Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Rushing In Is Not Always Foolish

Sometimes mistakes are meant to be made. Sometimes my slapdashery works out for the best. Take the bee stencil I did last night. Too much haste meant that I made a hash of the stencilling. Equally as hastily I painted over the top of it with the base colour without sanding, meaning you could still see the raised edges of the pattern clearly. But it was all meant to be, because when I woke up this morning with the idea of distressing the top to reveal parts of the stencil beneath, I knew I'd be onto a winner. And I love the result. See?

This is the cabinet top. I'm mulling over how to do the rest, whether it be more bees over the drawer fronts and sides, or just some leaves, or nothing at beyond a bit of light distressing. A smarter person would have planned all that out before starting, but that's not the way I roll, folks. This is how it looked before - pretty, but more granny chic than shabby french apartment. It was mainly the colour - didn't work with the white I favour these days.

I think Instagram makes anything look good!


A little while ago, I posted about my sister's makeover (here). She's had another one, and I think this one by far trumps the last. Check her out!!

Isn't she bee-yoo-ti-ful?

Disclaimer: I have permission to publish this photo, I'm not really a mean sister, we both think it's hilarious! Besides, this is nothing. No one's seen my just-out-of-bed hair yet. Channelling a wicked witch doesn't even come close...


Vote for her here, you know you want to!


Tuesday, May 14, 2013


We had half an inch of rain! It doesn't touch the sides on what we need, but I'm grateful for what we did get. It will freshen things up, and there's something about a bit of rain that puts a little zest into everything out here. And I don't need to mention that glorious smell. To die for.

I have a sick little fella today, who told me he felt "all crooked" yesterday. "All crooked" turned out to mean crook. I mean, duh..mum. Here he is, snuggled up wearing his kangaroo tail, which he loves to bits. I have a little brown shearling vest which he likes to wear with it, it's very cute to see him hopping around. Not that there's much hopping today. Hopefully tomorrow he'll be a happier little bloke.


Dilemma... I've been asked to do a brief radio interview about having the RFDS out here, following up on their newsletter story. (We made front page! Check it out here...) but anyway I just don't know about the radio. It's only about 5-10 minutes, but I shudder just thinking about it. I know I'd sound like an idiot. So I'm definitely leaning towards "hell no". Would you do it?


My stencils arrived...yay! I got them on Etsy to use on furniture, so this afternoon I brushed a quick coat of a pale lavender-grey onto a large free-standing jewellery cabinet I'm redoing, and had a go at a stencil. Well. Fools rush in, and that includes me. Didn't research techniques and made a big ol' hash of it. Paint bled everywhere. So I've painted it over and will adopt a different technique tomorrow. Here are my stencils.

I started with the bee, on top of the cabinet, but I might take a bit more time tomorrow in planning, as I want to do some bits on the front, too.

Today was basically a very unproductive day. But they happen from time to time, right?

It's getting chilly!!



Sunday, May 12, 2013

Lazy ol' Monday


Look!! Isn't it beautiful?

For once the predictions were spot on - they forcast rain for today, and rain we've got. I don't think there'll be lots in it, but at least its wet stuff, falling from the sky, and it smells so good!

We were caught out over at the woolshed when it started to rain, and as tempting as it was to dance in it, it was a little cold, so we headed over to the house for cups of soup. Perfect. Not before taking care of this fella though. I think it's the first time I've seen him canter. He usually strolls everywhere.

I know that what we need is inches, and we won't be getting that this time round. We'll be lucky to get 10mm. But it's just so nice to see.


We've been putting together a bit of an area out on the deck which is coming along nicely. I need to find some nice bench seat cushions (or make some), and I'll paint this furniture, as it's looking tired. And some pot plants are in order on my next trip to Bunnings. We have a gas patio heater to put in there too - I think it'll make a nice sitting area - nicer still once we landscape around the pool!

Ignore my project in progress painting wine racks... fiddly job. Yet another UFO!

Such a grown up little bloke, with his "coffee", workshirt, notebook in his pocket and his phone. Ahh love.

And nothing makes this one happier than a remote control. What is it with kids and remotes? Such a happy little girl.

And that's about it. Quiet day enjoying the rain today, while lamb shanks are braising in the slow cooker. Maybe some shower base preparation this afternoon. And some mending. Not so much fun, that one. This time next week we'll be in the big smoke, which will be great! Lots of Gran time, and a belated birthday/mothers day expedition are in order, I think. Shopping, too of course, of the window variety.

I can't wait!




Saturday, May 11, 2013

Thomas The Cake Engine

Here's the thing about making fancy birthday cakes. There's all that planning, building, painting and effort, and then bam. It's destroyed right before your eyes as the knife cuts in. But oh, isn't it worth it when your little one's eyes light up? Harry loved his cake. My heart melted when I walked in and found him giving the icing face a "smoocher" and a cuddle... and it wasn't even a cake yet! Thomas got more smooches when he was finished, too. At this point it's the cake, not presents, that has Harry feeling like it's his birthday.

I have a lot to learn when it comes to cake decorating, but I think by the time the kids hit the 18 year old mark, I'll probably have the knack. I don't think I'll give up my day!

Here's Thomas with his crumb coat on. My crumb coat was a help, but could have been better... apparently you need a crusting buttercream, but mine didn't crust. Still, it was better than nothing. Already, he has a bit of a lean backwards. So this is Drunken Thomas.

Here he is, all iced up. Icing is definitely not my strong suit. Still, his colours didn't mix into a multicoloured mess, his wheels worked out well, and most of the crumbs stayed away. I just didn't get a smooth finish. This is Textured Thomas.

Here's Harry giving the camera a smile just after laying a big ol' kiss on Thomas. Yes... that's Harry's special "smile for the camera". Funny bloke. Smooched Thomas.

Here's Hubby and Vicki, having just witnessed a train wreck of epic proportions.

Demolition Thomas.


And this right here? The Clean Up Crew.

Anyway, the cake tasted great!


I wonder what I'll make for Vicki's first in a couple of months? Better start planning now - I might need to stock up on supplies. We're lucky with our "local" IGA, but there were a lot of things I couldn't get, eg gel food colour, fondant tools and black strap licorice.

Tomorrow, I plan to do a whole lot of nothing, except drink tea from the beautiful mug Harry made at childcare. Look at the portrait of me he did.

Beautiful, aren't I? Lol... I absolutely treasure this. It's the first thing he's made for me, and I love it.


Friday, May 10, 2013

Sneak Peek

So the bathroom renovations are coming along quite well, though not much has happened this week, as we've had a bit on. All that's left to do is install the shower stall, and the bits and pieces like towel rails, mirror etc. And paint the floor. The vanity is much better.


As are the tiles. And I'm not missing the green.

I'm a bit undecided about what to do with the base of the shower stall. It's all looking so good, but the shower base is yellowed and stained. I like rustic, but its a bit beyond it! I got some tub paint, but I think the base might be plastic, and if so I can't use it, as it's epoxy. Got any ideas anyone?

I'm really looking forward to completing the project!


We also made these magnetic flyers and got them posted out today. Thanks Dad for your help! They came up really well, I think.

Who's going to be able to pass up the opportunity to have Sean muster for them, when faced with such bright flyers? Gyro anyone?

And here it is, the perfect antidote to teething pain. Celery, cold from the fridge. Vicki couldn't get enough of it, what a healthy kid!

And on that note, it's time for bed. It's a big day tomorrow, building Thomas the Tank Engine out of cake. Bring it on!


Happy Birthday Harry!

My boy is 3 today. I think every parent says it....where has the time gone? It was only yesterday that he looked like this.

Now look! Big boy. So big that he has his own "wallet", keys and phone, and carries a notebook and pencil around in his top pocket, just like Dad. And loves to "drive" the motor car.

But he's not so grown up that he doesn't enjoy a little cake. (But then is anyone ever that grown up?)

He had childcare today, so I spent yesterday making loads of cupcakes for all the little kiddies there. As it turned out, he decided to come home with us for the day after the little Mothers Day do they held, so we left the cupcakes for the kids to enjoy and brought our little man home. Poor mite was so tired that we decided to leave the rest of the birthday celebrating until tomorrow. Which was lucky, as I'm only partway through the 3 dimensional Thomas the Tank Engine cake he had his heart set on (the one I vowed not to make when I first came across it). Here's the face. Yes, you're allowed to laugh. I'm anything but skilled in the art of cake decorating. I don't know my way around an icing bag. Fondant is my enemy. My tools were the end of a teaspoon and a pair of scissors, so it's all a little wonky. Thomas has a few years on him now. He's a little wrinkly and crepey in the chin area. But recognisable... I hope?

I wonder if I can sand his chin? You know, with sandpaper? (I'm only kind of joking...)

I never tire of talking about the little guy. He's totally adapted to the bus. They were fortunate enough to have him sing "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" all the way home the other day. The shyness is gone, it seems! I put Vicki's food in the microwave the other day, left briefly, and came back to find he'd gotten her bowl out of the microwave and was feeding her. Bless his heart! Not bad thinking for a little bloke. He's learnt that an "I love you" and a quick kiss and cuddle has the potential to get him what he wants - usually company on the trampoline, or for us to play with him. Cunning. I could go on... and I often do.


So, tomorrow it's Harry's birthday, round two. Love you, little man.



Saturday, May 4, 2013


Ok I'll admit, I'm only a couple of years late to this little party, but slowly slowly the desire to splash a little chevron around the place has been building. And I have found the perfect place for it - our back enclosed veranda/sleepout, which is currently a walkway/storage area/waste of perfectly good space. When Sean suggested we bring a couple of stretchers over from the shearers' huts, my first thought was not a good one. Stinky old beds stacked in the corner adding to the pile of crap already get the drift. But the idea has grown on me, not least because it dawned on me that it doesn't need to stay grotty and unloved. It could be an awesome area for spare beds, a quiet area to sit and read, using the stretchers as a day bed, and will be a much better alternative to mattresses on the floor when guests overflow. I think I smell a new project! After cruising Google Images, I've decided that chevron mixed with a block colour and some other patterns might be the go.

Loving the red and white with pops of yellow.

And the owls.

Always love blue.

Or the rainbow? How cheering is this picture?!


We have a wall of windows down the whole length, so I'm picturing lots of curtains in block colours and patterns, along with white. A fresh coat of white paint. Three stretchers made up with quilts (maybe jelly roll race?). Riley Blake Chevron fabric for cushions and as part of the quilts. A cheery and comfy armchair in one corner. Some nice lighting to replace the fluoro tube, perhaps with a dimmer so that those who need to use it as a walkway while others are sleeping (which could happen), can see their way. Some low bookshelves under the windows of the internal wall. Art on the walls.

It would be totally transformed. I can't wait! Project 38795 has been added to the list.

Oh boy. Pass the wine... and check out some more chevrony goodness.






And one for supper...


Thursday, May 2, 2013

Farm Stuff (Vegetarians... look away!)

It's feeling very farmy round these here parts, what with horse-riding, butchery, and sending kids that seem far too young off on the school bus.

Harry and I had our first ride on Blue the other day. Blue is very very quiet. So quiet, in fact that I can't get him to move without a bit of a slap on the rump. Once he got walking though, it was fun. And I had plenty of practice at getting him moving round the yard because he kept pulling up for a feed. As I said... quiet! Harry looked tiny perched up on Blue and was ok while holding the reins but when Blue stretched his head forward he was a little uncertain. Or freaing out, depending on how you look at it! But there's no hurry, when he's ready will be fine. He did look little though, check him out...

And here's me, pretending I'm knowing what I'm doing.

We also worked on a bit of butchering. We've never actually done it ourselves before and it all seemed a bit daunting. Step one was to clean out the meat house and build the bandsaw. You can't see it here, but the meat house has a big lean on it on the other side. But other than that, and some gaps in the wall that need plugging up, it's in pretty good nick.

I left Sean to it to skin and gut the sacrificial lamb. There are some things I draw a line at! I was on hand to hold the odd shank out of the way when the slicing started next day though.

So far so good. Today we're watching more Youtube videos to learn the rest of the butchering process, then we're off to give the bandsaw a go. Thank god for youtube, is all I can say. We sampled a leg of lamb the first round of chopping - paddock to plate in under 24 hours. Got to be happy with that!

We made a kind-of-gut-wrenching decision last week. Harry goes to childcare twice a week, and its so good for him. He needs the socialisation. But the 40-50 minute drive each way, twice a day, is a killer - fuel, time, plus it buggers up Vicki's sleeps, and often we're only home a couple of hours before it's time to go back and get him. So we finally decided to put him on the school bus. Does it seem wrong to put an almost-three-year old on the bus by himself? Especially as he has to change buses at the highway? It definitely feels strange. He's well looked after by the bus drivers, fortunately, and the staff meet him at the other end, but it was an anxious morning yesterday until I could call and see that he was ok. And he was. He was happy as Larry to be going on "wheels on the bus", and chatted to the other kids. What a little champion. And it will save us 1800km every 4 weeks, which is fantastic.

Here he is, safe and sound back at our mailbox.

Righto. Off to cut me up some chops!