Saturday, 20 August 2016


We have been very busy here for the last three weeks painting our internal doors downstairs.  We've lived in the house now for thirteen and a half years and this is the continuation of long held dreams to complete the decoration of a house bought unfinished all those years ago. There is only the entry hall and the stairwell to plaster and paint now which we have plans for later this year.

There are 7 doors to various rooms like the storerooms, bedroom and loo including 2 glazed ones to the lounge.  They all had to be taken down to be sanded by Bob outdoors as we didn't want the house filled with dust, then handed to me for painting.  We decided to work with them flat on trestles so that there was no risk of getting paint on the hinges and catches which had been removed.

Fortunately the glazing bars were removable so that I could paint them without having to mask off the glass but it still was quite a job doing all the criss crosses.  Each door was given a layer of undercoat and then a gloss topcoat so it wasn't a quick job!
The entire downstairs became a workshop with everything moved to make room and blankets on the bedroom carpet to protect it as I painted in there too.  There were also three frames to be painted which Bob took on when he had finished his preparations.  He changed all the handles when he re-hung the doors as the old ones were well past their best.
Here is one of the lounge doors finished, doesn't it look smart!  We're very pleased with our efforts but pretty tired after such intensive work in hot summer weather!

My friend Luba has her Canadian granddaughters to stay every summer and I love to have them here for an afternoon of crafting, usually when it's raining as they would be on the beach otherwise.  They came three times this year and I had some varied activities planned.  The first time we made bound books which had to be finished off the next time they came.  Esther was very keen to make more lavender wands as she had learned the process last year.

Renata really hates the smell of lavender but loves to knit and crochet so we soon found something for her to make.  The last time we made fabric collage pictures but I forgot to photograph theirs before they went home.

We had a lot of fun rummaging through my fabric stash, most of which came from Luba's collection of design samples from when she ran a dress company in Belarus.  Then deciding what image to copy using old magazine photos and books.  Renata made a lovely cactus picture and Esther did a butterfly on a mixed sky background.  Here is my effort, copied from a handpainted birthday card from my sister Juliet.  It's not as easy as it looks, the glue sticks everything to your fingers before you can get it to the paper!

Every year when Esther and Renata come to stay with their Russian granny and French granddad I make a gift for them and this year I decided to make cosmetics bags using some of my fabric offcuts and trimmings. Inside I enclosed a pretty glass heart I bought for each of them when we were in Tenerife.

Luba was jealous so I had to make her one too, especially as she found another pile of gorgeous fabrics for me to add to my collection!

And here's another project in the making, I read a recent blog about this book and sent off for it straight away as I've got stacks of maps to play with in the cupboard.  I had a lot of fun making this basket from a sheet map cut into strips and there are lots of other ideas for using different sorts of maps. livingtowork-workingtolive.blogspot is where I found it as well as another book about Textile Nature which is on top of the pile now for inspiration. 
I've been drawing lilies in my sketchbook for the last couple of weeks while they are blooming in pots on the terrace so watch out for my next blog coming soon full of drawings of these fragrant flowers.