Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Day 253: I see red

It's got to the stage now where all the things previously existed only im my imagination are coming to life.  The combinations that looked good in a magazine or a sample book - will they work or are there going to be some expensive disasters?  When Stos told me that the laundry cabinetry had been installed late last week, I was  a bit surprised that Bob hadn't mentioned it.  Only that day he had asked me to make sure that the laundry and kitchen sinks would be available this week; no mention of laundry cupboards.  So the first thing that came to mind was the red bench that I had picked out - how would it look installed? Fortunately, it looks great and contrasts beautifully with the white cupboards and grey floor.  I am so happy that I didn't go with my first choice - teal benchtops and aqua cupboards.  That would have taken my love of turquoise a bit too far.  We are also happy with the floor tiles - the lighter shade was definitely the right choice.  The next surprise was on Monday night when we dropped by expecting to see grouted tiles, the kitchen floor sanded and the limewash on the kitchen ceiling finished.  Big fat zero on those fronts, but the sails over the deck were up.  The red and blue sheets span the deck and will keep the western sun out - it gets very, very hot out there, even at temperatures in the mid twenties.  We are thrilled with the way they look and have rung the Sailmaker to tell him so.

I happened to be chatting to Bob today and mentioned that I was very happy with the laundry fit out and the sails. The response was that colour is very much personal taste - Bob speak for telling me that he hates the choices.  And this is coming from a bloke who thinks beige watertanks go with a grey house.  No wonder he doesn't get any arguments when he says that picking colours is not his "thing"!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Day 247: Fade to grey

The garage door is finally on and the place looks sooooo much better.  Together with the charcoal paint on the fascias, there's finally some contrast to the pale grey of the walls and the silver of the roof and guttering.  I was hoping that the front door would have been painted in this round, but that will be done later, so we have to put up with the aqua protective coating for a bit longer.   I'm sure all the neighbours think we are colourblind. Today's job was to meet W, the tiler, to do a run through of the plan for the tiles and, importantly, to make sure that the tiles we ordered were the ones that turned up.  And they are - just as well, with Wes ready to start.  The jobs to be done today by Bob, Pete and W were to put in the waterproof membranes in the bathrooms, hang the vanities, and start on the tiling the floor in the small living area downstairs.  Very good for W as it is much cooler on the lower level.  When we dropped by tonight, all of these jobs had been done.  Even though they are still protected by bubblewrap, we can see that the vanites and the mixer taps look really good and will look even better once the white wall tiles are laid.  Bob has also made a start on the shelves in the linen press which looks like it will be a great storage area.  Bliss after years of inadequate cupboards .

I'm waiting for Bob to tell me that the garage door looks good, however as with the glass doors, I'm not holding my breath.  I'm sure he still thinks that the timber finish door was the go, but to his credit, this has not been mentioned since the door was ordered and eyebrows were raised when I said very firmly that the finish was to be Monument.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Day 246 Colour my world

Some random loveliness seen at the house on Saturday:
Then there's manmade loveliness and the pleasure of seeing your ideas come together:
I think that Bob agrees, but I'll be waiting a long time before he admits it!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Day 244: Don't fence me in

Following the landscaping efforts of the previous week, STLT permanent HQ has been a hive of activity.  The rain didn't cause any more delays and the concreters set to work on Tuesday, pouring first the footpath and the driveway cross over, followed by the drive and the front path on Wednesday.  We got to see them at work as we had to be at the house earl;y on Wednesday to meet with the painter and the fence guy to discuss colours for the house and options for the fence and gates,  While we were waiting around, we had a glimpse of the little community that operates in our absence.  First, someone walked down the street who Bob greeted, then a lady pulled up to speak to the concreters - both are people who live in the street or the immediate area that we have never met. Then there's the lady across the road who provides Bob with coffees and snacks.  We obviously need to be get out more and meet people beyond our immediate neighbours.  Anyway, we told the painters what we wanted and were then asked about ceilings and doors, with paint to be ordered that day.  Bob threw a a bit of a spanner in the works by suggesting that we might want to paint the interior doors a different shade of white to the walls, triggering an emergency call to P, an interior designer friend who has given us some assistance with colours before.  She quickly set us on the right track, confirming our initial thoughts and came up with a better suggestion for the ceilings.  The fence guy was great and had some really good suggestions for achieving what we want i.e. keeping unwanted people out and dogs in, automatic driveway gates and a lockable pedestrian gate.  So no problems there and we look forward to seeing his concepts put into action.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Day 238: Solid Rock


Some time ago, Bob had mentioned his vision for the front yard.  I have heard a few times how he thought some landscaping, a  few rocks and some grasses would look good.  Once he was giving me his vision while putting on the roof which was like getting the Sermon on the Mount - I had to tell him that I'd prefer it if he focussed on staying on the roof and remaing in one piece.  Anyway, last week we had to get a machine in to dig up the footpath and old cross over to put in a new one and lay the new driveway and front path.  As the guy with the machine is also a landscape gardener, Bob put him to work carving out the front yard and putting in some rocks.  This was discussed with Stos, who gave some general guidelines that included some license for artistic interpretation.  I was chatting to Bob on the Thursday when it was finished and he was very keen for me to go around with my camera (mentioned both on Thursday and Friday) with the promise that our front yard would be different to any other in the street.  I wasn't sure whether to be alarmed or not by that statement.  I couldn't get there until Saturday morning, after the deluge of Friday night and was confronted by what looked like a lake in front of the garage and stones arranged in such a way that wasn't in line with what I'd imagined.  Not that it's bad, but different.  Anyway, Bob is very pleased with himself.  And we are getting used to it.

Today's good news is that the concrete is still going to be laid this week as planned.  After all the rain on Friday and Saturday, we were very concerned but all is well and it's full steam ahead.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Day 230: Knights in White Satin

Bob's sister was visiting from Sydney last week so I suggested that she and any other interested family members might like to come over for a champagne tour of the house; the third in a week.  This was followed by dinner at a local Thai restaurant.  All were suitably impressed with Bob's handiwork and are looking forward to coming back on New Year's Eve to see the finished result.  I don't remember eating locally that frequently in all the times we have lived in the area.  The following day I had decided to have off thanks to a completely clear schedule for the Day Job.  Stos suggested that I meet the telco guy at the house who was to call and connect the telephone and internet in the afternoon.  However it wasn't that simple.  Telco guy asked me a number of questions in what I considered to be Martian so the solution was to call Sparkie Dave up, hand over the phone and let the two talk tech speak.  It appears that it is too early for the connection to be put in and telco guy needs a black (coaxial) cable to be pushed through through to the front of the house and full power must be available.  So the visit was not a good use of anyone's time.  Still, I checked out the nearly complete plaster, the completed ceiling in the kitchen/living area and the bath cradle. I also took a picture from across the kitchen looking out the windows to the city.  I can't wait to get back in there and have that view every day.

To finish off, I thought I'd convey a Bob story, as conveyed by his mother.  A neighbour, who we have never met, has been bringing Bob coffees and snacks while he has been working at the house over the last seven months and they have struck up a bit of a friendship.  She recently met a man through an internet dating website and was to met him at his home in a rural area for their second date.  As a precaution, Bob took the guy's car registration details and we believe also met him when he came to the lady's house.  What a sweetie!  I'm sure he would be embarrassed if he read this but it really reflects the kind of person he is - a great big caring softie.  I hope he finds a deserving lady of his own soon.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Day 228: My Creative Space

I decided that on Melbourne Cup Day, I would do nothing.  We had no invitations, I had volunteered to be on call at the Day Job, and decided that, in the absence of going in to work, I would do nothing in particular.  Stos went to the hardware shop to get some stuff to fill holes in the second hand doors and to attack (prune) one of the roses in the backyard.  I was assured my presence wasn't required so finished the last book in the Millenium series, The Girl who kicked the Hornet's Nest (I think I am the last person in the universe to read this).  I felt a bit flat after this - what am I going to do now after finishing this series that has kept me riveted for weeks?  Well, keeping up with some commitments might be a good idea.  I started on a secret project, then as the light deteriorated, I've started on my Softie for Mirabel. I'm making Zing the Polite Cat from the first Meet Me at Mike's craft book

As usual, the Quick Unpick tool has had a bit of a work out but overall I'm happy with the results so far.  The only thing that struck me is that his face looks more owl like at the moment - hopefully sewing on his whiskers and mouth will help!  For more creative inspiration, head over here.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Day 225: Hanging on the Telephone

I've mentioned the amount of work invovled in building a house, even when you builder is managing the project for you.  Once we got past the basic stages of frame and roof, I've found that the number of phone calls relating to the project increase.  I jotted down the calls from the week before last; that week was relatively quiet but here's what the pattern was:

-Call from Stos to tell me that plumbing supply place had called to ask for payment for items that Pete had ordered.
- Me to plumbing supply place to make payment.
- Me to Pete to tell him items had been paid for.
- Me to interior designer friend of friend to find out closest match for Dulux Natural While in the powder coating range.
- Intererior designer friend of friend to me to confirm colour match
- Me to Bob to advise powder coating colour for hydronic heating panels.
- Bob back to me on something else and to ask for some money to pay bills.
- Kitchen guy to me to tell me that he's back from holidays and wanting to take measurements at the house to start of kitchen and laundry cabinets.
- Pete to me to let me know that he has taken home plumbing supplies not yet installed .

Often I get a call from Bob at 7.45am, which works out well as I am normally walking out of the gym and into the Day Job premises.  I certainly can't say that I'm not kept up to date.

On the update front, these photos are from last week.  Plumbing is roughed in, plaster is progressing, Bob has been working on the lining for the ceiling in the kitchen and after all this rain, the connected water tank is full.  It's consolation for the awful weather.