Library Update…

It’s been a while…despite my best intentions, the WordPress App seems to have gremlins, anyone else had problems?

Anyway, there’s a lot to catch up on…none of it very glamorous I’m afraid, but that’s the way it goes.

We’ve been busy in the library preparing for plastering. I’ve been Chief Chimney Restorer, recent duties have included chipping out the old mortar using a chisel attachment on the drill, followed by lots of scrubbing and finally treating the brickwork with acid to clean it up. The basic brick acid process is to wire brush the brick faces to release any loose mortar, then paint on a coat of brick acid which fizzes over the surface dislodging and dissolving mortar (it’s supposed to be diluted, but I use it neat… I’m a busy girl!) Leave the acid on for 15 mins or so and then rinse off with water and a floor brush. Here’s our brickwork before and after treatment…

We then set about chiseling out the damaged bricks at the base of the arch that we uncovered when we removed the old fireplaces. We’re planning to replace the damaged bricks with some we found strewn around the garden so they don’t look too incongruous against the originals. For now, we’ve put a prop in place just in case, we’ve worked too hard for the house to fall down now! 

Next job was to replace the mortar. The mix is made from sand, cement, plasticiser and water, mixed with a paddle mixer. The mix then went into a mortar gun, a simple but genius tool. If we’d had this to grout our kitchen floor it would have saved a boat load of work! 

Run lines of mortar into place & smooth over and, well…that’s about it! I’ve taken out a bit more than I should so that the brick faces protrude slightly, I didn’t want the mortar to look too new & prominent.

The bricks now need another treatment of brick acid to clean them up again and then need sealing, but it’s already looking much better than it did. 

We’ve put plasterboard up above the picture rail to cut down on plastering costs. Quite momentous as we’ve now reached the stage where any brickwork exposed is visible because we want it to be. It doesn’t feel that long since every room was bare brick.

 

The plasterer should be back in the next week or two and should get the room finished over a weekend. We’ll then have to sand the floor. Grim. I’m thinking ahead to the design of the room. We’ll be using my leather sofas from my last house, together with the chair we had reupholstered and the globe we found in Stroud and I’m hoping to throw in Fired Earth’s ‘Carbon Blue’ &  I’m loving this watercolour print fabric from Villa Nova. 

Finally, I’m excited to be part of the Amara Design Awards! If you’d like yo vote for Lansdowne Revisited, pls click the button below…thank you! 

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This Week’s News…

We’ve been beavering away around the house, mainly whitewashing the fresh plaster and filling the ceiling cracks, neither of which make for thrilling blog posts. We’ve started to strip the bedroom fireplace, it was 50/50 whether we bothered or not, as it didn’t look as though stripping would change too much, other than obviously the colour, but after serious envy of this reveal by a fellow blogger, we went for it. Turns out there are masses of paint layers, and somewhere deep, under there is a super-detailed casting…it’s taking an age to restore it though!

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Plastering in the bedroom is done, hurrah! As the original plaster all came off the chimney breast we decided to leave it exposed for a while before we made a decision to re-plaster, after some deliberation, rubber gloves and brick acid it is.

IMG_3478.JPG I’ve also been starting to work though my ‘project list’, this weekend I’ve finished a guest bedroom chair which needed fixing, sanding and polishing…it somehow didn’t look quite special enough so I decided to add a Liberty print, not bad for £10!

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A kitchen, a sofa and a robbery that wasn’t.

Oops, missed a week. We’ve both been in the sick bay with a bug, so progress has been slow… We’re recovered now, so full steam ahead, phew!

We’ve been given this lovely little sofa after eagle-eyed June spotted a neighbour throwing it out… It’s now on my ever-growing list of things to up-cycle. Sweet, isn’t she?

20140311-214721.jpg Last Saturday Ronnie and I ventured into the village for some breakfast, when we returned the workmen mentioned Ronnie’s friend had been round to borrow his electrical saw from the shed, we’d not been expecting anyone so after a quick ring round, we decided that the saw had been stolen by an opportunist, which was pretty much what we deserved for leaving the shed open with valuables inside. Oh well.
The kitchen fitting is almost, very nearly complete. It took the fitter quite a lot longer than he anticipated but we’re really pleased with the results so far.

20140316-181215.jpg These pictures show where the two walls have come down, the first just behind the new breakfast bar, the second came off the yellow wall in the background. The stained glass window I bought will drop into that yellow wall one if these days!

20140316-181228.jpg The breakfast bar has achieved the divide we wanted between kitchen and dining areas, we still need to get the extraction hood fitted. I’m still upset I missed out on those old school stools on Ebay, they would have been perfect! The exposed brick wall can be seen in this picture too, sooooo many hours of scrubbing, but it’s looking good!

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20140316-182639.jpg The oven and microwave sit just got the right of the hob.

20140316-183507.jpg The corner by the pantry has worked out ok, and now houses the fridge freezer and some cupboards, next weekend I plan to sort out the cupboard doors…new hardware, beading and a good few coats of paint. Dottie cat has been ‘helping’ in the kitchen by sitting in the box of handles, refusing to move.

20140316-185000.jpg Finally for this week, the ‘stolen’ saw was returned. A red faced couple knocked at the door and basically they’d arranged to borrow some tools from a friend of a friend and gone to the wrong house, they only realised when they returned it! All’s well that ends well, they bought us some wine and chocolate to apologise, and the saw made a lovely job of their new kitchen floor!