A Three-Pronged Approach

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Although the blog posts have not necessarily reflected it, we have slowly but surely been concurrently working on several projects around the house.  It is interesting to note that they all relate to the approaches and entrances to our home.

First is the walkway we are building which you can read about in this post.  The walkway will provide a more defined entrance to what is essentially our backyard.  It is close to the vegetable garden and the back steps that lead to the area of the verandah which we most often use for entertaining.  We recently took the next step and bought the timber for the horizontal rails.  I have painted them this weekend.

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This was not the only painting I did.  While I had the tin of ‘Woodland Grey’ paint open, I started on painting near the main entrance to the front verandah.

Yesterday I did the first coat of the wall.

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Today I made a start on the steps.  You can still see some of the original salmon colour in the section of blockwork under the verandah which is visible between the stair treads.

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Apart from the fact that I had the paint tin open, the real reason I painted this areas this weekend is that I wanted them done before the finishing touches are put to the concrete stairs.

This is the before photo which I took when we had pulled up some of the pavers.  You can see that the timber sleepers were beginning to rot.  It was a trip hazard and had no handrail which makes things difficult when we have elderly or less able guests.

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The builders weaving their magic.

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The end result.

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The concrete has to cure completely before the final step which is to have a non-slip finish applied.  This will be a similar colour to the surrounding rocks and will hopefully blend in to the surroundings much more than the fresh, grey concrete.

I decided to paint the adjacent wall as it is much easier to do before the final surface is applied.  There will be a short railing on the left hand side of the 2 steps up to the verandah so it made sense to do the steps before that is installed, too.

We are gradually painting all of the besser block base at the western end of the house and the next section to be done will be the walls surrounding the garage doors.  I will be glad to see the end of the salmon pink colour.

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I have not been the only one painting.  For the past couple of weeks GMan has been working on the door which leads from the verandah into the dining room.

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It has been bare timber since it was installed about 9 years ago, mainly because we could not decide whether to stain or paint it and if so, what colour?  The exterior of the house is very neutral and this will provide a real pop of colour as well echoing some of the tones in the lounge/dining room.  I will post some photos once the door is re-hung.  GMan has been busy sanding and painting the door frame as well as the doorstep.

There will be more updates as well as photos as these projects progress further.

Finished

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The last 10 days have been pretty busy due to some self-imposed deadlines.  One of these was to complete the baby quilt for one of my work colleagues.

After completing the patchwork, I added the batting and backing before doing some simple rows of straight stitching to quilt it and the final step was to add the binding which I finished by hand.

Here is the end result.

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And a very happy mum-to-be (holding the quilt doubled over).

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The Home List

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Happy New Year!!

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I mentioned in my last post that I did not have any major resolutions or grand plans for 2018.  However, I have created a list of things we want to get done.  We have agreed that we will not take any major overseas holidays this year but will try get some things done around the house.  We have been overseas for each of the last 4 years and while we thoroughly enjoy the trips it does not leave much time to catch up on domestic tasks.

We are at work during the week and find that we think of jobs to do faster than we can accomplish them.  Many are things we can do but some will definitely require some professional assistance.  In those cases we still need to make the contact and arrange for the job to be done.  GMan is considering taking some annual leave during the year to try to get ahead on some projects.

Here is the initial list – in no particular order.

Make 3 more raised garden beds
Connect tank and get new outdoor taps
Make outdoor sink
Have back wall washed
Replace front steps and add handrail
Revarnish verandah
Revarnish verandah handrail
Repaint ceiling in kitchen, hall, lounge/dining room and front entry
Repaint front entry
Recoat slate floor (front entry and fireplace surround)
Refinish vinyl floors
Replace 3 security doors
Paint external door to dining room
Paint board on wardrobe in 3rd bedroom
Finish painting edges of verandah ceiling
Create garden bed outside vegie garden
Make gabion seat for above garden bed
Build lychgate
Build pergola
Remove tree near front steps and replace
Remove trees beside driveway and replace
Replace garage roller doors
Finish concreting and pebbles and verandah
Paint exterior blockwork
Assess guttering – new or repaint
Battens under the house
Make rack with pulley system in workshop
Blinds for lounge/dining room

The first step will be to assign priorities to the items on the list.  There will other things added over time that may well take priority.  If I am completely honest I really don’t think that this will all be completed in 2018 but we have to start somewhere.

I am excited to report that the board on the wardrobe has now been painted so that is one thing off the list.  It was probably the smallest and easiest task on the list but they are often the ones which are most likely to be overlooked.  The 2 horizontal boards had been removed when we painted the room years ago.  GMan bought a length of replacement board but it was not put up until a few months ago.  I was determined not to leave it for years before doing the painting.

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There will be updates during the year as we hopefully make some progress on the outstanding items on the list.

 

Running Repairs

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I feel as though I could open my own repair cafe at the moment.

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Yesterday I repaired the cover for my iPhone rather than buying a new one.  I have a tiny tube of supa-glue and I managed to re-attach the plastic case to the cover and also re-join the split along one side of the plastic case.  I did such a good job that it is not really visible in these photos.  Unfortunately, I did not get any ‘before’ photos as the battery for my camera was flat and I had to recharge it.

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Tonight I did the second step of the repair when I replaced the small magnet which actually secures the closure on the case.  I had lost the original one some time ago so it did not actually fasten.  The replacement magnet was salvaged from the cover of a little notebook.  The notebook had become detached from the cover and my grand-daughter was ready to toss the cardboard cover so I retrieved the magnet before she did so.

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While I had the supa-glue out, I also repaired a Christmas ornament which had a mishap when being hung on the tree.

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The antler and the oar back in place.

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Finally, this is a dress which belongs to my grand-daughter.  It is strapless but not really practical for a 9 year old.  It needs some shoulder straps and I have found some black fabric which I will use.  I will do the sewing on the weekend during daylight hours as I find it too difficult to sew with black fabric and thread at night.

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Another Weekend

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Well, Sunday evening has rolled around yet again in the blink of an eye.  The weekends are simply not long enough for me to achieve everything I hope to do.

Some weekends are more productive than others and I am pretty happy with what I managed to accomplish.

All of the washing and 95% of the ironing are done.  Why 95%?  The iron decided it was time to die when I only had a few items left.  So, one of my jobs for this week will be to buy a new one.

I have planned our menu for the week, bought fruit and vegetables, swept and vacuumed the floors as well as doing some painting on the verandah.

GMan and I went to the computer shop to buy a new tower for the desktop computer as the other one had been deemed as unrepairable.  The new one should be ready next weekend.

Apart from sanding and painting GMan managed to do all of the mowing so he has been busy, too.

However, the weekend was not all work as we went to the movies in Maleny on Saturday evening to see, ‘Hunt for the Wilderpeople’.  It was both funny and sad in places and I really enjoyed it.

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A Working Weekend

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I really felt as though I was back into the swing of things at home this weekend.  We achieved a great deal and by yesterday evening I was too tired to contemplate writing a blog post.  So here it is, better late than never.

We bought 3 new chickens who seem to be settling in well.  This brings the number back up to 6.

GMan managed to do the first coat of paint on the outdoor table as well as mowing and lots of work around the yard.

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This is our old outdoor table but instead of re-oiling we decided on a facelift and I think it will look great on the newly renovated verandah.  We bought some new black chairs from IKEA earlier in the year to go with it.

In between washing, ironing and preparing some meals for the coming week I managed to spend some time in the garden.

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The cherry tomato plants had just gone wild while we were away but it has been too cool for them to develop and ripen the fruit so it was time to pull some of them out and rediscover the garden beds.

Once I had cleared one bed, I emptied the compost from the tumbler and added some of it to the bed.

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We use whatever receptacles we can find for compost and the latest addition is the small rubbish bin in the background of the photo.  GMan removed the rusted base and it is now full of weeds and some tomato plants.  Eventually it will break down and then we can simply lift the whole bin off and we will have a pile of compost.

I bought and planted 3 punnets of seedlings – bok choy, zucchini and lettuce.

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There is much more that I want to do in the vegie patch but it will have to wait for another day.

 

Back to Reality

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After 6 weeks of holidays in the USA and Canada we have been home for a little over a week.  We went back to work the day after arriving home so the priority has been catching up on sleep and doing the basics to keep things running smoothly.

There have been some significant changes to ‘The Castle’ in the past few months and now that it is mostly finished, I can share the details with you.

We have had some of the verandah flooring replaced and it has all been sanded and resealed.  The railings are all new and possibly the most exciting thing from my point of view is the screening and gate at the end of the verandah.  This provides a bit more privacy and security to the verandah and creates a clearly defined entrance to the house.

Looking along the front verandah.

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The railing on the patio.

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The new entrance.

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The whole picture.

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We have lots of painting to do and there are plenty of other projects on the home improvement list but this is a big one ticked off.

If you missed the holiday adventures you can read all about it here.  There will be one more post once I sort out the final spending tally but other than that I will be back here – hopefully on a fairly regular basis.