Monday, March 29, 2010

Office revamp

I convinced the Homeless Houseguest to help me move some furniture in my office area today. It is such an oddly shaped area and one area that I really have no idea how to design. I thought I'd search the web for inspiration. Here's what I came up with.
Love the black and the doors.

It's the greens and whites I like in this shot (ignore the bathroom.)

Isn't that wall a home organiser's delight?

Images borrowed from this great blog.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Things I love

Here's a picture of a little area of our home that I love. The shelf was purchased from our neighbour's garage sale and was originally part of a table (?). I think it looks great hanging on the wall on it's own.

The lovely print is part of the Fisher Girls series by Harrison Fisher. I found this one in an op shop for around $10. It's a pity it wasn't an original painting or I may be retired now!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Old finds

From what we have been able to work out our home was built in 1885. As a result we have found lots of little bits and pieces in the dirt outside. Normally we come across things like this:

I love the thrill of coming across an old item in the dirt. There is something enchanting about imagining how it got there and who used to use it. Our favourite finds thus far have been an old coin-like 'token' and what we can only imagine was a small sample lid from a tiny pot. (The man who built our home was a potter and we believe he used to pot under the house.) So our finds thus far have been sweet little items that we now cherish and display. Imagine then my surprise to come home and find out that The Gas Man had unearthed these:

Yep those two bits on the left are bullet shells. The large piece on the right is a bone, as is the small piece bottom right. The piece in the middle is some kind of metal.

Of course our minds are now in overdrive imagining various wild scenarios. Could it be that someone was shot, killed and buried? Or have we unearthered a grave? Could it be a dog (perhaps put out of his/her misery when ill)? Or what about a masked intruder or a kangaroo or cow killed for meat? (Our Homeless House-guest is betting on the much more benign option of the items being simply a collection of discarded rubbish, tossed out and buried long ago.)

We really don't know. And I'm loathe to ring up the 'authorities' and mumble something about a bullet and some bones, lest we end up on Channel 7 tonight. I'll keep you posted...

Picture for sizing- the knife is a small steak knife.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

It was meant to be...

Do you ever get the feeling that an item was destined to live in your house? Have you ever arrived at an op-shop at just the right time to pick up the perfect item your house has been missing?  Has anyone ever arrived at your house with a truck full of furniture that they want you to use indefinitely? It's only March and we have already been so blessed with great finds - don't you think that the three items pictured below were $15 well spent?

Here's my latest op-shop find. It couldn't be more perfect for Tiny Girl's room and cost the princely sum of $5. (The wall isn't yellow it just looks yellow in the photo.)

And here's my $10 garage sale chair and free* little chest of drawers.

*Well not entirely free but the person who was minding it for someone else ran out of room, so now we are minding it (for someone we don't know) and I strongly suspect it won't ever be leaving.)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Garden inspiration

I have a few garden projects planned for tomorrow so I thought I'd share some of my inspirational pictures. I adore formal gardens, there is something really homely about them don't you think?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The long and the short of it

As I've grown a bit older I've noticed that I have developed a real problem with size perception. I was never excellent at maths, but I certainly wasn't stupid either. However, I think that it must be a case of 'use it or lose it' when it comes to mathematical principles.

My main problem relates to estimating sizes. If you tell me an item is 3 metres long I'm probably going to 'see' an item either half or twice its size in my mind. That's why the mirror in the picture is not in our bedroom. Despite analysing the sizes listed in the ad for the mirror my mind decided that it would be perfect to fill up the space above the fireplace in our bedroom. On picking it up however I quickly realised that I was very wrong. It's almost laughable exactly how far wrong I was. But never mind, it looks good there don't you think?

The picture also displays my newly done up desk (remember it?) Instead of my plans for a quicky paint job The Gas Man had other ideas. He spent the best part of last weekend sand-blasting the legs and handles and spray painting the rest. It looks fantastic, albeit WAY too small for my idea that it would become our new desk. It has found a home as a laptop table for the time being and I love it nonetheless. 

(Please excuse non-painted walls and windows, it's a work in progress.)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

A Transformer a transformation and a tale of two fish

Ahh the weekend, how has your been so far? Our has been a little on the eventful side and I though I'd share pieces of it with you.

There were two parties on this weekend that we didn't get invited to. Then to compound my rejection (I'm not bitter, really ...) The Gas Man announced he also had plans to go fishing in beautiful Moreton Bay. That left me and my Homeless Houseguest with the kids so I decided we should at least take them somewhere to break up the day.

I'm a shameless real estate whore and I always have the latest edition of the local real estate paper laying around. A house being advertised had caught my eye so I decided to go and have a look at what money really buys in real estate these days. After being very disappointed by the first house, I quickly decided that we should have a look at a second open home around the corner. This one was lovely, another character house which has been tastefully transformed. It was so homely and welcoming and had a great feeling to it. It also had astro-turf, which was a surprise, and I was impressed with how easy it would be to maintain. I left sated after a successful hit of real estate. Here's the front door, courtesy of

After chasing the kids through the two homes we headed off to a second-hand furniture warehouse which just happened to have a very unusual item for sale. I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.

Yep, that is indeed a full sized replica of Optimus Prime. My son was suitably impressed, my daughter not so much.

After allowing my children to partake in the evils of McDonald's we were greeted by The Gas Man and a very large fish. Despite having Queensland's worst sea-legs The Gas Man had managed to win the fisherman of the day titled by hauling in a huge flathead. While he was gutting it I poked around in the insides and tried to identify the inner workings of a flathead. After identifying the 'lungs' (which obviously a fish does not in fact possess) I poked around at a huge, fat object that looked something like a squid. After poking it for a while it suddenly burst and out popped this:
Yep, it seems our flathead had eaten this fish very recently and I had obviously been playing with the stomach. Although The Homeless Houseguest and The Big Boy were both revulsed by my attempts at surgery, we did cook and eat the flathead and it was wonderful. Unfortunately the photo does not do it justice.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Goodbye tree

Now you see it......
I went to work a few weeks ago and returned home to one less tree in the front yard. Although I'm a huge tree-lover I wasn't sad to see this one go. It was so very close to the house and every time we had a storm I had visions of ending up on the news with a huge tree through my roof.

The tree was cut down by 'tree guy,' possibly South-East Queensland's most persistent arborist. He showed up at our house one day to tell us that he was 'in the area' and would we like the tree cut down (he had seen it from the street and obviously thought he was onto a good thing with it being so large and so close to the house.) I asked him for a quote and he left after leaving his business card, which I promptly threw away as his price was too high. Not to be deterred, Tree Guy returned often after that day. He was always 'in the area' and his price reduced each time he showed up. He also called me 'bro' a lot.

He showed up again a few weeks ago and, I kid you not, he just about walked into our house when I opened the door. Thankfully The Gas Man was home so I summoned him to meet (and get rid of) Tree Guy. Somehow though Tree Guy ended up being booked in to lop the tree, though he was prepared to wait to get paid as we didn't have the money in the budget the week he lopped it. I have no idea how he does it but The Gas Man is gifted at negotiation. The amount of times people have shown up, done work for us and left without payment is amazing. Either that or they come, expect money and end up leaving with a gym, a tool or a car. It's a gift I tell you!

Anyway Tree Guy came, did the job and left. Eventually we paid him 'yeah bro, thanks bro.' Hopefully that's the end of his visits.

Now you don't...

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Kitchen preview

Before we renovated we had a tiny kitchen. So tiny that the fridge didn't even fit inside the kitchen space. At various times the fridge ended up the computer room, the dining area or the lounge area. To make matters worse, the benches were set lower than average bench height. This meant that we were forever bending over to prepare food. We also had a tiny corner sink and very limited food storage space.

After living with that kitchen for years I was determined that my new kitchen would be a much improved version. Actually it was through looking at kitchen magazines that my love of all things 'modern country' really started to take off.

So the kitchen in  the picture is what we have ended up with. As yet we have no tiles on the walls, no splashback, unfinished capping and exposed steel beams in the roof (top left of the picture). The beams are holding up the fireplace that is upstairs, they need to be enclosed in a plaster box so they can't be seen. I adore my kitchen and I can't wait for the finished product. But for now it looks lovely and functions and that's all I can ask for really. Well that and a space for the fridge.*

* As Murphy's Law would have it our old fridge doesn't fit into the fridge space in the new kitchen. It juts out slightly but I can live with that. It's in the same room and it could be much worse.

Laundry curtains

Here are my newly hung laundry curtains. Because our laundry door is completely open we had to use something to block the neighbours' view of our laundry and hallway. I purchased the fabric for these curtains years ago and had four sets made up to use in our upstairs lounge. I've since changed my mind about using them upstairs so have had these in storage until now. (They also have a pelmet but I'm not sure how easy it would be to hang a pelmet above an opening door.)

Friday, March 5, 2010

Close encounters of the snake kind

About seven years ago when The Gas Man and I first met we purchased a mini-bus. The intention at the time was to fit it out as a motor home and travel around Australia. Needless to say that never happened. However one evening The Gas Man decided to work on the bus sans shoes. The grass had grown long around the bus and he traipsed through the long grass only to feel pressure on his leg. A good hour or so later he walked inside declaring that he thought he had been bitten by a snake. Sure enough there were two large puncture wounds and two trails of now semi-dry blood on his leg. Here's how the conversation went:

TGM: 'I think I got bitten by a snake.'

Me: 'Oh wow (or words to that effect) it looks like it. Did you see it?'

TGM: 'No but I heard it and I felt something hit my leg a while ago.'

Me: 'Do you feel ok?'

TGM: 'Yeah I feel fine.'

Me: 'Oh ok then. What's for dinner?'

Now fast forward to today and if this was to happen you would hope our much older brains would decide to immediately whisk him off to hospital. Got to love 24 year old logic hey.

So yesterday The Gas Man v/s snake story continues. Out working as usual he pulls into an address and jumps out of the truck onto the ground. 'Oh a stick' he thinks then looks down. Not quite a stick though. Yep, he had stepped directly onto a snake. Now if this were me (with my snake phobia and general girly demeanour) I would have screamed and bolted. Not The Gas Man. He stands there in his huge size 13 boots and watches the snake writhe and thrash until it was dead. Did I mention than he had stepped directly onto the snake's head? How was that for fortunate! 

So somewhere in Brisbane someone came home yesterday to find a dead snake in their driveway. Probably they will be forever wondering how in the world that happened. We are just grateful that The Gas Man survived his second close encounter with a snake.

So what kind of snake do YOU think it is? We think it's a brown but my nerves would love to be proved wrong. Someone vote tree snake, please?

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Looking up

I've been busy snapping away, trying to capture those interesting parts of the house that readers may like. Of course I've now run out of batteries, so stay tuned for pictures of our recent tree removal and the gripping tale of 'Tree Guy.'

Until then I thought I'd show you my light. We have four of these in a row in our new lounge area. I love them but boy were they hard to pick out. Once again we had to make sure that we stayed in keeping with our traditional theme and I had to make sure I didn't yell out 'sold' when we were shown all the glorious chandeliers. All is not lost though- I'm hoping to get a chandelier for our kitchen area. Stay tuned for that argument negotiation.

Oh and before you ask- no we don't have any architraves yet. Of course those are another job waiting to be done and as we are trying to match the gorgeous ones that are upstairs it may be a while yet before we have enough money, order them, wait for them and finally get them installed. 

Here are the beauties in all their glory.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Pool and bedroom

Tiny Girl has just given her daddy a present which he is now cleaning up downstairs so I'm hiding and blogging quickly before the dinner, bed, bath routine. Thought I'd share a few pics to show you some progress.

The first pic is of our pool when we first had it installed. We've since had a timber deck added which I'll show you a pic of soon. I was motivated to do this as the pool is currently just about as clean as it has ever been thanks to some serious TLC to remove the algae that was apparently immune to chlorine. Cheeky buggers!

The second pic is Tiny Girl's room, a work in progress but none the less getting there. The horrible aircon will be removed or hidden and we have a set of Holly Hobby curtains to put up which match with the vintage Holly Hobby bedspread you can see in the pic.

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