a practical application of math. That sadly is beyond my math skills but man I’m a good painter.

Voila — one basinett stand created by grandpa and painted by gram. 


Two steps back 

The progress on painting the tin ceiling seems to have come to a screeching halt much to my dismay. 

There are areas of the T-bar that need to be painted which aren’t accessible by a paintbrush. These are spots where the tin had to vent be bent up or where the tin doesn’t quite lay flat despite Ron’s  several attempts to make it do so. Insert exhibit A. 

So I stopped at Rona and bought a can of brown spray paint. And then in a supremely rookie move I started spraying on the ceiling without first testing that the color was close enough. That was a huge DAH moment. Insert exhibit B. 

One evening I got out the left over tin pieces to do test patches of the metallic paint. Remember the part where we been working on that project for a while? The metallic paint was bought several years ago. So I shook it. Then I couldn’t get the lid off so I gave it to Ron. He squeezed while turning and the paint came out of the bottom of the plastic! It was just a small mess there. Insert exhibit C. 

I bought this discontinued paint quite sometime ago. I bought as much of it as was available  but Ron’s math skills reveal we don’t have enough. So the plan there is to buy a similar color and mix the batches together ahead of time to make it look like our test patch from several years ago. Insert Exhibit D.

But undeterred with the leaking painted I still wanted to do a test patch. But neither of us can remember how I achieved the look on that previous test piece. So I just went for it. Ron likes the effect and I think it’s not dense enough. Insert exhibit E. 

So feeling like winter is drawing to an end and wanting to make some progress on something I encouraged Ron to hang a newly framed painting. Insert exhibit F and a happy face! 

So now it’s off to find paint and another weekend day to work on the ceiling. 


Ta Dah!! 

This project, and subsequent reveal, have been approximately 6 years in the making. Perseverance and a plodding away will eventually win out but man has it been a long haul even for us. Although we are not yet at 100% in this project I just can’t wait to do a reveal any longer. Ron has done an amazing job of installing the tin ceiling tiles in our basement.

For my new blog followers I will set the background for you which will still serve as a refresher for the regular house blog followers seems it has been a while.

The general concept which was to have a suspended tin ceiling to cover the mechanical works in the basement. On a girls weekend (Sept 2009) on my way to Gull Lake, Alberta I stopped at a tiny little antique store in Erskine, Alberta and found 125 pieces of tin ceiling along with all the trim pieces. It had been salvaged from a hardware store in Calgary. Ron returned the following weekend and picked it up.

We stored it for a year or so and worked on how to get it cleaned up. Sandblasting and heat cleaning weren’t an option but it turned out that dry ice worked. This is the process that they use to clean graffiti and decay off of brick and stone buildings so not your run of the mill work. We found a small independent company who was willing to do the tiles as their work load permitted. It took us over two years to get them done and returned to us. Once we had the tiles home then we had to sort and organize them into styles. Ron did his amazing engineering magic and made up the plan for how to showcase the different styles and make the trim pieces work. Then I spent the better part of a winter priming them all.

Heat cleaned tile – as you can see it didn’t take off the multiple layers of old paint.

While the above was going on a building on campus was being demolished (spring 2009) so Ron, Spencer and I went in and salvaged T-Bar and L-Bracket from the ceilings. We moved that stuff around the basement so many times that it became quite annoying. Eventually we straightened it up, I cleaned it and then painted them. Ron, with some assistance from Spencer and I, then hung them up in the four main sections.

This is the little bar area. Ron says it was not a fun area to do but he didn’t use those words exactly!

or the past two winters, after Christmas, Ron has been in the basement making these tiles fit the space. The modern t-bar is 24″ and the tiles are all approximately 25″ so he had to bend each one. Fortunately our buddy,  Peter, is a tin basher in the winter and has the tools that we needed. It required a lot of patience, vision and hand strength. On the weekend Ron completed the task and cleaned up. He has also done all the electrical wiring, cut the appropriate holes and we have sourced all but one light for this area. We can’t go ahead and install them till the final coat of paint is done.

Doesn’t it look classy! Not the colour (which is quite yuck) but the shapes and textures.

This meant it was time for the painter to take over. There were a few trim pieces that hadn’t been painted as we weren’t sure what all would be used. So yesterday I pulled them down, painted them and then Ron put them back up last night.  Several years ago I found some Debbie Travis copper paint on sale at Canadian Tire and purchased it. Now I have to figure out how to “copperize” it. It became apparent to me yesterday that working on the whole project in place made the most sense. I will be booking a few massage appointments following this as I will have a sore neck when I am finished. It will not work to spray it so I think sponge type action will probably get the type of coverage that I am after. I will have to do a few test patches with the few remaining pieces that we have which is fun as I love to play with paint.

Cross your fingers that I have enough! It is now discontinued.

Up next in the basement — stay tuned! I don’t want to give away a spoiler alert. If you are new to this blog you can find the comment button at the bottom of the post. You can also hit the follow button for an automatic email when I publish an entry.


This equals 114 large tiles and 90 trim pieces.