Wednesday, 10 February 2016

All done

I can't really believe it was November. November since I last blogged?! To make up for lost time, here is a very picture-heavy post!

This is what my room looked like before the builders started on it. Goodness knows where everything went, including 5 bicycles!!

They started on 10 November with the drills. Oh, the drills. Drilling out brickwork for the window, and drilling into concrete driveway for the footings.

Then they stopped, for two weeks.  Then there was the hoo-ha about the gas meter people, and whether they could climb through a window or needed to come back in January. That was fun. Then there was another lull. Then they came and knocked holes in the wall

and made a lot of dust, and then the plasterers came who didn't make dust, just drips of pink plaster.

The living room wall was replastered too, which was nice: we have (had) two large recurring  cracks in the living room walls: one called George, and one called Penny, on opposite sides of the room and named after the previous owners. They were hidden by furniture when we viewed the house. I think it's George who's finally been obliterated now :)

Then there was a lull, followed by a mad dash to the finish for the carpenters before we went to France at Christmas. There was a bit of bother about the skip.

And although we were initially quite fond of our skip, the romance soon cooled and we were more than a little relieved when it was collected - albeit it after we had left for our holiday, and we even asked a neighbour to text us to confirm it had gone.

Then there was Christmas, where all the photos looked like our summer photos.

Apart from the wellies.

Then there was the longest lull ever, waiting for the invisible plumber, who has still not even now returned my calls/texts. In the end we asked his brother - also a plumber – to come and attach the radiator, and kindly replace our leaky hot water tank for double the money. And finally, on Friday, the very efficient but equally hard-to-track-down electricians came and finished off my gallery lighting and my cubby-hole lighting strip, and added a couple of mains smoke alarms and a new living room socket while they were about it.

We even called on the neighbours to help - one to help with putting up some of the new shelves

and one neighbour with woodworking capabilities and tools, to cut shapes out of a bit of shelving board so I can use it as a splashback - something I only realised I needed after a little "incident" with the blue Brusho! You can see the board in position here

next to the clever shelves that hang on the electricity meter cupboard and the clip-on baskets hold all those things like soldering irons and heat guns. (The cupboard door is just primed at the moment, but I have plans for it).

But it was exhausting just having "things done" and having to be up-and-about promptly of a morning, just in case an elusive tradesperson should arrive early. And I did have to paint the walls, and go to the land of blue and yellow no fewer than three times. And I've got an RSI in my right hand now - triggered by painting the walls, and exacerbated by lifting heavy boxes of flat-pack with my small hands - I've not enough hand/finger to grip securely and so I've strained the gripping muscles in the back of my hand. And there were a lot of boxes…

And I did have to carry on teaching and preparing work, including doing two exhibitions, all the time my materials and equipment were scattered in plastic boxes all around the house and up in the loft.

But am I pleased with my space? Yes, yes and yes. A thousand yeses. I have a door (albeit a primed not painted door; I haven't got round to that yet) - and yes, the door went in straight, not with the wiggly red line...

but I finally have somewhere I can retreat to other than the bathroom. And I can think. And while I'm still not the most efficient little worker bee, my head is clearer than it has been in years. And I am slowly but surely working my way through the "to do" list. For example, yesterday I was supposed to do all sorts of things with short deadlines, but I chose to do something from my "to do" list that has been on there from I don't remember when: I finally uploaded some pictures and opened my Society6 shop.

Anyway, without further ado, welcome to my studio:

So pleased the little cubbyhole drawers fit in the alcove!

Now the electricians know why I wanted sockets at seemingly random heights

How exciting! The calico is right under the ironing pad

And all those little bits and pieces are in a drawer, released from their plastic boxes

And the fabric stash is within reach of the sewing machine

Needed the spice racks. Don't know why, just did

My reading corner, and massive pin board, and whiteboard for mission control. There was supposed to be a tall bookcase here, but after the plasterers had done their bit I realised we were 10mm under for my planned 4000mm length of wall. But it all worked out for the best, as the whiteboard fits, and when I got the shorter bookcase I realised that two more of them would fit further into the depths of my secret cupboard.

Reading material

Dingle dangles, including the lacy organza bags for the course I'm teaching very very soon at Missenden Abbey.

But where's all the other stuff Isobel? The stuff that has been removed from the office, dining room, living room and loft? Resulting in a chest of drawers, a dresser, two merchant's chests, a blanket box, a massive quilters cupboard, and about a gazillion plastic crates being surplus to requirements?

It's stuffed under here of course! I have two art trolleys, three big storage trolleys, two more bookcases and a tiny bit of floorspace for bags of random stuff.

Can't quite believe we haven't always had this room. You wouldn't know it was new from the outside.

A job very well done indeed! Next up - new front door and living room window and woodburner and decorating the living room, stairs, landing, our room, the office....I think we'll leave it a while until we tackle that lot!