New (used) Fireplace Insert and Tiling Project

Jens is helping to lay tile

We were really lucky to find a perfectly fitting used fireplace insert on Craigs List – we picked it up over a week ago in York, and last Saturday, we managed to position it into our living room fireplace (it is rather heavy!).  Went to Lowes and got cement board, tiles, mortar and grout and finally did a DIY project again.


3/8 inch spacers for grout

It did not take long to cut and screw the cement board down.  We borrowed a wet saw from a friend to cut the 45 degree angle tiles we needed – and in just a little over an hour had all the tiles down.  We only used 3 boxes of tiles, this was not a big project. 

 We did pick a great color that really matches to stone wall in the living room, and does not clash with the existing brick around the fireplace either.  Still need to grout it – we thought we’d get this done today, but ended up canning spaghetti sauce instead.


Ready for molding and grout



Posted in DIY

Racoon Hats for Christmas Presents





Anja and Duff as well as Zach, Rachel and Toben arrived on Monday before Christmas – which gave us several days together to prepare for the holidays.  Jeff really wanted to have someone get excited about his tanned hides and he managed to talk Anja into trying to make hats out of the tanned raccoon furs.  After doing some research on the internet and coming up with a pattern, the two of them spent 2 days with Tina’s sewing machine and managed to produce 7 raccoon hats of various designs.  Each of the hats took two hides and all of them were lined with flannel.  Since two hides were used per hat, they ended up with extra tails – which resulted in some rather unique hats.

Posted in DIY