Yes it’s been two months since my last post and yes I have been extremely rubbish in not writing a single thing in all that time – and for not actually making anything in that time! I didn’t even finish off my American road trip round up…I will get on to that this weekend…well try to.
My birthday was lovely, Christmas was relaxing, New Years a raucous blur etc etc etc. Fun was had but nothing got done!
The main issue at the moment is the number of things I seem to need to do and the amount of time that I have to them, my mind is willing but time and body conspire against me and I never get to do any of the things I intend to.
At the moment I am intending to
finish decorating our house (3 rooms down, 4 to go), make a stupendous amount of stuff for our wedding at the beginning of May, lose at least a stone by having only 1200 calories a day and finish some of the numerous quilting/sewing projects that I started last year.
Even typing that has worn me out! But my resolution, above and beyond all the other things I need to get done in the next 4 months is to be generally less rubbish, more proactive and GET THINGS DONE!
That is all.
So I FINALLY managed to re-upholster our dining table chairs. We’ve had the table for over a year now – an old teak G plan table and chairs from my Granma’s house – and I have LOATHED the pink velvet chair coverings for that entire time but secretly been very intimidated about doing anything about it.
One horrible day at work and the desire to feel like I’d achieved something, anything, that day and voila, new chair covers in under 2 hours In fact most of that time was spent removing the horrific old covers! I used an IKEA fabric (only £4.99 a metre) and probably used only about £8 worth of fabric doing this.
My re-upholstery was by no means perfect/following any kind of instructions, but it has worked and I’m more than happy with the results…of course, the moment my mother sat down on one, she HAD to point out the staple she could feel round the bottom edge – but that’s what mothers are for isn’t it?
The naked chair pad - minus the horrific velvet
Triangles of quilt batting I used for the worn corners of the pads
New fabric cut to fit the chair pad
A newly covered chair pad!
My lovely 'new' chairs!
It’s funny how the chairs actually do look quite modern now!
In other news we have now got built-in shelves in the alcoves in the lounge, thanks to my lovely Dad, pictures to follow shortly (I have before and during but no after!) and I am progressing along nicely with all the pre-Christmas sewing projects, plenty to show in the New Year!
Sorry that it’s been a while, we were working flat out on the house on our long weekend and I have had a cold, not so much of a problem, and an allergic reaction to something we were using – wallpaper paste I believe – this was a problem! My lips swelled up to double their size, like I’d had some dodgy lip filler, not good! So for amusement purposes, my lips again (note I do NOT normally look like this!):
Super swell lips!
But I am now back to normal lip function having taken a large quantity of piriton and felt very sorry for myself – surprising how vain you can be about lips!
I thought I would share a few before and after shots with you of our lovely lounge which we finally papered, painted and finished decorating, only the shelves in the alcove left to do – probably the most mammoth task but we’re game! (apologies for the POOR photos)…
Papering of walls complete
Dust sheeted up ready for the emulsion on the walls and satin on the woodwork
Some of the millions of colours we couldn't decide on
Walls painted with Light Rain from B&Q - it's not got a pink blog in the middle though! Stupid phone camera
Fireplace and alcoves being painted by Mr B
Going through my photos now I realise that I don’t actually have a proper ‘finished’ picture so I will have to remedy that when I get home…
This weekend we got a little bit closer to getting the house a little more sorted before Christmas – my basic requirement is to get the lounge looking like a lounge (so my Christmas tree looks pretty – sad I know) and for the tools to not be ALL over the house!
We have a long weekend off next weekend and we are going to line the walls in the hall and lounge that were pulled apart for the damp treatment, sand and paint all the woodwork in the hall and lounge and paint the walls in the hall and lounge. We’ve decided that the ceilings don’t need doing for the moment as they were done by the guy who sold us the house only a few months ago and…we have achy arms as it is!
So we had to finish all the prep this weekend, we finished stripping all the walls – I’d forgotten how much I hate stripping wallpaper – and thought about putting the skirting boards back on…but didn’t Clearly we have to think about the logistics of whacking a few nails into the boards for at least a month before doing anything. They need to be done this week anyway otherwise we can’t wallpaper properly. I’ve been working on the fireplace too, getting that sorted so with a bit of fire cement, a fire guard and an ash pan we can actually have a fire…I’m so excited it’s ridiculous!
A pretty productive weekend anyway, we also ‘pimped’ Betty’s hutch as it’s been getting RIDICULOUSLY cold at night, so she now has a sheep like coating on her hutch, underneath the cover. We saved the horrible carpet from the lounge and have put it to good use, giving her insulated walls I completely forgot to take photos though…it wasn’t that exciting anyway!
The other thing I made a bit of headway on this weekend was operation ‘Sew-up’, a top-secret endeavour which will only be revealed if I actually manage to pull it off! Put it this way, I’ve set myself the task of sewing more items in the next month (and a bit) than I’ve sewn in the past year…yup, I’m an idiot!
Anyway, once I am able to reveal my sewing efforts I shall but in the meantime I will post photos of our DIY efforts this week so you can all laugh at our bodging!
- The floors are done… (dreamalittledreamalot.wordpress.com)
I just want to get on with wearing my nice, new (to me) winter clothes I’ve been getting off of eBay, eating lovely wholesome winter meals mostly consisting of custard and kicking leaves in the air whilst wearing my wellies…I just don’t really like the summer, I realise this is a hangable offence but I love the winter – bright, crisp days with stodgy food, cheek freezing walks and snuggling in front of the fire. I’ve been looking forward to Autumn since May!
So WHY was it so ridiculously hot this weekend? We/I had plans to pull out the cupboard in our lounge, rip off the rest of the wallpaper, put the skirting boards back on, put things in the loft, get started on the new quilts I’m making for Christmas and generally sort out the hundreds of piles and boxes (well, more like 10) around my house. Instead Mr B and I got hot and bothered (and not in a good sense) and squabbled our way through the weekend whilst achieving pretty little it feels like, I want my weekend for a do-over! Do you ever have that moment where you’re really not sure what you’re arguing about? We did it a lot!
We did manage to achieve one thing which we’ve been intending to do for about 3 weeks – we put the finishing touches to the coir matting in the hallway. Having ripped up all the carpets downstairs to do the sanding of the floors, we discovered that there was a massive piece of hard board in place of about 3 floorboards just inside the door in the hallway. So, rather than having to actually sort it out properly I came up with a bodge that involved sanding 2 thirds of the hallway and covering the rest in coir matting – presenting it as my truly intentional and original idea, obviously! I think the main problem with fitting it ourselves though is that neither of us had a clue what we were doing but both felt we should pretend we did
The coir matting, edged and finished
But it is done now and I do feel mighty proud of our efforts every time I come down the stairs
To be fair, it wasn’t all bad, we did have a nice evening out on Friday, drinking outside in the sun…so it wasn’t all bad…and we had a lovely BBQ on Sunday afternoon…and we sat out with Betty as she ransacked all my pots – yes, they look pathetic, I know!
Betty in the flower-pot
But last night I tried to make up for the lack of action a little and I’ve nearly finished one quilt with the plan to get started on fabric planning for the other two tonight and I’ll be putting all my other fabric in the loft so you can actually move around in our spare room. Mr B needs the space to play XBox you see
- The floors are done… (dreamalittledreamalot.wordpress.com)
So we finally managed to put up the shelves in the bathroom meaning that the only thing left to do in there is repaint the walls – I HATE the insipid yellow that the developer painted them and have my eye on a bright lime green – it’s a small room I know but it’ll cheer us up in the mornings!
We bought Ikea’s GRUNTAL shelves which were pretty good value for money actually – quite hefty chunks of glass – even if they don’t give you ANY of the stuff you need to put it on a wall!
I also want to get some charcoal grey towels but am having trouble finding one large enough for Mr B’s exacting standards and the right colour for mine. Might just have to bite the bullet and buy the gorgeous ones I saw in House of Fraser…
Anyway, the shelves are great – really pleased with them and I even got approval for my measuring – completely level!
The wall is pretty much made of board so we had fun trying to find somewhere to screw in!
Mr B checking the level - as he must
The finished shelves!
So Mr B and I decided about a month ago that we hated the carpets in our new place and in fact weren’t that keen on carpets full stop. So I looked around for a machine to do the sanding and found this fantastic place in London where they provide ‘dustless’ floor sanders which prevent 99.9% of the dust coming out making it a much less painful exercise when sanding your floors! I was skeptical (how unusual) and others doubted (mentioning no names) and we had to go to Ealing to pick them up but they were so worth the effort. Unbelievably loud and Mr B and are still not hearing properly, just keep shouting at each other but the people at the sanding place were really friendly and helpful and the equipment did the job superbly so I am very chuffed with our two days of solid hard work – it was dust free but not effort free! We sanded with 4 grades of paper, filled gaps, varnished, sanded between coats and generally ruined the general condition of our knees but I think that our floors look awesome Worth all the hard work…
Hall floor, we're putting coir matting by the door
Entrance to lounge
Bay window in lounge
Now we’ve just got a lot of work to do decorating and our house will be lovely Grey blue in the lounge, pale grey in the hall, dining room and kitchen and then bright green in the bathroom which we are hopefully doing this weekend. It’ll all be nicely finished in time for Christmas I hope!
We’ve got the sofa coming on Friday though which is what I’m most looking forward to as we’ve not had one for the last 4 months, since selling our massive one as it would never have fit in the new house. So from Friday I will mostly be comatose on my new purchase from IKEA…
So many thought we were crazy, many thought we would never finish but after a huge amount of work (and lots of help from my lovely Mum and Dad) we have FINALLY finished our garden! We’ve been in the new house now for nearly 2 months and have had the damp man come and pull half the plaster in our house off of the walls, ripped up half the carpets and had no sofa but we now have a garden to be proud of. Hopefully summer isn’t completely over and we can sit out in it a little and appreciate our hard work. With no further ado though here are the before and after shots…
Our garden before (well part of the way through)
We ripped out all the boards and the bark, repointed a wall, dug a huge hole, removed something like 50 bags of soil, laid a patio, created raised beds, dug fence post holes, put up fencing and trellis, planted all of my accumulated plants, planted some vegetables, put down a huge amount of cat repellent to stop our garden being the cat litter tray it had become, painted a huge amount of wood, put up a garden shed and ta da, only 7 weeks later, this is what we have…
The garden in it’s new glory
Our new shed, all our own handiwork – and it shows
One of the new raised beds
Back towards the house
Our lovely patio
Our garden before (well part of the way through)
There’s still a fair amount more I want to do, including finishing painting the fence, putting the shed door on, getting some new plants into all my pots, getting a little bistro set for down the side of the house, finding an evergreen climber for the trellis for when the roses/honeysuckle aren’t blooming but for now I am SO happy with what we have done! I want the planting in the beds to be very dense, kind of cottage garden style so need to find some more plants cheaply too. We even had a BBQ on Sunday night like it was a real garden!
Now onto stripping the lounge and hall floors…well ok, maybe I might sit down for a second!