Monday, June 25, 2012

Rachael's House

Rachael's house

Quite some time ago, the lovely Rachael from Blue Mountain Daisy asked if anyone would like to make a house block for her. I jumped at the chance and said yes I'd love to. A few months later, I still hadn't made anything for her. Not for the want of trying, every couple of weeks I'd play with my stash and look at fabrics I might like to use. I searched the internet and my books for a paper pieced house block that I would like to make and that I had the skill needed to get it right, but I couldn't make up my mind. Then I saw this, Leila from Where The Orchid's Grow had designed a paper pieced, very cute, house block.
Image from Leila's blog

I purchased it, it's available as a PDF download.

Roll on another couple of weeks of rummaging in my stash to find just the right fabrics to use, in between getting my house ready.

Finally. Yesterday was a horrible cold wet and grey day, just perfect for staying in my pyjamas, something I haven't done for a very long time. I decreed that yesterday was a "ME" day and I was going to sew. No housework. No doing anything else at all, just sew or blob. I finished quilting a quilt that I started a month or two ago and sewed on the binding to the front of the quilt, leaving the hand sewing to do in the evenings. (Photos in a future post.)  Then I decided it was about time to make this house block.  I have done very little paper piecing. A couple of stars in the Mystery Quilt with Sheila, that's still in my WIP pile, and I had a great time making a couple of blocks with Katy at The Littlest Thistle who ran Foundation Piecing For The Terrified, perfect for me, as I was terrified of PP. I haven't touched paper piecing since, and now I'm attempting to make a cute paper pieced house, crazy.  I took a look at the pattern and thought, hmm, it doesn't look too hard.  I started on the roof, and the first couple of pieces were great, that gave me confidence until the third piece. First time I put it on upside down, took it off and then sewed it on wonky.  I made the executive decision to keep going as I thought if I fiddled around with it too much now, I would give up and go and cry. It wasn't too bad, just not perfect for little old Miss Perfectionist, me.
The rest wasn't a breeze but I didn't make too many mistakes nor get the seam ripper out more than a couple of times. I was very pleased with how it was all coming together, until I had to piece the pointy bits of the picket fence.  I cut out all the bits for it, then after sewing the first seam, I made another executive decision to make the fence railings flat topped.   I know when to stop!

So here's my house block for Rachael, courtesy of the very cute pattern from Leila. Hearts on the chimneys.
Hearts on the chimneys.

Some Jennifer Paganelli for the facia
A little bit of Jennifer Paganelli

The yellow brick path, right to the front door.
Yellow brick path!

A peek inside, I think she may have had a wild party on the weekend.
A peek inside

And there's Rachel, she's been using the GHD and straightened her hair!
Rachael dancing

I really enjoyed making this, but one thing I noticed, going through my stash, I have very few small print fabrics. I either have lots of solids or large prints. Must. rectify. that.
Rachael's house

Saturday, June 23, 2012

It was well and truly worth it

After all the hair pulling, crying, panic attacks, and swearing (lots and lots of swearing), I think it was well and truly worth the hours and hours and hours and hours of working on the house.  At the risk of boring you all witless and/or making you hate me because I'm lucky enough to live in paradise, I'm posting some photos that will be used for marketing.

I wasn't going to put the house on the market until next month but due to being pushed by the real estate agent to get it ready for sale, I pulled my finger out over the last couple of weeks, now it's done, and a couple of people have looked at the house already.  It's still not up on the internet but these are some of the photos that were taken by the photographer that will be used for advertising.

I'm so pleased with how it looks, and now I'm having second, third and fourth thoughts about selling, as it looks so beautiful, even if I do say so myself. It's so annoying that I didn't make the most of the house while I've been living here and now that I'm selling it someone else is going to benefit from all the work.  Typical, and I swore I'd never do that. HA!!!

Look at the beautiful blue sky, it's the middle of winter here and we have had the most fabulous weather, not today though, it's been cold and wet and horrible.
A similar view to the one on my blog header

You've seen these doors before but not the cushions on the chair.

From the studio looking across the pool to the house.

The pavilion

Living and dining areas.

The kitchen is not as huge as it looks in this photo.

Look at those floors!

The hammock and sofa on the verandah and there's Wonky Owls in the foreground, just!
Look at that fabulous view, I'm really going to miss it.

There are 30 photos all together that were taken, most are great, a couple I'm not loving, you can see a few more, but not all of them on flickr.

Oh and I would love it if you could tell me which photo from here or on flickr would be THE photo that should be the first one that will be seen on the internet. There are so many great photos and we are having a very difficult time trying to choose which one would be the best.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

I'm still alive

I've spent the best part of the last few months trying to de-clutter, organise, fix and otherwise have my house ready to sell, but I'm still not quite there yet.  I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. I'm hoping it's not THE light as I'm not quite ready to pop off just yet, although I think I was close to it a couple of times.  I'd never had a panic attack before but I now know exactly what they feel like.

Part of the fixing up meant painting the bedrooms, re-oiling the decking (that was a massive job, there's lots and lots of decking), and sanding and polishing the floorboards.   Each step involved moving and relocating furniture.  All the outdoor furniture had to be moved to clean and oil the outside decks and verandahs.  All the bedroom furniture had to be moved and covered so that the ceilings and walls could be painted.  All the furniture had to be removed from the living area so that the floors could be sanded. Can you guess that I've had enough of moving furniture and living in what feels like a used furniture store.
I didn't take many photos of work in progress as it was bad enough living through it without capturing for all time, each hideous step of the journey. I do however have some pics of the floorboards. The kitchen photos are all taken at night so the colour of the boards is not quite right.

This is the kitchen, can you see that dark curved area? A couple of years ago I swapped the kitchen and the living zones, so this used to be the living room and the dark part is where the hearth used to be. (It's a high-set house so it was relatively easy to move all the plumbing etc.)

This is an "after" shot. No more dark hearth, but look how the two boards in the centre of the kitchen now stand out. The new finish has emphasised the colours in the timber.

Now to the rest of the living area. These are the "before" shots, once all the furniture was removed. They were taken early morning so it's a little hard to see properly with all those shadows.

Dining area in the background

Living area, this used to be the kitchen.

Looking from the dining area towards the hall and stairs.

Looking from the dining area towards the kitchen on the right and stairs on the left 

From the dining area to living area.

Looking from living area to stairs and bedrooms.
I really love the early morning winter sun shining in and warming up the house.

This is where the furniture was stored. 
The fridge out on the verandah and covered with a tarp.
The dining table also on the verandah and covered in an old sheet, tarp and the upside down coffee table on top.

BP's bedroom, taken from the hallway, that's as far as I could get into her room.

My sewing room, again taken from the hall as there was no way I could get into that room either.

Now for some after photos. I totally forgot to take any before the furniture was moved back.

Honestly, I prefer the way the floorboards looked before. Unfortunately the previous flooring tradesmen did a really really bad job, and because I had moved the kitchen and taken out a wall a couple of years ago, they absolutely had to be sanded and polished.

The best thing after doing all this, is now there's no cluttered spots, which means not having to crop photos or take them at a particular angle to hide stuff, yay..........and a great big sigh of relief.

So hopefully I'll be back blogging a little more often now, It may still be sporadic but I think I'm over (gee, I really hope I'm over) the worst of it and it should be a lot easier from now on. Every piece of my body is crossed...........not just fingers.

PS    Oh, and I have been able to do a little bit of sewing, not much, so I'll even have some crafty stuff to show soon too.