Progress…. Wednesday, Sep 7 2016 

So, I did paint fireplace in the snug & now wonder what took me so long ! The dark red stone now a thing of the past.

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Phew…where to start ? Tuesday, Aug 23 2016 

Well, I’ve always said I’m solar powered but have really proved it in recent weeks.

After finding my way around ‘working with cement’ I progressed to creating a front door step,going from this ;

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To this ;

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To this:  The small white beads on the edge are solar stones,so they outline the step in the dark.

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Next,after years of stubbing my toe on silly French style dining benches,thinking why don’t designers do the obvious & reduce floor space they take up ?

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I finally made a decision to chop them down,out came the chainsaw & off came both ends, they now slide under the table with an inch to spare. Oh so obvious, I should have done it years ago ! Both these & the table came with the house originally.

This then followed , tired of waiting for brown furniture to come back into fashion I got to thinking & asking why am I waiting ……. I set about painting some of it.

I started with the Buffet, its gone from this;

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To this….still some detail to sort out but more or less finished

 

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Next up I wanted to get rid of these hideous chairs which came with the house when it was bought as a holiday home.As this room has been used very little,they’ve been used only occasionally.

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I’m sure once they were expensive as they’re well made & frames are large heavy oak.This is why I’ve delayed doing anything to them,but felt now is the time .

I took the electric carving knife to the sponge & will use some of it for new upholstery when I find the right fabric,I shall start with the charity shop to see if they have some curtains. I’ve painted,aged & waxed the chairs ready…. this could be a good winter project.

I’ve recently learned velour can be painted,so I may just think about tackling the matching 3 seater sofa, but it would be a big job…….. only after 10 years of living with it did I find it converts to double bed !

Before & after waxing.

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In addition to all this activity of course I’ve been keeping up with the lawn mowing etc & other small painting jobs ,including this little gem.

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Look carefully,I’ve painted the top of this dark green conservatory table,lime, to match a tray I’ve hung below as a shelf,attached with good staples,this will keep the top free of clutter,I also added castors.

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All this & I didn’t need to buy a thing,I mixed my own chalk paint & colours,I had everything I needed in stock.

Next victim….could be a dark red brick fireplace in the snug or maybe even painting some brown doors….😀

It’s been a busy two weeks… Saturday, Jul 2 2016 

Tired of climbing a ladder to cut back ivy on this gable end,done twice a year,I decided to strip it all off & rethink the planting at the base.

This took a week to do,some areas pulled off easily in huge mats of ivy,others lower down needed a saw, hammer & chisel to release the thick roots,boy do they grip.Fortunately even after 26 years,the stone work is fine.

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Oh what have I started !

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Thick ivy roots.

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It isn’t the work that’s exhausting it’s the clearing away & dragging all debris over to my bonfire area in the orchard..

Eventually ,all done & look I found the 2 wood corbels of the fireplace,I had no idea they came right through the 3ft thick walls.Surprising after 26 years under damp ivy they’re still rock hard .

At least now some pointing can be done unhindered.

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Almost done,much better.Cleaner & tidier. I shall replant the base where I’ve cut down all the Arum lilies ,some will get planted elsewhere & a climbing rose placed at the back.

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Next I’ve been experimenting with cement/concrete. I need to upgrade all my paths,so I set about trying to find the best pattern or mould for stepping stones.I’ve used cake moulds,cardboard boxes & even an old frying pan….so far !

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Having expected disasters,I couldn’t believe how easy this craft is.The hardest part is lifting the bag of ‘beton’ from the car !!

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Just a test

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This the very first stone, impressed with a shortbread tin,but not hard enough.

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Not sure what I shall do with these little hearts .🙂

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This will become a step for my studio ….once out of the cardboard box !

I Got Him…Her !! Thursday, Jun 16 2016 

Of course this little visitor arrived after the children had left which is a shame,but never the less a thrill for me to see this little treasure.

Those who’ve read my blog know that for the past 5 years I’ve been trying to get a photo of a red squirrel,first spotted scurrying past the conservatory around this time of year,just before the cherries ripen.

Obviously not the same one but sightings have occurred on & off over the years,but not once last year. So, imagine my delight when clear Squirrel damage was evident last week-end,seen here, small half eaten cones & the new shoots bitten off my damaged Italian Cyprus.

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Half eaten fir cones/nuts & nipped tree shoots

I spent the next day watching the ground, the tree to see if branches were moving, then decided to take this photo, as I did so I felt bits falling on my back indicating activity in the tree . From then it was a case of not cat & mouse but squirrel & me…..these little mites are like lightning & move at such a speed there’s no time to adjust camera settings etc.

 I put out some walnuts out to see if they would tempt squirrel onto the ground.

Finally the next day walking towards the area I saw this.

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Middle of the Step.

I shot inside grabbed the camera & took this next photo from inside the house.

 

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I cannot believe how tiny it is,surely just weaned or is there a family here ?

Of course this all takes place when the grass needs cutting & a mole has surfaced right near this spot !

So there we have it ,there are confident red squirrels in this area,I always wondered why they were not here, but after owning the house for 26 years, with multiple shrubs & trees bearing berries & oaks,beech,walnut,chestnut,hazelnut,many fruit trees,conifers & broadleaf trees,this has to be paradise for them,maybe until now the trees were not mature enough for them ?

Hopefully now the word is out & they will stay.Even during a poor Beech-mast year there’s always other foods available.

Funny thing is, I was so close to taking down this damaged tree during the winter,whilst healthy & growing I couldn’t understand why it had bald patches, maybe this is why ?

Oh & as yet, the walnuts are untouched.

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Squirrel up on left.

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Up-Cycling… Tuesday, Jun 7 2016 

Another half term has been & gone, we had fun.The eldest child did his revision & of course played his mobile to death.
We did however fire up the metal detector & went in search of an old porthole which was attached to a door…given to me for a back garden door.
I had dumped it in my bonfire area approximately 15 years ago as it was never used,slowly it rotted away outside & I eventually moved it into the old orchard.

Subsequent garden prunings & chopping’s were piled onto it over the years & bonfires lit etc.

This year I came across an old lock & door handle as I cleared the whole area & so was reminded of said door.

Within minutes of sweeping, the machine indicated metal just below the surface,we dug down & bingo the porthole was found.seen here after a good wash & now soaking in vinegar.

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Next we had to decide what to do with it, so off Mai & I went to the local Depot Vente where we found a little round table. It was cheap ply with a lino top,but best were the sturdy metal legs…needed for such a heavy glass top, which after testing has proved to be bronze !

We stripped & trimmed with my jigsaw & then knocked out the old corroded screws & presto,here is the result.

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I happened to have the green glass on something else but prefer it on this table, all I have to do now is decide where to put it ! :-))

I say Hello…You say Goodbye… Monday, Jun 6 2016 

Hello to my favourite bloggers,like Tweet,Cropper,Hawthorn,Foxy,Squid,Plum,Lao,John Mackie,Roger,Dynamo,all of whom were always polite in their replies.

In view of the DT’s decision I felt one needed closure on a pastime that consumed such a large part of my early internet life.

Fun,laughter,tears.

I had much admiration for those who had the courage to confide their troubles here.

We were like a family,until those who were unable to manage personal problems allowed their frustration to spill over into comments which changed the site completely.

I wish everyone well & can assure them ,there IS life outside MyT,funnier & deeper than the shallowness of latter day MyT.

My regret is that the DT chose to close just before the Referendum……yet if #Brexit wins it would reduce blogging material by a considerable margin.

So I’m posting this here for those who haven’t seen it,how anyone would want to Remain after watching it is a mystery to me.

The Cherry Tree… Sunday, Mar 13 2016 

We had a constant 24 hour storm last Wednesday,very scary it was too. Some gusts were around force 11 I believe,at one stage I did get worried but saw no damage occurring until late in the day when I looked out from the snug window & glimpsed,through other shrubs, what I thought was a pile of green leaves at the far end of the driveway.Odd I thought.

Further inspection revealed this:😦

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At first I thought wow,how lucky is that,that my car which had been parked there a day earlier  was no longer or that the friend who visits usually about this time of year for a week & always parks there & would now be flattened !

My relief was followed by the immediate thought maybe now I can get all the ivy off & the cherries will still come as the roots are still in the ground,this followed immediately by  the thought how the hell am I going to be able to dispose of the tree itself without paying 100’s to get it cut up ?

Also being an optimist I realised that the nearby roses would now get more light & I, a typical gardener saw an opportunity to choose,buy & plant a new tree of my choice !

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As if I’m not way behind with all work in the garden ,after two months of rain I’ve done absolutely nothing……….so here is another setback.Sigh….

Hey ho, thank goodness I have the time, tools & a chain saw !

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