Sunday, March 27, 2011

Harvest


Each day I go outside I can come back inside with a basket full of goodies from the garden to cook with that day. I find this very satisfying but know that it could be much better. I have let the vegetable garden go a bit because the area where we have our raised beds is going to have to be all excavated for our extension and so the vegie beds will be shifted away and then placed back down, this time on a completely flat area. I know that once this is done I can work away at those beds knowing that they will be staying there and that it is not temporary. At the moment I am waiting for what is planted there to be finished up and then the beds will be lifted and stored away until after the excavation. I can't wait to get them back in their places and to get them sorted again but in the mean time I have no motivation to keep them tidy or organised and so don't really want to spend time around them.
I have some vegetable beds along the fence line and my herb garden where I can plant some things over the period of time that I am without the raised beds so need to spend my time getting those organised and planted out.

However, what I have realised through all of this is that it is really easy to grow vegetables and that we definitely have enough space to be self-sufficient from them and more. Without even much effort and with only having planted half of our beds, I am able to harvest enough so that we don't have to buy vegetables and we could really survive off the garden at the moment if need be.
I can't wait to see what potential our land really has and am determined to have a very neat and organised vegetable garden in the near future!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Bookcase love


With the plans for starting our extension in the next few months we are pushing to finish all the things that we have wanted to do in the existing house before the baby comes along. Because we have created another living room down the other end of the house now we were able to convert the living area we had been using into a library/study/reading room/quiet room. I have always wanted a room like this. Somewhere with no TV, a wood fire and lots of books and comfy couches.
We have only one wall for furniture in this room as the others all have large picture windows so we decided a long time ago that we would replace the old and battered bookcases that we had there with a built in system spanning the whole wall. This was to hold all our books and office stuff.
Well, as you can see, we finally got it! It's the Liatorp series from Ikea and all flat pack which we love because you can bring it home the day you bought it and put it together straight away without having to wait for it to be made or ordered or delivered (I'm much too impatient for any of that!).
Luckily Dave and I make a good flat pack assembly team (we actually enjoy it, clever husband figures out how it goes together because his brain just works that way and I collect all the bits for the next step and just follow orders!). So, we got it all together and finished over two nights after Jonty had gone to bed.
I can not tell you how much fun I had lining up the books and placing things here and there!



This series was not the cheapest out there but we decided that we should spend a little more and get something that we think will last through our lives, match with the style of the house and also not succumb to current trends and go out of fashion. I love following fashion, interior design, etc, but I do that through soft furnishings and not through fixed fittings because I just don't think that it's wise economy. I don't want a house that is going to date.
Next thing that I want to do is make new cushions for the couch.
We have also bought a new desk as this room is going to also be the study. Dave is just finishing up that set up so will wait until he is finished before showing you.


Now I am looking forward to winter so that we can curl up in front of the fire with our books (or knitting!) in the evening in the peace and quiet. . . . . after Jonty is in bed!

Monday, March 21, 2011

New projects

I wrote a while ago about our struggle over whether or not to extend our home to make it a little bigger and we had come to the conclusion that it wouldn't be happening any time soon and that we would spend our time adding a back deck, renovating the bathroom, etc. A few months back we decided that we would do the deck across the back of the house and in the future we could add rooms underneath (we live on the side if a hill so that the back of the house is raised). The more we talked about it and planned the more we realised that putting rooms under the deck in the future would be pretty tricky and that it made much more sense to do it at the same time as the deck. So, Dave got to planning, and we are now at the end of that process with the drawings being finished off and budgets have been put into place. At first I was a little apprehensive but because Dave is going to do most of the building and he does drawings and quotes for a living we have the opportunity to really squeeze as much renovation out of as little money as possible. I was actually surprised as to how little it would cost for such a large return. If we were going to go the regular route of hiring a builder to do it all we would have to forget about it, it would just be too expensive.
So, all of this building is going to fall just as a newborn enters our family! Crazy I know, but because the build is actually not really going to affect the existing house much at all I am ok with it. I am expecting it to take a while as there will be so much for Dave to do on his own, but he is a worker and when he has a project....!
So, we have been spending some time doing the things inside the house that we can do now before the bub comes along. I want the messy, dusty things done before she arrives and we will have months of the plans being in council waiting for approval. This is a perfect time to get all that we can started and also to keep researching and collecting building materials. We are recycling as much as possible and already there is a bunch of steel, timber, windows and doors that have come to us mostly for free.

One of the big things that we have done is knock a wall down.
It took one day and the difference is amazing. The wall was taken down between the kitchen and sewing room behind it making a new open plan kitchen and living room. Because of my new sewing cupboard I didn't need to dedicate a whole room to my work anymore and I am now able to have what I have always wanted, an open plan kitchen/living. Previously our living room had been at the opposite end of the house from the kitchen which is not that practical considering I spend most of the day there. Jonty would end up one end of the house and I would have to go backwards and forwards all day without being able to always keep an eye on him. Now everything is better, I love the new space and it is much bigger than I thought it would be.

The wall that had to go!



Bashing a hole in a wall is so much fun, I highly recommend it!


This wall was a structural wall so Dave had to put new supporting beams in the roof so we didn't just take to it with a sledgehammer, but really it was a simple process for a whole lot of change.

Ta da!


We moved the big table that we had in the lounge up to here and now it will be the table where everything is done with heaps of room to spare! I plan on sanding it back and oiling it so it will be a lighter colour but it took ages to just do a little patch so I think that will take a while to get done.



Obviously the plaster still needs patching and over Easter Dave is taking out the kitchen and we are relaying the floorboards in recycled hardwood as at the moment they are all different levels which the rug is kind of hiding. The wall with the windows (in the photo above) will also become glass doors that will open on to the deck when it is built which will open the space up even more. But for the moment, I love it!

Absence

For no reason in particular, or perhaps for a whole bunch of them, I haven't posted in a long time. I often find that when I get out of the habit of fitting something into my daily life it is very hard to fit them back in again. Sometimes people ask me how I manage to do so much with a toddler at home. When I really think about it, the way I do squeeze all I do into a day is not just something that happens, it's a progression over a long period of time where I learn or discover something new that I want to do and then make that fit into a time of the day. After a period of time it just becomes part of what I do, there is no thinking about it or procrastinating or wondering how I am going to find the time, it just is part of what I do each day. So, it is all a layering effect of introducing new things all the time (because I have to keep learning and doing new things, that's just the way I am. Like is short and there is a lot that I want to do). It is something that takes a long time of injecting bits of this and that into life.
But, if something, for some reason, drops out of that cycle, then it takes a while to get it back in. Other things replace it, there is a line up ready and waiting for it's turn to become part of the cycle. And, well, blogging dropped out and then had to go to the end of the line. Now, it has made it to the front again and I am determined to keep it in. Blogging has been fun for me. It's a good way to reflect, to take a little time out to sit and think about the days rather than rush through them doing this and that...

now for catching up on what the Evans' have been doing all this time. It will take a few posts to get you all up to date but I am determined!