Thursday, December 19, 2013

Mia's library bag

What you do for one you have to do for another.  I don't know how many times I have heard my parents say this.  Anyway, it's been some time since I made Amy and Ethan's library bags.  I am not doing that well financially this year so when my sister asked if I could make Mia a library bag I was thrilled!

My aunty machine embroidered her name onto some calico in a very cool and funky font.  I found some beautiful bright paisley fabric (I am so in love with paisley) which I thought would be lovely for our beautiful bright baby girl.

The bag is slightly bigger (or longer) than the other two but I think it will be just perfect.

I'm not sure if I will get a chance to do another post before Christmas or the end of year so I wish everyone a lovely Christmas.  I hope to have lots of nice things to post about in 2014.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The renovations are done!

Well I started all this the week I got back from overseas.  I had a list of things I wanted to do on mum's house, and the bulk of it was done in only one month, however the last few things just seemed to drag out.  But TODAY I finally cleaned my last paint brush and I am now planning on putting away my painting/work clothes for a good while.  It is done!!  Every surface of the house inside and some outside has been sanded/painted and upgraded.  I thought I would take you on a tour - and I will point out some of the changes.

Front entrance - Obviously here is the beautiful new windows and the new door.  What you can't really see is that the light was previously broken and hanging down and now the entrance is lit with a downlight.  The sliding door leading into the lounge has also been painted however it is tucked too far into the wall to see it in the after shot.

Lounge room - Unfortunately I have taken these photos from different angles.  I guess my intention in the before shots was usually to take a photo of the windows - knowing we were getting beautiful shiny new ones.  But when this room was finished, it just looked so nice looking back over it from the window.  

Dining room - Again, not the greatest angle of this room, but the windows (which you can't notice because the blinds are blocking them.  Probably the most obvious change in this room apart from the painting is the chairs have been re-covered. From this angle you don't notice that they now match with the sofas, but now they do.

Kitchen - quite a few dramatic changes in this room.  The peach blinds have been removed, new down lights to replace the terrible fluros, the wood veneer sliding doors have been painted white and the runners and pelmets are updated.  You will also notice the black mosaic tiles now travel under the window.  This is because when the new windows went in, the architrave was smaller and we had a gap between the frame and the tiles.  The mosaics (IMHO) work really well to fix this issue.

From this angle you can see that the desk has been removed and replaced with a bookshelf.  The kitchen used to be painted blue - which seemed like a good idea at the time, but I much prefer the warm white colour we chose.  That hideous fluro is gone and so are the pinboards.  In the after shot above - on the very left you will see a black print.  This is a gift that I made for mum for Christmas.  I'll do a post on this later - it was pinterest inspired.

Laundry - I think this is one of my favourite room make overs.  Of course the window has been changed, hideous curtains gone, new taps, new lovely white tub, shelves are gone and replaced with cupboards.  New wall tiles, walls and doors painted.  We didn't change the mosaic tiles on the floor as they were in quite good condition, and I think they actually look better now as the rest of the room is just so lovely.

Hallway - Again, aside from the paint and change of knobs on the cupboard doors, the biggest change in the hall is that the broken light fittings have been removed and replaced with stunning down lights.  We've also got a new bookshelf at the end that is no longer stuffed with junk.  The hall runner has been put back now.

Bathroom - One of our lovely friends had updated the bathroom sometime ago so there was really only paint and the windows here, although we did have to have the shower resealed.  Again the paint was blue in here, but we ended up using the same warm white as the rest of the house.  Another big difference you will notice is the door has been painted white and I have updated the ugly old door handles.

Toilet - this is by far the room with the changes that makes me most happy.  As you can see, the toilet was in dire need of updating.  When the bathroom was done years ago, the poor toilet missed out.  But now it has been tiled to match the bathroom, new windows, painted ceiling, walls and door and the best bit… a shiny new and attractive toilet. YAY!

Bedroom one - I always felt bad about this room.  It is the ONLY room in mum's house that I had never before painted. It can't really be seen in the picture, but it was in need of a paint in a major way.  The walls were full of holes and needed lots of patching.  So this room got new windows, tacky old light replaced with a lovely remote control fan light, ceiling, walls and doors painted, new door handles and knobs, new carpet and I also treated mum to new bedside lamps and a gorgeous deep red cushion.

Bedroom two - again this is taken from different angles, but we all agree the bed works way better for access to the room facing this direction.  Aside from windows and paint, the terrible carpet has been replaced, and again I treated mum to new lamps (she bought the cute cushion), I also bought a new black skirt for the bed and the blue one in the before shot was very helpful as a clean up rag!!

Bedroom three - last but not least.  Unfortunately by the time I took the before photo for this room, it had already been pulled apart.  It used to have two single beds.  You can see the horrendous carpet has been updated.  The blinds in before have already been removed but they were falling apart and so were replaced by a lovely roller blind.  Everything was painted and door hardware updated like the rest of the house.  It is now a cute and fun playroom for the kids.

Well that marks the end of the tour. I hope you enjoyed.  To me, looking at these pictures represents a lot of hard and backbreaking work.  All the physical pain and a LOT of money.  However, the satisfaction of the after - finally having it all done is so satisfying and a massive achievement.  I am so happy and mum (who wasn't sure she needed all this done in the first place), now can see it was needed and is EXTREMELY happy with her "new" house.

Friday, November 29, 2013

National Arboretum Canberra

The beautiful panoramic view from Dairy Farmers Hill
Well, what a gloriously lovely day it has been.  I had a free morning so I decided to take my very first trip up to the Canberra Arboretum and it was a very pleasant surprise.  There is a fee for parking (like most places in Canberra now), but it is worth it for the visit.

When I woke up this morning it was raining, but by the time I arrived the rain had stopped.  There was still quite a menacing sky, however it never came to anything and by this afternoon we had blue skies.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Floriade 2013

One of the reasons I was so keen to come back from my overseas trip was so that I could go to Floriade - the flower festival held in Canberra every year.  It goes for about 3-4 weeks just in Spring so the flowers are spectacular and it's great to have that beautiful splash of colour after a cold winter.

I was worried that being the last week of the festival, there wouldn't be many photo opportunities, but I was wrong.  It was still stunning and lots of flowers out, and best of all, the sun was out!!

If some of these pics don't make you want to visit Canberra during Floriade… well then, perhaps you're not the flowery type!! :)

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Chair makeover

With all the renovations happening around the house (I will add some posts about that later), the small things now are starting to bother me. Like the fact that most of the furniture is browny/neutral and the dining chairs are bright blue.  Not only do they stand out, but even though the chairs themselves are in quite good condition, with little sticky fingers around (and the adults aren't much better), there are stains and wear and tear on the fabric.

So I was at Spotlight recently and noticed that there was some brown furnishing fabric in the sales pile and amazingly the fabric I wanted was only $4 per metre!  That never happens to me!!!

I took that as a sign and bought 2 metres for the six chairs.  When I got home I mapped out how much I would need per chair and with the fabric width I realised I could be pretty generous. I also thought - why not document this process in case anyone else wanted to do it.

- fabric (furnishing fabric is best)
- chairs
- screwdriver
- staple gun
- good scissors

1. Grab your chair, turn it upside down and remove the padded cushion with a screwdriver.  (I would suss this out first before you decide to change the covers because if this isn't easy to do I would think carefully about going any further).

UK 2013 - Harry Potter

Dobby - look at the work that has gone into that model!!!
I was super excited that my friend Mandy agreed to take me to the Harry Potter Studios. I knew she wasn't really into the books or the movies, but I enjoyed both.

I would definitely recommend a trip there if you are in the area - even if you don't know anything about the books/movies you would still enjoy seeing how they do the movie magic and appreciate all the work that goes into the sets/props/costumes/animals etc etc.

Not only can you walk though sets and touch and jump on some of the props etc, you can drink butter beer, and if there is something that is not for sale in the shop at the end I would be very shocked to hear it!!

For more information see the link.

You can walk through Diagon Alley

Yes, walk through the Great Hall and see costumes etc up close!
Not only did I get to go to the WB Studio Tour, I also went to and saw a stack of other places around the UK that are either featured in the movies (like the Glenfinnan Viaduct) or are important to the books (i.e. place where JK Rowlings wrote the first book - The Elephant House).

All I can say is that I am a very blessed and fortunate girl.

UK 2013 - Wales

Beautiful scenic Wales
Ok, I don't have that many pics here of Wales, but that doesn't mean it isn't a gorgeous country.

We went to a medieval banquet at Cardiff Castle.  Funny enough it was our second medieval banquet at a genuine real castle having been to one in Ireland too.  I have to say they were a lot of fun.  Especially for me being a little obsessed with medieval times.  Actually I am a little obsessed about Jane Austen, Medieval stuff, High Tea (tea parties), history and beautiful buildings and gardens… I certainly got my fill of all of those things on this trip.

Cardiff Castle right on dusk and just before our Medieval Banquet dinner!!!
Remember to check out other parts of my UK trip - England, Ireland and Scotland.

UK 2013 - Scotland

Floral Clock - Edinburgh
Scotland was definitely a massive surprise package for me.  I knew it would be scenic and lovely, but I wasn't expecting how so.  I loved the history, the vibe and knowing that my ancestors lived in this place. Very cool.

Eilean Donan Castle

Urquhart Castle on Loch Ness.  No monsters were seen!! 
The Elephant House in Edinburgh which was the birth place of Harry Potter.  I know Harry Potter isn't everyone's cup of tea, but if you are interested in the fact that I went to the Harry Potter Studio Tour in England, click here!
Don't forget to check out my pics of England, Ireland and Wales too!

UK 2013 - Ireland

Blarney Castle, Southern Ireland
Part 2 of my UK photos.  Again all mixed up - Northern and Southern Ireland.

Although I only spent one night in Belfast, Northern Ireland, it was one of my favourite stops. This may be because I got to meet up with one of my cousins who I hadn't really seen since I was a kid. He married a lovely local girl and they took me on a wonderful tour of their very pretty city and then out for a delicious and memorable dinner.
Cliffs of Moher - Southern Ireland

UK 2013 - England

Anne Hathaway's Cottage (Shakespeare's wife Anne Hathaway not the Hollywood actress!!)

Well I have been back for over a month now, but I have been so busy with other things to post any pictures.  I'm also still getting used to this new computer.  Anyway, no more excuses for being so slack.  I'm going to post these in parts or else there are too many photos.  First part is England.  All the pictures are out of order, but I don't think that matters too much.  It is only a taste of some of the awesome stuff I saw while I was over there.

It was an awesome trip from start to finish.
Don't think it needs a caption.  We were there too early so the pier wasn't opened… luckily I have already been there!! 

Sunday, August 4, 2013

365 Project

I received an email the other day noting that I hadn't logged in to the 365 project for some time and advising that they were going to delete my project.

I honestly think fair enough. I am sure their servers have an over abundance of old photos.  Well anyway, I appreciated getting the email, cause it meant I could go back in and take screen dumps of each month.  Of course it's not as good as the real thing.  It is only a small cropped version of the actual photo, and it doesn't include all the lovely comments I received on some of them.

Still, it was certainly a visual diary of what I got up to in 2012 - holidays, birthdays, weddings, adventures, challenges, experiments etc.  It's a shame this year has gone past so quickly already and I don't have too much to show for it (yet).