Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Latest project

Before I show you my latest project, let me show you how it will look....very soon, I hope.

This, however, is how it looks at this point in time.
I bought if off Ebay. I don't have the full set, only the table base, and I will be turning mine into a side table rather than a dining table.
They were listed as 'Eiffel Tower' chairs and table,but I think it's more commonly called spun fibreglass. When I was still just 'watching' the table base and chairs on Ebay, my neighbour came over and asked if I could talk some sense into his wife. She wanted to buy these 'funny looking' chairs on Ebay.
Once he explained to me what they looked like, I told him I probably wasn't the best person to talk to.
While the set of six chairs went crazy with bids and sold for $184, I picked up the table base for $31.
I'm just investigating two-packers now, and I've already got the glass for the top.
Stay tuned!

Friday, February 24, 2012

A vintage fashion emergency

Frugal February had to go on hold this morning for a vintage fashion emergency. Miss Posh Poodle is clearing out her storage shed and she's selling everyting off for no more than $30 a piece.
My life literally depended on attending this sale. I say this because in the interests of living a long life, it's imperative that one maintains a hobby/passion, all my reading on longevity says so.
I can't remember how much I paid for any individual piece, but my pick is this pink frock. I think it was $10? Still, Teddy's so disappointed in me he can't look at me, or my frock.
I picked up this little Hello Kitty smock for Peaches, she's partial to HK. As Mim won't wear anything that's longer than mid-thigh, Í couldn't find anything for her.
I also had to bring this little mid-century glass dessert set home. We actually use things like this all the time. The bowls are usually just the right size for a portion that's not too big and not too small, and it was only $22. Someone in the store commented that it would be $45 at the Salvos, and they're right.

I found this nifty skirt, which has 'Cycle in Progress' appliqued around the bottom. My friend and I assumed that referred to bicyling, and I pictured myself quaintly riding through Woolcock Park on a pennyfarthing.

Unfortunately, and this is a very big 'unfortunately', when I took the skirt up to the counter the lady who served me told me she'd made the skirt. She went on to tell me that is was created for an art exhibition she'd had based on the menstrual cycle.
'Oh', I said. 'So, Cycle in Progress means....'.
'Yes'. She said cheerily, as though this was a bonus.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Finally, getting frugal

I know it's heading on towards the end of February, but with birthdays out of the way, I've finally been able to partake in Frugal February.
The first thing I did was find every single bill we had and pay them all, thus eliminating any pretension that we have more money than we really do.
I have also made a concerted effort to avoid any type of retail outlet, removing all temptation to snatch up the latest bargain, which always seems to be a once in a lifetime opportunity.
In order to fill my usually consumer motivated days, I've instead been house-bound, sifting and sorting, tossing and filing, re-arranging and consolidating. The satisfaction and clear-headedness that comes with this sort of work is as good as 10 counselling sessions.
I've been ruthless with what I'm throwing out and what's in the boot to take to the Salvos. This exercise makes you mindful of what you drag home to the cave in future. When we first moved into our house we found a pile of old shopping bags in one of the rooms. They'd been there so long that a lot of the bags had disintegrated and looked like a pile of feathers. Within this pile we found Gwennie's haul of past shopping trips, she had a particular penchant for white pants.
Finding her old shopping, all unopened from 15 years before, it was clear that these were not items essential to Gwennie's life. They were excess, something to do, a medication.
But I digress, I sorted my bathroom drawers out and found about 38 half finished bottles of hair products of all sorts (I'm still searching for something that works on my hair). Day creams that were 7/8 finished and the like. I put a huge glass vase on the bathroom cupboard and I've put everything in there that needs to be used up. It's oddly satisfying to smear on the last of the sunscreen from a bottle and toss it in the bin. It genuinely seems like the house is getting bigger.
My frugalness has also extended to the kitchen. Much like my wardrobe, the pantry has a lot of food, but nothing to eat - dried lentils, bottles of tahini, cracked wheat, more varieties of flour than I knew existed (especially considering they're in my own cupboard). The fridge too is fantastically stocked with bottles containing five capers and others with three sun-dried tomatoes.
I've set about cooking, making recipes specifically to use up some of this food. I churned out these for dinner.
It's chicken breast stuffed with philly cheese, s-d tomatoes, olives, parmesan and fetta. It was then going to be elegantly wrapped in filo, but when the pastry was finally thawed I realised it had gone all funky, and the little rolled up chicken breasts were already stuffed, and sat quivering on the kitchen bench, so I had to come up with something.
I got Stephanie Alexander down and looked up puff pastry, but the first line read something like..'this is a very involved process', so I snapped that shut and 'thunk on it'.
My only option was to whizz up some pizza dough and do a calzone type thingy, and it worked a treat. Plus, Mim has something jazzy to put in her lunchbox today.
I served them with a salad made from vegetables the guinea pigs probably would have rejected, but the girls are a pair of salad dodgers anyway.
My car is on the agenda, it looks like a family of six lives in it on any given day. Time for a tart up!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

New umbrellas and big birthdays

Have a look at my new umbrella. Pretty good, isn't it? I picked it up for $30. In about an hour's time I'll be camped under it with our friends and having a champagne to celebrate the love of my life turning 40. He's coping very well.
There's a lot of 'behind the scenes'business that goes on when people are coming over. Lots of very un-glam vacuuming and dusting, etc, I think it's worth it though. We're having a semi-middle-eastern inspired bbq.
Fingers crossed I remember to put everything out on the table. Many a time I have got up the next morning to find things sitting untouched and cold in the oven - it's kind of a party trick of mine.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Petty grievances

I've just been reading through a list of Australia's 40 wealthiest people - not an uplifting past time, let me tell you. The top three are Gina Rinehart, below, worth $18 billion, Ivan Glasenberg $7.2 billion and Andrew Forrest worth $5.3 billion. All three have made their money from mining.
Can someone please explain to me how and why individuals can profit so exclusively from something made by the earth over millions of years? How can that belong to individual people? How can that resource be a single person's to sell for their own personal gain? It really bugs me. I think that's very wrong.
Whilst I'm on the subject of things that annoy me, the Sunday Mail was just sniffing around up at Ashgrove, finding out what the 'little people' think of Campbell Newman. The reporter was busily scribbling down quotes from people who really had little to say. For example, he asked one lady if she thought Can Do could win the seat. 'Only time will tell', she said. Indeed. How insightful.
On the subject of Can Do, I'll say just one thing - I'm not wrapped with public displays of affection, they make me suspicious.
And, quickly before I go.... I don't like beeping at green lights if you're a millisecond too slow taking off, people who walk along texting and you have to move out of their way, people who can't make tiny decisions on their own and have to make a phone call ('no they're out of OMO, should I get Biozet?), people who pay for a sausage roll with their credit card, people who don't return books (because usually they're your favourites). Worrying, I could go on, but I think I'll go and have a lie down instead.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Seriously pink

I love pink when it's used as a serious colour, rather than something in a little girl's bedroom. Pink can practically be a neutral colour if you ask me. I've collected some tearsheets below to show you what I mean.
What do you think?

...and again from a different angle, just because it's so good.
Love, love this ottoman, below.

..and lastly, don't try this one at home.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A home study

I work from a hovel. It's not even a room, it's just a space that I share with my husband's tools, and some big shelves of miscellanea. It's dark, dusty and just plain horrid.
For those who have not followed from the get-go, we have renovated a two story house, and only the top half is finished. The bottom level is just a shell, one big room with a concrete floor......this is where my 'study' is and I use that word v. v. loosely.
Occasionally, while working on my computing I'll gaze through the dusty window, across my view of the garage and day dream about what will eventuate one day. I visualise the light-filled, colourful space that will one day be all mine, designed to delight and inspire. Until then, all I have are some ideas, which I'll now share.
One day...soonish.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Mod Cloth

Last night I met up with some girlfriends who I haven't seen in months. Originally, we all met at 'playgroup' when our children were babies. Most of us now have school age children and there's only a few left with babies who still meet regularly. It was so good to see them.
Claire was wearing the cutest frock. She got it from a US based website called Mod Cloth. Do yourself  a favour and click here to have a look.
It has some ridiculously adorable bits and pieces, and as if you needed another one, it's a great time-waster.
Why I just lost 30 minutes of my own life - just then!
They sell real vintage clothes like this jacket. It's called the Oh Snow Cozy Jacket, and had I been faster I could have bought it for $55. Thrift shopping in Australia can be less than exciting. A little known fact is that just because something is old-ish, it does not mean that it is desirable, nor valuable. I could have left a few notes around the place saying similar when I visited Woolloongabba Antiques on the weekend.
Back to Mod Cloth. Most of their things are new, but in a vintage style, if you're with me. You can also go into the samples section and vote for what items you want to go into production - very novel.
Here's a tiny sample of their wares. This is the Cartography Dress and it can be had for $140, although at the moment it's sold out. You can leave your name though and they'll let you know when it's back in stock.
The Made in the Shade dress will set you back a mere $109, and this is US$, so it will actually be a bit less.
Blogging Molly Dress below, $92.
Koi to the World Dress, $158.

And if you've just about had it up to here with the kitsch fabrics, The Evening Unfolds Dress is a little more classic, $130.
So there you have it. Very Anthropologie-like I think. I intend to pick myself up a little something.
Frugal February is not really working for us here. We have two birthdays in February for one thing, and now our television is on the blink and we've had to buy a new one. I'm hoping for a Meagre March or something along those lines.