Thursday, 4 August 2016

It's a Wrap!

I finally finished the floor in the old shop, and now there's just general clearing-up and dusting to do, as the sanding made A LOT of dust.

A few days ago the ground floor looked like this...

Shop floor, left back, partially sanded I started the sanding.

Now it looks like this...

Floor RDC finished

...and I'm feeling pretty pleased with myself!

Dan's son, Simon and his family, are arriving on Tuesday and I think everything is pretty well ready.

I hope the weather is better than today here, as it has been raining all day and is a bit cold too.  Maybe they won't need the air-conditioner!

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

High dee High

Not good weather for campers.  Far too hot.  Today was predicted to be 39°C, although it seems it was only 36 in actual fact.  Phew - thank goodness! What on earth would we have done with those extra 3 degrees?

Anyone getting the same temperatures out there in Blogland?

For your information 36°C is 98°F.  Pretty Hot.

Too hot for decorating, although indoors in the apartment is cooler than outdoors.

So I painted the first side of the second shutter, did the side window downstairs, put a second coat on the boxed-in pipes upstairs...

Pipes boxed in 1st floor

Do you see the wet patch on the floor - bottom left? That's where I spilt the tin of paint (not too much, happily) and had to wipe it up with paper towels and white spirit.  It had to happen some time, I suppose...

Then I put a final coat of gloss on the risers of the stairs from the first floor living room to the bedroom above...

Stair risers painted cream

This was one of my best ideas, I think, and it has greatly brightened up what was a rather dark staircase.  I would love to decorate the risers with words or a stencil, but I don't think I'll have the time...

Yes, that IS daylight you can see through a couple of the stairs, but I can assure you they are perfectly safe. Maybe I'll patch in a bit of filler, just so it isn't quite so scary for those who are not used to it...

The bedroom floor is all polished now, and I can start to put in the furniture - although there isn't much.  The single bed is already in situ and there is a cot to go in too.  Some curtains at the front window and it will be as finished as it's going to get for the time being.

Bedroom from Front

Bedroom from stairs

So, apart from making curtains (and putting up the rods for them) the main thing to do is sand and polish the floors on the first and ground floors.  Too hot for that today and, anyway, one thing I have learned is that you do not sand, or sweep when you have just painted, unless you want a lovely gritty finish!

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Jigsaw Pieces

I think of a jigsaw every time I do a little bit more on the shop. Or the Chez Penny Apartment as it now is :-)

You know how the puzzle somehow becomes a fabulous picture when that last piece is slotted in? Well, I think the shop is going to be like that - well, I hope so, anyway!

I am working on several things at once, as usual, and today I finished undercoating the second pair of shutters for the front of the building. They used to look like this...

Shutter, before 2

...but now they look like this...

Last shutter undercoated

...and when they have had two coats of cream gloss they can go back up at the window and the front of the building will look cared-for again. At the moment, although the top shutters are done, the building looks a little bare without the lower ones...

Shop front

In between, waiting for the undercoat to dry, I have been doing a couple of other things - I polished part of the bedroom floor, and I think it's going to look really lovely when it's all done.

Waxing the Bedroom floor

The boards are chestnut or oak, and pretty old.  They are a bit worm-eaten in places, but so lovely it would be sacrilege to replace them.

I've also painted the risers on the stairs leading to the bedroom from the first floor, but I didn't take any pictures of that as they need a second coat.  I used the cream Annie Sloan paint again, and it certainly lifts a dark staircase!  I'll take pictures when they're finished.

So what else have I done today?  Well, I undercoated the front door and its shutter...

Undercoating the Front Door

...although it really needs a thorough renovation. Still, it looks tidier now.

The whole outside could do with a coat of paint, but that is beyond my capabilities and my budget!

On my way to the shop this morning, I popped into a friend's Depot Vente in Bussiere-Poitivine - it was her first day in new premises - and bought a rather pretty mirror which, like everything else I have, has seen better days and needs freshening up. I have plans to paint the frame pale cream and apply just a smidgen of gold wax to the relief pattern of flowers and leaves. I think it will look rather lovely and it will then hang in the living room, not the kitchen which is its current temporary resting-place!

New Mirror

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Hot, Hot, Hot...

Suddenly it's Summer!  Yesterday was 34 degrees and today is only a little cooler.

So I've been painting - windows and doors and shutters.

In fact, the sun has been so hot that I couldn't paint one half of a window because the sun was on it and the paint would have blistered.  I painted one shutter in the bedroom, but couldn't do the other for the same reason.

But I prepared and painted the one shutter. The paint was pretty bad...

Shutter, before sanding

...but I sanded it down well...

Shutter, ready to paint

...and gave it one cot of cream gloss. No picture yet, sorry.

I also gave pretty well everything that didn't move fast enough a coat of the same cream gloss :-)

So mostly all the painting is done now (I probably won't do another coat of cream as I'm going to sell the property soon.  Please.  I hope.

Meanwhile, my other property, a house and barns at La Tache is already for sale. Hopefully I'll sell both places fairly soon and then I'll have enough money to live on or move back to England.

I miss my family and although one of the children currently lives in France, he is soon to move to Barcelona.  It's hard to be on your own in rural France,where nothing much happens - although the weather is lovely.

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

A Little Update

It doesn't seem to make a huge difference overall, but everything I do gets Chez Penny a little nearer to being 'finished'.  I've used inverted commas here because who knows when a place is really finished?  I would like to have done lots of things and maybe not exactly what I have done, but financial restraints have meant that those ideas have had to be shelved or scaled down or even left hanging.

But I have been busy and things are moving on, even if it doesn't look much changed.  I painted the bathroom window, for example and gave the room itself a second coat - although there is still the door to do.

It doesn't look much... (a bit messy, in fact)

Bathroom window

...but it is a step forward.  I also painted the front window of the bedroom on the outside, but I haven't taken a picture yet - it took all day to dry and still needs a second coat.  I hate painting gloss and this time I just threw the brush in the bin instead of attempting to wash it out in white spirit!

I also did the little side window...

Bedroom side window

...and slapped a quick coat on the fireplace...

Bedroom fireplace

But before I did all that I painted the whole of the downstairs window and door with the white gloss and now I feel like I have stepped into a 70s movie everytime I go into that room. I wouldn't be surprised if Emma Peel stepped out from behind a door, or came running down the stairs in her shiny leather gear.  There's such a lot of white in the room, she might vanish like the Cheshire Cat, except for her smile...

RDC window and door

...see what I mean ?

Anyway, that was almost a whole day's work and there seems to be very little to show for it.

But one day, it will all come together, the floors will be done and the furniture will be moved in.  As someone is coming to stay there in August, I guess that will happen in a couple of months!

Apart from some electrical jobs and a bit of boxing-in of pipework, it's the floors that are going to be the worst nightmare I think.  Note to self: put all the things you are taking home in a pile by the front door and start the floor painting at the farthest point away from there...

Tuesday, 17 May 2016


The first thing I did at the shop today was to put up the Ostention bunting, now it's all ready for the final (and biggest) ceremony on Sunday...

Ostention bunting

We put in the table and chairs on Saturday and then the Nathan unit from Janet on Sunday.

Now it almost looks like home!

Nathan unit

Today I cleaned and polished the unit, washed the glasses, cutlery and china and installed everything in the unit.  It's a bit twee with all the teapots, but it looks more homely now!

Tomorrow I'm going to paint the remaining walls in the room - the bit behind the table and up to the toilet door.  Yes, I have a toilet in the kitchen.  It used to be the back room of a shop, you see, so that was perfectly normal. I don't think there is a law against it.  There are still houses here with no toilets, so we won't be picky.

Anyway, I came home just before 5 and cut the lawn, as it had been dry for a couple of days.  The birds were singing...

Cut grass and wildflower meadow

Thursday, 12 May 2016

It's All White, Baby It's All White...

But that's OK...

It needed lightening up.

I've painted the beams white, and that was a task-and-a-half! Some of them are so eaten by woodworm that they were like the underside of a mushroom and almost impossible to get paint on to.  Still, they look better now than they did and the room is brighter...

Kitchen so far 3

Today I painted the walls - the one with the units on...

Kitchen so far

...and the opposite one, on the left as you come in the front door.  This is where I anticipate the table will be...

Wall by door

...and the fuse box etc will be all neatly boxed in.

I think the old sink under the stairs will have to go and a new one be plumbed in alongside the units. Either that or I need to find a cheap dishwasher...

Looking to stairs

Once that is done the kitchen is pretty well finished for the moment.

Upstairs is another story.