Built-in wardrobe construction…

I know what we’ll do during the wet holiday from work – build a new wardrobe!

The timber frame took me part of 2 days to finish, the plasterboarding took another day and the final wooden edging around all the corners took another part of a day. I mainly used 2×3 inch (5 x 7cm) smooth planed timber, held with a combination of long wood screws and corner metal brackets.

Claire finished off the whole thing by doing a grand job filling the plasterboard joins and then decorating. She also painted the head end wall (previously pink!) and some areas of the ceiling. She also made the curtains from fabric from the big blue and yellow shop (Ikea).

Just have to fit a door for the top storage section and a door stopper to stop the door hitting the side of the wardrobe!

That’s phase 34 of the house renovation (nearly) done…


Hanging fabric strands…

A couple of images of hanging fabric after its first wash. This will be used for the new built-in wardrobes in our bedroom!

Very exciting!


Ikea – the home of crazy fabrics…!

Which one to choose? Some very nice fabrics at Ikea and the chips and gravy is the best!


Plastic revolution…!

I’m not quite sure why but i’ve suddenly started this, or why I hadn’t started it sooner, but there is now an Ikea bag in our downstairs cupboard which is nearly full of random plastic bags, containers, crisp packets and any plastic-based rubbish.

Plastic recycling is maybe one of the more important things to focus on, given the amount of packaging and waste which is plastic-based, plus the raw materials used in it’s manufacture are going to be becoming quite rare in the near future. Also by recycling these things, less energy is used, when compared with making the product from scratch. It also means less non-biodegradable junk into our fast-decling landfill sites.

I’ve been checking on most of the packets and there is virtually no recycling information on any of them! This may be because they are outside of what most people would view as ‘recycling’. I also have been at the bottom of the pit of delusion and have basically just thrown these things away with hardly a second thought.

No longer. I will be finding companies to send these things to if there are no local companies who will take them and i’ll post the results as I go along.

The strange thing is just how easy it is. Most of the material is also very clean and needs no washing at all. Some of the things so far include nappy packets, crisp packets (both the larger multi-pack bags and the smaller packets), cereal box liners, apple bags, bread bags, freezer bags. The only thing i’ve washed up so far has been the margarine tub and the small yoghurt pots.

As soon as the contents of the Ikea bag start forcing their way out i’ll do a bit more research into this!


New kitchen worktop…!

We’ve jumped into the DYI in a big way over the last 2 weeks and have now replaced one side of the kitchen worktop with a new, Buck Rogers style, white worktop!

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The gas hob was slightly tricky to finish, but nothing we haven’t tackled before. It involved going to B&Q twice, the first time Claire cycled over there to get a few pieces (such as PFE tape, connectors and a bendy hose), then I went back later to buy another connector and new tape measure and jigsaw blades.

I also fitted a baton under the worktop to support it where there are no units to support it. We’ve gained about 50cms of worktop which makes a good difference and the overall brightness of the space has improved.

Well worth £35 for each side of the kitchen.


Decks setup…

Very exciting developments for my future career as a superstar DJ…

The living room is nearly done so I finally started to setup all the mixing equipment and build the table for it. We had ordered a standard piece of wooden worktop from Ikea and 4 white metal legs and I cut the worktop to the right size and screwed on the legs.

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Lots of consideration went into the table size and it’s worked out that there will be 1.5cms of space on each side of the table, to the edge of the recently built coat storage area in the hallway. The idea there is to build a protective cover for the equipment for when they’re not being used, which will have two sides and a front, which can be slid over the whole table. It will also mean less visual clutter. This will be 1 cm thick, which will take the total width up to the sides of the hallway cupboard sides.

So, I cut the worktop with the new Bosch jigsaw (which is awesome), then fixed the legs on, after a cycle to B&Q to get a new pilot hole drill bit, after a couple of the screws broke!

I also screwed off the plastic covers from the sides of each turntable, which meant I gained an extra 4 cms width. The covers now don’t have the hinges on but I won’t be using these when the full table cover has been built. The mixer and decks all line up and are almost exactly the same heights. It looks awesome and a lot less visually intrusive than I thought it would be.

I’ve still got to get the records out from the old bathroom and into the boxes, which will all go under the table. There was a whole palava about the amplifier and where that would go, how much space it would take up etc etc. It turns out, the speakers i’ve bought are self-powered and don’t even need an amp! Brilliant. So, now there is no need to use my amp and therefore it won’t take up any space under the table (or on it). One less thing to hook up. The only thing was the connection between the speakers and the mixer – I didn’t have the right cables as my old setup had cables designed to go into the amp from un-powered speakers. Not a problem as we’ve just ordered two cables from tinternet which should be here on Wednesday.


New(ish) bunk bed…

So, the boys have a new bunk bed and we’ve swapped the beds and rooms around (again)!

They were so excited when we built it for them (with help from a friend) and it took them ages to go to sleep! Claire had found the Ikea bunk bed on Ebay for only £12.50(!!) with the original new price at £120. It was being offered just up the road in Stroud, so I went over there to pick it up.

The guy in Stroud was very helpful and it seemed his family had been going through similar things as us – swapping rooms and giving over the main ‘master’ bedroom to their two children! It’s a logical approach given that the kids can use the space as a play room as well as bedroom.

So anyway, very exciting and jamie is on the top and Jac on the bottom. This all coincides with night weaning Jac, which is the process of Claire finally stopping breast feeding him at night. He’s had a lot of good milk from Claire for two years and has had the best start in life because of it. I’m proud of Claire for giving him so much love and energy. The new bed was basically the transition point for the process and seems to have helped it along.

There have been numerous hard points along the 4 or 5 days, but it seems to have been easier than it was with Jamie and we’re are both more determined and confident this time. So far, I have actually been able to get Jac to sleep myself twice, which I could not have hoped to have done while he was still on the boob. It’s a real achievement and i’ve been using the same technique that I used with Jamie, when I first started to get him to sleep without Claire. In short, it involves stroking his head slowly and humming a repetitive tune to him, while lying next to him.

If anyone out there is after an idea to help them (but mainly for my own record), the tune is from the film Jaws (wait for it!) which is sung by the fisherman – farewell and adieu you fair Spanish ladies. It seems to have enough variation in it but without being too exciting. It’s a legendary film and that scene has always stayed with me.


to frame or not to frame…?

Ok, following the realisation that I really need to get on with the exhibition planning, I have been in an epic dilemma/struggle between the the various methods of presenting the photos/artwork.

There are basically 4 options, each with their own good and bad points.

A) Full framing and mounting of prints, buying new frames

This is the most expensive option, at roughly £14.50 each, using 40x50cm RIBBA frames from Ikea. These come with the nice wood frame, glass front and white mount. I will need roughly 20 frames, so it adds up. The gallery can only insure work which is fixed to the walls and generally the usual/accepted method for displaying work is to frame it.

Another benefit would be that we would have a range of finished images to use at our place!

B) Full framing and mounting, buying new frames

This option uses the RAM style of frames from Ikea, which is more basic, with a plastic front. The wood can be painted white. This is roughly £146 (or £7.30 each) but i’m not convinced about the quality of the plastic cover.

C) Full framing and mounting, using frames provided by gallery

This uses grey metal frames at 40x50cm, but i’ll need to buy mounts (£2 each) to fit them and print the images (£2.50 per A3). Overall, this is £86.40 (or £4.32 per finished image). We could then get a number of these framed for our place.

D) Mounting only

This is the joint cheapest option, at £4.32 per image, and I would use this if I thought the frames provided by the gallery weren’t good enough. I’ve found some thicker mounts but these are £10 each, so I might as well buy new frames.

I do like the idea of the half-way house between full frames and just pinning up the images. The mount provides some definition to the image but doesn’t constrain it too much.

E) Pin-up images only

The most basic (and cheapest) option, but none of the sheets can be insured (not really a problem though) and i’m not sure about how this would look, in a gallery setting. This is a very common option in architects exhibitions and it just focusses the attention on the image (but in that environment, they are not selling work).

Location of work in gallery

sketch of gallery and artwork positions


Overall, i’m leaning towards using the gallery’s own frames and my own sheets and mounts, as this will be one of the cheapest option and convey a good impression.


I’m not going after big (or any) sales here but want the impression to be high quality.