Saturday, January 31, 2009

Completed Artwork.

Nothing at all has happened on the block this week. I actually don't blame them, as we have recorded three days over 43C in a row, yesterday being 45.1C (113.18F) and Melbourne's second hottest day on record. It has been positively foul, and many people have also had to endure power cuts due to 'load shedding'. Thankfully, we only suffered a small, roughly 2 hour, interruption to our power supply, and we were not home at the time. All the trees I had wanted to keep on the block are now suffering severe sunburn, as well as lack of rain (no recorded rain for January at all). It looks as though they may not survive. So, goodbye beautiful weeping cherry, a selection of about 4 camellias and four birch trees. Even the agapanthas around the place are wilting and sunburnt. So much for Victoria being known as the 'Garden State', more like the 'Sunburnt State'.

As there is nothing to report on the house building project, I thought I'd share with you my latest finished artwork for my Nephew's 3rd Birthday. I had seen this idea in a shop, and decided I could easily have a crack at it myself! I even drew the train by hand...with a little help from a ruler!!

I have another bird canvas lined up to do, plus the ones I have planned for my Daughter. With my 'baby' heading off to school on Monday for the first time, I shall have a lot more free time to a) oversee the building process, and b) spend more time doing the things I love doing which, of course, involves shopping! ;)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

'Vegetation' Issue...


Well, the excavator fellas turned up bright and early this morning to scrape the site, but then went home again due to a 'vegetation' issue. Well fellas, that usually happens when a block is left dormant for over 100 days. Again, had things begun when they were supposed to, it wouldn't be an issue...

So it was up to us to get rid of the 'vegetation', and mow the weeds. Great. As we don't want any more delays guess what was done in almost 44C (111.2F) heat this afternoon? That's right, mow the dust bowl. Not a pretty site, but it's done and they can now (hopefully) begin. Although tomorrow the temp is likely to reach into the low forties again, so I highly doubt they will turn up. But still, any progress at this stage is one step closer to moving into our home.

I'm actually surprised that anything has grown there, as we haven't had any recordable rainfall in the gauge for the whole of January. A very sad and sorry tale. It also appears my lovely weeping cherry I wanted to save has not survived due to having it's roots exposed after demo, severe lack of rainfall and temperatures usually only reserved for inland Australia.

Congratulations to my 5000th visitor too! :-)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

We have a breakthrough!

We have returned from our unexpected 'meeting' with Henley, and have had a small breakthrough. We still don't have an 'official' site start date, and our CSA could not give us one as our SS is on site, but it was due to begin this week or next week anyway. The only thing holding us back now is the forecast of Melbourne's impending heatwave, of three consecutive days above 40C. I don't blame the tradies for not wanting to work...

Anyway, due to our misfortune we have had to endure, and the 102 days of an empty block, we decided it was time to talk compensation. We had three options up our sleeve, and chose option B. We decided that because there have been delays out of no fault of our own, and we really should have started before Christmas, our compensation was to be that the contract start immediately, regardless of whether any site works begin. So, today will mark the official start of contract, so the clock is ticking. They have 310 days to finish our home and complete handover or they will have to pay liquidated damages. This means we will most likely be in before Christmas, driveway and flooring included.

I refuse to break open the champers until we have received a letter of confirmation, and a couple of phone calls (Construction Manager was in a meeting, and the SS was on site). If there is any backing down we will consider Option C as a last resort.

So, that's that out the way, on to lovely things!

I know it's not French Provincial, but I have the opportunity to make myself one of these!

Image courtesy Home Beautiful.

It's a vintage London Bus Roll, and I plan on attaching it to a canvas and hanging it on the wall. Which wall, I'm not so sure, and would probably look best either in the family room, or the TV area upstairs, not in the hallway, lounge or dining. It's quite modern, but being vintage, I'm sure it will fit right in. Also the fact that London will always have a special place in my heart, it's quite fitting.

What do you think??

Monday, January 26, 2009

Demo 101.

101 days ago our family home of 12 years was demolished and the site cleaned ready for construction, and we still don't have a site start date. Not acceptable in my book, especially considering there have been no delays other than with the building company.

Tomorrow morning, instead of ringing, we'll be heading down to Head Office, and demanding to know when our site start will be. If it is not by the end of this week, or Monday next week, we will seriously be considering our options. I won't elaborate at this stage, but we have a few things up our sleeves. I'm actually quite disgusted by the way we've been treated, and bitterly disappointed.

If they can't get this bit right, how am I supposed to trust them to build our family home which we plan on living in for 30 odd years??

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Hall table and comfy couches!

Yesterday was spent shopping and making decisions! I went back to have another look at the hall table I discovered, and talked to a different Sales Assistant. She let me know that there is a cream version of the table at their warehouse!! Perfect! That means I won't have to spend time and money 'doing up' the wrong coloured one! I bought it, unseen, but still have the french grey one on 'hold' if it turns out to be not quite right. They should receive it at the shop sometime next week, so I can then take some photos of it. If, on the off chance it won't go in the entrance hall, I'm sure there will be plenty of other places for it.

We also ordered and paid for the beautiful Toorak couches from Freedom yesterday. Saving $750 in the sales will be well worth it, as prices are expected to rise in March, and will probably never be the sale price again. They have delayed the ordering for 12 weeks, which could be delayed even further if they are busy. Doesn't really matter how long it takes, as we won't need them until we move in, and the shorter they spend in storage, the better.

Yesterday, should also have been the day I heard from Henley with site start date. Did they ring? Of course they didn't. I ended up having to chase them...again. I couldn't get in contact with our CSA, so I left a message asking when site start will be and requested she please call my mobile and left my number. When I returned home, there was a message on the home phone. Didn't I ask to be called on my mobile?? Nothing was said about any start date in the message, just that she was returning my call. How completely frustrating. Maybe she was too scared to talk to me...

So, as Monday is a Public Holiday, I now have to wait until Tuesday to ring again. I really wanted some straight answers as to why the hell they are taking so long. There are no delays, other than what seems to me in their apparent organisation abilities. I am really at my wits end, and believe it is time to elevate this issue to higher management.

Enough is enough!!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Temp Fence GONE!

Hi Everyone, and a warm welcome to my new followers!

The issue with the temp fencing after demo has been resolved, and the Guy's came to pick it up this afternoon. Luckily I took one last pic of it before it went! ;-) Just look at those 100 days (almost) of weeds!

After talking to Henley, they were quite happy to provide their own (which I have paid for in the contract), so I don't have to pay for any extension to the time. What I do have to pay for is the damage done to one section of fence, by the demolishes when they took the Tulip tree out. Unfortunately, it will cost us $50 + GST, and I would 'like' to send the bill to the demolishes, but don't think I stand a chance! Could be worse, least I received my $1800 security deposit back from the Council even though their footpath is mashed!

I found 2 beautiful tables today!! One is a hall table with cabriole legs, and although slightly smaller and the wrong colour, it would probably look perfect! I would need to sand the frame and legs back (top is natural wood), and then paint it an off white and then distress it a bit on the edges. I would keep the top natural, I think, just polished a bit with bees wax. The reason it is smaller than what I would like, is the mirror I have had my eye on is 48 inches wide, while the table is 112cm wide (about 44 inches). To have the fairly elaborate mirror bigger than the table, would perhaps dwarf the table into insignificance! I'd also need to go to the display home and measure the space just to see if it may be too small.

Although I'm sure it would go perfectly in the Lounge if it wasn't right! It is on sale for $487.50 reduced from $650....and the shop will warehouse it for free until I need it!! No photo of it, though.

The other table I spotted is a French Oak extension table, complete with cabriole legs too. This table is a second/damaged or floor stock, and is on sale for just over $1000. Bargain considering it's usually about $4000. I won't be getting it just at the moment, though...I'll continue to look! But it would look perfect with the chairs I love, too.

Both these images are from one of my favourite shops:

Town and Country style

Just to finish off, I bought some more paper today for a few canvases I have in mind, one which has to be finished by Sunday week! I had had a great idea for 5 canvases for my daughter's room. They will all feature trees, one will be a large square one with lots of flowers, butterflies a bird and an owl, while the other 4 will be smaller, and feature the same tree, but in different seasons. It will probably take me a year to complete, but I guess it will be that long until she is in her room!

I also just have to show you this I bought a while ago..well, I actually have 3, and plan on hanging them above my Daughter's bed all in a row. Lovely!!

I have to think long and hard about how to decorate my Son's room! It will most probably be the typical red, white and blue (as he has mostly that anyway!), but will decide on canvases eventually. I originally wanted some bedlinen with English Beefeaters on them, but do you think I could find any? He likes pirates at the moment, and has new bedlinen in red white and blue in that theme, so I may incorporate that somehow.

Still plenty of time...

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Some interesting dates...

Tomorrow marks the day our assigned Site Supervisor (SS) returns to work from holidays. I wasn't going to call him, but as it turns out, I will have to, to sort out the temp fence issue we shouldn't have to pay extra for, since we should have had a slab by now.

Next Monday week (26th January) marks 100 days since our demolition was completed, and yet we still have no site start date. Yes, you read correctly, that is 100 days since demo was COMPLETED.

We have also worked out, that just on the off chance that 'Day 1' of contract happens to fall on 17th Feb (please cross all your fingers and toes that we are well underway by then...), official end of contract day (310 days later) will be Christmas Eve. Something to ponder...

Looks like it will be very close to Christmas before we can move in anyway, especially since we have to wait for the driveway and flooring to go in after handover. Mmmm....Perhaps I wasn't far off when I suggested Easter 2010.

Things would have been so much better had it started on time, 4 -6 weeks after demo, NOT nearly 15.

Oh, and some of our mail is STILL being delivered to the empty block, which should have been redirected!

On a much more positive note, now I have had my little whinge, I have finished my 'Noel' letters! They are quite big, but in a big room with high ceilings they should look fine. I do have closer photos of the individual paper on each letter, but I'll post those probably tomorrow.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Temporary Fence Dilemma.

I had a call from the temp fence company who supplied the fence for demo, wanting to know if I needed to extend the time I needed the fence for. Mmmm, well..yes,maybe, but I don't think I should be paying for it...

As Henley 'should' have started by now, and we 'should' have had a slab by now we should not have had to deal with this issue. I had a feeling it may crop up. I was soooo tempted to say 'yes, and send the bill to Henley', but I refrained. ;-)

I asked the CSA a while ago about the temp fence used for demo, and she said that they will supply their own once the slab was laid (and which we have paid for and is accounted for in our contract). Great. That 'should' have brought us up to just before Christmas, and before the 3 months of temp fencing I've paid for expires.

Anyway, as I'm still on holidays, I'll sort it all out on Monday when I get back and have all of the paperwork infront of me. I'm sure there will be a simple solution!

Friday, January 9, 2009


Why, oh why do I have such expensive taste? ;-)

Time to hit the Mornington shops this afternoon! I do tend to travel a bit for window shopping, but hey, why not!! I like to make sure I see everything that's available in case I might miss out on something! I ventured into Bed Bath 'N Table and noticed they now have 70% off their Christmas decorations, so I added to the collection with 5 more baubles. I also bought a storage basket for my Daughters book shelves at 40% off,so have to be happy spending about $9 instead of $15! What really caught my eye were the gorgeous earrings the Sales Assistant was wearing. None other than the Eiffel Tower, complete with bling. I just had to ask her where she purchased them from, and of course the answer was Paris. BUT, she did let me know that she also works at the Tyabb Packing House and they are available there for $70. It's a place I have often frequented, and had planned on going whilst down on the Peninsula. No excuse now...

What really took my fancy in another shop was a pair of 18th Century french wooden and wrought iron doors for ....wait for it...$12,000!! Somehow, I don't think so. But nice to drool, anyway!

Another purchase I walked away with was the December 2008 British edition of 'Country Homes and Interiors' complete with lots of drool worthy Christmas ideas for the new home and gorgeous furniture. Ah....I can dream, can't I?

Sunday, January 4, 2009

For Mrs B!!

Hi Mrs B, I just thought I'd post the pics of my 'artwork' for you while I dropped home quickly, otherwise I would forget!

This is the canvas I made for my Sister-in-law for Christmas. It's a painted background with cut out paper for the branches, leaves and bird, all stuck on with acid free glue (no yellowing over time!). The colour representation is not 100% accurate, as I finished it Christmas Eve, and rushed to take the pics, but you get the general idea!

Here is another one I made for her Daughter (my Niece) for her Birthday last year. This one took far longer to produce than the birds, as there was so much careful cutting out of the layers of paper, then sticking them together to form individual butterflies, then adding on the feelers and sticking the whole butterflies to the painted canvas.

I have always loved being creative with my hands and doing 'crafty' paper things, embroidery, or photography. I can't draw to save myself, so I try and be creative in other ways!

I also have a few pics of some of my Christmas pressies. I have been collecting perfume bottles as I see them on sale, and was lucky enough to receive another for Christmas to add to my collection!

And a beautiful ceramic glazed urn I have been eyeing off for quite some time! It's a beautiful creamy beige colour, and will look lovely (I hope) on a hall/console table in the entrance hall under a mirror and with various other 'bits'!! Just in case anyone might be interested, it's from Bed Bath N' Table.

I also received a gorgeous wire heart which holds photos or momentos. I have been wanting one of these for a couple of years, and I even bought some vintage style Paris postcards to go in it when I bought it. My Sister-in-law couldn't believe I knew what it was before I opened the wrapping!!No photos of it yet, unfortunately.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Happy New Year to all!

I am currently spending some time roaming around the Mornington Peninsula and relaxing after the stresses of the past few months. I'm having a wonderful time exploring all the beautiful shops dotted around the Peninsula too! I haven't made any purchases yet, but have many lovely ideas! I'm still looking for the perfect dining table and chairs, hall table, mirror and odds and ends, including a fake potted flowering orchid (I refuse to pay $200 for one in Freedom!) The beautiful Toorak couches are currently on sale at Freedom (save over $700 for two 3 seaters), and we face the dilemma of where to store 2 rather large pieces of furniture for about 8 months! There is absolutely no room in the Unit we are in, nor in the garage. Our storage place is full to the brim, and don't fancy taking out another for two couches! Oh, the decisions!!

Anyway, it's yet another rather cool day here, so it's off to Sorrento to hit the shops. Hehe ;-)