Sunday, July 16, 2017

Fireworks

Living-Room Project - A Fireplace Takes Some Work


In January, I began working on this year's project - adding a stove to Cottage's living-room. I had pinned several inspiration pictures over the years, so I knew pretty well where I was heading - to a small white vintage-looking cast iron stove.

En janvier, j'ai commencé à travailler sur le projet de l'année, ajouter un poêle dans le salon de Cottage. Depuis des années, je mettais de côté des photos d'inspiration, alors je savais très bien ce que je voulais : un petit poêle en fonte au look vintage et de couleur claire.

My very first choice from years ago - discontinued since January 2017...


When I checked my Pinterest board, I noticed that most of the pictures were of British cottages, not that this was a surprise, it's always been my favourite style, but I thought it might make finding a stove difficult.

Charnwod
 En consultant mon dossier  sur Pinterest, je me suis aperçue que beaucoup de mes photos représentaient des cottages britanniques. Rien d'étonnant à cela, c'est mon style préféré depuis toujours... Mais cela n'allait pas me faciliter la tâche pour dénicher mon poêle.

Charnwood
 I began searching the Internet. I shouldn't have worried. I found out that there was a stockist for Charnwood stoves only fifteen minutes away from Cottage. I loved that Charnwood makes small stoves that have a vintage vibe with a modern twist and come in different colours. Above all, I loved that I would be able to have a British stove!

Charnwood
Je n'aurais pas dû m'inquiéter. Un petit tour rapide sur Internet et j'ai découvert qu'il y avait un revendeur des poêles anglais Charnwood à une quinzaine de minutes de Cottage. J'avais flashé sur ces poêles qui me semblaient l'alliance parfaite d'un look rétro et d'une pincée de modernisme. En plus, ils existaient en plusieurs coloris. Et par dessus tout, j'étais ravie de pouvoir avoir un poêle britannique à la maison.

Charnwood
I drove to the stockist, but I was disappointed by the fact that the stoves weren't 100% cast iron and I was worried by the fact that the contractor attached to the stockist was asking a fairly low price to create a hole in my very deep stone wall... Not that I like to pay expensive bills, but I also think that difficult jobs require more money or they won't be done properly...

Charnwood
Je me suis rendue à la boutique, mais j'ai été bien déçue de constater que les poêle n'étaient pas en fonte. Je me suis aussi un peu inquiétée quand la commerciale ne voyait aucune difficulté à percer mon mur en pierre et à tuber mon très vieux conduit de cheminée. Ce n'est pas que je n'ai pas été ravie du devis - très bas - mais je pense que parfois, il vaut mieux ne pas dépenser moins que nécessaire si l'on veut que les choses soient bien faites.

Charnwood
  Back to the search engine. I kept being lucky it seemed as I found that there was a Stovax stockist only ten minutes away from Cottage... This time I carefully checked the website first to make sure they had cast iron stoves... I drooled over their products. I was convinced I had found my stove.

Stovax
Retour sur Internet. J'avais vraiment de la chance car j'ai trouvé un revendeur Stovax (d'autres poêles britanniques adorables) à seulement dix minutes de Cottage. Cette fois, j'ai bien farfouillé sur leur site pour vérifier qu'il s'agissait bien de fonte,  imaginant chacun de leurs modèles dans mon salon. Là, c'était sûr, j'avais trouvé mon poêle.

Stovax
 I couldn't even wait until the next weekend. I stopped by the stockist one day after school, over excited. I was greeted by a man who offered me coffee. I didn't want to drink, I wanted to talk about my project. He was very interested by all the transformations of Cottage. We hesitated between two different stoves. I was extatic and smiling the whole time. So I asked for a quote. "Aren't we waiting for your husband first?" he asked. I was so taken aback that I lost my usual wit and didn't tell him that we could be waiting for a while. Then he said I needed to sign the contract before I can get the quote... Hello? I'm not that stupid. Things from here went downfall... I don't know if he asked that because I was a single woman or if he tries that with all his customers... But I wasn't going to be fool enough to sign anything. I left, saying a very sad goodbye to my Stovax stove.

Stovax
 J'étais tellement excitée que je n'ai pas pu attendre le week-end suivant pour me rendre chez le revendeur. Je me suis arrêtée dès le mardi soir après les cours. J'ai été très bien accueillie. On m'a même proposé un café (moi, cela m'énerve toujours, je ne viens pas pour ça, mais bon), j'ai expliqué mon projet. Le vendeur a eu l'air intéressé par l'histoire de Cottage. Nous hésitions sur le catalogue entre deux modèles. Je crois que je n'arrêtais pas de sourire. J'ai donc demandé un devis, l'étape suivante logique. "N'attendons-nous pas d'abord l'autre décisionnaire ?" a demandé le vendeur. J'en suis restée bouche bée. Je n'ai même pas eu la présence d'esprit de lui répondre que si c'était de mon mari qu'il parlait, il risquait d'attendre longtemps. Et là, il enchaîne en m'expliquant qu'il faut que je signe le contrat pour avoir une estimation de prix... Euh ? Bon, c'est vrai, je suis blonde, mais il ne faut pas croire tout ce que l'on dit sur les blondes. Je me suis énervée, il s'est énervé, j'ai quitté le magasin, disant ainsi adieu à mon poêle Stovax. 

Stovax
On my way home, I noticed a stove stockist I hadn't paid attention to before. I was so desperate that I pulled over and explained my project to the woman who was in the store. She seemed to understand and told me someone would stop by my house the following week to see what was possible. I was very hopeful. When the contractor arrived, he complemented me on the cosiness of my living-room, then he said the mantel had to be removed  and the best stove for Cottage was one of those modern cylindrical stoves. According to him nothing else was possible.

Hark
 Sur le chemin  du retour, j'ai aperçu un magasin de poêles que je n'avais jamais remarqué auparavant. J'étais tellement désespérée que je m'y suis arrêtée. Une dame qui avait tout à fait l'air de comprendre ce que je cherchais m'a donné un rendez-vous pour rencontrer chez moi un commercial. J'étais pleine d'espoir. Quand le commercial est arrivé, il m'a complimenté sur le style de mon salon, puis a déclaré qu'il fallait retirer le manteau de cheminée et que le meilleur poêle pour Cottage était un de ces poêles cylindriques très à la mode en ce moment. Rien d'autre n'était possible d'après lui.
Hark
 For a few days, I wondered what was more important for me... Having the warmth of a stove and the joy to see the flames or keeping the style I had settled on for (with) Cottage.

Pendant quelques jours, je me suis demandée s'il ne valait pas mieux renoncer à la source de chaleur que représentait le poêle pour préserver le style que Cottage et moi étions en train de créer.

Jotul
  Now, you know how Pinterest works, don't you? The site sends you pictures with the message "we found pins that might be right up your alley". Of course, as I had been pinning stoves, I receive stove picture. One small white stove kept showing in them that I didn't particularly like at first as it was a little too ornate for my taste... But at some point, I was so desperate at the idea of having a modern stove in Cottage, that this little ornate stove grew on me. I looked over the Internet to find where it was from. It was a Jotul stove. Now what were my chances to find a Norvegian stove stockist in Brittany? 

Jotul
Si vous connaissez le site Pinterest, vous savez que leur logiciel leur permet de vous envoyer par mail des photos qui leur semblent correspondre à vos recherches récentes. Côté vie privée, ce n'est pas le top, mais parfois, cela s'avère pratique. Je recevais donc régulièrement des photos de poêles et le même petit poêle ne cessait de réapparaître. Cela n'a pas été le coup de foudre car je le trouvais d'abord trop travaillé. Mais à force de le voir, j'ai fini par le trouver pas mal... J'ai cherché d'où il venait. C'était un Jotul, une marque norvégienne. Quelles étaient mes chances d'en trouver en Bretagne ? 

Jotul
Will you believe that there was one a few miles away from Cottage? I gathered my strength, ready to be disappointed again, but willing to give it a try once more. I met with a very nice man who listened to my project (that I explained for what seemed the hundredth tim) and said it was entirely possible to have the small Jotul stove in my Cottage. He didn't lead me on though about the mantel. It was not safe to keep it. "But, he said, you seem to have so many ideas, I'm sure you'll find a way to use your mantel somewhere else in your house."
Jotul
Eh bien, croyez-le ou non, mais il y a un fumiste qui distribue la marque Jotul à quelques kilomètres de Cottage. J'ai rassemblé mes dernières forces et je m'y suis rendue. Je suis tombée sur un homme charmant qui avait l'air compétent, qui a tout de suite identifié quelles seraient les difficultés dans mon vieux cottage, mais qui pouvait poser le petit poêle Jotul chez moi. Par contre, lui aussi était formel, exit le manteau de cheminée pour des raisons de sécurité. "Mais, a-t-il dit, vous semblez avoir plein d'idées, vous trouverez une autre façon d'utiliser ce manteau de cheminée."

I won't let you on a cliffhanger here. I signed with this last company for the little Jotul stove. It took a lot of work to get what I wanted for my fireplace, but it was worth my time, I hope. And as for the mantel... well, no, you can't know everything in just one post!

Je ne vais pas vous faire attendre. J'ai signé avec cette dernière entreprise qui travaille avec Jotul. Cela m'a semblé demander un travail monstrueux pour en arriver là et j'espère que je n'ai pas perdu mon temps. A propos du manteau de cheminée... Non, vous ne croyiez tout de même pas que j'allais tout vous dire dans le même article !

Now, to speak of real fireworks, this weekend was Bastille Day in France... I admired the fireworks from my bedroom window! Shadow was a little afraid and he was glad when it was over. If you want to have a look at Paris fireworks for Bastille Day, click below.



Puisqu'on parle de feu, j'aime autant vous dire que cette fin d'année a été tellement rude aussi bien physiquement, intellectuellement qu'émotionnellement que je me suis contentée de regarder le feu d'artifice du 13 juillet depuis la fenêtre de ma chambre et celui du 14 à la télé. 

See you next time,

A bientôt,

Hasta la proxima,





PS1: I'm not going to explain here the details of the complex organisation that is the French school system, but things aren't looking good at all for next year, so you'll forgive me if I'm not blogging or reading your blogs regularly. It's difficult to stay positive for one and I spend an awful amount of time on the phone or writing letters to find a solution to the stupidest job ever they are sending me to (Teachers are like soldiers - we get missions, we don't choose where we work).

PS 1 : Les choses ne s'annoncent pas bien pour moi l'an prochain. Je ne vais pas rentrer dans les détails compliqués des modalités d'attribution des postes dans l'Education Nationale, mais nous sommes plus ou moins considérés comme des militaires, nous recevons des "ordres de mission" que l'on ne peut contester. Je n'ai d'ailleurs jamais râlé... Mais là, c'est tellement délirant que je me vois obligée de faire un recours... Bref, si je ne suis pas très présente sur le blog, c'est que je suis au téléphone ou en train d'écrire une lettre pour tenter de trouver une solution.

37 comments:

  1. 'Waiting for your husband'?? About time that salesman came out of the dark ages.
    We had a Jotul stove which we found in a small store in Pontivy. I think they moved to Auray later. Stoves are so warm and welcoming. Glad you found one.

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    1. It seems that there are several Jotul stores in Brittany, which was a relief to me because I was getting desperate.

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  2. Sending you Strength and Power for your battle with bureaucracy. Stove looks so sweet, and the cats will adore it! Love your stories and pictures and save them up as a 'treat' after I've done some work I don't want to do. Your posts are always a ray of sunshine no matter what is happening. And I am a fan of Cottage! Sam in Brisbane Australia.

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    1. Thank you so much for this comment! Cottage is very proud to have a fan! I tried to get in touch with the "rectorat" (the part of the ministry that takes care of giving teachers their job) all morning, with no success... So I spent the afternoon walking on an adorable island!

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  3. WOW.

    Magali, your mission to find the right stove had probably left you so disappointed, but you persisted and you found a solution. These moments are windows into the larger lessons in life, aren't they! I WONDER....for your mantel, is it possible to have a slab of LIMESTONE as your mantel, instead of the wood?

    As for teaching, I agree. You never know who you are going to get, and like a good soldier, you go in anyway, bravely.

    Wishing you the best in everything!

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  4. I'm impressed with how diligent you were in tracking down the right stove for Cottage. I hope that the installation goes well and that it is exactly what you have hoped for. You had to put up with a lot of nonsense from some of those shopkeepers. Thanks for the video of the Bastille Day fireworks -- very good show! I hope your next job assignment can turn out to be a good one.

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    1. I really wanted the stove to be installed during the summer, so I tried to be efficient in my research! Glad you enjoyed the fireworks!

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  5. What a frustration for you! I'm glad you persevered. I'm sure it will be lovely in Cottage. Strength to deal with the government!!!

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  6. hope your stove works out for you and sorry the mantel has to go - looking forward to seeing what you have in end. I hope the job change up works out for you

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  7. I can't believe what the salesman said about "waiting for your husband" and I know you were shocked. And, the smart gal you are by not signing anything, for a quote is right on!!! I know you couldn't get out of there fast enough. But, you are always right about cottage and i love the little stove you had your eye on. I'm so happy you found one you like, and I love it and the sales woman was wonderful, just what you needed. Having been through building a lot of houses I've run into these types too, whatever.......I can't wait to see and I agree, you will find the perfect souluton for the mantle.
    Enjoy your day or what's left of it there. Oh and Happy Bastille Day. Thanks for the fireworks link, I always love seeing fireworks there!!!!

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  8. Jotul stoves are available here in the states, and I've heard only good things about them. It's going to add so much warmth and atmosphere to beautiful Cottage. I'm sorry about the school situation. I can only imagine what a wonderful teacher you are, and how disappointing and stressful all this is. The guy who made the remark about waiting for your husband is a fool. Ugh.

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  9. Can't believe that salesman! Did he train under Donald Trump? Love the little stove. Hope the teaching works out without too much frustration.

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  10. We have reached the XXI Century and sexism still abounds. Men like that are so enfuriating. At least you found what you wanted. I, like the salesman, know that you will find another place for it. I'm sorry to hear about your placement for next year. I'm not thrilled with mine either, but at least I am always at the same school, just teaching different classes.

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  11. J'ai connu ça le regard du vendeur quand tu viens seule pour acheter un truc où il n'y a que des hommes qui peuvent comprendre...Certains achats dans la vie peuvent demander une telle énergie que c'est à se demander si ça en vaut la peine! Bon ton histoire de poêle finit bien elle. Et pour le boulot good luck...

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  12. Oh my gosh Magali you have so much going on with the stove hunt and then with your school work. I am sorry you have been so frustrated. I think the stove you picked will be wonderful in Cottage. I personally like the scrolly pattern and that is the kind of stove I think of in cottage decor so I think you will love it. So happy you finally found one to work for you and cottage. Hoping for the best with your teaching assignment. Good luck.
    Kris

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  13. I had seen a Jotul stove at a friends house before we began our very big and very expensive reno in the 1784 cape cod we had bought in Nova Scotia. Her's was in red but I went online and found they had a cream/vanilla colour that would be perfect. 2 yrs of renos started and then we were finally ready to install the stove. We went to a local Jotul dealer who asked us to carefully measure the mantel to ensure there wasn't any fire hazard. He had one cream coloured stove left in stock as we had to get the smaller size due to the mantel. I love my Jotul stove!

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    1. Hope you get a very good posting. Such unecessary stress wondering if you have a posting and where.

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  14. I think your choice of stoves is perfect for Cottage. I know how frustrating it can be to find the right stove and installers. I'm sorry your job causes you problems, I hope it all works out. In the mean time,please know how much I look forward to your posts. I love seeing what you have been doing.

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    1. Thank you, Nancy. I'm working on different projects, but with work, every day life, project and bouts of low energy due to my "syndrome", I'm sometimes too tired to write a post!

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  15. Love that stove!!! It's not too fancy, yet has old fashioned charm!! Enjoy!!

    Next time when they mention a husband, tell them he died recently......that'll shut them up....

    Sorry about your job, there is always something to worry over, a wonderful opportunity will open up for you, I know it...... Blessings...

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    1. I did consider answering "my husband left for an other girl who was pregnant with his twins", but it seemed a bit melodramatic ;)

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  16. Isn't it funny how Fate intervenes? You ended up with the prettiest stove of all !! Good for you for persevering. I hope all works out well for your job.

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    1. It ends well for the stove... I'm not so sure about the job!

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  17. :-) it will be worth it! Have you checked the recommended safety distances for your stove? If it will be too close it is possible to protect the wood from radiation with a fire rated board. Google cembrit multi force. It would be screwed into the underside of the mantle, the edge would be visible from the front but you could sand it to a rounded soft edge.

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  18. Je suis sûre que tu seras ravie de ton choix mais le vendeur macho, il sort d'où, d'il y a plus d'un siècle ou quoi? Il y a des claques qui se perdent, où a-t-on vu qu'il fallait signer un contrat pour avoir un devis?
    J'ai changé mon poële pour la petite maison de montagne, je savais aussi ce que je voulais: assez grand pour avoir des bûches de 50 à 60cm, en fonte bien sûr et surtout un plan de dépose assez grand pour pouvoir laisser mijoter un plat ou une cocotte de soupe ou encore garder sa théière bien chaude. Les travaux commencent quand?
    Caresses aux griffus. Bises. Babette

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  19. So sorry about your job,hope things work out. Some people are so silly, i have been single since my husband died in 1986 and people still ask me how i did it,but i think women are strong and they can learn. Your stove is very lovely.

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  20. Ha! Seems like those men who think they can walk all over single women exist in every country! Glad you found the right supplier and the stove you wanted. xoxox

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  21. I'm dumbfounded about what that salesman said to you Magali! What a moron!

    In true form, you persevered and found something that will be perfect.

    xxx

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  22. I am so happy that you got the stove you wanted. That man though that you were a push over and that women don't know anything. Ha

    So sorry about the school system, hope that you get a wonderful new position that you will love.

    Mary

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  23. Was so happy to see post from you. Why do men have that kind of attitude? So silly, minute they open their mouths they give themselves away.Sure glad you were too smart to sign, how insulting and so happy for your stick to it'iveness and perseverance.
    When we moved to western MT I was faced with lot of that attitude from men. Mr. was on road all over United States and Canada so was alone alot out in country. Couple of older neighbors had same attitude, tried to take advantage of me being alone. Had to get pretty snippy with them. Was 52 when we moved there from San Diego.
    I found out what I was made of there, best thing to happen to me altho was pretty hard at times, especially in winter. But I had nobody to cry to so didn't. Just kept telling myself could do what ever challenge was at time. We lived there 7 yrs. and far surpassed what Mom had said I was capable of. An still bit of a tuff old gal, will be 77 this week. We live in western Colorado now.
    Many people in MT use stoves like yours. Love how pretty but practical your stove is. They use pellet stoves alot in MT.
    You know what, would go back there in heart beat if we could, loved it more than anywhere else had ever lived and there's been a few. That's if we could have what we had then, 20 acres out in country. Love your wonderful cottage, great kind of home to live in.
    Good luck with your job situation, hope it's remedied to your satisfaction soon.
    Happy week to you

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    1. We have pellet stoves here as well and all sorts of stoves with electronic inside to get the right temperature... I'm going for a simple old fashionned one...

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  24. First BRAVO for you for standing with courage through that awful man and through all the disappointment. Am so proud of you. I cannot wait to see the winter photos of the new little stove with the cats in front of it and your stocking feet ! I know it will be perfect and you will love it as will our beloved cottage. Your blog is my favorite and only one of 3 I read anymore. i am always so happy to see your post. Your progress is amazing and your home is so lovely. It has become my dream home that I think is so perfect . .
    As for the school system i wish you all the luck dealing with them. I hope they will be reasonable.
    Until next time, Via La Stove !

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  25. I too picture you and the kitties snuggled on the couch in front of the stove:). So the mantel, will it have place in the dining room?
    Ugh, hope you have a school close to you and most importantly be happy to go there!
    Kathleen in Az

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  26. You should probably complain to the company about that one salesman, I hope they do not want their people behaving that way! But, you are probably too busy trying to straiten out your school situation. I am so sorry you have to struggle with that, and I hope you find a solution you are happy with without too much trouble.
    Your stove is charming, and I am so excited to see it in action once the cool weather comes. And, I am glad you found a decent place to sell you one. Shocking how hard it is to find a company that won't try to abuse the customer! But, you came away with the best product, and put your money with the right people, so that's good. xo Sarah Turkey Plate

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  27. I like the white ones with a more old style look. So many choices.

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  28. I love your final selection and so glad that you can get this behind you, despite the horrendous treatment by salesmen. I hope that you can find a good solution to your teaching position next year. At least you will be able to come home to a cozy fire after a hard day at work. xx Karen

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