Tuesday, July 29, 2014

And Breathe....

I'm enjoying having a little more time to sit in the garden this week, the weather is still glorious and fortunately a little less humid today, and it's nice to be able to sit in peace (before the builders start next door) and look at the flowers.

There's quite a lot of purple and pinks: self sown viola, Eryngium, Hibiscus, Verbena Bonariensis

And quite a lot of orange: Rose Fighting Temeraire, Rose Lady Emma Hamilton, self sown viola, Dahlia Walzing Mathilda, Hemerocallis (name forgotten!).

There's a self sown Salvia growing out of the patio,

and Echniops, Shasta Daisies, self sown Hollyhocks and Echinacea White Swan, all growing happily together.

There's veg growing well too, except I might not have properly thought the bean support through when I made it out of very long hazel sticks as I can't actually reach the top and will soon need the step ladder to pick the beans!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

A Tale of Three Fireplaces

About 18 months ago I blogged about the lovely Art Nouveau fireplaces that came with my house.  They were pretty but in a sorry state of disrepair with no hearths, missing fronts and totally unusable as fires.

Earlier this year I got the bit between my teeth and decided to tackle them.

I cut carpet back to reveal the original concrete hearths, filling in the cracks with fire cement.

I borrowed a mitre block and made wooden 'fenders' to edge them (and only sawed my finger once, on the very last one!).

I cut a vermiculite firebrick to size and fitted it where there was once only a hole in the dining room one.

I ordered 2 replacement fire fronts, once for the dining room and one for the study, and last week had the chimney swept for the dining room fireplace. Lots of debris and one dead pigeon were removed before finally the brush could come out.

And this is what the once sad fireplaces look like now - in my bedroom just the hearth was needed.

The study got a new fire front and hearth. I am really pleased with this one as it looks so pretty now.

And the dining room got a new fire front, hearth and back.

All the rooms look complete now and the fireplaces are loved again.  I will really enjoy being able to light the dining room one in the winter - although on such a hot day as this it's hard to imagine needing to!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

A 24p Bag

I needed a new bag. Not just any old new bag but a bag that both fullfilled the size requirements for the '2nd small hand luggage bag' of a certain low cost airline and one that I could fit my ipad in.  I have loads of bags but would you believe it, not a single one that met both of these criteria.  So I decided to make one.

I rooted around and found some lovely striped fabric lurking on a shelf, some shot silk taffeta that would do for lining and a strap that was from my broken laptop bag. 

Not having a pattern I based it on an existing bag, used some wadding left over from something else to pad it and basically made it up as I went along.

It was finished but slightly boring so I had another rummage ('helped' by a feline assistant!) and

the old silk curtain from the lounge and a red resin rose became a flower brooch,

which when fastened onto the front flap livened it up nicely.

And the 24p?  That's what it cost me to buy the 2 D rings to attach the handle to the bag. 

It'll do the job nicely :-)

Saturday, July 5, 2014

One Thing Leads To Another

It started in November last year with this multiyork chair (the one I got free from twitter).

Sitting on it made me realise how much I missed my old multi-york sofa so I decided to treat myself to a new sofa in their sale.
Whilst measuring for the new sofa I realised that the carpet had faded badly and unless I was going to have exactly the same size sofa I'd need to re-do the floor.
Having chosen and ordered the floor and the sofa I decided to do a quick 'freshen' up of the paintwork.  This is where things started to go slightly 'off plan'.

Whilst painting the ceiling all the old paint decided to detach itself from the lime plaster that was underneath.  By the end of day one this is what my ceiling looked like.

I had to phone a decorator, who decided a plasterer was what what I needed so he called his mate.

Cue new ceiling.

I lived in chaos for several more weeks as the ceiling had to dry before the decorator could come back to paint it and all the furniture from the lounge had to move into the dining room.
Fortunately I have some lovely friends who between them kept inviting me round for meals so I could actually sit at a table to eat :-)

In amongst this I got stung by a wasp whilst leaving a key for the decorator and had a nasty allergic reaction, and they delivered the wrong floor once.

Eventually the wooden floor was laid and I made new sheer curtains to hang at the window and door.
Unfortunately this was when D cat decided to eat the needle and have to have emergency treatment at the vets to remove it (thank goodness for pet insurance!).

In May the new sofa and new cover for the chair (that started all of this) arrived - the chair has a total new look,

the curtains look light and airy at the window and door,

and the cats thoroughly approve of the new sofa and floor!

I plan to have the same floor put down in the dining room next year, but I'm going to get the decorator in from the start this time!