Cladding Starts – 10 June 15

The house has stood the winter months in its waterproof membrane. We have been waiting for the good weather to make a start on the external cladding- look at these glorious skies. The weather is not so good as I am typing this and we have had to call a halt on the cladding for a couple of days till the weather improves – hopefully tomorrow – according to the Met Office App.

The Cedar was ordered with Capricorn Eco Timber – a British firm using  British cedar, milled and processed by them –

We had decided to use the Japanese method of shousugiban, but as we were using tongue and groove cladding we had to be careful with the finer profile of the wood. Buying ready made burnt cedar would have been extremely expensive so we decided to DIY it.

Tony lightly burnt the cedar boards and finished off with a tinted hard wax oil as we didn’t want the burnt wood to be washed away in the Welsh rain. We tried lots of samples last year and found this Fiddes hard wax oil with the onyx tint.The finish is nice and black, matt and shows off the grain of the wood nicely.

I have just spent a week in Delhi – they call it the rainy season – its a bit like Wales but far more hot and humid. The drainage is not so good over there so the water build up in the streets is much more dramatic and we don’t have mud hut homes that can be washed away in the torrential rains – so we do have a lot to be grateful for….


Glorious day for cladding.

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Fireplace 30 May -8 June

The Log Burner has been in a while but its taken some time to work out how to finish the surrounds and find the time and patience to actually do it. Tony spent a few hours every day for a week or so filling and sanding the heatproof boards till they were ready for painting – the end results are well worth the effort.


Tilly sets off the almost finished fireplace.

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Shelving and Storage – 28th May 15

Now we have our living space more or less sorted we have been working our how to display out artworks and and artefacts.
We have always found it hard to commit to drilling holes in walls for pictures that we might change our mind about so we decided to go with display shelving where we can rearrange out things to ours hearts content.

We came up with a design made in the walnut ply but our joiner Ian decided it would look better up-side-down – lucky for us he was right as the way we had designed it wouldn’t have look so good.


Two hall shelves

Our new taxidermied animals!

Our new taxidermied animals!

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At last….we can put things on the walls.

We have only just started putting things on the walls…..

First picture on the wall and architraves round the doors.

First picture on the wall and architraves round the doors.

As well as framing the doors we have also framed many pieces of artwork we have collected over the years and not got round to framing. We found a great local framer who did a wonderful job these two below are framed in walnut.

Jon Dudley –

This self portrait was a Christmas gift from my very talented friend Clive Smith following his exhibition in 2004….


Clive Smith – self portrait – 2004.

Below – a pair by a friend and local artist who recently held a sale to raise money for her ‘Artist in Residence’ trip to Finland – so we were lucky to get these at a bargain price.


Julie Ann Sheridan – Derelict Interiors

We have decided not to commit to hanging anymore pictures on the walls – instead we will make a series of picture shelves so we can move things around without leaving holes in the walls.

I treated us to a new clock from a lovely little shop in Carmarthen – the clock was made in England and works well with the style of the house.

Piano now in place with walnut clock.

Piano now in place with walnut clock.

At last I can think about starting my Piano lessons again – It was tuned last week, I haven’t had any lessons for 2 years now….poor Tony!

Hall opened up through to new space.

Hall opened up through to new space.

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House Update

Its been quite a few months since my last post. Work has been progressing slow and steady. I thought it would be good to include some of the demolition photos from May last year so we can appreciate how much we have achieved so far. These after photos were taken before we emptied our two storage containers. We are in the process of making shelves and book cases but at the moment our floor space is covered in Boxes!!

We used Jura Limestone – Grey for the studio space where we used the beige in the rest of the house. I had thought that the grey would be a bit dark – but I prefer it.

Here is what will be Tony’s studio space –

This is my studio space so far, our joiner Ian of Dovetail has made a great job on the first set of birch-faced ply book shelves. I started some new freelance work in January so have been using my studio for a few months now and it feels wonderful – bright and open.

Work has also progressed on the guest room and we had our first guests down for Easter. We are waiting on the glass shower screen which should be with us any day now.

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Decorating and Tilling the Studio Space – Nov/Dec 14

Since my last post we have been busy decorating and tiling the studio space.

Tiler Tim returned to work with Tony to fill, sand and decorate the new space and the guest room. Once the decorating was complete the next big task was to tile the floors of the studio, hall, storage room and the guest shower room. My job each evening was to wash and seal the tiles with Lithofin before grouting and washing the grout off once dried – knee pads and rubber gloves have been my must have accessory for the season!

We decided to go for the Jura Limestone in the Grey as we have used the Beige in the living space. The grey is heavier and more concrete-like which works really well in the studio. We hunted the internet for the 400 x 400 – Neil at Sone Superstore put in a special order for us at a great price.

Space ready for creativity.

Space ready for creativity.

Ian and Paul also completed the very awkward utility cupboards in November which we finished of with a grey Silestone from Prostone.

Our next job in the New Year will be to design and build the cupboards and shelving for our books, files and archive. I have moved my desk in from my bedroom where I have been busy working on a couple of freelance projects. I can’t wait to start being creative in my new space.

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The New Space gets Plastered.

Once the windows were fitted Iwan could get on and finish the plastering. He had finished the internal walls but needed to wait to do the exterior walls. The main reason was the weather, we couldn’t risk the plastering getting wet through the openings. For the most part we have had a fantastically sunny and dry summer but we are now paying for that summer with a fantastically wet Autumn.

Once the plastering was completed the temporary divider needed to be shifted back into our living space so that the original walls could be tied into the new structure. It was so exciting to see the the space connected even though it was short lived and a dust sheet was erected immediately.

Tony's room with a view.

Tony’s room with a view.

We have recently suffered from howling gales which has driven the rain through tiny gaps in the surrounds of the sliding doors. This has managed to rise a couple of feet up the plaster causing Tony a couple of restless nights. Using the garden hose we managed to pinpoint the problem area. The window fitters have since been back to reset the the windows and the damp-proof membrane.
We now need to cladding the west facade on as soon as possible which might mean we will have to for-go the black colour on that side.

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