Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Kitchen benchtops.

This is what we are using for the kitchen bench tops in the Reno Cottage. Porta panels, 1.8mt laminated pine sheets @ $60 each. We are going to leave the bench tops natural instead of staining to give a lightness to such a small space. Mr CH is going to add an edging in Australian mixed hardwood (freebie offcuts) as a contrast and to protect the softer pine edges. Coated by varnish with an added hardener to seal the surface.

The rangehood was a bit of an afterthought for us as we don't have one in our own kitchen (not cooking much wet and greasy foods and having high ceilings). So adding an extra power point and required wiring resulted in some strategic manoeuvring with a piece of pull wire. Range hood covering yet to be decided.

The template for cutting the hole for the sink. We chose a sink with two large bowls as there is no spare room for the dishwasher unfortunately (freebie simpson silencico which we were given for the kitchen)

Plumbing space cut.

Porta panels cut, glued and screwed into place and sink hole cut. The piece cut from the sink area will be used for Mr CH's little plan for the small space under the window. Which he has been plotting and planning from day one.

Who wants to be inside at the moment when our winter weather is so perfect, we have been enjoying watching a few new plants flower for the first time including this-Brazilian red cloak bush.

And enjoying the pyrostegia (orange trumpet plant) along the fence.

Hope the weather is wonderful where you are, enjoy the rest of the week.
Take care.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Renovation is a dirty word!

Well it will be if TV execs have anything to do with it. I guess I'm just not into soap opera TV.

So instead a quick post to show our flatpack kitchen cupboards (from Bunnings) installed by Mr CH. Choosing what to include in such a tiny space was the challenging part. As our budget is $10 000 for the entire house, the focus is on function instead of frills. The cupboards have been levelled with the aid of those wind-up legs and have been screwed to the walls. Timber stripping is being screwed on top ready for the benchtops.

Kitchen cupboard frames -$912

Cupboard doors-$560



Yes that is a 70's vintage sheet on the floor. Dilemma- pantry size versus ceiling. We can't go any smaller in storage and pantry has been lowered enough.

Bathroom walls getting tiled. Classic white=cheap=good for the budget. New window from our old kitchen=free.

Blogpost-short and sweet.

Monday, July 18, 2011


When you live in a century-old home digging in the garden is never boring, especially if you are digging a new garden bed. Over the years we have found a variety of objects from car/bike/mower parts, razors, toothbrushes, rusty tools and of course, bits of fibro.

Most old Queenslander homes from the turn of the century to the sixties had a "home dump", a spot in the garden where you buried things that couldn't be burned. Rubbish only went to the town dump if you were lucky enough to own a car. My mum has told me how she used to visit the dump near her home and sit in the dusk light reading Woman's Weekly magazines.

These are a few of the things we have found in our garden over the years.

Bottles, broken crockery and glass in various colours, a dozen bottle stoppers

Pegs and clamps from railway sleepers. Those old aluminium?toothpaste tubes we used as kids that often sprung a leak halfway down the tube. We had a slotted plastic winder that would slip over the end so you could squeeze every bit out and if you were lucky you might get a dash of paint on your toothpaste as well.(yep! showing my age)
Coins, the oldest a 1912 sixpence. A cap from a bottle of Brisbane Bitter beer.

A cute little ceramic jug from a playset from the 1970's,(my neighbour had one that we played with).

And finally a sterling silver and opal ring I found buried in the grass after living here for almost ten years. Rain had washed the dirt away. I believe the opal is what you call "cracked" this is when the temperature or something around the opal fluctuates and causes it to crack and lose the moisture which gives opals their vibrant colour. It's still a pretty purple and blue in the light and no 1 daughter likes to wear it. I sometimes wonder who was upset at losing it, as it looks handcrafted.

Our neighbour once found a sewing machine table base buried in his garden and I have heard of someone burying a car body because they couldn't get it out of the backyard. What is the strangest thing you have found in your garden?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Miniature things have had me amused for the past week or so. First I was google-ing some miniature dolls houses (as you do). Then a day later I fluked seeing the story on Great South East about the shop House and Doll (owned by Simone from Beach Vintage) which is full of miniature accessories for doll houses. Then a few days later, I read about Bungalowgirl's happy find of a house shaped shadowbox from Paint Me White for her miniature furniture.

All while I was happily giving my house shaped shadowbox a new lick of paint and painting some tiny things to go in it. Funny coincidences?

Unfortunately the drawers were too big to go inside, so I had to find other things to "furnish" the space. I haven't picked up a decorative paintbrush for 4 1/2 years so it was a little strange. Don't know about the bunting though, picture the looks on the male members of the family,"What's that for?"

An oddly sized grouping of bits, a flower basket from my Italian barbie,a red cat found in the garden,a crochet hat brooch from a fete as a child,a glass ornament that was a gift from a childhood neighbour, some tiny tools and bowls that have sat in the craft cupboard for six or so years. I painted little wooden pieces while I was cooking dinner (as you do). Which seemed to cook way too quickly.

If only finishing a room was this simple. Hopefully the dusting is easier. But what do I do with the things that didn't make it inside?

I was very happy to find this vase in my favorite op-shop last week, I think it's plaster/chalkware, it looks and sounds like it. I love it's well worn patina, it's my favorite find so far this year. Tamara from A Treasured Past is showing her wonderful collection of plaster/chalkware now.

So sorry the holidays have finished for another 10 weeks, we got lots of different things done, trees trimmed, mulching started, movies watched (for the price of trips to the cinema we could have bought dozens of movies and watched them in comfortable chairs!)
We have really enjoyed this fantastic winter weather, aren't the winter flowering salvias pretty.

Enjoy the weekend, they say we might get rain.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

DIY tiling the bathroom floor and varnishing the kitchen floor.

I've been putting off this post for a while because I find tiling boring. What can I say? I left it all up to Mr CH. After tiling the downstairs of our house a few years ago using 300ml tiles, Mr CH said using smaller tiles(200ml) with 3ml spacers was much easier. He also said that tiles with a bevelled edge gave you more allowance in leveling overall. He laid out the tiles for a dry run to check spacing and we decided that we would rather have a full tile against the bath edge and a partial tile at the doorway. Personal preference, professional tilers would probably have a full tile at the doorway? Mr CH mixed up the tile adhesive in a bucket with one of those oversized beaters on the end of the drill and tried not to tile himself into a corner.

The tiling took two days to lay the full tiles (with a bit of leg/back stretching inbetween) and then he left it to cure for a few days to harden up so he could measure and cut the edges with his wet saw, which is worth buying if you are going to do a room or two.
Left to harden with the spacers in place.
Should I mention Mr CH learnt "how to" via youtube?

So while he was tiling, I was working on the kitchen floor using black putty in the nail holes and black caulking to fill the gaps between the boards. Then giving the floor a sanding with the orbital ready for the first coat of tung oil varnish.

And I have been painting the new quad and door surrounds for the kitchen.

Ready to be varnished.

As the floor had been well soaked with water in the past and the nail

holes had turned black, rather than try to hide the black, we decided to use black as the fillers. If you try to match putty to a mixed hardwood floor it might look obvious.

The first coat is the fun one, where you get to see the real floor colour.

The water damage is mostly in the little nook, which won't be seen by the time we have finished with it.

After the corner was coated we moved "that annoying corner cupboard" into it's spot-finally! The first coat went on beautifully and was left to dry or the required 24hrs. Then as we went to mop on the second coat the first coat started to pull up (showing little lumps)so we had to stop and let it dry again. This has never happened for us before and we think it was either too cold to dry completely or the mop had too much turps left in it? We let the floor dry for a few days and gave it a light sand and mopped on the second coat and it was fine. A third coat has been mopped on and the cupboards have been put in place to be levelled.

It's looking good!

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