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 ^^

Painting with a purpose

I spent this Easter weekend painting the spare room for my Mum who has decided to move in with us while she waits for her new house to be built.

As usual the uber stinky primer/sealer went on first and I did leave it for two days this time, which seems to have made a huge difference.  No headaches and only one almost fainting spell!

So here's the progress pictures:

Thanks goodness there's no carpet of floorcoverings in there yet as I had a bit of an accident .. oops!

The primer/sealer had been sitting undisturbed for about 2 months so I asked Alex to give it a shake to try and mix it up again before painting.  Unfortunately, being a 15L tin, it was quite heavy so despite us each giving it what we thought was a good shake, when we opened the tin it was still slightly separated.

I knew I had to mix it properly and didn't want to go out to Bunnings and get them to re-shake it, so I sent Alex out to the garage for Peter's drill and went and found the paint stirrer.  We fitted the paint stirrer to the drill and Alex, after lots of cautioning from me, started the drill up very slowly and did a pretty good job of stirring the primer back together.

Then, me being me, I had to have a go at this stirring business as Peter wouldn't let me do it last time he had the drill out.  I figured it couldn't be that hard to keep the paint in the tin .. I mean how much paint can one little stirrer move at a time?

Turns out .. quite a bit:

I thought I was starting the drill slowly but obviously it wasn't slowly enough.  Once the boys realised I wasn't going to somehow make this their fault (as they would have done to each other), they were all peeing themselves laughing. 

The first thing Andrew said after he stopped laughing was .. and I kid you not .. "where's the camera?" 

Followed closely by "Will you kill me if I put this on facebook?"

After assuring him that I wouldn't kill him if he put it on facebook, luckily he lost all interest in highlighting my failing to the known universe so it remains here on the relative privacy of my blog.

 It was all squishy between my toes which was quite gross but luckily I managed to not get any on the tiles in either the hallway or the bathroom as I did some rather awkward hopping to the bathroom.  I plonked myself down on the edge of the bath (very uncomfortable .. should have got a flat sided bath!) to try and wash the worst of it off with turps, soap and water then was straight back into the painting.

Which reminds me .. need to buy more turps; industrial size bottle this time I think!

Friday, 15 February 2013

My tradie's curse strikes again ...

I just don't seem to have much luck picking tradies to do work at this house. 

The concreters were dodgy as slightly lacking in customer service and work ethics (still waiting for them to come back and seal the coloured concrete "liquid limestone" and we've been here 18 months!)

I think the painters I chose to paint all the areas with high ceilings used water based sealer instead of the oil based sealer I know the walls needed .. but we'll just have to wait and see on that one.

And then there's the landscaper.  He seemed like such a good bloke (and still does) but I think he's just too young/disorganised/lacks time management skills to be in business for himself.  I suppose I should have learned from how long the front yard took to be done but I thought I'd give him the benefit of the doubt and booked him to do the back yard, which he started in November. 

I don't know if he underquoted or was just sick of the job but he just really wasn't interested in finishing it off.  It took us threatening to post nasty things the truth on his facebook page for him to finally come back and finish the job ... in February!  It isn't done to the standard that we would have liked but it is finally done so I'm just going to live with it and see what happens ...

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Dividing line

When planning the back yard, I had the grand idea of building some sort of timber screens to .. you know .. 'screen' the view of the clothesline and the (eventual) garden tools shed.  Unfortunately we couldn't seem to agree on which way the timber slats should go.

I was leaning liking the horizontal slat look and as we don't have small children any more, though that it would definitely be the way to go.  The fact that is the current fashion may have influenced me slightly but hey, the heart wants what it wants, and I wanted horizontal.

Husband darling, however, couldn't (or wouldn't) share my fashionable vision and was insisting on vertical slats .. you know .. like the proverbial white picket fence.  Yee-uck!!

To save the cost of marital couselling, we both agreed to let go of our respective fence dreams and compromise.  The eventual choice was to use the same sort of fencing as on the boundaries but with a slight tweak.  The fact that this fencing was (probably) cheaper and far less labour intensive than any of our previous options, hubby was given the go ahead by yours truly to install it ... yesterday.  (We all know that when I want something done, I want it done yesterday and that I am not to be expected to expend any effort whatsoever .. it is to just happen!)

Despite my (rather grandiose) idea of having someone else install it to save hubby the hassle on his very short times at home, I didn't get around to getting someone in.  So my darling, very handy, hubby got to work with our boys and installed one side of the fence in a morning.  I did have to expend some effort myself but it was well worth it!!

The other side will ahve to wait until we can get the rest of the necessary parts .. a couple of uprights.  Due to this fence colour not being commonly used .. except for in our estate where everyone's fences are the same colour .. we have to wait a bit longer for them to make some more.  As soon as it is done, I'll post more pictures.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Woohoo .. first haircut!

... for the lawn that is!  Looks so much nicer like this .. it almost looks even!!

Monday, 14 January 2013

All we need is ... dirt

The back yard garden beds are finally finished but unfortunately a couple are still empty:

the alfresco corner
across the back
down the side to the garage