Monday, 15 September 2014

Progress, and I have a sewing desk

We’re back in our kitchen, hurrah! It still feels exciting to open the big fridge after nine months of using the small temporary fridge, and to be able to cook in an oven. Our back-ordered doors should be installed today or tomorrow (at which time I will raise the issue of our cupboard knobs which are falling off their stems one by one). So far I am very happy with the appliances I chose, and the layout is working really well.

For a brief couple of days we also had a very elegant dining room, when our refurbished furniture arrived. Sadly the dining room and lounge are now full of the contents of the study, which is being painted this week. 


  So I am typing this on my PC set up temporarily on a garden table squeezed into the corner of the dining room, and I won’t be able to post it online until the painter is done for the day and I can connect the router up again in that room he is working in. Meanwhile the lounge has a little path leading through the boxes to the TV and to the sofa, and otherwise looks like a charity shop.  Once the study is painted, the kitchen fitter is coming back to do a job on the side for us and fit the secondhand IKEA bookcases I have been collecting for some time.  I have planned out a way to fit the motley collection in around the study windows and chimney breast to give the appearance of fitted bookcases, and we bought some pine moulding on the weekend to enhance the effect.  I’ve seen similar IKEA bookcase hacks online, although in America apparently you can buy something called ‘crown moulding’ fairly cheaply to give an elegant protruding effect at the top of the bookcase and that doesn’t seem to exist here in the UK.  I’ve had to settled for architrave, which is normally used to go around doorways.

And once the bookcases are fitted, we can move back into the study and also unpack lots of boxes of books which are currently in the cellar.  I don’t think they are all going to fit into the study, so priority will go to DH’s books as in theory it is his study even though my office is in the corner.  And in any case, my craft books are being dispersed to the various craft rooms around the house so that only leaves my shabby collection of Georgette Heyer novels, some childhood favourites like Swallows and Amazons, and various lurid urban fantasy series that I read nowadays, to go on the study shelves (probably hidden behind the door so they don’t lower the tone from DH’s serious books).

The electrician has been to fit various lights around the house, replacing the bare bulbs on a flex left behind by the previous owners.  This is one of the lights in my bedroom which gives an ‘edwardian’ effect.



And we picked up my ‘chaise longue’ although it is really more of a ‘chaise short’ because it is a mini size.  I’ve always wanted a chaise longue but it would make the bedroom feel really crowded, so when I spotted this mini version in a shop window that we drove past, I made DH turn the car around.  The original I spotted was in an awful modern purple fabric but they made me my own version using a more subtle chenille pattern.



We also have a new boiler, fitted by a very nice young man who left the utility room very tidy.  He was barely out the door on the second afternoon when I had DS helping me cart dozens of boxes out of the sewing room and into the utility room.  That freed up enough space in the sewing room to put together my flat pack sewing table with help from DH and DS.



Yes, I know it’s green, and very twee with the gingerbread trim.  But it was on sale (probably due to the colour) and way cheaper than a Horn cabinet.  I just need to get a Plexiglas insert cut to fit round my machine.  As well as being cheaper, I chose this desk because my sewing machine will be out all the time, so I don’t need a cabinet that folds away.  Also I can store my serger/overlocker inside one of the open pedestals, ready for use.  You can see my two charity shop bargain folding tables set up in front of the machine table (they need a clean). I can fold them down when I don’t need them, or put them up when I am machine quilting or working on a bigger piece, for extra support.

I had a delivery last week all the way from Hancock’s in America, after I was once again suckered by their amazing sale bargains.  The thing is, by the time I pay shipping and VAT (sales tax) and the handling charge the Post Office imposes, it works out to about a similar cost per yard as I would pay here.  I got three RJR jelly rolls, two different batiks for backgrounds in scrappy quilts, and some home dec fabric for cushions.



Commuter knitting this week continues to be the Low Tide Cardigan which is now back up to around four inches in the body for the third time.  I need to try it on again properly by threading half the stitches onto a spare needle, but I think it is a lot better with the extra stitches cast on under the arm.  TV knitting has been the Aran Sampler Sweater, which also suffered a few inches of un-knitting when I realised I hadn’t done enough chart repeats on the first set of patterns. 


  I’ve made a start on the Bergere de France slippers that will fit on the fleecy soles I blogged last week, using some Icelandic yarn that I bought in Paducah, Kentucky of all places, when I was last at the AQS show back c. 2009.  I would love to go again one day, but holidays seem a rather distant prospect while we are pouring all our money into this house.


It’s drizzling rain as I type this, it definitely feels like Autumn now and our two little trees in front of the house are starting to lose their leaves.  Although the temperature in London has gone up to highs in the low 20s, it is decidedly chilly as I walk to the station early in the morning.  I like this time of year, and am enjoying wearing a  lightweight knitted beanie hat and my fingerless gloves on my walk. Of course, there are still people on the platform wearing white shoes, bare legs with summer skirts, and no jackets, but then I am a total wuss

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