All Posts · Making and crafting · Renovation work

Putty in my hands

Autumn seems to have arrived with earnest. From a blistering sahara 42 degrees we are down to a fishfinger chilly 18 degrees in less than two weeks. This signals not only rummidging in cupboards to find lost winter jumpers, but realizing we must get to the Farmhouse to decorate our bedroom. We need it to sleep in. At the moment there is no heating, no hot water and a hole in the wall. We forgot to order logs for the woodburner and we took on another kitten, number seven – Oscar, after Wilde. I have a duck with a slipped tendon and an amorous drake with a sprained foot.

And my car is being sold back to UK. I hated it from day one. Rifter! More like Drifter. All electric nonsense and sensors. On our mountainous roads and farm lanes it’s continuously correcting my trajectory and snatching the wheel. Dangerous! Time is passing quick and winter panic is setting in.

So putty? Sorry I digress. That lovely linseed oily gunk used for keeping glass in windows and water out. I bought tonnes for the factory as part of a last minute attempt to make progress before we hit the Farmhouse. Decorating three buildings in tandom is a bit manic, but we like deadlines and being busy, and somehow yesterday we had finished cleaning the walls of my studio ready for painting and installed the mezzanine floor. I was on renovate window duty. Outside, chipping out old filler, cleaning with white spirit to degrease and re-puttying. It’s a messy job and impossible in gloves. You actually need the natural oil in your skin to help smooth the putty after using a pallet knife to push the mixture along the glass edges, with a 45 degree angle to allow rain to run off. Too little or too much putty and it’s just a mess. You can’t get it smooth, straight or sealed. But I have done this before. I know the tricks and after three hours the windows were in better shape.Previous owners feeble attempt at mastic filler.Ceiling to remain and simply be painted. It insulates the roof space and honestly I would just put back what I took down.Door to my husband’s future studio. Before cleaning. It was a car paint shop but soon to be a 1970’s homage. Always a stressful period after the first coats of paint. You think it’s overpowering. Or it’s too dark. But you have to push on. Until the last cusion is thrown on the chair and pictures hung, it will be unfinished. Hang in there. Consult your mood board, your swatches, your gut feelings. Sleep on it. Sleep in it. Keep calm. More pictures in a month when I have my colour scheme planned. It will involve orange, brown and mauve. In what order I am not sure. But bright it will be and outside my zone.Most definitely!

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