Monday, September 13, 2010

Potenial Solution...?

I just came across a blog from a couple living in Ontario, who built a straw-bale house that exists off the power + straw bales = joy?!

Quite possibly!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

New Website!

Zomg! It is totally the 21st century all up in this hiz-ouse!

I have a personal website, which is to say, I use it for business. It has some of my films (more to come) and some of my photography (also more to come).

But I highly recommend that you check it out, if only because I like getting hits.

Please do not hit me. Hit my site instead: here

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Long time, no update.

I never call, I never write, I know. I'm a really bad blogger.  Well, actually, that's not entirely true...

I'm really bad at taking a huge overwhelming task/idea/plan and breaking it into bite-sized pieces of accomplishable goodness. Really bad at it.

After delving deeper and deeper into the ins and outs of building the's making me more and more of a crazy libertarian. I'm mean, I'n no Glenn Beck, but those crazy rednecks out in the Arkansas back country are looking more and more sane.

Basically, here's the rub:

1) We own a cottage on 10 acres, of mostly unused forest
2) We've paid taxes/etc there for over 40yrs
3) We want to put up a winterized cottage so we can enjoy our property year-round
4) we can't.

And to say we can't is more accurately to say that we can, IF:

1) We appeal to the county to have the zoning by-law bypassed so we can build a second structure
2) We appeal to the county to have a 2nd hook up for the well
3) We appeal to the county to have a 2nd septic system installed
4) They say yes.

So while we are NOT allowed to build any other sturcture on the 10 ACRES OF UNUSED LAND, we are allowed to operate an automotive repair or a hair salon out of the current structure.


ARGH.  Srsly you guys?! The government will get neither an oil change nor a haircut from me!

...The net effect of all this is I'm stuck back at the beginning, have gotten overwhelmed, and haven't written anything because the only thing I can write about is my current failure to succeed.

In the meantime, here are some interior pics of the current (non-winterized) cottage from a trip this weekend. It's a wacky 'Canadian-log-cabin-pioneer-y" alternative to the usual Scandinavian design pics I usually put up.

A humble offering to apologize for my lack of updates: the funniest shite you will ever read.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Spring = lack of blogging

Ah yes, spring has sprung, and the snow has melted to reveal months-worth of soggy dog poop & cigarette butts...and this inspires me to frolick outdoors to the detriment of this blog. Ah well, c'est la me.

I'm in the process of tracing documents dealing with the zoning of the land/septic system installation/permits/land surveys/etc... In the meantime, some luverly inspiration pics, and a comic from me to you.

I lovewantneed these floors...


Gorgeous kitchen cabinets, and awesome wall/ceiling treatments.


Boo-ti-ful fireplace mod that doesn't fit with my design but is ohsopretty anyways, and a cabin in the woods that just makes you say "Ahhhhh".


Oh, and wasn't there something about a comic in there? Yes. Yes there was.
The moral of this is don't leave animal crackers and Comic Life in the same room...

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Hehe, poop.

County Guidelines on poopy-disposal

Ah yes, poop. What's to be done with all this poop? Hehe, poop.

The original (original, like, "O.G." original) plan was to build a pioneer-type cabin without power or water that would rely on an outhouse and a woodstove for everything, as well as a supply of water brought in for cooking, drinking, and bathing. I decided fairly early on that if I was going to the trouble of building a whole house, I might as well go to the trouble of making sure I could go potty there.

And that's where the problem lies... The old cabin is on well-water and on a septic system, and I'm 99% sure that the county will NOT let me run some plumbing between the two buildings to put the new one on the septic system and the well water...which means I get to research the rules and guidelines for septic systems put down by Huron County. Fun.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Stop the Presses!

Last minute update!!!! Below, a beautiful love-child solution? I think YES.

zomg yes.

Gi-normous update.

I promised gi-normous. And it is. Oh, it is. I spent the weekend making truffles, going to brunch, and learning the hell out of Google Sketch Up...which I highly recommend to those of us that are low on teh ca$h, but big on teh de$igning. Hmm, I'm not sure why there was another dollar sign in there...symmetry?

ANYhoo, I've roughly (oh so roughly) sketched out the general floorplan/size/flow of the cabin. It has tall ceilings at the entrance (14.5feet) that slope down to 7' in the bedroom. Which I think makes for a cozy little bear-den I can hibernate in. It also has a sauna sketched in (well, I did say it was a Scandinavian cabin...), and a bathroom filled with actual sized bits n' pieces that I sourced from Home Depot's website and on IKEA's, based solely on price and not aesthetic appeal...sigh. Which reminds me, if you haven't hacked IKEA (here) you should.


And the fireplace that I am in love with (yes the one that doesnt actually exist yet, but that I am in love with...). Although since the fire will be the only source of heat I'm debating abandoning its loveliness and going with a woodstove like the one below...thoughts? Does anyone find a difference between the two in heating abilities?

Gorgeous fireplace designed by me                vs                  Woodstove goodness

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Island of Conclusions

You get there by jumping. Anyone read The Phantom Tollbooth? Anybody? Anybody...? Sigh. Well, 12 year old me highly recommends it.

So, here's a wee post all about me getting ahead of myself. But it has gorgeous pic-a-tures!

Those wallpapers up awesome would it be to put them inside the back of a white pine cupboard for a (giant) splash of colour? ...SO awesome. ...Or maybe some exciting Marimekko prints...

eye noms from

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Plan of Attack

said software a cabin in the, I guess I'll need some lumber. yes, definitely some lumber...maybe I should get some pipes too, so I can go potty...Yes, I might also want some pipes so I can go potty...


I tend to jump ahead (WAY ahead) of what I need to do, and where, and how I can do it, and all those other stupid important things. Okay, slow down. Breathe.

I looked up some neato software for designing buildings (inside and out), and if I only had $1,995 I could purchase them...because I always purchase software. Legally. Always.  ...hehe.

I'll be giving this stuff a whirl tonight (potentially tomorrow, depends on whether I succumb to the blank expressionless eyes of Special Agent Fox Mulder and watch more of the greatest show EVAR), and so my NEXT post should have some sort of design that might eventually morph into a cabin that I will construct at some point in the murky murky future.

Monday, February 8, 2010

I be feelin' guilty...

Look at that cabin (here)'s so awesome. And its puppy dog eyes are begging me for some answers...sigh. All right, I feel a little guilty for planning a newer, sexier cabin next to this old lady...we have a long history...

My Grandparents bought the recently re-constructed cottage (it was found abandoned on the shield closer to Ottawa, disassembled, trucked in, rebuilt) in the mid 1960s, my Dad spent large amounts of his childhood and teenage years up there, and I went for the first time when I was about 3 or 4 weeks old. It's arguably my favourite place in Canada, and full of great memories. So what's the deal? Why teh flippin'z heck do I want to build a different one on the same property?!

I dunno.

Well, okay, I have an inkling why. I like to build things. I need to build things, or I get all fidgety and grumpy (just ask Mitch). The cottage is also NOT winterized. Which means as soon as temperatures dip below 0C (around mid-October) the cottage is shut-down, and out of service until the mercury nudges up to above freezing at night (mid-May). That's a LONG time to be cottage-less. And I have always wanted to get up there during those deep-snow months.

And in a way, the cottage isn't mine. It's design was chosen by some pioneer, it's interiors have been chosen (enforced?) by my Grandmother (full-on orange & brown 70s chic), and my Mother (full-on white and blue French Provencal chic). Neither of which is really my thing, and let's be realistic...I am going to have to pry the decorating brush from some very cold & dead hands.

Then there's the "guest house + extra beds + my-future-kids + privacy" argument. But I guess, in a lot of ways, the image of being curled up in a blanket in front of a fire with some tea and my dog (I'll get one some day!) after a day of cross-country skiing, while big fluffy snowflakes fall outside is one of, if not the reason.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Death and Taxes

Ah, the two certainties in life...sigh.

The plan for today (after injecting my parent's diabetic cats with joke) has been to collect as much info as I can find on the cost of building permits, tax rates, by-laws, and so on. That way when my folks get back into town I can present the "case FOR cabin construction" in a fully thought-out way. I guess I should backtrack a bit...

My plan for the cabin has been to construct it on our family's current cottage land. Right now there is a super-nifty pioneer cabin on around 9 acres of land...a lot of it is unused woodland, and let's be honest, I'm in no position to buy property. But this means I need to clear all the construction with my folks, and that means figuring out the permit/tax/bylaw issues.

It's a little more complicated than I'd like, seeing as the land is located in a county, not a city, we are on a well-water & septic system...which means a lot of applications and digging may be in order...if they can happen at all...sigh.

Going on the closest town, it would cost $1125 for a building permit for a construction of 750 sq. feet. (roughly what I'm aiming for). This isn't TERRIBLE, but the filmmaker in me wants to ditch the permit fees and build guerrilla-style. A plan the 'rents will definitely NOT approve. Boo-urns. In the meantime, enjoy some pics of our current (and much-loved) cottage!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

The Beginning of the Beginning


Today started with huge plans. We got up early (way TOO early if you ask me), then while Mitch went to write his exam, I did the  coffeebreakfastgymshower thing, with the plan to then sit down and design the cabin. turned out to be a tad overwhelming, and the apartment is/was filthy. So I launched into crazy-cleaning-mode, and did a full-on spring cleaning. Yes, it's still February, and the gopher saw his shadow, but you know what? Screw you Wiarton Willie! You don't dictate MY spring-cleaning schedule!

Anways, I'll put up a rough (ROUGH) draft of the cabin once I go over it again (and remember to include a bathroom this time...). In the mean time, above are some loverly Swedish pre-fab cabins that I couldn't ever afford...!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Commitment Issues

(pics shamelessly borrowed from, an awesome blog)

So here it is...I have commitement issues. Well, with design and building and stuff. This concept of a totally balls-out Scandinavain modernist cabin-in-the-(Canadian)-woods has been kicking around my brain for years.  ...But combined with not working, working retail, being a student, and generally emerging from the cocoon of didn't happen.

Well, now I'm a young (semi) professional with *almost* enough time and *almost* enough money to actually build my dream cabin (!).

So here it is. My promise to the series of tubes that make up the interweb... I promise that I WILL build this cabin. (and design and decorate it to the fullest extent of the law) It may take years, there may be a lot of crying and swearing and begging for free-labour (that's you Mum & Dad & Mitch), but it shall be done!

I will try and make this a super-awesome blog to read, full of off-topic bitching and general gossip, as well as fill it with awesome content and pictures of awesome and lovely things.