Thursday, September 30, 2010

The clear out
I haven't been posting much lately due to my new found love of the tv show, Mad Men. I am quite caught up in the lives of Don and Betty Draper, Peggy, Pete Campbell, Joan and Roger Sterling.
It's on television at the moment, but way too late for me (9.30pm can you believe). Instead, I hired the dvds from our local. It's enthralling. Totally.
In between episodes I have finally uploaded some excess stuff onto Ebay. My username is 'watermelonstarlet'. It's a stupid name which doesn't mean anything. My first fifty username choices were all taken, so this is just what I ended up with.
I'm selling a dress which used to belong to Doris, Gwennie's sister (I assume). I was going to keep it, but I changed my mind.
A couple of things causing a stir, with lots of watchers is this 1946 Castlemaine Perkins Diary, unused.
as well as this 1933 copy of Guinness Alice, which is actually very beautiful.

I've got a few complete newspapers from the 1920s.
Colour lithographs and woodblock engravings.

Two beautiful hand painted light shades. This below is the detail on one of them. I haven't listed either of them yet, but they're going.

Strange things like the Hanimex slide viewer, still in it's box, alson known as the Super Hanorama.  I bet they had one of these at Sterling Cooper.
...and the Pidgin English translation book.
I've barely made a dent. There's still some sewing paraphenalia and various bric-a-brac. It's a tedious process though.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Didn't we have a lovely time, the day we went to, la, la!!!
This morning we took a trip to beautiful northern New South Wales to go to the Bangalow Markets.
In my mind I pictured us sauntering lazily through a charming country market, sampling the local produce and handicrafts. The sun shining down on us, turning us all golden haired, as we smiled and laughed,
In reality, Bangalow was more crowded than Easter in Noosa, absolutely bumper-to-bumper. The markets were so jam-packed with people it seemed too much effort to squeeze through the masses to look at anything for sale. We just had to concentrate on holding hands, lest we be lost to each other forever.
In the end, a slight nod of the head saw us all short-cutting through some stalls and hurtling ourselves over a high timber fence, like we were escaping the exercise yard at Pentridge.... but more frantically.
As we left town the traffic heading in had come to a stand still. Cars were lined up for about 3km. Poor suckers.
Moral of the story: do not visit Bangalow on a Sunday....during the school holidays.....when the monthly markets are on! Bedlam!!
On the home front, my husband has gravelled our drive way. It's a temporary measure to keep the dust and dirt from being walked through the house. I took a photo of it, but it hasn't come up all that well, so I'll include one when all the landscaping is finished.
I have decided to put our vegetable garden at the bottom of the back stairs, which is quite handy to the kitchen. It's a fairly small area, but I should be able to fit a lot into it. Initially, I had something like this in mind.
Or failing that, this.

I also like....

However, after considering our budgetary constraints, I've decided to go more this sort of thing.

Yes, modest. However, it doesn't mean it can't be pretty. I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The red door (that thinks it's pink)
While I was away the painter finished up. One of his last jobs was to put the colour on our front and back doors. Originally, the front door was going to be turquoise or a green like Silk Road, but instead, it ended up being Sensual Red by Resene.
Here it is again...
It's a bizaar colour. The more you try to pin it down as a red or a pink the more unsure you become.
I took my inspiration (or stole the idea, however you want to look at it) from a house we love on Hamilton Hill. This is it.
I think I nearly nailed the colour actually. Very happy. Now I just need to get a front door mat and some furniture out on the verandah.
The back door is shiny, classic black. My husband's choice. It will go really well with the awnings, which should be fitted in a couple of weeks. Ditto for the back verandah, re 'jazzing up'.  Actually, I'm after a couple of large ceramic pots in blue and white if anyone sees some somewhere, the Chinese-ey style ones. I've had no luck thus far.

I also managed to photograph my latest find today. I found these chairs at a charity shop up north, and got drenched to the bone packing as many as I could into the back of my Ishibishi. I've dragged 12 home. Not sure if I'll keep them all or sell half?
They are in ridiculously mint condition. I've got them in a beautiful bluey-green colour, yellow and red. To top it off, they have CWA written on the underside. Not bad for $2 each!!!! There's about 60 more back at the shop. There's 660km between me and them and it's driving me crazy!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Up the garden path
We're back from our northern soujourn early. The rain drove us back south. I'm quite gloomy about it actually. I didn't get to spend much time with my dear Dad or my friend Heidi.
However, while we were there, my Mum, Dad, the children and me visited one of my most favourite-est spots, the Rockhampton Botanic Gardens. They are celebrating their 140th anniversary this year.
As usual, the gardens were looking spectacular, even on an overcast day.
At this point, I must apologise for the photos. They have all been taken on my mobile phone because I forgot my camera.
My very most favourite part of the gardens is the Hugo Lassen Fernery. It was built in about 1938 and it's spectacular.

Above is one of the entries and inside it looks like this. It is made from slatted timber which is now beautifully aged and overgrown with moss.
The botanical gardens also has one of the largest and oldest frangipani trees I've ever seen. You can see an old Banyan tree behind it which is over 100 years old, probably more like 140 years.

The gardens also has a zoo. I so wish the Mt Coot-tha gardens would get one. Each day the gardens workers take the dingoes out of their enclosures and give them a walk, just like our domestic dogs, although the ones still enclosed give the most agonising howls.
My favourite animal however, is the humble emu.
I showed the children the old butterfly collections housed at the gardens. The reason for my life long obsession with butterflies.

The collections are old and beautiful, and ornately displayed.  If you ever find yourself driving through the beef capital, stop and have a look at the gardens.
Also, I mentioned a few posts ago, about my delivering a note when I was a little girl. It was a note saying,'If ever you want to sell your house, please call me'. The note went into the letterbox of this house.

I still love it, and it still looks exactly the same. The paint job is now old and peeling, but the appeal is the same if not more.
My Dad is the most gifted gardener I know. He has gone through many phases. Firstly, orchids. One of which I believe he named after me? This is his 'bush house'. He wholesales to nurseries, landscapers and private collectors. Let me know if you're after a special brom. He may just have it.

He is now madly into bromeliads, or 'broms'. Here's a few snaps.

While I was there he gave me three frangipani cuttings (yellow, red and white), two clivias and some old man's beard.
Tomorrow I will take a photo of our nearly painted front and back doors. Most satisfactory.

Friday, September 17, 2010

The fab four
I wasn't expecting a lot today, but many wonderful things happened.
Our front stairs were painted. Val, who worked for our builder, built these stairs from scratch. They are the third set of stairs in 105 years, and are similar to the very first stairs. This is them before....
And after....

They have white ballustrade, white risers and stringers, and grey treads in a colour called Chicago, by Resene. Originally we were going to have a lighter grey, but when it went on it looked a bit weak. These look great now because there is so much contrast between the treads and the risers.
Secondly, today I ordered our awnings. When you are getting quotes for something you know little about, the first quote or two are difficult because you don't know what questions to ask really.
The first awning quote we got was from a small company who actually make the awnings themselves. His quote was incredibly less than any of the following companies. By about the third quote, I knew what mechanism needed to go on a very large awning we need. 
I ended up contacting the first man again, and asking him to requote on the other style of awning. He was still $1000 less than the others. I felt confident that he knew what he was talking about. I checked to make sure his awnings would have all the bells and whistles like the other companies, ie Colorbond hoods, etc.
They should be fitted around October 5. If all goes well, of course I will share his details with you all.
When we were in our last house we got plantation shutters installed in the living area. I got a quote from a local guy, who made the shutters in Paddington. He was very nice, but his quote was just a bit more than another larger company, who advertise on tv. I went with the slightly cheaper quote and was told they'd be ready in six weeks.
Six weeks passed, then I called. I was told another two weeks. After ten weeks had passed the shutters arrived. The installation was very average, and the quality of the shutters was very 'Made in China', if you know what I mean?
The moral of the story is, I should have gone with the smaller guy, and got a better quality product, made locally for only a little bit more.
Thirdly, our painter is almost finished so it was 'Time'. I had to go to the paint shop and get the colours for the front and back doors. I shall keep them a surprise for when they're finished.
Lastly, our friends down the road did some turfing today and gave us some leftovers. It ended up being quite a bit, so now we have some grass, unexpectedly early.

The children ran on it, they lay on it, they took their shoes off and ran on it some more.
Now I'm off for a break on Sunday. Will be gone for most of the week.
Hoping everyone enjoys their school holidays.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Yellow doesn't have to say Ikea
The whole awning thing is getting tricky so I thought I'd distract myself (easily done) with a study on yellow.

There's so much to detest about yellow (just like it's polar opposite, purple), but when it's right, it's really very good.

As requested, I'm working on some 'befores' and 'afters', but it takes a bit of coordinating. There is also very few areas of the house completed, so I've been putting it off. I'll see what I can come up'll take time though, doesn't everything?