One of the reasons I've been finding it so difficult to get around to blogging recently (other than the kids being on 7 weeks school vacation/summer hols) is because I've been busy trying to sort out the new house and desperately trying to make it look like a home (after tolerating living in the world's brownest house when we rented).
The new house, which we've considered calling Wenlock House to keep ties with the homeland....except you can't name your houses over here (that's a whole other post), isn't anywhere near as brown or as boring as the world's brownest house.....but it still looks very, erm, Arizonan:
Except for the skirting boards (American translation: base mouldings), there's a distinct lack of any other wooden decorative touches.
No cornices (translation: crown mouldings), no dado rails (trans: chair rails) and all the windows are just holes cut in the walls - there's no pretty window frames (trans: window casings). See what I mean in the photo above - holes in the walls....most with boring green blinds.
By the way, do you think that I'm going to find a single DIY name or phrase that's the same both sides of the pond? No, I doubt it too - however, nearly 2 years here has begun to harden my British resolve for playing charades with DIY shop/store staff to try and work out what things are called over here. Two nations divided by a common language indeed. Just this last week I was looked at as if mad when I asked if they stocked draught excluders. Silly me, I should have known I was actually searching for door sweeps.
Aaaaaanyway, before I get too side-tracked by language quirks (again)....curtains.
It's really strange, curtains are a rare sighting here in Phoenix. In the tons of houses we looked at before buying 'Wenlock House' (yeah, let's call it that), we viewed one house with them - and that was only in the living room. Everywhere else had blinds or plantation shutters ie. like we had in the world's brownest house:
As it's impractical to change the paint colour from beige to anything else slightly more interesting until the intense heat of summer is over (we're at 111F/44C today), the one way to make the house look a little more British and colourful was to buy some curtain rods from IKEA (yes, they have them here, hurrah!) and make some curtains.
As soon as the temperatures start to drop we plan to put more colour into the house. It's not as 'brown' as the world's brownest house, but it is the same colour of dark beige throughout. Yep, in every single room.
So here are some curtain I've actually finished - the 'music room' ones:
And you've seen the sewing room curtains before, but here's a before and after:
And then the living/family room (terrible pic coming up, taken quickly because Melchett had just had a 'major emergency' - translation: her Apples to Apples game box had fallen off and shelf and the cards had spilled out, but she's so tired it was enough to bring on the tears):
Other curtains in the pipeline but having their making frequently disrupted by children needing dresses made/clothes repaired/school play needing 10 ladybird costumes made/me needing dresses making for Burlesque Hall of Fame 2001 include:
Main bedroom curtains - being cobbled together from various shades/styles of gold fabric I got at Goodwill charity shops and being lined with blackouts. As you can see, I've only finished one so far and the others I've temporarily put up from England are too short and do nothing to stop the intense sun that streams through the bedroom windows all day, and especially first thing in the morning:
Melchett's bedroom curtains: which she demanded feature some fab Alexander Henry American States fabric AND look like they're wearing tutus. These are taking ages to make to get the gathering and ruffles right, but I will persevere:
And in the bottom of my sewing tardis are some half made denim curtains for our french windows out into the garden. These have aspirations of looking like the back of a huge pair of jeans, with large pockets, something clever with zips and possibly a large gladioli sticking out of one of the pockets, yes, my curtains are going to be Morrisey tribute curtains ;)
So there's an update on drapery and bringing some colour to the house, I suppose I'd better get on and finish the rest hadn't I?
(to be continued.......)