Tight as a button.

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The coal fireplace in our house has never been used. It is too small for a gas insert, so I blocked it off with insulation in the chimney and a foam panel across the face that was festooned with greeting cards. We had these old-world English tiles in a box, which gave me a Hobbit-approved idea.

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The tiles are mounted on hardy-backer board, and grouted. The panel adheres to the fireplace with velcro stripping. While I was at it I build a large foam insulation box that inserts over the drop ladder up in the attic. Now we’re tight as a button.

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Solution to a fireplace that has never been a fireplace.

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Trumpet vine triage. 80mph winds with wet snow compromised our hummingbird haven, snapping the old tree top and bottom that the vines have grown around. I added cables and brace-post (post is anchored in the ground with rebar and screwed to the old tree with angle iron). I have a plan to replace this triage with a better solution…

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The red cables went in first, then the wooden brace. Then the cables were released and the vines were cinched back tight with the old tree, then I re-fit the cables to hold the vines in place. 

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