La Chatte Gitane (or The Gypsy Cat) was the name we chose for our cottage in France. We chose it while on the road, moving home, from Ireland to France with 2 dogs and 7 cats in the car.
This blog began its insignificant life as a recipe book for friends and family who would ask me repeatedly for a recipe of this, that and the other.
Since then it has taken many different directions, like gypsies tend to do. Sometimes making a U-turn and revisiting familiar roads and taking a break when necessary.
You'll find recipes here, but also musings about the places we've called home, the gardens that we've established, not always successfully, the homes we've improved and the environments we've lived in. Currently, that is back in Ireland.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Bedroom Makeover - The Finishing Line

I know where we'll be sleeping tonight.

 It still needs finishing touches and dressing up. Blinds need to be made (by moi), but I'm pleased with the result.

 Odds and ends that need a place still, but we're getting there.
The bathroom is only so so at the moment and I'll post a better photo when I'm happy with the result. The ladder in the shower - it was dirty - needs to move over as I am now discarding my paint clothes and letting the warm water drain all my aches and pains away.

Patricia xxx...x

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Full Moon

We could all do with a break from the friggin' bedroom makeover, don't ya think.

Paintricia xxx...x

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Bedroom Makeover - Part 5 and a Half - Hanging the Wallpaper Poster

We didn't kill each other. 
I finally had to open the cardboard tube wherein  the poster was delivered. It came in two pieces. The total size of the image being 239 cm x 160 cm.
The poster is vinyl and is self-adhesive. It scared us somewhat to get started, but checking out a youtube video and following the installation tips from the company we bought it from , we got going.
We drew a vertical line slap bang in the center of the wall. We used a spirit level and all.
Did we manage to follow that line ? Did we heck ?

Did we start from left to right, like it says in the installation tips? Did we heck?
The first panel went up without too much trouble. We then opted to take a short coffee break before we got on with the second panel. We need regular breaks - we are getting on a bit - and that is why this makeover seems to take forever. Ha ha.

The second piece didn't go as smoothly and we had to peel back several times which made the vinyl stretch somewhat.

We have some imperfections, but they are hard to spot.
Below the poster we will install wood paneling, painted white.
Even with enlarging my photo to this size, it is amazingly clear and I also like the fact that the surface isn't glossy.

You've got to admit it beats looking onto an unfinished wall for almost 3 years.

We're nearing the end and we should be back in our room by the end of the coming week. Just as well, because Irma wants her room back very soon, when she visits from Belgium !

Thanks for popping by !
Patricia xxx...x

Friday, February 19, 2016

Bedroom Makeover - Part 5 (?)

Part 5 and we're still going. If I thought we'd be finishing this 'small' job in two days, then I was wrong!
I've had help from our friend Michael, who helped Bert with moving furniture, who ripped out the carpet, steamed off wallpaper, filled holes and cracks in the walls.
And we both did a fair share of painting.

 Michael giving the bathroom walls and ceiling the first lick of paint

 Colour on some of the walls

 And the vinyl went down yesterday morning. I did a happy dance.

From the bathroom towards dressing (right) and bedroom (left) 

Towards bathroom from dressing area. 

The wall that will be the backdrop for the bed.  And it could do with a straighter edge at the top.

The dividing wall that will have the wallpaper poster. Bert and I will tackle that over the weekend.
Fingers crossed we don't kill each other.

The doors will need another coating of satinwood white paint, also the skirting board in the bathroom.
Then we can start bringing stuff back into the room. Fixing the clothing rails to the walls and placing shelves.
Oh ! And I need to make roman blinds for the windows.

Thank you for your comments on previous posts. I didn't have the time to reply, but I did read  and enjoyed receiving them.

Alla prossima.
Patricia xxx...x

Monday, February 15, 2016

Bedroom Makeover - Part 4 - Some Progress

There  isn't much to report really. We've been steadily working through the painting in the bedroom. Only white so far.

In the bathroom nothing has been painted yet. But as you can see the bathtub has been removed.

Bert re-grouted the tiles, so that we have a smooth finish to lay the vinyl on top. There is a gap that needs to be filled with a piece of tile still.

 Bright, is it not ?  Photos taken just after finishing the second coat of paint.
Hopefully, I don't have to give it a third one today, coz the shoulder and knee are playing up.

Changing the subject.
Antique or vintage wardrobes are really not suited to hang all the clothing of a contemporary couple.

It would be half funny if I hadn't just sorted, washed and ironed, etc. etc all the blummin stuff.
Just goes to show that I'd better leave everything in the laundry baskets, taking things out whenever I need something. 

I probably won't be back till after the flooring has been laid, which is Thursday, we hope.
Till then !
Patricia xxx...x

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Bedroom Makeover - Part 3

Wallpaper gone and carpet removed. Yeah ! 

Talking with my friend, Sophie yesterday, about a new use for the carpet she came up with a great idea and she deserves to have a good chunk of it. I was going to reuse it in the garden to suppress weeds in the raised veggie beds (when there is nothing of value in there) and on top of the compost.
But Sophie said smaller pieces (like a square foot, or more) would be ideal to suppress weeds around trees, fruit trees more specifically. There ! Sorted !

Never mind the linen cabinet. It will go temporarily on the landing upstairs, but not before the bath tub has been removed, which will happen today.

The wall which was adorned with the wallpaper will need a slight sanding too.

We can probably start with a first coat of paint later in the day.  I chose a Brilliant White (matt) for ceiling and most walls.  You can't see it properly in the photos, but the white that was there had a very beige look to it.
Some walls, like behind the bed and in the bathroom will get this colour . 

That's all for now. 
Hasta luego,
Patricia xxx...x

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Bedroom Makeover - Part 2 Point 75 - One Last Look... the room as it was. 
The bed has been dismantled, ready for taking it downstairs today. 
We'll be getting some assistance from a friend to move a few furniture pieces still.

Say goodbye to the ghastly wallpaper...

...and the carpet, which I've given one last Dyson treatment.
Looks good as new.
Maybe not ! 
Can you see the socket  in the sloping ceiling ? That is where the original good-for-nothing-except-for-hanging-a-TV-off wall was.
Take one last look at the wallpaper.

This has been a thorn in my eye since day one.

Made the bathroom sparkle, before the bath goes. Can't let the plumber take the bath out of a dirty bathroom, can I ?

Thursday week,  is when this will be covered up with vinyl flooring, and it isn't a day too soon.

What I'll be doing today :
  • give orders to Bert & friend to remove last of the furniture from room
  • give orders to Bert to phone plumber to get the tub out
  • rip up the carpet with said friend
  • scrape wallpaper off
  • fill holes and cracks in plaster
  • poke Bert to phone the plumber again
That's all folks. 
Patricia xxx...x

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Bedroom Makeover - Part 2 and a Half - New and Permanent Place for Coats

The coats were taking up too much room in the dressing area and there was unused space under the stairs.

As you can see in the photo above, half of the clothing rack at the top was taken up by long coats, short coats, wintery ones,  rainy daysy ones and fat knitted cardigan ones.

And now they are in the hallway downstairs, behind this door.

Like this.

They do have to share the space with Christmas decorations, a pop-up tent, that no one dares to pop up and a window blind.

The rest of Monday was a case of emptying the main bedroom some more, which will continue today. It's not a lot anymore. The bed needs to be dismantled, and put where exactly ?  Before I rip up the carpet I'll give it a good vacuum. Aye ! I don't want it to leave more dust than absolutely necessary on its way down.

We've slept in the guestroom for three nights now. It is snug, to say the least, what with the addition of furniture from our bedroom, but everything is tidy and clothing has been put away.
The first night it felt like we were on holidays at a hotel. A hotel where many previous guests had left their belongings behind. 
Laying on top of all three mattresses (yes, but one is only 6 cm thick and is actually a cover mattress) on the bed made for a strange sensation. The bottom one being a sprung and ours a memory foam one. Our own bed is 10 cm wider than the guest bed, which meant we were both clinging on to the center of the bed, in fear of falling off or out of the bed if we ventured too close to the edge.
The next two nights I slept much better. Only being woken by storm Imogen every now and again when she was  trying to lift the roof off the house.

Next (short) update can be expected tomorrow.
See you then !
Patricia xxx...x

Monday, February 08, 2016

Bedroom Makeover - Part 2 - Moving Out Stage

Following on from this post , I can tell you that the wallpaper poster of my photo arrived more than a week ago. I haven't had the guts to look at it yet, you know, once I unwrap it, I might have some difficulty to safely put it back into the cardboard cylinder.
I made a start at clearing our bedroom. It almost feels like moving house and I am suffering from 'déjà-vu'.
Luckily, this time the move is just across the landing, to the guestroom. Or Irma's Room, as I like to call it. Irma, my mum, has stayed in that room more often and longer than anyone else.

In normal circumstances the guestroom looks something like this :

Then the room got hit by a bomb :

I tried to squeeze as much furniture as possible from the master into the guestroom. Where else would I put it ? Don't fancy bringing everything downstairs, only to bring it back up again in a few weeks time (ok, probably a month).

We brought the two mattresses (yes, 2) from our bed and dumped them on top of the resident mattress.
I wonder how many more I will need not to feel 'The Pea'. There is always at least one cat wanting to know what we're up to.

Meanwhile in the main bedroom, the removal of (too much) stuff is still going on.

I'm ever so slightly embarrassed about the state of the carpet. But not enough to withhold  the photo from you. Haha ! Mum ! Look away, now.

As the week progresses, I will update the blog with more of this, if you don't mind.

Till next time.
Patricia xxx...x

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