Thursday, 28 April 2016

Just brushing up on an old hobby!

Evening all.  This may give you a clue as to what I've been doing for the last two days.  I felt I needed a break from house building and also had the urge to pick up a paintbrush.   I checked my watercolours and sadly a few had dried out, so it was off to Hobbycraft, and the pet shop which is just next door.    I got Harvey some different flavours of Felix,  and then crossed my fingers that he'd like them.   In Hobbycraft I got a bargain in the form of this little watercolour pocket case, it was half price.   It is made by Winsor and Newton, so it is good quality.

I've not painted for some time, so I needed to do some practising.   I doodled away with this picture,  I'm quite pleased with the sky,  and the water,  just one of the mountains, the far one is way too dark.  But I didn't think it bad for a first effort after such a long break. 

I just did some washes after that, and practised more on my skies.  I found a few videos on YouTube to follow over the next couple of days,  stuff I've not been brave enough to try before such as a still life.  

The little paint box is lovely and the colours are really rich,  these won't dry out like the tubes did.   Plus if I ever get up the courage to paint outside then it will be ideal. 

And here he is, Himself,  snoozing on the radiator shelf yesterday.  This is where I find him in the morning,  which is when the room gets all the sun so he is in heaven. 

Sadly something has spooked him, no idea what.  Usually he can't wait to go out in the morning,  but for the last few days he's not been fussed, in fact he is very reluctant to venture outside during the day.  He's okay in the evening,  so whatever has scared him has happened in the morning.   He also had the glums, wouldn't touch any of his sweets, which is very unusual as he is always keen to savour his treats.   He seems a little more like himself today, but still a not keen to go out during the daytime.  

And what about this weather?   Last night I looked out of the window and the world had turned white!     Today it was horrid, very cold, very wet and windy.   I went as far as the supermarket to get some bread and milk, plus a bottle of wine, the essentials!   

I was also relieved to hear that doctors are saying that e-cigs are a good way to quit smoking, and that smokers should be encourage to switch.   Will that shut the moaners up?     I don't agree that they should be available on prescription, if you can afford to smoke you can afford to go buy your own e-cig.  But it is good to know that doctors are supportive, so will others also show the same support? 

All from me tonight,   who knows what I'll be doing tomorrow,  painting or tiling a tiny roof... depends on how I feel.  

Monday, 25 April 2016

Monday blues..

Hi, hope you've had a good day.  I thought I'd start with my latest work of art - NOT!   Nooo, it is my palette,  or small plate, well why waste money on those plastic things?   This tells the story of what paint went on what house, the terracotta was Daffodil,  the grey bits for the roof, oh and a bit of green,  plus burnt umber and a dash of paynes grey.  Easy to clean as it all just peels off, then it gets a quick wipe before being covered in the next lot of paint.    The plate will be having a rest for a couple of days while I make roof tiles,  and also paper the inside of the roof. 

This was were I got up to at the end of play yesterday.   The windows had been glazed and fitted,  a bit more work had been done to the render and brickwork.  I painted the porch,  then roughed up the brickwork a bit more.  Next I fitted a step... then it all stopped for tea!  Actually it has been a stop start weekend as my back has been giving me gip, and without the ibuprofen the pain is much worse.  So that means I have to alternate between sitting, standing, lying down and moving.

So let's move on to what I did today.  I dabbed black soot on to the render, and the brickwork.  I finished off the porch,  gave it a few coats of paint,  then gave it the black soot treatment.  I tiled the small roof, and then painted it.  Once everything was dry it was fixed into place, porch first, then roof and then the fancy bit, last was the step which had been suitably scuffed and distressed.   The door just requires its handle.

I gave the side and back walls another coat of paint.  Yesterday I just sanded back the join between the two lots of render, I felt it was a bit noticeable.   I used some black soot on the bricks and render.  There will be a lean to attached to this side of the house. 

The last pic for today.  Just showing the front, now with its 'pin' in place,  and finally the distress work is showing up.  The roof is just held in place by some tape.   Looks pretty good so far?   I think I am improving on the exterior wall work,  my first attempt at render wasn't good, didn't use enough PVA, so it was patchy.  And for the very first house I used sandpaper, mind you that did work.   So tomorrow it is back to roof tiles,  measuring and snipping,  but having seen the weather forecast I think it will be best to stay indoors. 

We've also had some fun and games elsewhere in the neighbourhood.  If you've seen the news then you may know that a demolition firm tried to blow up two tower blocks on Sunday, only it didn't work, both blocks remained standing until one eventually fell down some two hours later.  The other however, refused to fall down.  They tried again today...  same result, tower block is still standing!   They must have built them very well back in the seventies.  

Harvey has the sulks,  he's realised that our new neighbour has two cats.  One of them got out of the flat today, she wanted to keep them in for a few days. Anyway Harvey has picked up the scent, and is very nervous,  he refused to go out for a while until I went outside with him, what a wimp.  He's now finally dared to go out by himself. 

I need to go rest my back,  think I may need to ask my GP for some stronger painkillers.  I've been trying not to use anything stronger,  but I fear I might just have to give in.  This just isn't funny.   Nor is the weather,  where did spring go?    Back tomorrow...  take care

Saturday, 23 April 2016

All mixed up

Evening, hope you've all had a lovely day.  We've had sunshine here, but it is starting to get colder. 

Today it was time to start applying the render, and do some painting.   I just about had enough sand for the render, but I definitely need to go and get more.   I left it all to dry and cooked dinner...  I was doing a chicken pasta dish and wanted to leave the sauce to sit for a few hours.  Harvey was also happy as he got some fresh chicken!

Then it was time for lunch and to tackle the crossword,   after suffering brain freeze I decided to start painting the render.  That was the easy bit, sloshed on a bit of white, and a bit of grey.  That was left to dry while I had a cuppa and wondered if it would be wise to watch the FA cup semi final...   I decided that I may as well.  Then I returned to the painting, this time to pick out the brick work.   On a palette I put a splodge of burnt umber, raw umber, paynes grey and white, then mixed it up.  With a very fine paint brush I began to pick out the bricks. 

It is all meant to look rough, which is just as well.  With the render it is best to put on a thick layer of PVA,  this allows the sand to settle into it, and you get lumpy bits.  I liked how the brick work was rough,  so it looked as if the render really had become worn away, or chipped off over time through frost or water.   I also changed my mind about the porch and decided to use the brick mask on it, rather than use the render. 

This is the side wall,  well you can sort of tell by the pointy bit in the middle!   The bricks need more paint, need to be toned down a little.  And I need to get rid of those small stones,  thought they'd be okay, but they're not.  The render is duller than in the pic,  my camera does a very good job of improving things. 

That was as far as I got.  It was time to brave watching the semi final,  I just hoped we wouldn't disgrace ourselves too much.   It almost got off to a good start when Everton nearly scored, but the shot missed...  and then we rarely left our own half, well we did but without any real purpose.   Of course the inevitable happened and Man U scored, I nearly gave up at that point.  But I continued watching, we missed a penalty, then we scored,  a very cynical foul brought down Barkley as he was on his way to the box,  we made nothing of the free kick and Man U scored again, game over.  Felt sorry for the fans,  I knew a few who'd travelled down,  the trip wasn't cheap, so they deserved something better than what they saw.  Time for a new manager, please,  I never had any faith in Martinez,  he's just not good enough.   So a sad end to the day.  

I did have plans for a spot of gardening, nothing too strenuous, just a bit of light pruning but I was just way too sore this morning.  I'm having to take a break from the ibuprofen, I started to get stomach pains,  so I'll have to go with for a few days, that means I'm going to be very sore and very stiff.  Everything hurt this morning,  I stood under the shower, that helped a little, as did sitting in the sunshine. 

My new neighbour moved in, well sort of, she has moved some of her furniture but will move in properly tomorrow.  She also has two cats, so it will be interesting to see how Harvey reacts!  He wasn't too happy with all the banging,  well he was trying to snooze. 

All for tonight,  more painting tomorrow,  and watch all those mad people running 26 miles - why would you do that?

Friday, 22 April 2016

The loss of a comic genius and a spot of wallpapering

This was such a shock,  and so hard to take in.  I feel both lucky, and privileged to have seen her show 'Victoria Wood Live' at the Empire.   I went with mum,  it was a birthday treat for us both.  We were both crying with laughter,   in fact we laughed so much that it hurt.  It was a brilliant and funny night,  the happiness level in the Empire was off the scale.   As we left, mum spotted Victoria leaving by the stage door, so she shouted 'thank you' and Victoria waved back.  Last night I watched an old tribute to her,  I laughed but also felt like crying.  She was so talented,  everything she did was funny.  There is a lot of her stuff on Youtube, so if you feel like reminiscing just go there, or head to Amazon and treat yourself to some DVDs. 

It was a bit difficult to focus on much, but I managed to wallpaper Purbeck Cottage.  If only wallpapering in real life was this easy!   This cottage is little bigger than Daffodil Cottage, and it has a proper porch!  

I have put down some carpet in the larger of the two bedrooms, and some parquet flooring that was left over from the school.   The carpet is only felt,  no idea why I had any, must have been for a project in the dim and distant past.

I just put floorboards downstairs,  and some nice, stripey wallpaper.  I wouldn't mind that in a larger roll!  

Last pic, and no, I've not lost the plot, well I have... but not with the cottage.  The part brickwork is deliberate.  I'm trying a different type of finish to the exterior of the cottage.  I've drawn round where the porch will be, don't want any render on that bit.  I'll tape that off with some masking tape.  Once the molding paste is dry then I can get going with the sand and PVA.  I also need to get some sand, good job there is a whole beach full just five minutes away.  I'll pop down tomorrow and get a bag full. 

I managed to have a lie in today, for the last two days I've had to be up early.  On Wednesday I had some chap testing for asbestos, not as grim as it sounds,  the flats were built back in the 70s, so there is some of the stuff in them, not the nasty stuff.    Then yesterday it was an electrician who had to test all the circuits and sockets.    Of course both came early, so although I was up I wasn't dressed...  still enjoying my breakfast cuppa!   Typical, had I been dressed then neither would have come till the afternoon, so a case of Murphy's Law, or is it Sod's Law?   Whatever. 

Well that's me for tonight,  more tomorrow.

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

And that was Daffodil Cottage

What a glorious day,  sunshine pretty much from the start, just a few clouds which didn't last long. My hair is now shorn,   so I look a little more human, or at least respectable.   I sat in a sunny spot and enjoyed a cup of coffee after my haircut, then headed home - had to, needed to take some pain relief.   So to the pic. 

Fairly obvious, the roof, pre painting, which I should have put up on yesterday's blog.  The roof has now been suitably made to look older and grottier.

And here she is, Daffodil Cottage.  Yes I did think of painting the door and windows, yellow, but then decided against it.  I changed the colour of the step,  and then made it look mucky.  I like the brick work, the raw and burnt umber mix worked nicely.   It did need another coat, as did the roof, but it didn't take long.  The fiddly bit was the chimney, trying to use the mask on such a small object is tricky,   but then I'm not after perfection. These houses have to look 'old',  so battered bricks work best.  

Here's a close up of the front,   you can't even see the join in the brick work!  I remembered the ridge tiles for the porch, the front step could do with a tiny bit of sanding, just in the middle.

Last pic, different view of the house, and she is all done. She just has to wait for her friends.   One of which arrived today, Purbeck Cottage, which is the last one in the row.   I did a little bit of prepping, inbetween dealing with delivery men, and the postie not so thoughtfully shoving someone else's post through my letter box, the second time he's done that.  The post is for my old neighbour, who has moved but who has yet to inform the post office of his new address.  Most of it was junk mail, but there was one that wasn't even for him!  Luckily that mystery got solved when a delivery man asked me to take in a parcel for a neighbour, whose last name I don't know, but guess what, the name on the parcel matched the name on the letter - bingo!   I put the junk mail back in the post box...  it can keep going round in circles.

I'm stuck in for the next two days, have to wait in for workmen.   Typical that it has to be when the weather is fairly decent, and is also warming up.   Though it is that crazy time of year when you aren't sure what to wear,  I mean is there such a thing as spring clothes?    

I'll sign off now,  need a cuppa.  

Monday, 18 April 2016

Daffodil Cottage

Blog take two...  I did start this last night but,  more on that later, maybe. 

Evening all,  shame today has been so grey and cold, yesterday we had lovely sunshine.  I sat by my craft desk and soaked up the rays, while Harvey snoozed away on my bed.  He and I have had a few cuddles today,  he's being a real softy at the moment and eating his food. 

So, we have the front of house, sorry, the house front.  I began the painting yesterday, mix of raw umber, burnt umber, touch of payne's grey and sap green, then you slap it on any old how and it comes out like this.   I gave the front a step to add a bit more support. 

Best have a quick peek inside.  Must get the faux stair case, and chimney breasts.   The floors still need a sweep,  maybe a mop.  Plus the roof needs to be tiled,  chimney needs a few bricks... aside from that it's nearly finished.

A fast forward,  front painted, windows finished and fixed into place, ditto the front door.    Then I realised that I'd forgotten the window ledges... doh!    At least they were in the bag,  I've learnt my lesson about leaving bits of the project I'm building laying around, now they stay safely stored in the bag, which in turn stays on the craft desk.  Twice yesterday I managed to forget where I'd left the brick mask.  I was not having a good day, in fact I'd not had a good weekend. 

Last pic,  and to prove that the house wasn't finished.  I still had half a wall to do with the brick mask, plus the chimney, and to change the colour of the front step.  I remembered how the mum's in our street, when I was little, used to scrub their steps and that most were white, or off grey, so I'll change the colour tomorrow. 

I ordered my second Memory Lane project today, that will be it for this month.   Well I checked the bank account, and things were better than I thought due to some thriftiness on my part,  plus the Memory Lane projects aren't too expensive. 

As I said at the start this is blog take two.  I began last night,  I wasn't feeling well and really I should have just taken myself off to be, but I'd also been feeling a bit panicky so I thought maybe if I blogged I'd take my mind off whatever was worrying me.  Mind you, it would have helped if I'd actually known what was worrying me, cos I didn't have a clue.  One minute I felt okay, next I just felt the panic starting.  I had been on skype, chatting to a friend,  I had to stop as I really couldn't continue.  It was only today that I worked out what had happened,  it is my silly 'fatigue' illness.  I'd started with a sore throat on Friday evening, no idea why, it lasted till lunch time Saturday and then eased off.  This is how this fatigue thing starts,  with a sore throat, then I feel really tired, and I mean 'really' tired, and if I'm not careful I can become overtired, which is what happened last night.  It doesn't take a lot,  I'd not done much, a little ironing,  washed up, that was about it.  On Saturday I went to the high street,  just went to a charity shop and then newsagent, then I came home.  So I hadn't exerted myself, but that is all it takes when this fatigue thing kicks in.   I've been very tired today,  and I've not done a thing.

Tomorrow I'm getting my hair cut,  been meaning to have it cut for a couple of weeks but just haven't felt like it.  After that it will be back to Daffodil Cottage,  and to put the roof tiles on, finish the painting and give those floors a sweep. 

Now off for a cuppa.   Have a lovely week.

Friday, 15 April 2016

A new project

Here's my next project, Daffodil Cottage.  This photo is from the PP website, isn't it cute?   It is part of Memory Lane,  which is made up of six properties and which I hope to complete this year. 

Yesterday was all about the prep work, which is boring but necessary.   I was also choosing wallpaper, and flooring.  I really must have a go at making my own,  in quarter scale that is. I did make a lot of backgrounds for cards and scrapbooking at one point, it was easy,  get a pattern, then copy and paste.  At the moment I'm looking for a ridge pattern, for the roof of the cottage,  I've found a few already, next task is to size it properly.  I have never been good at maths,  I loathed it at school, none of it ever made sense, as for algebra, what do I care what 'x' is! 

Back to more sensible things.   Here are the two floors and the front and back walls.  You can't really see the upper ground floor wallpaper, but trust me, it is a pretty paper.   I chose a tile pattern for the upper floor, and floorboards for the ground floor.  Still need to print out the rug.  At this point I still needed to cut out the windows and doors in the front wall, was waiting for the paper to dry completely.    I gave both floors the usual two coats of glossy mod podge, and remembered not to take the flooring all the way to the edge, cos if I had then that sticky out bit wouldn't have fitted in the slot!

The two sides and the front wall, now with the windows and door apertures cut out.   They look very neat and tidy,  I do sometimes rush things,  which I'm trying not to do.  It was the same when I was making cards, I'd get impatient and of course I'd end up making mistakes.   So I'm determined to take my time and get things right. 

And finally, windows and doors, all different colours.  A bit confusing, but the small windows are the outside windows, and green wouldn't have suited the wallpaper so I tried to choose colours that would.  Same applies to the two doors,  which is in fact just the front door, the green door will be on the outside.  Once they're dry they will have the 'glass' fixed into place.

  Oops, this is the 'and finally', the front exterior wall of the cottage, now with brick work.   I've since completed all the brick work.   Those straggly  bits will get chopped off and it will all look nice and tidy.   Then I just have to decide what colour to paint the bricks. I've used chapel stone for the mortar.   I am going to get some of the fancy brick masks,  then I can make the windows look a bit nicer.  Not that such things would be done to such a small cottage. 

The houses, shops and the pub, will have different finishes, so my creative skills are about to be tested.  I also want to try out some of the stuff suggested in Bea's book on exterior finishes (on the PP website). 

Not sure about this weather, the calendar assures me that it is April, but it feels more like January.  I stayed tucked up inside today, just didn't feel like budging.   I had a nagging voice telling me that I should go out, but I ignored it,  I'm learning not to put myself under pressure.  That nagging voice comes from my past,  when I'd be told that I should be outside enjoying myself!     I agree with that poem by Philip Larkin,  They F**k you up, your mum and dad, they don't mean to...  it is so true.   Even as I got older my family would nag me to 'go out',  yet I was perfectly happy where I was.  Same at parties, they'd tell me to enjoy myself,  what they meant was that I should get up and make an idiot of myself, yet again I was happy and content to sit and watch, or chat,  if I wanted to dance then I would.  In fact I enjoyed dancing, did a lot of it when I was in the army, loved our Thursday night disco's,  I even managed to master some Northern Soul moves.    I've been watching that series 'Army Girls' on C4,  it kind of brings back some memories.  I was in the army, but back then the women had their own corps: WRAC,  and we were not required to be trained in combat.  However, we still had to march, do drill and endless ironing, oh and endless cleaning!  I swear someone used to come round and plant dust just before inspection.   My favourite task was bulling my shoes,  or if you like, polishing them, but to that high, and very glossy shine that you see on army boots.  It was very relaxing, though every now and then you had to burn off all the polish from the shoes and start over.  Something else that came easy was tying my tie in a Windsor knot,  which was the only knot the army (then) would allow, my dad had already taught me how.  We had horrible knitted ties,  eventually someone gave me a lovely green silk tie,   and we had very smart caps! 

I'm off to write up my diary, and do some actual writing.  Hope to be back over the weekend with more news of Daffodil Cottage.

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Stand by your desks!

Little Acorns school now has furniture.  It arrived on Tuesday and I couldn't wait to get started.   There was a fair amount of furniture to paint and build,  and although it may be small, it all takes time to put together.  I guess it is flat pack but on a much, much smaller scale, and no less fiddly, all that is missing are the screws.  I built the desks first,  using the art deco metal paint for the legs, and just a wash of burnt umber for the tops and benches.  Then they were all very carefully glued together. 

This gives a nice view of those desks.  And the blackboard, and don't be fooled, just because it doesn't look complicated,  it still takes time to paint and then glued.  I used some of the small seed beads to act as supports to hold up the blackboard. 

There were two book cases, a large store cupboard, and a fireplace, oh and the teachers desk, to be built.  It took 3 afternoons to complete it all.   Oops, almost forgot the really fiddly bits: the chairs! 

The next bit was to put it into the school.  I've found a website that has miniature posters, so I will be printing some out and putting those on the walls.  It has really come to life since the furniture has been added. 

I'm also still sketching,  just started this elephant.  I do like elephants, and they are interesting to draw. 

My new project arrived at lunchtime: Daffodil Cottage, which is part of Memory Lane.  I've already printed out some wallpaper and flooring,  plus a rug!   I wasn't sure what to use for the rug, I mean to print on to, then I remembered that I had some printable canvas paper, so I used that. 

I've prepped all the pieces as usual, using a primer of PVA glue and water.  It does help stop the MDF drinking in the paint or other glue.  The cottage isn't very big,  but I will be doing brick work and that takes time.

There will be some building work going on in the flat over the next few weeks, I am getting a new bathroom.  My housing association realised that my bathroom has never been updated since mum moved in some 30 years ago.  So yesterday I was choosing tiles and flooring,  I did ask if they'd consider giving me a shower cubicle, but the answer was no.  Apparently they used to do it,  if you had your own shower, which I do, but they stopped offering the option a few years ago.   Now you may wonder why am I entitled to a new bathroom, well, all social housing has to meet a certain standard, which is why we had to have new kitchens a few years ago and more electric sockets.  This is so that they conform to government standards, but think on this,  private landlords don't have to do the same things! 

I've had to rest this week,  my back has been just so painful,  I need to get myself some heat pads, they help a little.  The painkillers aren't touching the pain,  but I'm not keen to move to a stronger form of painkiller.  Also need to chase up my GP on my referral to a back specialist, as asked for by the mental health team. 

So for me tomorrow it is working on Daffodil Cottage,  I do need to go get my prescription as well, just hope I get a parking space near to the chemist.  Now it is a nice glass of wine, and need to catch up on my diary.

Thursday, 7 April 2016

A day to remember

Well the furniture for the school still hasn't arrived so I thought I'd do something different, like glass painting.  I'd not done any for quite a while so I breathed a sigh of relief when I found that all my glass paints and the cerne relief were all fine.   I found this pattern on Google images,  liked it and decided to have a go.  First task was to pick out the pattern with the lead strip, and the cerne relief.   I had a quick practice first,   but the old skills were still there - just.    I had unearthed a few old frames during a declutter, which I'd set aside for any glass painting.   Ignore the colour on the picture that is just on the paper printout.  That is as far as I got yesterday, then I had to leave it overnight for the liner to dry, and for the lead to stick firmly to the glass.  

 Today I got out the glass paints,  I know how to use the vitrail stuff, but not the plaid glass, which is much thicker.  But as usual YouTube came to the rescue,  which is a good thing cos I really wasn't sure about whether to keep the plaid glass paints or not.  So I've managed to do the circle, and the dove's tail feathers and part of his wing, and the leaves.   However, just like the houses, it is a bit stop start,  so I've left it to dry overnight and then I can carry on tomorrow.  

I also managed to make the sign for the school.  After some trial and error I went for a 3x3 cm square,  that size seemed to be just big enough.  Then I had to go hunting for some clipart of acorns,  I found the rest of the stuff in Craft Artist Pro.  I used some cocktail sticks for the supports, painted with the metal art deco paint.  A bit of aging on the sign, and  up it went.  Well, to begin with it was resting against the wall. 

Here it is in situ,  doesn't look too shabby.  Today I managed to fashion a base for it out of some balsa wood, so it is now firmly stuck in place.  I also cut down a tree I'd made, it was a bit too tall for the school,  and made a base for it using the paperclay, so that too is drying.  Just need the furniture to arrive, and trying not to get too impatient! 

Today was not a good day,  yesterday I'd sort of made plans for today, which is always risky as then I worry about the plans I've made.  Anyway the plans went out the window, I was in a really low mood,  which wasn't helped when my niece posted one of those FB memories, which was mum's funeral, not what I needed to be reminded of.    I do remember that day, the weather was a bit like today, cold, sunshine and also dull at times.    I hate to say it but I was also angry, not with mum,  she was at peace,  no, with my family and my brother in particular.  I'd suggested that after the funeral we just go for a family meal at a pub, one that mum liked, which we did,  but I also insisted that everyone should pay for their own meal and that it shouldn't come out of mum's money.  If you think I was being mean well, my reasoning was this, that save for a couple of family members,  the rest, and two in particular, had not visited their grandmother in over two years, even though they lived very close by, so I did not think that my mum should pay for them to stuff their faces.   And guess what, my brother, as per bloody usual, overruled me, so I was furious.  I just about held my tongue. The high spot of the day was putting mum's dressing gown on an Iron man down at the beach, no idea how long it stayed on him.  I like to think that mum was looking down and having a good laugh. 

I'd best stop here, else this might just turn into a long rant about my family.    So I'm going to enjoy nice glass of wine,  have a few puffs of my e cig and go do my diary entry.  

Monday, 4 April 2016

School is Open

Little Acorns School is now open!  Well it will be once the furniture is in.  But the major work is done,  chimney is on, as is the bell tower, doors fixed into place, floor swept...    The roof is no longer wonky.  Had to laugh as the wonkiness was caused by me not cutting out the recess for the porch roof.  Kept wondering why it wouldn't fit, then finally the penny dropped, well it can take a while these days.   I even paid the bills, the rain held off and Harvey ate his food without too much grumbling.  Just one little grumble this morning, so food was removed, grumble was over and he tucked in.

The wonky toilet roof is no more, there were a few stray bits of pebble dash stopping it from resting on the walls.  I'd also noticed that the doorknobs were at different heights, so they have now been aligned.  Tis the little things wot make all the difference. 

I gave the remaining pebble dash a coat of paint, managed to match it to the rest - only just as I had run out of paynes grey.  Need to do a paint run to Hobbycraft tomorrow.

The side door was fitted,  just need to add some black soot around the newly painted area.  I do feel that the playground needs some furniture, and a sign.    I'm going to attempt to make on using Craft Artist Pro, the sign isn't a problem, it will be getting the size right.

 Last pic,   it does look smart.  Just wait till you see the furniture,  and the tiny desks.  I think it would be nice if this school had some planters,  plants and flowers would add some colour.  There was a school just like this in our village,  yes we have a village!   It consists of one road and a few houses, but it is the original Crosby as named in the Domesday book.  All the buildings are now listed and it doesn't have any street lights,  sadly it does have speed humps which ruins the look of the place. 

It has been a lazy day,  well unless you count my waking up at 5.30 a.m.,   and at 1.30 a.m.,  I'm still unable to sleep all the way through the night.  I can't remember the last time I did.   My continuing tiredness means it takes me ages to get going in the morning,  then as soon as I start moving my back starts hurting - you just can't win.  It's not been too bad today,  more of a nagging pain,  while yesterday it was a vicious pain.   Harvey had a very lazy day, he just moved from one sunny spot to the next,  he managed a lunch time walk, all of five minutes before he settled down for his afternoon snooze.   He's now wandering in and out,  think he's hoping his girlfriend will appear so he can chase her. 

Well I think I will get on with the thatching tomorrow,  get that ridge finished.  And attempt to make that sign.  I hope the April showers stay away.   Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, 3 April 2016

School is almost ready to open!

It has been a busy couple of afternoons making roof tiles, measuring, cutting then snipping!   All that has to be done before any can be glued onto the roof.   I managed to locate some light card from the stash, which was unearthed after the last declutter.    The roofing was interrupted by me having to take a few breaks to ease the pain in my back, which has been really bad these last few days.   Nothing really helped,  not even the painkillers.   It's also why there are no before and after photos of the roofing.

 Here's the toilet block, the roof isn't on straight!  Only realised when I took the photo,  it will be on straight tomorrow.  All the roofs had the same painting process,  a quick undercoat, then a first coat,  then some sand was added, once that was dry the final coat was put on.  Just a mix of paynes grey, grey, bit of olive green and terracota, just mixed together any old how.  The toilet doors are a diluted green,  just to make them look weathered.

Again, apologies for the wonky roof,  I was trying to take the photos before I lost the light, so I was rushing. The roof still needs its chimney pot, and small bell tower.    I had secured the porch roof,  and the toilet roof had its fascia added.   And you can see the gate to the school yard is now in place, well the one at the front! 

Last photo, from a different angle, and the roof is looking a bit less wonky.  Tomorrow I'll do all the finishing touches,  then I can think of things to go into the school yard, while I await the arrival of the furniture.  The Petite Properties crew is at a big show this weekend, and they've been very busy (which is a good thing), so think the furniture will arrive on Tuesday.   It's so nice to see this small business thriving, and yet still managing to give such a personal service. 

No thatching,  my back wasn't up to long spells at my craft desk.  so that will have to wait for a few days. It is just the ridge that needs to be completed, then given a trim.  I think I'd like the cottages to become the 'opposite' side of the street to 'memory lane', which is the latest range of small houses from PP, and which I'm about to start collecting. 

Not quite sure what to make of the weather, yesterday it was cold and wet,  today it has been warm and sunny, well it was up to 6 pm, then the clouds gathered and it started raining.  I had some stern words with Harvey, who seemed to want to surpass himself in the fusspot stakes yesterday.  In the end I took all the food away,  that had the desired effect as his fussiness soon disappeared.   So far today we've had one clean bowl, and an almost clean bowl.  He also enjoyed some of my cheesecake!  His girlfriend has reappeared,  the two of them have been chasing each other, she has attempted to steal his food but she was foiled by me and a glass of water.    Today Harvey has been a very loving cat, he does like to be cuddled,  hence I ended up with him draped round my neck!   That hadn't been my intention when I picked him up,  he just made himself comfortable on my shoulders.  He is definitely the most tactile of all the cats I've owned,  he loves rubbing my face with his,  and just wants his cuddles. 

So tomorrow I'll be building the chimney and small bell tower,  then added the two final bits of fascia to the main roof.    Just seen the weather forecast: April Showers!   Oh well, also got to go get some more sand, and pay a couple of bills :(   So that is all from me tonight, have a good week, will catch up tomorrow.

Friday, 1 April 2016

A few more school days

Not sure if you can tell but this is a before and after pic.  Top wall is the 'before' without the black soot,  bottom pic is the 'after' which has been well dabbed with the black soot.  And the railings have been added, along with the cap stones.  It took me all afternoon yesterday to paint all the railings,   just very fiddly to do. Fortunately they weren't fiddly to fit, that bit was a breeze.   I was getting fed up painting the railings,  in a way it was a good thing that it was raining yesterday.  

So today was all about putting the playground together.   I put more sand down on the base and gave it a second coat of the black gesso.  Once the cap stones and railings were fixed into place, I sorted out the walls.  Each had a specific place. 

And here is the 'finished' result.  The gates still need to be added, as does a bit of other 'dressing'. By that I mean some distressing bits, just to give it a more realistic feel.   

It looks okay if I say so myself.  I dabbed some black soot on to the school house,  just to tone down the paint work.    After I took this pic I finished off the pebble dash above the toilets. 

I can start on the roof over the weekend, and get the doors in place.    I ordered the furniture pack, so that should be here by Monday, I hope!  No worries if it isn't,  as I'll still be making roof tiles. 

Yes I am still thatching,  the end is almost in sight.   I realised today that I have some finishing touches to add to a few of my recent projects, mostly painting and distress work. 

Today I had an early start, more blood tests.  I am now tired of these blood tests.   Not sure if I want to have any more.  The surgery was the extent of my travels today,  it was wet, windy and cold, so it was definitely a day to hunker down.   Even Harvey agreed, he'd tucked himself away in the airing cupboard.   He appeared late afternoon, declaring loudly that he was hungry,  and for once he actually happily tucked into his food, then he went back to sleep, oh to be a cat! 

Think I'll focus on the thatching tomorrow, it will make a nice change.   All for now,  enjoy your weekend.