Thursday, April 21, 2011

re-nest feature and more before and afters

Something very exciting! Our kitchen make over was featured on the very lovely
www.re-nest.com yesterday. If you want to take a look follow this link. There is talk of doing a full house tour too so I'll keep you posted!

It seems that people are interested in our renovation and I myself do love a good before and after so I have decided that over the next week or so I will do posts on our house make over.
Today I'll concentrate on the hallway and master bedroom. . . .

This is what our bedroom looked liked before. It had badly stained awful brown carpet, stains and holes in the ceiling and was generally dark and dreary.



The first thing to go was obviously the carpet and the boards were sanded and polished in a matt varnish. Then as with just about the entire house, the stucco style plaster and ceilings came down and new plaster was put up.
We painted it a pure white (no colour mixing, just straight white off the shelf - the whole house has been done the same), fixed up the windows with new sills and arcs, added new blinds and light fitting. The rest is just decoration!

The lamps were opp shop finds and the side tables were rescued from the local dump! The light fitting is from Ikea and the bedding is all from opp shops and made by me.

The green drawers were a plain pine set that my husband owned so I painted them and added miss matched hardware sourced from flea markets. The round set of drawers were attached to an old dressing table that came with the house and the sea chest at the end of the bed was unwanted and given to me a long time ago.

We won't have a bedroom for the new baby on the way until the end of the year so I have made up a corner of our large bedroom for her. There is ample space and it will do until we finish extending the house. . . . then I get to decorate a little girls room. Yippee! I bought the cupboard a long time ago from a second hand store and have loved it ever since.

Below is the before shots of our hallway. As you can see, more stucco plaster, bad stinky carpet and ugly light fittings.

We started with the carpet and clever husband repaired the floorboards.



New plaster, light fitting, and paint finished it off! All the door handles are ones that were rescued from one of the building sites my husband worked at. They give a bit of something different to regular cheap plain doors. We have since come across some beautiful old hardwood doors waiting to be stripped and repaired that we will eventually put through the whole house. Next time I think that I will show you the "temporary" make over of our bathroom!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

New pillows

With it starting to feel like Winter is approaching I have been attacking a job that I have been meaning to start for a while; replacing and making new pillow case and cushion covers for our lounge and bed. I have, over time, been collecting bits of fabric from opp shops and putting them in an ever increasing pile ready for this task so I'm happy that I got the motivation to begin. Winter means that there is more time spent on the couch in front of the fire and bed just seems to be one of those places that becomes very important! Not to mention that there will be lots of time spent in these two places in a few months feeding a baby. So, it is important that couch and bed are cosy and comfortable!
I am also extra motivated because we have just realised that our big comfy couch isn't too big for our new living space and it now looks great in it's new spot.

A little while ago in the early hours of a Sunday morning I was out hunting treasure at Camberwell market and came across this pile of vintage letter and number stamps. And for the small sum of $6 I took those home with me, thankyou very much! I have been using those stamps around here and there a bit but what I intended most for them was to stamp little sayings on pillow cases. I just made up a simple calico pillow case and stamped away, it's a lot of fun and I have plans for more pillow cases stamped with all the sayings my Mum uses on a regular basis that are so familiar to me but when I really think about it are actually quite funny!

I'm also partial to using old hessian bags around the house at the moment, the only problem is that they smell quite strongly of coffee so I think when the weather improves I'll air them out for a while first!

Knitting obsessed!

I have discovered knitting! It's something that I have always wanted to do but I think that the timing has never been right and it's something that takes practice so needs some time dedicated to it. With this new baby on the way and with the cold, rainy weather, it just seems to fit in with the days quite nicely. I love at the end of the day, after all the chores have been done, sitting in front of the fire or the telly and making something. I'm not really very good at doing nothing and so I find that knitting gives me a relaxing yet productive activity that I can do while being relatively still.

The first thing that I did to teach myself was go to the local library and borrow every book I could get my hands on about learning to knit. I filtered through these and kept a hold of the few that I found easy to understand. Then, with the help of online videos I was able to fumble my way through the very basics. Mum came down to visit at about this time as well so I kept her up late one night trying to absorb the forty plus years of knitting experience that she has! I picked up this book at the local opp shop for $2.50 as well so I always have a book on hand at home.

I've started with really basic SMALL things so that I don't have to wait too long for a result (I'm pretty impatient and big projects right now might mean the end of my knitting career!) and have found these little boots knit up quickly. We also seem to be surrounded by a baby boom at the moment so they have made great little presents.

I've really enjoyed sourcing beautiful yarns. I've decided that if I am going to put all this time and effort into something that I have to use a good quality material. There is the local wool store up the mountain here that is fantastic and I love that I can now go in there and buy something to take home and use rather than just admiring it but not being able to do anything with it! Also at Camberwell market every week there is a stall that sells locally spun pure merino in wonderful colours for a great price. Now, the problem is that I want to knit with it all NOW! I have about four different things on the go at all times but I find this suits me and I can knit what I feel like at the time. I want this to be something enjoyable for me not a chore. I will slowly build up to more complicated projects but at a pace that I am comfortable with and without any pressure. This new craft is purely for my selfish enjoyment!

Monday, April 4, 2011

A day of cooking

Sometimes when I'm having a tricky time entertaining Jonty I just start cooking. Jonty loves this and especially when I am having one of those days when I don't care how messy the kitchen gets. He is happy and occupied and we are productive!



And in the end, after the kitchen is cleaned up, we have lots of home cooked goodies to keep us even more happy!

Orange kisses and parmesan biscuits.

Vegetable and lentil soup and a chickpea curry for dinner, yum!