Sunday, August 29, 2010

The quick tart up
As promised, I have included below a few snippets of my quick weekend 'tart up' for our visitors. I may have mentioned it before, but it's worth saying again, the only place to buy flowers is the Foodstore at Rosalie. For about $15 a bunch, sometimes less, you can get a magnificent bunch of super fresh flowers. This is what I got for the weekend.
Kale...for the lasts for weeks, and is also available in a purpley pink colour.

Yellow lillies for the coffee table.

These gorgeous trumpet shaped lillies for the kitchen.
I also finally broke out some old linen which I found in the house. This is a beautiful embroidered pillowslip and broderie anglaise trimmed sheet.

This morning whilst scooting through Redcliffe I spotted these stools outside an antique shop on Snook Street. I think it must be new-ish. It's called Tikkety Boo Antiques, or something like that. They were $25 each.  After a quick coat of apple green and some new cushion covers, they'll come up a treat.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Talking turquoise....and pink
With football dominating our television tonight, and me being too tired to read, I was left no alternative but to 'surf' turquoise for inspiration. You have to do a lot of searching to find a better colour than turquoise, whether it's in its pale duck egg state or something more vibrant like a peacock. It's beautiful.

Then there's turquoise's friend, pink.

The great outdoors
We have been very busy lately with 'things' in general. I've had nothing much to report on the house specifically.
Last weekend we did some gardening. We ripped out the last remnants of Euphemia's original garden, at the front of the house. Some of it got destroyed while the front verandah was being rebuilt, but there was still the old hydrangea, croton and some demon Chinese elms.
Afterwards, we ended up with a lovely blank canvas.....

The soil is fantastically dark and rich. Now all we have to do is design and plant our new garden. I've gone off the tropical idea, and I'm back onto my regular formal-type jobby.
With the last bit of the garden gone, we've now got uniform rubble from the front fence to the back.

This afternoon we recieved a truckload of sandstone rocks to begin the landscaping.My husband is very excited to get moving with our plans.

Tomorrow night we are having some friends around for dinner. I'll use this as the impetus to get into a bit more tarting up. I'll hang some more paintings, do a bit of re-arranging and tidying, and I'll take a few snippets to share.
The lounge room is fast becoming my favourite room. On such a beautiful Friday afternoon as this, I'm looking forward to Summer so we can have it opened up at night too.

I hope you all have a great weekend.....

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Planted junk
I seem to have the gift of making visualisations materialise before my very eyes. I'll give you two recent examples. I asked the children recently what they would really love to have in their playroom. A blackboard I was told. Then yesterday as I was whipping around in the Ishibishi, what should I eye sitting out for the council pick-up but a near near blackboard.
Fortunately, neither my pride, nor my dignity, ever gets in the way of a good rummage through other people's junk.
I had that baby snatched up and in the playroom in a matter of minutes!
Then, on a different matter, on my v. brisk walk through Paddington earlier in the week I spied a book in a window called 'Planted Junk'. I knew I would have to get that book and have a look at it, because I've got a few odd old things lying around that I thought I would grow plants in, like some old work boots and the old clawfoot bath, and some lovely old tins. (sorry that's a terribly bad sentence)
Then today in the library, amongst the thousands of books there, without even looking for it, what should I find, but.....yes.
It's got all kinds of ideas for recycling things as plant containers in the garden. Good in small doses I think, I wouldn't do too much of this sort of thing? Or maybe it needs to be full on, all over the place to be effective?
The book is by Adam Caplin. It reminds me of the outside version of another book I've got called Flea Market Style, also worth having a look at.
I got my cushions back today. This is my split cane chair before.

And this is it after....

It's shocking lighting I know. It looks much better in person I'd have to say. These are my other cane chairs before....

And after....they too look much better in person.

I was planning on spraying the cane a blue or turquoise, but I think I like the aged cane now? I've also lost a little bit of the motivation, it seems like it would be a very messy job to me.
I intend to do a bit more sprucing up in the living room tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The impossible dream
Yesterday I finally mustered all my patience, courage and determination to......(attempt to) get our phone reconnected through Optus.
Before we moved out I contacted them about maybe deferring our contract with them for a few months, as the phone would need to be disconnected, the wall was being moved that the connection was on, and we wouldn't be living here. Not possible! No wonder they had to pull that 'Anything's possible' campaign so quickly. How ridiculous!
However, we have had the pleasure of paying a mere $50/month over this period, for which we get, nothing.
Now that we are back I need them to come and put a new connection in for us. The wall that the original connection was on has been demolished and rebuilt, so it's no longer there.
The girl I spoke to on the phone was completely and utterly perplexed by this. Apparently, this has never happened before in Optus world.
A few people later, I finally had a nice chap who said that Optus 'don't do that'. I'd need to call an outside company who would come and put another connection in.
Of course, I called them immediately, however all they were interested in was my credit card number. They couldn't tell me how much it would be until the technician came out to see me, but there would be a charge for that. There'd also be a charge if I made a booking for the technician, then cancelled it. Alarm bells ringing, I hung up.
That was an hour of my life I'd never get back.
At this point in time, I've put it back on the back burner. How can this be so difficult? Meanwhile, we continue to pay Optus for something that we are not, and cannot use, and presumably will continue to do so until our 'contract' runs out with them in April next year.
It used to be that you made a phone call to Telecom to get your phone connected, then you paid for your calls as you made them. Obviously this system didn't work for the telcos.
Off my soapbox and onto something brighter. I've started to make the rest of my curtains.

Our large refectory table makes a most excellent cutting table. The dining room is a sea of white silk/cotton.
Most everything else decorative has had to wait this week. We are celebrating a very important birthday in the household. Supposedly a birthday lasts for a day but here, the celebrations can go for five, six, seven days!
 I have started by post-reno detox. No dairy, gluten or sugar. Let me tell you, that doesn't leave much. But good news! On my afternoon walks I am nearly hypnotised by the scent of star jasmine. That means that balmy Summer days are just around the corner....

Friday, August 13, 2010

Ahoy there, Captain Devoy!
Going back to Euphemia's past for a moment, I thought it was worth asking this question.
When we moved into the house last year I came across this cartoon illustration.
It's of a man called John Devoy. He was the boss at Castlemaine Perkins when Mr Baby's father worked there. John Devoy retired in 1932 and this illustration was part of his send off. It's been signed by all the staff at the brewery, including Mr Baby's dad. I have tried to find descendants of John Devoy to give this to them, but haven't had any luck tracking any of them down.
From my research I know that he used to live in the house called Woodlands, in Woodland Street, Ashgrove, although the house has been moved to it's current position from Ashgrove Avenue or somewhere, which is where it would have been when he lived there.
If I can't find any of John Devoy's family I'll give it to Mr Baby. From what he's told us, his father and John Devoy were good friends. I imagine that on the day John Devoy retired, he possibly had a few beers too many and went home forgetting this keepsake. Mr Baby's father took it home instead, meaning to give it to him, but never got around to it. I wonder how close I am to the real story?
I called Castlemaine Perkins to see if they were interested in it, but they weren't and didn't seem to even realise what relevance it would have to them. They are now owned by an international company. I'm sure Captain Devoy wouldn't be impressed by the current day operation.
Anyway, if anyone is related to this John Devoy or knows someone who is, please leave me a comment. Don't email me because my email has gone to the dogs and I haven't had a spare six hours to phone Optus to rectify the problem.
I'm hoping to be able to return it to the Devoy household soon - you know what they say, better 78 years late than never.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Although my heart belongs to old junk, I am not opposed to modern furniture. I just love these Emu
Re-trouve armchairs by Patricia Urquiola.

In a similar vein I also love the Tait Jil table below.

Technically, it's all outdoor furniture, but good enough to be inside I say.
I can't imagine it dating either. Infamous last words?