Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Big Watertank

It's finally just past mid winter and each day our days get 2 and a bit minutes longer, or something like that.  Occasionally we get a brilliant clear day when a walk takes me by vineyards recently pruned and everything is bright green after a lot of rain.  But other than those moments, it has often been chilly and we would like to hibernate indoors all the time.  But this year, it is not to be.  First, we decided to get things out of storage, to reduce some outgoings (fees for the ongoing storage).  Because we moved from a bigger house and also did not have time to get rid of everything before moving, there was a lot delivered.  The container was not quite full, but had enough in there that we quickly became a bit overrun.

A trip to a local vintage store that sells consigned items got a few things out of here, including a 1928 vintage kooka stove we haven't got room to keep.  We have learned has already sold, soon going to its new owner.  Then a few days later we had a pick up of a number of items we donated to charity, and it felt nice to see they were happy with the items we donated, feeling sure they would go to good use.   So some good decluttering flow we have a Garage Sale to do this Saturday and a number of weeks worth of eBay campaigns.   At that point, the decluttering will be more manageable, but we still do have to work out a few things.  Some longer term store items have gone into the rafter in-rooftop storage in Ian's shed.  But we needed more space.

We have been contemplating a garden shed for a while.  But had not actually started that or bought one.  It was clear we need a place to stow the mower, garden things, and some building supply items, plus the bikes.  But where to put it ?

Turns out one of our 4 humongous watertanks is empty.  So the idea is, put a garden shed in its place.  Of course, it is not the tank at either end, it is one of the middle ones.  Ian thinks it used to be down by the house.  So he removed it, and tied off the pipes from the others, as he will redo the pipeworks in a way he likes (and that is not running in front of the new shed).  The watertanks are Big, Really Really Big.  3 metres diameter big and Ian has calculated they each hold 13,000 litres of water.  Given the size, we got a 3 metre square shed kit to build in the empty space.
The unassembled shed kit

Shopping for a new Dining Table, in a Salvage Yard

So our project and adventure continues.  The concrete base for the shed is being poured/laid today.   We have been out looking at salvage timbers, which will be used for a new Dining Table Ian will make.  And we have been doing some gardening.  Planting some bare root roses and also some fruit trees.  A nectarine, two varieties of lemon, and a dwarf pink lady apple called Pinkabelle.  Along with the mulberry tree and hope the transplanted plum tree makes it, plus an orange in the front yard we hope for a miniature garden orchard.  Joining these are some table grapes, blackberry, and raspberry vines.  I am already cutting out recipes to make things with the fruit.  And dreaming of warmer days :)

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Before & After: Fireplace Mantel

 Ian finished restoring the old mantel and put it up this week.  Here are some before and after shots.

First, the mantel partially unassembled and waiting in the workshop.  Because of some rotten timber  that needed to be replaced, he decided to take it apart to restore it, then reassemble it.  I did some photographs for reference (but he did not need them, this was an easy project compared to others he has done of late !)

The fireplace without a mantel.  It does have a black facshia plate covering the top of the fireplace hole.  But it wants something more.

Close up of the fireplace korbel detail, after restoration and painting.  It came up really nicely !

The room looks nearly complete with the mantel in place.  In fact, it looks like it has always been there.  Fit into the space perfectly and looking very elegant.

The trims at the baseboard got finished finally (they were waiting to be fit around the mantel, so this has been one of those things not yet done).  Also, the vintage french factory clock got put up.

We have a short punch list to complete for this room.  Paint the window frames and trim.  Put up a curtain rod & put up curtain panels.  Get the vintage bus rolls framed for the empty wall.  Put up the ceiling fan/light (taking the old one down).  A longer range project is to refinish the coffee table top in a black finish.  The low console to right of fireplace will be redeployed and something more characterful will replace it (thinking a vintage piece we have in storage).

Below, a true before and after.  Left, what we were working with, and right, our current state of progress.  Looking good, very good.