Busy Bees…

These long weekends are giving us a much needed progress boost. 

The lounge isn’t too far off, the floor needs one last round of sanding and varnishing then it’s finally done…We’ll get this sorted in the evenings during the course of the week. 


There’s not too much else we can do now in the lounge until the fire is fitted over the next couple of weeks, one task we still needed to do was to make the opening of the mantle piece slightly smaller to avoid a gap between the backplate of the fire once fitted, it’s not an ideal solution as we’d rather not tinker with the mantle piece, but there’s little else that can be done as it’s such a large opening.


Ronnie attached some decorative profile oak skirting board to the back of the mantle, it actually blends in quite well and once it’s waxed it should look good. 

While the latest coat of floor varnish was drying we worked on other areas of the house to avoid smudging the finish, though the trail of dinky little paw prints meandering across the gloss suggests Dottie didn’t get the memo. We had a huge clear out from two of the spare rooms in the extension, we plan to get these rooms done quite soon as there’s really only decorating to do as walls and ceilings are sound. 

We busied ourselves doing mist coats on the landing and large guest bedroom,  even though it’s very rough it looks so much more ‘finished’ than bare plaster!  


I’ve also done a bit of homework on finding somewhere to get the doors dipped, it’s looking likely to cost around £20 each which was a pleasant surprise, we may as well get them all done at once.


The cloakroom got a last coat of paint, it’s now ready and waiting for the photos to go on the wall, followed by towel rail, which will hopefully be done next weekend.

 While hunting round for my bathroom accessories in the attic I finally remembered to hang up the Christmas mistletoe, it apparently brings good luck to a house, I’m not sure it still works if you forget to do it for five months but it’s worth a try, we need all the help we can get! Oh and the bathroom accessories? I found those in the bedroom.  

As the weather was quite nice, I decided I’d sort out the herb pots for half an hour. Five hours later, I’d dug out two bushes, planted more tomatoes, hydrangea & sunflowers, tidied the herbs and rehomed them outside the kitchen door on their own inpromptu wall. Roland if you are reading you better be impressed! 


The whole of the courtyard is now looking good, soon the rose will be flowering as it was the day we first viewed the house. The rest of the garden is going a bit, erm…wild, but one thing at a time…I’m going to turn my chair around and enjoy a glass of wine in the nice bit! 


Ticking Boxes…

We have got quite a lot done this weekend, including a few things of the snagging list…tick!

We had a couple of gas engineers come to quote on fitting the new fire. Normally our quotes are pretty close, but in this instance one was almost double the other…hmm. We ordered a made to measure hearth of black marble, it should be around a week. In preparation for its arrival Ronnie got rid of some of the old bricks from the base of fire and laid a new cement bed.  


Meanwhile, I got on to waxing the fireplace. I used fine wire wool to apply clear beeswax and buffed with the orbital sander. It’s come up a lovely honey colour but needs a lot more work to look it’s best. 

 This image shows the carved roses painted, stripped, waxed and polished. The  polishing has really highlighted the difference in colour of the inlaid wood.  


While the mantel was laid flat I was able to clearly see the makers plaque which first allowed us to discover a little of it’s history. 


I picked a few flowers whilst I was outdoors and tried to avert my eyes from the  rapidly thickening jungle of a garden. 


Oh, and I dug up some mother of petal buttons, about 40mm diameter. I’ll have to use them in a project some time. 


Back indoors, we fitted the chandelier in the cloakroom. This came from the bedroom in my cottage. There has been comments that the light be a little ‘overstated’ for the smallest room in the house, thing is, I like overstated!  We also got the floor sealed at last.


In the kitchen Ronnie made a trim to cover the gaps between the extractor fan and the ceiling, it needs a final coat of paint and masking removed but looks better already. It’s so satisfying concluding jobs like this.


Meanwhile, I sanded the lounge boards again and gave them their final coat of colour. They now need varnishing.  


Lastly I chose wallpaper for the boot room, which is a positive step forward as I was in danger of bankrupting the project with excessive sample ordering…


To help the decision, I roughly visualised what the shortlist might look like… I love the black and white print on the right, but as the wall is going to accommodate our main coat hook, I’m worried it will soon look dirty, so in conclusion, I’m going with the one on the left from Brian Yates…almost probably certainly.


The Great Outdoors…

Inspired by last weekends trip to Oslo, the good weather and some plant donations from Ronnie’s Dad, I spent a few hours in the garden. I’ve cleared about six square meters for the beginning of our vegetable garden… 


Supervised by Dottie Cat, I sectioned off the area with some picket fence from Aldi of all places, £3.99 a section! At least this gives us a defined area to keep weed free. So far we have a fig tree, rhubarb, raspberries, blackberries, horseradish and pumpkins. We have also been given white and black grape vines to plant along the Victorian wall in a few weeks time, which if anything like Ronnies Dad’s grapes will be delicious. While digging the plot I discovered the usual selection of random finds in the soil, including another etching plate, a dinky little bottle, a thimble and what we think might be a button from an old shop till – 6D. I love that numeric typography. 


Later, we had a little wonder around Stroud where we picked up this globe, we’ve been after one for a while and this fits the bill, more retro than antique AND it lights up, classy! 

Back inside I have finally got round to taking a picture of the cubby hole, this used to be a funny little arch in the hallway and now…well, it’s a funny little arch in the kitchen. There’s actually been quite a lot done…plaster removed, DPC fitted, replastering, adjoining wall removal, window fitted, light moved, floor laid, decorating, corbels guilded, sofa varnished and cushions making – thanks Juney! Somewhere comfy for Dottie Cat to relax after all that weeding.


Preparing For Winter…

I’m seriously behind on blogging, where oh where to start with updates…? The garden is a good a place as any, we’ve made the most of the last few rays of Autumn sun…

Firstly Ronnie’s Mum and Dad came over for a weekend and worked their magic on another section of the garden, they transplanted a few of my plants that have been in pots for the last few years into the ground, and they seem to be much healthier for it (the plants, not the parents…or maybe both?!) They also ridded another section of the garden of several feet of weeds, we’ve since put down more plastic in an effort to keep them at bay. The areas that we covered earlier in the year appear to be working well when we’ve peeked. We’ll leave it in place until Spring and hope it works, failing that we’ll have to go nuclear.

We planted pansies in one of the containers left behind by the previous owners.

And finally, we had an outdoor tap fitted, I brought this lovely little bird tap from my old house…it was a gift from Spain…Tweet!