Sunday, 24 October 2010

Autumn photo's

I'm getting ready for two days of photo shoots and always try to fill up on inspiration and ideas beforehand. In searching through my desktop I stumbled across these pics which seem to bring an 'essence of autumn'?

This week is crazy busy with two birthday parties to do (Min asked for an enchanted woodland tea party so the house is full of toad stool stuff!), general half term chaos, a day at work and the landscaping of the temporary show house etc etc so please forgive me for not blogging much. I will make it up to you!

Photos are:
Top left - One of my favorite 'fire' shots taken at a great Border Oak barn two years ago - I love the photos from that day
Top R - Taken in the workshop, a little capsule of the carpenters day to day life, the teaspoon obviously hadn't been used in years as it was thick with sawdust.
Bottom L - an arrangement on a mantle including a printers block, hedgerow flowers, earthenware jug and pine cone - styling on a shoestring!
Bottom R - I can't take credit for this, it was arranged by a very talented customer - very autumnal........

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

the stuff of dreams......

If I could find my dream plot and build my dream house (oak framed in case you were wondering) I would also like to build a dream outbuilding - somewhere to park the car, hide the wheelie bins, with space for a potting shed and overspill storage (because the vaulted ceilings in the dream house mean having no loft). And while I am dreaming I think I will have some rooms above the garage so the mother in law can stay (of course she is always welcome in the house if she wants to be woken at lark o'clock by the babes), or teenagers can escape (not that I know any teenagers - that is how old I am) or maybe even to let as a holiday cottage (to help pay for the dream house).

Anyhoo, here are some gorgeous pictures of barns and garages with rooms above. I'm off to have a nap and dream about walled gardens..........

p.s I forgot to say that these lovely buildings are all Border Oak outbuildings - splendid

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

A woodland barn.....

Jeremy , the photographer I work with a lot, has just sent me these great photos of a Border Oak barn he has just shot for Build It magazine. And the fab clients emailed me yesterday to say that they were being featured in the Sunday Express this Sunday! Great! Mr A will be dispatched for the newspapers come Sunday.

I get a warm sense of Autumn from these photographs - and Autumn is my favourite season (because it's baby G birthday, a month later Minnie Moos' and two weeks after that its mine and I am off to Daylesford Organics to meet my best pal for lunch and shopping). I'll look forward to reading The Express property section in front of the fire (burning the Border Oak off cuts) with a cup of something warm and an apple crumble in the oven.

an autumn house

More shots from the woodland barn...............

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

please vote for the oak house

One of our houses has been shortlisted for the Daily Telegraph/Homebuilding and Renovating Awards (yippeee!) and so I wondered if you could all help me by adding your vote to the 'Readers Choice' poll please?

The owners are so lovely and worked incredibly hard to rebuild the pile of rubble - living in a caravan for years through extreme weather and transforming an old collection of stone walls into their dream home.

I will be so very grateful if you could all place a vote for a true self build of epic proportions and an outstanding end result - tea and cakes for all who vote!!

thank you v much


p.s you need to register first in order for your vote to count.

Monday, 4 October 2010

more workshop photos

Chisels, drawknifes, plumb lines, vices..........and sawdust.

each frame is given an individual set of 'tags' which are based on roman numerals. These are inscribed by hand once the frame is made, test assembled and approved. The tags can help identify each piece and also aid the erection crew as the tags are sequential - ie XI, XII, XIII. No two frames will ever have the same tags and each carpenter will devise his own 'alphabet'. Beautiful inside the home don't you think?
The Border Oak workshops are big enough to test assemble whole oak frames inside - the frames aren't sent to site until they are perfect.

We make a lot of sawdust - some is collected by a local man who smokes award winning salmon.
and the carpenters also sharpen all their own tools - a very satisfying job I think. I wonder if I could do my kitchen knives on that?

how we make the frames

The other day I showed a lovely magazine editor around Border Oak - he was especially interested in our workshops and our carpenters who craft each frame by hand, using many of the same techniques as medieval carpenters. I had arranged for a photographer to spend the day with us too and he took over 700 shots during the day - some of them are atmospheric details which really capture essence of what we do. I thought I would post a few here..........

This is the front of our office, built about 20 years ago. We have just had the little garden bits re landscaped and I am pleased to report that the beautiful climbing roses have survived their first ever prune - and a dramatic prune it was. The roses were planted by a man called Yogi who sadly died a few years after planting them. He is very much missed by the original crew of Border Oak so the rose plants are sentimentally significant - we built a house and garden centre for David Austin, the king of roses, a few years ago and I like to think that the 'roses around the door' approach helped a little bit.

Anyway this is one of the carpenters interpreting the 3D technical drawings produced by our designers - the drawings provide a strong visual but the carpenters still need to translate this onto beams
initially the beams are marked up in felt tip

and those markings are cut and shaped by hand

We don't have a mass production line, everything is done by hand. there are two or three basic cutting machines though they date from the 1950's!

More to come