Sunday, October 31, 2010

she'll be right

We're knocking on the door of another Monday. This time of year goes so fast and i'm lovin longer days. I achieve so much more of a weekend. Who wouldn't want to live in Queensland right now? The weather is perfect.

I've been severley neglecting the house and spent much of the weekend doing step 1 of a spring clean. I also managed to finish a repaint of my 50's cabinet. It was just white over cream so the before and afters don't actually look very different photographed ... here it is finished anyway...

My two fave Women's Day magazine covers are framed into the doors and successfully mask an appallingly messy interior. I just need the right pattern to frame other than white cardboard. She'll be right... for now. 
I also changed positions for my dressmakers manequin. I've just pinned stuff i like to it. I envisage an ever changing collage.
There's that hall table again! ... it's really not fitting in the way i anticipated. Ahh she'll be right for now too.
My dear friend came over today for lunch. In fact, it is the very same person that gave me the manequin for my birthday last year.

She's recently bought a very large dollhouse for her daughter and has been passionately describing the design ideas for it's interior. I mean, it's like 1.5m high with various rooms - it reminds me of that bigpond advert where they show all the people in different rooms on the internet? I think it's bigpond. Anyway, it's big and modern. No pretty pink stuff, it has a sloped roof and she's going to go with a 70's vibe and is currently researching wallpaper. It's going to be a masterpiece! 

I'm very intrigued with this project of hers and will surprise myself if i don't try to inject myself into the design team. Stay tuned for the finished product!!! Well i've ticked a couple of things off the list that continues to grow while still enjoying a rather cheerful weekend.

P.S - I just saw the news talking about that man that pulled on the sharks tale that was attacking a young girl in WA. How courageous! There's so much to respect about courage.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

summers 'a' comin ... and so is outdoor entertaining!!!!

That's what i'm talkin bout! I LOVE outdoor entertaining.

Summer time in Queensland for me is all about bbq’s, seafood, spritzers and being amongst nature. Sooo exciting that it’s that time of year where i can start considering what i’ll do for summer entertaining!!! I’m thinking late afternoon - long table – white paper lanterns - bentwood chairs – crystal - silverware – mixed banquet – candles ...

Here are the only images i can get my hands on to get me in the mood. 
The first = instant relaxation.

I do love a good hay bail. You can hire them you know. Would look fabulous wrapped in fabric just around the middle and tied off with thick string  so you can see the hay from the sides, get me?--  nice mix with the bentwoods  ... could do with a bit of wrought in there too. Aha, how about a long hay bail table, wrought iron on top (old intricate door and large place matts to prevent instability) cushions for chairs ... ? i can visualise it, not sure i've relayed that one very well.
Oh colour, the pic with the umbrella reminds of that movie 'under a tuscan sun' for some reason

We have a huge park near us and i have been daydreaming about using it for a big picnic. It's like an oasis that is covered all around by trees and then you walk through a path to an open field of green and views of mountains. Rather glorious-to date i've only used it to hit around golf balls, it's so pretty.

A boot picnic in the mountains perhaps? Mine wouldn't look quite so civilised. Great car.
And this, well this little number i am smitten with!
I have jars and bottles from here to Africa. Paper lanterns out - bottles in.

Hello summer.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

my 'sunroom' ...

or front verandah. Whatever you call it.

I came home this afternoon and sat in my usual chair in what i call my sunroom. This chair was given to me by, let's call him 'A', i'm over saying 'partner'. A christmas gift 2 years ago and is too comfortable for words.  I read sitting on this chair, contemplate, talk on the phone, do crosswords and often just enjoy a cold sav blanc while pondering fabrics. Yes, fabrics. I have too many right now that it's clouding my thoughts and the chair is the only thing that helps me see the trees for the woods.
The room is my space. There are windows all around and a set of french doors onto the front deck which make it bright and alive. We live with a nature strip across the road I look and listen to nature, it's all green outside and the birds chirp and often little miners sleep in the palm tree outside the window at night. Adorable. I'm a big indoor plant person, a part of the 70's i've clung onto... my large golden palm has recently been escorted to the garden. I'm not a green thumb ... but i do try.
This room also holds those dear to me - when we renovated i just had to have a photo wall. It's much more uplifting when i have a whole wall of memories to look at and add to.
I guess everyone has a little spot in their home that they retreat to when they want to relax or need time out. This is mine. It's due for a summer overhaul, hence the pondering on fabric and will overlook the christmas tree in the dining room come december 1. Ripper - love christmas.

I'm sitting here as i type this and bats have moved in to eat something in the trees. How does one get rid of bats? One doesn't i suppose... let's hope they find dinner elsewhere - soon, or i'll have to get out the shotgun - joking peeps!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

sunday already?

What a stunning weekend! Thrilled that the weather held up, it was quite possibly the funniest girls getaway i've ever had. 'Mermaids' on the waters edge in Burleigh is such an amazing spot. This was our table and what we looked at. 200% better in real life ...
and one of my favourite things in Burleigh. The revolving clock. It's like our very own giant clock on the wall. Perfect view from the unit - the only thing i use to tell time when on hol's
More and more fabulous shops are opening up on James Street down there. My all time, must see is 'Monsoon'. This bunny and japanese fan stole my heart ... bunny is such a little cutie pie ...
and the pattern on these tea towels is simply gorgeous. Far too pretty for the kitchen. She stocks beautiful cushions and wallpaper plus so much more.
The salvation army around the corner never dissapoints. I picked up the below - $12 for everything.
Back in Brissie they've already been employed to brighten the house up for a new week. The garden has much to offer at the moment. On the dining room table
and in the kitchen. The mint has been put to good use for a non alcoholic sunday spritzer. My saviour! Soda, lime and lemon with fresh mint. The best!
Can't believe it's Sunday already - Boo!

Friday, October 22, 2010

those were the days my friends ...

we thought they'd never end we'd sing and dance forever and a day ... 

This song popped into my head last week and has yet to pop out again... have a listen, it's quite apt for what's coming...
(click link, then the play button in the middle of the screen)
Just quickly, and further to the previous post 'the cottage investment', we came across a little gold mine, well a gold mine in my terms, during the reno. When tearing up the floors to 'the haven'  there were varying colours and designs of very retro lino floor coverings ....
Not the best pic, but you get the idea on 'layers'. Amongst these were newspapers dating back to the 20's  plus heaps of 1940's Womens Days which had been used for layering in between. 

They're magic and have already provided hours of intrigue for me, so I thought i'd do a quick share. Listen to Mary and step back into the late 1940's ...

This first one is my fave 'curves'... these are a snippet of varying adverts out of 1948 Womens Days - hard to cull-many to choose from ...
i'd prefer diamonds.
 and the dramatic and fabulous stories in the mag, ... last one my fave here
and some of 'Mary Hordern's fashion notes' ... (Mary was the younger sister of Frank Packer's wife. She was a fashion contributor from 1946-49 and also held 4 annual Paris fashion parades during this time) these are my favourite of all - i always wished i could sketch like this
I just love living in the past sometimes!

It's the weekend, and I can hear a car in the driveway. I'm off to beautiful Burleigh Heads with a couple of the girls. Massages followed by a late lunch on the waters edge and of course, a trip to Gold Coast Antiques.  Mmmm, just the way to spend a weekend in October! 

Thursday, October 21, 2010

a cottage investment

We purchased a little cottage a couple of months ago on Brisbane's bayside. Right now, it'll be rented out and once we have finished our 'home' renovations we intend to look at a renovation on this. Originally a Railway Cottage based in Nambour, she was relocated in 1949 and has had two additions made over the past 60 years. The same family resided in it over this time so it does have a lovely bit of history about it.

It excites me alot actually. I'm head over heels. The street is lined with magnificent Moreton Bay figs and bay views are to be had out back. I feel so at home here and during our very cheap reno ($2,000) became more and more attached as the days went on.

I think it's a cutie. A guy i work with who is just as obssessed with property as me said "so are you just going to bulldoze that?". I told him he's void of vision. Harsh? possibly, but this is my new baby. Nobody puts baby in a corner! I see an incredible amount of potential. It's a narrow block and in a couple of years we plan to keep the orginal cottage, which makes up the front of the dwelling, lift and alter it slightly to reflect a terrace style home.  I wandered the streets of Chippendale with a friend last year, so many fab properties, and am confident we'll make it work - somehow. The back - well my brain has a massive compartment with ideas for that - too many it's beginning to hurt.

I guess the purpose of this blog entry is more of a record for me...and to share a couple of before and afters  and maybe some ideas for others investing who want to turn a shabby property into a livable one fast and cheap. This is not a Belle Living cover story contestant let me tell you. Not even close!  This is just an instance of how we did it with a teeny little budget.

$2,000. May have been a bit less and we worked on it ourselves. Thankfully we didn't need any trades for this one. It was all cosmetic. Painting, new flooring, lifting off wall sheeting and an upgrade on the kitchen.

The kitchen - Before and After

and ...

plus this kitchen cabinet which was already there which we repainted for storage .. love! 
The kitchen was worn., this has been here for 50 years plus and i didn't want to take away the 50's vibe for 2 reasons. I really like the era and cabinetry and secondly, we didn't want to spend $4k on a kitchen when it wouldn't reflect in the return. We repainted everything, picked up another wall cabinet trio for $50 at Underwood Demolition for storage, (Great demo yard- will negotiate) purchased timber from Ikea for benchtops and workspace next to the oven (it was in their seconds area or whatever it is $230 for all of it), some vj sheeting was used to replace water damage above the stove and we grabbed lino by the meter from bunnings together with the blind. Done and Done. $500.
This another angle through from the kichen to front door 
Madam Restotra over at, gave us the hot tip on carpet tiles. Intially, it was only going to be for the bedrooms. Unfortunately we had some troublesome floorboards which were easier to cover. So we went all out retro and carpet tiled the lot in mismatched tiles. $300 for the WHOLE HOUSE. We have spares for damage caused by tenants. Too easy to replace. Ideal for a renter.

The bathroom was in good condition so a paint was all that was required. Due to the colour on the walls we used a bucket load of paint about $600 worth, may have been a touch more, and could have done with more again should it have been our residence. We had the strongest shade of coral pink i have ever seen to cover in most rooms, and a set-in cream in the kitchen.  There were extra bits and pieces like skirting boards and general areas that were mended. I wish i had more befores but i don't. The sleepout was blue which now has more accents of black gloss and white - one good coat of high gloss black and your done.

This is  funny little room off the kitchen which was originally used for as a storage and linen room ... and anything else that didn't have a home.

That's our girl.
'The Haven' is her real name. A tidy up of the gardens and a few touch ups to the front facade and she's ready for company. We worked hard pulling this together. OK, fine - my partner worked harder, but we did do the labour ourselves. Totally worth it. Cannot wait to revisit in a couple of years. She'll be a cracker!