‘Hits’ and ‘followers’ landmark…

Just over 4 years ago (May 2009) I started this blog. Today the blog passed a bit of a landmark – 100,000 views. At the same time, the number of followers is just below 100.

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Thanks to everyone who has liked, commented on, followed and viewed the blog during those 4 years. I’ve appreciated the feedback and still feel the process of blogging is exciting and worthwhile. It’s been the gateway to the world of blogging and all the awesome blogs I regularly check from people all around the world. It’s a great way to record part of my life in pictures and words.

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Kitchen extension ideas…

Some great gallery images of kitchen extensions on http://www.housetohome.co.uk.

All images courtesy of: http://www.housetohome.co.uk/galleries

We’ve gone through just about every possibility of extending our living space, all of which so far have been beyond are very modest budget! My latest idea is to simply use the existing shell of the kitchen and utility area and to just redesign the space into a kitchen / dining room area, with large double French doors onto the garden.

This will mean no knocking down walls, building new walls, moving drains, laying foundations, no skylights etc. It will just mean putting a new pitched and tiled roof on the existing utility room (it’s a flat roof at present) and extending the walls up a bit.

The other main thing will be to insert a load-bearing steel lintel to support the end gable of the house, allowing us to open up the existing space into a single space. This may sound complicated but it just involves propping up the existing walls with removable steel supports then sliding in the new steel. We’d get a builder to do this and the roof and we’re getting quotes right now. Hopefully it’ll be affordable!

The connection to the garden is really important and means we would be able to see the kids without needing to be right by them outside. It would also improve our connection to the seasons and outside, including more light, better views and an improved feeling of space inside.

All the other jobs we can do ourselves, such as getting a new window for the kitchen, finding and installing the French doors to the garden, fitting a new kitchen, painting and decorating. I feel some major Doing Yourself In coming!

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3 years of blogging…

I just realised that I started this blog in May 2009, which is 3 years (and 6 days) since it all kicked off and I jumped head-first into the digital international community!

At the time, we were moving our bathroom upstairs, I was getting ready for my first solo photography exhibition and I had just become vegetarian! The main subjects are still there in the blog – family, DIY and art/photography, but more have been added, including gardening/allotment, sustainability and music/mixing.

Since that first post, 1200 posts have been added and my blog has had 50,000 views. A big thanks to everyone who has taken the time to have a look at it and for all the comments and ‘likes’.

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Itiquira House – Rio…

Some inspiring images from the Itiquira House in Rio (thanks again to the Cool Hunter!).

I’ve always got our future (and at this point totally imaginary) extension in mind as well as the garden landscaping, and we’re always adding to our ideas on design. There are a few ideas from this which are interesting.

– the use of covered outside canopy to provide rain shelter and extended living space.

– large glazing which lets in loads of light and the views.

– there is a restricted view to the garden but this is mitigated by the interesting plants – the perception of space inside is the key feature. There is very little depth but very interesting.

– it’s easier to control a smaller area and make it look really good, as opposed to the whole garden space. Our friends had a very small decked area to the rear of their old house – but because it was well presented and neat, the effect was really positive

– the use wood piles could help to define part of the outside room, combined with decking and plants, to form layers of texture and colour.

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Robinswood Hill SSSI quarry…

We ventured out to Robinswood Hill after Claire found a map of the hill in the cupboard. We noticed an area which we hadn’t explored before – a SSSI further around from the main visitor centre area.

What great place! The views were amazing and a really fun place to run around! Bit of a scary drop off though, but the boys had fun climbing around on the massive rocks. There was also a good information board there which showed the rock layers and there was also a bit of information about fossils which could be found.

Defo a place to go back to in he summer.

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