Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Joyeux Noël! (belated!)

I have been waaay to busy to wish all my blog readers a very Merry Christmas, so I hope you'll forgive me for the lateness!

It's hard to believe another Christmas has come and gone. I offered to host the family Christmas lunch this year, and then hosted the other side of the family later in the day for present unwrapping. For once, we didn't have drive anywhere!

Being host, I had to have the place spick and span (first time since moving in!), but there were a few tell-tale boxes still in one corner of the family room!

The kitchen looked lovely and shiny:

I had chosen my colour theme for Christmas a while ago, and picked silver and light blue. I always make the gift tags in my chosen theme every year, and I also made some Chinese paper lanterns and hung them from the Pussy Willow in the family room.

I also used the same gift tags as place name cards for the table:

My very simple table centre piece was my largest apothecary jar filled with silver glossy and matt baubles with a blue and silver snow flake Christmas decoration around the lid. I put t on a white damask table cloth with a piece of blue tulle with silver spots on it from Spotlight! I added a couple of blue candles in glass candle sticks and a couple more tea lights to the table:

The house survived (and so did we!), and everyone had a wonderful time! The kids love their new scooters, and I have been immersing myself in all things French, and Reading Vicki Archers' new book 'French Essence'...it's to die for, and will live proudly on one of my new tables!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Santa Arrived Early!

Just in time for Christmas, I now have my 2 new beautiful tables for the family room! I am so happy, and they look wonderful...even next to the 13 year old couches with covers on them (to hide the very 90's blue and white check!)

I'm still moving things around on them (and underneath them), and will probably continue to do so for a while! At least now I have some more horizontal space to work with!

The family room is still far from being complete. I would eventually like to get a big floor rug to make it feel a little cosier, and also I have plans to paint white the old baltic pine shelves so they tie in with everything else. It will all come together eventually! But now my sights are set on getting ready for the family Christmas 'do' I'm hosting!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Entrance hall completed...mostly!

The mirror is finally up and the entrance is almost complete. All I 'need' to look for are 2 wall lights and a matching chandelier. Not an easy task, and I'm sure it may take a few years!

I know it looks a little crowded at the moment, but half of the things on the table are Christmas related, so won't be there forever.

I've also added a few more Christmasy things around the place. I still haven't quite finished the banister decorations, but I did add some lights. I will need to buy another garland to finish off the last little section, but that might have to wait until the sales!

I added some small baubles to the Pussy Willow on the table:

I've strung my last years purchase between the 2 windows in the dining room. Shame there is still no dining table or chairs in there yet, and all the photos which need homes are sitting on the floor! The joys of moving in!

I would like to get 2 identical wreaths for the double front doors, and have seen several I love, but don't want to spend up to $200 on something which comes out of the cupboard for about 6 weeks a year. I may be lucky to find them on Boxing Day at the sales, but refuse to pay full price now.

I decided to wrap the front doors with ribbon instead. I have seen it on another house and thought I'd give it a go! The bow isn't quite prominent enough, so I'll probably have another go at it tomorrow.

...and in case you were wondering, the doors do still open! ;-)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

It's that time of the year...

Once again, Christmas is almost here! I can't believe just how quickly this year has flown by...but what a year it's been!

I have started to put out a few decorations around the place, the tree is up, but I still have to decorate it. I might leave that for tomorrow.

I'm hosting the families Christmas lunch this year, and the theme is going to be silver, blue and white. I have big plans for the table centre piece, and I hope it looks OK! So far, I have literally plonked some things on the hall table, and filled some of my apothecary jars with baubles. You may also remember my 'NOEL' letters I covered with paper last year. It was nice to get them out again, although I'm not sure where they will be staying over the festive season!

I've also put together my orchid I have been meaning to do for a while. I was looking everywhere for the right sort of pot to put it in, and finally found one. It only took me about half an hour to put it together, and cost half the price of what you would pay for a similar looking one in the shops. Plus mine is totally unique! It will probably permanently live on the hall table with the candle sticks, but I might move it around for Christmas. I'm running out of horizontal surfaces at the moment, and I can't wait to get my coffee and side table for the family room.

My Son called it an 'awkward'!

Fingers crossed for my beautiful mirror to be hung this weekend, and that will help reflect some light from the study into the hallway. Then I'll just have to find some wall lights and a matching chandelier!

Monday, November 23, 2009

So...what's been happening?

Life just seems to get busier and busier, especially nearing Christmas, and not too much has been happening around the house. My excuse is we can't do it all at once, and it's good to live in a place and get a feel of it first before doing too much of it!!

So, what has been happening then? I finally decided on a clothes line to fit the large wall space we had (3 metres), and that has now been installed. Yay! No more fighting with clothes horses in the alfresco!

We chose a 'double decker' number from City Living Clotheslines. It's wider than anything you get from Bunnings and comfortably fits queen sized sheets on it without bunching. The added advantage of it is the smaller lower line, adding an extra 3 lines (9 metres of hanging space) to the line. I have 36 metres of total hanging space, and can comfortably wash the family's sheets and towels on the same day!

We have made more room in the garage by building the cubby house again.

We needed to borrow a ladder in order to put the roof on, and thankfully we did that before it rained!

I have my beautiful mirror for the entrance hall, but it's going to be tricky to put up:

It weighs 25kg, and unfortunately, the studs are placed completely in the wrong place to put it up in between the 2 wall lights above my gorgeous hall table:

It will require a steel bracket nailed into three studs, then hang the mirror off that. Similar to mounting a clothes dryer. I don't want to take any chances with it falling down and breaking it and everything on my hall table!

I finally have my vintage London Bus destination blind too! Many thanks to my Sister for making it for me, and to her Partner for allowing the blinds to be cut. I just love it, and it looks fantastic on the wall in the family room, where I knew it was going to live all along:

I have on order 2 white tables for the family room too. A rectangular coffee table, and smaller square side table. Fingers crossed they come in before Christmas!! I won't reveal any pictures of them until I have them, though...I'll keep you in suspense!

I'm starting to think about putting up the Christmas tree too!

Thursday, October 29, 2009


Just a few little snippets for the pic piggies! I still have a long way to go in terms of decorating, as I still have to unpack and purchase some more furniture! I have my eyes on a gorgeous coffee table and side table for the family room, and will let you all know when I have organised it. I'm still thinking about an ottoman to use as a coffee table in the lounge room, and I also need a dining table and chairs for the Dining room. There are still no pictures up on the walls and I am still without a clothesline!

I posted this Laura Ashley lampshade a while ago after I bought it, so you may remember it. I decided to choose the Laura Ashley 'Selby' lamp base for it, and I absolutely love it!

Thankfully this antique table and chairs managed to survive relatively unscathed after the 'Great Storage Flood' back in March. They used to sit in the bay window in our old house, and knew they would sit under this window in the lounge room. I know I have waaaay too much on the table, but many things were unpacked and dumped as they didn't have anywhere else to go!! The cat loves catching the sun here:

Closer detail of the table, with 2 of my 3 Eiffel Towers', and an apothecary jar I received for my Birthday last week. It probably won't stay here, but might sit with another 2 larger ones...somewhere! I also love my chunky keys I bought in Richmond, Tasmania last year:

Cushions in the lounge room, I still have 2 more to buy:

Part of my bargain hall table, which I adore. I'd love to show more, but it has a pile of broken down storage boxes underneath! I plan on getting a mirror in the next couple of days to go above it, so I'll post more then:

The one item that has made it's way up on the wall! The 1 metre diametre clock I bought a year ago and has been sitting in storage. It's now up in the meals area and I love it! Keeps good time too ;). I may transfer the pussy willow branches into something else, but for the moment I'm happy for them to stay in the modern pink metalic vase!

Lots more to organise, but I'll get there eventually.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Anyone care to powder their nose?

I am almost fully operational in the PC department again, which is great news! It's wonderful to be able to catch up on everyone's blogs as 4 weeks is a long time without them! I am also happy to be able to download the photos from my camera onto my own PC and upload them again with a fast ADSL connection! I actually didn't take too many over the past 4 weeks, as I was just too busy moving, unpacking and getting a little organised.

There is really only 1 room at this stage that is 98% complete, and that is the powder room. I'd still like to put a picture up on one of the walls, but that can wait! I always wanted to create a nice feel in the powder room, which flowed from the rest of the house. I know it's only a toilet and basin, but being the guests main toilet, I wanted it to look good!

I'm still deciding what to put in the glass apothecary jar, but I am thinking some small white soaps. I haven't found the perfect ones yet...at the right price. I love the 'MOR' soaps wrapped in gorgeous papers and ribbons with a wax seal on them, but this particular jar is too small for them. I have a larger one in the ensuite where they might go! I just have to start collecting them:

A closer look at the orchid which I assembled myself. There are many available to buy in the shops, but I wanted something that was an original, and what better place to put one than a French cast iron urn!

One of my purchases specially with the powder room in mind:

...and one I couldn't resist yesterday:

I'm not sure how long the powder room will stay like this for, as I may move a few things around. That's the great part about decorating, finding the perfect spot for things!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

'The Phone Company' Frustrations.

Hi All,

I have not completely fallen off the face of the Earth, I have only just had the phone line 'properly' connected, and am still waiting on the internet. It has been the most frustrating 4 weeks without the internet and email and I'm quite livid with 'The Phone Company' for stuffing the whole connection up in the first place.

Trying to organise several meetings for various things, a business trip to Sydney, a family weekend away with other families and keep in touch with family and friends via facebook has been impossible.

I won't go into too many details about the saga, but I had the trenching, the connection and an internet provider all sorted before we moved so there would be no delays, no internet or email 'downtime' and everything would run smoothly. It has not and I'm now going to have to play 4 weeks catch up on email and blogs once I am fully on the air. I'm currently in the local Maccas, making use of their free snail's pace internet...but beggars can't be choosers and I have to make do!

We are 'mostly' settled in, but we can't get the cars in the garage due to the boxes and some furniture, I haven't been able to download any photos from my camera as my PC monitor refuses to start after being laid dormant for a year, and unable to upload pics with no internet. I can't get quotes for the front fence, driveway or plantation shutters due to having no internet or email, and the frustrations continue!! What on earth did we do before the internet!!

With any luck, I 'should' be back on air next week, and I can't wait to catch up on everyone's news. 4 weeks is a long time without blogs, not to mention extremely frustrating!

I'll be back soon with some photos!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Flooring complete, so the moving in begins!

It has been a very busy 'week and a bit' since I last updated the blog...I have just been too exhausted to even think about it!

So after getting the keys on the Thursday 10th, we had a family get together of pizza and Bolinger on the Friday night (with deck chairs on the concrete floors!).

We had every intention of sealing the garage floor over the weekend, but the weather decided to play havoc! It was incredibly windy, so what was soon swept up and out, ended back in the garage! We did, though, literally chisel off any odd bits of mortar, plaster and dirt from the garage floor, and made it look nice and smooth for the 'eventual' sealing.

Instead, we took down everyone of the hideous plastic china men's hats lamp shades the builder provided, and replaced most of the compact fluoros with 75 watt incandescents I've been stock piling for months! I spotted my Son wandering around the house with a china men's hat on his head! We also began to install the paper 'Redi Shades' on all the windows. Not the best for sun blockout, but instant privacy and only $7 each (for the small ones) at Bunnings!

So all was not lost over the first weekend! On Monday 14th Sept, I had organised a Telstra approved Contractor to dig the trench from the house to the street, and channel underground from the street to the nearest Telstra Pit. He arrived earlier than expected, had the job done in no time and left the nature stip of my neighbours looking as though absolutely nothing had taken place!

I made sure I took quite a few photos of the conduits' position and depth for future landscaping reference!

Since Monday ended up being such a lovely day with no wind, Hubby decided to leave early from work and put the first coat of sealer on the garage floor!

There were several options we were looking at, including Berger Jet Dry Paint and Dulux Garage Floor, but both applications required the floor of the garage to be acid etched first for the paint to 'take'. We decided to use 'Staseal Premium' from The Concreters' Warehouse' on recommendation from a friend. It required 2 coats, and the first having a solvent added into it so it would soak into the concrete. It was brushed on around the edges, and then 'broomed' on with a broom instead of a roller for the remainder of the floor.

Tuesday saw the beginnings of the floorboards go down, and I was very impressed with the results so far!

They are one strip engineered "Boral Silkwood in Spotted Gum". I have read several things about this type of flooring - both good and bad! We have gone with the 'Australiana' finish which is apparently more hard wearing than the 'natural' finish, so fingers crossed!

Tuesday late afternoon also saw the second coat of garage floor sealer go on:

It looks fabulous, and will be so much easier to sweep and also prevent the concrete dust being brought into the house. Well worth the effort! We just can't drive on it for about 5 days, especially with hot tyres as it can lift the paint.

On Wednesday, the floor boards were completed. They look fabulous, and really make the house look like a home! It took me ages to clean them, though, after all the foot traffic from the tradies!

Lovely variation in the wood:

Thursday morning the carpet installers arrived, and by the time they had finished for the day the whole of the upstairs was done.

The carpet is a woven 80% wool and 20% nylon from 'Brintons', called Bell Twist in the Mushroom colour. The installers commented that they guessed I wasn't planning on changing the carpet in a hurry! They have seen it layed for 45 years and still looking fabulous! They left rather a large mess with tufts of it everywhere, and it took me close to 3 hours vacuuming just the top storey! I had to empty the Dyson after every room as it was just absolutely FULL!

The finished installing the ground floor on the Friday, including the stairs, which they had a little trouble with as they were not quite built exactly as the display stairs I had photos of! It all worked out in the end, and no one will ever know there is a little gap in one part of a step where the stairs were slightly different to the display!

There is a small spot of glue or something similar right in the middle of the study floor, which I noticed as I finished vacuuming it. I did ring them, and am waiting for a call so they can organise a time to come and clean it off for me...or I won't be paying them! ;-)

Saturday we only had a couple of hours to move across a few boxes before we had 2 parties to go to. Sunday was fairly quiet as we assembled the 3 Expedit shelves and the 3 Ingolf bar chairs from Ikea! The Expedit shelves were an almost perfect fit across the wall in the kids TV area, I just need to get some more baskets, as they wouldn't have fitted in the car at the time!

The kids are really looking forward to eating their breakfast here in the mornings before school!

Today, being Monday 21st September, I am absolutely exhausted. It feels as though I haven't stopped for about 3 weeks, and it's only just the beginning. We hired a truck for 2 days (Husband on a weeks annual leave) and today we began to clear out all our furniture and boxes from the storage unit. The truck has been fabulous, and the kids loved riding on the hydraulic lift...which has been a Godsend!!

We took 2 trips to the storage unit, clearing out a third each time. I have an aching neck and back, and I'm just about to pop into bed....ready to do it all again tomorrow. Not sure when I'll get a chance to update the blog again this week. All depends on how much energy I have left!!