Friday, 31 May 2013

Exposing the Beauty Within

Hi Vintage Lovers,
Old houses are just gorgeous, every bit of them.
The building materials, the time and care that has gone into building them is incredible compared to how they build houses today. There is no comparison. The Old Croft has been standing for 130 years so far and I am sure she will be standing long after all these modern houses that are being built now.
We have had our electrician and plasterer in this week. We are re-doing all the wiring and plaster work in the kitchen.

Here's a look (just to jog your memory) at our kitchen before we started...........

and after the timber splash back came off earlier this week.

 Then the plasterer came in to work his magic.......but first he had to demolish all the loose plaster........

and more loose plaster on the other side of the kitchen. 

It is a huge job, and it will be going on for a few weeks yet.
Well worth all the effort though.
She will look amazing.
Have a fabulous weekend everyone.
Mel xx


Monday, 27 May 2013

Oh My, Agatha the Aga.....
Hi Vintage Lovers,

There has been a change of plans at The Old Croft.
We have done some more research on stoves over the past few weeks and have worked out that we are able to have an Aga stove after all. The original Aga Stove that we were looking at was just too big and expensive and used too much power. But there is a smaller Aga stove with 2 ovens and 4 hot plates that is perfect for what we want. I am sooooo excited. We have ordered it today, Yay! I am doing a little happy dance right now!
I have heard that an "Aga stove" are not just any old stove, they have a heart and soul of their own and become a very big part of "the heart of the home". I have decided to name our Aga already, even though we haven't met her yet and she's still in England as I type. Her name will be Agatha the Aga or Aggie for short!
There is only one down side, because they are made in England, she needs to be shipped out here, that will take 4 months! So no Sunday roasts or baking for a while! It's not too bad, we will have the electric fry pan and will borrow a little gas cooker as well. It will be like we are camping!
Hope you are having a good week.
Mel xx

Friday, 24 May 2013

Old Original Baltic Floorboards ~ Part 2
Hi Vintage Lovers,

The floors are finished and look fantastic. We are so happy 'on cloud nine' with the way they look. It took a little longer than expected because the kitchen floor needed more attention and TLC then we first thought. She has come up a treat now and well worth the extra time spent on her.
Our kitchen after sanding...........
and after polishing.

The Bedroom (next to the kitchen) after sanding.........

and after polishing.

The floorboards going down in the bedroom.......


 and after sanding.
This bedroom is part of the extension so it is built on a slab (as I mentioned in previous posts). I was really keen on having it look exactly the same as the original house. After a bit of research, I found a flooring business that were able to do it. They started by putting down a damp proofing, then 12mm ply wood base that was bolted into the concrete slab. The old baltic floor boards were then glued directly to the plywood base and nails added to make it look authentic. Finally it was sanded and sealed giving a look that it always belonged there.

We are so happy excited with how this room finished up. It looks like the floorboards have been there all along which is exactly what we were hoping to achieve. We have definitely decided to go ahead with the floorboards in the family room after seeing how fantastic they look in the bedroom. That will definitely have to wait till next year. There are a few jobs that need doing before that.

We are spending the weekend packing and organising. Only three weeks to go before moving. Not long now! Can't wait.

Have a great weekend.
Mel xx

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Old Original Baltic Floorboards ~ Part 1
Hi vintage Lovers,

We are having a break this week from the removal work so the floor boards in the kitchen and one of the bedrooms (the two worst rooms) can be sanded and re-varnished. These two rooms have the original baltic floorboards.

The poor kitchen is in some desperate need of some TLC.
The bedroom is better but still needs some love also.
The plan is to have old original baltic boards throughout, even in the extension. I really want the floorboard look to continue throughout, so the the extension does not look like one.  I wanted to honour the history of The Old Croft and not modernise her. That in itself would leave her with no character or charm. I have done lots of research and came up with a grand plan!!!!! Yes, floorboards can be done over a slab ! It will be done in stages, but it can be done.
The bedroom (that we took the carpet out of) is the first to have the old baltic floorboards layed, which will be also happening this week.
Carpet removal
Old floorboards on the back verandah waiting to be put in the bedroom. 
The damp proofing and ply wood go down first.
then the baltic floorboards.
The family room will follow that at some stage next year. It has teracotta tiles down at the moment. We can live with them for now until we decide to go ahead with the floorboards in that area.
 We have decided to leave the two front rooms of The Old Croft for now. The boards in the two front rooms are quite good and will not need work for a few years yet. They are just pine floorboards and will need to be completely replaced with the old orginal baltic at some stage (after the family room).
Part 2 next week................pop back in then. J
Mel xx


Friday, 10 May 2013

Choc-Chip Muffin Recipe

 I have made a few batches of these choc-chip muffins this week. They are so easy to whip up and great for the school lunch box. It is one of my no -fail recipes that I use all the time. One you can call on at a minutes notice and can have a batch made in half an hour.
Choc - Chip Muffins
1/2 cup of butter or marg.
 1/2 cup of sugar
2 eggs
1 cup of milk
1/2 cup of plain yoghurt
1 teaspoon of vanilla bean extract
1/2 cup of chocolate chips
3 cups of self-raising flour

Preheat oven to 180C. Combine butter and sugar. Add eggs, milk, yoghurt, vanilla and choc chips to the butter and sugar. Mix thoroughly. Then add flour and mix thoroughly again. Place in muffin tins and bake for 15 - 20 mins.

Mel xx


Sunday, 5 May 2013

Out with the new and In with the old…….

Hi Vintage Lovers,

The kitchen renovation has started.............not that we were planning to do it so soon! The old stove needed to come out so that the floorboards can be done.

So glad the stove is gone now.

It has created some more work - there was wood panelling along the wall that we have decided to remove. It made the kitchen smaller and just didn't suit. I have started the removal job and it looks much better with out it. Don't you think?

The floorboards underneath the stove are in great condition. The end floorboard is not an original baltic though so it will have to be replaced when the floors are done next week.
We then had to go stove shopping.  J I am wanting a more traditional stove to match the era of The Old Croft. My first thought was an Aga Stove but now we are thinking of an Esse Stove, as gorgeous as the Aga but a little less expensive (still have a budget to work to L).

We are looking at this Esse stove which has two ovens and a plate warming oven. It is electric with a bone shaped hob on top.

The stove is gorgeous and would match perfectly in the kitchen next to the original fireplace. My only concern  unanswered thought is to what to do a splashback in for the stove area? I don't want anything that will take away attention from the stove. I have thought of pressed metal, just not sure that it will match yet. Will have to give it some more thought.

The other side of the kitchen has the timber cupboards with the timber panelling as the splashback. I am wanting to get rid of the little draws and plate holder to create more bench space. We then have two options, either leave the wood panelling as the splashback or have pressed metal. What do you think? Any ideas and thoughts are welcome.  J
Have a great week.
Mel xx