Tuesday, 31 January 2012


Yesterday it bucketed down. For ten minutes. But there was 13mm of rain. The little track that Jake Dog made on his treks up to Outer Bungolia turned into a little ravine gushing with water. Not big enough to lose him...

And after a couple of weeks of the temperature hovering between 40* and 45* it was soooo lovely when it got down to 25*!!!!!

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Pantry cupboard

Green inside the doors, and red door knobs. Might just sand it back a bit and leave it at this.

I found this lovely flower illustration on http://cargocollective.com/brittanyburton and am (probably) going to decoupage it on the inside of the doors cos the colours are SOOO pretty! Having fun cutting them out at least...

Friday, 20 January 2012

I See The Light!

Well, almost see the light. Getting there...

I am being creative with a couple of old crystal chandeliers that The Sweetheart found (in the pine wardrobe in his garage) and was about to sling into the garbage.

I pulled them apart, washed 20 years of garage dust from them, and polished up the crystals. Then I ripped the electricals out of them (who wants plastic fake candles anyway???).

I managed to get the two of them screwed together - with some ingenuity and grittings of teeth - and  draped  them with the original crystals as well as a pile I have been collecting for a long time.

What they looked like to start with - less the plastic fake candles and the flickery light bulbs...

Rippin' out the electricity (NB - I painted the shelf which is going into the pantry cupboard)

More ripping!

The two chandeliers screwed together and with extra dangles, prisms, crystals, beads etc.

And from the other angle. The gold cup screws up over the hook that will be in the ceiling. When I find something strong enough - it now weighs about 10 kgs.            

They are going to be draped with a string of tiny LED lights left over from Christmas, and then hung above my sink. Nothing nicer than a crystal chandelier to wash dishes by...

Thursday, 19 January 2012

A Get Well Song

S4's girlfriend is a wonderful singer and songwriter. She has the sweetest voice, and is very talented - she is studying music at university, and has some regular gigs as well.

A few months ago she wrote me a Get Well Song, and she and S4 recorded it. I have finally figured out how to add it to here!

It is called  Oh, Jasmine so click on the link and have a listen to the lovely song!

(Listen right to the end and tell me if their 'not so hidden track' didn't make you smile!)

Monday, 16 January 2012

The Snuggle Chair

In 1987 when the boys were tiny and we were living in San Francisco I bought a wonderful old armchair in a garage sale. It was the chair we could all fit into for a cuddle and became known as The Snuggle Chair.

Over the years it has got so very sad and saggy, and it got past the stage where another bed-pillow stuffed in under the cushion wasn't enough to stop us falling through.

Finally the tacks gave up the ghost and the springs fell out onto the floor so I am compelled to un-upholster it in readiness for re-upholstering.

About 20,000 tacks later I discovered another layer of upholstery under the tatty, faded and ragged brocade that was on when I bought it. (It has had a couple of slip covers I made over the years, and then I left it Shabby Chic until it sailed past Chic and even left Shabby behind...).

I have almost got it back to bare wood, and also remade the seat squab with more layers cut from an old doona cover, and added the feathers that were originally in it along with the feathers from the doona and balls of polyester wadding that I rolled up and stuffed in the centre of the feathers and down to give it all a bit of body. It is about 15" high, but will foof down when it is sat on.

I have photos of the process but they are on my phone and I have yet to discover how to get them from the phone to computer (there must be a cable that I have mislaid last year when the camera was new, thinking "Dunno what this is for, shall just put it ...here". Now I just have to find where 'here' is...). (No, don't have bluetooth and I tried emailing them to myself but it seems I don't have data transfer on my pre-paid 'plan').

Some shots of it so far:

The start - I had taken off the back cover and was about to tackle the webbing and springs when I discovered the little nest of red-backed spiders (very dangerous. Deadly even). So sprayed and waited. And then sprayed a bit more...(NOTE: the pine cupboard in the background - more on that soon).

I gessoed the legs and have some blue oops paint that may well be their new colour...

Discovering the second layer of upholstery - lovely glazed cotton.

My impromptu work-bench. Six besser blocks stacked 3 high with a wide plank over the top (which will be new shelf in that pine cupboard mentioned above, and below)
The new seat squab. HUGE new seat squab!!!. I traced around the old cover - only had red texta and it wasn't until I sewed it up that I realised I should have sewn that to the inside. Hopefully it wont bleed through.
Pine wardrobe from The Sweetheart's garage that will be a new pantry cupboard. Here it is with a first undercoat of gesso. It has a top shelf and hanging rail. Am going to take out the hanging rail, and add a couple more wide pine shelves and this will be a lovely mouse-proof cupboard in the pantry for my bins and crocks, and the big posts that are too large to be anywhere else. Don't know what colour it will be yet - there are a few oops paints in my tool cupboard.

Thursday, 12 January 2012


Mostly I get so sick of my hot hair whenever the weather starts threatening me as it did last week when it leapt to 40* (C - that is 100+F) that I tie it up on top of my head with a scrunchy and lie around with wet facewashers on my forhead feeling fragile.

And then I get sick of it and hack it all off so it is really short and out of my eyes. Neck. Ears.
Myself. Without any training.
However, I DO use haircutting scissors...*

Anyway, when I mentioned on Facebook the other day that I was about to do the haircut thing again lots of people told me to indulge myself a little and get a 'proper' haircut. And S4 told me abouthis friend Michelle who has a salon in Castlemaine.

So I went to see her this morning! Oh - the BEST haircut I have ever had! EVER!!!!
 So from long enough to tie up to this cute whispy very gorgeous short, short cut!
I love it.
And when I came to pay Michelle said "Oh no, it has been taken care of" - and my S4 had prepaid as a surprise for me! What a darling child (always my child, even though he is now 24)!!!!

And if you are anywhere around Castlemaine and you need a wonderful haircut go see Michelle - Placebo (5472 1777, 62 Hargreaves st., Castlemaine!). She is one hell of a cutter!

*'Proper' haircutting scissors that I bought at the supermarket...

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

My place

I haven't been as chirpy as I want. Nor as chirpy as I have been pretending to be, neither.

The last few days I have crashed late afternoon and slept right through (fibbing a bit there - waking up around 8pm to do the drug thing, and the other drug thing - email!) and then sleeping through till the kookaburras start yodelling outside at dawn.

Back to St Vincent's on Thursday for the post-op check-up. I don't think I am tired cos of anything sinister, it is just that I was expecting miracles and that might take a few more weeks. It is only 5 weeks since surgery so p'raps I am still also recovering from all that anaesthetic stuff, etc. Not to mention a long time not being anywhere near 100%...

I have got PAGES of lists of things I really MUST do around my home. Poor neglected place. There are spiders fighting other spiders for space in the layers of dust. You get the idea...

On the Australia Day weekend (AD is January 26th for those of you who can't rattle off the national days of other countries...) Newstead Live! happens again. Lovely music!!!
The Beez - from Berlin - are the headline (international) act again. And again, they are staying with me. Hooray! They are all so lovely, though I was fucked totally last time with all the late night dinners we had in the week leading up to the Festival cos they arrived 5 days ahead of time. Not that I minded, it really was such fun.


This is what the pantry looked like before I got flooded. TWICE. Once 12 months ago today, and then again in February. So all the water came in through the damp-course (haha) and flooded the floor. And then a million bush rats and mice moved in to keep warm and dry.

Back in June S4, his darling Clancye and their mate Isaac came up and spent a few days moving everything out of the pantry, and S4 and I went shopping for all sorts of lovely paint, plaster, big wide pine boards, cans of expanding gap-filling foam, etc etc to be able to make the pantry vermin proof.
S4 used a big can of the sticky scary alien gap-filling stuff but there are still some gaps in the rammed earth walls that have to be mudded up. He also added a couple of ceiling beams to add false ceiling over (under) what is already there so we can add another layer of insulation to make it REALLY cold in there. On 40* days (like last week) it is only ever about 18* anyway. We still have to add the plaster. And paint it. After I mud up those gaps...

So - this is what my pantry contents still look like. Piled all over the kitchen table, under it, and in a couple of other temporary cupboards I bought at the Tip Shop (for $15...).

Poor old sink cupboard from the Tip Shop with more groceries etc stuffed uncomfortably into it. And still with the old sink intact but with a great lump of melamine on top of it so I can use it as  a proper bench. Temporarily...                                                                 

And I wanted to rip up all this revolting crappy not-enough-cement-in-the-concrete floor and lay more bricks like in the bathroom area.  And to add a couple of courses of bricks as a base under the Rayburn so it is up to the height of the one I grew up with. And because it isn't impressive enough without it's majestic four ovens. So it needs a plinth.      
But that isn't one of the things on my list(s).          
Installing the butler's sink I have sitting out in Outer Bungolia is on the list. Which means building a stand for it. And doing some plumbing, but that is OK cos most of it is sitting waiting from the temporary laundry trough that is still where I wash dishes. (Right photo below)                                                                                                                   

In the Library I want to consolidate all the bookcases (there are a couple more on that mauve wall at the far end, and a big one to the left of the doorway, as well as another on the east wall (about over my right shoulder from where I am taking this photo). And there are three more cases in Outer Bungolia which really should be in the Library so that all the books that are stacked two deep on some of the shelves can be allocated a proper home. And I want to add strips of timber between each to join them, and then paint them.                                                                                               
But that isn't on The Current List either.                                                            

Both the floor in the kitchen and these bookcases are all on The Next List...                     
The bathroom is on This List. All of it. I haven't got a photo of it, but I think there is one on my website. Shall have a hunt for it and add the link to it if/when I find it.                        
It is ghastly.       Functional but still in the realms of "Bush Humpy".                                 
Not "primitive" - it isn't that good...      I shall spare you. For the time being...      

The ABC Radio have just put out a warning for extremely high winds in a cool change that is hurtling up from the south west of the State:

"Issued at 9:45 pm EDT on Tuesday 10 January 2012.

Weather Situation

An active cold front approaching southwestern Victoria tonight will move rapidly eastwards across the State overnight and Wednesday morning.
Damaging winds averaging 50 to 60 km/h with peak gusts around 95 km/h are forecast for the South West, Central, West and South Gippsland and East Gippsland forecast districts and over parts of the North Central and North East forecast districts. Coastal and exposed elevated areas are the most likely regions to be affected.
The State Emergency Service advises that people should:
  • Move vehicles under cover or away from trees.
  • Secure or put away loose items around your house, yard and balcony.
  • Keep clear of fallen power lines."

The tree feller fellows
Just as well I had this 'heaving' tree cut down in Dec 2010. It was really close to the house (just to the left of the photo) and I was always concerned each time I came home after a bit of a breeze that it would be lying down on my home (and then I wouldn't have to do anything about the pantry or kitchen. Hmmm... Lovely old tree is still cut in lumps waiting to be stacked. Should add that to the Next List... We (we is not the real we cos I only paid and pointed etc, didn;t actually do anything lumberjackly) left one piece bench height - I might add a basin on top of it for the bathroom. Cos there isn't a basin in the bathroom yet. I could figure out some way of making a hole for the drain-pipe stuff. And some cute dish for a basin. I bought glass drilling bits at Aldi a few months ago just so I can make a plug-hole in something basin-like.  Ignore the 'poor' under the tree photo - it was the start of a sentence and attached itself there and I don't know how to remove it without removing the tree photo. If I can live with it then so can you.    
Doesn't my home look lovely!

PS. And I am going to give the blog a New Year freshen up sometime soon, too.

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Merry New Year!!!

Merry New Year everyone - I know that 2012 is going to be a much better year than last year. Has to be...

However, I am already over summer this year. Today is 40*, tomorrow is going to be even hotter. That is enough summer for me.

 When it is cold you can always add another layer. Or go to bed. Or both...
But when it is like this there is a legal - and aesthetic - limit to what you can peel off...

Just been flopping on the couch reading and doing not very much else. Lots of water. Not even able to do all the net things that are so much fun in winter as this little notebook gets so HOT. In winter it is just cosy and warm.

I will show you what I have been knitting another day (two circles from Nicky Epstein's "Knitting in Tuscany" of her Tuscan Sun Shawl to make a pot holder, a stray ball of wool in Cross Stitch to make a belt for a skinny neice, and another pair of socks for the boy off to Germany).

Stay cool. Envying you if you have snow...