Well you wait years for a studio and two come along at once!
After blogging about the Whitstable studio a friend called me and asked if I would be interested in sharing a craft workshop space. Close to home, central heating, south facing window, HUGE storage cupboard the full length of the room and lots lots more. All should be finalised soon but until it's signed sealed and delivered I'm not tempting fate by blogging the details but I do have some photos and lots of plans.
It needs painting, I was tempted by a strong turquoise colour but I think I will probably go with a warm, pale, creamy yellow for the walls.
The floor will be laminate, I really wanted reclaimed floorboards painted white with some coloured diamonds but it will be too expensive, maybe I can make a proggy mat to add some colour. The walls will have horizontal 2x4 cube Expedit units topped with kitchen worktop, either white or beech block effect, I haven't yet decided. Above them will be wall mounted Hensvik shelf units, I think I will put patterned scrapbook paper at the back of each cube to add splashes of colour.
They will look great with my spice jars full of embellishments and Kilner jars full of ribbons. There will be room for my Momijis and Matryoshkas along with a few other nick nacks.
I would love a room full of old wooden office furniture but having been outbid by hundreds of pounds over my budget on Ebay it isn't to be. However I managed to buy a gorgeous oak architects chest with 18 drawers and will be driving up to the Midlands to collect it on Wednesday.
I love the shallow drawers, great for rubber stamp storage and my papers. I had my eye on an old printers chest but it ended on Saturday night at double what I would have paid. Just as well really as I was out for supper with friends and forgot about it!
So there's a lot of work to do before I move in, once it's all decorated I have the mammoth task of packing up my supplies and moving them over, luckily Alex is home for the Easter holiday and can help me. Ikea here we come!
I have been waiting for some news for a couple of weeks now and didn't want to say anything in case it didn't work out but I had a confirmation email this afternoon.
I will soon have my own artist's studio in Whitstable! After struggling to work from what should be our dining room I decided to empty it and have the room plastered and decorated but had nowhere to put my supplies. I did have a sort through and moved some stuff out to the hall into the largest expedit unit from Ikea and boxed quite a lot of papers and embellishments but it wasn't working. I had to keep going through boxes to find something I needed and still have a room full to sort out. Everything was going to have to go into storage while I tried to work from the utility room and it was rapidly becoming too overwhelming. The dining room was only ever meant to be temporary but after nine years I think it's time to move on.
After a search on the internet I found a scheme run by Canterbury City Council to help 'creatives' expand and applied for a small studio. It's a unit shared with a painter and a photographer and it means I can move into a dedicated workspace, empty the house of craft supplies and set up a proper studio from scratch. My present set up is such a jumble of mismatched storage that it is difficult to keep orderly, I can't wait to have a place for everything and enough work area to leave projects out and still have space for cutting machines and printers.
It will take some time to sort out the paperwork but that will give me a chance to plan everything first. It's only a few minutes drive from home, a short walk from Georgina's school and very convenient for me to pop over and create whenever I want to.
Once everything is gone from home we can have the dining room remodelled and use it as a family room for homework, computer, cross trainer and maybe a small craft space for the odd times I want to create at home.
I think the next week will be spent looking through the Ikea catalogue and surfing the 'net for ideas.
Another sunny day yesterday so when Helen had finished work we set off for some geocaching. We had a circular route planned but decided to call in at a nearby craft shop first. After browsing there we stopped for a light lunch as the afternoon slipped away. We made our way through some very rough narrow roads to the start point trying to talk each other into starting the three hour walk when we were saved by a phone call. Nobody was home for Georgina and there was only an hour before she got back from school. We were a little disappointed but secretly quite relieved too. We went for a quick nearby cache to drop some coins off, watched some lambs playing and then made our way home.
The other caches will still be there another day when we are a bit more organised. We took some photos on self timer, Helen managed to delete hers and mine are proof that we probably would have been wise to spend our day at a hairdressers rather than yomping through woods.
We couldn't resist the spring sunshine any more, after finishing the most urgent work we both had, we decided to drive down to Rye to mooch around the antique shops and visit Jempson's supermarket, full of produce from local butcher's and bakers.
I wore my new shoes, (unless Steve is reading this, in which case I have had them ages) probably not a good idea when I would be walking a fair part of the day but they were so comfortable that I have my eye on the red version (unless Steve is reading this in which case I know I don't *need* them, I was just looking).
We stopped to look around this lovely church at Peasmarsh, the lytchgate had a very sad plaque inside, it was built by the grieving parents in memory of two young men, their sons, aged 20 and 23, both killed in France during the first world war.
After buying far too many goodies in Jempsons we drove into Rye to look at the antiques, I was secretly hoping to find some Carlton walking ware in time for a Mother's day gift from my absent son but although we saw a teapot and a few cups and eggcups they were very expensive and at £80 for a teapot I knew I had no chance this Sunday.
Still, it was lovely to mooch around the shops, lots of nooks and crannies to search but no purchases were made. It was worth the trip just for this photograph, taken upstairs in this shop. Another arty one for you CJ!
As the driver I decided to go home via the scenic route and follow the coast along to Hythe then up to Canterbury along a 'B' road that I love driving, hoping to get some sunset photographs across the valley.
We stopped at Camber because I wanted to see if the beach was worth the drive down in the summer, I had heard there were sand dunes and was hoping for something like Bamburgh. There were sand dunes and a bit of sandy beach but nothing worth the extra miles past Dymchurch. Further along it was full of stones.
Did I mention my new shoes?
All was well until the fog came with dusk, visibility was down to a few feet, the sun disappeared taking with it the anticipated sun set photographs and it took over an hour for the usual 30 minute drive up from Hythe.
Still suffering from teapot envy, I checked ebay to see how much they were on t'internet and found the same colour pot with only an hour to go and less than a third of the shop price. Hopefully there will be a parcel in time for the weekend...
I've been out and about quite a lot and catching up on projects in the last week. We've had warm sunshine since the weekend, the garden is sprouting, the magnolia is ready to flower and another couple of weeks it will be time to get the pool ready for summer.
Georgina took advantage of the weather and went for a hack rather than an indoor lesson, she loves riding Norman as he's very steady when they are outside.
I particularly like his moustache and pleaded with the girls not to trim it!
Kate came down today and we went for a wander around Whitstable harbour and watched the boats unloading their catches for a while. I can certainly get used to the warmth very quickly, I hope this means we are in for a hot summer.
Helen came down yesterday afternoon and we went into Whitstable for a couple of hours. There are some lovely shops there, little treasure troves full of goodies. I had to buy this card because it made me laugh when I saw it
My favourite shop there is called "Taking the Plunge", it's full of retro nick nacks and lush 'stuff', I spotted a bag I had seen in Avoca last week for €65 and only £45 here, I'm so pleased I didn't buy it in Ireland. I couldn't resist this one when I saw the monkey hanging from it, Helen tried to fight me for it but luckily there were two so we bought one each.
She also bought a pin badge that said "I'm not a tourist, I live here".
We found these rubber alphabet stamps in a cheapy shop for £5, I'm not sure what the rrp is but I thought it was a bargain
Georgina went for her first riding lesson in a long time and is booked in for a hack on Sunday, it will be the first time outside since her accident and I am not looking forward to it. There will be a bedroom inspection before she goes.
Our TV conked out last night, it just switched itself off and flashed a red light at us. It's well and truly dead. We have only had it about 14 months but it does have a 5 year warranty from John Lewis. I can't see them coming out on a Saturday though. We still have the old one in the conservatory where the kids play on the wii, luckily it has Sky in there too but it seems so tiny after watching the huge screen. I think I will wait and watch my favourite programmes on sky+ once it's fixed (or replaced)
I drove up to Loughborough on Wednesday to watch Alex play rugby, it was lovely and sunny, I had a good drive up and got there early. It was freezing! It even snowed during the game but it was well worth it to see him in action and for the photographs I took.
Sometimes there is one that stands out from the roll, one that makes me catch my breath, makes my heart thump and my chest swell with pride. This is one of those, it's out of focus but it has captured so much of Alex in an instant.
It looked great on the camera screen but I am so disappointed it is out of focus. It's the first time I have used the long lens, most of the time I used a monopod but I think I moved when I took this one.
Alex was so close to a try here, only yards from the touchline but he couldn't get through. He did manage to turn over though, keeping the ball and they scored seconds later.
They were playing an independent school but it was great to see that Welbeck were the better mannered team by far. At the end of the match some of the losing team were quite sulky and wandered off the pitch without shaking hands at all. The Welbeck lads lined up in two rows, gave three cheers for the opposing team and asked them to walk down the centre to shake hands. It certainly set an example to the visiting team, expecially when the sulkers had to walk back onto the pitch.
I was surprised how hard it was to spot him, he played loose prop the first half then tight prop the second. At times all I could see of him was the orange swoosh marks on his boots. They won their game 25-12.
He's back home for exeat today, it will be great to have him around for a few days.
Kate and I went up to Bluewater yesterday for some geocaching and shopping. Of course we had to go caching first, in the rain with little regard for our appearance. After searching for three caches in the rain, lunch and the shops were calling but we did look rather bedraggled compared to 'the ladies who lunch'.
This was near the first cache, just a mile or so away from Bluewater. Luckily Kate remembered her camera and kindly sent me copies last night.
We were very good when we went for lunch, just a toastie each and we walked past all of the cakes, both of us trying to be good... until we got right to the checkout and saw these sticky toffee tarts and we gave in.
Well, we had been caching first and walked off some calories, although I think we need to run a marathon to get rid of this lot!
We shopped in a few nicky nack shops, I spent too much in Paperchase and we went off to find a couple of caches on the way home. I had chosen one on the riverside, near an old naval college and the old site of HMS Worcester. This was a magnetic nano which took some time to find but we had fun looking.
That's the Queen Elizabeth II bridge in the background, not the most picturesque view but the wind was fresh and blew away any cobwebs we had left.
This one is part of an abbey which became a naval college for the merchant navy. I think it is apartments now.
I'm leaving to go up to Loughborough. Alex is playing rugby at school and I'm going up to support him (and try to get some photos)
After being banished to her room for more weekends in a row than I can remember to tidy it properly, I finally bit the bullet and went up there with her, armed with bin bags and sticky stuff remover. Her bedroom is no longer a health hazard, she now has a floor, a desk and a windowsill. After finding enough mould to make ten year's supply of penicillin she has learned the error of her ways and will no longer dump school lunch leftovers in her waste bin. Drinks in her room have been banned. This morning it took her only five minutes to get dressed. All is well.
He returned from deepest Wales (the best place to be when Newcastle have a match) almost unscathed, his fingers did not fall off with frostbite or get stuck in a trigger due to the lack of appropriate gloves. He did not collapse due to lack of Fruit Pastilles. He phoned last night without asking for anything. However, he twisted his ankle in a hole but although it swelled to twice the size of the other one he completed all of his exercises and walked 30k. His numerous blisters are covered in Compeed (courtesy of a previous special delivery) and he hopes to be selected for rugby later this week. All is well.