Saturday 1 February 2020

Now You, Too, Can Stay in the Little Blue House!

Fall Colours at the LBH

We have some big news to share with you... you heard it here first!

We will be opening the Little Blue House (LBH) to guests starting in June. Our tiny Gold Rush home will be available to rent through Airbnb from June until September. We were hesitant to do this at first, but it is too lovely not to share.

Plus, we think that the revenue we generate through some seasonal rentals will help us to finish the restoration of the LBH. So, that is a good thing.

And, we are quite sure that guests will take care of our 122-year old cottage, and that they will love it as much as we do.

Please share this news far and wide, and we would appreciate it if you share a link to our listing on Airbnb with any of your friends and family who may be planning a getaway to beautiful Atlin, BC!

Here is a link to our listing:

Stay in the Little Blue House!

The LBH in September, 2019

Friday 8 February 2019

Chilly Little House

It was -17 degrees Celsius outside (not that cold considering the time of year) but the temperature inside the house was -10! We have a thermometer inside the entrance of the LBH, and we always laugh at it because it's still in the packaging, hanging on a small nail near our coats. It says, "extra-easy reading," ha ha.

The LBH was frozen solid when I arrived... I think the house looks smaller when there's snow on the ground. I was thankful not to see evidence of any mice this time (unlike last time). Our mouse traps were empty. Just peanut butter, no mice.

I had to wear my parka and toque for the first several hours, despite turning all of the heaters on and lighting a fire in the antique cook stove. See and hear the stove in the video below, despite being over 120 years old! It's the kind of wood stove that needs frequent tending, but it's justified. :)

It took about 24 hours for the house to warm up to 13 degrees, so that is about a degree an hour from -10...

Atlin Lake on Monday, with a cloudy view of First Island (did I mention the creative naming of the islands near Atlin? First, second, third, etc.) The lake hasn't frozen yet, and it usually freezes in January! There's wildlife wanting to get across, and now they are stuck. I looked for packs of wolves, knowing they're around, but I didn't see any...

Wednesday 16 January 2019

As Promised, New Photos of the Master Bedroom!

Here are some photos of the master bedroom, and although it is still not finished, at least the floor is done! It looks really beautiful, and I think that once we remove the linoleum in the parlour (adjoining the bedroom) and restore the fir flooring underneath, it will tie in nicely.

It's so hard to be patient...

Photo from last year: see the sub-floor painted grey?

Rick's work, partway through the job, in Nov 2018
Our youngest child, Violet, posing with the new floor!

Violet, age 8, helped me move the massive wardrobe & furniture...

Such an improvement...


Wow, I've Really Neglected My Blog!

Hi (sheepishly)... Looks like it's been a while since I have written anything at all. Launching a few businesses and raising children probably has something to do with that, but then it sounds like I am making excuses!

The Little Blue House (or LBH if you've read my old posts) is doing just fine. We have had our renovations largely on-hold for the past 2 years, due to costs. That is how it goes with an old house, right? We threw a lot of money and time at our LBH, and we prevented the house from falling down. She was on a downward trajectory, for sure, listing to starboard, sinking, and home to many types of rodents.

We did recently complete a small improvement, however! We purchased some used walnut flooring from a local builder. A client of his had pulled it up, after he became bored with it... Lucky us! We waited for a couple of years to install the flooring in the master bedroom. In the intervening time, some type of large rodent took up residence in the pallet where the walnut flooring was stored. This may have occurred when the pallet of flooring was outdoors at the home of its previous owner.

In any case, when our trusty carpenter Rick opened up the pallet, the stench was quite unbearable. Much of the flooring was destroyed by the urine and feces of this animal (martin, mink, weasel, ermine??). Yuck.

He cleaned the flooring (narrow, tongue-and-groove type) and installed it over the sub-floor of the master bedroom. He put the sub-floor in after a total excavation of that room several years ago. We'd simply painted the sub-floor so we could use it while we waited and saved our pennies!

Here's a series of shots that show the original master bedroom, in what was once a 2-room cabin hauled from the gold-mining ghost town of Discovery, about 7 km away...


Mousy Madness in 2013, tearing down the interior wallpaper...

Laid Bare

2013 excavation, part of which was carried out from inside the bedroom!

LBH on cribbing to dry out as foundation work is done
My next post will have the recent photos of the master bedroom, so you can see the improvement. Baby steps... We still haven't finished the ceiling, walls, or trim in that room... Not to mention finishing the parlour or even starting on the kitchen!

Thank you for tuning back in to my neglected blog!

Thursday 31 August 2017

The Porch

The LBH had a tiny front porch at one time, which must have been added when the buildings were dragged 7 km from the then-ghost town of Discovery. The house was made up of 2 of those Gold Rush era cabins, which were joined together in the middle. We think that this was done in 1917, as the linoleum floor has an underlay of Vancouver Daily Sun newspapers dated 1917 - full coverage of WWI... Interesting stuff!

We have one old photo of the LBH, from the BC Archives. In the picture, a man, woman and baby are sitting on the front steps - of the porch - in black and white, with quite a tree-less landscape in the background. (Atlin had recently burned down, the last of 3 major fires that devastated the town in the early 1900s. Discovery, abandoned, provided many buildings for Atlin - the ultimate feat of recycling.)

When we bought the house 5 years ago, there was an even smaller porch than the one pictured in the old photo, and it was leaning in towards the house, rotting. It wasn't difficult to pull it off. During our renovations, we've schemed and wondered about what we should do about a porch. We wanted to honour the history of the house, but we also did not want front stairs that end up directly in the street.

Here are some photos to show what has been going on. The porch is nearly complete! Our trusty carpenter just has to install the stairs and the access door to the crawl space, along with the remaining skirting on the exterior foundation. It's coming along nicely. Because much of the lumber is pressure-treated, we must wait at least a year before painting the porch. Luckily, our recycled cedar spindles were previously painted red, which is handy because it makes the porch look great in the meantime.

LBH circa 2012, when we bought it!
Spring 2015, after foundation re-done
August 2017, deck in progress
Aug 2017, stairs to be added on the right
Our youngest child resting her head on new railing!

Tuesday 22 August 2017

Hello? Are you still there?

Hello... First, please accept my apologies for not blogging... We've been just enjoying our Little Blue House, in all of its unfinished glory. Since last summer, when we painted the exterior, we really haven't done too much with the wee Gold Rush house.

Well, except kill about 4 mice (that we know of)... We were rodent-free for 2 years or so, and somehow, the pesky little vermin have been sneaking into the house, probably through the addition, which is about 25 years old. When we picked up the front (old) part of the house up and then placed it on a new foundation, the seam where it joined the addition was most definitely subject to some wrenching. Someone told me once that a mouse only needs a space the size of a nickel to squeeze into an area.

Now we have several mouse traps, and my husband spray-foamed the hell out of a few cracks in our floor (that accessed the crawl space). He also crawled around in the dark and spidery crawl space, on all fours, to inspect everything down there... He emerged with a case of the heebie-jeebies. Then it was beer o'clock for sure.

In other news, I recently finished the last bit o' painting - the bay window, which is undoubtedly our favourite feature of the house. I will attempt now to include a photo (and I sound like I'm making excuses when I say that is one of the reasons I haven't blogged in recent months... my Blogger app stopped working on my iPhone, and that is how I have been speaking to you for a long time now)! So I am actually logged into a big computer - an actual computer! - and I am writing.

Thanks, Tom, for gently nudging me back to writing here... Don't forget about me! This story isn't over yet, people!

Monday 31 October 2016

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween from the Little Blue House! I have been rather quiet lately... The house is doing great, with work more or less paused until the Spring Thaw! We have found it to be rather an expensive enterprise, restoring a Gold Rush era former brothel. Surprising! Hehe.

That said, I am looking to earn some more money to help pay for it, so it doesn't all fall on my husband's shoulders. More on that in a later post.

For now, we would like to wish our readers a Happy Halloween!

Not a Halloween picture, but creepy enough for today!