Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Seashell cake and Vintage Chic.

Our one and only daughter celebrated her birthday this week and as it was a mid-week birthday it was going to be just us for cake cutting. This girl never comes home from the beach emptyhanded and has more shells in her room than anything else. So I thought I would make the beachgirl a beach cake. As I've pretty much used up every suitable cake idea from my poor old Women's weekly kid's cake book and my kids have outgrown boats,teddybears and spaceships(and Mum has lost enthusiasm after years of trying to create four masterpieces a year) you have to look elsewhere for inspiration, after all, everything has been done before right?

Well I'm not going to show the pics from the www. that inspired me after all they were wedding/50th/professional and double layered. So I'm just going to say that it looks beach-ish! Son #2 helped me make the chocolate shells and seahorses with some white chocolate and powdered chocolate colourings. We ran out of brown chocolate because he ate too much. The white spikey things are supposed to be coral and the sand was crunched up biscuits which behaved like sand and went where you didn't want it to. I coloured some of the fluffy frosting blue for waves of course,a few cashous and one attempted clam shell on top and after the effort making the shells we were going to use them all! Grandparents turned up and daughter was pretty happy.

I think every Mum has this book but just incase, the recipe for fluffy frosting is below.

The latest issue of my Mum's favourite magazine has a story on Vintage chic which I kinda like. Lovely rooms from a Melbourne home decorated with pre-loved furniture some of which has been re-vamped by the owner and her husband.

There's something about older furniture that makes it so easy to live with. The chandeliers in the outdoor eating area were bought for $100 each.

Bit partial to mis-matched chairs myself. I like the way she uses lots of different colours in each room. Fabrics that you can change when you want to.Life's too short to be too serious with home decor. The web site has more pictures that don't appear in the magazine if you're interested in the look.

Well, we've got lots of renovating to do next-door this weekend and another three birthdays in April.

Work hard, sleep well?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

$10 bought me...

from my favourite op-shop, a pretty hand-embroidered tablecloth 1x1 mt, a retro thermos( I feel like a picnic now), and some pretty plates to add to the collection. I haven't been on the hunt much lately and have missed the thrill of looking. Half of the pleasure is in the"possibility".

Sometimes I think the older plates are much nicer.
Each special in a mis-matched way.

A few weeks ago I found another pretty tablecloth and some '60's napkin rings. Don't ask why I bought those I just liked the colour and the idea of keeping an eye-out for others to collect.

At the collectable/antique fair they were asking $1 each for these vintage spools. I was happy to get mine for $1.50/dozen from the op-shop. Mum had given me a few of her old ones years ago.

I was wondering if anyone knew the name of the shrub from which these pretty coral-coloured flowers come from? A lovely friend brought them over on a visit recently and she can't remember the name, something long. It's in flower at the moment and is notoriously difficult to propagate. Sorry not a very good photo but the colour is true.

I'm enjoying the flowers of our beautiful tibouchina at the moment, what an amazing shade of purple.

Gaura lindenhimerie flowering also.
Floating butterflies.

This little fellow gave me a fright when he wandered in downstairs but I scared him in reaching for the camera. A baby bush/brush turkey. The parents have frustrated me no end by relocating whole garden beds across the grass and causing erosion of topsoil. They are protected native birds but I don't stop Penny-dog scaring them away, she loves to chase them into the tree-tops.

Don't they have big ear-holes?

The front of the reno cottage next-door has had some of the windows removed for repair and repainting. It's a tag team kind of job, Mr Crazy House mostly gets them ready for me to paint, I undercoat, he putties and sets the glass and I paint.
Coloured glass nice and expensive to get re-cut so every piece is carefully removed and stored.

Glass out and scraped and cleaned with turps.

Some windows repaired and getting an undercoat.

A bit tedious and back breaking but they look great finished!

Yes, it's Friday night and I'm finishing a blogpost I started this afternoon.
You know your getting old when your idea of a good time is a night in! Well I'm off to the markets tomorrow to find some plants to re-stock our garden after all this rain killed off some plants.
Hope you all have a lovely weekend.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Recycled pencil holders.

Living in a house with only one built-in cupboard, space saving storage is always welcome. Recycle your fruit/salad tins so that pencils are always sharp and visible.

Remove the label and glue in one go if you can (eucalytus oil if you can't) and wash and dry if you want to.
Enamel spray paint from auto-parts shop (supacheap auto), four cans for $10 special. Make sure you get a can of grey undercoat.

The insides of the cans are nicely coated so turn and spray with undercoat.

The paint is quick drying. Topcoat with choice of colour, if I didn't have boys I could have pink and purple.

Cut out some felt circles for the inside using the base as template, I used two per can to stop the noisey clunks as pencils drop in.

Might be a fun project for kids to decorate with pipecleaners, glitter, pom-poms, beads,foam shapes etc.
Rainy day time waster.

Friday, March 18, 2011

More demolishing!

Some of the kitchen walls in the reno cottage have had to be removed.They were a strange mix of different materials used as new powerpoints, lightswitches, etc. were installed by different owners.

How to patch a giant hole in a wall? Not very well! One leftover beer carton and some plaster.

Note the thickness and oh so smooth finish.

Kitchen view into bathroom.

Start of some electrical wiring in place. The doorway getting studed as well.

Bit more wiring. Bored yet? I am.

Mmmm, cooties hiding inside house walls. I had to wash that.

Old combustion stove recess boarded up by a previous owner, using recycled VJ boards.

So if the old ceiling is asbestos and still intact where is the rest of the asbestos walling?
Probably here!

Outside there is a step adjoining the laundry slab and once you have removed all the weeds you can see a little surprise.

Not only has the fibro been used as formwork for the concrete, but buried under the concrete is what appears to be the unaccounted for fibro. A potential problem for generations down the track, common in many old homes.

Outside is looking much better down the side yard after regular mowing and much removal of weeds. Although the block is only a moderate size it's still larger than most modern house blocks, and our family is enjoying having a double block to run loose on.

Not much fun to mow in summer heat though!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

DIY floorboards - finished!

Our bedroom floors were finally finished after the third coat of estapol last week and Mr Crazy House fitted the new skirting boards on the weekend.

Nice and shiny.

We have quite a woop on one part of the outside wall due to removal and replacement of old stumps (before us), one of those quirks of old homes that you have to work with. The skirting board didn't sit level, so Mr CH nailed the board in place while I pushed it down a centimetre or so but not all the way to the floor or the slope would have been very noticeable. Nothing the vacuum cleaner can't handle.

Before nailing.
Quick and neat work with a nail gun.

Mr CH feeling light-headed?

The wobbly-est wall the house, one of the cons of living in a wooden house.

Skirting board fitted, you can't tell - much.

Holes puttied and painted and fumes almost gone. Had to wait 3-5 days before moving heavy furniture across the floors.

Furniture and clutter moving back in bit by bit, but you know how it is, I need to change the wall hangings around now!

Still haven't been able to start on the windows, I need at least two weeks per window to sand, scrape and re-putty because you need to wait two weeks approx. for the putty to "skin" enough to paint and we haven't been without annoying showers of rain for months. I was hoping to have them finished before winter. The neighbours down the road have had their windows out for fixing for almost a year!

Happy girl.

Approx. cost $230 for estapol(on special) sanding disks, turps, acrylic sealer and skirting boards and white paint borrowed from a tin bought for the Reno Cottage next-door.We already had the floor mop and wool pad and paint tray(aprox.$30).

Still to do - replace powerpoint covers with new ones and tackle those windows.

No pretence of style 'round here just a refuge for "old stuff".

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Old stuff -eye candy.

On saturday morning I left Mr CH fitting the new skirting boards to our bedroom and took the "Terrible Teenagers" to the antique and collectable fair. I was quite suprised they actually wanted to go. Daughter was after some vintage bottles and #3 son wanted to look at the collectable cars and such. Hopes for them yet. Gordon Brown from ABC's "Collectors" was there as a stallholder raising money for an animal care group.He was surrounded by ladies captivated by his every word, charming and knowledgeable.
Ok the photos are dodgy but you get the idea, for me there is always something embarrassing about taking photos in public, so it's a case of shoot and forget about the focusing.
Corning ware love.
China and a vintage popeye on a motorbike ($300). Dinky and Tonka.

Daughter wouldn't have the big "man doll".
This beautiful rocking horse was sold by 8:15am.

Lovely vintage typewriter(with a not so lovely price tag) and cute child's chair for $13.

Vintage clothing is always displayed beautifully.

Lots of linens and doileys.

Had to show #2 son "old school" skateboards.

Vintage gowns and wedding dresses in a pile on the floor?

Daughter was happy at the bottle stall, as were lots of other ladies.

Too lovely for a little girl- georgian? dollshouse complete with wallpaper and dados.

The more I see of these Napco vases the more I like them esp. the "sweeteen", don't understand the difference between this one ($275) and the vintage ones from U.S at $5-$35?

Son #3 bought himself a few things and daughter came home with her booty of bottles, both said they would go again. Amazed me! After poo-pooing Mum's "old stuff".

Me, well I was very restrained- something to do with those rates and water/sewerage bills x 2 that came in the mail! Still I thought the fan(with a little rust) and the vintage footstool were my favorite finds. Daughter couldn't believe I wanted the stool, said I would get tinea or something!
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