Sunday, 20 September 2009

Shed Living

I Love Sheds. No really I do. My current shed in the UK is 4 meters by 3 meters stick framed with a shingle roof. I built it about 8 years ago in December. At the time it was about -6degC and of course the shortest days in the year. It took me about 2 weeks to build by myself mostly in the dark. The design was a modified Norm Abram design and over the past 8 years its worked brilliantly. Amongst the many accolades she has received over the years are "The only shed you can see from space" and short listed for the finals of "Shed of the year". Used as our jewellery workshop its a great space to work, everything to hand and no need to put your tools away after you've finished work. Alas we may need to leave the shed when we sell the house to move to France. If we do the first thing on the to do list will be a new shed! Where else to go for inspiration for the new Model but back to Norm to get the latest thinking.

By now hopefully the plans and DVD of Norms latest creation are winging their way from the states, God bless the miracle of the web. Now the plans will have to be modified to scale-up a little since you get 20 meters square to play with before you need planning permission in France.

Anyway here is a taster of what the final building will look like. I love the steeply pitched roof and painted weather board look of this building. Add to that the arts and crafts style hinges and six pane windows and this should complement the house just fine. I'll use the slate we took off the old house before we recovered the roof as a re-cycled environmentally friendly option. Fitted out inside with a new jewellery bench, space for the kiln and a sink for washing enamels it should be the perfect retreat for Cheekylemur. The finishing touch would be a small wood burning stove for those cold Norman winter days!

To help with the build I've enlisted to help of my little friend. Ok she wasn't cheap but if you've ever wondered what the difference between cheap Chinese power tools and proper professional tools is? Its immense, the quality and finish from this bad boy is just superb.

Now if we can just get the house in Coventry sold......

Friday, 18 September 2009

Making an Entrance

Literally! Here is the front door I made to help keep the wind and rain out. Sometimes when I start a small project I may on occasion under estimate the amount of effort required. Ah it'ill only take half an hour! Well this was one of those... the best part of a week and a half later et voilĂ !

The view from the inside

Made in solid oak with a leaded glass panel made by Mrs Lemur (AKA CheekyLemur). This is one substantial door, so heavy in fact it takes three people to lift. I think I may have to be slightly more realistic about the rest of the fixtures and fittings if I am ever going to finish the house.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

The Project

Well here it is complete with roof, windows, walls and stuff. How Hard can it be to finish off the twiddly bits!

Life, Work and Jewellery

I've been making Jewellery for around 25years now, always as a hobby. For about 19 years i've been working in IT. Many people have said to me over the years that its nice to have a hobby that's completely different from their work, that way you never get sick of doing your hobby. The question i've been asking myself lately is which is better; Not doing something you love on the grounds that you my grow not to like it, or continue to work doing something you already know you don't like?

My father had a saying "what thist had the canny tak away".

Well here's a project i've just finished. The Clock is Zebrano and silver, the halmarks are my own registered mark. The sense of pride when you look back at something youve made by hand...priceless.

Sunday, 13 September 2009

The Master Plan

So here it is, the master plan. Take one family living in Coventry, England and transplant them lock stock and two smoking barrels to rural France. Simple? How hard can it be?

To be fair at this point its probably worth me covering a bit of the background to this. Much as I would like to say that i just got up this morning and had a moment on the road to Damascus i didn't. Actually the moment on the road to Damascus was about 5 years ago. I woke up, had the moment and within 4 weeks we had found our dream home in France and put down the deposit. Well actually it wasn't quite our dream home, in that it wasn't actually a home, more a building project. A really really big building project. Five years on and its still a building project. Five years on with more than a little blood sweat and a few tears and its still a building project. The problem is one of time and money. Renovating a house takes either a lot of money or a lot of time. As i currently have neither this is a problem. Not that we haven't made progress, we have; new roof walls, floor, drainage, windows, doors etc etc. The problem is how we progress from here. So that's it, were off, sell the house in Coventry, move to France, finish the renovation and live and work in France.

Why blog it? Don't know since I've always been really anti blogging. Who cares, really? However since buying the house i have found some really good stuff on the web from blogs and forums etc. So each day if anything interesting happens I'll blog it. This way I can look back and my friends and family can see how its going. For anyone else who is interested, fill yer boots.

So the general theme to the blog will be: Moving to France, renovating a stone farmhouse and setting up a small business in France.