One room finally finished (except to hang a couple of lights)!!!!!!! Spent a good couple of hours just vacuuming and picking up screws and nails from the floor. Yes! Finally! Exhaustingly! Back room nearly finished, one more coat of paint on the floor. Then touch up painting in the stairwell and paint the floor....... and then the kitchen. This room, of all of them, has been driving me insane and I don't think its going to anywhere near 100% ok, with its wonky angled walls and uneven concrete floor its a bugger to fit Ikea cabinets into. I'll get there somehow.
Many years ago a friend of mine made me a ring carved with arcanthus leaves and engraved on the inside. I lost it. (At the Vic Market one Saturday morning- if you found it , lucky you.) When I ran into Bailey at a mutual friend's birthday last year he said if I got him a blank ring he'd carve me another. And he has and here it is. It is all hand carved in an Edwardian design he is experimenting with (I like it when I get the experiments, there is something about them I love). I think it is beautiful. (And very appropriate with my current fascination with Edwardian and 'tween the Wars art and design.) Lucky me.
I've been taking Sunday off and staying at home for rest (no relaxation, mainly going the washing, some knitting and sorting) and this Sunday while reading the paper in the kitchen I was being tortured by mouse-like rustling from under the kitchen bench. The god-damn noise wouldn't stop no matter what I threw at it, including the cat, so finally I got up and unpacked the shelves to find mouse in very large jar. This is Spot enjoying 3D Mouse-a-Vision in the backyard. (And just so I don't get angry emails, the mouse escaped and is now running around outside somewhere.)
So when I haven't been up a ladder, high of paint fumes or wishing to run away, I've been doing 'fidgety hands work', things I can make while sitting up in bed watching 'Top Gear' (damn, the latest season has finished) or a DVD. You will have seen the tams (making more), the hangers (must make more) and now the hand-knitted wash cloths in natural cotton with coloured crocheted edge. These are the type of things I don't have to go to the studio to do. I really must find the time to get in the studio though. Some time away from the renovations would be really nice............
I ripped out the two kitchen cabinets. That was a job and a half. In retaliation a huge nail ripped a hole in my only pair of semi-decent jeans. So in revenge I turned the cabinets into firewood. All hail the jig-saw!
Well the change room/storage is about 99% finished. The lights are up.
Sadly no single space in the whole building is finished yet. Some are so close you can taste it and others are so far from finished I could weep. I think the next thing that needs to be organised is a huge clean up of all the crap and rubbish that just keeps piling up. That might make me feel better.
I was hoping to the doors would all be up this weekend, even though young Tom the Carpenter (cute with ute) worked feverishly on Saturday, by 3.30pm it seemed only fair to let him go home )it was his day off). He'll be back to finish tomorrow afternoon. (Am thinking of locking him under the stairs and making him make a wardrobe and the kitchen for me, and then pimping him out to other people who need a carpenter..... just kiddin') And the electricians are coming at 7.30pm so we'll have lighting too! I was going to wait and unveil it all at the same time but thought I'd give you a teaser. It took the whole day for me to paint all the skirting boards and architraves and corners in the BIG ROOM. The ceiling is just under 14ft (I think, it has a false ceiling but is still really high) so every 75cm or so I'd have to climb down and move the ladder and then climb back up. So by 4pm, piked off and went to Richmond, visited Metro Bolts (have I told you I love hardware and stationary?), Swan St Auctions and Ikea, all in my painting gear (which was fun, very 'I'm in the middle of renovating and am too busy to change- or shower').
So the last thing I did before I left this evening was chiselling off the tiles in the kitchen. Half came off like a dream, this was the batch glued to the solid plaster and the other half, well lets say 'messy'. It was quite fun though. Except for the hammered knuckle, the cut finger and the flying chips of razor sharp ceramic. Like I said, fun. Nothing like a bit of mayhem to finish the day.
I had to go to Manfax at lunchtime and strolling up the road I realised how many people I know along rue de Gertrude. There was Karen at Alice, Emma at Metal Couture, Dan at Artisanand I met a neighbour, Penny at Radio, where I stopped for lunch on the way back. It took me a while to get to Manfax and back.
I've started work on the BIG room. It will be a BIG painting job. The good thing being I won't be painting over red or green. (By the way the whole pea-green incident is over- ok? Drop it or I'll come around and paint your bedroom pea-green when you are out.)
I've been having strange dreams (like I care about Heather Mills' divorce from Sir Paul, like I enjoy painting in my sleep....) and am so freakin' tired I just don't have enough energy for anything. Trying to make even the most basic decisions is very hard. I think my brain hurts and I know my nose is discharging paint (sorry, gross I know, but I seriously can't smell a thing and it's all pus-like, so 'discharging paint' sounds so much nicer). I have taken some time off today, visited Craft Vic to see Caz Gurney's exhibition and chin-wag with Beck for a while. Back to the shop to meet the ill-prepared plumber who I will have to re-meet tomorrow so he can install a new toilet.
Electrician is booked for next Tuesday, so I went and picked up my very special (and most expensive) Deco light shade from the Junk Company. It looks like a pink glass jelly mold. The cotton bound flex and bronze fittings are being put together as I write and should be ready to be picked up in a couple of days, ready for the sparky to do his expensive work.
The bedroom is, as of yesterday, cream, no hint of pea-green. It would have been a really quick job had I not had to paint over the top such a strong colour. Oh well. Won't be living that one down in a hurry.
I also picked up the stripped doors and they are propped up against the wall in the shop. After I carried them in and lined them up I discovered they are all higgled-piggledy in height and will have to trimmed. Quite funny really, the house they originally came from must have been all out of whack!
And it hasn't been all crashing out and blobbing when I get home. I'm rather psycho (as you may have guessed) at the moment and most of my evenings have been spent knitting tams or coat hanger covers or embroidering the last of the linen skirts that I started a month+ ago. Tonight, though, might have to be valium and bed.
(When the plumber was leaving this afternoon, he looked around the almost finished shop and said 'you got a lot of work to do here luv'. I could have cried. I could have laughed.)
Sadly I will not be able to hide the pea-green fiasco. Too many people visited today for me to live that mistake down. Ben is threatening to keep that one up his sleeve as ammunition. I so rarely make such a massive colour blunder as the 'pea-green room'. Oh well. In between visitations I managed to get the last of the battens onto the joins in the walls and give them a couple of licks of paint (and I started painting out the green in the bedroom).
Bella 1 and Bella 2 ran around and checked everything out and stood up and looked out the upstairs window and yelped excitedly at the view. And their respective mums and dads did the same but a little more sedately.
And then I washed the brushes and came home. Tired and foot-sore as usual.
Happy Chinese New Year! The Year of the Rat is looking good. Apparently Ratty is the protector and bringer of material prosperity- quite a good birthday year for a shop I think! Oh, and this year is an Earth Rat year.
I am a Snake and , whilst looking all this up, discovered I am a Wood Snake. It's good to be precise about these things. So apparently I am wise, profound, clever, logical, practical, intelligent, creative, compassionate, discrete, cautious (there were a few other attributes I may have left out for the sake of space...).
My foot is killing me. I can barely walk. My shoulder is on fire. My back is tight as a drum (if a back can be).
This morning was spent close to tears. Telstra had put a bar on the mobile phone, I hadn't receive the bill so it hadn't been paid. The quote came from the electrician (ouch!) and I had been awake half the night in agony.
Resolved all this with a fit of controlled wreckery. I dismantled the speakers (which the electrician was going to charge me a fortune to do), patched the holes and started painting again. Was feeling very overwhelmed but am a bit more philosophical, tired but unbeaten.
Changed the way I was going to do some of the fit out. Had I been made to change anything yesterday I would have stood my ground and said 'no!' but practical changes came resignedly today. In the long run they are good changes and I do like solving a problem. The kitchen issues though still have me stumped. How to fit a 2 1/2mt square peg in a round hole. I'll work it out somehow!
Just thought I'd interrupt this to ask if you had noticed how beautiful the Crape Myrtles are this year. Stunning. They apparently love the heat and drought. I've seen a lovely purple one in Fairfield that was quite unusual and this one was in Kensington.
Being on my whole 1920-50s kick at the moment (or rather still) I just adore the Crape Myrtles with their smooth but mottled bark twisty branches and their kind of blousy colours. They are making me happy at the moment. One day I'll have a garden with Crape-Myrtles and Dogwoods and Freesias everywhere.
Sorry but you are just going to have to put up with the renovation news for the next couple of weeks.
This weekend has involved tearing things out, pulling things down, ripping out dyna-bolts (I have a love hate relationship with the dyna-bolt), falling off ladders, lots of over painting with undercoat to get get rid of the red and patching of hundreds of little holes. The kitchen has me stumped and I think the only way to get it to function is to rip the whole thing out. There is very limited space in the kitchen/bathroom/laundry way and it is going to take drastic steps to get it sorted. I knew it was time to come home when I found myself standing in the kitchen peeling the red paint off the walls in long strips. It was like peeling sunburnt skin, very enjoyable in a weird way. I hate blu-tac by the way. Anyone who uses it should be made to remove every scrap of it before they move out. I desperately need a sparky and a chippy (and a plumber but I don't know the nickname for one of them, we used to use the term 'Reg' but he moved to Cobram). I wish I still had my pet tradies, they were so handy.
After a heap of phaffing about waiting for the #@$*^!+ key, I finally took matters into my own hands and called a locksmith. New locks all around- tick! Gregory dropped in for a perv. Jess and Princess Coco la Nutt brought chocolates and let off party poppers. Having analysed the feng shui for what will be the bedroom, they are pictured below trying to decide how to remove the false ceiling from what is known as the 'big room'. Whilst the false ceiling is annoying, I am not prepared to pull it down at this stage as the saying 'whole can of worms' springs to mind.
So as a treat (and to stop them trying to de-falsify the ceiling) we ripped up the lino in the hall, kitchen and bathroom. Satisfying!