Monday, 24 August 2009

friday - fabulous etsy finds

'Rima' by tushtush

I know its not Friday but, my little series about the Blue House was missing the last day. 'Friday - Flu' would have been a much better title as I have some evil lurgy thing. Perhaps not flu but, a very mean cold that has left me speechless. Not in that sexy, deep voiced way that some men find irresistible but, more in the all over the place squeaky screech that sounds like a teenage boy.

So some new Etsy finds today. And two of them are on their way to the Blue House as we speak - jetting across the world from far away places. The print above ('Rima') and the one below, 'Poland.' Sent from a very, very talented woman. I found Tali of tushtush when I was wandering through one blog, then another, then another. Tali is a student studying in her final year at Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem. I think you will agree, Tali has a big future in front of her. I know I will be back for more...

'Naomi' by tushtush

Monday, 17 August 2009

thursday - treasures

A couple of treasures from the Blue House. Some treasures other than the most important two treasures in my world...
The two gentlemen (L&H) below belonged to my grandparents, Joan and Basil. When they died, we were all allowed to choose something from their estate. This was my choice. Entirely a sentimental choice.

When I lived in London, I missed those guys as they had stayed safely behind in Australia. So to make myself feel a little more at home, I bought the little men below from a wonderful antique and curios shop in the East End of London where I lived.

The shop was wonderful - you know the type, packed to the ceiling with the most random yet amazing collection of wares. Amongst the treasure I found an antique set of luggage - 5 or so hard cases in a gorgeous faded yellow canvas with leather trim. From memory there was a hat box, cases in several sizes and a steamer trunk that stood upright and opened into a little wardrobe and dressing table. Oh how I loved it. I ummed and arred and thought about the cost to eventually ship it home. I went back an forth many times to the shop. Then I finally decided to buy it only to find that it had be snapped up by a set designer for a period film. Never, ever turn your back on a find like that.

Below are of some of my collection of lacquered boxes. I got my first one when I was about 8 and over the years have slowly added to the collection. When I lived overseas, my mum would buy one for my birthday's and Christmas' and when I returned she presented me with a parcel filled with lacquered boxes.

And some of my costume jewellery. I love how they sparkle and shine and I used to wear them often. Now there is a battle with a certain 3 year old over who gets to wear them. Given they have very large sharp pins on the back, they are staying out of circulation for a while.

Thank you for all your comments about our walls - very kind of you. And I tell you, they are so educational. I am really coming to grips with world weather patterns, rare stamps and the life and times of Ptolemy.

(And yes, I am many days behind but who could blog when the weather was so glorious here over the weekend).

Thursday, 13 August 2009

wednesday - walls

Some walls from the Blue House for you today. Let me tell you that there is lots of work to be done on our walls. Some need new plasterboard, some need riping out, some need to be finished (um, I went mad with the undercoating but have kinda not gotten back to them - at least they look like something is about to happen).

This old house needs a lot of work, like the extension I have planned so perfectly in my mind. My husband and my sweet friend G get to hear about it, all the time. I know that one day it will happen. Just need lotsa cashola!

So here are a couple of walls that have had something done to them.

The before shot.

And the after shots.

The above wall is small section of the hallway outside Minnie's room, opposite the lounge room and at the entry to the kitchen (if that makes sense). I have been looking at this wall now for a long time as sofa is on the other side of the lounge room, looking out into the hallway. I have long planned to wallpaper it. I found the perfect wallpaper on the online auction site but missed the end of the auction. Bum. So I moved on to my second plan.

I used some vintage children's encyclopedia's and atlas' that I picked up at the local op shop for 50cents each. And some wall paper paste that was $14.95 at a big hardware store (I only used about $2.00 worth on this project). Tearing out the pages of these old books was actually a little traumatic - as the daughter of an antique book collector, I felt very bad destroying them.

I washed the walls with sugar soap, let them dry and made up the paste. I simply applied the paste to the back of the pages with a paint brush, let it soak in for a minute or two and them stuck the pages to the wall. Although they looked a little bumpy, I smoothed them the best I could. It dried beautifully - all smooth and no air bubbles. If you are thinking of a similar project, keep in mind that some print may run in old books. Apply the sheets gently to the wall, without rubbing too much and you should be OK. I did this yesterday and it only took an 2 hours, which I think half of this time was spent reading the pages I was ripping out.

Last night a lot of time was spent reading the walls - I now know a lot about transportation in Brazil and cloud formation...

The next photo is a wall in our kitchen/dinning room. Its a big old country kitchen that once had a rather large wood fired oven. It looks like it was removed many years ago and the space has been boarded in to form a little nook. This was perfect for my cooking books. And I love blackboards and thought I needed one right here. Its great for Minnie to scribble on while I am getting dinner ready. I put the weekly menu up there so I we all know what we are having and it's often covered in times - times that I put things in the oven and the time they are due out. I do know there are oven timers for such things...

It was another inexpensive project - the blackboard paint was only about $10.00 and is enough for quite a few projects.

And this is a photo of the lovely shadows that are cast on our bedroom wall each morning. If only it was there all day - another project perhaps?

PS - I do realise I am one day behind - it would not be me if I was organised and on time...

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

tuesday - tea cups

Somewhat inspired by this lovely post from this lovely blogger, I thought I would share some of my tea cups with you. There are many in the Blue House - these is just a few that I really love.

I especially love these little tiny ones.

Monday, 10 August 2009

monday - minnie's room

This week I thought I would blog along the theme of 'our house.' Is that just being really lazy, showing you a few snaps of the Blue House? I think perhaps in my case it is. Anyway, here are a couple of shots of Minnie's room. Look at that un-ironed doona cover! What a house keeper I am! You may also notice that you are only seeing a very small part of the room. Although it's a big room, the play/reading/book shelves corners were a little too messy on this day so that bit will come later.

I decorated my very, very cheap lamp on Minnie's bedside table by drawing on the lamp shade and gluing and fusing on fabric and buttons. You may recognise these little girls from my dresses and tee-shirts. The bedside table is a very old White Oil box that my father restored for me when I was a young girl. And Minnie's yellow bed is a antique iron bed that I found on eBay, winning the auction for $1.00 (but the lovely lady would not except the $1.00 or the $10.00 I was trying to give her). We built the slats that fit on this bed from a bed base that I found out on the roadside ready for Council pick up. So a pretty inexpensive bed!

And that little fluffy on the bedside table - that's my husbands toy he had as a baby.

Now I will try and tidy the rest of that room...

Sunday, 9 August 2009

knitting (2)

I know its been a while since this post about knitting. I am pleased to say that there have been some minor successes. I can cast on (mum never thought that this day would arrive). I can knit garter and stocking stitch without dropping too many stitches. I can pick up the dropped stitches (mostly) and I can cast off. So that's basic knitting, I guess. But, I cannot follow a pattern so its all scarfs and squares here.

My green scarf (it's that great pose again) is still unfinished. I have now have 2 extra balls of this green yarn so it will be finished, oneday. Minnie's brown scarf is now off the needles and back in a ball in the knitting drawer. I think the bamboo/cotton I used for this brown scarf is a bit too tricky for a real beginner as it easily splits.
So I went for a 100% wool yarn, in pink for the girly girl and the scarf is finished. And here it is, modelled by the little girl with the new hair do. How she loves the new haircut. It was her choice and I must say I am so very pleased she decided it was time for a cute little bob cut.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

I am here...

I am back. Not that I have been away. Just away from this little place for a few days. Out enjoying the sunny days.
August is here. Spring is on its way. Trying to get the soil ready for planting. Scouring the roadsides for organic poultry manure that is not from battery hens. Pruning things like a crazy woman. Lots of standing and planning and dreaming of my Diggers catalogue. Lots of empty garden beds. A mad dog that is not so selective when it comes to weeding. The joys a having a garden

Some photos of us out and about while I get back into the swing of it.

Before the new haircut - photos posted soon...

A hill for rolling down...

Winter in NSW...

Looking for treasure

Dinner - thank you Gez and Neil Perry.