Friday, February 24, 2012

Still painting ...

While our building has almost finished, the painting hasn't!

Two months after we began painting on Boxing Day,
Emily's room is completely finished, 
but Laura's room is waiting on some more paint on the trim, and some touching-up.

The hallway also needs more trim painted.

And then there are the stairs.  Yikes.

Varnishing AND painting 
... what was I thinking???

The most exciting painting this week was the addition of 
Wattyl Breezy Day to the bathroom walls.

Loving the way it has turned out, 
and more photos to come when the tiler has finished completely.

On Monday night I realised that we had only two days 
to paint the bathroom before the shower screen was to arrive!

So we painted and painted until it was done.
Nothing like painting at 7.00am ... or during dinner ...
It's not a great paint job because the gyprockers didn't finish the walls well,
expecting the whole room to be tiled.
We could have insisted on getting it done better,
but at this stage we just want to get on with it
and have it finished.

So, the texture just adds to the vintage vibe
I was hoping for ...

And speaking of painting, do you like this oil painting?

Just $4.00 at an op shop.  

All the other wallhangings there were around $15.00 
- just prints or empty frames.

This is just a cheap plastic frame, 
but I like the scene, especially the water and sky.  

I do find myself gravitating to original art these days
 ... so long as it fits the budget ;-)
and old is good.

This might find a home in the living room
or in my craft room ... not sure yet.

The carpet is booked for Monday 5th March,
so we are trying to get all the painting upstairs 
and on the stairs done by then.
. . .

Of course
(she says between clenched teeth)
that would depend on the shower screen guy 
actually turning up ...
or the whole painting schedule goes up in smoke!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Ready for the Thursday Rush

Ready for the Thursday
Piano teaching/ballet/guides/orchestra rehearsal rush.

Four dinners in new Pyrex dishes, ready to be heated.

Chicken pasta bake.
One normal (with GF/DF sauce) with cheese
One gluten-free/dairy-free/salicylate-free/amine- free without cheese
One normal but small and not too many veges
One vegetarian with tomato sauce, beans and cheese.


Spot the Difference

Quick quiz:
Spot at least 3 differences between this scene and the one below:

1. The exterior painting is finished
2. The scaffolding is gone
3. The sun is shining!


(Now just waiting for that bin to go
and for 3 fine days in a row so the fence can be painted!)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Stairs and the Last of the Gyprocking

Last week was a crazy week around here.

It began like this:

with everything covered late on Sunday night
in anticipation of the gyprockers 
arriving at 7.00am on Monday morning.

But they didn't arrive.

So I prepared for a day of no progress.

Except for the painting outside ....

But ... then at about 10.00am the stair man arrived,

and the plumbers to install the taps and connect the water upstairs..

By the end of Monday 

our beautiful staircase was complete.

Although the staircase intrudes into the living area
the posts line up with the side of the front and back door, 
which is great.

here is the view from the other side,
showing space for the understairs cupboards,
which the carpenter is building as I type.

And our interesting angled toilet door,
the subject of a future post.

I love this view of the stairs where you can 
see the light flowing in from the windows on the landing.

In the next few days I will start painting the bannisters in white.
All the maple (handrails, steps and postcaps) 
will be stained and varnished in a few weeks.

The next morning we were back to this:

and this time the gyprockers did arrive,
shooing us out of the kitchen before breakfast ...
we grabbed our bowls, spoons, cereal boxes and milk
and huddled into the study, 
the only "safe" room,
the four of us in one square metre.
Good times.


They sanded for the morning and left at 11.00am
in a cloud of dust.
I spent the afternoon cleaning.

One of the spaces they worked was here in the kitchen,
you can see in the top left corner where the bottom of the 
staircase eats into the kitchen.

A similar thing happens in the toilet next door.
There were also plenty of repairs to the ceiling 
and in our bedroom where a support post had to be put in.

So really, the only unaffected rooms during the whole renovation
have been the study (otherwise known as the holding room for 
everything we've had to suddenly move!) 
the girls room (nearly always a mess!)
and the shower/bathroom.

It was such a relief after the gyprockers left to 
remove dropsheets for the last time from all the 
furniture and floors in the living room.

Each day a little bit more is done
and we get a little closer to finishing!

The carpenter will finish today,
and then we wait for the showerscreen and the tiler to do a little more,
before we finish painting and have the carpet laid
in a few weeks time.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Preparing for Painting

Photo by Emily
It was all on at our place this weekend.
Thankfully the sun came out
after a drenching week.

Steve replaced the timber battens on the carport.

I spent a few hours with a mattock (!)]
(in my stylish painting shorts)
to clear a decade of weeds and ferns away from the fence

 so that it can be painted this week.

Photo by Emily

After two afternoons

the job was done.


The painters have plenty to do,
our fence hasn't coped with the shade.

And previous painters didn't do a good job
which means some areas have to be stripped right back.

The front fence has been scrubbed ready to paint.

Today I woke with aching muscles
but the satisfaction of a job well done!

Photo by Emily

The plumber has been in today and installed taps and toilet ...

and the stair man is finishing the stairs.

Photos tomorrow.
We are soooo close to finishing!!!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Well and truly over it ...

So this is the post where I have a big whinge

about how hard everything has been this week,

and how we are coping with the messiest 

stage of the building.

Feel free to skip it and look at some pretty pictures

here, here and here instead.

I'm writing this so we can look back one day and laugh.

Or say "was it really that bad?? 

Why, we can hardly remember it.

And it's all been worth it"


So ... here goes:

What's been off-limits for whole days at a time:


(our only)

living room/dining room/craft area


(except to walk quickly through)

our bedroom

carport and sometimes the driveway
(and it's been raining)


which leaves:

study (full of stuff)

girls' room (ditto)

bathroom (shower & basin)

Which explains why I spent a few days mostly shopping.

The mess and noise:

Tile cutting

Gyprock cutting

5 men talking in 5 different accents and various languages

cigarette smoke wafting inside

orbital sander and heat gun

globs of wet plaster left behind ... everywhere

globs of dry plaster left behind .... everywhere

Heavy rain all week = lots of mud

dropsheets down the hall
(because what's the point of moving them
with mud and dust everywhere?)

Every piece of furniture in the affected rooms 
covered in plastic dropsheets

gyprock and paint staying wet in the rainy weather

On top of which ...

the girls started school

(taking up hems, labelling, shopping for stationery,
long long stories after school & more requests for 
stationery, school meetings, packing lunches, covering books)

I started piano teaching and bible study again

the dishwasher broke down

the list of jobs to do this weekend keeps growing

the weather is cold and wintry and dark

and the rain just won't stop coming down.

Next week: more of the same, plus fine white dust everywhere.

And then we turn the corner, only small jobs after that,

a bit (a lot) more painting for us to do, carpet,

and moving in.

. . .

However, amongst the mess

there have been some quiet days

where no one has been in

while we wait for the gyprock to dry.

So I did get the study tidied up

and I can use the whole house again for now.

Which makes it all bearable.

The quiet before the storm.

We just have to focus on the end of the building,

and the fun part to come,

which is well and truly in sight.

On the perils and pitfalls of choosing neutrals

Every half an hour I go outside and stare at the house.

Not because I love the roof, like on the Colorbond ad,

but because I'm just not sure about the colour scheme I've chosen.

And it's too late, really, to change it.

So what I'm really wondering is

"can I live with this??"

Our house has been two shades of bluey-green 

for the past 12 years.

I have always loved the way those shades toned together

but time for a change.


We decided to stick with Wattyl Solagard

and Wattyl colours.

Not a whole lot of neutrals to choose from,

really ...

The first sample pots were too 


Similar to this colour.

Not what we wanted outside.

So we went with 

Rock Oyster,

Moon Shell

English Castle

Nature's Bloom.

After weeks of agonising, months ago,

I made that decision and stuck to it,

without trying sample pots this time.

Last week when the painting began,

we quickly realised that there wasn't the contrast we wanted between the

Rock Oyster and the Moon Shell

so asked the painter to double the tint on the

Rock Oyster, for the weatherboards.

Upstairs, on top of the new cement board and weatherboards

the colours look good in most lights,

grey with a touch of green.

But downstairs, over the old green paint,

and close up,

the colours look khaki

And now this is what I see when I open the front door:

Green, green, green.

Similar to a colour called Retro Avocado.

And not so different to this:

So instead of the "traditional with a twist of contemporary"

that I was hoping for,

the house just looks '90s'.

Or 80s.

Or 70s.

And the English Castle in gloss

turns out to be pukey brown-khaki in the sunshine,

not the sophisticated charcoal-brown I envisaged.

Nature's Bloom, while being a lovely light cream on the colour chip

turns out to be "white".

Also not the look I was hoping for, and adding to the 1970s effect.

But at least this works now:

The old white screen door matching the front door colours

for the first time ever, having had various colours on that door in the past.

So that's one thing that won't need to be replaced ;-)

The verandah ceiling is looking better than we've ever seen it

although we hadn't planned for it to be green.

The painters are doing a brilliant job,

scrubbing, scraping, stripping conserving and painting.

And even in the rain.

No complaints there.

Upstairs painted, part of downstairs painted.  Original green still on weatherboards here.

So ... 
If the upstairs and downstairs end up looking the same colour 

(not greyish upstairs and greenish downstairs),

 I can live with it.

We might plant more natives

going for an "Australian bush" look.

And the lovely Linda reminded me that one can go 

too grey, and our house is definitely not that now!

. . .

But oh, why do paint colours have to be so tricky???

Linking to Metamorphosis Monday

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Almost, but not quite

Dark and miserable weather here.

The painters have half-finished, 

which makes for a very odd-looking house.

The upstairs painting is completed, 

but the downstairs is a mixture of new and old.

Today it is raining heavily at times, but the painters persist, 

working on the verandah,

removing years of flaking paint from the ceiling.

* * *

Inside, two men work on the gyprock

around the stairs, kitchen and downstairs toilet.

Upstairs, one man tiles the new bathroom ...

... and I huddle in the study

surrounded by stuff which needs to be tidied up.

Yesterday the girls headed off to school 

together for the first time,

both at high school this year,

another change for us,

one which gives me more free time and less driving.

I will be able to appreciate that better

when our building is finished,

and we are out of survival mode.

Which is thankfully not too far off now, 

perhaps early next week.