Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas Cushions

I LOOOOOVE these cushions!! I first saw them at Adairs about 4 months ago but they were $49 each and I just couldn't justify spending $100 on two cushions for the couch.

But I SOOOO wanted them! Good things come to those who wait right? They went on sale just before Christmas for 30% off and I also had a $10 voucher and a loyalty card for another 5% off. So they came down to next to nothing right?

So I wrapped them up and put them under the tree...for myself. Cause I've been a good girl this year!

Merry Christmas Me!! (I can justify anything!)

Hope you all had a great Christmas!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

New (temporary) driveway!

This is the car in the garage for the first time ever!!! We've lived in the new house now for eights months and the car has NEVER been in the garage because we haven't had a driveway. We need to apply for a crossover on the kerb and the concrete and framing etc will probably be close to $5000. Ouch! So since we moved in the cars have been outside. Luckily we had a whole spare block next to us to park them.

So this is what the garage was like before - the slab was about 230mm higher than the ground so impossible to get the car in.

Anyway, it really hasn't been good for the cars to be out in the sun all the time and last week during a hailstorm I bogged the car trying to get it under the back of the house. The surface out the front was also really uneven and I'd often roll my ankle if I was wearing heels or wedges. I'd had enough. I didn't have enough to do the driveway, but got eight cubic metres of crusher dust and it's been made into a "temporary" driveway. We think we might get a couple of years out of it.

So for the next few days I'll be watering my you do. The interesting thing I find when you live on a fairly main-ish road is that everyone walking past likes to offer you advice....even if you didn't ask for it. It's mostly old people, who are always very sweet, but sometimes a bit odd. Tonight, while I was watering the driveway, an old man with a thick accent walked past and said, "Water! Much more water!" I said, "ok".

Then he walked past again about 20 minutes the same direction. He must have done a loop?

"More water," he said.
"Um...ok," said I.

Then he walked past AGAIN. Totally checking up on me. This time there were no words. He looked at the hose and just nodded. I guess we understand each other.

While we've never had any cars in the garage it hasn't entirely been unused. We crammed 60 people in it for a hoedown-themed spit roast party. Probably not what the builder had intended but hey, it worked.

Am loving having the car out of the sun. And particularly loving the short, covered dash from the car to the house. Massive thanks to all those involved. xx

Saturday, November 23, 2013

New blind for the dining room

It's funny how you live without something for so long and then when you finally get it, you wonder how you ever did without it.

We finally installed a "proper" blind for the dining room. And I mean proper because over the past six months there's been a myriad of versions of window furnishings covering the largest window of the house. These have ranged from cardboard boxes, corflute signs, bedsheets and, most recently, just plain nothing. Kinda like the window furnishings in the master bedroom.

The sun beams directly onto the floorboards in the morning and so it really was essential to have something up as the floorboards would start fading soon. The eBay shop I bought all my other blinds from only stocked up to 1800mm width and this window is 2400mm wide and I didn't want to put two blinds up, so I had to find another (cheap) stockist.

The quote from a custom supplier was over $400, but I bought this from - $210. Bargain!

You like?

Saturday, November 2, 2013


Want!! This cotton rug from Urban Outfitters. How awesome would it look in the reading nook? The reading nook which currently just has three guitars sitting in it. It's just cotton so will probably be a bit flimsy...but it's oh so pretty...


Sunday, October 27, 2013

Chevron Cushions

Hey check out my new chevron cushions for the living room.
$10 each from K Mart.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Bye Bye Cubby

We sold the cubby house :-(

We weren't using it anymore and hadn't for a long time. We need to start thinking ahead to landscaping and the subdivision and the cubby was sitting right in the middle of the subdivision boundary line.

While it was a bit old and rusted, it was made from good quality materials and very well constructed. In fact it was on bearers and joists that were concreted into the ground and would need a forklift or crane to remove it in one piece. That's why I procrastinated on listing it for so long. I didn't really want the hassle of dealing with people who didn't understand what it would take to remove it.

But Jansen, Mr Motivator himself, said list it right now and put $500 on it.


C'mon, this old piece? I know to buy a kit new would be about $3K but who is going to pay $500 AND arrange a truck to get it removed? I told him he was dreaming! But he insisted, "trust me, I'm a builder," so I caved.

Just two hours later we had the first enquiry and by the end of the day they'd come around to look at it (we weren't even there, I'd listed it then took off to the Sunshine Coast) and it was sold.

"Would you take $450 for it?" she asked. Hell yes! I didn't tell her I would have given it to her for free if it hadn't been for Jansen. They came around the next day with an angle grinder to detach it from the stumps and they'd already arranged a 40 foot truck with a forklift to come in the next couple of days.

And then it was gone :-(

I'm not really a sentimental person, but I was very sad to see it go. It was Josh's first proper cubby and even though it was PINK when we moved in, he painted it blue and made it his own.

He's almost 15 now, too old for a cubby, but I will always think of it as his. There's a big empty space now where it once was so I need to put a tree or something there soon to fill it.

The new owner said her kids would love it and she'd been looking for a long, long time and knew it was perfect the moment she saw it online. I'm glad it's gone to a new home for children that will love it and play in it again. Makes it a little easier...sniff!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder?

This is my latest art canvas and NOBODY LIKES IT!! :-( I really like the pop of yellow to add some colour to the white everything downstairs. I thought it added a bit of mid century style but no, apparently it's just "awful", "mismatched" and "downright bizarre".

Doh screw you all. I like it!

I was going to add a hall table in front with a fish bowl and plant. I think it will look nice and well, grrrr!! :-(


**Stomps off**

Sunday, September 8, 2013

The Reading Nook

I finally put up the Campari poster. As with all my DIY projects, it took ages. Probably thrice as long as a normal human being. But I got there in the end.

I took down the art wall in the reading nook, which, in retrospect is quite daggy and a bit amateurish, but was my first attempt so I'll give it merit for that. I also succumbed to putting nails in the wall after the disaster that was the Postcards from Napier gallery, where half of them fell to the floor within 24 hours of their Command 3M hanging.

This poster ain't going ANYWHERE. The top is secured by a hook and nail and the rest is taped to within an inch of its life with 3M velcro picture strips practically all the way around the entire frame. Seriously, this thing could be load bearing.

I thought this Stockholm sideboard would look nice underneath it, against the wall, with photo frames and maybe a nice pot plant on top.

With this chair, which I've been in love with since forever.
and these sidetables...

and this rug!

Ahh decorating waste so much of my time!

Monday, August 26, 2013

New pretty orchid

A new fancy schmancy shopping centre has opened at the end of my street :-). When I first bought the house I looked at the plans on the Council website and thought it would be a great development that would increase the value of the area. The development is two years late but better late than never.

There's a Woolworths, liquor store, a couple of cafes, sushi bar, kebab shop, pharmacy and a whole heap of other shops. I'm actually astounded at house much they've crammed in there. It's certainly more convenient and I won't complain about being able to get a decent coffee within walking distance.

Anyway, I saw this super pretty orchid just at the new Woolworths. I love orchids. They remind me of my Mum and my Grandmother on my Dad's side. It's a little brightness and prettiness in the downstairs bathroom.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Post cards from Napier

A couple of years ago, just after the flood, I won an awesome holiday to Napier, a seaside town in New Zealand. Napier was completed flattened by a massive earthquake in 1931 and the town was completely rebuilt in just two years.

The entire town was rebuilt in art deco, the style of the time and today Napier is a remarkable example of everything to do with this era from architecture to motifs and furniture.

The Napier City Council, who ran the competition, gave me a beautiful set of art deco postcards which have been patiently sitting in storage until the new house was ready. It's been over two years since I won the competition but they've finally seen the light of day.

It took me almost two hours to hang just four frames. I had a stringline set up and carefully measured the spaces in between down to the millimetre.

I then doubled the amount of recommended 3M Command picture strips, one on each side, and lined them up vertically and horizontally.

The picture perfect hanging of these down my hall was a work of art in itself (if I do say so myself) however after a day two of them fell to the ground and broke the frames. Grrrrr stupid 3M strips. They stuck to the wall OK, but had come away from the timber frames.

I conceded I'll have to actually nail hooks into the wall. Something I really didn't want to do but required if I want my awesome prints back up on the wall. I loved the reminder of our fab holiday every time I walked past.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Pretty, Shiny Things

Whoever said you don't get anything out of a rewards program never met a Chinese person! This is our shiny new toaster courtesy of Fly Buys. I'll admit it took me a while to accumulate the points but we didn't change our shopping habits or buy extra items to get the points or anything stupid like that. My Mum and brother both have cards on my account and they both also shop at Coles and Target normally so the points just accumulated nicely in the background.

I love the contrast of the cherry red against the white of the kitchen and I love the retro look of the range. It's why I chose it! Oh, and also cause we really needed a toaster. Our temporary $8 toaster from K-Mart died a while back so we've been using the oven. The OVEN. To make TOAST. Both inefficient and not very toasty.

We also have enough for the matching cherry red kettle as well. That's next!!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Study

A few months ago the company I worked for was bought out by another company and downsized significantly. We went from an office staff of about 43 down to just 15 and a two storey office block down to a much smaller space about 1/6 of the size of the old one.

We'd been in that original office for over 10 years and there was so much stuff we simply couldn't keep.  We spent over 2 weeks sorting out furniture, archives and just...stuff. We threw out 3 large skiploads of rubbish and archives and pulled apart furniture for storage as we just couldn't fit all the furniture into the new office.

The office manager was very generous and knew I was trying to set up a dedicated space for Josh to study. They let me have this awesome desk, which had a scratch on it and dodgy leg, but it was easily covered up and we managed to fix the leg. The matching return was destined for the skip because it had a big bow in it, but we just turned it upside down and put a heavy printer on it for a few days and it flattened out. They were both from Ikea so the only thing I had to buy was the matching set of drawers.

I'm getting pretty good at putting Ikea furniture together, but this one took a little longer than the other ones.

There were a LOT more bits and pieces than the other items I'd put together and it took me over an hour to put it all together.

The drawers were the hardest part and there was actually a mistake in the instructions...took me a while to work out what was right.

I got there in the end and so the basics of the study is complete. I also rescued a perfectly good office chair and set of intrays that were all destined for the skip.

I did buy a new printer ($ cheap) and this work lamp from Ikea. Josh loves this new study space, it's really the first dedicated space he's had for his school work and I think it really makes a difference.

To finish it off we just need to put some roller blinds up (like the rest of the house), maybe a world map, a notice board and I think a big rug would make it the perfect study.

Very grateful to work for all the giveaways and throwaways. The timing was perfect.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

You've got mail!

We finally have a mailbox! It was one of those things on my to do list that I just hadn't got around to doing and the postman kept putting my mail in the neighbour's mailbox.

It's only a cheap temporary one until the fence goes up and we get a proper one. But it does the job. The very next day it was stuffed full of junk mail. Hmmm. I have a new item on my shopping list... a no junk mail sticker!

Monday, July 15, 2013

DIY Wall Art

I love, love, love the White on White Dulux colour on the walls and ceiling, it makes the house so fresh and bright but...

It also makes the house very stark without wall art and decoration.

I LOVE fabric covered canvases but they were all so expensive, especially the Florence Broadhurst and Marimekko ones that I loved. They looked so easy to make, I couldn't understand why they were $300-$500.

So I thought I'd make my own.

I found this graphic print fabric at Spotlight on sale for $11 a metre. It was a thick, duck canvas and I loved the contrast of the black and red semi circles against the taupe. It reminded me of a Japanese cushion I fell in love with at Shibui Homewares in West End.

I found the canvases at a junk store in Inala while we were having an "authentic" Vietnamese lunch :-). It was 1m x 75cm and only $20. I'd seen the same size for almost twice the price at Toowong. It's crazy how prices differ in suburbs.

It was pretty easy to stretch the fabric over the canvas. I bought a super industrial size stapler from Bunning because I get the feeling I'll be doing this often. The whole exercise took about 15 minutes. Easy peasy.

The 3M hooks cost almost as much as the canvas but I used double the recommended amount...just to be sure. I hung them in the dining room, but not in the centre of the wall. The dining table is off centre so I hung the canvases on the opposite end to balance it out. Josh thinks it looks weird but I like it.

Ta-da! Mission complete! I'm pretty happy with them. The next space that needs to be decorated is the hallway downstairs. Watch this space! (Hahahaa...get it?)

Sunday, June 30, 2013


Winter is here and this house is freezing! I'm not talking a light-cardigan-across-the-shoulders temperature, I'm talking arctic, balls off a brass monkey situation.

It's been ridiculously cold in Brisbane lately anyway, but the fact that the house is sooo high, has only one layer of insulation, no floor coverings, limited window furnishings and NO heating means this house and everyone in it FREEZES!

Duh, I hear you say, why don't you just buy one of those cheap little heaters. Well, here's the thing. Electricity is really expensive in Queensland and I really want to try and be more environmental. So rather than just run the heater constantly, I am trying to do things in a more environmentally conscious manner.

Starting with downstairs. There is nothing but an open space underneath the house and you can literally feel the cold air coming up from under the floorboards in the downstairs space and in turn on the upper floor.

Josh has all his music equipment stored in the downstairs area on a small rug and the space is so, so cold. It's 3.5m X 4.4m and I looked at rugs to provide a buffer from the draught coming from under the floor, but for that size we were looking at $500+. Not ideal.

I was looking on Gumtree (yep, I've turned into one of THOSE people) and there was a carpet wholesaler moving to smaller premises so they were getting rid of all their stock, some for as low as $5/metre. I picked up this 4.0m X 4.0m remanent for $50. It's made from wool, in charcoal with a modern square embossing. It's a bit short on one end but that's OK. It's only temporary.

I think it's a *bit*warmer. It certainly hasn't made the place 10 degrees warmer, but every little bit helps I say.

It's school holidays too and the house has been full of teenage boys for the past 4 days :-/.  I've decided that this downstairs area will become a teenagers retreat. We can still fit a lounge (that can maybe convert to a bed) and cheap TV and I can throw them down there with all their noise and smell :-). Magic.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Blindingly Good!

Ohhh I'm getting so good at putting up blinds, I'm almost a pro. Not! But it's taking me way less than 40 minutes to install one these days. I do a little DIY jig after I finish each job, Dora the Explorer style..."We did it, we did it...".

This is the window in the entranceway, directly in front of the main door leading up the staircase. I put it there to create a "light and airy entrance hall" and while it totally does that, it also looks straight into our neighbour's house, is completely visible from the road and the sun that shines through will eventually fade the flooring.

Before installation. Anyone walking past on the road can see straight in. Further exacerbated at night. Not ideal.

The view to the neighbours without the blind. That's their kitchen. I'd keep the windows closed too! It's bad enough they have to live next door to a house that casts a shadow down the street, but to have a window that looks straight into their kitchen isn't fabulous for them either. Hopefully they don't feel like they're in so much of a gold fish bowl now.

Oh...the blind was on sale too from Spotlight. 40% off plus another 25% for Spotlight card holders which reduced it to grand total of....$13. Ye-huh. The custom price for this window was $ I'm pretty happy.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Red Love

I'm loving all things red at the moment. Not sure why. These are on my wish list.

Hayman Quilt Cover Set by Home Republic - Love

Akira Isogowa Rug - would love beautiful in the in the entrance. So expensive...sigh.
Chevron Pillow. This might actually come off the wishlist because it's on sale for $18.