Moving House – A Big Blank Canvas

moving house, our new living room

Moving house is definitely in my top ten of stressful things that I have to deal with. I’ve had my fair share of it, having lived in several places. We’ve only moved as a family of three the once, over eight years ago. This is a big one.

Very soon we’ll be moving house, moving from the world of renting to Shared Ownership. We’re moving areas too, though only fifteen minutes up the road. Far enough that we have to change schools.

Shared Ownership is when you part buy and part rent a house. There are quite a few flats out there, though houses seem to be more difficult to come by. We wanted a garden and we wanted a nice area which we’ve eventually got – it took about two years of looking.

House prices around here are too much for us, and even where we’re moving they’re as high. With Shared Ownership we own 30% of the house, paying rent on the other 70%. It works out exactly the same price as renting so we’re not out of pocket.

A new housing development near where we currently live had Shared Ownership houses planned, though they appear to have dropped off the developers plans. This has happened a lot and gets quite frustrating when all you want to do is settle.

Our house is a new build which is where being a blank canvas comes in. We have a lot of pictures from renting and not being able to decorate, indeed, I’ve been told that you can’t decorate or paint a new build for the first year until everything has settled. We’re in no hurry.

moving house, the stairs with H on them

When we’re settled I’ll write up the mortgage process and what we found we had to look out for. It went through smoothly, helped with us both having taken out Help to Buy ISAs. When you close your ISA, your solicitor claims back 25% of the value from the Government which is a big help.

Things are moving along nicely, other than getting rid of a lot of our things – mainly things we really don’t need any more. Marie Kondo has been with me in spirit helping me tear myself away from most things…

The moving house day is a week or two away, that has given me time to sort out the transfer of internet, tv and phone services. This time we’re going with BT for everything.  I’m booking removal vans and we’re hiring one to do smaller journeys once we get our keys.

moving house - looking outside to the garden

H is getting used to the idea now. Her room has a little cubby hole which is going to be a reading corner over time. She has the books for it – I suspect we’ll need bigger shelves. She’s enjoying planning her space. 

moving house, the cubby hole, to be a great reading corner

Collage Canvas

I’m a big fan of canvas prints – we have several which sit on our walls, and are a great reminder of happy times. We had an opportunity to review a Collage Canvas, and given we spent over two weeks in Australia in the summer (their winter, which is nothing like our winter), I had so many pictures to choose from so knew I’d be happy with the result.

Collage Canvas have a good selection of frames you can choose from, and an easy website to navigate. I chose the type of canvas and size, then the design of the collage. Shaun’s mum and dad live out in the bush near Toodyay in Western Australia, but we have rubbish cameras – how would pictures of things we took come out was my biggest problem – could I capture what I love about Western Australia as well as making sure my favourite photos were on there?

canvas collage

I chose the pictures – and decided for a cross design, with four larger photos in each corner. I kept those for family related things (a group shot, H at Kings Park, Shaun and H at sunset by the Indian Ocean, all of us on the Duyfken) with the smaller images being shots which reminded me of nice things – across the centre were bush flowers, gum nuts, the trees and some wattle. The upper parts of the cross were a grass tree, the big wheel at Fremantle, all of us in Kings Park in front of a baobab tree, plus H by the Kings Park sign.

The colours worked well. Shaun isn’t keen on me getting more pictures for the wall, but having a collage to remind us of our brilliant time was a great compromise.

Once I’d uploaded the pictures I was able to swap the pictures around and edit them to make sure the right parts of the photo were on there. Once I’d finished the collage canvas was ready to order. You can also link your Facebook and Instagram accounts to add pictures.

collage canvas

The collage canvas was delivered really quickly, right before Christmas too. It now lives in our little alcove where we can see it all the time – and it’s a great reminder of our summer (their winter, sigh). I’d never thought about a collage canvas before, but it makes perfect sense when you have lots of photos you want to create one memory with. I made sure the pictures were mirrored around the edges and the border between photos was a black-grey colour – and I’m delighted with the result!

Collage Canvas offer many different types of canvas, and I would definitely recommend them. I’m already planning my next one – after all, we went to North Yorkshire for October half term and I have a lot of photos which need to live somewhere!

Collage Canvas website is here

We were provided with a Collage Canvas for the purpose of review. All opinions are our own.

Canvas Design Giveaway!

Canvas Design were looking for bloggers to review their canvas prints, and I’m never one to turn down the chance to try a canvas!

Canvas Design are based in Darwen, Lancashire and after having emailed a photo to them, two days later Interlink Express had delivered it. The photo was taken back in October on my phone – a silhouette I love of Shaun and H standing in the wind at Chesil Beach near Weymouth.

Canvas Design

I was impressed with the quality – the canvas also includes everything you need to hang it on the wall. I received the 22×26 size which looks lovely on our wall – see?

That’s not all though – Canvas Design are offering a print as a giveaway at Mum Friendly! The giveaway is open to UK Residents only and you can choose from any size canvas from 6×6 to 40×40 inches, with any picture you’d like. Here’s what you get:

  • Your canvas prints will arrive at your home or workplace ready to hang.
  • A free hanging kit is supplied to ensure perfect positioning.
  • Your photo printed on pure 100% cotton canvas.
  • 38mm deep pine frames sourced from renewable European forests.
  • Canvas frames include corner wedges for tension.
  • Photos with Red Eye removed free of charge.
  • Free Shipping with 48 Hours Delivery.

So here’s your chance – good luck! I’ve been impressed with how quickly we received ours and the courier gives you an hourly slot so you know when to expect it.

As an additional entry I have a special discount code that can be used on their site – click the option on Rafflecopter below to access it! Canvas Design can be found here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway