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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Summer Festival Dress + Sandals

Last October, shortly before I jumped on a plane for Hardly Strictly Bluegrass in San Francisco, I quickly sewed up my second Alder dress.  I modified the neckline to remove the collar and add a V.  The fabric is hand dyed and printed cotton from Merchant and Mills.  The fabric is so light and breezy and the longer length in the back makes it perfect for sitting in the grass and listening to music.


And if you notice the sandals, they are my second pair of handmade leather sandals.  I used the same outline for the sole as my first pair and drafted the pattern for the uppers myself.  I used Birkenstock rubber rubber for the soles and coincidentally found two Birkenstock buckles from a local cobbler.  I treated the leather with olive oil and they darkened up quite nicely, and are even darker now after wearing them for a week in the sun.  Here are some photos…