Sunday, May 30, 2010


I couldn't sleep last night so I lay awake for a while thinking about how I would like to decorate my new entry cabinet. I decided I would try to use glass, perhaps buy a nice old oil lamp and add an ornate birdcage. Yep, that was the plan.

We trotted off to the markets this morning to buy fruit and veg for the week. Someone was looking out for me because simply everything I imagined was there waiting for me.

Large vase on the far left - $20. It had a $60 price tag on the bottom so I think I did well.
Lamp with light bulb inside- $8.
Small birdcage- in a box marked 'free'
Bowl with apples- found in our gazebo, I think I left it there years ago.
Bird prints- previous op shop buy, more detail here

Things to ignore:
- Lack of VJ's behind the cabinet. They are coming, one day.
- Lack of paint on said VJ's.
- Bad photography

I'm thinking of painting the cabinet white, what do you think?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

House history

We are so lucky to have been given a few pictures of our house which were taken many years before we owned it. I thought I'd share these two pictures, taken from the same angle around 80 years apart.

House around 1890. Original owner George Fischer and family.

House around 1950? 1960?

I often say that this house draws people to it. As testatment to that, both these pictures have been given to us by lovely people who had family members living here at one point or another. Only recently I was contacted via this blog by another family member, but sadly I haven't heard back from her as yet (hello!) We always welcome visitors and I'm of the belief that although this is 'our' house we are only really taking care of it and loving it for the moment, just as so many families have done in the past.

I hope you enjoyed this step back in time. I hope to add to this collection by taking a picture from the same angle once our work is finished.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

I'm an aunty

To an as yet unnamed baby girl. Born early at 33 weeks, small but breathing on her own.

What a week!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Houses, houses, houses

I'm the first to admit that I'm a house junkie. I love nothing more than scouring the local paper and to take a peek into how other people live. I can't get enough of looking at gorgeous homes but I'm also a fan of mentally renovating other people's homes (and mentally spending other people's money in the process.)

Of course also offers up a regular selection of quirky, strange and down right ugly homes. So I've decided to share one a week here on my blog.

This one is described as having 'charm and character.' I'll let you decide whether you think the description fits the home.

The colour? The room with no window? The tiny porch? It's just odd.

Is it just me or is this a sad photo? And why people insist on taking inside furniture outside is beyond me.

Look closely and you might just see the washing machine. Either they have a long electrical cable or something weird is going on here......

Friday, May 21, 2010

My bathroom (and what REALLY happens in a renovation)

I was browsing for a good photo to use here when I came across this one. This is our bathroom around the 2007 mark. Note the lovely old fashioned tile pattern on the floor. Unfortunately those tiles are long gone, a casualty of the great house raise project.

Sometime during the raise our poor bathroom broke its watertight seal. Consequently we had to pull up all those tiles and have the area re-sealed and tiled. Of course we couldn't match our existing tiles anywhere in Brisbane and because I was bathing Big Boy in a large plastic garbage bin (due to being unable to use the bathroom until the tiling was finished) we decided to go with plain cream tiles. The do look great, just not so rustic and intricate.

This bathroom is now our upstairs bathroom and it rarely gets used unless someone needs to wash their hands. The lovely claw-foot bath is filled with carpet off cuts and there are various miscellaneous items that need to be sorted currently residing in there.

So there it is, the REAL cost of renovating that no-one tells you about. All up this little diversion cost us $1000 with nothing pretty to show for it and a whole lot of stress added onto an already stressful project.

(And before anyone has a heart attack over the shower curtains - no they are not still there. I hated them with a passion and I certainly didn't buy them. You can imagine how impressed I was to return from work one day to discover my mother-in-law had purchased and installed them.)

Monday, May 17, 2010

I'm naked

Well maybe not entirely (it's too cold) but I do feel naked because I've decided to 'put it out there' so to speak. I'm going to ask the lovely girls over at the decorating forum what they think of my study makeover. Fingers crossed for some great feedback and useful tips.

So in all its glory here is my study BEFORE. (I purposely didn't clean up after the kids tore it apart to make this shot as ugly as possible.)
And here are the AFTER pics.

The desk is actually our old dining table, painted white and topped with blackboard paint. For more info and before and after pics see this post. The curtains are not staying, they are a remnant of how the house used to look. Ideally I'd love a Plantation Shutter at the window. What do you think?

Thanks for looking!


I'm in need of a big dose of happiness today so I've scoured the computer looking for something to share. Here's what happens when you ask a 5 year old to clean up his toys. (Photo taken Oct 09.)

Friday, May 14, 2010

What colour should I paint my Queenslander house?

The exterior of our Queenslander is a mix of maroon, blue and cream, though ideally I'd love to paint it grey and white. Working out just what colours suit a Queenslander home can be a challenge so I thought I'd share a great resource I came across.

When we were painting the interior of our house we were lucky enough to grab a Dulux colour brochure that is specifically designed for traditional homes. I recently went looking for ours only to find it missing. The paint shop no longer seems to stock it however my local guy had one hiding out the back and I have it here in all its glory. The brochure is great as it breaks down the paint trends into period, eg. Victorian, Federation etc.

I've also discovered that there is a link to a similar, updated brochure on the Dulux website. Click here to have a look. It differs however from my pamphlet, which seems to have more colours and bigger pictures to pour over. If anyone out there wants a copy please let me know and I'll scan it for you. Here's a look at one of the pages (crudely photographed by yours truly.)

Hard day

Last year when Big Boy was in Prep he purchased a few hermit crabs which lived in the tank at school during term time.  Over the holidays one of the crabs passed away and we had to break the news to the class when school resumed. That afternoon Big Boy was carrying a 'creation' - a cuppa soup box with paddle pop sticks sticking out the sides. When I asked what it was Big Boy replied that his little friend had made him a hermit crab to replace the one that had died. So instead of breaking the creation up and sneaking it into the recycling bin with all the other school creations, I kept this lovely gift and it sits on my shelf as a reminder of just how kind that child was to my son.

Last night the parents of Big Boy's kind, compassionate friend had to turn off his life support. 

Thursday, May 13, 2010

More op shop beauties

I went scavenging recently and came home with three lovely prints which will match perfectly with Tiny Girl's bird theme. She adores birds and I adore black and white. Win win don't you think?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

I adore EBAY

I'm the proud owner of a gorgeous new bedspread. Isn't it divine? (Photos courtesy of the EBAY seller.)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Electric challenge

Our power bills have been a source of anger and confusion for a few years now. Our power bill each quarter averages .... wait for it ..... $1000. That's more than $4000 every year just in power. We've had many theories about why our bills are so high and we systematically removed any possible culprits (excluding the kids.) However nothing has worked. So I called in the big guns to try to figure it out.

The assessor thoroughly went over our bills and our home. His verdict 'I have no idea why your bills are so high.'  

However all was not lost as we are now the proud owners of a wireless power monitor which tells us at any given moment just how much power our house is actually using. It's such a handy little gadget and I've worked out that it costs one extra cent per hour each time we open the fridge. I've also worked out that boiling water is a huge power waster as are our bathroom heat lamps. But the piece de resistance has been working out that our air-conditioner sucks .65c/hour which means that if we ran it all day it would cost $15.60 per day. This is terrible given that:
a. we actually have two air conditioners, and
b. we have been known to run both for very long periods per day in Summer

So the nasty power sucking lights and air conditioners are on strike for the time being and I've been having fun switching things on and off to gauge their usage. For those interested an average house on standby uses around 4 or 5 cents per hour. Have a look what I managed to get our house down to for a short period yesterday. (Cost directly under the kw usage which is 43 in the photo.)

Monday, May 10, 2010

My birthday in pictures

Every year my birthday passes and a few days later I have no idea how I spent it. This year I decided to record the weekend in pictures so that next year I can remember what we did.

The weekend started at The Big Boy's school fete. Rides, junk food and fireworks ensued. Tiny Girl was particularly taken with the slide, meaning I had to climb the stairs with her in my arms over and over again. (I secretly loved every minute of it.)

Saturday (my birthday) was filled with the usual Soccer routine and then my birthday celebrations. Big Boy wanted to host a party for me so he purchased pirate decorations as he knew I would love (!) them. We took them to our favourite local cafe for dinner and they kindly let us use them. I'm sure it saved them on washing up, which has to be a bonus at the end of a long day.

Future Socceroo

Arrrhh me hearties...

The Gas Man outdid himself sneaking this cake into the cafe a few hours before we arrived and the owners helped us sing Happy Birthday (I say 'us' as I chimed in, forgetting for a moment that it was actually my birthday).

Sunday was Mother's Day and I was presented with this gorgeous card made with love by Big Boy. On the back it says 'my mum is special because she looks after me and gives me treats.'

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Table makeover

I've recently been busy painting a table to use in my study. This is what I started with:

This is what I ended up with:

I painted the table white and the top in chalkboard paint. I plan to remove the chalk drawings (!) and use this as my new office desk. Will take some pics when it is in-situ to share.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

It's that time of year again

Happy Birthday to me. I will be back later with an update on how the day panned out.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Can I offer you a cup of tea?

See those right there? Behind the cup? Behind the kettle? Yep, tiles. Finally, we have tiles. Subway tiles no less. In MY kitchen. No longer will people come over and remark on our lack of tiles. Or ask quietly 'so, you do plan to tile there don't you?'

What's even better is that we did this as a weekend project together. No tradies to pay, no mess to clean up (well other people's mess anyway.) We love the result and are scratching our heads trying to figure out why we didn't do this a year ago.

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