Tuesday, October 7, 2014

New door stops!


The next problem caused by the great skirting board stuff up is the door stops. (It's like the gift that keeps on giving…)

The door stop set. The latch on the right was the bit thrown out with the skirtings.

This issue was caused when the guys I hired pulled the skirtings off. The latch that clips onto the "stop" on the door was turfed out with the broken skirtings. So effectively for over a year we've only had a rubber stopper to stop the door handle banging into the walls and damaging them. We've had nothing to keep it open and doors would slam loudly at random times and scare the bejesus out of us.

Paint marks :-(

I've always hated those door stops anyway, they were U-G-L-Y (you got no alibi), but of course when I went to find replacements for the stops, I couldn't find any, anywhere. So I decided to pull them off and replace them with much nicer chrome ones.

Sigh. Removing them revealed a lovely yellow mark, which means that the new one would have to be the same or larger and of course there are none!

Only a little bit to patch up

This is the best I could find. It was about 10mm too short so I covered one hole and the other one I will have to sand back and paint at a later date.


Anyway, I'm pretty happy with it. They look so much nicer than the ugly white ones and the magnetic latch is strong enough that we can leave all the windows in the house open now.


Sunday, September 28, 2014

Sitting on the fence

I have to make a decision on what kind of front fence to get. I was originally going to get hardwood timber posts with pool fencing in between mainly because it would be quick and I thought quite economical. Something along the lines of this -

Image from www.ilandscape.com.au

Everyone though (like 5 people) keep saying that it won't match the house and will look cheap. A totally hardwood fence is waaay too expensive, so the consensus has been for timber fence with top rails.  The thing is…I just can't picture it. So I've done a super dodgy photoshop job for a vertical option and horizontal option and I STILL can't make up my mind.

The horizontal version with white palings and top rail in the same colour as the front door - Dulux Simone Weil. I'm leaning towards this version cause it matches the horizontal timber on the gables.

The vertical version. Obviously there will be a bit more palings between each post, my photoshop skills just aren't good enough to match. I don't love this style, but I don't hate it. This is apparently better though cause there's less chance of sag over time.

I'm totally on the fence (pun intended) with all of this. What say you?

Saturday, September 6, 2014

The irony...

The birds loved sitting on our balcony railing…and pooping all over it. I'd spend ages each weekend scraping this stuff off…it was like paint! I'd have to bring the hose up from downstairs and use a stiff broom and tile scrubbing brush to get it off. It would sparkle like new and then be all pooped on again by the afternoon. Super annoying.

Because we have large glass sliding doors as well, the birds would fly straight into it, at what seemed like a hundred miles an hour, knock themselves out momentarily, get back up, and do it again! Sometimes a poor bird would do this three times before it worked out it wasn't a good idea.

So the railing was covered in poop and the balcony windows were decorated with the smeared prints of beak, wings and bird feet. So lovely.

I hung up a whole heap of CDs to deter them and while they look absolutely hideous, it's definitely reduced the numbers dramatically. The other day though I was walking down the hall and saw one perched on the railing, under a CD and (ironically), next to the classy rubber snake I'd also put there to deter the birds. I raged and ran down the hall yelling and screaming with my arms flailing in the air like a mad woman.

I managed to scare the bejesus out of the bird, which shat all over the railing as it flew away.


There was another one there this morning. I just calmly took a picture of it and hoped it flew away without leaving me any presents.

Friday, August 29, 2014


Totally, totally in love with the work of Ali McNabney-Stevens.  I would so love these for my dining room, would add a bit of colour.

Am a bit over my DIY canvas art. I loved them at the time, but they don't really suit the style anymore. Which is a shame…it took me ages to make them.

So…back to Ali. Love! Love! Love! Guess I should start saving…

Thursday, August 28, 2014

What is this?

Can someone please tell me what this is and what is it doing in my house???

Jansen's Mum has bought a brand-new apartment off the plan so all her old furniture will look out of place in the new space so she's basically gotten rid of everything. He loves this chair and has insisted it sit smack bam in the middle of the lounge room.


Actually I'll admit, this is a really comfy chair and amazing quality. It's just…it looks so out of place.

I feel like I'm in a Frasier episode.

Monday, August 25, 2014

The veggie garden

We're finally starting to see the fruits of our labour in the veggie garden (as we should, it's been over a year). These little babies are super hot chillies which I'm really looking forward to eating!  Josh and I have chilli eating competitions - first one to go for the water is the loser.

The mint is going crazy, but I don't have anything really to put it in. I don't use mint that much except for rice paper rolls.

The tomatoes haven't started bearing any fruit yet and are actually looking a little sad. We've had a heap  of rain over the last few days so maybe that will improve things.

The other things we have growing are shallots, more different types of chilli and basil. About half of the veggie garden though is taken up with some gardenias that I previously had in pots. They weren't do very well in the pots so I planted them here temporarily with the intention of putting in the garden beds out the front, but of course that hasn't happened yet. Now that the driveway is in, the gardenias will go in the garden beds next to the driveway and the veggie garden will go back to being a veggie garden.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

A driveway….finally!

We FINALLY have a driveway!!!! Not a dodgy ramp or a temporary crusher dust driveway but a proper, ridgy-didge exposed aggregate driveway! Oh..and a path to the front door.

The one thing I love about this (ongoing) house project is how much I learn with every new stage and it was the same with the driveway. I NEVER knew how much work was involved in what's really quite a small driveway.

The framing was done the day before. They had to take out a section of the kerb and because the house will be on a small lot eventually (once we subdivide) then the driveway at the boundary can only be four metres wide.

The garage is six metres wide so we had to taper it in by two metres. Originally I wanted it to taper in to the path side but the contractor said it would look better to be symmetrical so I took his advice and I'm happy with the outcome.

We started the path at the outside of the pillar and I didn't realise how wide it really was. The plan though is to put plants and landscaping on either side so I think it won't be as noticeable when that's done.

They started the pour REALLY early the next morning (sorry neighbours) and they seemed to have a cast of thousands. Of course it hasn't rained in months so the clouds looming as they poured but luckily the rain held off until later in the day.  We were all a bit nervous.

We left the footpath in because it's a main-ish road and we didn't want to block the path for the week it needed to dry.

It took the better part of the morning just the pour the concrete in and then whatever it is they are doing here took a few more hours.

Just after they'd started the pour, the concrete supplier rang to say that they'd forgotten to put the in the accelerator that would help the concrete dry faster, so they were in for an extra four hours waiting.

Watching paint dry and waiting for concrete to dry is as boring as each other.

Fun fact - did you know that to dissolve the top layer to expose the aggregate, they pour sugared water while it's still drying? Weirdness. He literally just had a bag of Coles sugar in a bucket.

Waiting for a week for the driveway to cure before I could drive on it was also painful…

But ta-dah! The day finally came and I could drive STRAIGHT into the driveway. It was awesome! And raining!

The concreter came back about five days after the pour to do an acid wash to fully expose the aggregate and cut the expansion lines into the concrete, that's why it looks so much darker than the earlier photos.

Now…just to recap on how things used to be…

…the original (no) driveway. The original cross over driveway was on the left side block so we would enter through there and just park at the front of the house or on the spare block, but couldn't even park a car in there for the first six months until…

...the temporary crusher dust driveway, which allowed us to get the car in the driveway, but we also seemed to drag half the crusher dust into the house as well.

Yep, this is definitely the best! The fence and landscaping is the next things on the agenda so watch this space. 

Sunday, August 3, 2014

The great pantry clean out of 2014

I cleaned out and rearranged the walk in pantry this weekend. It took me 3 hours cause I had to cut up the plastic liner for the shelves, wipe down all the bottle and jars and arrange everything into categories.

My life is very glamorous.

New Lounges!

We have a new lounge set for downstairs because my Mumsy-Poo is awesome! I'm very, very VERY grateful. I'm counting this as my birthday, Christmas, housewarming and a stack of other things all in one. They were actually ordered back in March (yes..March), but it's taken that long to get here.

One is a three seater and the other is a sofa bed which is totally awesome because we've had more than one occasion where we haven't had enough beds. So, when the guest room is occupied we'll convert this downstairs space into a second guest room which is actually better than the upstairs one because it has the downstairs bathroom all to itself.

I also recently bought Josh a new king single mattress because he's now 6' 1" (or 183cm) and simply doesn't fit in his single anymore. (And no I didn't get him a double because his room is too small and I don't want to encourage, entertain or even consider that anyone else will be in that bed!!!). But, we will keep his old single and put it on a trundle underneath his bed so when his mates come around they can sleep there. So all up, we can now comfortably sleep eight people, no dramas :-).

When downstairs is not a second guest room though, woohoo, it's a second lounge room/teenagers retreat/media room. The space is shared by Josh's music equipment, so we had to do a bit of a re-arrange as there's still a TV and entertainment unit to come until it's complete.

Josh has rearranged this in anticipation of the TV and entertainment unit, which will go against this wall. He had to take a few guitars upstairs to make room (seriously…who NEEDS seven guitars), but I'm glad he did it cause these lounges were HEAVY!

So we're nearly there with a big thanks to mah Mum.


Friday, August 1, 2014

New Rug!

You know what's awesome?! When you see something that you absolutely love and know would look perfect in your home, but it's full price so you leave it.

Then over a month later you go back and it's on CLEARANCE and less than half price!!

Woohooo! I love my new bargain rug! It's pure new wool, unlike the cotton number I had there before, which did the job, this is just a whole other level of lovely. It's warm and heavy and doesn't slide across the floor when I step on it.

It's fabulous. It's cheap!

Friday, July 25, 2014

The neighbourhood where I live - Part 2

Something else happened recently in the neighbourhood and I can't work out whether it's really sweet or really creepy.

I have a couple of garden angels, one which is known and some which are not known. The first known one is my neighbour. He's a sweet, retired man who mows my front lawn, takes my bins in (and puts them out when I forget) and is just one of those general good neighbours you have a chat with over the fence.

The other garden angel or angels I don't know. When we had the old house there was a beautiful hedge of murrayas around the entire front yard. It was well over three metres high and took either a ladder or pole saw to hedge it and used to cost me over $150 to get it hedged.

While we were out of the house after the flood, someone hedged it. And not just a quick trim, a proper, dead straight, professional hedge. I never found out who it was.

That was a couple of years ago now. Then the other day, someone mowed and edged our front path AND left the hedge trimmer there. It wasn't a cheap one either, it was a brand name one. I went next door and asked the neighbour if it was his and he said no.  So I thought, maybe it was someone from the council who forgot while doing the path and accidentally left it there? It was a long shot, but I left it where it was on the land next door, definitely off the path and on our block, but not exactly in the house. I left it for 2 days and no one came to collect it (or steal it?).

That night was freezing cold so we went out to get ice cream. As you do. We were probably gone no more than 20 minutes and when we came back someone had moved it from the front path to our garage.

Dum Dum Duuuuum!!!

Is someone watching us? Is it a hint that we really need to trim our lawn? I have no idea and I'll probably never know.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The neighbourhood where I live - Part 1

Some very sweet things have happened lately that have really made me appreciate the neighbourhood. We've been so busy lately there's hardly been time to stop and just hang at home, chill the garden or even put up that painting that's been sitting there for months.

I forget sometimes what it's like to be part of the neighbourhood.

On the weekend I answered the door to an older man after he rang the doorbell. It was startling in itself cause most people who know us come through the garage door. He looked vaguely familiar, but we live on a main road so we often see the same people walking their dog or down at the local shops or at one of the three (yes, three) bakeries on our street. He was collecting signatures for a petition to extend the Neighbourhood Watch area to include more of our suburb. I do read the newsletters they put in the letterbox so I knew they needed signatures and it was actually on my to do list to call them, but, you know, that list is pretty long.

He introduced himself and I said that I'd read the newsletter and sorry I hadn't gotten around to calling and we had small chit chat about the neighbourhood and other programs that were going on.

Then as he left he said he'd been watching the house being built and was really glad I was back at home. Then he smiled and off he went. I thought that was sweet, but not unusual. Being on a main road and with the house being so ridiculously high we often have people chat with us in the front yard about how they've been watching the house etc.

Later that night though, in the shower (not a significant or relatable fact) I remembered where I'd seen him before. I'm 99.9% sure he was one of the first of the mud army to come in after the flood, Kartcher and generator in hand who cleaned out the entire inside of the house. I remembered him because he was quite tall and I was astounded that complete strangers were just coming in to help.

Anyway, it was sweet that he didn't mention what he'd done, he was just glad we were back at home.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Alessi Love

Cashed in some frequent flyer points for this little beauty. An Alessi citrus bowl. It looks very pretty on my kitchen bench. Maybe it will encourage the teenager to eat more fruit?

Monday, May 19, 2014

A weekend in the garden

I had a whole weekend of gardening! That never happens! (Um…except this weekend). I said no to all invitations and committed to getting started on the edging for the garden. 

My timber arrived early in the morning. It's 4200mm x 100mm x 38mm treated pine. High enough for about 30mm drainage gravel to even out the ground and stop under the house from going muddy.

Bought a new drop saw (my toolbox is expanding!) and spirit level. Spirit levels ranged in price from $12 to $99 (!!) so I got the $12 one. You get what you pay for and I think now I have a $12, 1600mm ruler.

The back part of the house before. Grass is still overgrown because the mower is broken, but you can see how the plan works. The large section under the house will be the deck. Actually, I'm thinking instead of decking it I might pave it with some leftover bricks I have in the backyard and ones Jansen has leftover from building jobs. It won't look as nice, but will do the trick and could just be a temporary measure should I win the lotto later.

The section on the left will be a side garden with steppers to the gas bottles which you might be able to just see closer to the front of the house. This pic was taken mid morning so that side gets semi-shade so either some gardenias or maybe cordylines would work there.

The back after. Doesn't really look like much for 2 days work but today my muscles are telling me it was hard. There's supposed to be an extra garden edge on the right for path, but we're (still) waiting for the earth mover to come in and move all that soil and it will go right over that spot, so we've just left it out for the moment.

The "before" from the side. Last week I poisoned all the weeds so they are slowly dying.

The "after" from the side. Still a long, long, long way to go. But it's a start. That's it for this pay cycle. Next pay…drainage gravel.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Making a (small) start on the garden

I have absolutely no doubt that this garden will be a (very) long term project. Time and money are against me, but, like the rest of the house, baby steps.

So we started with side garden. Mainly because it's easy, but also because the drop from the slab is about 800mm, legal height apparently, but I think it's a bit dangerous.

The land falls about 200mm across the depth of the block, which is 50 metres. A gradual slope in the scheme of things. The electricity guy will need access to the meter box so I'll retain the back of this and make it flat. Luckily the fall means the back is almost perfectly two sleepers high and the front one sleeper high.

We'll fill this with fragrant plants and put a couple of stepping stones for the electricity man. I was going to put some Round Up on the ground to kill those nasty weeds, but we've had rain the last few days so I might have to wait until the weekend. At least I made a start.

I must have accidentally taken this…but it shows my sleepers well. And my pink gumboots ;-).

Monday, April 28, 2014

The Garden Plan

My poor, poor garden has been on the to-do list for far too long. It breaks my heart because I love gardening it's just too many other things with the house have taken precedence and when we do have a spare weekend we seem to be camping or holidaying out of town.

But, finally, we've made a start, albeit a very small one. And it starts with a plan. I found this cool online planning software on the Gardena website and created this plan so at least I have a goal to work towards.

It's a pretty simple plan. There's just gravel down the right hand side with stepping stones to get to the patio and under the house. Everything will just be edged in treated pine and we'll try and get this bit done fairly quickly as the ground is quite uneven and underneath the house gets quite muddy when it rains. We hang our clothes there so we'll fill that bit with pavers and stones as well - that bit isn't on the plan as that's where the house is.

The left hand side will be a garden that is terraced in two places. There has to be stepping stones as the electricity meter and the gas bottles are located there. I was thinking a combination of white fragrant plants like magnolias, gardenias and star jasmine and other smaller plants like crocuses and spider lilies.

There is a huge section underneath the house with a high ceiling where I would love to put a timber deck and a projector where you can watch outdoor movies against the side of the house. This will be EXPENSIVE so that's probably stage three or four. In stage one we'll just be putting stones as there's weeds growing through and it's a pain to mow.

The rest of the backyard will just be turf with hedging at the sides and perhaps a outdoor pergola at the back.

We'll get there….eventually. The lawnmower has has broken so the grass has gotten very long until Jansen drops his mower over. Our very, very (very) sweet neighbour mowed the front part (without even asking) so at least it doesn't look like too much of a jungle.

Here's the before pics (also the present pics…for now).

We could put a projector and watch outdoor movies against this wall..eventually
Timber deck will go here eventually

This is an old pic, the cubby is no longer there

Garden will have two terraces down the side

Watch this space! ;-)