Friday, 21 November 2014

A trip to the hospital

This week has been a very quiet week. I have been on forced bed rest after a rather nasty bout of vertigo.  Unfortunately this episode ended up in hospital on a drip after repeated vomiting with every movement. I haven't been able to view a computer screen for very long and even reading for the first couple of days was difficult. This has been a very challenging week for a girl who has such a busy brain.  I think these things happen sometimes just to make me rest.  

Making a list of what I have done and what I am grateful for when weeks like this happen, makes me feel better and helps me see the beautiful parts to an other wise rotten week.

What I have accomplished and what I am grateful for this week

  • Lots of beautiful sleep
  • Rest....plenty of it
  • Watching a few great movies
  • doing a little more on my daughters scrapbook
  • Talking
  • Cuddles with the cat
  • Cuddles with the kids
  • Quiet
  • Basic meals
  • The washing going into the machine and someone else hanging it
  • Supervising the studio build (we are almost ready to paint!!)
  • Sitting in the sunshine
  • Cuddling under blankets (its been a very mixed week of weather)
  • Not having to drive
  • Planting a few lettuces
  • Having visitors to chat with
  • Re defining what is actually important.
  • Being rather than doing
  • Peace
  • Hearing the birds and all the outside noises I miss when I am rushing around
  • Thinking
  • Processing information I have been given
  • Hugs
  • Prayers
  • Slowing down and smelling the roses

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Progress on the art studio

We have walls. After an epic effort today by my father,  my hubby and a friend my studio has walls!!!!!

The new window in

Wool bats ready to go

Phil working hard

Gib board in

Wiring in the wall

Oh dear we have a leak.  that will need sorting before the wardrobe goes in :)

Roll on Monday for the door,  French door to go in,  plastering to start and a leak to fix.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Progress on my art studio

2 1/2 week ago we started converting our garage into an art studio space for my work.  We have 2 garages one close to the house that is already lined and has 2 windows in it.  This is the garage that is going to be my space to work in.  

Work has been progressing nicely.  We have been very fortunate to have a bit of rain so my husband has been able to work at home for a couple of days. 

We are working on a very tight budget and so far it looks like we will be under the $5,000 budget we set thanks to some amazing blessings.  

All the insulation is in,  the door way cut and the floors have had their first grind and grout.  I am starting to see what it is going to look like and I am getting so excited.

The before picture

The insulation is in

The wiring is ready to go

The doorway is in (behind the machinery) 

The before picture of the concrete

The after picture.  
The beginning grind has been done on the floor and we have beautiful Waipa stone in the concrete !!!!! it looks beautiful

Monday, 10 November 2014

New art work

The scales fell from your eyes

This quilt has been made for the 
New Zealand quilting guild challenge 


Purple is a wonderful rich and beautiful colour with so many different hues and tones.  Purple is a colour I often associate with dragons so I made a dragons eye.

The scales fell from your eyes
30 cm x 30 cm
By Catherine Parkinson

I think the eye is the window to the soul. So much of a person can be seen through their eye.  Truth shines through your eye whether you want it too or not.  When the scales fall way everything becomes clear.

White cotton fabric painted with textile inks.  Machine quilted with polyester thread.  More colour added with oil paint sticks, coloured pencil, Inktense pencils and  crayons. 

The reflection in the dragons eye

A close up of the eye

Friday, 7 November 2014

Photography this week: Guy Fawkes

Every year on November the 5th New Zealand celebrates Guy Fawkes.  This year we attended a bonfire night at a friends.  We had a wonderful evening  great company,  great food (especially the home made doughnuts) and fantastic conversation.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Making an art studio on a tight budget.

Making a new studio is hard at the best of times but when you are on a very tight budget it is even harder.  Our whole budget for our garage conversion is $5,000 NZD max (less if possible)  To show you how tight this can be in NZ, a set of french doors start at $1000 without fitting and a the jib alone will be close to $900.  

The before picture

This challenge is a good opportunity to get the creative juices flowing, to think outside the square and to make things work in a way that is new and exciting.  Limited budgets seem to do this so well.  If the skys the limit often there is more waste, less challenge and no where near as much creativity.

There are so many ways to stick to a budget and to creatively use what you already have or what is in your community for free.

  1. Evaluate what strengths you have.  Try and do as much as you can yourself but be willing to admit when something is beyond your capabilities as sometimes it costs more to fix what has been done wrong than to have asked a professional to start with. 
  2. PLAN, PLAN, PLAN I can't stress this enough.  It is better to spend time planning than money fixing things that weren't planned properly.  We use this on-line floor planner to sort out layouts and to see how everything will look at the end.Take time to look at layouts as there is nothing more frustrating than doing a project like this and then finding out the furniture that was going in this room won't fit how you wanted it too or all the power points are in the wrong place.  Plan the light fittings, phone jacks and power points early on to make sure all your wiring is in the right place.  It is is so hard to change wiring later.
  3. Always add a 5-10% buffer on your budget as there will always be something you are not expecting.  We already have a leak in the corner of the room so the outside cladding will need replacing in that corner.
  4. Have a look around your house and see if you already have what is needed for part of the project.  We have already found two old French doors and a wardrobe door that can be re-purposed for what we need. 
  5. If you can try and re use any wood etc you are ripping out.  A lot of supplies can be re used.  We are reusing the hardboard to pack out the wood so that the jib can sit properly on the walls and we are also using the existing garage floor.  We are planning on grinding and polishing it.  
  6. Call in favours.  This is the time for calling in all those favours from friends, neighbours etc for a bit of help.  We have a mate who is a builder who has been great at giving us advice and also another who is a electrician who is going to do all the final wiring for us.  
  7. Talk too people.  We have just got ourself a free window for the back of the garage just because I was talking to a friend who happens to have  house lot of windows in storage.  
  8. Check out the inorganic collections,  on-line auction sites, and things like free cycle.  It amazing what people throw out.  I have picked up 2 tables and a wardrobe for free by being in the right place at the right time
  9. Look out for specials.  Most companies have a cycle they follow for putting their products on special.  Learn how they do this.  IE the supermarkets follow an 8 week cycle, so what you want will come on special at some point. 
  10. If you only want small amounts of product sometimes you can pick up them from huge building jobs, off cuts or left overs. My hubby was looking for some plastic wrap to cover the hole in the garage so he asked at a local store but the wrap only comes by the roll (100 m)  A little too much for what we needed but the shop keeper had some left over plastic from wrapping product on pallets that did the job perfectly for free. 
  11. Research well.  Pinterest is a great site to give great ideas for half the price.  
  12. Talk to other people who have done renovations and ask them what they would have done differently.  Experience is a great teacher.  Learn from others mistakes.
  13. Don't be afraid to ask for help.  DIY stores are a great source of free information.  Talk to people and get help if needed.
  14. Be creative with space.  We have a raised concrete slab in the garage and we weren't sure what we were going to do with it.  It would have taken days to grind it down and it would have been very expensive and it didn't look very pretty so we are making it into a cupboard.  I need the storage and it is a good way to hide an ugly eye sore.
  15. If you have furniture you can use in the space but none of it matches paint it all the same colour.  White aqua gloss works well.  Alternately if it is all wooden furniture you could sand,  stain and varnish all the furniture the same. It is amazing what a difference this makes. 

Monday, 3 November 2014

The new art studio

Last week we started relining and renovating our existing garage to make it into an art studio for me. See post the first day here.  It is so exciting to see the room beginning to unfold and to begin to take shape.  

The lining off the walls

Lots of 'lovely' rats nesting materials.  My son also found 2 mummified rats which he found fascinating.  I didn't really feel the same way about them LOL.

Walnut shells galore.  My question is how did they get them in the roof?

The walls are in pretty good shape.  We only have found 2 small holes that are easily fixed.

the roof is in pretty good nick too.  No scary surprises. Yah!!

Insulation and wiring going in.  I'm going to have lots of power points!  Up till now I have been working off one for my studio,  freezer and Philip's business.

In the corner of the room we have a concrete slab that is higher than the rest of the room.  We have been trying to work out what to do with it.  We're going to build a fantastic cupboard with lots of storage in it.

Unfortunately it leaks so before we do that the outside wall needs replacing.

We had two amazing finds in the garage amongst a pile of wood left behind by the previous owners a small door for the wardrobe and a set of French doors.  That will really help the budget go so much further as the French doors alone were going to cost us $1,000.  

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