Saturday, 4 May 2013

Thai Takeaway Zentangle, and an Update on our House Move

Yes, it’s me back again, at long last! I have really missed going on my blog because I’ve been so busy with the house move, and thought it was high time I posted again.

Zentangle Art

Now that my ARTHaven is all packed up, I am very limited in what I can do creatively, but I have my Zentangle album to work on – I have done quite a lot of designs since I last posted on that subject, and need to get them scanned and uploaded so I can share them with you. However, I’ve got a piece of Zentangle art that I’d like to share. Several weeks ago my hubby went on a trip, and brought back some rather posh Thai takeaway food. The packs were so lovely that I thought they would be nice to embellish with Zentangle art – they have been sitting on my table since then, and last night I thought I’d have a go and see what I’d come up with.

Here is the front of the box as it was:

01 Box Front

It is printed in purple on buff coloured cardboard, with designs of chopsticks and oriental spoons. The back of the box is decorated similarly, but so far I haven’t decorated this.

02 Box Back

I began by outlining the shapes I wanted to fill, and I drew a string in pencil to indicate different areas to fill. Here is the front of the box with the completed decoration, coloured with my Inktense pencils. I kept the palette somewhat limited, to complement the existing purple.

03 Box Front Decorated

One of my favourite tangles, Planateen, I used to create an oriental tiled roof. I also included my own patterns, Y-Ful Power (in purple, on the left), and Spawn (to the right of the lower spoon). I filled the two spoons with Jetties and Meander.

Here are a couple of detailed shots of the box.

04 Box Front Detail 1

05 Box Front Detail 2

I hope I have achieved a nice oriental feel to complement the design already on the box. Once I get my new ARTHaven running, and have access to all my stuff again, I am thinking of putting some acetate behind the aperture in the box, possibly coloured with alcohol inks to complement the design. I am also going to decorate the back, and the second box with a different design.

These boxes were just too nice to throw away!

House Move

It’s so long since I’ve been on here that I need to update you all with news of our house move. We have now exchanged contracts on my parents’ house, and the completion of the sale is set for next Thursday, 9th May. Mum has gone up to Dorset to stay with my sister until the new house is ready for us to move in.

We haven’t exchanged contracts on the purchase yet, because the solicitor acting for the vendor seems to be dragging her feet. We have been informed that our proposed completion date of 17th May (with our builder coming in on 20th May) is now impossible, and will be at least a fortnight later. This is most annoying, because the last thing I wanted was to cause a delay in our builder’s schedule – he is just finishing a very large job, and taking a fortnight’s holiday, after which he would have been free to start on ours. I was afraid that any delay would mean he would take on other work, as we could hardly expect him to hang around waiting for us, but when I spoke to him, he immediately put my mind at rest and said that no way would he take on another large job, as ours was next on the list; however, he was glad of a bit of a breather, and it would give him a chance to catch up on a few smaller jobs, and to work on his own place. This is a great relief! He says our work will take about 8 weeks, so I don’t anticipate our being in before the beginning of August at the earliest.

My whole ARTHaven is packed up in banana boxes waiting for our move. I am now positively itching to get into the new house and have my new room, and get all my stuff unpacked and sorted, and all the fun I am going to have planning my new creative space! I shall be taking lots of photos of before, during and after, and also of the rest of the building work.

We have our kitchen CAD drawings now, from Howden’s kitchens. We have chosen Burford Light Oak, which is a lovely plain and clean-looking design, nice and light, with Alaska White Honed worktops, and simple steel bar handles. All the cupboards and drawers will be soft-closing. This is what it is going to look like. The first picture shows the door from the hall on the left, with the fridge-freezer and a full-height unit with wall units above, and LEDs shining down. Plenty of storage space here.


Moving clockwise around the room, we have the door into the utility room and the reduced-height units which I can sit at, using my wheelchair. For the past couple of years I have found it impossible to cook in our normal kitchen, even with my perching stool – I cannot stand for more than a few minutes without severe discomfort, and sitting on the perching stool, I can’t get my legs under the worktop, and I end up with pain in my legs, back and arms. As a result of this, my hubby has been doing all the cooking lately, and while he has done extremely well, he is also working full-time and we’ve been existing on a lot of ready meals and takeaways, and we’ve both put on quite a bit of weight. With an adapted kitchen I am looking forward very much to cooking again. Cooking is something I enjoy greatly, being a creative activity, and to be able to do it in as much comfort as I did when I was able-bodied will be a great joy! It will also be nice to be more in control of what we eat, and to have more variety.


In this picture you can see the sink in the reduced-height unit, with space for my legs underneath. We are having a 1.5 bowl and a tap with a hose, and to the right of the sink, mounted on the work surface, will be the Quooker boiling water tap which I bought a few months ago from Ebay. The cupboard under the drawer will not be installed in the actual kitchen, as I need to be able to sit at the worktop to the right of the sink, and I am hoping there will be some storage space to the right of this, under the extended worktop to the right. I have also asked for a light under the wall unit, and further LEDs in the ceiling over the window, and I am hoping we will also have loads of power points! We all have so many gadgets and machines these days…


Moving on around the room, in the corner is the first of two alcoves, which I have decided to leave without units. The kitchen designer’s original drawing had a tall unit here, and also one to the immediate left of the oven tower, but to my mind this gave the kitchen a cluttered look, so I asked that they be omitted. My microwave will fit in this alcove. To the right is the reduced-height ceramic hob. I had thought of getting the latest induction hob, but after researching online how these work, discovered that because they work by inducing a magnetic field, only my modern steel pans would work on it, and I do need to be able to use my old aluminium ones too, especially my heavy-based preserving pan, so I’ve opted for a normal ceramic hob. Over this is a chimney extractor with glass hood, and to the right is a tower unit incorporating a double fan oven with storage over and under. To the right, in the second alcove, is an existing wooden cupboard which we think has probably been there since the house was built in 1925, and I want to retain this as it will be most useful as my larder, and it seems a shame to remove all of the original features!


The final picture shows the remaining wall, where we will have our pine table from our present kitchen (a bit larger than the one illustrated) with two glass-fronted units above, with an open-fronted shelf unit between where I shall keep my recipe books. We have some lovely oak dining chairs which my parents had in their first home just after the War, original Utility design, and excellent quality – when we first moved to where we live now, we had these restored and the dark varnish stripped to reveal the natural oak, and we’ll keep a couple of these at the table in the kitchen, bringing in the others as needed if we have visitors. To the right of the table you can see the door into the hall. This completes the virtual tour of our proposed new kitchen! As the work progresses, I will be posting photos of before, during and after. It will be interesting to compare back to these CAD drawings. We are not going for the blue walls! I am thinking of a pale olive green, as one of the illustrations in the Howden’s catalogue had our units with this, and it looked lovely.

As soon as we have exchanged contracts, our builder will be able to start ordering the things he needs. The kitchen designer said most of what we want is in stock, so there shouldn’t be any delay.

My ARTHaven will be made up of cheap white kitchen unit carcases without plinths, with a continuous work surface connecting them, and open-fronted wall units above, so that I can have different work zones for different tasks, with storage below and above. I will be posting more about this in the future, and also about the building work adapting the currently unsuitable utility room and annexe kitchen, and my en-suite bathroom. The roof also has to be done, which is a whole adventure in itself! It’s all soooo exciting! I just can’t wait to get in now.

We’ve got less than a week to finish sorting Mum’s house before the sale is completed next week. She went up to my sister’s in Dorset a week ago, and this makes it easier for us to get on. The removal men came on Thursday and cleared the house – some to go for house clearance and the rest going into store until we are ready to move to the new house. Today we went over and blitzed the kitchen (me mostly) and my hubby mowed the lawn and did a few odd jobs. I had no idea Mum’s kitchen had got so dirty, and I wanted to leave it in a good state so that the new owners can simply unpack their stuff straight into the cupboards without the worry of having to clean up first. Now that the house is completely empty it’s a lot easier, and easier still now that Mum is away and we can get on without her getting under our feet!! I was hoping that today would be the only day I’d have to work there, but the kitchen took so much longer than I thought that I am going to have to go back to have a go at the bathroom, and make sure the rest is all OK. On our way home, we called in to see Dad in the residential home, happy in his own confused little world, and he was very pleased to see us. With everything that’s been going on, it’s been a while since I’ve been able to see him, although my hubby calls in quite regularly when he is passing.

After next Thursday, we can concentrate on packing up the rest of the stuff here. There’s still a great deal to do, but I have made major inroads into most of the rooms now, and recently I’ve been tackling our kitchen cupboards (horrendous! Don’t ask…) and packing up stuff we don’t use every day. What a job it all is, and how much stuff one accumulates over the years!

I hope to be posting regularly once we have completed the purchase of the new house, as my hubby says we will be going over quite often, taking stuff with us, and I shall take lots of photos of everything that’s going on. I am now super excited!!!


  1. Hi Shoshi. It's nice to hear from you again. The house sounds very exciting. that kitchen will be beautiful.
    I love the zentangles. It is very difficult to draw on a box but what fun you are having with it. I hope things continue to move along for you with no more delays. Kate x

  2. It's nice to see you back Shoshi. Your Zentangles are fantastic. It is a very fustrating time waiting for completion dates but your new venture looks very exciting.

  3. so nice to get an update from you!
    Pleased everything is going well (mostly!) and that you are looking forward to moving! the food box looks amazing with your decoration on it. don't work too hard - leave enough energy to enjoy the move!

  4. Oh, how fun to hear from you, Shoshi! Your Zentangle box is great! I loved hearing about all your plans for your new house. I especially enjoy reading what your write - your words for things are different than ours and I have to figure out what your talking about. And your style of writing is so fun - phrases like your dad being "happy in his own confused little world." I wish you and your parents the best with all the transitions. So very exciting that you will be designing everything in your new place.

  5. Love the tangled box - it has worked out ever so well and really fits in with the box. Hope everything goes well with the move now you have a completion date - the kitchen looks well planned.

  6. Wow what an amazing kitchen you have, so suited to your needs. Miss your posts but your moving and renovating comes first. It is a huge job-we only got 4 weeks notice to do our move and I'm still recovering from that 8 months later, better to do it your way with time.
    Cant wait to see the kitchen IRL and your new craft room.
    Sending you lots of vicarious help and love and hugs that all goes well

  7. Beautiful Shoshi, look like we have both done a bit of up cycling this week :) the time will fly by and you will be in your new art haven before you know it,

  8. I was busy admiring your new home sketches I completely forgot about you zentangle which is to die for. I cannot wait to see their faces at the restaurant you got this meal from if they ever get to see what you have done. Amazing lady you are

  9. It is good to catch up with you Soshi! I love the design on the new kitchen, I am so happy for you! The Thai box turned out so pretty, I never would have seen the potential there! Good luck with the contracts and the move!

  10. Hi Shoshi - Your new kitchen looks fab. I think the green looks great with oak too. I sometimes wonder why house sales take so long. Surely solicitors must do this time and time again. There must be a routine to it. It seems there is only a slow motion house buy - maybe there should be time penalty payments - that would sort them out!!! ;-) Don't they know creativity is being stalled!??
    Talking of creativity your takeaway box is so cool! I love the colour pallet. You really do have to use it somewhere. I am sure it would make beautiful storage in your new ARTHaven. x

  11. Hi Shoshi, it's so nice to see you back in blogland - I hope everything in the land of house purchase is still going smoothly for you. I love the kitchen design pictures you have - the units are lovely - I chose a light oak with paler worktops in my kitchen and I love it - you've made a good choice!
    I LOVE your zentangle box - I can't believe you turned it into such a beautiful piece of art - it's just amazing, and will look so lovely in your new Art Haven!

  12. Hi Shoshi!I missed this post , so it's been good to catch up with your news.I was just thinking of you today, and wondering how things were going.It's great that you'll be able to work in your new kitchen.Bought meals aren't that healthy are they?
    So glad all's going along as well at it can.


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