Sunday, November 13, 2011

Refectory Renovation - Complete!

This is our beautiful Refectory (a place where the monks gathered to eat)…..It was beautiful before, but now that it is practically in domestic use even ,better.

We started renovating this just over two months ago starting with sandblasting the walls, which was a mammouth task and extremley dusty..Although we covered every window and doorway and sealed every crook and cranny we thought exisited the dust still found its way through the house leaving behind its gritty residue…and this with 3 days to spare before our September guests arrived for their Art holiday…..PANIC!!!!!!

After our guests left we then had to deal with the Refectory floor. Although it already had a covering of concrete on it (done by the previous owner) it needed to be levelled ready to have the pipe system laid ontop  in preparation for the Heat Exchanger system.  (A machine that takes the heat from the air – like a fridge in reverse) Which heats up water which is then pumped through the pipes on the floor.   This took about three days to dry and then the workforce arrived to lay the pipes.  As you can see this was quite an intricate job but the boys seemed to know what they were doing…A few days after this the top layer of concrete was piped through a large tube and levelled out and then the Refectory was sealed for just over a week, when it was then firm enough to walk on but now had to be ventilated after the curing process.

We are now at the point that the Heat exhange machine has been connected to the outside of the Refectory (and at a later stage will have a wooden box covering it, so its more pleasing for the artists to paint) and a huge water tank has been installed in the “little room” ready to pump the warm water around the system.  We are hoping that the pipes and the system will extend as far as our living room as we have left space under the floor to implement this technology.  So we are nearly there.  This room will act as our “warm den” for the winter months and as a communal area for our guest throughout the summer months.  So watch this space to see how we tile it in the next few weeks and then furnish it too…..Oh what fun! 

13th November and the thermometer says 20 degrees...madness, but oh so lovely.  The colours of our changing trees are glorious and the light is wonderful for taking lots of photos - like this little fairy village of toadstools...aren't they wonderful and there are even more poking their heads through the ground ready to erupt in colour.....


These are a couple of things that I have been doing in this last week. 

Hanging Basket
Zentangle was something that I discovered at the beginning of the year and got hooked on and have signed up with for regular pattern updates and ideas.  Although it looks complicated it is in actual fact very relaxing and has helped a lot with my drawing too. You too can create your own unique Zentangle design by just looking around you as repeat patterns appear everywhere...Look closer and see! Well worth a go!  
Fish Dinner

The fish I saw in a supermarket promotion ad and couldn’t resist giving them a go.  Started with watercolour and finished off with pastels which helped highlight the spots on the skin and I used salt in the background.  Great fun!

This little picture was done for the Paint my Photo November Challenge and it comes from an amazing photograph called Buttermouse from Pixelbloke who is a member...I just had to try it and test some of my theories and experiment a bit too...and I love the outcome. 

For copyright free photos to paint from visit  This site is run by Roy Simmons (who is an amazing artist using cheap materials (ordinary emulsion brushes etc) and paints in a wonderful loose style too) and has just launched his ebook - details can be found here. Take time to navigate the site for more of his paintings.

Enough for now and I will be back here again in a couple of weeks.  Have fun!


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