Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Jazzing up a chandelier 101

Chandeliers can be so plain don't you think - or have I just been reading too much Fancy Nancy?
Inspired by one I saw on Anna Spiro's blog, I decided to jazz up the chandelier in the children's room. I'd love to show you the one that was the inspiration, but for the life of me I can't find it, and I refuse to spend any more time looking for it.
Anna Spiro had put mini chandelier shades onto a chandelier, each covered in a different fabric. Hardly original, but it looked fabo, as anything touched by her usually does.
I managed to find some blank shades on Ebay and had them shipped over from Pennsylvania in America.
By the time they landed at my door they amounted to $8 each, which I think is pretty good.
That brown paper peels off and you stick on your own fabric. I used a glue gun for the first time. I used it to glue down the ends of the fabric. Let me tell you, me and a glue gun could change the world. Loved it. I gave myself third degree burns, but it was worth it.
If you are familiar with my birthday cake making from earlier in the year, you may be expecting some sort of disaster to have unfolded with this Martha-business, but it all went smoothly. Almost.
At one stage I cut the pom pom trim to go around the bottom, moved over to the glue gun to put the glue on, then when I came back to the table I was working at I couldn't remember which piece of trim was the right length. I had to just guess, and I'm afraid I guessed wrong, so there you go. One of the shades has a bit of patchy trim.
Also, I meant to alternate two patterns, but as I realised, you can't alternate two patterns on a five-arm chandelier. Sometimes I think I'm lucky to be living independently.
Anyway, it turned out pretty well I think. My photos didn't unfortunately. My little red box brownie finally threw in the towel for good. After I located my husband's camera the sun had gone down, so the light wasn't crash hot. Our ceilings are so high that, even with balancing on the bed and stretching up my arms, I still couldn't photograph the chandelier very well. This was my first attempt, snapped as I fell to the ground.
This is the final.
And again.

And once more, this time in the dark!

You see my thought here is that lots of bad photos may collectively equal one good one?

I have been busier than a one-armed juggler lately. Tonight I was at Woolies at 8pm, then I had to come home wash my hair (no small feat) and make two Rapunzel plaits from yellow wool (nothing to do with washing my hair). Tomorrow I have a 9.30am meeting where I must endeavour to look 10 years younger than I really am, then I have to race off to work, race off to kindy, whip into home and pick up our two smelly guinea pigs and take them to school by 3pm for show & tell. After school I have to buy two birthday presents for weekend parties and return our 500 library books before we're fined, find a Rapunzel dress, make dinner and get the homework done. It's a lot ot fit into 12 hours.
I thought all our mod cons were supposed to ease the burden!
Yesterday in the post I was delighted to find a pressie from my girlfriend Heidi. It was a leopard print Snuggie. It's positively luxurious and drags on the ground when I walk around. I have to stop watching its train actually or I'm going to walk into something. I feel like an African Queen. I'm afraid there'll be no photo of it though.
Now, buoyed by my latest craft attempt, I'm hatching an even more ambitious project!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Decisions, decisions

I'll be ordering my piece of bone inlay furniture soon, but I'm still not sure what colour. I am a most indecisive person. It is for this reason that I need you to vote now for your favourite colour.
Don't worry about where it's going, da, da, da. That's beside the point. It will move around a thousand times in its life with me.
I'm fairly certain I want this size chest of drawers. But in black?

Green? I'm a green person, millions aren't.
This cobalt/navy blue is good.
Sensible ivory?
Or my beloved turquoise?

How can I choose?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Small but effective

It's amazing how a few new cushions can 'freshen up' a room, they're like the lounge room equivalent of a  new lipstick. These are my new cushions.
I don't like to use the 'h' word, so let's just say my husband 'intensely dislikes' a lot of cushions. I'm sorry to break it to you ladies, but they're all like this. If your man-friend says hé likes your cushion arrangements, he's either lying or he's gay. It's that simple.
I popped into Boswell's bookshop today in Ashgrove. It is an excellent book exchange. I was whizzing down to the back of the shop when, on passing something boring like the military section, I noticed this.
It's a 1964 copy of Beautiful Butterflies, which looks tres ordinary on the front, but inside it has 54 full colour plates like these.

It was obviously sitting there waiting for me, because it was on the wrong shelf, with its front cover facing out, rather than its spine like all the other books. I was onto its signal in no time. I plan to frame the plates and hang them on the wall. They're too pretty to be hidden in a book.
Congratulations to us all for halting the live cattle exports, even if it is temporary. It's such  a relief.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Anything's possible

Well it is when you have a stocked fridge, freezer and pantry.
We have been whooping it up for the past week, as far as dinner goes. I've made roast chicken with homemade coleslaw - a classic! For the coleslaw use half whole egg mayo and half Greek yogurt so it is a bit more refreshing. I chopped my coleslaw and carrot in the food processor and it came out looking identical to the Colonel's, sans the half cup of sugar they must put in theirs.
I've also whipped up a good old retro-licious apricot chicken and pea and ham soup. Still to come is a super vege lasagne, and a shepherd's pie made with lamb not beef. We eat a lot of nursery-style food (as Nigella calls it) around here. That's soft, simple food that maybe a four year old would love, but I don't know why I bother. I may as well cook the food I love, hot coconuty curries and sour Vietnamese salads.
I made lemon butter with some nobbly lemons bought off a little old man on Mt Tamborine.

 A little known fact about lemon butter, is that it is traditionally eaten with a spoon straight from the jar, ideally whilst standing at the open fridge.
The girls and I made these vegemite scrolly rolls. They are just like a cheese and vegemite sandwhich but in a different format, and they take 1/100th of the time to get into a lunchbox in the mornings.
Mim tells me she much prefers these to sandwiches because sandwiches are so....um....'Australian'. I think all my talk of marrying one of them off to Prince Christian of Denmark may be rubbing off.
That's not all, we made these little apple and cinnamon muffins for lunches too.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to perform my dance of the Crazy Working Mother.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Hundreds of dollars later....

I did the mammoth food shop. I went to two supermarkets, the greengrocer, the butcher and the bakery. It took me six trips from the car to get everything into the house, and about an hour to put it all away.
Pantry before...mostly a collection of empty jars.

Pantry after...jam packed!!

Fridge before....

...and after. Sorry about the photo quality.

Fruit bowls (plural).

We now have to work our way through the perishables, down to the non-perishables, very methodically. Spanakopita tonight, made with two beautiful fresh bunches of silverbeet!! That's two vego dinners in a row. I don't want anything to do with meat at the moment, after the whole live exports thing.
Now that that's sorted, I shall endeavour to address more interesting topics in the future.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Found: Lost World

For many years my husband and I have dreamt of having a weekender. I'm sure when he thinks of this he pictures himself with an axe in hand, chopping up some firewood or looking out thoughtfully over the rugged landscape.
For me, I picture myself sitting dolefully in an Adirondack chair, white obviously, under the shade of a 200 year old tree, with an army of peacocks prancing around the perfect lawn.
I may even drift off into dreamland briefly, only to be woken by a gentle pecking about the head from one of these.
Too much? While I'm at it, can I add a tennis court? It's not that I love tennis, but I think there is nothing as luxurious on a steamy Summer afternoon than the sound of a tennis ball being lopped back over the net, not by me of course.  Anyway, back to this weekender idea. We love nothing better than a good pipe dream around here, so quite often on a weekend we explore various parts of South East Queensland.
Last weekend we were sniffing around one side of Lamington National Park, and we came across a beautiful area. It was called the Lost World, can you believe it? You can have a good look at it here.
These are our photos.

It was far more spectacular in person, of course. We pulled up a blanket under one of those trees and had ourselves a picnic. Peaches got into the spirit of things, but Mim didn't like the way the cows were looking at us.

So she took her lunch in the car, and spent the whole time eyeing off the cows suspiciously as though they may be concealing bows and arrows? Mim gets visibly uncomfortable when we go bush, she's thoroughly a city girl.

My job is going well, I enjoy it, but I'd have to say my domestic chorin' has suffered. I didn't have the bar set terribly high pre-job, but the house has really gone to hell-in-a-handbag over the last month.
There are shelves in our fridge (that's shelves, plural) with absolutely nothing on them. I tried to take a photo but the camera was flat! I have not one, not two, but three laundry baskets of ironing.
It takes me half an hour to make up the lunch boxes in the morning because I have to scrounge around so long for something to put in them.
I have an actual 'pile' of school newsletters and information that I'm yet to read.  I can't remember the last time I vacuumed the floor, and let me tell you, you can tell that's how long it's been.
I'm just about to go off and write a shopping list....on a roll of toilet paper, and tomorrow I'm doing the biggest grocery shop the world has ever seen. Look for a picture of me in the paper!!