Thursday, April 29, 2010


I noticed a challenge, on fellow Canadian, HostessOfTheHumbleBungalow's blog. The challenge was to post the sixth image you added to your blog, and explain your reasons for including this photo.

This photo is Oleg Shyshkin, an extraordinarily, talented, wrought iron artisan. His web page can be viewed at

I posted the photo, because Oleg has been crafting the stairs, railings, and gate for the house we've been building, and coincidentally, he's been installing the railings this week.

My life has always been full of interesting coincidences, and connections, and the moment I walked into Oleg's iron studio, I was to encounter, one more.

Noticing a glass, and iron, sink, I recognised the signature of the glass artist.
I have a sink, by the same glass artist; who founded Glasstronix, in one of my bathrooms, in Florida.
I bought the sink in Calgary, when we lived there, and I was sourcing plumbing fixtures for our Florida build.
The owner of a bath store in Calgary, thought I might be interested in a sink he had in his warehouse. Having already stored it for a few years, he offered it to me at a very good price.
As soon as I saw it, I knew it was perfect, and bought it on the spot, before he changed his mind about selling it so low. He also found a mirror, (I still haven't hung) that was part of the suite, and threw it in for free!
I loaded it all in our plane, and hauled my lucky find to Florida.

When I mentioned to Oleg, that I also have a sink by Glasstronix; he told me the artist was his best friend, and was the only glass artist to have, so successfully fused metal to glass, and create these beautiful sinks. Sadly, his friend had recently drowned, while on a fishing trip.

The sink Oleg has in his showroom, as is, his friend, irreplaceable.

I can't put into words, feelings I have when I think about the coincidence of me, just happening to find the work, of two best friends; now in two of my houses, in two countries. I have set aside a powder room, in our new house, where I will install my glass sink, when the day comes, that we sell our Florida home.
It seems more than just coincidence, that these two friends, will someday be together again.

A friend took a photo of my sink, just after we finished the house, and I can't believe I never bothered to take pictures of it? I will, for sure, the next time I'm in Florida.
The sink is glass, and copper, and I already had the copper mirror, from our house in Sedona Arizona, so it all worked.


Oleg started to install the railings this week. The entrance hall has changed a little in the past several weeks, since I decided to add a bit more sparkle.
It started with the skylight, and I just kept going. It's an entrance hall, and I like an entrance, that's dramatic, and say's "Hello Gorgeous!" This is not going to be just wasted space, as most entrance halls tend to be. This is a space that we will use, and enjoy; cocktail hour, in the piano alcove on days when weather prevents us from sitting on the verandah. Evenings spent listening to the tinkling, ivories, as the PianoDisc, plays beautiful music under the sparkling, crystal DaVinci chandelier.

I think an entrance hall should be inviting, exciting, and glamorous.

I'm not saying that this is such a beautiful space, and there's nothing I wish I could change.
Like myself, I'm just trying to make the most, of what I have to work with.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


The cabinetry is being installed in the pantry, and I had almost forgotten, just how beautiful this Italian lacquer finish is. It's a surprisingly strong, and scratch resistant finish; and I have found only one North American company who can produce such exquisite results.
Eight years ago, I was searching for a pearlised, lacquer, finish, to use on the kitchen cabinetry in our Florida residence. I wasn't even sure such a finish existed, so I was surprised to find a Canadian company had exactly what I was searching for.

The paper is being left on the cabinets, until the protective boards come off the floor, and the painting is finished.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Oleg installed the skylight, and I decided to have 1"x1" crystal tiles installed on the space below. The trim on the perimeter of the iron, will be painted out in black.
The plates that secure the iron frame to the walls will be painted out in the wall colour, before the opaque "glass" is inset within the frame.

The crystal tiles aren't really visible when you look at the skylight from the main floor. I haven't seen how they will look at night, when the cove lighting is on, since the tiles were just installed today.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


I was surprised to see a young Trumpeter swan on our pond this morning. I didn't have time to take pictures, and these were the best of them.
I hope this swan decides to take up residence here at the farm. I miss having swans on the pond. The Trumpeters help to keep the geese away, but they can be very agressive to other species of swans.
Some wild trumpeters killed one of our Australian Black, swans, several years ago. It was so sad, and shocking to realise how violent, these beautiful creatures can become.

I included a photo, of a wild Trumpeter chasing our Mute swan, three years ago. We were happy when they finally flew off.

Update May, 27, 2010. I can't be certain this is the same swan, because he flew off, and I haven't seen him for a few weeks.
Tuesday morning I noticed that we now have two, and they appear to me a mated pair of juveniles. Perhaps the lone swan flew off to look for a mate to bring back and make this pond their home?


Today the cabinetry installation started in the study. It's great to see the rooms taking shape. I had wanted to paint the study Sherwin Williams, Shagreen; but after seeing the first coat on the wall, I knew it wouldn't work. I tried a deeper shade, Sherwin Williams, Tansy Green,(seen on the edge of photo 2.) and liked it much better, especially when I saw the finish on the birds eye maple cabinetry.

I didn't mean to post the picture of the window, but I couldn't figure out how to delete it?

The counter surface is Quarella, Night Sparkle, which we also used as a border, and inset tile on the main entrance hall floor.