Saturday, 18 January 2014

What a difference a year (or two ... or three) makes ...

... three years, a retaining wall, some landscaping mix, some plants, fertiliser and water!

Started out with this:

January 2011

The house before the wall:

October 2012

Then got the wall:

October 2012

Then finally got the plants in

February 2013

And the latest view:

January 2014

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Being a right tool ...

I was on Pinterest again the other day and found this idea for an indoor tool board using an old picture frame and a piece of pegboard.  (The original idea was on but appears to have been taken down.)

As I have many, many 'spare' picture frames around the house (including many without glass .. I knew they'd come in handy one day!), I found one about the right size and begged and pleaded asked Peter nicely to find me a piece of pegboard that would fit. I thought he had some spare in the garage but it turns out he, darling husband that he is (sometimes!), went out to Bunnings and bought a piece specially for me and my project.

I started with a wood toned frame (they were all bought back in the early 2000's when wood was in .. and I worked for a photo developing place so I got staff discount, especially if they were scratched or dented), painted it black with gloss spray paint then batted my eyelashes asked Peter nicely to cut the board to size and fit it.

Then it was my turn to go to Bunnings and buy some pegboard hooks and hangers.  After asking several staff members where I would find said hooks and then walking from one end of the place to the other without finding any, I was ready to give up when I found them in the aisle with 50 million different kinds of screws.  You'd think it would be logical to put them with the pegboard, or in the storage section where all the garage organisation bits & pieces are, or maybe even in the aisle that had many other different kinds of hooks but I suppose putting them with screws is logical to someone ... not someone who deserves to design product placement for a job, but still someone nonetheless.

Anyway, after my incredibly frustrating rewarding shopping trip, I returned home and played around with the placement of the various hooks and hangers at my disposal, finally coming up with this arrangement:

Obviously, this isn't the most comprehensive tool collection ever, but it serves my needs for inside the house. There's a hammer, two different types of pliers, two crescent (adjustable) spanners, several screwdrivers, a spirit level, a 5 metre tape measure and a workshop knife.  I can fix (or break) most things I would need to with one (or several) of these tools meaning Peter doesn't have to worry I'm going to borrow one of his precious tools while he's at work.  (just kidding .. I probably couldn't find what I wanted in the garage anyway...)

The best part, well I think so anyway, is where I put it ... in the pantry.  Then I can easily access the tools and also easily see if one is missing.  There's kind of a colour theme going in that almost all of my tools are orange which makes it easier to identify which tools belong to me and which ones belong in the hoarder's dream garage.

The big blank area down the bottom was supposed to be for little 'bins' for screws/hooks etc but I decided not to put them on as they stuck out too much and would have kept getting knocked around, and as I already pick up way too many things off the floor in this house, I figured why create more problems for myself...

I'm toying with the idea of making some sort of sign or nameplate for the whole thing and possibly re-arranging it now that the bins are a no-go but I'll leave it up for a while and see what inspiration strikes. (I know it looks crooked but that's just my lack of photo-taking skills!)

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Trying to find some balance ...

The boys gave me a funny sign for the kitchen for Mother's Day (yes I know it was back in May... I've been reading busy) and I finally hung it up this weekend.

Of course, once it was up on one side of the range hood, the whole area looked very unbalanced which my CDO (like OCD but the letters are in alphabetical order like they should be) really couldn't handle.

I was a bit short of ready cash to just go and buy another sign or picture (as well as the fact that it is nowhere near Mother's Day so all the 'funny' kitchen signs have gone to be replaced with 'funny' garage/shed signs leftover from Father's Day) so I did what most modern women do and jumped on Pinterest to find some inspiration for a solution.

After hours and hours an appropriately short amount of time, I came across these free printables from Over the Big Moon, found some spare 8x10" frames and set the printer to work.  I think you're 'supposed' to print them out on photo paper or card but I just went with good old cheap (and available) copy paper. And now for the big reveal ... TA-DA:

I'm not sure if I like them in the wood tone frames but at least they're up on the wall helping to defuse the whole "BUT IT'S NOT BALANCED" meltdown I was this close to having.  It still bugs me .. just not quite as much.  I didn't want to paint the frames as they are part of a gallery wall set I have been hoarding saving for just the right spot but I may change my mind further down the track and paint them black or white. Opinions?

Saturday, 31 August 2013

We have boards!!


Once they're swept and mopped, they'll look even better ... woohoo!!

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Tiles, carpet, vinyl or boards?

After many, many months of trying to make a decision about what floor covering to use in the boys' bedrooms, we (meaning me) finally sat down and made a pros and cons list.

  • pro:  hard wearing
  • pro:  easy to clean
  • pro & con:  very permanent (not easily changed)
  • con:  cold in winter
  • con:  hard on the feet
  • con:  noisy/echoey
  • cost:  approx $60 sqm laid (if we went with the same tiles as the rest of the living area)
  • pro:  comfortable on the feet
  • pro:  not uber permanent/easier to change (than tiles)
  • pro:  reduces/dampens noise
  • pro:  warmer in winter
  • con:  not hard wearing 
  • con:  harder to (get the boys to) clean
  • con:  harbours dust and dust mites causing allergies
  • cost:  from $100 to $400 sqm laid (like we'd pay $400 for kids rooms ... ha!)

  • pro:  warmer than concrete/tiles
  • pro: easy to clean
  • pro:  not uber permanent/easier to change (than tiles)
  • con:  easily damaged (in our experience, even the expensive ones tear/warp over time)
  • con:  looks 'cheaper' in a bedroom (in my own humble opinion)
  • cost:  from $50 sqm laid
  • pro:  comfortable on the feet (more so than tiles; less so than carpet)
  • pro:  quite hard wearing
  • pro:  easy to clean 
  • pro:  warmer than tiles/concrete floor
  • pro:  reduces/dampens echoes
  • pro:  easy to spot 'dust bunnies' and areas that haven't been cleaned properly
  • con:  some can get scratched very easily
  • con:  can be noisy if not laid with underlay
  • cost:  from $50 sqm upwards (depending on whether it's laminate, engineered hardwood, etc.)
We checked out several different suppliers, most of whom gave us conflicting information (depending on what they had stock of to sell) so we finally caved and asked the boys for their opinions.  Surprisingly, they all agreed that they wanted floorboards.  

You could have knocked me over with a feather that they were all in agreement and then it started ....
  • "I want jarrah ones" (Alex) 
  • "I don't mind so long as they're not too light" (Andrew) 
  • "I'd like those whitish ones or deep, deep chocolate colour" (Brad) 
  • "Those grey ones look nice" (Peter) 
  • "I want need a nice stiff drink and someone else to make this decision for me" (Me)
After visiting several floorboard suppliers (again), we decided on Trevor's Carpets in Gosnells.  Garry, the salesman, is the guy we went to for our first house's floor coverings over 20 years ago.  He was fantastically patient with me and my indecision and suggested I take some samples home to try them out in all the different bedrooms.  

So to make a long story short, (I know ... waaaaaay too late!) we are getting laminate floorboards in "Spotted Gum" installed in all the bedrooms that don't currently have anything on the floor.  Can't wait ....

Sunday, 30 June 2013

Nowhere near self sufficient ...

In the last post, things were looking promising in the veggie garden with everything having the beginnings of a decent crop.

I'm not sure what happened but those two cucumbers were the only two to grow past the swollen flower stage.  They tasted good but they were nowhere enough to feed the family for even one meal :-(

The corn plants all died within days of each other without producing a single 'proper' ear of corn between them.  I think the dogs may have had something to do with that but without proof, Peter won't accept that his precious princess Xena can do any wrong :-P

Speaking of Xena, she ended up at the emergency vet in the middle of the night recently.  She had been sick all over the house from both ends (lovely clean up job for yours truly 'cos everyone else in this house is a wuss) and when we took her into the vet, they thought she was having a allergic reaction to something.  We couldn't work out what it might have been but after everything was all over and they had taken the kidneys of our first born to sell on the black market to cover part of the cost she was home safe and sound, I caught her carrying baby green tomatoes off the plants into the house to hide for later.  Made me wonder if that was what had made her sick and when I caught her trying to bring leaves in as well, I figured it was time to give up and just pull the plants out. (For those who don't know, tomato plant leaves are toxic to humans and many animals, including silly little white dogs named Xena).

So, all in all, our crop of two cucumbers, a multitude of minuscule inedible carrots, no corn, no tomatoes, no watermelons, dead herbs and one single solitary apple can be deemed a failure in the 'feeding ourselves' stakes.

The solitary yummy apple from this first 'crop'

The first of many more apples ... I hope!

I do have plans for another apple tree to hopefully increase our crop of apples (via cross pollination) for next season but am still trying to find one that won't grow to triffid proportions.

Here's to next season .....

Sunday, 31 March 2013

Not quite self sufficient

.. but getting there!

^^ baby carrots in front with polka dot sweet corn behind ^^
 ^^ tomatoes and cucumbers at back with lettuce at front ^^
 ^^ the Pinkabelle apple tree i got for Christmas from Clare with it's single apple hanging in there ^^
^^ one of the watermelon vines (may have missed the best season but we'll give it a go anyway) ^^
 ^^ baby cucumber ^^
^^ not-so-baby-but-not-quite-ready-to-eat cucumber ^^