Saturday, May 28, 2011

The don'ts, flowers, Penny Scallan and leopard print carpet.....

I love our house and we have felt at home here the minute we moved in, however, there are some changes I would make if we were renovating again.
For instance.....
  • I would have a larger linen cupboard
  • I wouldn't have black floors, then again, we didn't have a lot of choice, since the newly replaced floorboards were white and the originals were honey coloured.

  •  Pedestal sinks look fabo, but where do you put your toothbrush - or your lipstick, make up primer, serum, eye cream, night cream, day cream, tinted moisturiser or mascara? I'm a girl who is heavily dependent on both bench and cupboard space in the bathroom, and I should have thought about this more.

  • I would also tile the floor of the shower rather than having one of those built in units.
Nothing major I suppose, but worth workshopping, and maybe handy to know if you're about to embark on some work yourself.

A few things just quicky before I go and park myself on the couch for a comfy Saturday night in.
We had some freaky fog during the week. This is what we saw from our back verandah.

It's no secret that I love a bargain and this morning I got myself a good one. I went to Trades Secret (shh!) in Capalaba, which is so far over the southside you need a valid passport to get there. I didn't find anything too exciting, then just as I was about to leave, I spotted some seriously discounted Penny Scallan bags. Unless you have a kindy or school age child, you probably don't know who Penny Scallan is. Technically, I'm not sure exactly who she is either, but her name is usually plastered over cute, although overpriced, backpacks and lunchboxes, etc.
However, this morning I stocked up. I got this cute little apple backpack for Peaches. It was $60 reduced to $20 - love it!

Also picked up this big zippered bag so now they can go for a sleep over at their grandparents without taking ten little bags each. It was $18, down from $60. I also got a new lunchbox for Mim for only $10, usually $35 and a couple of drawstring library/swimming bags, $8 from $24. When you have young children you can't have enough hats, shoes or bags.

Some quick flowers......

These red roses are from Grandma and Grandad's garden. The fragrance is unbelievable. I love home grown roses. They are a thousand times better than those waxy, fragrantly impotent little phonies sold at florists.

Now, to finish up, some leopard print carpet. Just because.  Not everyone's cup of tea maybe, but I think it's a case of being so bad, it's good! Just the thing to go with your leopard print Snuggie, and I know some of you have them!

Stay warm!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

70 is the new 30

Would you believe we're still NQR (not quite right) around here. This germ is really causing some havoc, and to be honest, it's not funny anymore. I need everyone to assume their usual positions, at kindy, school and work, pronto!
Alas, it did not rain enough this weekend, and I could not conjure an excuse to not paint the fence. The first coat is done, and I'm pleased I toughed it out and got stuck in.
Whilst this is largely a photo of a fence, painted, all I can really focus on are the three windows in the background which are yet to have their hoods on.
Motherwell provides us with a neverending list of demands for both our time and money in equal measures. It's no wonder we refer to her as Motherf#@***r on our more trying days.
Now my attention is also focused on the tree that needs a garden around it's base....

....and this bit of footpath which can now be prettied up.
Our neighbour asked jokingly if we were painting the gates red, which has now resulted in a low-key grass roots support for this, which is gaining momentum as we speak.
I want to just paint them white so the pretty scrolls stand out against the gravel driveway. Also, considering our awnings are yellow and white striped, a red gate may make the house look like a child care centre.
Never mix your primary colours I say. I may well try and get a coat of white on them mid-week so it becomes a non-issue.
I bought this chair on Ebay, and picked it up on Saturday. The lady I bought it from, Wendy, reads my blog. What are the chances?
I've got quite a few pieces of wicker. My plan is to paint it all white and put it on the back L-shaped verandah. It's a classic look for a verandah, plus the light weight furniture is easy to rearrange depending on how many people are sitting out there and what we're doing.
I also want to put out a few plant stands with ferns. Here are a couple of photos I found for inspiration.

I don't want it to be too rustic. Rustic is difficult to do, and my arrangements usually just end up looking scrappy.
For my birthday, the beautiful EAP from over at Nostalgia and Now game me a peacock for the wall. I finally put it up in the bathroom.

I'm off to build a nest on the couch now and settle in to watch The Kennedy's on the ABC. I wonder if Jackie's little sister, Lee Radziwill has seen it? Lee is 78 this year and she's still a style icon. That deserves a standing ovation I think.

Between Lee Radziwill and the likes of Costanza Pascolato from Vogue Brazil, the bar is getting set ridiculously high for women everywhere.
Apparently, there will be no reprieve from extreme personal grooming, not even into old age.
This is Costanza below, she's in her early 70s.

70 is obviously the new 30!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Hugs with bugs
I've heard of whole households getting sick at once, but up until last Friday we had been spared this hell.
I was the first to fall, then my husband followed by Mim and Peaches.
When you're sharing cups, giving hugs and all the rest those bugs can spread like wildfire.
I even had to have a sick my fourth week. Not a good look, but they were all very understanding. Apparently, it's not uncommon for mothers returning to work, thus out in the world again, to be very susceptible to germs.
To make matters a little more complicated Peaches hurt her foot at the park and has refused to walk anywhere since Saturday. This is despite x-rays and the doctor confirming that there is nothing wrong with her foot.  This afternoon she has started to hobble around a little so hopefully this is symbolic of us all getting back on our feet and getting back to business.
That aside, our fence is nearly finished and now just needs painting.

I hope you appreciate the style of the pickets, they're custom made you know. My husband used regular square top palings then used a template to jigsaw each one into a point.

The fence posts are extra large and each is capped with a fancy cast aluminium fence capitol.

I think I know what we'll be doing this weekend!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Coats, cakes & avocadoes
I have been trying to put up a new post for a couple of days, but had a bug in my blog. Apologies.
How beautiful is the weather right now? I love a nip in the air and a brilliant blue sky. I especially love this time of year when coats come out of the cupboard and flabby arms can be hidden away out of sight until Spring.
As an added bonus, and not totally unconnected to flabby arms, it's avocado season. My favourites are the bulbous Reed avocadoes, which are more difficult to find but worth the effort.

Hoping everyone had a glorious Mother's Day. I had Champagne and four different types of cake. My sister's husband has to have gluten free food, so to make it easier, at big dinners, we all go without gluten. Who needs it anyway? I made this chocolate mud cake below, and my sister made the one below that, with the toffee spears. It's a bit show-offy if you ask me.
Not that it was a competition (although it was), but Mum would have won with her Red Velvet Layer Cake. I would have taken a photo of it if I could have, but from the time it was cut it was surrounded by a mob...then it was gone.

Off the topic a bit, but do we still love this bone inlay furniture?

I have the day to myself today, so I think I'll go exploring to a far away frontier. I'm thinking either New Farm or Woolloongabba??

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Currently auditioning
We, and when I say 'we' I actually mean my husband, are currently working on building our back fence, which is actually on the side which is most visible.
I forgot to take a photo of it today, so you'll have to just imagine it at this stage.
I'm very excited to have a fence at last for many reasons, firstly, it obviously gives us a bit more privacy and security. Once it is completed we will also be able to get a dog. We have secretly and silently been holding auditions with every dog walking past coming under our scrutinasing gazes, weighing up his/her pros and cons.
We've not been able to agree on a suitable breed as yet, in fact we are worlds away from it at the moment. My husband would like a blue cattle dog, just like our Charlie, the faux child we had years ago, but they can be a bit nippy, shall we say. He's also keen on an RSPCA dog, which is good in theory, but I'm a bit nervous about a dog whose past is a mystery to us, you never know what might set them off.
I spotted a beeee-utiful pup at the Fernvale Country Market on the weekend and chased down his owner. He was a Neopolitan Mastiff, blue in colour. Gorgeous, but $3000!!!!! That's a little out of our price range.
I tried to lure him away  and he would have been up for it, but the gent on the other end of the lead wasn't. This is a fully grown Neo.

When I consider the food bill and picking up after him, and the fact they grow to 100kg, it's probably best if I keep researching.
I'm also very interested on the French Bulldog.

Magnificent creatures aren't they.

I'm also been checking the weekend paper. Did you know that one dog, crossed with another dog, to make an indescriminate breed is now worth upwards of $250? They used to be mongrels.

I think all would agree that we are still poles apart on finding our perfect dog.

We did very well at the Fernvale Market. Everything was super fresh and on the way back via Esk I picked up this lovely English stoneware jug at the antique shop. This is the still life I made when we returned home. The bale of hay (for the guinea rabbits) was double the size when we bought it. The rest is scattered along the Ipswich Motorway.