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One of the first things that I did when I was exploring the house was to look at the wallpaper in the two upstairs rooms. One was bad – the other was terrible. I knew the wallpaper would have to come off but had no idea what a mess it was underneath (see picture above from the bedroom). My house is over a hundred years old so it’s not a surprise and considering the age of the property the walls were in pretty good shape but they hadn’t been taken care of in recent years. Once we started pulling the paper off about a third came off in huge strips – the other two thirds took almost a week to get off. We also decided to get rid of the cornice because it was so badly put together and seeing as one room had it and the other didn’t upstairs it wasn’t replaced.

Getting hold of plasterers proved really, really difficult. In the end we got someone who had been off work with an injury and he was brilliant. Because of the awful rain, and the fact that he was supposed to be on an outside job we got it done really quickly. And it looks brilliant!

Here’s a few pictures of the nightmare of wallpaper to plaster, starting with the Bedroom.

A few giant strips and then lots of tiny pieces

The corners of the fireplace were in a pretty sad state too

…and some nasty gaps as well

New Plaster! I was so happy when I first saw this

All ready for the paint now.

And the Library:

The original wallpaper

An example of the terrible wallpapering!

This picture still makes me want to run and hide – such a slow process

Almost gone…

…and a new wall! Hurrah!

You can see where the new edges of the chimney breast were put in – all very neat and tidy.

It was wonderful to finally have a canvas I could work with and start putting paint on the walls. They had a watered down coat of white after this and then the final colours. Apologies for the sorry state of a lot of the pictures – they were taken in and around work being done so I couldn’t wait for the light and was usually tired after a day of paper-stripping!


This Week

This has been a rather odd week. I had the house to myself, which for a solitary type has been blissful. I am really looking forward to living by myself again. Keeping my fingers crossed for the house I love to work out okay.

This week I have cooked/made: 1.5 litres frozen yoghurt; ten heads of roasted garlic; rye soda bread; ham, bean and tomato soup; cheese and bacon scones; beef and ale stew; vanilla fudge and German pancakes. And many cups of tea.

The main work project at the moment has been working out what the main work project should be. There have been lots of heavy thoughts and planning. I’m working on some changes over on my business site. One of the main things I’ve been getting sorted is a greater synchronicity between the two sites. Links will be shared more and the blogs will level out and probably eventually merge.

This is a sort of shift in focus rather than any huge changes. I was feeling disconnected by having my work and creative sides separate and I’m hoping that these adjustments will make them fit better.

I’ve managed to get a few books read as well. I read ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ by John Green. My goodness that man is an excellent writer, I’ve loved all of his books and this might just be my favourite. My advice: read them all. I also read ‘The Scorpio Races’ by Maggie Stiefvater which I really enjoyed and was much more to my taste than the Wolves of Mercy Falls series which I’d read in the past. Then I read ‘David’ by Mary Hoffman, which I didn’t get along with but was still well written enough to keep me reading. In a break from YA-ish novels I read ‘Resurrectionist’ was the second in James McGee’s series and I think I actually preferred it to the first. I went straight back to YA with ‘Thirteen Reasons Why’ by Jay Asher which was really cracking and a very thoughtful look at personal consequences. I have a couple of books to read next that were recommended to me rather than being just picked up in the library so hopefully it will be another good week for reading.

The other big chunk of my time this week has been working on my photography portfolio. I am an amateur photographer, I have an eye for images rather than a good working knowledge of how photography works and I don’t own a good camera – I borrow one. So this is not a professional portfolio but a collection of the images I have that I like, the ones that I find amusing or keep for inspiration. I am really pleased with 500px so far, it’s got most of the features I like. There are still the same niggles I found early on but it’s a well organised site and I like the community. It also has really good mobile options, which is rare for photography sites.

Hopefully once I have (finally) got all of this website/blog stuff sorted I will be able to get back on track with posting. It feels like I have been doing this for months, actually it really has been months now I think about it. Almost there now!


This Week

This week I have been reading, writing and working. So not a huge change to every other week.

I read ‘Hounded’ by Kevin Hearne, kindly given to me by a friend last weekend. Once again I have taken back all of the books I was reading to the library so I can’t remember what they were. I’m pretty sure they were thrillers. I think I read another Kate Ellis as I seem to pick one up every time I’m in there. I’ve almost finished the next Stephen Leather book ‘Midnight’.

I’ve been trying to get lots of admin done for my business site as well as working on the Bio page over there which has led to me thinking back on my Who Are You post that I wrote here. Over on Jackdaw 19 I posted a list of links about people whose work I really admire. There are some hugely talented people on the list if you’d like to check it out. I also launched a new section of the business where I offer website, blog and social media critiques for people who already have an online presence. Fun – right? Right? Okay, well I’m excited anyway!

I’ve had my head so far into research and reading that I’ve been really quiet online lately and seeing as I never got out of the gates with G+ I’m trying to get going with it again. I’ve managed to get quite a lot of work done today but on the downside most of it has been done from bed as I seem to have managed to get a bug and so feel rather unwell.

I have blogged here about my alternate Flickr account as well as the not-at-all-easy decision I made to stop selling my art and jewellery (as well as trying to sell it wholesale).

My head is now getting far too foggy to remember what else I was going to blog about today. I have a feeling I might need to re-check all of today’s work when I’m feeling better! Hope everyone else is having a good weekend.


This Week

This week has been busy but not frantic, and mostly work related.

I’ve been reading a slightly odd mixture of thrillers and poetry this week. I read ‘Blow Back’ by Brad Thor which was really fast and a fun plot but so pro-American it was painful, maybe just because I’m English but definitely too much flag-waving without any need for it. Once again I had a couple of books out of the library that I didn’t realise were book two in a series. Going to hunt down the first ones before I read them. I’ve had a couple of great books come through the post which I’ll be reading as soon as I get some more time.

On the blog I’ve shared some pictures that I took near my house at various points this year. I also had a chatter about Pinterest and then a little more the next day about business and blogs using Pinterest. I put some links about pinning for businesses on my Jackdaw 19 blog as well as a series of tips on how to blog when you’re short on time.

Today I’m trying to catch up with work that I’m a bit behind on, I normally work over the weekends and take a day off in the week but I had a fantastic day out yesterday walking with some friends (and some friends-of-friends, whom it was lovely to meet) in the Peaks so I’m doing double-time now before Monday.

Happy Mothering Sunday, everyone.

And a little more…

Yesterday I posted about using Pinterest. As a brief follow-up to that there have been some changes on Pinterest overnight.

You are now able to rearrange your boards, which is something that people have been asking for for a very long time. It’s not something that has ever bothered me (I have a relatively small number of boards compared to most users) but because it means that they are still listening to what we want. This gives me a lot of hope that other complaints will be heard. Hurrah! There are also a few cosmetic changes but nothing that makes it harder to navigate around the site.

Also, I’ve now posted my business links all about Pinterest on the Jackdaw 19 website if people would like to have a look at some of the articles that I’ve been reading about Pinterest and business users.