24. Cozying Up

Sun’s gone. Rain’s here. Time to cocoon.

Our thermal mass fireplace is lit twice a day, just as the heat doctor ordered.

When we look outside at the dreary weather, along with some garden junk/vermicomposter, our view is mostly of this large house next door, which is admittedly much like the colour of winter’s fog hereabouts.

We’re trying to grow some privacy screen fast, but there are about 40 feet of house height we need to cover – that’s a lot of growin’. The cedrus has grown about 2 feet per year – Maybe in 14 more years??

We no longer need to open our overhead (garage-type) door to cancel the edge between inside and outside living space. And, to feel cozier and reduce our neighbours’ view into our living space in the dark winter months, curtains are in order.

Last winter, I threw up these IKEA curtains.

You’ll notice they don’t go to the floor. The overhead garage door has a seal around the outside, but its design and construction still admit some cold air into the house. To help with this little draft, I added a 7″ strip of fabric at the height of one of the door’s wood frames, and another tube of fabric for the hem. Now the curtains reach the floor. Much cozier.

I used the same wonderful fabric (called “Flying Carpet”) that I covered the alcove cushion and the upholstered loveseat with.

It has a pattern repeat of 7.5″, so to get the most from my fabric, that’s the width I cut the strip! The little bit of OCD left over from my home economics teaching days insisted that the subtle pattern lines up across the four curtain panels and the hem. It also has a nap (or direction of the pile, which reflects light differently, depending on which way the nap lies.) Trust me to pick a complicated fabric.

I marked the middle of the curtains and the strips, to match up before pinning.

To keep frays and stray threads from showing through backlit curtains, I pressed the seam toward the dark side and top-stitched it.

One side of the new curtains is left open for the view, and the other is shielding the less attractive part of the view.

This is the view from outside at night. Doesn’t it look cozy?Linking to:

Cozy Little House’s Tweak-it Tuesday

Fireflies and Jellybeans’   Show us your Stuff

Brambleberry Cottage’s Time Travel Thursday

Embracing Change


2. Getting Wood 101

We heat our house with a heat pump and a masonry mass fireplace.

D estimates we use 1.5 cords of firewood in a winter.  For the past two winters, we have been using construction waste to heat the house (no painted, stained, or treated wood).

Tess and I started building the wood sheds last week. Turns out she wanted to build wood sheds just so she could go out to the bush and  buck up firewood from the “dead and down” bounty here on the Sunshine Coast, then fill up the wood sheds with it. (Tess is a tough forest fire fighter, and is gearing up for her summer season.)

So, after sharpening the chain, she and I went  out to find firewood (I’m just there as a swamper (or clean-up slave) and to call 9-1-1 if Tess cuts off her leg.) It took no time at all to find some beautiful downfall, close to the road.

With a burst of energy, Tess donned D’s new  birthday “chaps” (safety leggings made of Kevlar.) She and the chainsaw made short work of one-and-a-half tree trunks, then the gas ran out. She re-mixed the gas, filled the chainsaw reservoir, and tried to go back to bucking. Husqvarna was not happy.

Bad, bad Husqvarna!

Tess took apart the chain saw, blew out the air and fuel filters, cleaned the spark plug, re-assembled,  and fired ‘er up. Still not happy. We drove into Roberts Creek for lunch at the Gumboot. Got new gas, dropped off the rounds at the famous wood sheds, and headed back. Husqvarna was not buyin’ it.

But, Tess did some lazy log-splitting in the ever-present rain:

Next morning, Husqvarna was much happier (as am I after a good night’s sleep). She purred. Unfortunately, the much-overworked pull rope resigned (shredded) and that was it for Husqi for now.

The wood sheds will get filled, just not this week. Sorry, Tess, I know you have your goals.