Thursday, December 29, 2016

Tea Towel Art

I was at the Christmas Markets at the Gallery of Modern Art with my cousin just before Christmas and fell in love with a print on a tea towel by Two Hands Four Birds. It was a simple black and white drawing of a few building, but I loved it and knew instantly how awesome it would look in a frame. The linen has a gorgeous texture, giving it different dimension to an ordinary paper print.

I've put it up in the living room above the retro chair and it looks fab in that little space. There were a few other designs there that I loved and I'm thinking of getting some more and creating a series of them.

I love finding these little things!

Sunday, December 11, 2016

New Living Room Vingette

Here's the latest vingette from my living room, sitting on the entertainment unit next to the TV.  I'm calling this my bargain collection and it's become my favourite. The total cost was about $10.

The candle was on clearance from KMart for $4 and I really just wanted it for the pot so I can put a plant in it when it's empty. It's a long burning sucker though, cause I've been burning it for hours and it's hardly gone down at all.

The peperomio plant was from Woolworths (so random, but they sometimes have good plants) and was about $6 and the pot was one I already had.

Last weekend I got together with a couple of friends from work who were also 'enthusiastic' shoppers, and took out a stall at the Mt Gravatt fashion markets. We had loads of clothes and homewares to sell. I'll be honest, I didn't sell that much, but the other girls did.  During the quiet times there was lots of checking out of each other's wares and at the end of the day, there was a lot of swapping and giving away among us. The clock was one of the giveaways. I had my eye on it all day and when it didn't sell my beautiful friend just gave it to me. We were really in need of a clock in the living room and this one is PERFECT!

I'm so loving this little space!

Monday, November 28, 2016

The Master Bedroom Makeover

The master bedroom has been given a makeover! I'm loving all these new elements so much and they're all pieces I've had on my wish list for a very long time!

The bedhead is from Adairs and I've had my eye on it for well over a year. It's been a combination of waiting for it to go and sale and that being the case at a time when I could afford it. Finally, and only recently, I bought this and the matching bedside tables when they were half price.

I'm really loving not having bed ends. I've been in a phase for about 10 years where I've always had slat beds, not sure why, but I've realised that without them, it's easier to put sheets on and it doesn't enclose the space, especially if you have a small room. This master bedroom is a decent size, but without bed ends, the room looks huge, even a bit bare, but I have plans for that later.

The bed base isn't actually from the same range. It's from a completely different store, but has the same charcoal upholstery and matches the bed head perfectly. I was a little worried about everything being matchy-matchy, but there's still a few individual touches I need to add to make it not so...well, matchy.

The gorgeous quilt cover is from Aura Home and again, something I've had my eye on for ages! It's been on sale a few times but other bills took precedent. Finally last week it was on sale for 40% off (woo-hoo!) and the timing was perfect. The material is a beautiful, silky cotton, cool to touch and with a nice sheen to add a bit of dimension.

The rest of the bedroom includes a couple of indoor plants and the existing bedside lamps to complete this first stage of the master bedroom makeover.

It's definitely, I think, a VAST imrpovement on what's we've had the last few years. It was just so...beige. Literally and figuratively! The bed was a hand me down and don't get me wrong, very much appreciated, but the combination of the lighter, orange tinged timber with the beige covers and curtains just made it a bit souless. And that's definitely not what you want in the bedroom!

With this new makeover (which, by the way has been about 3 months in progress and still ongoing) the bedroom has positive energy and a vibrant yet relaxing vibe.

I still have loads more plans for this room. New curtains, rug, bench seat for the end of the bed, bedside lamps, a chaise for the niche at the opposite end of the bed, cushions for said chaise and some wall art. All in good time though, I have to find the pieces that fit perfectly and I have to have the funds for it. I have a little decorating savings fund that I put a small amount into each month. In the meantime, loving, LOVING this space.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

The garden is blooming

Spring is definitely here and the star jasmine I planted less than a year ago has bloomed spectacularly! It's reached the top of the fence and burst into life literally overnight with a mass of flowers spilling down the wire creating a cascading wall of perfume!

I love this flower so, so much. The smell is wafting up into the house. It reminds me of some exotic, oriental land.

I only planted one for every panel, and while some I've trained to go sideways, others have only grown up, so I'm thinking a few more in between will do the trick and by this time next year, it will be a complete wall of mass flowers.

Sooo exciting, and so satisfying!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Backyard Progress

Like everything with this project, the underneath part of the house is progressing slowly, but surely, little bit by little bit. The good thing about taking so many photos is that you can look back when you're a bit frustrated by progress to see how far you've really come from the beginning.

The paths on both sides are complete and the remaining stones are underneath the house. The side garden has been planted out with gardenias, murrayas, spider lilies and star jasmine and it's just time and patience for these to grow. So for the most part, the underneath part of the house is pretty much complete. I'm really struggling though to decide (and fund) what to do in the back part of the house as I wanted to turn it into an entertainment area. I got a quote for concrete, which I don't think would look amazing, but probably the most economical, and that came in at twice what I thought it would be. I'm yet to get a quote for decking, but I'm almost positive it will be more expensive.

In my frustrated state I had a look back on my old photos of the backyard from when we first moved in. I feel a lot better, we have made a lot of progress and it's pretty much all been done by hand, by us and not contractors. This photo was taken even before we had a blind in the dining room and just used old sheets to cover the windows. I remember taking this photo and thinking, "where do I even start?"

There's still so much to do…but also so much that's been done.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Baby Goat Goals

Can I please take this kid home? PLEASE!!?? She will have a huge back yard to run around in, plenty of grass and plants to graze on, two crazy dogs to play with and some humans to cuddle her and take a million Instagram photos of her.

Seriously, I want this baby goat so, so badly…what do I have to do??

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Time out with the fam bam

No work on the house lately, I've been in North Queensland visiting my family. It was hot, hot, hot!! Actually, 33°C to be exact and 110% humidity. But the parents have a pool so all good.

My Mumsy's garden is the ultimate. Flowers, veggies, succulents, cacti, fruit trees AND the time to work on it all the time. The beauty of retirement.

These cotton harlequin beetles are stunning, but apparently not great for the garden. Luckily they weren't in her garden, just one we were walking past.

The cumquat tree was laden with fruit to the point they were just falling on the floor. I've decided yes, one of these is going in my garden.

The hippeastrums bloomed the day before we left. Gorgeous vibrant shades of orange and red.

I collected eggs because….

They have chickens!!!!!! I wish I had chickens. I wish I had this garden. I wish I had time to have this garden. But I had time with the family so…win. #grateful

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

An awesome day with Costa

I had the most awesome Saturday with Cost Georgiadis, the legendary gardening guru and host of ABC's Gardening Australia. He was running a workshop on soil and plant conservation. 

He has so much knowledge and was so passionate and it was great to be around so many like minded people.  We all got down and dirty (literally).

Afterwards there was a three course lunch made entirely from local produce.

It was actually held at my son's school because they have a fantastic agriculture program, with a permaculture garden and working farm with chickens, cows and SHEEP WITH BLACK FACES!! *Insert proper animal genus here*. They're so adorbs and they had lambs that were only a few weeks old. Seriously, my ultimate Saturday :) .

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Other side path complete!!!

The other side path is complete!! HUZZAH!! I spent all day yesterday putting the sand bed down for the final four pavers and trying to straighten up the rest as best I could. The site slopes about 2 metres across the 50 meters of the property and is not necessarily a gentle slope in some spots. So the path was never going to be perfectly even, but I think it's the best it can be. It's stable and walking up and down it feels natural, so I'm pretty happy with it all.

Looking towards the back yard

Close up from the side

Moving the stones was actually the task that took the longest this time. Because I couldn't use the wheelbarrow across the edging, the easiest way was to transport them in two plastic buckets. I was so over it by the end and this morning my shoulders are killing me! It's not fully finished. I'll put some solar path lights in and plant some murrayas along the outer edge, which will eventually be the fence line.

Gizmo approves
There's still a surprising amount of stones left from the pile. I really thought this second stone path would use up the rest of the pile - in fact I was worried I wouldn't even have enough to finish this. But there are LOADS left and so now I'm thinking I might just use the rest to put under the back part of underneath the house.

This is the schmozzle it currently looks like. Even Gizmo thinks it's questionable. I'm still unsure of what to do with the space to make it useable, as concreting and paving are just too expensive. So I guess the stone option might just have to do for now until I can think of (or have the funds for) something else.

In the meantime I'm just going to skip up and down the path :-). Happy Sunday everyone!! xx

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Other side path progress

I made some progress on the other side path on the weekend.  It doesn't look much different from last weekend, but it was probably a good 8 hours of work.

All the timber edging was connected with nail plates to stop them from shifting. They're 4.2 meter lengths and because the ground is uneven, they have a tendency to shift, so the nail plates on each side will (hopefully) keep them in place. I also put low stakes on either side to keep them straight.

I put each paver on a bed of sand to keep them level. The pavers are HEAVY! Well, heavy for me. They're 600mm X 400mm and about 23 kgs each. Because of their size and weight and because of my size and weight, I couldn't lift them the correct way, with knees bent. So even three days later my muscles, some I didn't even know I had, are so, so sore. I ran out sand with four pavers to go so that that will have to be finished next weekend.

I decided not to put weed mat down. Most of the forums I read said that as long as you sprayed the weeds before you laid the pavers and the stones were thick enough, it should stop the weeds from coming through.

I put some stones in just before the sun went down so I could get a little preview of how it might look finished. I'm pretty happy with how it I think it will look when it's finished.

The outer timber edging is not on the boundary of the house, there will be about 500mm between that and a boundary fence, once it's put in. So I'm thinking I might put row of murrayas so soften the space. Thoughts anyone?

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The other side path commences

I laid out the pavers and timber edging on the weekend, just to see whether the design for the side path will work. I had an idea in my mind of what it would look like, but to see it in situ, no matter how rough, really helps.

You can see the ground is really uneven, I'll need to get some bedding sand, put down some weed mat and set up a stringline BUT I'm confident it will all look great at the end. Especially after a lot of elbow grease. I'm really crossing my fingers that there will be enough stones to do this.

Bella has some serious competition for the title of garden dog. Gizmo is in front, spending the whole time sitting right next to me just so, which is so, so cute. He doesn't like to face me though, he just sits REALLY close and looks the other way.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The week of the ute

Hubby has been in New Zealand for the past week on a snow kiting polar expedition (yes, that's a thing) and the last thing he said to me was to the effect of "don't use the ute too much." 

I'm not really sure why my driving makes him so nervous.

Anyway, nuts to that. I basically dropped him at the airport and headed straight to the landscapers and picked up the rest of the pavers to finish the side path for part two of the under the house transformation. It's crazy how expensive delivery fees are. This load would have cost the same in delivery fees, effectively doubling the cost of the project, even though the landscapers are only one suburb away.

I also made numerous trips during the week to Bunnings for mulch and plants and Adairs to pick up a bed head. Utes are soooo handy, I so want to get one.

I also picked up the rest of the treated pine needed to finish the garden edging for the path. Jumpy claps! I now have everything to finish the path…I just need the time now to do it.

He's back now ❤️. He never reads this though…so he'll never know…😉

Friday, August 12, 2016

The Magic Mulberry Tree

This straggly little tree has never really had leaves for the six years I've had the place. It just had some straggly branches, the odd curled up shoot and always seemed to be covered in aphids and mealy bugs. I had no idea what kind of tree it was, but I'd actually been meaning to cut it down but had misplaced my saw.

Then, a couple of months ago I accidentally walked into one of the branches (because they're so straggly and pathetic I didn't see it) and ended up with a scratch on my forehead and mealy bug dust in my hair. I got super annoyed, grabbed my secateurs and gave it a massive prune. Then I jettisoned all the aphids and mealy bugs with a hose and gave it a spray with Confidor.

I didn't really give it much thought until yesterday when I threw the ball to the dog but I'm so unco it ended up nowhere near the dog, but next to the tree.


First decent leaves and first fruit ever!
It was the best surprise! It not only had leaves…it had FRUIT!! It's MULBERRY TREE!!!! I can't even begin to explain how excited I am about this!! I had a mulberry tree growing up and I've always wanted one. In fact it's in the plan I had previously written about for the backyard.

I'm super excited BUT faced with a dilemma - the tree is on the spare block. You know, the one I'm about to put on the market? What if the new owners chop it down like I was going to? I can't even bear the thought. So I've spent the last 24 hours researching how to transplant it.

Can't wait to see if it's a black mulberry or red mulberry
So…the plan is (after much internet research, forum posting etc), to prune it back hard and try and strike the cuttings as a back up. Then I'll dose it up with Seasol to try and counteract any transplant shock and try and move it to a big pot in a couple of months. Maybe when the backyard is ready I'll plant it in the backyard as per the original plan.

The only things is, it's a pretty thick trunk and so very close to the fence. Oh well, I can only try. It'll be my first transplant!

I love how this house still sends me little surprises, even after so many years.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Signing and sealing complete

Brisbane City Council has signed and sealed the subdivision plans. Hooray!! The only step left now is for the bank to give their consent to split the titles and then to submit the two titles to the Titles Office.

After a five year battle, the battle has been won. As soon as all of this is complete, we'll put the spare block on the market and hopefully it will sell quickly. And that will be the end of this whole saga.

You'd think after all this I'd be a bit gun shy about it all. But truth be told, looking back, I loved every minute of it. My town planner sent me a message, "We finally got there in the end, but if you decide to do this again, try and find something less complex.". I sent back a message saying, "heads up, looking for the next project already." :)

Once the titles are done, our house number changes from 57 to 55. I wasn't expecting that.

Monday, August 8, 2016

The indoor plant collection at the house project

The Echiveria (succulent) in the lounge
Amazing from above
I'm pretty good with the garden and outdoor plants, but I'm totally crap with indoor plants. Almost all of the indoor plants I've attempted have died either from overwatering, underwatering, too much sun or not enough sun or just natural or unexplained causes.

But I REALLY want plants in the house so I've made a concerted effort to do some proper research into unkillable indoor plants and I think it's finally paying off. I have a house full of plants that seems to not only be alive, but also thriving and I'm absolutely thrilled.

Here's a few of the plants in the house.

The peace lily (spathiphyllum) in the lounge

Devil's Ivy (Epipremnum Aureum) in the reading room

The maidenhair fern (Adiantum spp) in the bathroom

The fiddle leaf fig (ficus lyrata) i the entrance

The wax plant (hoya) in the guest bedroom)

The jade plant (crassula ovate) in the lounge

The philodendron in the dining room when it was on the floor (Josh photo bombed every single photo!)

And when I moved it to a plant holder - I think it looks much better here.

The peace lily (spathiphyllum) in the master bedroom

So you can see they're alive and thriving pretty well. All of these were chosen because they were supposedly hardy and low maintenance. So far they've proved that to be true. Kicking plant goals!