Slip, slap, slop…

April 21, 2009

…That’s ‘slip’ on some very old clothes, ‘slap’ some paste onto the wallpaper, and ‘slop’ most of it all over oneself.  That’s how we did wallpapering, anyway!  😀

Yes, this past weekend we attempted our first ever go at wallpapering – in the third bedroom.  We finally got fed up with that one room being a building site behind the closed door, so decided to bite the bullet and go for it.  Last weekend we cleared it out and sanded down the walls and window frame.  We also had many, many holes and cracks to fill in – the plaster was in a very bad way and to be honest probably could have done with a total skim.  But never mind, we soldiered on, using Homebase’s entire supply of Polyfilla in the process…

Unfortunately we just couldn’t get a finish we were happy with, so decided to line with wallpaper, and paint.  We also had to fit some replacement picture rail (turns out it’s not easy to mitre without a mitre saw…)

Here’s some photos to serve as evidence that we did actually do some wallpapering all by ourselves, and I’m sure you will agree the end result of the weekend’s work is far better than how it looked before.  Next weekend we will hopefully be able to finish this room off, ready to be carpeted – exciting!





Chainsaw Massacre Part 2

March 30, 2009

You may remember that some time ago we chopped down 5 or 6 conifers in our garden…and that there were still some giant ones at the front that we hadn’t yet dared attack!

Here they are, pre-massacre.  As you can see they are a fair bit taller than the telegraph pole:


And for the purpose of a quick direct comparison, here’s what’s left of them now:


Our garden looks huuuuuuuuuge!

So here’s some amusing progress shots……

Bruce up a tree, with a chainsaw:




David and James heave on the rope, in a (sometimes successful) attempt to direct the falling tree into the garden and away from school children/cars/the road etc…


David shows the tree what he’s made of…


But the tree fights back…!


All in all, a pretty successful afternoon.  We’ve already had one neighbour come over to thank us for letting some light into his lounge…!  Slowly but surely we’re improving the exterior of the house, and garden – and it’s nice that the neighbours approve!  There’s still work to do the trees – we only cut the trees down to about 6′, as we didn’t want to leave our front garden completely open to the road.  When we’ve sorted out what we want to get in terms of fencing/railings, we’ll have to cut them down further and dig out the roots.

Anyone for a bonfire?

A long over-due update

March 23, 2009

Oh dear, we are getting very lax about keeping the blog up to date.  We’ve been so busy recently, both with doing bits on the house and garden, and also with organising the wedding.  And seeing as there’s less than 5 months to go til the wedding, no doubt the house improvements will slow down even more!

Here’s some photos of the house – the garden ones will have to wait as it’s dark outside now…!

Here’s a couple of pics of some of the new bedroom furniture.  Sorry the bedroom’s a bit of a mess, but it all looks lovely.  We’ve got two bedside cabinets, a chest of drawers for David and a tall boy (chest, not an actual boy who is tall) for Beth.  You can see the new curtains too – luxury to get rid of that purple duvet cover!



Our bedroom’s basically finished now – just need a couple of pictures/photos/mirrors for the walls, and a flatscreen tv so David can watch MOTD in bed…!

The bathroom is also almost done, just the odd bit of finishing off to do.


And the second bedroom is complete, apart from curtains, and albeit in need of a good tidy-up!


Here’s a (fairly rubbish) shot of the new hall door – the kitchen door is the same:


And, drumroll please…….David’s magnificent shelves in the lounge!


We are so pleased with how they look.  We’d been looking for ages for some decent quality timber shelves at a decent price.  Turns out shelves are phenomenonly expensive!  Eventually we found some window board in B&Q.  This is 29mm thick, solid pine, with a curved front edge, and is usually used as interior window cills.  Then we were charged incorrectly at the tills, so got the lot (plus another shelf of this size and three little ones) for about £30 – bargain!  We stained the pine with a dark oak stain to match the other lounge furniture, and used some thin bullnose architrave as battens along each side of the alcove, and the shelves simply sit on top.  Job well done!  🙂

I know, I know, it’s been ages…

March 1, 2009

…but we have been lazy! We haven’t done all that much for quite a while now, as life keeps getting in the way, but our followers have been demanding updates so here we are.

Bruce has put up our porch lights, and he also rendered and painted the rear porch wall, which has tidied it up a lot.  Now we’ve put some carpet down, cleaned the inside up a bit, and put in a shelving unit to store all the paint etc for the time being, it looks much better than it did:


We bought a roller blind for the kitchen from an ebay shop (south manchester blinds), and we’re really happy with it:


We’ve finally bought some new interior doors for kitchen and the hallway/front porch; some piccies of these will go up once they’re installed.  We also finally bought some curtains for our bedroom – but unfortunately we forgot to take the measurements with us and had to guess…


Doh!  Back to the shop again next weekend then!  Incidentally, out of the window you can see the holly tree, which David gallantly attacked this afternoon, and is now about 5′ shorter than it was.  Our lounge is now much brighter (and David’s arms very scratched…!)

We also attacked the mass of tree/ivy which has enveloped the garage roof for probably the past 40+ years.  A big job, but so far we’ve got this far:


On Thursday we have a very exciting day planned…..we’re going to IKEA!  Which means we will actually have some furniture, and will be able to clear out the second bedroom…


And one other thing – take one scrap of leftover carpet, a large cardboard tube (from roller blind), and a staple gun…and you have the biggest scratching post ever, and the world’s happiest cat!  🙂



February 3, 2009

Well we’ve certainly been glad of our shiny new central heating system the past couple of days!

Some wintry pics:


(That holly bush seriously needs trimming)


Our much-reduced rubble pile, no longer concealed by a fence panel…a constant reminder that we need another trip to the tip!


Chester is really not sure about the white stuff! He prefers to sit in the newly-carpeted porch/conservatory and look out.

More carpet…!

February 1, 2009

With the exception of the third bedroom, we now have carpet throughout the house – bliss!  😀

Here’s a pic of the lounge (the carpet is a bit stripy where it’s been rolled up, but that should go soon):


And here’s a photo of the hallway…the carpet looks slightly darker here than it actually is – it’s a sandy colour, and looks really warm and sunny.


We had enough of the hallway carpet left to put some down in the porch/conservatory.  The struggle the two of us had with doing that demonstrated how clever/strong carpet-fitters are…!  So now the porch looks much nicer and is a more useful space now we can use it as more than just a dumping ground.

Whilst Arturo was fitting the carpet, we made ourselves scarce and braved the cold out in the garden.  We gathered up all the remaining cuttings from the conifers, and piled them up into one small (relatively) pile ready to go to the tip.  We also pulled down a couple of nasty rotten fence panels, and moved some horrible paving slabs.  Found a little toad under one of them!  Also noticed signs that Spring is on its way – snowdrops!

In other news, we bought a new bed for the spare room, and a new mattress – so we can have friends to stay!  (will have to clear some of the boxes off the bed first though)

Carpet :o)

January 25, 2009

Getting up in the morning is so much more bearable when you can sink your feet into lush velvety carpet, rather than cautiously treading on dirty old floorboards!

Yes that’s right, we have finally got new carpet in our bedroom and it is gorgeous!  🙂


We do however have to plane a few mm off the bottom of the door, as it’s very hard to open, what with the shagpile plus the 10mm underlay…! (and ignore the purple “curtains”!)

We’ve also had the 2nd bedroom carpet fitted, also very nice although a less dramatic colour:


Our man Arturo is coming back on Friday to fit the carpet to the lounge and hallway – then he’ll have to come back again when the 3rd bedroom is done…whenever that may be!  It’ll be great having the lounge carpetted, in particular, as then we can start unpacking some of our many boxes of possessions – that we haven’t seen in 6 months…!  Really looking forward to seeing how the colour looks too.

The rest of the carpet piled up in the hallway:


We didn’t do anything else much this weekend – we were having a break and getting some more mundane house chores done.  We did order a roller blind for the kitchen – that’s kind of DIY…  Hopefully it’ll arrive in the week and we can fit it next weekend…then we can eat at the kitchen table without being in full view of passers-by!