As I reluctantly slip into my fourth decade, I realise just how fast the past two months have flown by since my last blog. In renovation terms it has been slow in development since the husband’s handyman business has gone from strength to strength – but it is nice to know that others are gaining from his talents elsewhere. However on the odd days in between, the tide of renovation has lapped at our doorstep and little by little some small changes have been undertaken and accomplished.
Shed loads of Happiness…
As an advocate of the environmentally friendly online community Freecycle, I have a few treasures to share with you. For over a year now, I’ve been a regular user of this group. Keeping items out of landfill. Repurposed goods have a new life and it’s a great way of saving money and being friendly to our planet at the same time. I have been listing items all month – and such is my hate of hanging around waiting for people to come and collect – I resorted to leaving post-it-notes on the items outside our front door. Can’t get much easier than that! If you respond to ads quickly, you can pick up some great things. Just the other week a local lady posted up an advert to take away a 10X8 garden shed. The owner had already dismantled it so all we had to do was to make the five minute trip to the house and strap the shed to the car roof. Jason’s plan was then reinforce it on a raised platform and use it as his tool workshop shed.
Here he is hard at work piecing it back together. Discarding the penetrable plastic windows and replacing them with sturdy shiplap.
Once reinforced inside and out, the windows gone, new roofing felt and a good coat of black paint. Jason then began to custom-build some shelving for his tools and garden bits.
He-shed heaven – If that doesn’t make you go all weak at the knee’s then nothing will.
In my opinion shed’s look their best painted black rather than the generic wood stain. They merge with the dark green foliage, almost hidden but making a stylish statement. Even when the paint fades years from now, it ages well. If you have a shed -any shed, please paint it black. You will not regret it. It’s dark palate changes the humble form of the flimsy shed. Transforming it from retired to retreat…
And if that’s not enough to convince you then take a look at this little gem…
Introducing the “She Shed”….isn’t she beautiful?
Above photo & title photo sourced from Pintrest
photos by norgstar
This is another fantastic example of a Victorian ground floor flat in London and how you can get the most from a small garden. The covered areas have been created by simple wooden slat structures. This is a Scandinavian design that reminds me of summer’s in norway as a child. The space functions well in both winter and summer.
Vintage metal trunk – another Freecycle project…
You might remember that vintage metal trunk I picked up a few months back. Well it’s taken many, many hours of dedicated work with the hot air gun. I striped back a layer of varnish, paper decoupage and stubborn paint but left the inside as it was. After that I spent hours sanding it right back to the metal using wet and dry fine sand paper, frequently dunking the paper in a bucket of water – all the while wondering if this hard graft would be worth it. Once done with the sanding, and having noticed how grim my finger-nails had taken on a black-plague stained tinge, the trunk was ready for its final wipe down with a damp cloth. Finally I applied a generous blob of pure bee’s wax to give the metal a smooth finish.
It is a large trunk, big enough to store rugs and blankets used only for winter time.
I made some cushions for the top and now it doubles up as a seat in the space room.
Besides being all productive in the house, we’ve also been giving the garden a make over. Having lived abroad for so long, I feel the desperate need to expand our space outwards before I loose my mind. I cannot be contained!!
So, to start with, the old 1960’s frog pond had to go. It was a tripping hazard and also unsightly, smelly and completely in the wrong place now that the kitchen extension had been built close to it. I started gingerly. I emptied water, picked out plants and rocks to begin with and then Jason got stuck in. Really stuck in.
The smell was disgusting. He fished out mud and lily pad roots and handed me full buckets to dump on the compost heap. Frogs leaped under rocks. Once the slimy leggy blighters were caught he slam dunked them in a fresh bucket of water to clean off the sulphuric mud and then passed the shocked little creatures to me where I dashed to reach a bush in time for their escape through my fingers. We kept getting a glimpse of what I thought was an albino frog. For some reason I found this exciting as we fished about and lost sight of it. It must have disappeared under a hole somewhere. More water came out, more mud and we could see the bottom of the concrete pond. But then Jason’s arm disappeared deeper than we expected and I wondered if the evil Albino was dragging him into a sinkhole abyss. Again more mud came out but then the putrid smell of rot hit us and a dead frog, pale in colour – the Albino – slithered as Jason caught it, half expecting it to move. It flopped in his hand. Its rotten flesh falling off the bones as it’s remaining body parts slopped into the bucket. We paused. I felt ill. Jason’s lost arm had discovered a huge hole in the bottom of the pond (presumably this was designed for plant roots in mind) and with the last tug of the remaining weeds managed to splash his face and mouth with the putrid mud. Amazingly he still managed to smile about it.
Left over hard-core that had been piled up in a corner was used to fill this void the next day. Jason packed the rubble tightly and at some point this area will be cemented or tiled over the top.
And those of you who might be worried about where those frogs ended up, well they have been rehomed in their own personal lido – a half buried gorilla bucket filled with fresh water, lily pads and a perching rock that sit under a bush at the other end of the garden in the shade.
Please feel free to catch up with my other previous blog posts, all available for viewing from the home page. I will leave you with this one last piece of Shedappiness to continue your week with…