Are you ready for this?

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Location: United Kingdom

Yes...this is ALL about me, and mine. Marvellously self indulgent, feel free to tell me how splendid I am, leave comments, nice ones please, I have little kids and teenagers who can do the rude stuff. I am a grandma, to the glorious Joshua, I'm allowed to look frazzled and weary, I earned it. The older I get, the more I see that hanging on and being patient is worth it! They ( whoever 'they' are) are so right when they say you never know what is around the corner, it isn't always an articulated truck! It is vital to make the time for making memories, friends are the greatest treasure, I love mine. I am rich!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Before and After...

Oooooh pretty! The banisters need to be varnished and we have yet to put up pretties, pictures, shelving etc. I love watching it all come together.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The pretty side of things.

I'm twixt heaven and hell here you know, oh the roller coaster of my days ( not to be melodramatic or anything, or actually, yes, drama IN BUCKET LOADS)
Decorating and making beautiful, it's what we're doing. Good heavens.
So many years of living in other peoples' houses, renting and being moved along, not renting and living with H's dad, kids in tents and H and I with 2 babies in the smallest room in the house, where we got on with it and said how we would laugh at this one day ( not yet and we're 11 years down the line!)
Trying to make beautiful what wasn't ours to change.
Now we can choose whatever we like and we can do it. Oh the joy!
Oh my days I had forgotten how hard decorating is, I started to strip the walls in the hallway, the stairs and the landing at the start of the year, wood chip wallpaper is of the devil, that stuff sticks fast and when you manage to get it off the walls it spreads from one end of the house to the other, chips f wood and strips of soggy paper all over the house, in every room, spread by wood chip fairies with HUGE feet.
Half way through stripping the paper from Satan I had the car incident, it wasn't an accident, accident sounds so dramatic and dreadful, this was a stupid woman reversing into the side of my car, caving the door in and managing to tear a big muscle in my back, 8 weeks of being a hobbly and pitiful old biddy meant no more wallpaper stripping. I paid Sophie to do it, she didn't, my sister said she would do it and that spurred me on to just bloody do it for heavens sake.
At last no more wallpaper, in its stead were walls that stopped us in our tracks with the cracks and holes, 2 cracks went from floor to ceiling in the tallest parts of the walls, you could fit a penny in the gaps, big old crumbled holes where plaster had fallen out. Oh my goodness now what?
The council came and said they would re plaster the walls and 'make good' the cracks, they weren't structural cracks, just small shifting over time had caused them but they weren't of any concern....that's good then.
The workman came and he half filled one crack and he skimmed over the 2 largest holes and he went home.
H did what he does best and he just did it himself, beautifully and  let me tell you, he fills and sands and fills and sands and then he vacuums ( yes, he does, he vacuums the walls, don't believe me? Feast your eyes on the proof then!)

 Oh look, now I've gone and skipped ahead of myself because would you look at my pretty banisters?
When we moved in the first thing I noticed and thought "they're coming down" was the ugly boarding along the stairs.

See? That ugly stuff takes away so much space and light away from the space as you walk into the house, I was determined that somehow I would have lovely banisters and I've done it!
Now look how open and splendid it is..even without the decorating being done.

Open and light, I love it.

So now, the walls are smooth and ready to be painted, in fact this very evening we started to put the first coat on and that's where the hell begins, oh good heavens, 2 coats of white base paint and it looked beautiful, one coat of the colour ( grandly named Stone) and it is clear that 2 or 3 coats need to be done, on friday morning our very beautiful new carpet is being laid, so between now and then we have to do at least 2 coats of  grand stone paint, all the trim in white and leave enough time for it all to dry enough that the carpet can be laid without getting paint on it.
( 1.30am I think I may have just talked myself into doing another coat before I turn in for the night!)

This is my carpet.....I love those colours and can just imagine how rich it will look once it's all down. I have ordered chocolate brown coconut matting to fit from the door to where that little wall ends and then the carpet will start. Hopefully that will clean any shoes before they walk on my posh new floor!
I had a budget of £2000 and I have done it, I have managed not only to have the stair work done, buy carpet, 2 'new' ( to me) leather sofas for the front room, all the paint etc for the hall, stairs, landing AND bathroom but I also paid to have some new cupboards and worktop put in the kitchen.
We went from this

 To this

It's all coming together, so much searching on Ebay and local selling sites, finding workmen that do great work without costing a fortune and of course my lovely H with his quiet determination to do everything beautifully.
H has become quite the genius at making things with wooden pallets that are so easily available and free, I found some pictures on line of 'rustic' coat racks and shelving units that I wanted under the stairs in the new space that is available to us,  he has pretty much made replicas, I am so pleased with what he has done and can't wait for it all to be in place so I can stare at it and feel that glorious sense of satisfaction of a job well done on a small budget.
I wanted to write here about the work before it is finished because once it's done we so soon forget the blood sweat and tears that goes into this kind of work.
What I also want to write about is the sheer joy of being able to do this, how much I love choosing and planning what to do with our home, how satisfying it is to find bargains and put everything together. I am about ready to kick my own arse though because I am just SO EXCITED about it being finished, as soon as I try to sleep, I think up another idea and WIDE AWAKE! What a splendid problem to have at last!