Artnextdoor's Blog

My place to be creative


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Taking Advantage of Mayhem

Above shows the industrial fan lent to us by the restoration/insurance company (and the state of the room now).  We have a de-humidifier as well, the water tank of which is emptied very regularly.  It fills up over night without the fan being on and several times during the day, we can’t believe how much water is in that room.  We are unable to move my sewing cupboard and the table as they are both too heavy, the restoration/insurance company have suggested we talk to the builders when they arrive as they may be able to work around them or move them for us.  I suppose we have to be thankful that it was just hot water and not anything like sewage, no one was hurt and that it is only minor.

These photo’s show the lounge after we had moved all the ‘stuff’ from the dining room, although the dining chairs and all my books are in the children’s bedrooms upstairs – they are not happy but they have to live in this house too so shut up and put up.

I have decided (don’t all fall down at once)to take the opportunity of going through all the ‘stuff’ and I am going to weed items out!  I say weed rather than throw, bin or chuck as it sounds a little less harsh and certainly less scary, sadly I know what will happen when I have finished my weeding someone will ask if I have such and such and I won’t, not anymore.  I get my hording tendencies from both my mum but my father isn’t all innocent either.  Both were brought up during the war when all things seemed to be kept whether it was needed or not as it might come in useful at some point, perhaps we should go back to that with the way things are at the moment and ecologically it sounds a good idea……….. STOP!  I’m talking myself out of my weeding session.  I will also be getting rid of some of my books via ebay, I will have a link to that account from this one.

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Continuation of Chaos.

Well, we have had the insurance assessor out tonight.  It looks like we will be having all the floorboards replaced and whilst the builders are doing that they will check the joists out for damp too.  Then the wall paper has to come off as the walls are wet at the bottom, so we have to be redecorated.  Finally, when all that is done we have to have the floor covering replaced but first everything has to be dried out.  The monitor registered the water in the floor was 7 times what it should be.  The humidity on average should be 40% but in our room it is 68.7% and this is after two days of constantly running a dehumidifier.

All this work is going to take about 6 to 8 weeks, time which I haven’t really got to spare.  Sadly this will put paid to any textile work as I can not get to my machines, fabrics or art supplies – all the furniture from the dining room is in the lounge.  The dining table is so heavy I don’t know how we are going to move it let alone where we are going to put it, I hope the builders can work around it and my sewing cupboard as it too, is very heavy and full of sewing machines.


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The Chaos Caused By an Incompetent Plumber

Apart from the fact that the person we got in to fit our gas fire nearly killed me by leaving a gas leak under the floor boards, we have now discovered that the radiator he fitted has been leaking for years under the floor!  It finally made its presence known over the last few weeks, since we have had the windows replaced.  The condensation got considerably worse with the new windows, which confused and upset us, then the floor in the dining room started to come apart – the laminate started to lift all over the floor, mould was starting to appear around the edges of the room, even in the lounge we had water running down the walls and a smell of compost that got stronger and stronger – I thought we had a dead rat hiding under the floor!  Yuk.

We finally lifted the laminate on Saturday to have a look, as we originally thought the damp was caused by water breaching the damp proof course in the bay window DH checked outside first, all there was okay and clear and the bay window area was relatively less damp than the rest of the room.  It was awful as the laminate came up, the underlay disintegrated, the further into the room we went the bigger the puddles became and the stronger the compost smell got. 

water damage from leak under floor Feb 2012 (3)water damage from leak under floor Feb 2012 (5)water damage from leak under floor Feb 2012

Soggy floorboards with candles to try to cover up the compost smell.

Eventually DH took up the majority of the floor and then he could hear a gushing sound.  Steam was rising from the area by the radiator.  Up came the floor boards only to find boiling hot water pouring out of an elbow joint connecting the radiator to the pipework.  DH tried to tighten the joint and found the screw thread had been stripped and wouldn’t tighten, therefore it was obvious that the INCOMPETENT idiot who called himself a plumber, must have known what he had done and just didn’t care enough to put in right.  I wish I could remember his name as he would have been dragged through the courts, not to mention being reported to the Gas Safer regulators and I would have been able to put his name out there to warn others to avoid him completely.  Sadly this work had been carried out at least 9 years ago – a leak for nine years- why did it suddenly come to light now?

At least now we can start to put things right but I am unable to get into the room to work on my sewing machine, which I still have to move along with its cupboard and all my fabrics, fortunately they are still on the laminate flooring so are dry.  Our lounge is now full of extra furniture whilst we try to dry the room out.  I wonder how long this will take – any idea?


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Paper Piecing

Paper piecing is something I have not tried before and was quite surprized at just how easy it is to do.  With the method I used there is no cutting of shapes just strips and away you go.  Below are the first two blocks I have made, the fabric was bought for me by my little son as a Christmas present – he also bought a piece with cartoon whales on it but I don’t quite know how I will use those yet.

paper piecing 08022012 

I have very nearly matched all the points too!  I have to go to the shops now to buy some more of these fabrics so I can make a larger quilt, perhaps I could use his whales in the border, we’ll have to wait and see.

I feel much better having now achieved something creative rather than writing assignments as they don’t feel like achievements somehow.


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New Year New Me– No I don’t think so!

As can be seen by the date it is now more than a month into the new year and over two months since my last post!  I have no excuses, well I have but I won’t bore you with them.

Well what have I achieved since November?  Creatively not a lot.

Academically I have written two assignments for the Open University course I am taking, for the first one, I nearly fell off the chair when I received the result, needless to say I was very pleased.

Socially, I have organised (tried to organise) a family quiz night for my sons school, that is being held in the next couple of days so whether it is a success or not is yet to be decided.  we have celebrated my DH’s birthday yesterday, our daughter came home from university to surprise him, his comment on seeing her was ‘you haven’t left uni have you?’  As you can imagine she was not too pleased.  We have been to Cambridge to see her a couple of times since Christmas too, I really hate that journey down the A14 from Cathorpe Interchange at the end of the M6 to Cambridge, it is so straight it is boring.

Family wise we had a very quiet Christmas, thankfully I hate rushing around at that time of year.  My mother came for Christmas lunch, we had her drinking Dis Arrono one sip and she was gone, although she enjoyed it.  I have booked a ticket to visit America in May to attend a quilt exhibition in Utah and to stay with family.  The furthest I have ever travelled on my own was from Birmingham to Harrogate a few years ago and I have only ever been on planes a few times, I’m well out of my comfort zone.  Oh in the cold weather in the middle of December we had all the windows in the house replaced, it has taken until now, well that’s how it feels, to get the house warm again, although the windows look very nice, the house looks new – if that’s possible for a house 80 year’s old.

What are on the cards for this year?  I have several quilt designs churning over and developing in my head, some are nearing the point where I need to work them out on paper ready for making in fabric.

I have a business idea cogitating in my head too, but that will have to be a wait and see.

My Open University finishes at the end of April with a big piece of work just before I go to the states, so currently all efforts are being put into that.

One thing I will not be doing ever again, is volunteering (or rather DH did but I’ve ended up doing it) to organise anything for the school parents and teachers group.  The whole experience has been extremely stressful to say the least.

Now I’ve finally write this blog again, perhaps I will get back in the swing, with photos next time.