Sunday, February 28, 2010

Study Makeover

The ladder makes another appearance

For years I've been wanting to paint our study. It is the one room we haven't painted since we moved in, almost 15 years ago. Yes, that is completely shocking, to leave a room unpainted that long, but if you saw how much furniture is in this room, you would understand why we haven't rushed to paint it before now.

This room was our dining room for a few years, then we extended our living area between having Emily and Laura, and it became a study. In this room we all use two computers, I teach piano, the girls practise saxophone and flute, we keep our heirloom china and little-used dishes, and this room also serves as storage for paperwork, instruments, toys, clothes and more. It is one well-used little room!

The other reason we haven't rushed to paint this room is that over the years it's had a few transformations and alterations, and parts of the wall and floor are not finished properly. Before our time there used to be a door behind where the piano now stands going through to the room behind. Oh how I wish I knew how the house was first set up when it was built in the 1920s! Then the previous owners painted the rooms in a kaleidoscope of colours, but not with any attention to detail, leaving whole sections of trim unfinished!

Fast forward fifteen years to the last few weeks and I have been plugging away at getting this room decluttered, and looking at paint colours ... and looking at other blogs where people actually get on and paint their rooms rather than just think about painting their rooms ... so about 10 days ago I went out and bought some sample pots and painted some sections of the wall. The sample colours turned out to be not quite right ... and you can't really live with big brown patches on yellow walls ... so now I HAVE to paint!

The study looks particularly YELLOW with our new lightglobes at night

Steve spent this afternoon pulling out furniture and emptying the sideboard (we have china all over our kitchen benches!). Steve even managed to move the piano! Then we cleaned half the walls, and tomorrow I am going to paint half the room! Yes, all in one day! Huh! Before my piano students arrive on Tuesday!

Well, that's the plan!

The study is currently two shades of yellow. It is a south-facing room, so it doesn't get a whole lot of light, but we have put in a solartube so it is lighter than it used to be. The trim is in the same pale green used throughout the hall and living areas. It has never really looked great and it doesn't go with all our timber furniture. Here is the "before" shot, though I have to confess that I have altered the photo to hide the brown sample patches I painted the other day, hence the two strange looking sections of wall. And please excuse the mess on the floor and the curtains piled up on the rod for painting ...

The study in daytime

As you can see our piano and sideboard are in a rich dark walnut colour and the yellow doesn't really suit at all.
Thanks to this site I've been fiddling with colour options, and this is what I'm hoping the finished study will look like, although it's not the exact shade I'll be using:

Something more calm, more suitable for a room full of timber furniture, more professional-looking for a "piano studio" and more coordinated overall.

I'm hoping to have a real "after" shot to show you tomorrow!

Jane Austen Curls

Laura requested "curls at the front" the other night, and so headed off to school the next day with quite the Regency look. So cute, but not quite right with her sports shirt ... I still couldn't take my eyes off her!

Summer's End

Summer has come to an official end, here, today. The last weeks have been full - starting school, adjusting to new routines, planning and organising for my teaching year (piano, recorder and bible study).

Emily has settled right in to high school life, and at her camp tried all sorts of exciting new things including sailing and giant rope swings, which she never would have attempted in the past. She was glad to come home, though, and we were glad to have her home with us again!

Laura surprised us all by announcing that she was going to enter the 50m backstroke race at the school swimming carnival, she's not a great swimmer so she's never swum 50m before, but after a practice at the pool with Daddy she was ready, and I watched proudly as she swam steadily to the finish line, knowing that it was a harder race for her than for many of the other swimmers that day.

In February we've had ...
... hot days and cold days; humid days and stormy days ... tomatoes growing and piled up on the kitchen bench and zucchinis shriveled outside in the heat ... days of rinsing out swimming costumes and days of relaxing in the airconditioning ... days with delicious dinners and days where we were glad to have something easy out of the freezer ... days when the house was almost completely tidy and days when it looked like a bomb had hit... days when I sat quiet and tired and days when I was filled with energy and decluttered for hours at a time.

Laura has a new Irish Dancing teacher and a new flute teacher and a new school teacher, and Emily has the same saxophone teacher but of course all new teachers to get to know at high school. Steve has been in his new job now for almost 2 months, and has gotten used to the train/bus combination each morning and evening. I've almost gotten used to our early starts with Steve leaving at 7.20 and some days we girls beat him out the door to rush to band or choir.

And so tomorrow is a cooler day for the start of autumn, we've just had a thunderstorm here. I don't expect life to change dramatically in March, but I do hope to cope with it all a bit better now that I've got things running with my students.

And also ... tomorrow I will be working on a big project, which I'll post about soon!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Happy Camper ... hopefully

Emily is at a Year 7 camp. Just two nights, but I'll be happy when she's home tomorrow afternoon.

Then before I know it, it will be Laura's turn to start going on camps.
I hate it when one of my girls is not home!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Cute Cards

The last few days I've been playing with some new stamps, and today I finished assembling the cards. I'm loving colouring these cute images from Hero Arts! (And what's not to love about a cupcake?)

I love the colours of this one below (cardstock and papers on all cards by Stampin' Up!). They compliment the oh-so-cute little girl so well!

So nice to get some craft finished for once! Now I have to run and pop one of them in the mail for a birthday!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Fimo Pendants

I've been looking into making Silver Clay Jewellery (such as this) lately, and that inspired me to first try some pendants with some Fimo (a Christmas present to Laura). Emily made one, Laura made two, and I made one. If you can't tell which one is mine, I will give up craft now.

The hardest part of this craft was getting the jump rings on after the baking. I had to buy some larger-than-usual rings and even then it was tricky getting them through the layers.

As for the actual making of the pendants - they were easy-peasy. Roll some fimo into a ball and then flatten it with a roller. Cut with a miniature cutter if desired. Stamp with a rubber stamp or other textured object and bake in 120degC oven for 30mins.

Baker Girl

Now that Emily's in high school, she has a uniform for everything! She thought she'd give her cooking apron and cap a try while baking butterfly cakes at home last Saturday.

She left one fetching curl hanging out of her cap.

I love that she can bake by herself now.

She was given a cupcake baking kit for Christmas, and since then has been baking delicious big cupcakes for us to enjoy. A cute cook and yummy cakes, who could ask for anything more?

(Well ... she could improve on the cleaning up afterwards ....)

Saturday, February 6, 2010

I'm still here!

Hi, still here, just very, very busy with start-of-the-school year stuff.

Getting used to the new high school routine.
Getting clothes dry in time in the rain.
Getting ready for piano and recorder students.
Getting the house sorted and clean.
Trying to balance "free" time and work.

Looking forward to blogging soon!