Monday, 9 April 2012

Garden Year 2

Last year we seemed to spend a lot of time trying to actually make our garden...well a garden. At one point it definitely resembled a small scale model of a World War I battlefield with only a rickety faded teal shed left standing.

This year on the first weekend where it wasn't freezing we decided to venture forth and see what had survived the winter. It appears quite a lot did. Amazingly even the strawberries seemed to have made it through despite multiple frosts and a snow. The stuff that didn't survive tended to be the stuff that I didn't mind so much if we lost.

So off we trotted to the local garden center and we came back with....more fruit plants than you can shake a rake at. We now have the following growing in our backyard:
- Ornamental Cherry (unedible fruit so I guess it counts)
- Dessert Cherry (edible YUM!) - New
- 2 blueberry bushes - New
- 2 blackcurrant bushes - New
- About a million strawberries (they grow like weeds!) - New and Old
- Cooking Apple tree

- Blackberry vines 

- Lots of tomato plants
- Oh and some peas

So we'll see how this all fares, but fingers crossed we won't be fruit shopping much come the summer time.

The carpet is in!

Now at Christmas I wrote that we didn't manage to get carpet in. You may be thinking "yeah right pretty sure you just got it in early January and are just being lazy with posting" Well right on one count and WRONG on another. I have been lazy, but the carpet after much wrangling didn't manage to make its way in to our lovely house until late February.  Seriously at that rate I was expecting an army of magic elves to do shifts weaving my carpet in-situ.

Still we are really pleased with the finished effect and with the choice of border on the stairs. Finally makes all those hours painting and re-painting the stairs feel worth it. Plus after having no carpet in your bedroom for almost 2.5 years you'd be pretty pleased to have just about anything down too. Just helps that it looks lovely.

First up two shots of the bedroom. Doesn't the new color look great with the carpet?

 Now the stairs and the landing. It actually dare I say it feels like a real adult house!

Still so much to do now that the big stuff is over and the first thing we did when winter kind of broke its hold was to get back out in the garden. Garden update coming next.

Monday, 12 December 2011

Christmas is HERE!

Well here at My Old House we got in the Christmas spirit this past weekend. Getting in the Christmas spirit always starts in the same way. Hubby: "Let's get a Christmas Tree" Me: "Oooh Yes! A nice big bushy one with lots of lovely branches" Hubby: "No. Nothing too big" (picks out spindly little tree) Me: (makes unhappy face) "How about this one instead" (pulls out ridiculously big tree) repeat over and over again for 30 minutes.  You get the idea.

However, it always ends well and we have another lovely tree this year and I've added few extra touches to the front and dining room to make it appear a bit more festive.

Our tree (with presents already wrapped) and the small decoration in the dining room 

 Close up of the dining room decoration

My mantlepiece masterpiece in the living room

A bit closer in

 Avery dark shot of the view from the kitchen

As we're hosting this year we have been in a bit of a blind panic to get the house ready and get everything ready to have a lovely perfect Christmas. Now we weren't successful in getting carpet in (the man just laughed at me), but we have a fully working bathroom AND two new lovely armchairs to for people to sit in plus a rug in the living room. Wonders never cease! So happy with these!!!

Here they are in the room:

Each chair close up

Bring on Santa!

The final result (or the 99.9% result)

Well I promised you the finished product and here you go. Or at least as finished as we have it at the moment. The eagle eyes amongst you will notice that the bath panel is still missing. That is currently up with the lovely F-I-L being lovingly painted so we can install them hopefully in about a week...well before everyone descends for Christmas at any rate. You'll also notice that we have left the walls white.  After much debating and colour swatching (I think I own the entire sample pot range in creams and pale yellows from Farrow & Ball now) we still haven't come up with a decision. Although the most tempting is just to go with the leave it white suggestion from a friend. Too clinical? Let me know what you think!!

 Oh the choices....still haven't decied.
We still need to put some storage in as well for all our shampoos and assorted lotions and potions, but have found it so just need to make the purchase!

Ps. Having awoken to a scratching/rattling noise the other night I am now complete supporter of keeping the toilet lid down. Apparently some animal (exact type) unknown somehow got up the soil pipe into our toilet and was stuck. This has been attested to by my dear husband who went to investigate and saw the lid bouncing up and down. His gallant response....hit the flush which seemed to send the little critter whoever he may be back down the way he came. Don't know what it was, but making darn sure that lid is down from now on. Word to the wise.

So What Else Have We Been Doing

So if you have figured us out by now you will know that re-doing your bathroom doesn't really get in the way of trying to sort our a million and one other things. One of those things was our bedroom. Now that we have painted almost all of the other rooms in the house with lovely Farrow & Ball colours our pale blue in the bedroom just didn't feel quite right. Plus we've had the bare prison bulb dangling from our ceiling for quite some time. What does all that add up to??? Paint brushes at the ready!

Our bedroom over time:
The horror show when we moved in (how can anyone forget this award winning combination)

The first colour we painted it

The new light fixture and a shot of the new wall colour
 Another view of the new colour. It's lovely.
I'm so happy with this, especially when you look back to how it looked when we moved in.

Catching up on the progress part 1

I have now been reunited with my camera which means that I can FINALLY update everyone on the fabulous progress on our bathroom. We are so pleased with it. Here are the latest pics:
The tiling starts (the builders don't hate us yet)
 Getting there (builders definitely starting to hate us for choosing the pattern)
 And the bath as well aren't you lucky builders!

The tiling is complete!!!!! 

We are so amazed at the different between the first photo and the last in terms of light and space. I know that a lot of this will be down to us reinstating the sash window (big thanks to Keith for making this for us), but it just shows you the difference the right kind of tiles in a space can make. Some final results pictures in a following post with all the rest of the lovely bits and pieces in.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Thanksgiving Cheer

It's not everyday that you look at something in a magazine and think "You know what. I bet I could do that". Well in this case that is exactly what my mother did and then promptly lost the page from Southern Living with the idea and instructions on it.  A short trip with Google sorted this problem out, but it still left the need for the actual decorations to be created. That's where I came in.

Here is the task I was given. To create two lovely floral centerpieces for the Thanksgiving table using nothing, but a pumpkin and an awl to get the job done. Here's Southern Livings' Version:

Now let me say this. Firstly, unlike their recipes it's a good thing that this didn't say how long it would take because let me say it takes AGES. Secondly, an awl (aka ice pick)?! You've got to be kidding me. You can't fit anything in the hole left behind. Out came a big screw and the rubber mallet (it still took a long time). Oh and if you get really fussy like me you're going to need a lot of flowers. All that aside it was really fun and I'm really pleased with how they turned out. Here's my attempt.

I'd highly suggest giving this a go and definitely go with the instruction to put them in the fridge to keep the flowers fresh. Here are the steps in case you want to do it yourself. The nice thing as well is you can do any colors or color combination you want so it's really flexible.

1. Buy small/medium soft skin pumpkin(s)
2. Use a screw (medium sized) and rubber mallet to create holes. Holding pumpkin tap screw gently into pumpkin to make the hole. Make sure not to miss and crunch the pumpkin.
3. Fill pumpking with holes. These will need to be fairly close together unless you use large headed flowers if you don't want much pumpkin show through. You won't need to do the bottom as it needs something firm to sit on.
4. Cut blossoms off flowers with a short length of stem. It's best to cut it a little longer than you think and then trim as needed.
5. Cover pumpkin with flowers and then put on suitable stand or even directly on the table to display.