Improvement

IMAG2504So if you’ve read my blog before you’d know that we’ve been renting out through airbnb and so far we are very happy with it. Without pointing anyone out(apart from my husband who might have done a bad cleaning job when I’d gone to England) we had a message saying that two guests had thought our place was below 4 out of 5 judged on the cleaning. I always do a few hours of cleaning before every guest. Hoovering, washing the floors, dusting, cleaning windows, toilets, bathroom etc but of course not every guest have the same expectation. Our house is very old, built 1904, extended in the fifties and probably not decorated since the seventies, hence the brown&orange wallpaper. I like it, kitsch in some places but I am happy that we didn’t have the time or money to change it when we moved in after my gran died. BUT I couldn’t get the thought out of my head, and because I am happily stalling with this weekends exhibition, I woke up thinking about easy ways to improve. First I went online and changed our description on the site pointing out that the house is old, the wallpaper worn etc and that it might make some people feel like it’s not top notch. The one thing that has been bothering me is the wallpaper over the beds, it’s gone a bit yellow from heads rubbing off and just didn’t look nice. I am planning to repaint that room but just haven’t had time now with the exhibition and the gallery opening. So I bought some paint and simply painted over it like a square. For a week I looked all over the place for some of the old wallpaper border. My grandmother kept a lot of things for future use. There are lots of rolls of old paper but none of the one I wanted. Then I thought of this wooden thin border decorated with white and grey and it would go perfect! I cut it to size, tried to glue it which didn’t work and while looking for nails thin enough to use with the one cm wide border without it cracking I found the original wallpaper border! Amazing that we can still find things in our house that we didn’t know was here… still used the wooden border and I think it looks great. Such an improvement with such little means. I didn’t procrastinate all day. A few hours I spent in the barn, emptying the last of the rubbish out(so many new bruises for tomorrow), fixed more lights and went to dump the garbage and old wood with the help of my uncle. Back on it tomorrow!

Let there be light!

first spotlight up!

first spotlight up!

Woke up five this morning thinking about the lights in the barn. I just started doubting everything the last couple of days. Did I buy the wrong lights? Are they strong enough? Is it going to look rubbish? etc etc. This always happens when a large exhibition is coming up, I double think everything and leave it until the last minute when I get into the flow. At 7am I decided that I would have to work with what I’d bought and soon enough I got some of them up and working. What a relief! It looks great when they are on and I don’t think the track lights are the first thing people will see when there are pictures on the walls. I drilled holes in a piece of wood and attached the imported lamps that I bought(you can see them here) in the ceiling. I love the light they add, very warm and cosy. For more inspiration the whole family went to an exhibition down the harbour. We actually went to the opening last night but there were so many people that you could hardly see the art! There are these couple of artists, who are also building their own gallery who don’t live on the island but seem to spend most of their time here. They make the most amazing paintings and sculptures, truly unique. When I get rich and famous I will order a copy of our house and barn. The exhibition took place in a carpenters studio, a guy who specialises in boatbuilding and woodwork. A very talented musician showed his talents in drawing funny characters and entertained on the guitar (find him on slide guitar on youtube)with his daughter on vocals. Another daughter sold self designed and handmade jewellery(a very talented family!). So much inspiration, I think I’m over the self doubting part now, time to move on and get stuff done!

Torbjörn and Lovisa Sörensson

Torbjörn and Lovisa Sörensson

Torbjörn drawings

Torbjörn drawings

Ann and Jonas Z Utterberg

Ann and Jonas Z Utterberg

Ann and Jonas Z Utterberg

Ann and Jonas Z Utterberg

Chicken update

Talk about bad hair day!

Talk about bad hair day!

Happy family

Happy family

Great hairdo

Great hairdo

Punken

Punken

Right now I feel like the hens are taking over the garden. 14 hens actually feel like the double amount with all the droppings and the amount of food they eat! I’ve tried to google differences for hens and cockerels but actually have no clue with the fluffies. We’ll just have to wait and see. Bugget and Otilia have given up their fluffy chicks, who are teenagers by now. Nugget wanted babies and stubbornly laid in the nest for weeks until one day she decided to adopt the silkies instead. So she is their new mum and they happily accept her. I took lots of pictures of the happy family the other day, the silkies are sooo cute. Yesterday the rain poured down and they all looked like they were sprouting antennas! I was given a new hen yard, well it looks more like a cage, but still haven’t figured out where to put it. It’s much taller then the old one, more narrow and white. With the gallery opening and the Artwave coming up, plus almost full-time in the shop, one tiny decision is just to much for my brain to handle now. It’s not like the hen yard is going anywhere though so I’ll put it on hold.

New energy!

Fresh paint on window seal and frame

Fresh paint on window seal and frame

Oggy got it

Oggy got it

Vivienne

Vivienne

Oitilia happy in the new nest

Oitilia happy in the new nest

Wow what a difference a couple of weeks holiday can do! I came back from England a week ago and feel so motivated. Yesterday I built a wind breaker in the front garden, a nest for the chicks and painted the window seals on the barn. I also improved my “greenhouse” because it was on it’s last legs. The plastic was just flapping in the wind and no silver tape could fix it so I added a wooden frame to keep everything in place. Before I left I filed a builders permit application, not that I’m changing much in the barn but I apparently need a “change of use” permit to open the gallery. Keeping my fingers crossed that it will be ready end of summer… Now I have lights for the barn, I will try to put them up but will pay for a professional electrician to come out and have a look before opening. I’ve decide to paint parts of the inside, not the actual gallery space but in the “garage part”, probably just a chalky see-through white. Need to give it a very good tidy and clean. I cut one of the old beams that was part of the old floor and will try to use it as a support for the main beam which is splitting a bit. I also have to fix the side doors. I really like the old hinges but they are too weak to hold the doors so I will buy new strong ones and put them on the inside. There will be a ramp as well, wide enough for wheelchairs and prams. After that it’s done! Saying that I think the Gallery will never be “ready”, after opening I will keep improving on the place. That’s fine though, as long as I get it started. Then I can go on to my next projects: fixing the windows of our house, the railing, the roof, the gardening, extending th henhouse and building a greenhouse etc etc. I’m like an energy ball craving new jobs but I know it won’t last for long so I’d better prioritise what I want to get done and right ow it’s the Gallery. I sometimes think that our cats are smarter than us going out for short moments and then coming indoors to sleep and relax most of the day.  Can’t ignore the chicks though. While we were away in England sadly our favourite chicken died, the white one called Kiki. We suspect foul play involving a young child but don’t have any proof so I’m leaving it at that. So sad though because Kiki was the most tame one and so pretty. I love the hens but right now I feel that 9 hens and 5 chicks are a bit too much for the garden so I will try to sell off two of the hens but it is sooo difficult to choose.

No place like home

on the ferry going home

on the ferry going home

After close to two weeks on the Isle of Wight it was really nice to come home. The Isle of Wight is also a beautiful island much larger than Hönö. I has stunning nature from sandy beaches to jungle and large fields. It was great to see family again and the kids loved it. No internet, TV or computers, we had a very peaceful holiday. It was so nice to be forced to do nothing, sat in the garden with rabbits and foxes reading and just being there. First thing I did coming home was gardening from waking up in the morning until collapsing on the sofa in the evening.The roses have all come a long way, most of them have flowered and I’m starting to realise that I’m turning into a “Rose person”. I find myself planning to grow more roses and I spent a lot of time in England reading about them. The chillies are also doing well and I’ve finally got a willy! Two actually and they are very curly and green.

Wish I could remember their names

Wish I could remember their names

“Peter pepper” or "Chilly willy"

“Peter pepper” or “Chilly willy”