Sunday, 28 October 2012


My upholstered bedhead from Temple & Webster arrived a couple of weeks ago and already I can hardly recall what the room looked like without it!

I'm really happy with the quality of it, especially given I bought it online - sight unseen other than the picture below from the website.  Turns out it was a good representation as it was just as I expected.

Now if only I was actually sleeping in my own bed, I could appreciate it to its full extent!   Paul and I vacated our bedroom a month ago as I was getting tired of feeding young Lucas every 2 or 3 hours overnight and instead of moving him to his room and risk his protests waking our two year old, Paul and I moved to his room.  Over the last week he's reduced to only waking once a night and last night actually slept right through, so fingers crossed that continues and we'll perhaps have our own room back next weekend...

Friday, 26 October 2012

Dining Room

The stretcher bars for my Marimekko fabric arrived at the art supplies store earlier this week (I had to order the sizes I wanted as they didn't have them in stock).  I purchased the fabric from Kiitos and pine stretcher bars from Zart.

About half an hour with a staple gun and - vwallah! some colourful artwork for the Dining Room.

Of course, I forgot to buy some wire and eyelets from the art store so it's only leaning on the wall niche at the moment.  Who knows when I'll actually get round to hanging it (although I quite like it low so it's at eye level when seated at the table).  Also, I believe it's meant to hang in the other direction (i.e. purple stripe running vertically down the left) but given our niche is wider than it is higher, I like the direction running horizontally.

Paul had this lovely vintage Danish rosewood dining table when I moved into his apartment, and it fit the space well there, as well as his previous house, but is a little too small for our present dining space.  It is extendable but would you believe it, is too long when extended.  We plan to get a 2m x 1m table sometime in future.  As lovely as rosewood is, it does dry out quite easily and I don't love the smell of Linseed oil, so we'll probably choose something different.  We bought the vintage Rosewood chairs to match the table a couple of years ago (both the table and chairs are from Danish Vintage Modern in Adelaide) and I can't bear to part with them - it will be hard enough to lose the table - so we're thinking maybe a timber colour that will contrast the chairs.  Anyway, that's a purchase for another day...quite a fair distance into the future I imagine.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Getting Crafty

Inspired by my sister in law, who pinned the following rug on Pinterest, I decided to join her in taking up crotchet!  I haven't done anything crafty since school and for someone who is in a very technical profession it's a little out of character for me, but I guess there's a need to be creative in some capacity!  Or maybe it's the soothing methodical nature of doing something repetitive?

Source: Meet Me at Mikes

In any case, a quick trip to Lincraft to pick up a crotchet hook (or 4!), some wool and a 'Learn to Crotchet' booklet, I was on my way...or so I thought.

My first stumbling block turned out to be the fact that I'm left handed.  So following little illustrations in a book had me all confused trying to do things backwards (the book suggested left-handers look at the pictures in the mirror - would it really have hurt them to print alternative pictures for the 4 or 5 they had drawn?! - [cue a lifetime of 'lefty' rage])

So with some frustration I turned to YouTube...and discovered a wealth of left handed crotchet tutorials.  I love it - the web has everything you could think of!  It only took me about half an hour and I had the makings of my first granny square.  I decided to do it in a 'solid square' pattern rather than the typical granny square as this will mean there'll be less holes in the blanket for my little boys to get fingers and toes caught in (those of you grew up with crotchet rugs on the couch will know what I mean!)

Here's my first attempt.  I don't have the joining corner right - it's taken me until my fourth square to work out which chain to pick up to complete each row (at 5 rows apiece that's 20 times before I got it right - not counting the amount of times I pulled the rows out and tried again!).  Practise makes perfect - only about another 100 or so squares to go before I have enough for a throw to adorn the couch!

My first crotchet solid granny square

I'm thinking of making a chevron throw also as I have the patterns for the following two pictured.   (Other than the colour, the main difference is whether to have decorative holes in the zig zag point, and the thickness of the wool):

Which brings me to my second stumbling block.  After following the American woman on YouTube for my first crotchet attempt and then using a Patons branded pattern for the chevron throw I discovered (after much head scratching and reading, and re-reading and studying diagrams with much intense, eye-squintingly up-close scrutiny) that US and UK crotchet stitches are named differently.  Not just that, but worse they use the same name for different stitches!  I'd been happily 'double crotcheting' the solid granny square, and when trying to learn how to 'treble' crotchet for the chevron throw, found the book to be showing me a double crotchet stitch...?!  A quick text message to my sister in law and she confirmed that US 'double' crotchet stitch is the same as a UK/Aus 'treble' crotchet stitch.  Good - no new stitches to learn then!

I've done the first two rows of the chevron throw to confirm I can follow the pattern and it turns out it's not hard at all!  Speed will come with time I'm sure.  In the meantime, back to my granny squares to perfect my tension and joining rows...and complete one project before getting distracted by another!

Speaking of distraction; man I'd love to crotchet the following rug from there's something to aspire to!
Aura Home crotchet throw in aqua

Source: Domayne Online

Source: Aura home on Facebook

Friday, 12 October 2012


After what feels like an eternity, we finally have a driveway!  Oh, and a huge mound of dirt...

Our landscape plan has a 20,000 litre rainwater tank buried in our front yard, so the pre-work for this future item was to re-route the stormwater runoff from the present location on the garage boundary, underneath the new driveway to the opposite side of the block.

Here's a good tip - get your landscape plan done before you sign off on your final house plans.  I know those who build in new estates are required to do this for developer approval, but in an existing area knockdown/rebuild project it isn't a requirement.  If we had done so however, I could have asked the builder to have the stormwater exit the property on the South side in the first place and saved us $2k.  

Anyway, hindsight is a wonderful thing and the cost of moving our driveway location to the opposite side of the property goes up yet again!

The concreter will be back in a few days to seal the driveway (exact day depending on weather in the next few days) and also to prepare formwork for the new crossover and reinstate the old driveway to kerb and nature strip.

Now we need to save our $$ so the tank can go in as soon as possible, as we plan to dispose of the dirt from the driveway excavation and tank excavation in one go to save paying for equipment hire twice.  Also, our stormwater won't get reconnected to the street until then and will wash dirt over the footpath with every downpour.  I don't fancy enduring the task of sweeping that off for very long...!

Trench for stormwater - 'old' pipe removed

Telephone, Water & Electricity lead-ins uncovered
(and landscaper has marked on our plan)
New stormwater - graded to run in the opposite direction to that laid by the builder 

Pins drilled into front portico slab

Pins drilled into garage slab

Driveway after concrete poured

Before aggregate blasting

Final product (still wet)

Formwork to allow aggregate to be flush with future portico paving

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Side Tables for the Family Room

A couple of weeks ago, and for the first time since having baby number 2 four months ago, we hit the shops for a little eye candy session. Our destination was a handful of vintage furniture stores in Fitzroy.

First stop was Angelucci 20th Century to check out their slimline sofas (not that we have budget any time soon, but I wanted to work out sizing for our room and get a cost estimate so we at least have a savings target.  There's so much in this store I'd love to purchase, but that's half the fun isn't it - collecting items over a period of time?

The Design Files recently posted an article showing owner Dean Angelucci and designer Lisa Gorman's home - more eye candy!  If I owned a store such as his, I'd find it incredibly hard not to clutter up my house with finds from every new shipment of furniture!  No idea how he keeps it so minimalist!

Next stop was the Modern Times Pop Up Shop a few blocks down. I've been eyeing off some teak nesting tables on their website for some time now and they still had them for sale, and reduced by $150 and so I simply couldn't leave the shop without them!

Our new old tables in their new home

I also have a couple of mini projects on the go. I'm painting a laminated filing drawer cabinet to go in the study.  It's very functional being two large lateral filing drawers, but it's currently an orange beech laminate which I'm not fond of and so I figured I'd paint it white.  So far I've primed it with a laminate primer and plan to give it a topcoat or two this coming weekend.

The other project is to frame some Marimekko fabric to hang as art in the Dining Room.  Until we get the funds to purchase a piece, a cheap and colourful option is to hang some fabric.  I purchased it online last week and now just have to get to an art supplies store to buy some spacer bars to mount it.  The electrician will be here to hang the pendant in the Dining room tomorrow so I'll post pics later this week.  In the meantime, here's a mockup of what it will (vaguely!) look like: