Wednesday 29 February 2012

It's all white.........

It's all white.....if you're Jonathon Ross you'll read this slightly differently!!

Seriously, we are painting everything white at the moment, it's the cheapest paint there is, even the 'big' names work out relatively cheap if you buy big enough tins, and they do seem to have greater covering powers.  So we've gone for quality over cheapness this time.

It is having the desired effect and with each room painted the bungalow is taking on a brighter hue.  We are also relacing all their turkish style punched metal light fittings with simple centre lights, shades and brighter long life energy efficient bulbs.  This hopefully will be our home for at least the next three years while we save like mad, so spending carefully and sensibly now will make the job we are doing last.

I'm even being very good and taking care of my paint brushes, I used to buy the cheapest and throw them away at the end of a days painting, not frugal and certainly not good for the environment.  Now I carefully clean them out using white spirits only for the really stubborn paint, a spot of detergent usually does a brilliant job of cleaning both handles ,bristles and rollers .

Because all our surfaces are white and washable it should be relatively easy to wipe down after the dogs and cats have done their usual tricks of brushing against walls and wagging muddy tails just in the wrong spot.  When wiping down no longer has the desired cleaning effect a quick touch up with saved paint will freshen up areas.

I will say I thought that all white surfaces might look a bit stark, like a minimilist house in some of the interior magazines you see, but it seems to be just fresh and calming at the moment.   Adding even a little bit of colour, like the fireplace in the kitchen, makes the whiteness look even more crisp and we have decided that the 'green' of the fireplace will be our signature colour for this home, with little touches of it popping up in each room on picture frames, painted chairs and in some of the soft furnishings.


We can almost see this......the finishing line now. 

Once I have finished on this post I am doing the woodwork in the Hall, then we have just the Living Room to do, and guess what colour that will be......NOPE sorry it's not going to be white.... that was a bit cruel after an all white post...sorry couldn't resist!

We have half a tin of Cookie Dough paint which we will mix with whatever white silk emulsion we have left and it should turn out a nice shade of biscuity cream, it was paint we bought and used in diluted form for all the rooms at Jointers Farm and we thought it would be a nice touch to bring a little bit of our old home in our new home.

Sue xx

All photos courtesy of Google camera is at the other house!!

Monday 27 February 2012

It's going well.....

It's really going so well at the new place at the moment, over the weekend Lovely Hubby managed to finish off the spare bedroom while I was in Manchester with my folks, and then on Sunday when I was back we did all the finishing touches to it, cleaned up, and then......

... I moved all the boxes from the living room into it and completely cluttered it up!!  Oh well, it's only temporary and it is the Spare Room,. once we're in it will be a calm and uncluttered oasis for visitors.

I did have second thoughts about all the 'stuff' on the mantlepiece and we are left with this, much simpler and more pleasing on the eye.  A couple of the bits and pieces that were on there are now gracing my EBay pages, time to start making money again for my £2012 in 2012 Challenge.

One of the first things to go on the wall is this sign, something I bought ages ago on a lovely day out with LH and fortuitously a perfect match to the green of the fireplace.

Next we are finishing off the paintwork in the Hall and then there is just the Living Room to do and then it's time for us to up sticks and actually move in. 

 Last Friday the tractor and all it's attachments was picked up by a huge low-loader and delivered to the new house, so back on the farm it's looking very sparse, I think I'll take the camera home with me and start snapping away at all the space there.

Oh well back to my mop, it's a cleaning up day today ready for painting the woodwork in the hall on Wednesday when I'm back here.

Sue xx

Thursday 23 February 2012

Bits and Pieces, Clutter and Stuff

Bits and pieces, clutter and I'm unpacking I'm having second thoughts about lots of the things I have.  Yes, they are pretty, true some have memories attached, but after living at the other house with so little for the last few weeks I'm appreciating more and more the beauty and calming effect of space and clear surfaces. 

Even looking at this photo it appears 'wrong', does anyone out there know what I mean?  What would you take away from the mantlepiece?

I think the only answer is to live with them for a while and then come the car boot season, gently and gradually whittle things down until I reach a happy state of mind with the quantity and quality of the 'things' we own.  One thing is for sure next time we move (in around 3 years hopefully) I want to take even less with us.

One thing I have bought to use at this new house is a Remoska, a neat little one pot oven that can cook all sorts of things so much cheaper than continually putting on the main electricity eating oven.  I see lots of experimenting coming up over the first few weeks at this house.

Oooh I'm going to miss my Aga!!

Sue xx

Wednesday 22 February 2012

A Splash of Colour

Before painting the fireplace in the kitchen was patchy and quite unappealing.

After a coat of paint it did look much better and fresher, but it needed some colour and of course it needed my favourite colour......

... you can't beat a bit of green!

Now it's all finished, with a quick coat of white emulsion behind the central heating boiler, it's just waiting for a good clean up when the paint is dry and then that is the kitchen almost finished.

In my minds eye I can already see Jessie's lovely Christmas Cacti sat on top of the boiler, pretty knick knacks on the mantlepiece and a big clock on the wall.

We've had a brilliant long weekend of work and moving things to the new place.  While my big, strong son was here we made full use of his truckers muscles and know-how with lifting, by getting lots of awkward and heavy things to the house.  Each day the large animal trailer and the back of the truck was full to bursting with indoor and outdoor stuff.  Once the unloading was complete they cracked on with the shed and then managed to build two new worm beds as well. 

It's so satisfying to see it all coming together.  The dogs and cats are completely baffled by our new minimal lifestyle at home, the large farmhouse table and chairs have been sold and the money put towards a smaller table for the bungalow so they can tear round and round the kitchen, the big squashy sofa has travelled to the bungalow too, so there is plenty of room in the living room too for wacky races doggy style.

Caldwell, with Little Lucy, Poppy and Daisy (when they were tiny) and his 3 sons.  Not many cockerels will tolerate their male offspring staying in the flock, but Caldwell was a special boy and lived in peace ruling his roost with gentle authority.

Some sad news while we were at the house one day last week, nasty Mr Fox managed to get at the chickens at home and my brave boys (Caldwell and his sons) died saving their wives. Brave, brave little Lavender Pekin Bantams.

Caldwell, the Lavender Pekin Bantam. RIP

We have decided that in future any cockerel we end up with accidently (we no longer breed on purpose) will be named Caldwell after this truly lovely boy.

Now we just have four little Lavender Pekin Bantams, Alice, Little Lucy and her daughters Poppy and Daisy, luckily they get on really well with the big laying girls (of whom we have only eight Hylines and Lofty, the Light Sussex left) and are happy to cuddle up together at night in the 'big girls' house.

So much we're much depleted in chicken numbers at the moment, something we will rectify after the move.

So happy days and sad days, the story of our life here on the farm (s).

Sue xx

Monday 20 February 2012

....and sometimes it's the big ones!!

What does every man need (well in their opinion!!)....... a shed.

Lovely Hubby's pride and joy has been made to order, picked up by him and my brilliantly handy son from near Hastings,

and then erected over the course of the weekend, in all weathers.

They worked hard, sustained injuries, a whole panel fell on LH in high winds, luckily an unimportant bit of him took the full force.....his head!!   After a cup of tea he resumed work with only a red patch on his head and a HUGE bruise growing steadily by the hour on his upper arm, after all when your new toy is here you have to assemble it fully no matter what!

Working in tandem to get the roof on yesterday.....

....occasionally getting distracted by low flying aircraft and birds, but now it's almost complete, just final alterations needed to the doors and the glass needs to be trimmed as it's 2mm too big for the window gap, how annoying when you want to play with your new toy!

So it's been all hands on deck this weekend with all three of us doing little things, big things and taking just a little bit of time to enjoy ourselves, with a well earned meal out last night at our favourite eatery.

Now I'm painting the fireplace in the kitchen in my favourite shade of green paint, luckily LH loves it too ..... in fact he loves it so much he's just had 10 litres of the same shade mixed to paint his new Man Shed.

Sue xx

Sunday 19 February 2012

Sometimes it's the little improvements........

Sometimes it's the little improvements that make a place feel like home.

Like lining the shelves of the freshly painted built-in cupboard in the kitchen with some left over oilcloth from my spotty tablecloth, and some pretty wallpaper bought for 10p a roll at last Summers car boot sale, and then unpacking some of my kitcheny things and seeing them back and ready for action.

Or cleaning out the fridge/freezer to get rid of the smell of spices and fish (not a nice combo),

... and seeing it gleaming and smelling fresh, ready for use.

Or unpacking lots of books and finding that soooooo many of them fit on the shelves in the Office/Utility room that it will free up some of our own shelves for other uses.

And sometimes it's the bigger things.......... more of that tomorrow!!

Sue xx

Thursday 16 February 2012

Wading through the boxes

Painting has slowed down a bit this week with unpacking and sorting being the order of the day instead, we were wading through the boxes and boxes of stuff in the front room and we need to make space for more decorating over the weekend.  It's a nice feeling to see things that were packed away weeks ago, especially my books, I miss my books when we are apart !!

In a break whilst walking the dogs outside for some fresh air I decided to explore the little rickety old shed next to my greenhouse, it will be used for storing all the paraphernalia involved with planting and potting up to keep the greenhouse purely for growing so I can make the maximum use of the space.

It has this wonderful old wallpaper on one of the walls, how lovely that someone loved their shed enough way back in the 50s to wallpaper the inside, and how even more lovely that no-one since has peeled the paper off, it's staying for sure, a lovely reminder of gardeners long gone.

Oh well, back to work, another box of books is calling me from the front room.

Sue xx

Monday 13 February 2012

Busy, busy weekend

This weekend we have achieved  a lot.   I zoomed up the motorway on Friday to spend a day and night with my Mum and Dad,  (Dad is still very poorly and I'm afraid he has to suffer visits from me on a regular basis at the moment, something he does with his usual good humour!) while I was there Lovely Hubby had a day on his own at the house shifting lots of heavy stuff and making a good start on the bedroom painting.  I got back on Saturday afternoon and we had a relaxing evening together, before loading up the truck ready for Sunday morning and a full day of painting in both the bedroom and kitchen.

Although the bedroom looks okay the pale blue walls were cold to look at, very grubby and not really to our taste, we had promised to keep the wallpaper (this was our landlords little girls room and their Grandad had papered it for them, so we assured them it would stay and be carefully painted around).  We did, however, pick off all the butterfly and fairy stickers that covered the blue walls and also had been added to the wallpaper, and sorry girls, but the luminous stars that used to adorn the ceiling are no more!!

So with the wallpaper carefully masked off it was out with the fresh white paint.  With LH armed (and very dangerous) with his emulsion roller, and me armed (rather messily....I do drip!!) with my Satinwood and brush we followed each other from room to room and managed to almost finish both rooms.

Now it's looking crisp and fresh, and this morning I just have to carefully peel off the masking tape from the floor and have a quick tidy up, and then I can move on to this.......

.... the cupboard next to the fireplace in the kitchen.  This is how it looked when we took over the house.

Now I've painted the outside with white satinwood paint....

...painted the wall at the back with emulsion and now it just needs its shelves covered in paper, I have a roll of pretty wallpaper that I got from a car boot sale last Summer that will do just fine.  Then this cuboard will be used to store all my jam pans and things that go in the kitchen that don't get used on a day to day basis, thus leaving room in my other kitchen cupboards for things I need to hand.

I did think of using it as a larder but as it will be situated behind our dining table it will not be as easy to get to, as frequently as I can be found rooting away in food cupboards.

But first I'm doing this.....drinking coffee, eating a couple of posh biscuits from our FM Christmas Hamper and Blogging......just in case you think my kitchen is already very tidy....

... if I pull back the camera angle slightly you will see it is still a real decoraters kitchen!!

Hopefully I'll be back in the next day or so with a shot of the finished and filled cupboard.

Sue xx

Thursday 9 February 2012

The First Post from the New Place

Well we've not moved in yet, that will be in a couple of weeks, but we are here and busy decorating most days.

Let me show you what we've been up to this week.

This room is an added part of the bungalow round the back, we've decided to use it as our office and utility room (that's mainly because the washer/dryer is situated here).  We've cleaned it up and painted everything white.

Ten windows to go round with masking tape and paint, no wonder we decided to get it out of the way first, my aching arm is testimony to the effort put in.  But now it's gleaming and sparkling white.

After a quick clean of the floor, aided and abetted by a certain little doggy that just had to rush in and kiss daddy....

... pose for the camera guys.

I put up the curtains and Lovely Hubby was able to connect us to the internet so Blogging could recommence.  We have our priorities here you know!!

One house that needs no decorating, thank goodness, this lovely little tree house just across from the office window. 

Inside there are little kitchen units ... 

... and a gorgeous little armchair and two patchwork pouffes on the upper floor to make the most of the lovely view.

  Underneath there are a couple of hammock seats, and to the right a normal swing and a larger bench swing  We could rent it out to family and friends, any one have to be under four foot to fully appreciate it!!

Back soon with more news and pictures, now I'm off to wield my paintbrush again before my arm seizes up completely.

Have a lovely weekend.

Sue xx