Friday, 26 April 2013


I spotted this vintage doll head today while antique hunting... It really creeped me out. I thought I'd share the creepiness with you! You're welcome!

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Little Blue House Haiku

Oh Little Blue House
Waiting, you beckoned us in
We're under your spell

Friday, 19 April 2013

Go Away, Winter!

Okay, we've had enough winter up here. I am done with snow. In Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, there is about a foot of fresh snow on the ground. The temperature, with wind chill, is currently -15 degrees Celsius! Arrrrghh!

You can check out the similarly chilly weather in Atlin, BC on the Weather Network's page: Weather Network Atlin

Easter Eggs by Little Blue House

This weather is delaying our restoration plans at the LBH. I will have more to write about as it improves. We need to get underneath the house soon, so we can start preparing for the great foundation repair. I hope you, my readers, are enjoying a real Spring wherever you are!

Monday, 15 April 2013

Atlin Arts & Music Festival!

Guess what? Atlin, BC has one of the greatest music festivals around. I know! I've been to about 5 of Atlin's festivals during the last 6 years. This year's line-up looks amazing, and includes performers such as Harry Manx, The Gibson Brothers and Hawksley Workman. I've seen the Gibson Brothers before, and they're a fantastic bluegrass band, one of the best in the world. I'm really looking forward to seeing this. It will be amazing!

It takes place from July 12-14 in Atlin. Check out the festival's website at:

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Spring Walk in Atlin

We've been going for lots of walks around Atlin lately. The little town is slowly emerging from underneath piles and piles of snow. It's been a cold spring so far, and it seems like the north is reluctant to give up winter. Once the snow is off the ground, we will be able to get to work on the Little Blue House.

Below, you can see the Atlin Inn, which has been nicely fixed up in the last couple of years. It's still undergoing some renovations, as you can see in the picture; however, the inn is open and it has 20 rooms and 9 rustic log cabins available to rent. The street in front of the inn is right on the shore of Atlin Lake, and there's a gorgeous view from there. Next door to the Atlin Inn is Kershaw's, which is a beautiful old building that has recently come under new ownership.

Lake Street, Atlin

In the photo below, you can see the old Atlin Hospital. It was built in 1942 from lumber that was salvaged from one wing of the old Atlin Inn. The hospital did not operate for very long, however, as the town was very quiet at that time. The building is now the Atlin office of the Foundation of Glacier and Environmental Research.
Old Atlin Hospital

Here is the LBH, as seen from across First Street. There's still a massive snow pile next to the house, although most of the snow has now melted off the roof. Our fence is falling down, as you can see... We need to prop it up soon.
Little Blue House, April 2013

Below is the view from McBride Boulevard, where there are a number of quaint, historic homes. What do you think of the lakeside view?
McBride Boulevard, Atlin

Lastly, there are numerous log cabins like this scattered around town. They look lovely surrounded by a blanket of snow.
Log Cabins, Atlin

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

The Attic

We finally had a look in the attic! We'd been hesitant to do so, fearing some sort of infestation... We had some friends visiting, and we were all talking about this subject in the kitchen. The access panel for the attic is right there, and we were looking at it. One of our friends encouraged us to take a look, so we cleared away the dishes and clutter, and opened it up!

It wasn't that bad, really. Most importantly, it is dry! There have been mice up there, certainly, but it looks pretty good. We would like to insulate the attic this year, perhaps after we've finished working on the foundation.

I am researching different types of insulation and I will have to see what is available locally. I know for certain that we will not go with batting, which seems inefficient. I think we should go with something blown-in. We will need to put in a vapour barrier also, and then add some ventilation from the kitchen and bathroom. Currently, the Little Blue House is not airtight, so of course we don't have to concern ourselves with ventilation. It is draughty enough as it is! And it's bloody freezing at the moment.

Attic - Notice Old Wasps' Nest in Top Left


Access to Different Part of LBH...

Friday, 5 April 2013

The Seamstress Shop

Here is my surprise, as promised... Guess what we found in our woodshed? We found the sign that used to adorn the Little Blue House! If you've been reading my blog for awhile, you will know that the LBH was a brothel, back during the days of the Gold Rush.

It was operated by Eva Lambert Daniell, the madam, under the auspices of a "seamstress shop." Apparently, seamstress shops were a common euphemism for houses of ill repute.

I was rummaging around in the woodshed, carefully so as not to disturb too many cobwebs and the mouse poop, when I came upon this sign. My family was sitting in the kitchen when I tapped on the window to show them this find. We will be sure to find a place of honour for it after our first couple phases of renovations are complete.

Do you think if we display the sign on our tiny house in Atlin, that people will bring their suits in for repairs?

JT and Shop Sign


Atlin is still blanketed in quite a bit of snow. I thought I would share a few of my favourite recent photos with you. Atlin Lake is frozen, and it forms a large playground at the moment. The days are long (sunrise today is at 7:08 am and sunset is already a lovely 8:46 pm)! People are out snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, racing cars on the frozen lake, walking, flying ski planes, and backcountry skiing.

Here is the MV Tarahne, built in 1917. The vessel was lengthened in 1926. In the 1920s, Atlin was a popular tourist destination. After the gold rush, people flocked to Atlin, which became known as "Little Switzerland." During this time, there was no road to the town, so tourists sailed up the Inside Passage, then traveled overland through mountain passes, and finally across Atlin Lake in vessels such as the Tarahne.

MV Tarahne, March 2013

The big melt is on, and last weekend the snow was sliding off the roof of our Little Blue House. It either comes off dramatically, with some noise, or in the case below, it travels by inches, curling toward the ground. It seems to resist gravity, instead wishing to cling to the roof...
Roof Cornice Seen from the Parlour

Lastly, I think the picture below makes our house look cozy. You can see the old cafe across the street, sitting empty. Beyond it, there is Atlin Lake, and a large expanse of mountains leading to the Llewellyn Glacier.
Old Cafe from Parlour Window

Well, that is it for now. Really, I should be sleeping and not blogging...  I promise to post more photos soon - I have so many - and I've been sitting on a great find... Hee hee! I will describe it in my next post. It was a great surprise...

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Parlour Pictures

The light was beautiful last weekend, so I thought I'd take a few more photos of the front parlour. We brought a little Asian brass table down to the LBH; it was my grandmother's, and for a long time we used it as a plant stand. It was badly stained from the water, so I spent a couple of hours with brass polish, cleaning it up. I was reminded of my time in the military, polishing brass as penance...

Here is one of our favourite chairs (a find on Kijiji) along with the small table.

Reading Nook
Dragon Table
We are wondering, for down the road, what kind of wallpaper we should choose to replace the paper in the parlour. As I've described in previous posts, the ugly brown paper on the ceiling is sagging severely... I imagine we will have white ceilings after we reno this room, with a plaster look.

The somewhat tropical looking paper on the walls is falling off in some places, and it's ripped and water-stained in other spots. I kind of like it, but we will want to replace it with something a bit more subtle, yet Victorian...

Parlour Wallpaper

We found this old washboard in the workshop, covered with cobwebs. I like looking at it, so it's in the parlour for now.
Here's the back wall of the parlour. I didn't have a really good picture of it previously, so now you can see it. The curtains separate the parlour from the front bedroom. This was the only bedroom in the original LBH, prior to the small addition that was done about 20 years ago. (The LBH had 3 rooms originally: a parlour, bedroom and kitchen. Now it has an additional bedroom, a small bathroom, pantry and entrance/utility area.)

Curtains Leading to Bedroom

We love the curtains, as they truly lend bit of the house a bit of that brothel feeling, a fitting tribute to the LBH's shady past as a cat house. Perhaps after the initial renovations are complete, we can find a deep burgundy set of velvet curtains for this space, perhaps with a fringe...

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Spring at the LBH!

It's Spring at the Little Blue House! Well, this is what Spring looks like in Atlin, BC. There is a ton of snow on the property. We were fortunate that one of our neighbours used a snow cat to plow a driveway for us, so we could get in. There is a huge snow pile adjacent to the house, which the kids love. They spent a lot of time there last weekend, climbing up and sliding down.

The house fared well over the winter, with no leaks and no rodent damage. It's bone dry inside, although the temperature was -7 degrees Celsius inside the house when we arrived on Friday afternoon. My husband got to work outside, removing shutters and shovelling, shovelling, shovelling...

I turned on our variety of small space heaters and started cleaning and removing dust sheets from the furniture. I started mopping the floors with a diluted solution of bleach. After a couple of minutes of mopping in the parlour, I noticed clumps of white gunk all over the floor. I thought to myself, "What the hell is that? Oh no!" I had a closer look and then I realized that the solution was freezing onto the floor as I was mopping. It was a skating rink in the LBH for a while after that, until we got it warmed up and aired out.

LBH, March 2013

Once we got a fire going in the old cookstove, the place started warming up fairly quickly. That said, our kids wore their fleece jackets and winter hats in the house for the first couple of days... By Saturday afternoon, it was over 15 degrees, and by Sunday afternoon, it was nearly 20 in the house. (Outside it warmed up to about 5 degrees.)

Front Gate and Porch (Which is Going Soon!)

The photo above really shows how crooked the porch and front steps are... We will be removing the porch, along with the house's skirting (how appropriate for a house that was once a brothel!) as soon as the snow allows access.

Well, I took a ton of photos and I will be posting many of them this week. We took pictures of the attic, more interior shots, lots of local Atlin historical buildings, and I found a surprise. I will reveal it this week!
Snow Pile, Husband, and Dog