Thursday, September 19, 2013

Gingham and ric-rac - my vintage aprons

Just a little posts of pics. Thought I might show my small "accidental" collection of aprons. You know how it starts, someone gives you something they think you might like and before you know it you are seeing (and buying) similar pieces and suddenly you have "a collection". While I never actively seek them out, I can spot one a mile away, and gingham seems to be the favoured type, just can't seem to help it. I think they just remind me of our carefree childhood at my Nanna's, aprons on the line, home baking and a garden sprinkled with edibles, gooseberries, loquats, guavas, monsterea. How funny that I live in the same type of house only streets away.
It all started with the first two aprons, given to me by my Aunt, they were my Nanna's. She belonged to that era when cooking without your apron was unheard of, I can't ever remember her cooking without one (she would have been 107, still fondly remembered (esp. by my Dad) for her yummy chocolate cake, jamdrops and treacle pudd).

Pretty mauve with white crinoline lady and cornered hemline.
Not gingham, but fits in well. Has anglaise trim and false pocket detail. My Aunt still has a pale blue one similar to this one.

First of two green aprons, has two crinoline ladies with posies.

This would be my fav, light olive green with cross stitched flowers.
Red with simple geometric pattern.

Second green apron, heart shaped pocket and crinoline lady with stitched flower details.

Quite like this one as well, brown, tapered pocket and simple geometric design.
Purple with yellow stitching and daisy detail.

 Blue with stylised flowers and machine stitched edging. Colourful

So do I wear them while cooking? Nope, I should though, they're too pretty to be packed away. I usually wear the one above (70's maybe?) or my old black and white ones, so I don't need to fuss about stains. Maybe when I get a kitchen refurb.

I like how the past owners/makers of these aprons have each endeavoured to add a little bit of prettiness to the often hot, messy and overlooked monotony of constant food preparation.

So there it is, my small accidental collection so far, nine aprons. Still could find a yellow, orange, black/white, who knows what is out there just waiting for me to rescue...... 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Reno cottage - veranda floors finished.

Dragging my heels on this post, had trouble taking pics that weren't a bit on the blurry side, broke a bit from the tripod and can't use it, so these will have to do. The floor is done and dusted, still need to screw on window handles and sliding blocks, and lights?? Love how dark the floors are, makes a nice change from the rest of the rooms.

Our homemade skirting boards have been screwed into place. Most of the cover strip trims have been nailed in place, which has tidied things up nicely.

The poor battered and worn doorway treads have been undercoated and painted in "oxblood". Soon the front stairs will match.

Our lovely chunky doorknob has been hammered back on. We recently saw some repros like this one, but no where near as solid (Recollections, if you are looking)

 Wondering if I should paint some "oxblood" trim on the door panel edges, looks a bit too all white.

We had originally intended to "wall off" this end of the veranda, thinking third bedroom/study. Have now decided if someone needs another room a wardrobe might suffice.
One day when our own veranda has it's windows installed (on one end only), our poor old homeless iron bed might fulfill it's purpose as a day bed, until then I might play (very) amateur stylist (and photographer)....

 Could have grabbed something a bit nicer to photograph (eyes roll) The pretty handpainted vase was a gift from a girlfriend many years ago, the blanket and chenille bedspread opped and the vintage sheets were my sister's. She had the pink room, I had the brown and I thought my room was the best.

Can't turn my back on a newly made bed for a minute.
Have a lovely day.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Home Sweet Home - oiling the veranda floor.

I know I have yet to share pics of the Reno cottage's veranda done, however I've just spent three days (on my own) working my butt off (totally aching gluteus maximus!!), sanding and oiling our veranda floor. Trying to tick off a few jobs before the heat of summer, and this is one that I have been putting off for a long time. So after one day sanding (I'd left it too long between coats) and scraping out dirt and such from between the cracks and two days of oiling, the floor is looking pretty good if I do say so.
I used Feast Watson Decking oil, and I think this has been a pleasantly surprising product. It smells quite nice in a bubble gum putty kind of way, was lovely to apply and has dried more like a varnish than an oil. Other decking oils we have tried in the past have left the floor a bit tacky and dirt catching. It takes 7 days to fully cure and four hours between recoats. I left it to dry overnight between the second and third coats. I hope it recoats well down the track.

Forgot to sand the doorway until I had started cutting in (brushed first coat). These are the quirky little things that I love about living in a century old house.

After three coats.

Glad there is still some evidence left.

We removed two walls either side of the front door a few years after we bought the house, one wall had been built in very early on. It had the same skirting as the rest of the house and had more permanent cut-ins on the bracing (which you can see in a pic further down), hence the holes and nail marks in the floor. More evidence of a constantly adapting house.

Now we just need a doormat the cat won't shred.

A typical snowball effect, the ceiling also needed cleaning, also the lattice doors and side panels were looking a little grotty and before I knew it, I'd cleaned the fanlight, the hallway ceiling and checked the smoke alarm. That's why it's too painful to sit down, I've been up and down a ladder for days.

We made a decision recently, to keep our heritage-creamy walls for a few years longer. Choosing my words carefully! Think colour totally suits this house and believe current trends are not for us. Needs a sunny happy colour. Luckily we're all different.

Dug out this pic from our past, the colour history of the veranda.  We did know that at one stage part of our house was pale/deep pink and two shades of forest green. Trying to imagine this house as pink. There's a pink house up the road, confident people. Thinking also, only mission brown would give us a break from wall washing.
Eight months on, how do I like having painted floorboards? Surprisingly very much. I thought I might be a slave to keeping them clean, however they hardly need mopping (once or twice a month).  There has been some black scuff marks from boy's shoes, which need a rub with the finger to remove and also a bit of shrinkage around the fireplace which we kind of expected, but I think I might be a convert. I do give them a quick sweep each day which probably helps. I think as long as we keep a good coat of clear varnish over all, they should wear well. I particularly love how they guide me in the dark without the need to turn on lights, very useful.
'Tis a blissful thing, enveloped in the warmth of early morning sunlight and the heat of a feverish stupor, knowing the chores are up to date and the house is full of food. Having the cat for company and the dog on guard duty. The gentle prompting to prepoll vote earlier in the week and knowing only two pairs of school shorts needed ironing has only added to the peace of mind as I enjoy an unusually quite house and a snooze on the veranda couch.
Surely one of the luxuries of being a SAHM. Will have to catch up another time when I'm over this lurgy (first for the year).
Have a wonderful weekend everyone.
Happy voting on Saturday. 

Sunday, September 1, 2013's all about the flowers.

Was going to talk about verandas this morning, but feeling a little despondent now another favourite blogger is calling it a day. So I'll just show a somewhat haphazard post of pics of why I can barely stand to be inside watching a computer screen at the moment. Spring is here.

The days are hazy and the animals lazy.

Vases of jasmine scattered throughout, are perfuming the whole house.

New additions to the garden, limonium, daisy, rondelitia (light pink one), pink mallow (from the hibiscus family) and I can't remember what the deep pink one is called, anyone?

I'm enjoying tending this little spot, the begonias are flowering, a third begonia is settling in well. The miniature hot pink azalea is flowering for the first time and some annuals are starting to flower. Some tricolour coleus cuttings behind have taken and a baby justicia has added lots of new growth. All nestled under the only rose I can grow and it's not down to my care and attention.

 Wish I could hand out cuttings, it's such a lovely, hardy, old style rose. It's enjoying the sun before the crepe myrtle above gets it's new leaves.

The abutilons are flowering, hard to take nice pics of them in the shade.

The peach blossoms are almost finished and I only snapped one pic this year.

The petrea is in flower now and looking gorgeous considering there is not much fertilising done around here.

Have some blog catching-up to do, back next time with some veranda pics, (that I need to go and take)
Hope your garden is flowery and your day is wonderful, until next time.

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