Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Ruby the Red Nose Reindeer Dog

Well, folks, it's that time we call the silly season and what better way to end the year than with a silly-looking dog!

Ruby did this all by herself a couple of months ago and of course I snapped away knowing just when it might come in handy.

I hope you all have a super Christmas, merry New Year and relaxing, fun holidays. I'm taking some time off now from the blogging world and will be going away too, so you won't hear from me again until mid-January.

Take care
Jane xx

Monday, December 20, 2010

All Dressed Up!

How cute are these?

Korean cuteness by design studio Kam-kam. These are part of their Dressed-Up Furniture series.

The designers say: The theme of “Dressed-up furniture series” is to combine clothes and furniture. It will make you feel fresh by mixing the familiar elements of normal actions like fastening a button and daily furniture like stool, storage and bench.

It's like opening a Christmas parcel!

{Images via The Contemporist}

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Privacy Screens

I'm very pleased to have to say that the debacle with the kerosene in the pool has ended peacefully and no-one was hurt!

The kerosene eventually evaporated and we were able to drain away the water without incurring any extra expenses or damage (apart from mental stress!).

Our next neighbourly hurdle, however, is getting the same neighbour to agree to the details of the privacy screening we're putting on the eastern side of the deck (a condition he requested when we applied for the DA). Our builder has made and erected a mock screen so we can all see what it will look like and what we will be able to see - or more importantly not see - through it. It will be a silver metal louvre screen a little like this timber one ...

The slats will be fixed horizontally so that we cannot look down through them and will only be able to close up (giving us total privacy and protection from any wind) and if we fix the bottom three at the angle they are shown here, there is no way we'll be able to look down.

But we still get a wonderful view of the bush.
Cross fingers everyone will be happy with it!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Miniature Christmas Trees

I've solved the Christmas tree problem.

Our local gourmet deli and fruiterers has these on show on the footpath. Couldn't resist.

It can be decorated with mini baubles and placed as the centrepiece on a table or planted in a pot to grow larger or even in the garden. Which means we'll always have a Christmas tree up at the bach.

 All I gotta do is remember to water it!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

A Ruby-proof Christmas


I'm just watching Ruby our dog eating my daughter's toothbrush. Mmm ... yum. And wondering how we are going to get through Christmas without something special - or even not so special ie socks - getting hijacked and destroyed. (Please note Mum and Dad, when visiting, all items must be stored in the overhead locker ... I mean, anywhere out of Ruby's reach).

I've had to make the executive decision (love that phrase - makes me feel all suit-ish!) to not have a Christmas tree this year. I know, shock, horror - since we always get a large, real, fir Christmas tree and decorate it like mad, inhaling its gorgeous smell. But no, this year we will sadly have to make do with a fake table-top tree.

This is, I might add, partly because we will be up at the bach which is so cosy that a full-size tree would take up most of the living space and require the removal of furniture. But it's also because Ruby would have a field day with the decorations, the presents, the water keeping the tree alive and the tree itself.

Cue: every possible decoration we have that can be hung, placed up high or strung somewhere out of reach. You'd think I had a toddler roaming around! So, I've retrieved the large box of decorations that has been stored in the garage since we moved house and I'll get the girls to work when we go up the coast on the 18th!

What are you doing for Christmas decos this year? Has anyone got some original, nifty, unique takes on decorating for the festive season?

P.S Check out the blog where I sourced the image above - it may be a year old but it has some great ideas for original Christmas tree ideas ie magazine-style and post-it note-style!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Keep Calm and Get Even!

Since my last post on Knucklehead Neighbour's wrongdoings I 've spent a good deal of time breathing in and out slowly and deeply in order to stay calm. You know how it goes. Breathe in. Breathe out. Pretend you are full of lightness and serenity. But then go grrrr really loudly.

I have also informed the council of Knucklehead Neighbour's activity, as they are currently looking over a Section 96 Application we had to submit regarding privacy screenings (which was all because of Knucklehead Neighbour I might add). And I've asked our lawyer what to do next - which is basically to find out in detail from the builder if the kerosene will fully evaporate, whether it could damage the concrete in the pool and then affect the tiling process. If there are going to be extra expenses, then we can send Knucklehead Neighbour a nice wee letter from our lawyer saying that if he trespasses again we'll call the police and that he must bear the full cost of any costs to do with removing the kerosene.

Our lawyer even suggested I blog about it and let everyone know how Knucklehead solicitor behaves after hours and I said, already on to it!
Now I'd like to end on a nicer note: pictures from the living space on the second level. This eastern view of the bush and trees above the rooftops from the deck, was exactly the vista we were hoping to get from the kitchen/living area.

Then if you step back into the middle of the living area and swivel to your left, this is the view you get. Most of what you see here is the deck - didn't realise quite how big it would be but I'm not complaining!

If you do another swivel to your left, you then face what will be the kitchen. You can faintly see a painted green line which is where the splashback will be in glass with a vista of bamboo that will be planted below in front of the fence.

Turn left again and at the end of this timber yard-looking space is where the TV room will be.

And last shot: on the side deck from the living looking back at the master bedroom and lots of lovely foliage!

Before I go I have to thank Trish from A Dream House for Trish for two things:

1) Knucklehead Neighbour's nickname - nice, and
2) For giving my novel a plug - thanks heaps!

And I suggest you pop on over to her blog to check out her inspirations for her dream house.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Neighbourly Love

When I decided to create a blog on the designing, creating, building and decorating of our new house, I wanted to keep it an upbeat interesting insight into the process. Apart from a little whingeing about the weather, I didn't want to dwell on the negatives - like difficult neighbours, annoying tradesmen, building errors or architectural problems. And to be fair, we've had a pretty good run so far with most things apart from the sewer pipe issue at the start and a bit of a door-height problem with the brickies' job.

However, we have one particular neighbour who has been difficult at every stage of the process - objecting to everything and being impossible to reason with. And up until now I wasn't going to mention him at all. Neighbourly problems are not uncommon (in fact, I think they're positively rife) and they always seem to become  heightened when one neighbour decides to build or renovate. We've all heard the horror stories. But right now, I am livid. I am speechless. And I thought I'd share with you what our delightful neighbour did last week.

As you know we've built a pool. It's not yet complete - just formed in concrete and with all the rain we've been having it's filled up with muddy water. Last week, when the rain had eased the foreman decided it was time to drain it - which he could easily do through the sewer/water pipes. But when he got to the pool area he noticed a strong smell of petrol!

Turns out our charming neighbour took it upon himself to hop into our property after-hours (which is technically trespassing) and pour kerosene into the pool because he was worried about mosquito larvae growing in the water and then having an outbreak of mosquitos! (Am I allowed more exclamation marks here ..?).

Not once did he think to either discuss this with the builders over the fence, or email or call either ourselves or our architect about his concerns. Oh yes, and did I mention this guy is a 60-something (at a guess) lawyer? (I would like to use multiple exclamation marks here but will refrain).

So, naturally, now the foreman cannot drain the water away into the sewer/water pipes and the cost of hiring a special machine to do so is around $1000. Said neighbour is apparently apologetic (not that he's said so to us, mind you) and it's been decided (as said neighbour doesn't want to pay $1000 for the machine hire) that the kerosene will evaporate eventually ... but I don't know how long that will be as we've now had more rain.

So you can see why I'm livid, speechless, agog at this man's actions. I mean, it's meant to be the season of good will. Where's the good will in that?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Zhushed Cane Chairs & Cushions

Finally, I've got round to finishing and photographing my newly revamped cane chairs!

Thanks to Nicole from Yardage Design and a friend who has a sewing machine, the old cushions are no longer and, thanks to a couple of cans of white spray paint, the old brown cane chairs that needed some lovin' are now white.

Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your point of view!) I was so keen to get spraying that I forgot to take 'before' shots but if you can imagine faded dirty brown cane and red and white striped cushions beginning to mould then you get the picture.

They now match my S.H.E revamped retro chairs and have joined them at the bach.

This is the Agapanthus fabric from Yardage Design and you can check out Nicole's other fabric here.


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