Thursday, 18 January 2018

Destroying The Kitchen

My little man has started going to nursery for a few half days (well nine until two).
He's desperate to spend more time with other children, he's such a social animal! And this will give me a few valuable hours a week on my own that I can push on with the extension. 
All happy on his first day! He was so excited! Wouldn't even say goodbye! 
 So the first day I spent running some errands and painting the doors in the extension as well as setting myself up for day two - The ceiling!
I hate artex, but that's not the reason for this coming down. Unfortunately I need to remove it to run pipes and wires through to the extension so I can finish the bathroom before I knock through.
I'd sent some samples off to be tested and they came back clear for asbestos so I knew I could do it all myself.
I removed loads of stuff from the kitchen (and had a good sort out at the time) and then sheeted everything up.

I was against the clock from the start on this job. I knew I had to be finished and pick the kids up by two. I had a great plan of cutting between the joists and just pulling sections out with little mess.
Unfortunately when I started someone had already added another layer of plasterboard to the ceiling and glued it to the first.
 This meant things were going to to get messy! I just had to rip it down and get on with it and hope I could clean it up before the kids came home.
 By the time two o'clock came I was ready to pick up the kids, but only just! Two ceilings worth of rubbish and the previous trades men liked eating chocolate, leaving behind all their off cuts and not cleaning between the joists! There was a lot of rubbish up there and two washes to get it out of my hair!
I cooked tea in there last night and it wasn't too bad, I need to get the hoover up into the hard to reach places and give it another good cleaning. I also keep finding bits I've missed, it's amazing how far it travels!

Hopefully my electrician will come on Friday to get some lights upstairs in the extension.

What's the most messy job you've ever done in your house whilst still living there?

Monday, 15 January 2018

My Eldest Turns 6!

Another birthday!

Can't believe it was six years ago that she came into our life and we were suddenly parents!

Our eldest is so calm, caring and thoughtful. She will stick at a task until it's done, even at six I can tell she's going to be a hard worker. Her sense of humour is pretty wicked and she's far braver than people realise. She a total girly girl at times painting her nails and wearing dresses, but will happily get her hands dirty, plucking chickens, planting seeds, helping with the sheep. 

My Friend likened her to James bond. She'd come in covered in mud, wearing overalls then with one swipe of a zip she's wearing a beautiful dress! 
For a her birthday she just asked for a pair of sunglasses, she never wants much bless her!
We also made her a den building kit, with a sleeping bag, camo net, ground sheet and some bungee cords. I'm sure she's going to have hours of fun building dens on the homestead! I'm also going to take both girls camping this year, even if it's just in our fields. 

We had to build a den in the sitting room tonight! Apparently bad guys were coming and they needed to hide!

Sunday, 14 January 2018

A Trick With Handsaws

Thank you all for the lovely comments you left on the library, it's a job I'm really pleased with and that's a good job as I'll be going to that school with my children until 2028!

Okay this is probably teaching some of you to suck eggs, but then who doesn't love eggs?
As a carpenter I was taught to keep at least four hand saws in my van. That way everything is sharper longer. As one saw becomes blunt it moves down the line.
First one is for best, clean wood and not sheet material (play has lots of crap in it).

Second one is for cutting slightly rougher stuff, plywood, anything that may have been on the floor.

Third one is for rougher wood or where there's a chance you could hit a nail or scuff it on the concrete.

Fourth saw is pretty much useless, so much so that you're not sure if you're using it the wrong way up or not. You keep this one to lend to people, especially the bricklayers or scaffolders who will wreck anything with a half decent edge on it in moments!

Labels with the month you started using it so it's easy to work out which is the oldest.

This will work with other edge tools, it's always worth keen something really sharp for best work!

Friday, 12 January 2018

Two Years Old Today

I can't believe its been two years since my wife and I delivered my youngest on the bathroom floor.
My smallest partner in crime has grown into quite the character, he keeps his older sisters on their toes, has a wickedly mischievous sense of humour that makes everyone laugh and is so loving and affectionate. 
ot sure where the last two years has gone, but they sure have been fun! 

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

New School Library

So a few months ago I got an email asking about a reading chair in the forest school area. I volunteered my services to build it, I thought that'll be fun! Somewhere along the line the new school library became my baby instead! 
The village has had it's school in temporary accommodation for the last three years, and although it's been fine it's not the best for the children and tricky for them at times (too hot in summer for one). 
So over the last year there has been a new school being built with much excitement from everyone who has children there. 
The Head Mistress was keen for the new school to have an amazing library but with usual budget restrictions (tight) that a school normally has. We decided to go with some Ikea shelving (low cost and look nice) and then build a few items to make it truly unique to the school. Some reading pods were decided upon, a corner bench and a feature tree on the back wall with leaves to hold the names of people that have donated toward the school. 
I was given a fair bit of creative freedom with how all this was to be made! I'm not doing this for free but at a very reduced rate. 
My eldest helping unload all the wood from the truck. 

MDF was used, cheap - ish and takes a good finish. 

Pentagon shape for the reading pod

Checking the size was right

Working out the depth of the pods - they match the Ikea shelves. 

Dry fit to check it all fits. 

Starting drawing the tree. this took me ages to draw! I'm no artist! I used 12mm ply. 

The bottom of the tree - branches to come from the top.
I decided two trees would be better in the corner and fill the room better
The top branches of the trees. I ended up cutting these with a jigsaw instead of a router and it took quite a while! 

First pod assembled and trimmed out ready for painting. 

Ikea shelves together, testing the pods out for fit! 

Starting to paint the two pods and the corner bench. Two coats of undercoat and three coats of top coat! Took a fair time to do but got a good finish! 

Top branches added to the trees. 

Final coat of paint on the units. The purple colour matches the feature walls in the school. 

Everything in place - ready for books now! 

I decide to add in the books as a surprise for the head mistress - makes the library look finished! 

Leaves added to the trees. I cut 92 from a sheet of 6mm ply! 

Library all finished - just waiting for children

Great space for the kids. 
I'm really pleased with how it all looks at the end. I was so worried about the trees - not something I normally make! 

I'm also pleased that my daughters and son will get to see it everyday when they're at school and know their dad made it. It was lovely yesterday morning when I saw the head mistress and she just said "I know this is unprofessional but..." and then gave me a huge hug! So I guess she was pleased!

It's incredible that our children get to benefit from a new school and I love that I was allowed to be a small part of it, I feel it's such a privilege! I have utter respect for the head Mistress who has poured her heart and soul into making sure this is a success.

My daughter came home from her first day there and was buzzing with excitement, when I asked her how everything was she'd just answer "Amazing" each time!
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