Thursday, October 28, 2010

Day 220: My Creative Space

This is a bit of a cheat's entry - it's actually last week's work but I haven't had time to put together a post.  After procrastinating and worrying about mucking up my "Oh Beehave" quilt block for Esther, I finally dusted off Grandma's jolly Janome, pulled the supplies out of various boxes and got to work.  The instructions were reasonably simple (for someone who knows what they are doing);  the block was to be 10 and 1/2 inches comprising a 6 inch centre block of geometric shapes to be made up of supplied fabric (or added fabric in the autumnal colour palette), including a scrap of plain brown fabric, no more than 1 inch wide, then a border of brown fabric, with a final border made up of supplied scraps and another small piece of brown in corporated.  Whew!  Then there is also the added challenge of working out sizes and seam allowances. Having looked at the blogs of a few people who are involved in quilt block swaps, I thought it might be a good idea to make a practice block.  It actually took me longer to work out what to use in the practice block than it did to make the real thing.  Anyway, the practice block is on the left and the real thing is on the right.  I forgot about the scrap of solid in the practice block, I sewed over a seam the wrong way and had to unpick a couple of seams but it looks OK.  The latitude to rearrange the scrappy border on the real thing got me out of jail on a cutting mistake, but it came together quite well and I hope Esther likes it.  Now for Gina's block and the Mirabel softie!  For more creative spaces, head over here.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Day 217: Stairway to Heaven

What a lot can happen in a week!  We now have stairs, a fair bit of plaster, one plumbed-in water tank and they make such a difference.  The plaster transforms the rooms (Stos thinks they look bigger, I think smaller) and the using the stairs sure beats scampering up and down precariously positioned planks.  And finally the flashing and sealing of the the glass roof over the stairs is finished so we can look at the sky while climbing the stairs (maybe not advisable, given my track record for tripping over).  But aside from the developments at the block it was a miserable week; after several days of a rotten head cold, all the germs went south and I ended up with bronchitits.  Which I then managed to give to Stos.  The last of the cough is still lingering much to the concern of colleagues at the Day Job, but I'm nearly there.  We have gone from winter to summer and back again over the course of the week, which makes me think of the Melbourne of old, when you truly could get four seasons in one day.  Or one week.  However, we soldiered on and spent another busy Saturday running around; first to talk soft furnishings at a company recommended by L.  L is very impressed by this business and her recommendations are usually pretty sound.  So at 8.45am we walked in and at 9.30 we walked out, with most of the decisions made.  A very efficient use of time.  Then down to look at some more carpet where we had to do most of the work ourselves, but that was OK as you don't get the dizzying array of choices that you have with curtain and upholstery fabrics.  Next stop was to L & P's to borrow a trailer so that we could pick up the glass doors that have been stripped ready for installation.  Getting them loaded and transported back to the house was a bit nerve wracking but everything arrived in one piece.  On arrival, we noticed a ute out the front and the gate was open and deduced that someone was working there.  It turned out the be the plaster hangers, who despite unpromising appearances, turned out the be very nice and helpful, insisting that they help Stos unload the doors, then moving them downstairs for us.  But our arrival was timely as they needed a hand moving two long pieces of plaster through a doorway and into place on the lounge room wall.  So Stos has another string to his bow in terms of experience with the house. I'm not sure what they would have done if we hadn't arrived - tried the neighbours?

To finish - a culture tip for the week.  If you didn't see Rufus Wainwright last night at the Palais, I hope you were going tonight.  It was a fabulous show.  The tribute to his late mother was touching and I'm now keen to seek out some Kate and Anna McGarringle music.  What a gifted and talented family.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Day 208: Winter

Did someone say it was spring?   Not judging by the weather yesterday or today.  The last time I saw a picture like this (snapped battling up the hill to the station on the way home from the Day Job yesterday) was in Wellington, New Zealand.  It's cold, wet, windy and, most importantly of all, it's stopping the glazier coming to seal our glass roof and finishing our windows.  The one bright spot was the water tanks were to be connected and we would benefit from the heavy rain.  But no; Pete turned up, announced that it was too wet and left.  So much for that. idea

However, despite the hideous weather, we've had a productive day:
- I picked up the feature tiles for the second bathroom;
- We found some carpet that we like. But this is our first real venture out so we will have more of a look next weekend.
- We found a light fitting for the "retreat" at Artemide in Carlton.  It's hand blown glass and will give out a rippling  pattern onto the walls.  We both loved it on sight.  Lights are now all ordered; another box ticked.
Artemide, Carlton

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Day 206: You light up my life

Two posts in one.  This must be some sort of record. But now that daylight savings has kicked in, it's not quite as hard to get photos and updates on progress at STLT permanent HQ.  Stos decided to have today off and arranged to meet the Sailmaker to get things going.  We've discovered that it is very hot on the rear deck, even in spring, so getting the sails up before we move back next month is a bit more important than we thought.  I mentioned to Bob the other day that this meeting was to take place and he thought was a good idea. When I mentioned that the brackets for the sails needed to be attached in advance of the meeting, he thought it was an even better idea to have Stos help him put them up.  So a day off turned into a full one of being builder's assistant, picking up the glass doors, taking them to be stripped, ordering chrome rods for the art deco shades that will go in the downstairs bedrooms
then collecting me from the station to go an look at yet another shop (lights this time) that is only open Monday to Friday.  This particular exercise has been a bit of a trial.  I saw a light fitting in the showroom some time ago and had been thinking of using it in a group of three.  Then I was looking on the relevant website last week and noticed that the light was no longer there.  There's nothing like something disappearing to make you decide that you MUST have it.  It's a bit like an ex-boyfriend, who becomes of interest again when another girl hooks up with him.  Anyway, the last week or so, I've been trying to establish if these lights are still around.  But the company is re-locating, it has packed up its current showroom and everything is in boxes so you can't see by looking through the window.  I called and found out that the light is available, but all the display items have been packed up and the box would have to be found.  Box was found and I made an appointment to call this afternoon.  After all of this effort, I found out that the wattage is too low to be useful, even in a group of three.  So back to the drawing board on lighting for the retreat.

But on a brighter note, the culmination of the search for the perfect doorhandle was this, which I think looks fabulous.

Day 206: My Creative Space

I haven't joined in for a while; while the spirit is willing, a combination of long days at the Day Job, any other spare time spent on house related issues and a lack of space to be creative in are conspiring against me.  However, I have to do a quilt block for Esther as part of the MMQG inaugural block swap by the end of October, maybe sooner.  This is quite interesting because:
- I am a very average sewer
- I have only ever made two quilt blocks and these were very basic.  They were for charity projects and I suspect that no one would have had the heart to tell me that they weren't much good.

I think what is really paralysing me is the worry that I will muck this up.  But at least this afternoon I sketched out something that I think is simple, acheivable, yet meets Esther's guidelines.  I'll then (i.e. this weekend) make a block from scrap fabric (when I get the box it is in out from under the other boxes) and make the real one from these lovely fabrics.  If I don't have to put in an appearance at the Day Job.
For more creative spaces, head over here.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Day 202: Spring

It has been a busy weekend and it's getting late but I know the New York STLT fan likes an update on Monday morning, so here it is. 

Firstly, it's nice to be able to say that spring is really here.  I get a warm, fuzzy feeling looking out of Catwoman's front door, seeing this:

Not that we really should complain given that it has been snowing across the ditch in Christchurch. 

There's been plenty happening at the house this week; all the plumbing type pipes have been put in and our  spotted gum floor is almost completely laid.  Even without sanding and polishing, you can see the beautiful colour and variagation in tones.
 The water tanks have also arrived.  I'm a bit bemused that we have beige water tanks, sitting against a grey house.  I assume that there must be a reason for this but can't figure it out for the life of me.  I'll ask Bob, but somehow I don't see them being exchangeable.  Hopefully we will actually be at lock up this week - all that needs to be done is handles and locks fitted to the exterior doors and installation of the remainder of the fixed glass and the garage door.  I'll feel a lot happier once I know that the plasterer has started.  I also feel relieved that the plumbing fittings have been ordered and the only thing to finalise are the lights.  But to my dismay, the lights I was considering for the lower level sitting room have disappeared from the retailers website.  There's nothing like the threat of something being discontined to make it more desirable!

I'll finish with a P.S to the New York correspondent:  there will be New Year drinks on the Lido Deck at STLT HQ, given that there will be a contingent of interstate visitors staying.  Don't even think about the house not being finished by Christmas.  This cannot happen.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Day 195: We are the champions

The siren has just gone on the replayed AFL grand final and today's match ended with the right result; the mightly Pies won convincingly.  There was none of the tension of the last weeks final quarter; Collingwood lead by a comfortable margin at three quarter time and kept piling on the goals.  It's been a long twenty years since the last Grand Final win, and the Magpie Army are going to celebrate accordingly.  Grandpa was always sure that he would never live to see another premiership, so we were glad that he saw the 1990 win and I'm sure he's up there with Grandma,  pouring himself a beer from a long neck and making Grandma a shandy to toast his beloved team.

Again, I didn't see all of the game.  We had to make the most of Grand Final day being a good time to shop.  But I listened to the game on the radio again and got home to see most of the third and the final quarters.   First up was ordering the feature tiles for the second bathroom, below left:

Then we headed off to a second hand building supplier to buy the second hand doors on the right to use for the entrance to the lounge room.  Bob disapproves of this - he would prefer that we used new doors with contemporary translucent glass, but we are very keen to have something a bit different.  It's a bit risky introducing period elements into a contemporary house, but the pattern is very simple and we think it will work.  If not, we will hear about it!  Then on to buy the lock for the front door, then home to watch the footy.  Well, I did;  Chris sat and shelled peas.  Each to their own.