Monday, July 14, 2014

Peacocks, palms and shellfish


I'm not a good blogger and I won't make any more promises I can't keep. When I have something to say, or have the time, I'll write a new post, if I don't, I won't -how's that for an arrangement?
The weather has been quite cold, especially for those in old timber houses on hills. It is honestly warmer outside than inside for us usually. Even our security detail has had to done extra fur.

She's a real head turner isn't she?
Our latest project has been the laundry, which up until recently was a hole behind a door. Now it has advanced and really only needs a paint job to be finished.

It's going to be a handsome laundry, although it's been put together on a shoestring. The benchtop is a piece of two-packed timber. The sink is from Ikea. The cupboard underneath is a Kaboodles cupboard from Bunnings. The laundry is off the downstairs living area, so we already had the floor tiles. The splashback tiles were leftovers from the kitchen, and the shelves are solid timber pieces. It makes a refreshing change for something to come in way under budget.

Speaking of the downstairs living room, I am about to get some cushions made for this room. I'm yet to zero in on exactly what I want. Rather than leopard print cushions, I will more likely have a leopard rug instead. I'll also more likely have real palms rather than a palm print.



These two grey fabrics will come in handy.

When it comes to kitsch, nothing tops peacocks, unless it's lobsters. These fabrics will be fabo cushions and I'll use the scribbly fabric in the middle as the backing.



The bookshelves in this room are filling up also. I love a good set of bookshelves - no house should be without them. Write that down.




A lot of people have their go-to places to buy flowers. Mine is, without fail, either the corner store at Rosalie or the gold-plated shop (a.k.a Rosalie Gourmet Market). There's nothing like competitive flower selling if you're a customer who loves flowers. Look at those colours, they're almost supernatural.
Here are some things I love about winter:

Having a good excuse to cover the tops of my arms
Being able to put my make up on in the morning without it sliding off (as it does in December)
Sleeping under a pile of warm blankets with the window open
Red wine
Soup
Vivid sunsets
Tax returns
Toads and snakes are hibernating
Bed socks

Well, that's 10 minutes you're never going to get back. Til next time.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Boulton Leigh

I love Toowoomba. It's so pretty. It's how Brisbane could have looked had we protected our heritage buildings and spent some money on beautification not just tunnels and roads.
The houses are 'maintained' rather than tricked up and contorted into crazy Frankenhauses, or worse still, burnt to the ground by property developers who aren't allowed to knock them down.

Let's now focus on the pretty lil' shacks of T-ba.



By the way, I think this one pictured above is currently for sale. Asking price $1,500,000.
 
 
We recently bought our own little piece of Toowoomba. Not quite like these ones above,  but cute, cosy and old.
 
 
Boulton-Leigh was built in 1864 and celebrated her 150th birthday this year. She is one of four houses, all still standing, which formed Toowoomba's first gated community. It's near the hospital and was apparently where the doctors and surgeons lived. Our little house is the smallest by far of the four houses. It's in a beautiful camphor laurel lined terrace.
 
 
The house is made from double cavity brick, and was extended in the 1930s. It now has three bedrooms, two living areas, sleepouts, bathroom, kitchen and laundry. It's surprisingly roomy for a cottage and it has a good feeling about it - definitely no bad spirits here.
 
 
Over the next couple of weeks, the house will undergo what we call a 'tart-up'; fresh paint, a front fence, some new light fittings and some more planting in the garden. Then it will be put up for rent for the time being.
 
Next time you have a spare day, take a trip up to the Darling Downs and have a look around. It' a spectacular time of year. Happy Easter!
 


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Milton Moon

I may not have made much progress with this blog lately, but elsewhere, I'm doing ok. My husband (I'm not even going to pretend I had anything to do with it) has finished the main room downstairs and now it's up to me to do the finishing bits; furniture, rug, sideboard, mirror...
Last update, we had a thousand colour swatches on the wall. We went from white to blue, grey to green. Nothing was happening and in the end we had to put the anchors on the airy fairy swatches and get ourselves to the paint shop and make a decision. A bit of pressure can work wonders with procrastination.
After a few minutes we laid our peter pointers on a wee square of colour called Milton Moon and walked out with 10 litres of it.
The cane is a recent purchase and another work in progress. The covers are off getting made, hopefully as we speak and should be here in a week or two.
Originally when that light was hung the room wasn't painted and we weren't so keen on it, but now it seems to fit in a lot better. The outdoor lights on the other side of the French doors are a very similar style, plain glass with a black metal frame.
How's that grey? We are also happy with the oyster lights in the coffered ceiling. They were also quite the decision.
 
Both the girls have these el cheapo, yet a la pretty lights in their rooms. I got them on sale at Recollections.
It was my birthday recently. My people gave me this jardinière which I'd spotted up at Paddo Antiques. It will roost downstairs, maybe with an orchid or fern in it.

Riddle me this. Why is it that all the best television shows aren't on television or they are shown at 2.30am? Arrested Development, Mad Men, Breaking Bad, 30 Rock.



One more thing. I'm reading a great book at the moment called The Baroness by Hannah Rothschild. It's about her great aunt Nica who ran away from the Rothschild lifestyle to live in New York with her African American jazz musician boyfriend. Those Rothschilds were a wacky bunch.

Friday, February 7, 2014

WALES, WALTS, King Ferns and Concrete Parrots

Oops! Five months have just accidentally slipped by without me updating the Old Girl. We've been busy doing lots of things, house-related and not. Tomorrow some electricians will be here and they'll be connecting the power to the downstairs rooms. So excited! Power points will go on, lights will go up, it's going to be a revolution! It seems like we've been shuffling around down there in the dark forever and this will suddenly make things a lot more civilised.
I have started working full-time. I know! It's actually been a lot easier than I thought it would be. I enjoy getting dressed up and going off into the world, although as I friend of mine says, it's only been a month.
I've been wearing heels, clothes that actually have some shape. I do my hair every morning and paint my face like a geisha. I work as a writer for a property investment company. I love what I do, although sometimes I feel everyone around me is talking Dutch; dividends, unlisted trusts, asset realisations, WALEs and WALTs, everything is an acronym. I'll get a handle on it eventually.
I refuse to feel guilty for working. I'm not here all the time for my daughters, but I think it's also important to set a good example for them. I want them to grow up and have careers and interests of their own. I think it will be very important particularly for their generation. I don't think girls their age are necessarily going to want to grow up 'and get married and have children'.
Already, with my own friends and colleagues, I know so many women who are in their 40s and single by choice. It really isn't unusual anymore. 
Here's a concrete parrot I bought at Woolloongabba Antiques recently. For twenty clams I couldn't in all honesty leave the little sweetie behind. Isn't he adorable. He's happiness-inducing.

 Speaking of which, I was reading recently that Retail Therapy is a real thing, and buying stuff will make you happy, so there. I knew that all along, but some people were doubters.
My mother grew me this king fern from when it was nothing more than a baby frond. It's been in my care for about three weeks and so far, so good. It's very refreshing to have some greenery around. I hope I can maintain the round-the-clock care that ferns demand.
Tomorrow my sisters and I are surprising our mother for her birthday with tickets to see Dolly Parton. I'd love to see Dolly, but only if I could click my fingers and have her sing to me in my own lounge room. I'm not one for large car parks and crowds, all those things involved with seeing live concerts.
A friend gave me this vintage flamingo tin for Christmas. She got it on-line from the US. I love it. I was talking to another friend about decorating motifs. She's got a sixth sense when it comes to this sort of thing. She's been onto flamingos for years, and pineapples and about six months ago she predicted the onset of toucans, which has now come to bear......just wait, you'll notice them everywhere now.
My older daughter is 10 this year which means the secondary schools all need the proper paperwork and applications filled out for year 7 in 2017. She has already been accepted into one school and to secure that place we now have to pay a $1000 non refundable deposit by the end of February. Meanwhile, we are waiting to hear from another school, however, that won't be until the end of March. This means we'll have to pay the deposit at the first school, just in case the second one doesn't come through - it's quite the racket.
The girls have just chosen the colours for their bedrooms. Peaches chose a baby soft pink, or at least that's what we thought. On the walls it's more vile fairy floss, but anyway, we can work with it. She's been banned from putting anything else pink in her room though.
Mims is half painted, it's a lovely quiet, rich cream colour.
Out in the main room.....
....we're not having much clarity with the colour, despite hauling every visitor we get in front of the colour swatch wall and demanding they pick one.
Maybe I should throw a dart.
Is Shapelle out yet?

Friday, October 11, 2013

Up To Pussy's Bow

I know that negativity is frowned upon these days, but there's only so much I can take. I've had it up to pussy's bow with seeing this sort of shenanigans.
Is the Council actually trying to preserve it's self proclaimed 'character areas' or are they not? They say one thing and yet it seems every week I notice some poor house falling victim to this type of 'creativity' or whatever misguidance was involved.
This house is in Girraween Grove, near my sister's house, and I watched this disaster unfold week by week.
Girraween Grove is the quintessential Ashgrove streets, wide with trees down the centre. Ashgrovian houses sit side by side, some gabled, with verandahs, big green gardens, some leadlighting, a bit of curly wrought iron in the gates. It's elegant and beautiful, and then someone has come along and plonked this eyesore right in the middle of it.
The same Council who harps on about heritage protection has, just in recent years, allowed the Regency Theatre to be knocked down and the Shingle Inn to be removed by developers - the latter apparently under the condition it was relocated, but instead it was 'misplaced'.
Brisbane doesn't have enough beautiful buildings to be so nonchalant with their preservation.
I've been stewing on that for a while. I feel a bit better now.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Ta da!

Our herringbone floor is done. We nearly chickened out a couple of times, especially after the first two laying quotes. I'm so pleased that we persevered and got what we wanted.
Remember this photo below was our inspiration. I actually like our longer zigzag pattern more.

I just love it when a plan comes together! Now there are some more trims to do, before the floors are actually covered up again so we can paint the room.
The lights have been ordered. It's all systems a go-go.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Pineapple Head

Laurel Avenue, Chelmer would have to be one of my favourite streets. It's a long winding, tree-lined street with one spectacular house after another. This one, above, would have to be one of the roughest diamonds and it's currently for sale.
It has 38 bedrooms, that ought to be enough I would think. I can't see why you'd need more than that.
Look at that spectacular kitchen. I wouldn't change a thing.

I think a few segways wouldn't go astray.
We talked with another family about buying it, but then agreed that was getting dangerously close to a cult. We planned to turn this room above into a skating rink. Then again, what children would be allowed to come over for a play?
Anyway, to get my mind off not having the means to buy this joint, as well as the fact that a sexist is running the country, I turned to pineapples to soothe my nerves. Don't write them off as kitschy nonsense (...or actual fruit, I suppose), they are a legitimate decorating icon.