My Paradise – House Repairs

I’ve got to be the most un- ‘D.I.Y.’ person around, and a woman.  So why on earth am I, all by myself, attempting to go where I have never been before?  Money, or lack thereof?  And /or maybe to prove something to myself…  That I am not a scaredy cat!  I can do this!  Weeks before this I was depressed and overwhelmed by even just the thought of this gigantic task.  But after many talks with my Sis and Dad – here I am.  I have jumped. And started. I have finally bought my paint stripper, brush, sandpaper (of various strengths), a scraper.  And gloves.  After a chat with my Dad on skype – I am ready.  I feel soooo pathetic!  I can handle that, LOL! Okay, I decide to start on my bathroom window.  I first, take a photo – the ‘beginning’ shot.  I want to record my progress, to see how far I’ve come.  And to feel a sense of achievement, and pride.  Here goes.  I take a deep breath and start.  I take the scraper and start scraping off the peeling paint.  Actually anything that will come off fairly easy.  The next day, I use the paint stripper on a very small section – and wait.  In fact,  I turned around and started weeding my once vege garden, LOL!  After a few minutes I use a scraper, and gently start scraping some of the paint off.  Bit by bit, and some more weeding, I have managed to scrap off quite a bit on the window sill.  Gosh, I hope I am doing it right.  I decide I need to stop with this – take another photo, so I can talk with my Dad, to make sure I am on the right track.  I take another photo to show my progress. By now I think I have found the ‘wind in my sails’, and with the sun shining, I decide to follow it to my bedroom balcony, with scraper and sand paper in hand.  I tentatively start alternating between them both, occassionally stepping back to view my progress, feel, scrape and sand. Now this is definitely getting the heart pumping, and then I realise it has also raised my spirit.  After doing this for awhile, again I decide to stop, take a progress photo, so I can again talk with Dad.   This is only Day 1, and today wasn’t completely free of frustration.  First, I couldn’t unscrew the paint stripper cap,  but luckily I found a ‘knight in shining armour’ (well a girl can dream) nearby.  And later I managed to spill my coffee.  And although I nearly had a moment of wondering why I got out of bed, I decided that nothing was gonna stop me from my mission.  I started! wo0h0o! I take a moment,  I feel quite proud of myself.  I still have a million doubts, and this is only the beginning, but as a lovely friend said to me today “a  little bit of proud wipes out thousands of doubts”.  I still have many more, but I am no longer a ‘virgin D.I.Y. girl’.  I’m an ‘almost builder’ (there goes that dreaming again), LOL! And tomorrow is another day… :-]]

04/06/12 – Materials

Okay, today although I’ve done a little sanding and scraping on my deck.  My mum, Sherlock and I went for our weekly ‘yummy’ Iced Chocolate, and then off to Bunnings to get more supplies, like paint, sealer, etc.  We met a lovely man called Quentin, who was very very helpful, and funny.  It definitely makes a huge difference when you are attempting a feat like me, and are coming from knowing nothing at all.  I keep telling people, if I can do it – then anyone can, LOL!  Oh, and I had to include this photo of the full moon taken earlier this evening – my paradise – WOW!!!!!!!

08/06/12 – Clearing Guttering

The last few days has been filled with rain and had temporarily put a halt on the urgent saving on my humble ‘abode’.  And I suppose the fact that we are heading towards winter  hasn’t helped either.  Not the best time to be doing D.I.Y. Anyway, this morning we have been blessed with some sunshine, so we have decided to climb out onto the roof (from my deck) and check out the guttering.  I never knew that something so simple as gutters could be so important in the maintaining of a house.  And it looks like that it has been responsible for a few of my problems.  For this job, I have recruited two very important ‘accomplices’ to assist – ‘Dave’ (storm trooper) and ‘Sherlock’ (my puppy) LOL!  Who says you can’t have fun while working… Oh, and don’t forget some hard rock music too.   And as you can see from the photo above, my gutters were definitely in a bad state.  After approximately 5 buckets, 2 hours later, and Sherlock having a blast running around on the roof trying to grab all the muck we pulled out, we finally finished clearing the poor gutters.  Well 90% anyway at this stage.  As I was on the roof, I did take some moments admiring the view and took some photos.  The one I have attached here is a few taken to create a ‘panoramic’ view. Just in time, as the sun didn’t hold out, and it began to rain again.  Which was just as well, as we were tired – and hungry.  What all good timing.  Right, to organise and send some more photos off to Dad.  To finally add, I have noticed too, that since starting this much needed project, I have been feeling more and more happy.  Okay, my body is feeling a bit worked – my thoughts, feelings, body and soul – feel alive!  I feel really good.  A far cry from a few weeks ago.  This has got to be the most important thing I have learned so far.

10/06/12 – Cleaning Deck

With the weather still being ‘iffy’, I thought cleaning  the deck was the best option. If it rained, I could have a shower at the same time, LOL!  I have to say, that one of my best investments recently has been ‘Sugar Soap’ and ‘Bleach’.  In the past, I have not been a big fan of bleach.  And I had never heard of Sugar Soap before.  My life has changed forever, LOL! Okay, with my gloves on, it’s time to use some elbow grease (by the time I’m finished with all this D.I.Y., I’ll be a lean, mean, fighting machine, LMAO).  Nearly 3 hours later, about 7 buckets of mixture, and oh lots of buckets of water – and broom, I am actually pleased with the result.  And there are those body aches again. I’m starting to get used to those.  It’s kinda welcoming, in a weird way.  Not only does it make me feel ‘alive’, but I also feel a sense of achievement.  I can do this.  I am doing this.  Awesome!!!! 😀  I would also like to take this moment to thank my family and friends who have been reading my blog, and supporting me along my journey.  Makes a ‘HUGE’ difference and I so appreciate it.  Also thank you for all who stop by for a read.  Like I said before ‘if I can do it – anyone can’.  And maybe there is something here, in this blog of mine, that may appeal to you.

13/06/12 – Leak in Roof

This is Priority 1 of my D.I.Y.  However, I need to be very sure of how to repair this, and if this is really where the leak is actually coming from.   After skype conversations with my Dad, I use my scraper to remove old putty, sealer and other ‘crap’.  After looking around the entire front, and taking more photos, this section seems to be the worse of it.  I have also come across some rot at both ends of the two panels (where it looks like it was never sealed).  Although I am feeling a bit down and overwhelmed by this, I continue scraping and tidying up what I can – at this stage. As I was taking photos, I noticed this shot.  This is me and the view reflecting off the window.  Thought it was quite a creative photo – don’t look at my untidy bedroom, LOL! While I have been writing this and looking at photos, although I started writing this blog as I was progressing with my D.I.Y.  I now wonder whether I should instead ‘categorise’ it better – instead of real time, put everything I do on say the ‘deck’ under one heading.  I would really appreciate your thoughts with this, so please comment on which style would appeal more to you in reading this.  And thank you 🙂  (n.b. as of this date 3/08/12, I am finding it easier to write this blog as I am progressing.  Hence, the format you see.  Oh well, maybe later, when I have time, I will categorise it differently, LOL! )

21/06/12 – Painting railing (on deck)

The weather has become quite like ‘all four seasons in one day’ in the last few days, which had put a halt on continuing my progress on the deck.  But I have managed to go out, with paint and brush in hand, and finally coat some of the railing.  Lucky it is ‘fast drying’, as within a few hours, it went from sunny to light drizzle.  All in all todate, I have painted about a 1/3 of the railing with first coat.  Geez!  this is gonna take me, like… forever to do D.I.Y. on my little slice of ‘Paradise’.  Letting all the different emotions wash over me redface emoticon

1/07/12 – Painting railing… still… 

Can’t believe it’s be over a week before I can finally continue my D.I.Y. Though, I have been sending photos to my Dad, and now I have also sent photos to my Sis, and been ‘Skyping’ with her.  I am feeling much better with both their input – a huge, huge ‘Blessing’!  So I have today, donned on my ‘scruffies’, and ventured back out on to the deck.  Grey sky ‘n all.  After a few hours, a sore back and tiredness – I have finally finished painting the railing – first coat.  And here are the two photos – beginning – and now.   Wow, even I am impressed (which is saying something considering how critical I am of my own creations).  I am very happy 😀

3/07/12 – Wallpaper repair

Again, the weather outside is not in my favour, so I move my attention to inside the house.  After spending a few hours shopping around for the wallpaper glue (Selleys Liquid Nails and Stik-Back), information and google, I am ready to attempt another scary job.  First I vacuum the walls, then clean with Sugar Soap and Bleach.  After 10 minutes or so to allow for drying (perfect time for a coffee), out comes the glue.  Today I have a lovely assistant, Alex to help.  We decide to start off small.  So using the ‘Stik-Back’, we focus on areas where the wallpaper is  only starting to lift a little.  I use the glue, and tracing a line from the bottom, work my way up.  I then use a damp cloth and wipe, pressing the wallpaper to the wall, removing the excess.  Alex using his fingers, presses down on the wall from bottom to top.  I then use a dry cloth and press again following suit.  After pressing a few more times, we step back and are very pleased with the end result.  It is now quite late in the day, so we decide to do just one more.  Again, the result is the same.  Awesome!!!! (oh by the way this is wallpaper on hardboard).

4/07/12 –  Rust and Rot

It is quite a lovely day today, and I am keen to utilise this.  Maybe too keen, LOL!  I go to one of my ‘Priority’ jobs – where I think there is a leak.  Using a screw driver, I start to gauge out the rot in the panels.  I need to ‘rein’ myself in, take photos and send to my Dad and Sis, for their input.  And hoping that it doesn’t ‘bucket-down’ overnite.  As I am on the roof, with the day welcoming and the divine view, I move over to another important job.    Aside from clearing out the guttering (8/06/12), this could also be responsible for leakage.  First I use my ‘Steel brush’ to get rid of excessive rust.  Then with my gloves on and a little ‘Paint brush’ I paint on some ‘Rust Kill’ (for obvious reasons), LOL!.  After about 1/2 hour, I come back to check the job, and then coat on some ‘White Knight Rust Guard’ to protect it.  Before I go any further, I will need to talk with my Sister and Dad, as I am preparing to use ‘Flashtac’ (weatherproofing tape) and silicone to fill the hole, and ultimately solving a possible leak.  As much as I would like to continue with my project ‘My Paradise – D.I.Y.’ – I stop myself.  I have never been one for patience, and everywhere I look, there is something to do.  But, I remember my Dad and Sister’s advice about taking my time.  I finally pull myself away 😦  Maybe I should take this ‘rest’ time to read back at all I have done since the beginning, to remind myself how far I have come.

16/07/12 to 18/07/12  -Roof top, wallpaper and deck railing

Although some days have passed since my last entry (again due to the inconsistent weather), I have still been ‘pottering’ around.  Continuing on the roof, I have finally covered the small hole in the flat tin roof.  I’m starting to love being up here – the view keeps taking my breath away!    (Note: a deck on here would be awesome!!!!).  Is this where I say I’m a ‘charity’ case, and open to all donations, LOL!  I then work on the rust near the peak.  I peel off the useless mess, use wire brush, brush, rust kill and also rust guard.  Although I am still not finished, I think it has come up quite nice.  I have also spent some time working on the peeling wall paper.  Some of it has come out really well, I am impressed 😀  I will need to do some extra work on some stubborn areas, and will hopefully get to this in the next few days.  I have to say that for winter, we have had some really beautiful and warm days.  Like today.  Taking advantage of it, I start on the second coat on my deck railing.   I am having moments where it all seems a lot and so hard.  I suppose I won’t allow myself to sit on the floor feeling sorry for myself.  Even though, I feel sometimes I do deserve to have those feelings, it’s not going to fix my house.  I hope this blog can help me persevere.  I have done a couple of other things but I need to take photos tomorrow.

20/07/12 to 2/08/12 – Cleaning, cleaning, cleaning…

I have found out that with D.I.Y. comes a lot of cleaning.  My new perfume is ‘Sugar Soap with a dollop of Bleach’.  And with the last couple of weeks of rain, I have been ‘driven’ to clean the inside of my ‘Paradise’.  It seems more like ‘Spring’ cleaning, although we are in the middle of winter, LOL!  Perfect time to clean I must add. While everyone else is complaining how cold it is, it is the perfect temperature to clean. And by the time Spring comes, I will be able to sit, relax and appreciate the house.  
I haven’t cleaned the house like this, since I moved in, years ago.  And I can’t see myself doing it again in a hurry.  So I best take some photos.  Although I have been cleaning all over the place,  I have inserted the photos, starting from the front door, to hopefully give an organised sequence.  The first photo is part of the dining room, but as I am panning, the kitchen is included.  As I am turning, the dining room comes back into view, and I am heading towards the front.  This spiral staircase is definitely a spectacular ‘feature’, and I love the show of timber.  Another plus for me, is there is no long corridor in this house.

I am now moving towards the bathroom (which is actually opposite the front door).  It is a quaint room, although probably hasn’t had an awful lot of renovation work done, since it was originally built… oh way back in the 1940s, LOL!  But I do love the ‘quaintness’ of it still.  The only thing I have added, is a shower over the bath.

Before all this cleaning, I originally thought each room would take me about a day.  All up, it’s probably taken me 3 – 4 weeks (just for the inside)! No wonder I am uploading photos.  I need proof of all the effort, sweat, fatigue, headaches and sore body, I’ve felt during this time.  I do have to add though – it was all worth it – and now I feel ‘Great’!!!  Now onto the lounge room (or front room for some).  And toward the spectacular view at the front.  I’d love to put in bi-fold doors here (where the small windows are), making the most of the panoramic view of the water.  “Money, money flow to me…” 😀  Although it’s an overcast day, and we have seen rain, these photos have come out better they I thought they would.  Oh, and we can’t forget my two little bundles of ‘Joy and Happiness’ – Sherlock and Renesmee ( seen in this photo).  And also the Kemp fire.  I love Kemp fires – there is something about them.  It’s been so mild though, I haven’t even lit it this winter.  Mind you, I have been ‘head down, bum up’, LOL!  This next photo is taken from the couch, and the view I get to see every day…  And when it is warmer, I can open the french doors, and then the sliding doors to let in the breeze from the water.  Or move into the conservatory – one of my fav places.  An awesome spot, especially in the Summer.  Have a ‘barbie’ (BBQ that is) on the front lawn… bliss!  Moving on from my day dream.  Back thru the lounge room, and up the spiral staircase… to my heavenly bedroom.  I have to try real hard not to have a bar fridge here, otherwise I would never leave.  I can’t fathom why the whole top storey is dedicated to a bedroom, but it is ‘breath-taking’ nonetheless.  My ‘King’ size bed looks so small in here – but I ain’t complaining.  And, I have my own ‘en suite’ bathroom – wo0h0o!!!!  And it just gets better.  Maybe I should just let the photos speak for themselves, before I can’t stop expressing my gratitude, or how even after the years, it still manages to bewitch me.  Then again, after these few weeks, pushing myself to get to this point, cannot be under-stated (a strong reminder to myself), and all the photos to show the results, does give me a sense of pride and accomplishment.  I think I will take time to bask in this feeling.  I deserve it!  And it feels very good! 😀  Oh, before I go, here is the view – from my bed.  






written and photos by Carmeilla ( rainb0wchild )