Weekend comes around and we start work again. Today was lots and lots of wall prep. Infact we started last night with sanding down the wall to make sure there were no rough patches; marking up deep holes; filling them in and then sanding them down again. Today was just more of that (much easier to do it in daylight!). You have to do several passes of this as its difficult to spot all the holes that need filling and sanding on just one go. You'll often find holes that need filling whilst you're sanding another filled one. Generates a lot of dust too so both of us ended up having quite salt-n-pepper hair and looking like old biddies ;)
To get to all the walls, we also had to drain and take off the radiator - man what a mission! There were lots of spanners and buckets and thumbs holding valves closed while one of us panicked and the other ran round looking for spare newspaper and rags to mop up the leaks. Got there in the end though ... as you can see, the radiator was inspected (and we assume installed) on 24th July 1972 - almost 40 years ago! I found some funky orange wallpaper behind the wall brackets - will have to take a photo of those soon.
And while we were at it, Sunshine decided that we might as well recess the plug sockets (they stick quite a bit out of the walls so we decided to get them inside the walls. Here is Sunshine doing the manly drilling-out-holes with a mega drill; setting in a new socket box, then plaster filling it into the wall. Three double sockets to do round this room. Also this room has only one light fitting (smack in the middle of the room) but I decided we need two. So we had to make two new holes in the ceiling; get into the attic and pull the current wire out; move it to one of our new holes; and fill the old hole. Eventually we can wire in to the second of our new holes too. I think that will work much better than the current set-up.
We wanted to start lining-papering today but all this prepping took a long time. We also had a 30th birthday party to get to that evening. So in the last hour we cleared everything up; vacuumed; put down dust sheets and brought up all the wallpapering stuff ready for tomorrow.
Amazingly confused weather in Bristol today - torrential rain with bright sunshine ... only one thing from that ...RAINBOW!!! Infact, if you look closely, you can see - DOUBLE RAINBOW! Thank you my Sunshine for running into the house and calling for me, "Mithi! Come see this! Good surprise!!!", and for the photo. :)
Day two of the weekend and we start by moving the shelves and sofabed so we can access the undone corner. On hand are the tools of choice - a thing to perforate the wallpaper to make the steam get in better; some scrapers to peel the wallpaper off; and some sponges as last bits mostly just needed a bit of soaking and cleaning off.
Once the final corner was done, I sat and slowly worked my way across that funny patch on the bottom right (of the picture below) of some strange glue residue that needed peeling away; whilst Sunshine got on with a first pass of plaster-filling some of the larger holes, dents and cracks in the wall. I must say the damage is fairly minimal and we are very lucky to have bought a house in very good condition. Our friends down the road whose steamer we keep borrowing, peeled their wallpaper off and all the plaster came of with it leaving bare brick!
Stopped before we got too tired - school night after all...
And as an aside - since I still needed to be able to work on my commission, we've set up a small studio/office in the back lounge (which is currently our living room) ... did all this only to realise we don't have easy internet access down there - so as you can see, the laptop (with wifi) is sitting on the chair on the right as I need to have web access, but I'm doing my drawing work on the desktop. Feels really roomy down there though- and I have enough space to set up the printer, scanner, wacom tablet and lightbox without constantly having to pull one thing out to make space for another ...
So after another half a day of packing and putting away the office, this is what we started with.
The wallpaper below the picture rail was a dream to take off - pick the bottom corners and pull ... The stuff above the picture rail and the ceiling on the other hand were a different story altogether and so out came the steamer. Poor Sunshine (because he is so lovely and tall) had to do the bulk of it as I just could not reach.
We got as far as we could (look at the mess on the floor! My job was mostly tidying up) before we called it a day as we had a dinner invite at the Domakke's. Just that one corner to go ...
The front bedroom used to house our office cum studio. No longer! It is (eventually) relocating to the front lounge. But in the meantime, its all in boxes ... so no "lucky finds" of vintage and retro kids stuff for a while...
Anyways, this had to happen so we can get on with redecorating (ie peeling off the textured wallpaper) in this room this weekend.
I realise that there hasn't been much house DIY updates recently ... well its because we haven't really managed to do any. Sunshine is back teaching, and I've got a commission on the go, and we've also had a steady stream of guests whom we've been accomodation in this here front bedroom ... as you can see, the sofabed that used to be in the front lounge, is now situated here (this used to be our office but we are moving the office to the front lounge).
We did though have a sudden urge to peel away the textured wallpaper last week (just before one of our guests arrived!) - as you can see above. I actually only remembered to take a photo today as I realised I hadn't documented it and there is a plan to get on with a bit more of this room this weekend. The wall stuff comes off fairly easily - but the paper above the picture rail is another beast. Me thinks there will be another showing of the wallpaper steamer soon.
I found this thick tome (175 pages!) a while ago at one of my favourite charity sales where they have a whole container (as in back of a truck) of books. You never know what you're going to get - and this is what I got.
Its full of lovely illustrations by Alan Howard who I had not heard of before. Not much out there on the internets about him unfortunately :( There are about 8 colour plates and almost every other song/rhyme has a gorgeous ink drawing to go with it. Looking through flickr I found this image which is also in this book.
One day when I have more time I'll photograph a few more illustrations from this lovely lucky find :)
Today we went to one of my favourite flea markets ... we haven't been in over a year so it was really nice to have a wonder round. Now that we have a house - we can start looking at kitting it out with nice accessories - for example nice vintage coat hooks and stands and other such stuff. We didn't buy any though - it was more of a reconnaissance mission. (We also had the added insentive that the Dommakes were there selling off some of the vintage china and lampshades they had collected for their wedding).
But something I did find - and buy, as it was such a good price - was this vintage Escorial Grun bottle - in an aviation theme! Escorial Grun is a German herbal liquer manufactured by a company called Riemerschmid from Munich and back in the day (60s/70s?) they used to come in these beautiful ceramic bottles. I first came across them here, and have been looking for one ever since. The aviation ones are fairly rare - and being surrounded by aviationenthusiasts, I was really chuffed to have found this ... its BEAUTIFUL :)
And, erm, I also bought a couple of wicker baskets and a suitcase for my selection of sewing/knitting/etc stuff ... I'm starting on a 6 week knitting course (with one half of the Dommakes) in a few weeks and I need a "handbag" to carry my needles and wool ... of course ;)
I found this just last week - for 20p ... TWENTY PENCE! - at a local charity shop. Haven't had much luck with childrens' books at charity shops lately but this was quite the find. Had never heard of it or the illustrator- but oh my it is so delicious!
Based on a story written for children by famous German writer Goethe; told by Laurence Collinson and illustrated by Keiichi Tanaami. Beautifully painted in true late 60s style. I looked up Keiichi Tanaami, but the wikipedia entry doesn't list this book so I don't know if it was by the same man - and I can barely find any other mention of this book anywhere apart from some Australian library catalogues. Image searches also yield nothing ... a little treasure for myself me thinks :)
Its niece Soph's 2nd Birthday in a couple of weeks but she will be holidaying at her grandparents (my inlaws) at the time. So we though we'd go deliver her her Birthday present before they leave on Wednesday for their holiday.
Sunshine and I had been looking for something special for a while - and saw this at our favourite toy shop in Bristol - "Playful", on the Gloucester Road. Soph's dad is a musician and we knew her parents would appreciate having something that made beautiful music however its played - and so we got her this pentatonically tuned glockenspiel from Auris.
Auntie Mithi also made her a card and Sunshine sewed her a carrier to protect her new little musical instrument (don't you just love a man who sews???)
Sunshine (with his designer's head on) decided to film an "unboxing experince" ... as you can see here...
We think its gone down very well - she does a mean rendition of "Twinkel Twinkle Little Star", whilst playing on the glockenspiel. I think she also quite enjoys just hanging out with her Uncle.