Monday, 5 September 2011

Getting creative.....

It has been good today to unleash a little creativity after all the wrestling with more mundane-but-essential things like "do we put plastic sheeting over the insulation and under the heating pipes or the other way round......". Or, "is it better to spend more on self-levelling screed or have someone do it by hand with a dry mix?" I know these things are important but they don't really excite. Thankfully those two particular questions have been answered so we can forget about them.
So, what have I been creative with today? ooh, well the first thing was attempting to become an apprentice for a couple of hours to our stone wall builder. He has over 50 years experience of building brick and stone walls so what he doesn't know isn't worth knowing, to use an old cliche.
I am not easily deterred - mutterings of "now come on Rose (he always calls me that) that stone's too narrow - the wall will fall down if you build with that rubbish", and "not too much mortar in there...... that's got to come out, you haven't filled the joints" etc. have not stopped me. I find it very relaxing, interesting and therapeutic to find just the right piece to fit into the gap. I hope I can look out my kitchen window one day and say - "I laid that stone over there", but alas I suspect my efforts MIGHT have been removed and redone while I was using the composting loo or hiding from the rain in the shed.
My second burst of creativity was more agony than fun - arranging yet another set of cardboard cut-out kitchen units around a grid to make them fit into the awkward spaces. Due to our change of mind early on in the build, the space we are using for the kitchen is not purpose-made. Hence, the cupboards don't tend to fit very well! This must be our 6th or 7th attempt and we still haven't ordered a kitchen. I feel the pressure of the team of plasterboarders, carpenters and plasterers working their way relentlessly through the upstairs, down to the guest bedroom - next is the sitting room, then the kitchen - and I will be on the spot. "When is the kitchen coming" will be the cry - my weak answer "I haven't decided" isn't going to hold much water.
Help - or at least more therapy (I seem to need a lot of that these days) - arrived in the form of the third creative surge of the day. Mosaics! I love them - the colours, patterns, the cutting and placing of each tile. Determined to add some original artwork into the house, I've had a space made above one of the bedroom doors, below a rooflight, for a stained glass mosaic. The best way to achieve this is to join my friend Pam at one of her groups in Middlezoy for a few weeks. It's lovely. Sitting quietly with a group - each person engrossed in their work, chatting a bit, laughing a bit, but mostly soaking up the colours, and taking time to think about the small things of design and detail.
Here's one of Pam's