Saturday, November 08, 2008

My favourite garden...ever!

Sculptor Barbara Hepworth's garden in St Ives, Cornwall. I want one!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Lookin' good!

There have been several weeks of heavy DIY since the builder left, mostly performed by hubby. The cottage has been painted , prinked and preened. Every room had to be completely redecorated because of the renovation project and now only oddments remain to be done, mostly outside. Even the front door has had a new coat of shiny black paint and I was out there this morning applying Brasso to the brass letterbox and lock.

Here's our sitting room before work started:

And after:

Pictures, long stored, have started to go on the walls again. It's looking more homely at last. Here's a portrait of me done in the 70's by my friend and flatmate Lynda, as part of a project when we were at art school. It's 20"x16" and it's now on show in my stairwell at home. I love it!

It's not all been plain sailing, not by a long chalk. For instance, the little original pine plank door under the stairs suddenly broke a hinge, just a few days ago. Unfortunately we discovered that a previous owner had embedded the hinge screw plate into the door jamb wood somehow, making it impossible to unscrew......and after a lot of head scratching (and cursing), hubby had to part saw and part wrench the broken remains out of the doorjamb so that the new hinge could be attached. It meant repairing and repainting that patch...good job we've kept the pots just in case!

Hey least things are getting back to normal now and one last push tidying up the drive and garden will see us ready to go on the market. At possibly the worst time for 20 years! Sigh..................

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Busy Times

It seems a long time since my last post, but much has kept us at Scribbly Cottage busy. The house renovations have accelerated with Neil the builder working hard to tidy the upstairs, skimming walls and putting in new floors and a built-in wardrobe. One room was done while we were away for a week in Cornwall, so we missed the dust and noise. It took me a chaotic two days just before the holiday to scrape off the vile woodchip wallpaper in that room though. Then on our return we discovered a lot more wallpaper in the stairwell/landing/hall areas, hiding under layers of paint and it all had to come off! That was when we caved in and bought a wallpaper stripper! That's ongoing, while Neil works his magic on our bedroom. We're having a big fitted wardrobe!
Our elderly 1940's bedroom furniture, which was good and solid I would have liked to retain and use elsewhere, but apart from a chest of drawers which I've pinched for my studio, the rest has been put on Freecycle as we have no more space, and found new homes. Chaos reigns generally upstairs with the furniture and clothes all over the place, then a room is finished and it's musical chairs...clearing stuff out of the next room and distributing everything between the other rooms. Hubby and I are sleeping in the sitting room and I'm working on the dining room table. There's not a clear surface in the house! Still, it'll be worth the aggro in the end I hope.

Our week in Cornwall was variable weather-wise but the water was freezing! I went into the sea in my wetsuit but without my wetsuit boots and within the hour I'd lost touch with my feet!

The boys were well wrapped up, though!
More photos soon!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Trees with texture

The last few days have been extremely windy and Charlie and I have had to pick our walkies times very carefully. Being a rather small terrier he's been in danger of flying off, although being close to the ground obviously helped him stay paws on ground. It hasn't prevented us from experiencing eye-wateringly cold horizontal blasts, unfortunately, but one day I managed to take the camera with me as I'd found a different route and some interesting trees.

The one above looks very like a dryad's bottom, doesn't it?

The other is a dear little house for Mrs Tiggywinkle to curl up in with a good book. It only needs a shiny red front door and a little window.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Dining room decorated (more or less)

Because a couple of expected jobs were delayed by a few days, I've felt obliged to get on and paint the dining room walls at last. It's the biggest room in the cottage and the bare plaster sucked the paint off my brush almost before I touched the walls! It needed at least two coats and took me several full days of slog. I ached abominably after each session; am I feeling my age at last? I really must get back to doing yoga!

Then hubby offered to put up the curtain rail and we ran into problems. Drilling into the centre part above the French door he hit a very hard bit, which our elderly drill wouldn't penetrate. The screw hole wasn't deep enough to hold the bracket and despite re-siting slightly it remained the same. Eventually, after a couple of frustrating hours during which we cursed DIY and homestyle shows generally and hubby decided to put a shorter screw in the offending top part of the bracket (after a bit of a Polyfilla job on the now-too big hole) and this jolly wheeze did the trick. So curtain bracket and pole are now securely ensconced above said French door. Hooray!

Finally it's pretty much done. I just want to at some point give the doors another coat of gloss and paint the new pipe under the radiator, but then that's it. Phew!

Next job...the kitchen! (But that's much smaller.)

I now have a small birthday portrait/cartoon to do so that'll keep me away from the paintpots for a day or two. But I'll have to pick up the brushes and do more soon...sigh...

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Wobbly Scribbly Cottage!

What a night here at Scribbly Cottage! There we were at about 1am, asleep, when we became aware of a deep rumbling and heavy vibration in the house. We thought as we woke that it was just a heavy lorry rumbling past the house, as they often do...but the noise got much louder and the shaking much worse. It lasted about 10 seconds, then stopped. Deadly silence. I snapped the bedside light on, must have looked worried because hubby kept asking if I was ok. We guessed it must have been an earthquake. Hubby has experienced a smaller one, years ago in Spain.

Son woke up too, he's a teenager, so it must have been loud! We all took a long time to get back to sleep, so the aftershock was less noticed as we were fitfully dozing again. All I really noticed was a little vibration in the bed and a door downstairs rattled. I didn't realise it was an aftershock until morning, when we listened to the news.

When I spoke to my Mum in the next village, she said she had been awake and sitting on the bed edge with the light on. She said she saw the room RIPPLE! Weird!

I love stuff like this. It's a bit scary when it happens, but I like to know that nature's still in charge.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Spring is just around the corner!

February already...almost March, in fact! I've not had my blogging head on for a while, a mixture of being too busy/ too lazy. Never mind.

I put seed and nuts in feeders out for the birds, but had to stop putting food on the bird table, because a rat kept climbing up and dining there in style. So one morning last week I glanced out of the window and there was a pheasant on top of the bird table! And it was happily nibbling at the feeder it could now reach! I had to take a photo, it had to be through the glass though, as opening the door would have frightened it off.

My other photo is of my first batch of propogating seeds, on my studio window. I have lettuce coming through, along with some onions and a few flowers that will be planted amongst the veggies. I've been inspired by Geoff Hamilton's Ornamental Vegetable Garden dvd, which I bought recently. The veg patch at the end of the garden was dug before Christmas, but needed weeding again before planting, so that's what I'm gradually doing. Already I have a patch of garlic in and another cleared area ready for some early salad crops. Oh, and lots of old plastic drinks bottles sawn off and ready for duty as individual mini-greenhouses! I'll take photos as I go along.