Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Studio almost back to normal!

Our new kitchen is now completely operational.  The builder finished a week ago but it has taken a long time to decide where to keep things, throw away a lot of the stuff that used to clutter the benches and then sort out the studio.  Today the sewing machine,large cutting board and rulers have returned to their proper home and I think most of the things I moved out so they would not be contaminated by the smells of cooking, are now back in place.

The kitchen itself if lovely and we are very pleased with it.

We are trying very hard to keep the benches tidy but as keen cooks we tend to have our 'tools' on display.

We have not yet done anything about replacing the fridge and freezer although we have decided what we want.  Sorting it all out was just too much while everything was a building site and as it stands on the opposite wall to the fitted kitchen, we are able to wait.  The space between the hob and the oven is rather taken up by a large trivet and the induction hob we bought for the temporary kitchen.  We think it is wonderful particularly for keeping things warm and making risotto so it is staying but I am going to have to learn to cope with a couple of rather small places for mixing things!

Now I can begin to think about sewing again!  I have acquired a microwave for dyeing as we decided to replace our rather elderly microwave and the old one will stay in the studio.  Now I need to use the internet to find out how best to use it with Procion dyes.  When we moved down here over eight years ago, I had the microwave from our old house but like many people I never got round to using it and it finally went to the tip.  I must try harder this time!  I am one of the people keenly waiting for Linda Seward's new book to arrive in the UK.  As I am not going to the Festival of Quilts, I gather I will have to wait a while yet.

I have managed to make a present for our new great-nephew in the States which my sister and her husband will take over with them in September as I have heard too many tales of what US customs can be like.  Unfortunately I cannot put it up on the blog in case one of the family looks at it!

Friday, 18 July 2014

From studio to kitchen - and back again

July has not been a good month for sewing or for blogging.  We are having a new fitted kitchen installed and the studio has been turned into a temporary kitchen.  Like most people my studio has many double sockets at bench top height, a free standing table (the kitchen table from our old house) and two sinks (although one is a classic artists' sink which means it is permanently stained and not much use for anything other than wet textile work) so at least we do not have to wash up in the bath.

Here is the sink end in better times and below is a photo I took of the workbench when it was new.

 A more recent photo shows the bench with the cutting board at one end and the ironing set up at the other.

These two photos show how it has adapted to being a kitchen.

I put away as many of my textile things as possible.  My cutting boards are currently under my bed, my two sewing machines are 'resting' in the study and the books and tools that are normally on the shelves are in various places including the shed.  I found a leftover piece of flooring to put on the workbench and protect it from spills although it was a few inches too short.  We have also been sharing the studio with the new kitchen parts and in the photo above you can see how the cook has to lean past the stacked pieces of cupboard, fascias, skirting boards and for several days, the uncut worktop.  Just as well the weather was very good until last night.

We have been operating with a microwave, a small table top oven and, remembering previous times when we have had to resort to an electric table top hob and how slow they are, an induction hob from Lakeland Plastics.  This is brilliant and we have decided to have it in the new kitchen because it is so good for keeping things warm and for making risotto.  It will take up valuable bench space (my opinion) but my husband, who does most of the cooking, has fallen in love with it!  It is the flat object next to the oven on the left of the photo.

The old kitchen table on which I keep my main machine has had to revert to its original function and is the general workspace and dumping ground.

The far end of the room is even more untidy than usual although I did manage to find something I needed on the shelves yesterday.

Now most of the work is done and the builder says we can cook in it over the weekend and use the dishwasher!  I have spent so much time washing up the last two weeks that I begin to understand why so many of our mothers did not have time to go to work. As we have been able to use the dining room (where the fridge and freezer have been relocated) I seem to have spent hours carry trays of washing up out to the studio, washing up, drying up and carrying everything back again.  The builder expects to finish on Monday so we are not allowed to put anything back until after that.  The microwave will be staying in the studio and I must find out how to use it for dyeing with Procion dyes.  As it is fairly elderly we have bought a new one for the kitchen.

I think it will be another week before everything is back in its proper place and I can get back to sewing as I realise I will also have to clear up the studio so that I can find everything again.  I will take photos of the new kitchen and post them when we have everything back in place.  The last time we had a new kitchen in another house about twenty years ago, we put the cats in the cattery and went away for a week but that was not an option this time.