Thursday, August 27, 2009

Getting there!

This is just a vey quick progress report. I now have walls (painted) and floors. Everything is very white and stark, just waiting for some colour to be introduced. A blank canvas, you might say?

I seem to have been walking aimlessly around, tape measure in hand, mumbling "105 centimetres, tea with two sugars and coffee with one sugar ... , etc ..."

All that is going to change this weekend as I take a break from the cleaning and refresh myself ready for the week ahead. The exciting bit is yet to come!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Well and truly plastered!

I've just spent a delightful afternoon in the company of my lovely daughter-in-law (I much prefer the French 'belle-fille'?) and my youngest grandson, Finn, as he chatted and giggled his way along his first train ride on the 'Docks' railway at Preston. The trains had 'Thomas' faces on several of them, which made it very exciting, and he got the chance to climb aboard some of the engines. It's definitely a 'boy' thing!

What a welcome break from the last week! I seem to have spent the week charging around IKEA or B&Q with a tape measure and trying to work out 'what' will eventually go 'where'. So many decisions to be made!

On Saturday, the plasterers came. Despite having to listen to the dulcet strains of 'Rock FM', the lads worked hard and now - I'm plastered!
I'm well aware that the pictures are pretty boring but they're all I've got so far. Hang on in there!

Whilst all this is going on I'm being very industrious. I'm clearing out drawers and cupboards so that when I can get at my fabrics and fibres again I will have the time to be creative. All the boring housework will be done? That's the plan anyway.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Hitting a brick wall

Well ... I should have known. It was all going so well. That just doesn't happen to me. On Friday, Alan started to take down what he and the building inspector had both decided was a 'studded wall' (no, it doesn't mean anything to me either) only to find this ... breeze block. Literally hitting a brick wall?

Cue another visit from building inspector on Monday. There will probably have to be some kind of support for the walls above. (My worst nightmare was a sudden collapse from above - don't anyone even dare to hum " ... and the walls came tumbling down ...")

Then when I plugged in the kettle - a very necessary piece of equipment at the moment? - no electricity in the utility room. The electrician was due and we had power in the kitchen. Tea problem solved. (I have to tell you that Alan likes the weakest of tea - it's me that has the 'builder's tea'!!!)

I went off to order the laminate floor to match the existing floor (this is now a 'special order', which may delay things? But, thankfully, still available). And another ex-pupil in 'Floors 2 Go. They're all over the place!

Returned to find this ...

... the source of the electricity problem. A nail - which had been hammered through the electricity cable by the original builders!!! - had moved when the plasterboard was removed and touched the wire.

And, yes, a leak in a pipe...

Cue buckets and a boiler that needs 'topping up' at regular intervals because the water pressure keeps falling.

And then, when everyone had gone, no Internet access!!! Quelle tragedie!

It has taken me till now to work out that the 'computer' sockets had also died on me. Ran an extension lead from the utility room and we have lift-off!

So - picture this - trailing leads, buckets of water and a boiler that needs more attention than a baby (will I have to get up in the night to 'feed' it?) Not exactly a picture of domestic bliss, is it?

It all makes me feel very 'ditsy' and silly and well ... 'girlie'? In my defence, I do have my own drill and screwdriver. It's just knowing what to do with them that's the problem ...

Still, I have enjoyed a lovely visit with my friend Elaine to 'Art in the Pen' at Skipton this afternoon. So nice to see her again now that she has returned from New Zealand.

Oh ... and the ladies at the Platform Gallery didn't reject my piece. But I think they were only concerned with the back - and, yes, it did have mirror plates and a label .... So far, so good.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

'B' day + 1

Yesterday I had a garage door - and today I have a wall and a window! Magic!

And this is the view from inside. It's beginning to look like a room?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

'B-day' - at last!

It may not look as if a great deal has been done but the foundation for the front wall has been dug and the concrete poured. Bricks have been removed from the sides so that the new bricks can be 'eased in'. This is Alan boxing in a pipe in what will be my new office.

Tomorrow - weather permitting - the wall will be built and the window put in what will be my office. Then it will begin to look like something other than a garage.

So far the noise and dust are making me excited - wonder how long that will last?

As this is supposed to be a textile blog - and textiles are very thin on the ground at the moment - and, as I always need to have something to worry about, I am now imagining the scenario when I take my felt piece ...

... into the Platform Gallery for the Open Exhibition. As it was selection by photograph, what happens when they see it in the flesh and decide they've made a big mistake?

Don't I have enough to keep me awake at night?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

'B' (for build) Day minus 1

A very short post today just to say that it’s ‘B-day minus 1’. 'B' is for 'build'. The bricks are here – and appear to be the right ones. It was a very tense moment as the lorry arrived – what if they weren’t the right ones and had to be sent all the way back to Durham?

Because this is supposed to be a ‘textiles’ blog I will show you the results of my session today at ‘Fell-Side Felters’ – the lovely felt group that I belong to. I’ve got very ‘achey’ shoulders tonight because I was determined to make a nuno piece out of some fabric that just didn’t want to let the fibres through. I won in the end because I’m very stubborn but now I’m wondering if it was worth it?

Pretty rubbish really ...

The nice thing about our group is that there is always someone willing to give you advice, which is always appreciated. The fact that we laugh a lot - and have cake – helps as well!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

What a brick!

You wouldn't think it would be a problem, would you? After all, a brick is - well, a brick. My house was built around six years ago so you wouldn't think it would be too difficult to get some more bricks, would you? Think again ...

The builder is 'incommunicado' (more of that later) and the brick is rather unusual, and very attractive. One of the many reasons I bought the house. Now I need 150 bricks to build up to a window when my garage door is removed.

On Monday it was looking like I was going to have to settle for something less than a 'perfect match'. I had visions of ...
Being of a rather perfectionist nature, this was obviously not going to do.

Did you know that there were such things as 'brick libraries'? Neither did I. (I had visions of popping in to exchange an 'Accrington' for an 'Olde English'???)

Photographs were taken and websites consulted but my brick remained elusive.

And then - 'ping' - a light bulb moment. Wouldn't the local council have a copy of the plans - and might that perhaps include a note of the type of brick used?

I had been in to the council offices the day before to sort out my 'Building Regs' (whatever that is but it cost me £180) and caught up with a delightful ex-pupil who now runs the front desk. We had a long chat and a 'catch-up', which was lovely, and there she was again when I ventured in once more to enquire about my 'brick' problem.

Mary consulted various different people and then a computer - and, several screens later, up popped the brick. It was a 'Tyrone Navan multi-brindle brick' - made in Ireland.

(I have to say that this is when you're so grateful that you got on with the students - Mary was a 'star' in so many of my school productions and the sort of student you remember. Another one is Diane, who takes my blood at the surgery. Phew!)

Then the search for the brick really started. Long story. I finally tracked down what seemed to be the only supplier in the UK. In Durham. Another long story. But - at last - the bricks are on their way. Watch this space ...

After numerous visits to the tip and the charity shop, the garage and my office are nearly empty. You can see the walls - and some of the floor?
Where did the rest go?