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Escape to the Chateau D I Y
Series 1
Starring Paul, Karen, Thomas & Katie Horne

Escape to the Chateau DIY has been quite an adventure, launching ourselves into projects we would only have dreamt or talked about for the next 10 years.  The office is a huge success, with holiday rental guests and Paul squirrelling themselves away to get some much-needed work done in a spectacular and calm environment.

The Water Tower was the main focus on Series 1, with me experimenting with some success on screen printing.  Removing the steel water tank took three days of solid angle grinding in unbelievably hot temperatures. The fine metal filings damaged one camera due to the fine particles which were floating in the air; hopefully, there is no long-lasting damage to Paul's lungs.   The final top section, the lid, was the scariest part to take off, which nearly decapitated Neil in the process. Thank goodness all was good in the end.  

Screen Printing by hand

Oops....... not everything goes to plan
Perhaps I should have tried it at home first

Crafting is my passion, so when we were contacted to be filmed at the Chateau, it seemed like a natural choice to try something new.   I had intended on trying it at home first, but running a business and a chateau from afar got in the way.

The pressure of doing it on TV, certainly makes you get stuff done.   Failure was not an option!

My love of sewing started at an early age, buying my first sewing machine at age 10.  Finding the right fabric is often a frustration for me, it is never quite what I'm looking for.  Either the fabric is the wrong quality, the pattern is not quite right or the colour doesn't quite blend with the interior.   Also, wastefulness is at the forefront of my mind at the moment, so it seemed fitting to reuse a fabric, which once would have been used back in the day when the chateau was built.

Although, in the end the printing was a success, there were many lessons learnt along the way.  If you ever find yourself wanting to give it a go, here are a few tips I'd like to share with you:

Don't put the emulsion on too thickly, it can take a long time to dry and is difficult to wash off

Ensure the emulsion is fully dry before you exposure your screens to daylight, otherwise the exposed and unexposed emulsion will all wash away down the sink

When drying your screens place the screens facing down, this will allow any drips to be on the outside of the screen and not in the well, you don't want to be dragging your squeegee over a lumpy surface


Exposing in daylight can be hit and miss, the intensity of UV light can vary, so do a test first to see how long your exposure time needs to be

Make marks on your board with tape, to give you a guide for the pattern repeat, this way completed print will a uniformity to it



The Tree......OMG The Tree.........

When we bought the Chateau, the tree was a huge part of our decision, it was beautiful, along with the copper beach trees on the other side of the Chateau.  Unfortunately, after being struck by lightening the tree was showing signs of sickness and with the angle leaning towards the Chateau, it needed to come down.

Our summer bookings are always busy and 2017 was no exception.  We had 3 days before guests were arriving, with 10 more weeks of rentals.  Stress levels were high, as much as tree surgeons say they know where it will fall, putting your trust in someone else is a massive thing.  There was only one acceptable place for the tree to land, between the boundary stone wall and the cess pit, if it had landed anywhere else it would have been catastrophic! 

Waves of tears rush over me, when it finally rests on the ground!

What you didn't see on the TV!

We had three days to remove the entire tree, using two trailers.  Thank goodness it wasn't filmed.......it wasn't pretty.  I can't reverse a trailer and even after days of doing so, I still can't!  Thank goodness we had the kids, they learn so much faster than me.......

Watch out for Thomas' face
Mouth open, he is mesmerized by the tree falling