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Category Archives: Building and DIY

homogeneity is the name of the game

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A lick of Manor Red will preserve the steps and mean that they blend better with the cabin.

YoungB has been spring cleaning, in a manner of speaking: puttying, sanding and painting those cabin steps, so that they’re better protected against weather and blend in with the other structures in our backyard village. It has meant their temporary removal to a covered area – namely under the pergola – which has, in turn, meant that there are no steps for accessing the cabin. As you can see, it’s far enough to sting your feet should you be so incautious as to step out into thin air.

The first day the steps weren’t there, YoungB fell out of the cabin twice. Duh. I’d already suggested keeping our small stepladder in the cabin, so that he could use it if necessary – and his girlfriend certainly could – and so that seeing it would remind him that there were no steps. He was initially reluctant, but, having fallen out, saw the wisdom of the mnemonic. That has proved to be a safer option all round. Even I have – carefully; and when the menfolk weren’t around to see me – used the stepladder to access the cabin (see my earlier post about the laundry fairy).

Dr B did a couple of modifications that helped strengthen the structure, which has never been particularly steady. After all, if you have something under cover, and you have the means, why not do a thorough job? With this bolt and that screw and a bit of tightening and bracing and what have you, the steps are probably now the sturdiest they’ve ever been!

May all your bolts hold your superstructure together nicely, whether or not it needs a lick of paint 😀

 
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Posted by on September 25, 2019 in Building and DIY

 

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catching up

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Dr B is making excellent progress with his creative task!

Isn’t it good when you share a meal with friends, and are able to catch up on everyone’s news? I don’t do it as often as I’d like. The Bs have far more of a cafe lifestyle than I do, mostly by virtue of their cycle outings (of whichever variety). Yesterday it was my turn with some old friends from my nursing days. One is still in the business, nowadays working as a midwife in a busy city hospital. The other has already retired. We met for our meal at a halfway-point eatery, and between swapping news of former colleagues and hearing about the exploits of children and grandchildren, a couple of hours passed swiftly and pleasantly.

The friend who is still in the business doesn’t live far from me, so we travelled together. She’s another who knits and sews, and would like to learn crochet but is time poor now. A particular joy of our homeward trip was our quick duck into a fabric store, one where we’re both VIP members. It’s not far from home for either of us, so barely even a detour. She was looking for something she could use to refresh the old, tired, three-panelled privacy screens in her hospital’s nursery. We bought some lovely animal-print curtaining (in both colourways, to be used alternately so that one side presents taupe, cream, taupe and the other side cream, taupe, cream). It should sew up beautifully and look a treat.

The style of curtaining uses stretch wires at top and bottom. I have recent experience with that, because I made a small, privacy curtain for YoungB, so that he wouldn’t be constantly disturbed by a neighbour’s sensor light going berserk. I used some old furnishing fabric and put a wire only at the top. That was mostly for haste, but also because YoungB’s cabin presents problems when you try to screw things into its walls. So, although my crochet projects might not be completed, I have had a small sewing success.

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Curtain in a hurry, with some installation challenges unmet. However, YoungB loves it because it keeps out enough light that he can sleep. That’s all it needs to do.

When my friend drove me home, we checked the progress of the Bs’ building work: as the top photo illustrates, they’re going great guns (and they were both working on it yesterday). They did some catching up, too, in their case with a chippie friend who is our unofficial consultant (he has lots of good, sensible advice for safely working alone and will be getting a slab of his favourite tipple when the project is done). YoungB will shortly have a run of almost a week off, so he’ll be a great help with the roofing. They ought then to catch up sufficiently with the work that we might have a fully-roofed pergola by the end of next week. Bonus. And exciting-issimo.

As I implied, I’m not caught up on all my crochet WIPs. The green market bag needs handles, but I have to count stitches at least a little bit so that the handles are centrally located. I have, however, just about finished a knee-rug for work! Yet again, it’s made with some of that 8-ply (DK) synthetic green yarn gifted to me by a friend, and more of my variegated scraps, held double. So it really is thick and, this time, it really is quite small. I think my starting chain was about 60. It will work fine in the office, which is where I intend to use it. I will catch up with finishing all of the other small bits and pieces, but not while I’m watching TV. For me, because of my poor eyesight, that’s sometimes a little trickier than simply dealing with a piece of repeating-pattern crochet. I can manage, “One treble, one chain,” ad infinitum! The photo is somewhat dull, but I think you’ll get the idea: a quick and easy pattern that produces a lovely, squishy finish.

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Scrappy stashbusting stuff. And small, but enough to cover my knees so that I don’t get too cold at the office.

I hope you’re also catching up with your crafty projects, and old friends.

 

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it might look like nothing

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At the end of a lot of calculation and measurement, cutting, sanding and painting, this is the present state of affairs with the refurb. It might not look much, but it’s been a huge amount of work. That’s Dr B just making a few notes in his project book.

Do you remember I mentioned that Dr B has been busy with a (re)construction project? It’s actually some overdue maintenance and upgrading of our pergola, and has involved, inter alia, removing and replacing rotten timbers and reinforcing the new, slightly narrower beams. The new work has all come together within a remarkably small error margin – we’re talking a few millimetres – so the doc is very happy. He reckons the next bit will be faster. I’m not entirely convinced, but it is probably true that the trickiest calculations are over and that the base for the rest of the work is now in place.

You’ll notice a couple of agapanthus flowers (really; you can clearly see one but believe me when I say there are two; and there’s a bud just beginning to show colour). There would normally be more blooms at this time of year, but I think the disruption to their micro-environment might have affected them. Or then again, who knows? They might just be late blooming this year because of the climatic disruption.

I’m finishing ends on a pile of face scrubbies, and am about to start another lot of crocheted string bags. Once again, I’m using Bendigo Woollen Mills cotton, and this time I hope I’ll remember to photograph the finished articles before I give them away. I’m much taken by this bag, but might have to pass on it for now, even though she explains very clearly with good visuals. I love the shape of the finished article.

Wherever you are, I hope you’re neither melting nor freezing and that both your DIY and crafting endeavours are bearing fruit 🙂

 

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