Sunday, December 13, 2009


The pool deck has been completed, and it turned out well. I'm pleased we didn't have to put as many of the expansion joints, as they would have detracted from the look as a whole.

The weather turned very cold directly after the deck was grouted. We still have to have the interior of the pool coated in pebble tec, but I don't think it will be done until the spring.
The weather suddenly turned very cold, and snowy.

The tile floor upstairs has been finished, and grouted. I managed to take some pictures before they finished, and covered the floor in paper.

The casing on the doors, has been completed and I'm happy with the results.


Another Christmas season is upon us, and I'm so sad that we won't be celebrating the season at Hillwood.

When we started this build, we had hopes of taking up residence by Christmas 2008.    It's unbelievable that we're going to miss another Christmas!

We have seen some progress in the past few weeks, we've also seen the last of yet another foreman!
I for one, and not too upset by this news.    Now Tim and I can whip this house into shape without someone following us around, and making things difficult.

Tuesday will be our first day to take firm control, so that Tim can work his magic!

I feel very self indulgent in hiring Tim,  it's a true luxury to be able to work with such a talented and renowned designer.

Another self indulgent luxury, will not be  quite as obvious, or visible, to anyone other than Bob and myself, which makes it the best type of luxury!

I love St. Geneve linens, and have been waiting to use one of their newest lines; a sinfully delicious blend of silk, and cashmere!
The sheets are reversible, with a flannel cashmere on one side, silk on the other.
They are almost enough to make one wish winter would last a little longer!

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Or at least we're seeing some real progress!
I have been so neglectful in making the time to update, and go through my pictures.

I was getting to a point, where I was getting tired of myself, and really wanted a critical eye, from a talented guy. Enter Timothy Mather, of TM Design. Tim is a designer whose work I have admired, and been inspired by; and he also just happens to love Hermes. Who better than to help me realise my vision of a room devoted to my H collection!

Tim has presented some fabulous ideas, not only for my H room; but for my home's overall design "story"

One of his ideas was to mirror the four two story tall, square columns that are an important architectural feature in the entrance hall. A brilliant idea that's going to look amazing!

As much of the interior materials and finishes had been chosen, and well underway, Tim had little time to bring himself up to speed; but he took on the challenge.
Tim, and I know far too well, just how challenging this has been! lol

I'm glad that Tim likes my choice of kitchen finishes, and flooring, and it was really exciting when Neff started to install the cabinetry. the island has birds eye maple "touch latch" doors on the side visible from the family room, bringing in the finish of the family room "built ins."

Tim was right about the paint selection for the kitchen/family room walls. I sampled almost every blue in the Farrow & Ball paints, and settled on Dix Blue.
Tim thought it would be too dark, and suggested Teresa's Green, so Teresa's Green was our final selection. The paint should be going on next week.

Sunday, November 1, 2009


We recently installed a new culvert, and some boulders were placed around it for protection, and painted for visibility.

I thought they looked like pumpkins, and was going to paint jack- o'- lantern, faces on them for Halloween.

Apparently one of our neighbours, was not amused, and stopped my fun before it started.

She drove up to the house and told our foreman that they were hideous, and it was affecting her ability to sell her farm!
She was informed of their temporary importance until our gate is completed, and hideous as they may very well be, they were not going anywhere soon.
She was given a choice of colour since she was so strongly against the orange.   She chose white.

We still haven't painted them.  lol

I took this picture tonight just as the full moon was rising.
"Ooh scary, eh kids?"

Saturday, October 3, 2009


above, the driveway curb
varathane on the left, tung oil on the right.

I am beyond frustrated, dealing with the new iphoto software. I can't seem to be able to view photos before uploading.
The plaster detail over the dining room door, was inspired by a picture I saw once in a magazine.

We were moving along just great,blessed with several weeks, of wonderful, weather.
Unfortunately, as I very well know, all good things come to an end; except, it seems for this build!

We just want to get the things completed, that are necessary to get our CO,and move in already!

At this point, I don't even care what light fixtures are installed, I am so sick of getting conflicting answers about whether the electrician can install a chandelier that doesn't have a CSA sticker!

We had to turn the wind turbines, and solar off, until the various "agencies" can figure out what "stickers" they need to meet whatever requirements need to be met.
It's been like the "Keystone Cops", everyone's an expert, but none of them have a clue about what's required.

Luckily, some of the most important jobs are being performed, by people who are extremely skilled, and talented!
The carpenter for one, is amazing! Our tile setter is brilliant! The fellow who is doing our plaster, is a master! The team that has been installing our hardwood floors, are doing a great job too.

The floors are now installed in the bedrooms, and we have decided on a varathane finish.
I had initially chosen the tung oil; but once I brought the samples home and viewed them next to my furniture, and fabrics, I preferred the varathane.
They are finishing the floors on site, so if need be, we can still tweak it.

The pool is going swimmingly. I love the water line tiles; Sicis' Iridium line, in Orchis.
The coping stone is Nero Abssoluto granite. The deck is a porcelain tile from Dal- Tile that has a lot of sparkle, in the sunlight.

Last Sunday, I was painting sample boards, and driving myself crazy trying to find a Farrow & Ball colour for the family room. I finally settled on Dix Blue?????

The sun was setting, and the room was bathed in a peaceful, embracing glow. I put down my brush, climbed the stairs, and from the second story verandah, I watched my very first sunset, in my new home.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


I'm finally able to upload photos to my blogs.
Things are progressing fairly well now. The pool water line tile has been installed, and the deck is being prepared.
The driveway curbs are going in, and the top of the hill has been terra seeded. The pond had to be drained enough, so they can dredge out the topsoil, and silt that has slid into it over the past year and a half.

Sunday, September 13, 2009


August 6th site pictures show that the property is finally greening up. These photos were taken after the two solar panels were installed; but prior to the installation of the four solar trackers.
Several days after the solar trackers went up, a very severe weather system hit us and destroyed two of the trackers. It was too muddy to walk over to take pictures.

I am so tired of this building project, and I find it hard to keep motivated. I've packed up so many boxes, and I'm getting a little overwhelmed.
Summer is almost over, though we hardly even noticed it arrived. That past two years have been a blur of bad weather.
We've had record amounts of rain; yet this is the first grass we've managed to grow in two years! lol.
It will probably never rain again, now that we have the hill stabilised, and a multitude of drains.
The last photo was photo shopped by our foreman to make the rivets less visible and the grass greener.
Isn't the grass always greener? lol.

Saturday, August 8, 2009


We are installing solar trackers, and solar panels, on the south side of the property.    I had no idea they would be this big!    These trackers follow the sun and at night they lie flat.                                           We are almost completely "off the grid" and our carbon footprint will be very small.    We will be selling our surplus energy to Hydro One.    In six years we will have recouped our total cost of installing the whole system of turbines, and solar.

The five wind turbines do make a noise when they are turning at full speed.       It's not tremendously loud; but it is noticeable from the back and side of the house.
That is one of the realities of wind power.    I 'm sure it's the kind of sound that you get used to and one day, don't even notice.

We have a train track across the road from the cottage.    I barely notice the trains rumblings, or whistles blaring, and it rarely  wakes me up in the middle of the night.
I actually love the sounds of the train.    It's nostalgic, and makes me feel connected with the past.
I hope the sound of the wind turbines will make me feel excited, and hopeful for the future.

Saturday, July 18, 2009


The rain this spring and summer has been depressing, and destructive.  Each time we get the hill terra-seeded, the rain starts and washes it down the hill and into the pond.   It has been a nightmare and the worst part of this whole build.
If we had to start over again, we would have started from the top and worked our way down, and out of the site.
Spending so much time digging out the pond last year  and lining it with blue clay really ate into our landscaping window of time.
I think we have  have finally conquered the hill, and it's starting to green up with beautiful grass!
The hill in back of the house has been terra-seeded with a type of grass that only grows eight inches tall, so no cutting required!      

The columns are now going up, and the house is starting to really take shape.
The louvered shutters have been ordered, and the front door is expected any day.

The clerestory window is in and it is being finished and painted so Oleg can install his decorative iron window.  It sits on the ledge below the access doors in the clerestory shaft.

The elevator is up and running, but still needs the interior finishes.  It seems so small, so I am finishing it in mirror,  either 1x1 mosaic, or antiqued; but certainly not bright.

The porcelain floors look fantastic, at night the tiny mirror particulate in the border, and inset "dots" sparkle like stars in the night sky.
I'm so glad I decided to spend the extra and use the Quarella for the border instead of marble.

Many photos to unload since it has been so long between posts.