Monday, August 20, 2012

Hello gorgeous!

Look at this beauty I've just picked up.
When I phoned the previous owner said she'd only just listed it five minutes earlier. It's what I would describe as a split cane chaise. I'm guessing it's circa 1940s? Any ideas? It had been in the father-in-law's house, and 'hadn't been sat on for 40 years'.
Now how's this for a coincidence. I virtually know only one street on the southside, Pompodour Street, Sunnybank Hills because that's where the lady who makes our cushions (used to) live. Guess what street this little baby lived in - just a few doors down.
I love coincidences. When I was at school we studied them for a whole term under the tutor of a very chubby American pastor whose name I can't remember anymore - Pastor Smith? If you don't know the list of coincidences between JFK and Abraham Lincoln you can read them here. To me it's absolutely fascinating stuff. 
We had a birthday over the weekend. The festival commenced Friday afternoon with a stiff Screaming Soda complete with mini-brolly, and continued for two days.

Happy 8th birthday Mim!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The hundred dresses

After a mammoth shop this morning I came home and reorganised the pantry - fascinating stuff I know.
It looks much better though.
Unbeknownst to me I have been stockpiling wholemeal pasta spirals of a particular size. Very specific isn't it? I have no idea why I have so much or why I keep buying it. I must have 2kg or more now. Don't be fooled by the photo, those glass jars are huge.
Have you ever cleaned out the pantry and found you've got an inordinate amount of a particular ingredient?

A little gem I picked up recently is this crocheted doiley complete with standing swan heads. It's the height of kitsch. I couldn't believe my luck. What better to pair it with than a footed bowl of faux candied fruit.

I also recently found this (supposedly) 1970s gumball machine, sans stand, this one would have sat on a shop counter. Remember they used to be outside every corner store.
We did have it full of lollies at one stage, but we've since eaten the whole lot.
I wish I could time travel back to 1982 and tell my 10-year-old-self, trying to jimmy more lollies out of one of these things at the North Street store, to relax. 'One day you'll own one yourself, then you can eat all the damn lollies you want, sweetie', I'd tell her.
Actually on my way back to now, Í may as well drop in on 1989 and tell my 17-year-old self to stop sun-baking and hit the books -  'this isn't a joke Miss'.
Do you remember the book called 'The Hundred Dresses'. I had it myself as a little girl and I recently bought it for Mim who is days away from turning eight. The story has aged well. She finished the whole book in one day and loved it. It was only when I was trying to buy it on-line that I realised what a classic 'The Hundred Dresses' is. You can even buy reading companions for it.
It's about a little girl who tells everyone at school she has a hundred dresses. She gets teased by the other girls because she wears the same old dress everyday. I didn't realise it the first time around, but it has an anti-bullying message.
I also discovered why my pseudonym is always 'Wanda'. You know how sometimes when you buy a coffee or a juice or something you need to give your name, which irritates me no end for some reason. I always say my name is 'Wanda'.
As it turns out, the main character in 'The Hundred Dresses' is Wanda Petronski. It obviously left more of an impression on me than I realised.

Monday, August 13, 2012

King of the bush

On the weekend we were working in the garden, and by that I mean as usual, my husband was working while I watched, when a kookaburra flew down and perched himself on the wheel barrow, right near us.
Some things are just naturally cheering, like fireworks, balloons and dumpy little kookaburras. They so deserve their grandiose title of King of the Bush. We're lucky to have them, and they're so patient with those annoying noisy miners.
My husband started to hand feed him worms, and we spent the next hour enjoying each other's company.

Everyone had a turn at feeding the little fellow. He was a delight.

Finally, Peaches charged past him a bit too quickly and he flew away.
I picked up this little vintage gem recently. Emerald green velvet, cocktail length - you can't go wrong!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Do excuse

Do excuse me if I have a stiff drink while I write this post, but I've just spent the day at the Ekka with 90 five-and-a-half year olds.
I have a suspicion Peach's teacher doesn't like me very much because he gave me a twin to look after as well as Peaches of course. I outwitted him though, I immediately wrote the twin's name on her hand, thus ensuring I returned to school with the correct child and not her double.
I heard an awful lot of whining during the day, which is probably what gave me the idea to have one when I got home, a wine that is.
Mims' class didn't go to the Ekka so I brought her this Kewpie doll and a piece of Rocky Road so big we nearly had to get one of the Clydesdales to pull it home.
Speaking of Clydesdales, this is one running round in circles in the horse pavilion. I think they're beautiful.
I've never pretended to be a horse whisperer, but I think this Apaloosa pony really, really wanted to just go home.
The animal nursery was a hoot. We bought a cup of feed for the babies, but I didn't manage to move more than a metre from the counter before we were set upon by a hoard of hungry miniature farm animals. They were like the Papparrazi on Katie Holmes. The cup was knocked to the ground and that was the end of it.
Back at the ranch - our neighbours have the most beautiful rose bush. It must be fifty years old or more, it's old school. They tried to dig it out once but it's sought revenge by growing back bigger and better than ever. On the weekend I noticed the most magnificent flower on it. Using all my cunning, I observed that the neighbours went out for the day. I knew this because they took their boat. I was planning on leaning over the fence and snipping it off, but must have gotten side-tracked. Later that day my lovely neighbour came home and cut the rose and gave it to me. I think there's a lesson in that for all of us, or maybe just me?
It's a deep red and has the most delicious fragrance. I snapped it next to some oriental lillies so you can see the size. I know the rose is in front of the lillies and linear perspective dictates that of course it's going to be larger because it's at the front, but it really was larger than a lilly.

Just enough time for a couple more During and Later Ons.

I like the floors light too, but we had to replace so many boards that a lighter varnish would have been a patchy finish.
Excuse the messy kitchen, below, but this is a house in full domestic flight.

Friday tomorrow!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

During and then Later

Sorry for being a very tardy blogger, but I'm back now.
Who doesn't love a before and after shot? I tried to gather some before and after photos for you, but the trouble is my computer blew up recently, thus destroying all 'befores', and since we're not quite finished yet, I don't technically have any 'afters', but moving on.
This is what the back of our house looked like during the work. When I say 'back' I mean the side that is technically the back, although many call it the front, since this is the entrance everyone comes and goes from.
I really must find a new home for our bins.

Remember these little pencil pines, Gauca to be exact.

Well, almost exactly two years later they look like this. They must be eight feet tall at least.

If you recall we found this metal trunk in the house.

It contained all sorts of papers including the receipt for the land when it was purchased in 1886 and hand written instructions on how to build our house.

Plus, the original hand coloured architect's drawings for the house as it was originally built. If you haven't followed by the beginning of Restoring the Old Girl and you want to read the whole story, start here.

Back to the here and now. We went to the West End Markets today. If you're finding a decent range of good quality fruit and vegetables to be near impossible to find, get yourself there.
You can't move on the weekend without coming across some Farmers' Markets somewhere.
Also good for organic olive and thyme sourdough. I have to say the 'organic' is a bit lost on me. I've been to so many 40th birthdays over the past few months I think I have Champagne pulsing through my veins.
Farmers' Markets always have super excellent flowers too.
Nothing goes to waste, even the broken ones get a showing.

That's it. Tomorrow I will post some 'during' and 'later' photos of inside. Enjoy the rest of your weekend.