Tuesday, October 18, 2011

TRINKETS:- June – Sept 2011.


Something Old...
Firstly my favourite, and most used, item! Fleetville Vintage Emporium, St.Albans is my favourite shop at the moment; second hand goodies, from books to clothes, great big beautiful pieces of furniture and crockery trinkets. I found this spice drawer and just had to have it, before I even worked out where it’d sit.

Also at Fleetville I found some vintage tins, the classic Piccadilly tea tin, an amaretto tin for spaghetti and a single malt whiskey tin - brilliant for keeping my hairstraightners in too!! (Metal - so heat resistant ;) clever…huh!)

I have had these a few years now, again from Fleetville Vintage Emporium. They are ‘Easiwork’ glass jars. I like the pressed label squares on them. I just blue tacked a square from the packaging with images of what the tea is. It looks kind of neat… here we have normal tea, with a Blackberry and Nettle blend too (it’s super yummy – bit like hot Ribena, only healthy!)

Something new...

I bought this set of glass jars because I couldn't find anything that exactly fitted the skinny gunnel cupboards. I say don't be afraid to wield a tape-measure, even in glass shop!

Another place I love to visit first thing in the morning, before all the tourists arrive is Portobello Road Market. I found several bits last year during my first ever visit, including this pretty etched mirror and elephant 'Tota'- hanging decoration.

I couldn’t find a clock I liked so I made one! Maplin sells all the bits you need. Using the same shade of green I framed some felt, drilled a hole through the lot and stuck a clock behind… for an hour's fun it looks pretty good I reckon. The frames for my photos were from Ikea painted using tester pots left over from choosing my wall colour. (I used the same tester pots and painted the clock hands to tie the whole lot together, pretty easy to achieve fun results if you use your noggin ;)

I found these pretty little bowls at a charity shop in Chesham. 6 for £5, not bad with just a little chip on one. I don’t mind chips though, not when they are free.

I love visiting certain towns specifically for charity shopping and, being local, chesham has the most charity shops all practically next door to each other. Two doors down after I found my bowls I discovered this little guy. Some people don't like him but I love his cheeky grin - buddha/green-man approach. He's above my door to greet/ward off visitors.

I have already blogged about Mr.Frog Lamp, giving to me by a couple of friends that my dad helped make a shelf for. Well with the lamp came Mr.Fishing Frog, He began his life with freakish black penetrating eyes. I have no quarms about ‘editing’ gifts to make them how I want them. With a bit of paint I made him into a happy little guy who now fishes above my bed for dreams…that’s what I say anyway… ^_^

Along with this froggy collection I also received three little frogs who began their life florescent green, pink and blue, again with the crazy eyes. I used the same tester pots as my picture frames and made them all uniform purple with white spots. I love them now and they sit at the bow on my hidden pen shelf! Clever and sneaky!

In my ‘inspirational’ images back in May, I found some vintage recycled glass beakers at RE (www.re-foundobjects.com) which were selling for £7.00 each! When I found these in Wilkinson I figured I could have a bit of glamour too, I think I got 4 for £8s – We love bargains!

Something Borrowed...

Of course not everything was new, there were several trinkets I inherited with the boat that I really liked but didn’t know what to do with them.

These pair of geese hooks used to be in the bathroom, but with the chrome-newness I wanted to keep the brass out. They became great cable tidies for my chargers in the bedroom by the plug – super cute AND convenient.

Again, with the chrome-newness, this daisy towel rail became defunct, so with a bit of engineering and a lot of shortening it has turned into a very posh kitchen roll holder. It’s the little things in life.

Little things, like my cheap utensil pot from Tesco which matches my tiles, which match my kettle which I stole from the parents! (I bought them a prettier replacement, no guilt ^_^).

And finally, but by no means least - my pans! They were left on Miswell and I quickly snapped them up! They are a little scratched and tired on the inside but I don't mind - I will only replace them if i find a similar set in better condition. Which i haven't...so I'm still lovin' these beauts. And they sit on my curved shelves with all my other crockery very nicely, if i do say so myself!

Something Blue...

Well that's me, I've finished and it's all looking lovely but there's no more room for pretty things. My bank account is happy I've finished buying all the pretties but I keep seeing nice things but realising I've got no room to put them... I need a bigger boat!! ^_^

Friday, October 07, 2011

Confessions of Absence.

I’ve been a very Naughty blogger!! It’s been about 2 months since my last confession….but… but I did it! I have been living onboard for about a month now! Enjoying the fruits of my labour! I accomplished what the blog set out to do, so I didn’t really know what more to blog about. Until I found more trinkets for the boat and figured I’d have to go on, just so I can show someone my beautiful finds!

I finished my bicycle too. Found some fun vintage looking accessories like my light, online, and my bell from ‘On 2 Wheels’ bike shop in Bourne End, Bucks. The chap here helped me out quite a bit in fixing out the bike with gears. Pretty hardcore stuff and actually came up with the solution to make the bike…do bike things like peddle. It’s been finished now for a couple of months but without the cratch cover I’ve had to keep it at home for security. In the mean time it’s been stolen by my mother on shopping trips – she likes it very much and when I eventually reclaim it I’m going to feel very guilty!

My job life has been going up and down with long periods of unemployment and short bursts of decent jobs… I never thought I’d say this but I’d like to just settle into a nice 9-5 that I can loose a couple of years in. Bizarre to feel this way, but in our current climate I doubt I’m the only one… Or maybe I am... just some oddball… hello?

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Frogs and fiddlings

I've been moaning a bit of late - work keeps getting in my way! Yesterday however I found out some shifts have been cleared so I've got 3 days straight with no work! Today I blitzed through a good deal of my 5 page 'List of things to be done pre-party' with some MAJOR help from the old man. It's clear sailing from here. So with shelves up, front bunks pretty much all wood-worked; I can get the paint brushes back out!

Oh and super excited - My tiles arrived! I've just gone for some plain cream tiles for the kitchen with a skinny green border for a bit of eye-candy. So I've got to do some 'you-tubing' on tiling techniques (if anyone has any pointers on tiling at an angle on the cabin side?)

The foam has been cut and the seamstress (Mum) is on the case. It's my birthday soon so all this parent labour is going down as 'early birthday presents'... still feeling very guilty about it! As soon as it's all done, though, I'll be outta their house/hair which I know they'll be relieved to hear.

It all feels so close to completion. On days like today, I feel so excited about the future. Ideas buzz around in my head, making plans. Then I take another gander at my 5 page 'list of things to be done pre-party'. These days it's become a 1 page 'Pre-party' list and a 4 page 'Some day I need to finish...'.
Everyone kept saying when you move onto a boat it's never 'finished', I can see now they're right- but that's why we love living on board- theres always something to faff with, fiddle with, or fix.

Photos; (top) a frog lamp my friend gave me for my last birthday complete with umbrella, (middle) the left-hand front bunk nearly finished. (bottom, left) Bedroom corner shelves for nik-naks and alarm clocks (bottom, right) Side corridor shelves ready for my colourful crockery.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Updates and pictures so far...

It's been such a long time since I've posted anything so I apologise! I've been working to make up a little money to cover the ongoing costs of doing the boat up, so working on the boat has had to fit in and around. I've had such a huge help from my Dad over the last couple of weeks and just last weekend his hard work arrived on Jamel. Two, custom-built, front bunks, complete with curved fancy facing and coal/wood boxes to store. I had the designs bumbling about in my head ever since I stepped on board but didn't really think through any of the engineering of it. Dad's somehow managed to decifer my mad ramblings and crazy scribbled drawings and produced the most lovely front seat/bunks. Now all thats needed is some filler and paint. I'm off to the foam man to get some thick bum foam, and then I need some thick hard wearing fabric that'll match or work with my cushion collection....

It's all coming together! I finished off the skirting yesterday and found myself a posh bin and a purple brita filter!! (it's the simple things in life!) The green curtains are looking pretty intense without all my other soft furnishings but they'll fit in fine when it's finished. I keep wanting to put pictures on the wall and bring my bedding but I can't jump the gun, I have to finish tiling and painting, and more wood work is needed. Kitchen tiles should arrive by the end of this week so I can cover up the gaping hole under the water heater with a tiled removable panel. Then it's 1)fireplace tiles...once I've made a decision on colour of brown...2) and a curved end panel with fireproofing for the end of the counters, 3)some more shelving in certain areas, 4)lights wired in properly 5)final coats of paint... and then mebby it'll be about done... it all seems like it's coming together now! exciting stuff.

The job so far; (left) the view from the front doors, (right) the bedroom pre-curtains.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Monday, May 23, 2011

Roses, and brasses, and floods, OH MY!

I haven't told my Dad yet so it's a bit of a surprise (good or bad one, i don't know) so I'm going to have to practice ALOT...but...this weekend... I'm going to have my first ever go at painting roses on my front doors. Of course I've got several bits of board to practice on first... I've painted the exterior of the boat before and even did the sign writing. Admittedly it's not perfect but I'm pretty chuffed it's all my own work. So I want the doors to be up to scratch. I've seen some really beautifully painted roses and I've seen some bad ones and as long as I don't fall in the later category I'll be content. I've been watching that episode of 'the boat that guy built' and youtubing it for a few days now and I think, with the video beside me while I do it, I might..maybe... nail it.

Speaking of which, I managed to put up all the brasses from the cratchboard into the engine room. I wanted a plain back to the cratchboard to lean against, but knew I couldn't part with the brasses. They are the history of the boat: Bill and Fred, the previous owners, took gentle Jamel everywhere, and got the brasses to prove it. I'm hoping to add a new brass to them this coming weekend at the Boxmoor canal festival, it's my first ever visit to a boat festival! Though if I'm not taking the boat, can still buy a brass??
Anyway, so, I've relocated Bill and Fred's collection into the engine room. With a polish and some special TLC they gleam like a mirror in the dark scumbled engine room. I'm trying to keep this area as magnolia free as possible, as I know that my modern touch needs curbing now and then. I want my non-traditional back cabin/engine room to be as original as I can keep it. Even though, when I live onboard I know it'll become my understairs storage closet, I'm sure. Bicycle has gotta live somewhere!

Last weekend was a calamity! It seems it's almost two steps forward, then six steps back. In trying to construct the bathroom shelving, it seems I have damaged my beautiful petite basin. I can't even remember doing it, but there's a sneaking crack around the outer side rim of the bowl that snakes around to the top and the porcelain jars upwards in a jagged mess. It's dangerous and ugly but I don't know if I can face ripping it out and re-plumbing the hole thing...yet.
It's all coming together and looking lovely but then I'm noticing little scrapes, scratches, and cracks are forming on worktops, cupboard doors and walls. I want it all to be so prefect but I think I'm slowly learning boats can't be pretty and perfect, they have to be hardy and solid. It's just all a little too late.

Then I was filling up the water tank, holding the hose in place and dozing in the sun, waiting AGES for the tell-tale sound of the overflow to indicate the tank was full when I hear a glugging, sloshing sound coming from beneath the bow deck. I have an access panel on the inside of the boat and pulled it away to find a biblical flood inside (very slight overstatement). Taking the deck up, I discovered the top of my water tank warped and the solid panel with it's clever rubber seal leaking from all sides. So it's either a new tank or a warped panel with an even smarter rubber seal to match the tank... I couldn't face it on a Sunday evening so left it with it's crappy panel and drained the tank instead...There goes my l'eau de canál!

Monday, May 16, 2011

L'eau de Canál

Finally a couple of large milestones have been reached!! The first on my itinerary of things to fix was the ELECTRIC. With 6 verbal RSVPs for my party I would like some illumination. I've been faffing with lights for a few weeks now, as it seems my usual supplier's current batch of 2D lights are buggered - all blowing within 2 hours. So with no actual lights connected I set about changing the old fuse box for this sparkly new switch fuse box (pictured). My engine room became a wiring jungle with over 20 black and red snakes attempting to slither and cling to my hair. The new box is very smart though, and all the cables neatly ducting away down through the boat. Merrily ticked ELECTRIC off my list.

This last weekend was WATER. Which, after turning the pump on and testing it, we found we had plenty of, leaking from almost every tap, joint or connector. Plumbing, I'm told, comes hand-in-hand with swearing which we also found we had plenty of. So we set about sealing, gunking and tightening. With all the leaks fixed we tried the hot tap, but the water heater wouldn't work with the burner refusing to start.

In my post 'story so far' I mentioned my varying shower temperatures, from scolding to freezing every 2 minutes. I had thought the thermostatic shower or a better pump would fix this but with the heater also playing up I didn't know what to do. So we did what all good bodgers do and cut a gaping hole in the kitchen wall to inspect the pipework (nearly cutting through a brass pipe in the process). We eventually worked out the cold water was being directed the wrong way through the water heater, so after more swearing and new fittings we connected it all up properly. Nervously I turned on the hot tap and instantly the burner lit with the gorgeous 'wumf' sound, sending hot water gushing out the tap. I tried the shower, playing with the heater controls and the shower controls until the varying temperatures became so tiny you could barely tell. And that was it, suddenly my boat had turned into a habitable craft. All Amenities Included. Very smugly ticked WATER off my list.

Now all I have to do is cover up the gaping hole in the kitchen we made.