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Posts Tagged ‘decorating’

Our big Advent activity in the Vicarage is always the Jesse Tree – a bare twig we cover in decorations that take us through the salvation story to Jesus. We don’t always manage to get all the way through the readings and the decorating, but we make an attempt each year and cover at least some of it.

If you’re thinking of following God’s story from creation to the birth of Christ with a Jesse Tree for the first time this Advent, an excellently easy way to get your kit together would be to use free printables. These colour-in ones over at Life Your Way look great – there are lots of others all over the internet if you don’t fancy the colouring in, or if you want different bible stories. You don’t even have to use a twig – an outline of a tree drawn on a poster would work just as well (and not take up as much space in the kitchen). In the next couple of days we’ll be digging out our battered Celebrations tin and hunting round for the decorations that went astray when we packed up last year.

Another great Advent activity, especially good for holiday clubs or the like, or if school breaks up way before Christmas, is making a Nativity set. You could use this gorgeous cut up and colour set by Dutch designer Marloes de Vries or buy a set of Nativity Shrinkles, which my kids had lots of fun with last year. My goddaughters have each been sent a set this year. Our schools break up on the Friday before Christmas, so we may not have time for colouring activities this year, but I shall keep the Marloes de Vries colouring to hand, just in case the kids need occupying. We may end up with a house full of nativity sets!

I’ve linked this post up with one of Tanya’s – she’s posting some Advent reflections over the next four weeks.

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Today I’m posting some pics of our hallway, where we had to change all the doors as part of the attic renovations. Alas. Mostly lovely Victorian ones – we’ve had to replace 12 in total. We need to have pukka firedoors to comply with building regs because we are making our top storey habitable. I’m sure it’s supersafe and everything. But the building has stood since 1844 with open fires blazing and not burnt down. But there we go.

So I’m a bit sad about the lovely original doors. But also quite pleased about the nasty 70s one with the frosted glass that opened into the kitchen. Now replaced by clear glass which makes the hall and kitchen seem larger, and has the added bonus of enabling us to spot if children on the naughty step are staying there.

Whilst we were having everything done, including carpetting the attic, we decided to change our hall, stairs and landing carpets which were very tatty. So, for one night only, I give you our hall floorboards. But the Vicar has said “No” to sealed and sanded floorboards. Too cold, draughty and echoey. Sadly, he’s right. They do look lovely tho’, so I’ll just look up this post when I think about them instead. And enjoy the warmth.

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Took a few shots of the happy team who’ve been renovating the attic today. The fire doors are all installed and now the decorators are doing their stuff. The bedroom looks a lot larger without the mad youth group painting scheme.

Now we need to get some carpets down and assess where we are with furniture and curtains and keep everyone supplied with Vicarage baking.

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Our jolly builders have finished their work now. Until they come back with scaffolding to fix the roof gullies, that is. And the electrics. But they’ve gone for now anyway.

Our external paintwork is looking lovely and bright in the rather lurid blue we chose. Our lay reader called it ‘Greek blue’ which I think is good description. One of the first things they painted, on Thursday of last week, was the garage (wood shed) doors. On Friday we spotted that someone had been out with a key or similar sharp object and attempted graffiti. You can just about spot it on this photo:

You can just about see the scratches if you zoom into the middle of the shot

Thankfully the jolly lads were still here with their paint pot, so they’ve painted over it. And they’ve left us the rest of the tub for dealing with any future vandalism. Although I’d really like to paint the vandals rather than the doors, I know that what I need to do is pray for them.

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Vicarage life this week has been very busy with the addition of the Quinquennial builders. On Monday we spent the morning with seven workers swarming over the house, comprising our normal team of the three jolly lads, their boss & their electrician, the boiler service man AND the washing machine repair man after the laundry emerged smelly on Friday afternoon.

The main project has been painting external woodwork, and the blue I chose last week is being applied today. It’s rather more lurid than I was expecting, but I’m getting used to the cheery tone. They’ve had a cherry picker in too, to reach the eaves of the house, which is three storeys, with 10′ ceilings. Rather them than me up there wobbling about.

It’s been a bit of a hot and sticky week for them, especially for the Jolly Lad who’s been doing the plastering in one of our attic rooms and in the bathroom. I’ve been keeping them supplied with ice lollies as well as coffee.

So here are a few shots to update you on how things are looking:

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Stickers

The house that comes with my husband’s job is a typical Victorian vicarage. It has lots of space – high ceilings and even higher heating bills, you know the sort of thing.

When we first visited it, it was showing its age. It hadn’t been substantially decorated for about twenty years and the rooms looked tired. Many of them had not been used much of late, as the previous vicar was single.

The PCC kindly agreed to completely redecorate the house for us before we moved in, and I had to swiftly choose the colours as the team of decorators moved like locusts through the house. With the size of rooms we have, we don’t have to be afraid of colour.

Obviously, the Queen needed a pink room and she’d picked out a set of bedlinen and curtains in the Next catalogue. Her main motivation for choosing the design was a gorgeous sticker set that came with it.

We’d been moved in a few days when Icklesis came to visit. I’d been putting off the Queen’s request to apply the stickers. And a good thing too:

Looks lovely but definitely a team activity. Thanks Icklesis!

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