Monday 30 September 2013

Being creative

This really sums me up.  I've been so busy with the practical stuff for the last 4 weeks (yes, I moved house 4 weeks ago today!!) that I've had no time to be creative.  And I've really missed it.  So much that I actually bought pink and cream yarn to make a throw for my living room instead of trying to find my yarn stash.

It doesn't look very pink in the pic but in real life it's a soft vintage shade.  I've also made some curtains for the Teenager's bedroom as the venetian blinds were letting in light.  They were free (my favourite price!) as I found a bag of stuff from middle son's old flat.  They're just Ikea basic ones but I doubled them so they're lined.  Should also keep the heat in and light out.

And I won some Harris Tweed oddments on eBay.  I have some new ideas for The Tartan Tower so look out for a relaunch very soon :-)

I can't believe September has been and gone.  In a few weeks the clocks will go back and winter will be well on the way.  And then I'll need to think about the C word!!

Sunday 22 September 2013

More demolition

I had my power tools back out to remove the wall cupboards above the cooker.  Looks nice in the photo but they were covered in grease!!  I think everything was coated in 30 years worth of chip pan grease.  It was so bad I was actually retching.  And my hands were covered in the stuff.

I took the doors off first.  The hinged one on the right of the photo was hung by a single screw (which I didn't know) so as I unscrewed one hinge the door fell off.  Missed my head by centimetres and left a huge dent in my kitchen sink.  Since I'm not replacing the sink it'll be a reminder of the day I nearly brained myself!!!

I was so pleased to see that the wooden ceiling continued above the cupboards after all.  No faffing about trying to replace bits to match.  It's all being painted white so the difference in colour doesn't matter.

When it comes to the electrical stuff I know my limits so OH got stuck in with his kit.  Another retching exercise for both of us as the cooker hood was removed.

Ta da!!! My tiny north facing kitchen looks bigger and brighter already.  The tiles will be next, the new cooker gets fitted this week and then I get a plasterer in to skim the walls ready for decorating.  I'll be putting up some shelves and re tiling it hopefully within the next few weeks.

My lovely mum helped me take all the disgusting units to the waste recycling centre so it's all gone from the house.  Slowly getting there and making it all mine :-)

Sunday 15 September 2013

Going, going.......

First major job done!  The previous owner had built a partition wall over the utility area as she didn't like looking at the boiler and washing machine.  I always knew I'd be taking it down so tackled it yesterday.

There was a door in front of the washing machine but I forgot to take a pic of it before I removed it.

Going, going.....

It opens up the room and gives me more space to put a larger dog bed (Emma insists on getting into Lucy's bed but there's just not enough room for them both!) and get access to the cupboards.  There's now space to fit my kitchen maid. The walls need a wee bit of plastering but that will be an easy quick fix.  Then just a lick of paint and I'll have finished my first room makeover :-)

Monday 9 September 2013

Trimming the fat

I'm trying to start off our new life with some good frugal habits.  And while it seems counter intuitive to be spending money to save money I have been buying a few things that will save me money in the long term.

This morning I ordered a kitchen maid, in fact that exact one above.  It's the original one with cast iron components and solid pine laths.  I could have got one cheaper but I hope this one lasts me for many years.  The tumble dryer will only be used in exceptional circumstances. And as a bonus it will be raised well above dog level so my clothes should have less dog hair on them!!

I've been looking at other ways to trim the fat, so to speak.  For example, switching more brand labels to supermarket own label.  We've already switched from the well known tomato ketchup brand to a 28p bottle of basics (the Teenager prefers it!!)  We now save 70p a tub on spreadable butter.  I keep trying the own brand labels and some are good.  But I just can't change my coffee brand.  I love my coffee and normally use 1 and a half teaspoons per mug.  So I've changed my mug to a slightly smaller one and gone back to 1 spoon.  Okay so saving 1/2 teaspoon per drink isn't going to change the world but if I can find lots of small ways to save money they'll soon add up.

I'm working on cutting down my car use.  This morning I needed to pick up a prescription.  That's all I needed at the supermarket (Sainsbury's) so I cycled there.  Round trip of 4 miles.  Saving on petrol and squeezing in some extra exercise aiding further weight loss thus trimming my own fat! Win/win, right? :-)

Sunday 8 September 2013

We made it!!!

Well we made it! Not quite straight forward but worth the stress. Welcome to my new (mortgage free) home :-)  A 1960s chalet style house with living room, dining hall, kitchen, 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, family room and a study.

No grass in the front or back gardens but easily maintained and space for my raised beds.  I even discovered that I have an apple tree (might be quince, will need to do some research!)

D├ęcor is rather dated but the house is sound.  Unfortunately the kitchen just doesn't work for me.  It's badly laid out but most importantly it's filthy, greasy and just old.  Looks nice in the estate agent's photo doesn't it?  I panicked a wee bit and got a kitchen company out to give me a quote for a new one.  But I don't want to spend £10k on a 'nice' kitchen that isn't even my dream kitchen.  Fear not I have a frugal DIY plan though.  Watch this space ;-)

Apart from my bedroom, the Teenager's bedroom and the living room, most of my house looks like this!!

Thanks to a late entry into the house my removal guys were concerned about unpaid overtime so just chucked everything into the family room, the study and downstairs bedroom.  We've managed to clear it a bit so we can now walk into each room and close the doors.  But despite decluttering for Scotland before moving, I still have a lot to sort out.

But I keep wandering round and just pinching myself.  It's the start of a whole new life and way of living for us.  It'll be a challenge but I'm up for it :-)