Saturday, 3 January 2015

Must Do Better......

I have decided that 2015 is going to be the year I return to my Blog with more dedication. This blog was always meant to be an account of my dolls houses and miniatures. A record of both my purchases and my own attempts to create all things mini.
Somewhere along the line I have been seduced by the ease of FaceBook and Pinterest even though I rarely comment and often find little of interest. I think they have both suited the general malaise that seems to have settled on me during 2014.
I am currently spending the opening days of this new year in my most favourite place in all the world, Wells Next the Sea, Norfolk, doing what I love most...
.....walking on a beautiful beach with my two little shadows. It has been great to get away from absolutely everything, it has also given me lots of time to think, very dangerous for someone with an addictive hobby and 24 hour access to the Internet!!
One of the main problems I have encountered during 2014 was the return of my two youngest children after their university years. Like many families they are home because moving out is too expensive and neither of them is 'settled' yet. Which is absolutely fine but I have rather taken over their bedrooms in the last four years and wasn't quite prepared for the changes it would make to my rather quiet and dare I say it, self-indulgent life. Now I seem to have returned to being a full-time mum with all the baggage that entails. Lovely in some ways but very time-consuming.
So what have I done to change the problems that have prevented me from playing with my toys? 
It has become obvious that someone as selfish and inherently unsociable as me needs a little more space than is currently available in our house. We can't move because of my husband's job and family restrictions but I can build in the garden.
My research started in October when I started looking on line at all the variations that are available for garden studios and workshops. I soon discovered that there were a lot of companies with many different designs so I had to decide what my priorities were as the costs also varied amazingly.
Obviously I needed lots of light and space. My garden is a typical village garden definitely not huge but I worked out I could just get away with a 5.5m by 3.5m maximum. This would allow for some space all the way round and avoid issues with planning as long as the building height did not go above 2.5m.
Another important factor was insulation, I did not want there to be a chance of any damp in the building and it will need to retain heat during the long chilly months.
Gradually I started to build a list of possible companies who fulfilled most of my wish list.
What else did my wish list contain? The room would need electrics for plugs, heating and lighting, an easy clean floor, Internet connection and the whole structure should require very little maintenance. I also wanted a 'turn key' company as I find getting in local builders in our area is a road that leads to frustration and despair.
 On the 31st of October, my birthday, my long-suffering and very generous husband drove us to visit the showroom of the company of my choice, The Garden Office, we were really impressed with the rooms we saw displayed and booked an installation there and then.
 Installation was booked for the 22nd of December so we spent two weeks clearing our garden of every shrub, bush, tree and plant in order to create a blank canvas for the new room. Luckily the weather was kind to us and we managed to pot up most of the plants ready to put back in the spring.
 On the 18th of December the concrete plinths were dug and poured and a channel dug for the electrics and Ethernet connections. Then on the 22nd of December my building arrived along with the tidiest, least problematic work team I have ever encountered. One of the reasons the building goes up so quickly is that it is mostly built off-site in their factory.
 By end of the first day the building was water tight and fully erected. Amazing. The French doors are the only natural light source but are 2.8m wide so should be big enough with the addition of the interior lights.
 On the second day all the fiddly bits were tackled like the electrics and interior woodwork.
This is how the garden looked after they had finished before they left they even swept up the sawdust and of course removed their ladder. I was so pleased with the whole construction.
Then along came Christmas, an Ikea delivery and our trip to Norfolk so no interior pictures yet.
I know the building isn't very pretty and I did hanker after a delightfully gorgeous 'cottage' workshop but I couldn't find a company who fulfilled my wish list with that type of building.
I think once we plant around it, the building edges will soften and it won't look so much like a holiday chalet!!
Big To Do list for January but what a brilliant way to start a new year. More pictures to follow, carpenter arriving Monday morning to start installing my units and worktops.
Happy New Year to you all and I look forward to a much more productive year.


26 comments:

  1. Whaow Janice - what a wonderful start to the year for you. You can be domestic in your main house and as madly creative and self-indulgent as you like in your new craft room. Enjoy! Happy 2015.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. I am very lucky I know so I intend to make the most of it. Happy New Year to you and yours.

      Delete
  2. Wow....what a wonderful garden craft room. Look forward to seeing how the interior looks when you've kitted it out :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks Sandra, reading your post spurred me on today.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wow! It's a brilliant idea. You will enjoy and create a lot, I am sure. We want indoor pictures ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Home tomorrow so pictures Monday! Had a lovely holiday and now I want to get going!

      Delete
  5. Wow, how exciting, a lovely separate dedicated space for your mini-making. I think it looks great and agree with you that a few plants or pots it will look lovely. I look forward to seeing the inside. I would love a little space like that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't know how people build whole houses. I found this hard enough. I only had one chance to get it right, hopefully everything will fit!

      Delete
  6. Tener un sitio así solo para ti es todo un lujo. Debes estar muy contenta.
    Te deseo un feliz 2015!!!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Wow! That is an impressive transformation! So fast and tidy! Well done! I look forward to seeing more of your projects! Blogland has been quiet lately... I suspect many have opted for facebook instead. I am a diehard blogger... so welcome back!
    And Happy New Year!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good to be back. Blogland has given me so much over the years and I want to keep up my own record, it is so easy to forget exactly what we have achieved. Long live Blogland!!

      Delete
  8. Ooooh I am so thrilled for you! What a great work space and get way. I look forward to seeing how you finish the inside. And of course more posts from you in 2015. Happy New Year!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Looking forward to occupying all this space Catherine. Time for a huge sort out!!

      Delete
  9. It looks wonderful Janice and I'll enjoy seeing you 'move in' Have fun x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Julia. Having fun already!!

      Delete
  10. Una idea magnífica!!! Me encanta tu rincón,tu espacio,vas a disfrutar mucho,tanto de tu hobby,como de tu espacio!!!!!
    Que sea un gran año!!!
    Besos.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Oh I am so jealous of your dedicated work space, it looks amazing. I think with a full house you need it though. Looking forward to seeing more fab posts from you this year =0)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It will certainly be fun sorting through all the stuff I seem to have accumulated. Really need to have a clear out of all those impulse buys.

      Delete
  12. I'm glad to see you back. To have your own place in the garden seems wonderful.
    Happy New Year!
    Geneviève

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good to be back. Looking forward to sharing it with all of you.

      Delete
  13. WOUAH , superbe atelier dans le jardin ! quelle chance .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Many thanks Catherine. Such a lucky girlie!

      Delete
  14. I LOVE IT!!!! You are so lucky to have a private studio to work and play in. The insulation and the electrics will make a world of difference. I hope that you were able to get a small sink too? Even so, having a place to plug in a kettle and have a hot cup of tea, will probably have you more in there than in the main house.
    Better leave a picture of yourself with you husband and kids so they can remember what you look like! :D

    elizabeth

    ReplyDelete
  15. Ha, ha Elizabeth! I will definitely have one photo and a kettle but no plumbing unfortunately as this would have involved local planning permission which is always best avoided. So I will have to come into the house occasionally!!

    ReplyDelete

I really appreciate all comments that readers take the time to leave. I try to reply to all of them.