Shannon Fennell's Blog

My life, art, travel, make-up, cooking and the occasional rant!


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Water Water everywhere…

We’re drowning…

So the upstairs bathroom is a complete mess… the water from the roof (ice dams) soaked the wall, floors and ceiling which are all being ripped out (next week we’ve been told) to strip down to the studs and let it dry out for a couple of weeks before repairs can start.

My office (the bedroom across the hall from the bathroom) also suffered from water (another ice dam) so the outside wall will be ripped out – maybe more if they discover more damage once they get it open.

THEN to add insult to injury… I was taking mom to the toilet before bed the other night and water came up from between the tiles… LOTS of water… lots and LOTS of water… the tiles were lifting up. There was so much water it saturated every towel I had within reach… I soaked up as much as I could and laid down more towels for the night. 

Thought maybe the water was coming from the wall – water trapped by the water barrier finally draining or something.

In the morning I had to get a bucket to carry away the wet towels and the water was still coming… the floor was swimming in it.  I wiped up again and then laid a flat coloured towel carefully down to see if I could figure out WHERE the water was coming from… THE TOILET WAS LEAKING!

I stuck a container under the tap of the water supply pipe and it filled up fast.  So I shut off the water supply to the toilet and called a plumber.

Plumber came – arrived when I got home.  There are TWO broken parts – the feed pipe to the tank and the seal inside the tank.  To fix it would be an $8 part for the pipe and a $20 part for the seal (plus labour)…

Keep in mind this toilet is being ripped out next week… and being replaced with a new one…

Personally – I can go downstairs, Mom can’t and she HATES using the commode … so I let her decide if we wanted to pay for the repair. 

So she says she wants it working, so the plumber says he’ll come back today with the parts and fix it.

So, then I change and make dinner… then go downstairs to use the bathroom and… WALK INTO DRIPS FALLING FROM THE BASEMENT CEILING!!!!!!!!!  Water leaking through from the bathroom…. it hadn’t been happening for long – the wet spot was only the size of a softball.  So I dumped some make-up supplies out of a large Rubbermaid tote and stuck it under the drips… AFTER I let out a primal scream.

ARGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

Then I emailed the insurance adjuster and the restoration company to advise them – they actually had been there in the morning CHECKING for leaks and there weren’t any…

So… now my basement ceiling is coming down too…

Good news… 3 out of 4 contractors agreed the roof issue is TOO much insulation in the attic blocking the soffits.  So I asked the restoration company if they could get that dealt with ASAP, like, BEFORE they start ripping up my house.  He said they would.

Then one of the contractors I called (recommended by the insurance adjuster) called to report his findings directly to me – said that my bathroom exhaust fan ductwork  was NOT sealed so it was blowing warm air into the attic (cause #1) which made the ice form over the bathroom and the opposite side of the roof, yes, there was insulation in the soffits (cause #2) which prevented the cold air from entering the attic, and there wasn’t enough ventilation given the size of the roof (cause #3) and we should have another whirlygig installed at the other end of the roof (which can’t be done until “spring” or what passes for it here!)  All that was good and not TOO expensive to fix… BUT…

(Cause #4) he explained to me that in older home the 2X4s along the edge of the roof are often not “punched” out where it meets the soffits to allow for air movement.  He asked when the siding and soffits were done – we believe the previous owner did it so no more than 7 years ago.

He came back today to actually get INTO the attic and check it out… yep, they aren’t all punched out, BUT it isn’t as bad as it could be he told mom.  But it will be a fairly big job.  They have to do it from the OUTSIDE and that means taking OFF the soffits, and some siding, to cut them out and set them all up correctly.

He told mom he has to find a couple of skinny workers as he isn’t built for crawling around the attic.  He’s going to do us up a quote.

So all that repair to the roof/attic is OUR cost. 

The insurance will cover the repairs to put things back the way they were. The adjuster went through the house taking photos – even of the undamaged rooms.  She asked where we got our bamboo floors and about the paint colours, etc.  As matching things can be a problem – we still have a box and a bit of bamboo, and lots of left over baseboards and moulding.  And even some paint left by the painters last winter – I have the labels and the colour codes. 

The plumber (recommended by my uncle) and I discussed the bathroom changes – since it will be ripped up we are going to do our reno now – change out everything.  That will be our cost for the fixtures and “extras” that we are doing.

I went and checked out baths, toilets, sinks, fixtures and vanities at a few places tonight.  We want it nice, but reasonably priced.  Plain, white and functional – with resale value! 

I’m leaning toward a slightly larger tub with the walls and roof thingy. It is a lot deeper (20-23″ deep) than our existing tub which is pretty shallow.  Since we are losing the old cracked tiles (part of the walls being ripped out!) may as well rip them all off and replace them with a one-piece unit.  Much easier to maintain.  Tub has to have a flat bottom to accommodate mom’s bath seat.

The sink vanity has to accommodate a wheelchair – need the space for mom to wheel up to the sink to do her thing.  So it needs to resemble a desk… we want storage on both sides.  The sink MUST be recessed – below the counter.  I HATE cleaning the rim of the bathroom sink!

And a LARGE mirror with cabinets behind, new lighting, maybe some shelves.

New toilet will be low-flow, higher, and narrower.

And the closet we will steal from the front room will become a linen/broom closet, storage cupboard.

Taps have to be lever controls, preferably a single lever.  I want one of those giant rain-shower heads, AND a handheld shower, and those dial controls for temperature in the shower/tub.

Home Depot has a section of fixtures for handicaps – hand rails that look like towel rods which was an excellent idea!  If you don’t need them for support hang towels on them!

I would love to put in lime green counters but mom vetoed me… we’ll stick with the colour scheme of the house I guess and get a grey/brown/tan counter.  But the lime looks great with our wall colour!  My bedding is lime and turquoise and looks great!

And a new exhaust fan and vent, duct work on its own control switch!  Right now the single switch turns on the light and the fan.

Hmm… I just realized it is half past midnight.  Better get to bed – we are going to try to take the recycling over to the Eco Centre tomorrow. We’ve been trying to take it over for a month, but, the first two Saturdays we had horrible snow/snow storms and the roads were shite, then last week we had to wait for the guys to come clear our roof… I’m hoping we get out tomorrow, but it snowed ALL day Friday, is still snowing and the roads are shite…


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Oh the fun…

Well… it has been “warm” since the weekend and the roof is clear… now I’m trying to get contractors out to check out WHAT the problem is so we can get it fixed before the damage inside the house can be repaired.

We have to pay for the roof/repairs to fix what caused the problem but it looks like the insurance will pay to repair the damage caused by it.

And since our bathroom has to be GUTTED we will do our renovation while it is being done – new larger tub, new toilet, new vanity with storage and new storage built in… and hopefully upgrade the floor to bring it level with the bamboo in the hall.

The problem is getting contractors out to check it out, tell me what’s wrong, and be willing to fix it.  This town is a mess right now due to the snow/melt and there are roof cave-ins, leaks, basement flooding, etc. happening all over town and the contractors are all working flat-out.

The two that I have managed to get over here have COMPLETELY different theories on what the problem is… Tomorrow I’ve got a third company coming (this one recommended by the insurance adjuster).

We have to get it fixed before we can go ahead with the repairs…

Chicago opens next week so I have to get my kit together on the weekend for the run – had to order from MAC to restock on foundations.  Unfortunately they’ve discontinued the Studio Sticks which I really liked – had to substitute the Studio Tech in compacts which they limited me to four of each shade… I’ll have to order more part way through to make it through the run.

Also will be having “new” people on my crew – some I’ve not even met.  So hope that works out.


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I think I’m beginning to NOT like winter

I have today paid $500 to have my roof cleared of snow… BECAUSE water was running INSIDE my walls making the gyproc bulge and bubble and the water pour out around the windows…

Insurance company involved… restoration company sent by the insurance company says that the bathroom wall, ceiling and floors have to be ripped up… and possibly into the living room closet…

This was yesterday afternoon that they told us that – last night the same thing started in my office which is opposite the bathroom… so I guess it gets ripped up too…

Our next project was a bathroom reno… just wasn’t planning it for THIS year.

Snow is off the roof… temp is PLUS 5 and a Chinook is blowing… almost all the ice is off the roof and the water has stopped running in around the windows… once the ice is gone the roofers will come and check.  The roofer says it looks like the roof may have been done to MINIMUM code requirements which means felt under the shingles not ice/water barrier… if that is the case it can be fixed.


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Really… I really really do like winter… I mean it

It’s been snowing for a week… today it stopped mid-morning… roads are really REALLY awful, it’s deep, Amy got her car stuck in front of the house and neighbours from both sides (men) dug her out.

These are photos of the corner of my deck… gradually disappearing under the snow… The last photo was this morning before I left for work.

It is supposed to start warming up overnight … to -5 for a high tomorrow.  That means SLOPPY mushy roads and ICE.

Have I mentioned how much I like winter????


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Idea time

So I need to come up with a couple of ideas for another competition. 

This time it is for the FACE postal competitions.  The two I can submit photos to are The FACE Award which is an open theme and the other is the themed competition which is MASQUERADE this year and you can use headdresses and props to embellish. 

The FACE Award is tough as it is open so you send your BEST stuff that showcases your face painting skills.  And they say no props or other accessories allowed either.

I have an idea for the Masquerade design – but as usual I’ve left it late, the deadline is January 24th.  I will need a face to paint too… hmm.

And the rules say that the photos/designs submitted are to be original and unposted/unpublished ANYWHERE which means I can’t submit anything I’ve already posted to this blog, my website or anywhere else.

So to the drawing board!!!  First I’ll go through my idea books to see if I’ve got some sketches that might work.

I’ll probably use Bach Blue… I do love blues…


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Face painting for 2011

I’ve adapted well to my new palettes which I featured here.   Now that I’ve used the smaller holes with my regular sponges a for several months I am wondering why I found it “difficult” in the first place? 

I’ve also reduced the amount of things I’m carrying and changed my means of carrying them.

This is my trolley… with my FACE bag slung over the handle.

This is ALL I am taking with me now to regular gigs!  I’m so proud of myself!!  My water and garbage container are in there too!

The FACE bag has my water tub, tablecloths, rope, scissors, spare cakes of black/white/red, wash cloths, plastic trays that I use on the table, camera and other odds and ends – it holds an amazing amount of stuff.

I have decided I like soft-sided items – you can fit odd-shaped things in and shift them around and they will adapt to it.

My set-up has changed a bit with the change in palettes but I still have things in relatively the same position within my reach.

Since I don’t have all the compartments that I used to have in my rolling toolbox, I took a small plastic storage drawer (meant for a pair of shoes) I had bought to store mom’s meds in and fit all the little things into it.  It fits perfectly at the bottom of the trolley!

I got everything in the box… BUT I kept having problems getting them packed back-up after the gig!  So Naomi suggested I take a photo and tape it to the box so I could see how everything fit in… I took the photos but just leave them on the camera to check!

The box sits on the table to make multi-level surface for me AND a handy place to put lids and things I don’t need out on the table.

I also have the special cover/saddlebag that my friend CJ made(you can see it here ) for my rolling toolbox.  I made an alteration to it – opened up one of the seams and then coated the raw edges with glue to stop fraying – so that it now fits over my shopping trolley and serves the same purpose!  The opened seam allows the handle to stick out the top without causing the cover to be off level.

I’ve spent some time over the last week sorting out my studio and rearranging things.  Putting away stuff (wigs, wings, costume bits) from the shows and clearing off some shelves of ornaments and books (moved into the guest room where I have empty shelves!) so I can store more of my make-up gear.

All I have left to do downstairs is vacuum… I don’t think I’ll ever get all the glitter up.

So things are ship-shape here and all ready to go for the new year’s face painting gigs!  Have several confirmed summer and winter gigs for the year already, as well as theatre and other services.

Hope everyone has a great painting year in 2011!


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Our Christmas Present… 8 days late

Mom and I decided to hit Costco today – we had a few things we needed (toilet paper being the main one) and a couple of things we thought we’d like to get.

SUCCESS!!  Costco had the Keurig with the reservoir that I wanted.

My sister tried to find one for us but wasn’t able to find them anywhere and they were sold out in a lot of places up here too before Christmas (she said if we found one to let her know and she’d pay for it… so hey, Shari, it was $189.99!!!! 🙂 )

It has three sizes of brew, came with 90 (NINETY) of the K-cup thingys, a “My K-Cup” reuseable filter so we can use our own coffee if we want, has a 48-ounce water reservoir and matches the microwave – what more could a girl ask for???

They sell the K-cups in boxes of 18 – you can buy assortments or all one brand/type.

I’ve been playing with it – trying out some of the “sample” pack coffee that came with it.  So far… not impressed but it was called “chocolate glazed donut” … Then I made us some hot chocolate using just the hot water that comes out.

The brew sizes are cup, small mug and large mug – 6, 8  and 10 ounce (but are LESS than that actually according to the user’s manual!)  I used a reasonable sized mug and it was barely half full at 8 ounces.  I either have to make TWO cups or use a smaller mug.

I’ve got lots of ground coffee to use in the filter cup adapter that came with it – and mom only drinks Nabob so that’s what I’ll be using for her.  This should save a lot of wasted coffee.

Sure, if you cost out the individual K-cups against a pot of brewed coffee it is more expensive but every morning I was making a pot and every morning was dumping out quite a bit.  Mom usually only drinks one cup and I sometimes don’t drink any!  This way I will only make what is going to be drunk and no more pouring it down the drain.

Now that the cans of coffee are around $13 each it can’t be anymore expensive to buy a box of K-cups.

I was pondering where to stash the 90 K-cups that came with our machine and had an epiphany!  The cookie jar that is right beside the machine on the counter was empty… so I dumped two boxes of K-cups (that’s 36 of them) into it with plenty of room to spare!  The rest got stashed in the cereal cupboard.

So that is all neat and tidy now!

When we got home we both kind’ve conked out and napped while watching a show on tv about Uzbekistan Suzani fabrics.  It was really interesting but … AND I had intended to take down the tree… but it can wait until tomorrow (my stat for New Year’s Day.)