Friday, February 25, 2011

Day 339: Day by Day

What a difference a day or three makes.  Bob and the boys finished just before lunchtime today and we now have this to look at.  Much better than the jungle of weeds we had earlier in the week. 
The change in the front isn't quite as drastic as we had the Stonehenge look prior to the garden make over, but the river pebbles and mulch is a big improvement on the scorched earth look.
And I think we are getting to the point of being able to publish a daytime photo of the front now that the weeds are gone and the "blue steel" era is over:

The end is nigh.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Day 338: My Creative Space

This is not what I have been working on this week, but I wanted to put up a picture of Gina's MMQG "Oh Beehave" block which she should have received by now.  This was the first of the wonky log cabins and I was too nervous to pivot cut it, so wonked it up with offset components, an inadvertent crooked seam and and an extra bit on the left hand side that came about because I measured the block incorrectly.  As I said last week, these wonky blocks are very forgiving.  The next challenge is Alissa's non wonky log cabin, before attacking the other two packs of fabric that I've picked up in the last week.  The other pressing task is to work out what I am going to do for my turn in May, which isn't far off.  It has to be something I can manage so there won't be any curves or flying geese involved!

To see what other clever people are up to, head over here.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Day 337: Planet Earth

The sleep-ins are officially over; Bob is back on the job. At 7.30am on the dot, a large truck arrived with a bobcat and before we knew it, the boys were at work. First the remainder of the garden and the rampant weeds were cleared, then the new soil was brought in and the new garden beds were shaped. Stos and I pulled out the stubborn grass that invades from next door and to keep the boys happy, I made a batch of Auntie Jean's scones for smoko. This would have to be the easiest recipe in my repertoire and even I don 't need to look up the ingredients which are:

4 cups self raising flour, sifted
300ml (a small bottle) of thickened (double) cream
300ml water.

Mix, turn out on to a lightly floured surface, flatten into a rough square approx one inch thick, cut into pieces, glaze with a little milk and cook at 220C for 10 to 15 mins until a light, golden colour. Too easy!  The secrets are to keep mixing/handling to a minimum, don't bother with a rolling pin and don't faff around with scone cutters.  I think even Auntie Jean would give these a tick and Bob certainly approves.  I know our scone queen friend thinks that lemonade scones are the way to go, but for simplicity, these can't be beaten.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Day 335: Who let the dogs out?

Stos and I have both taken a week off from the Day Jobs.  Breaks have been a bit thin on the ground over the last 18 months, so we thought it was a good idea just to take some time to sit back and enjoy the house.  That was until Bob decided that this week would be a good time to do the landscaping.  So now we have jobs to do in readiness for the bobcat coming in later in the week.  This afternoon was spent pulling out weeds in the front yard and picking up building rubble, although, to be honest, I think we will be picking bits of roof tile out of the ground until we are carried out of the place.  The yard is bare but it looks a lot better than the jungle of weeds it was last week.  The back is another story but the bobcat will sort that out.  K & P were out the front with us but having had a taste of freedom a few weeks ago, K headed for the only gap in the fence and started trotting down the road to seek out treats at M's place.  She really is a female (and canine) version of Houdini.  But you wouldn't guess her evil nature from the photo here.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Day 331: My creative space

I've been a bit hopeless with my "Oh Beehave"  MMQG quilt block swap and was well and truly behind on the November and January blocks.  Even once we moved back home, I had no time to sew and was a bit apprehensive about making "wonky" log cabin blocks.  Anyway, a week ago I got my act together, pulled out the sewing machine and fabric and have put together blocks for Gina and Anna over the last two weekends.  Verdict - wonky log cabin blocks are brilliant! They are a forgiving construction method for people (like me) who aren't very good at sewing straight and muck up measurements, as they are meant to be a bit crooked and you can just add on bits if you measure up too short, which I always seem to manage to do.  Both blocks went in the mail on Monday and here's a shot of Anna's, which had "Moroccan" and "spicy" as the theme.  I am quite pleased with it and I hope Anna is too.

For more creativity, head over here.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Day 329: Please Mr Postman

Is it pretentious to have a bespoke letterbox? I feel quite strange saying this but with the new fence, there was nothing off the shelf (well at least not at Bunnings) that worked for us. So we got an el cheapo, screwed it to the post as an interim measure and had a chat to the steel guy who was more than happy to come up with something that could be inserted in the structure of the fence. He also suggested making a house number to go on the box and we were going model this using the number plate retrieved from the old place until some low life pinched it from it's NAILED ON position on the front gate post!  I'm still trying to work out why anyone would want with an strange number like ours. Anyway, after searching around for suitable fonts, I came up with another design that worked for us.   This appealed as I have always written my sevens in the continental style.

The other major development last week was the installation of the side fences and gate.  They look good as well as keep the dogs in and the added bonus is that the place no longer looks like a prison camp.  The front gates have now been galvanised but I don't want to put up a picture of the front until the weeds are cleared next week.  So here's a shot of the south side fence including vicious guard dog.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Day 319: Runaway horses

We have had the craziest weather this week, ranging from 40C odd to bucketing down with rain for the last 24 hours, a flow on impact from Cyclone Yasi that hit Far North Queensland this week.  But by far the worst day was Tuesday which was the hot day.  It was windy, horrible and the day that I had to work from home in order for the new blinds to be installed.  I knew that it was going to be a disrupted day but that was an understatement.  We had a truckload of people through here including:

- Two people installing blinds
- Jarrad who delivered the fabulous new furniture
- Bob, Pete and Sparkie Dave
- The showerscreen man and his apprentice who installed the bathroom mirrors, at last
- Donna from the window furnishings shop who had to drop off some curtain tracks and her daughter

Then later in the day, the guy who installed the security system and a lady who bought our filing cabinet from eBay came by.  So productivity was fairly low during the day and I had to make it up in the evening, which is not my favourite time to work.  However on the house front, a lot was achieved and the place has been transformed by the blinds and the fabulous Danish furniture.  You've seen the furniture; now here are the blinds:

On the left is what Stos calls "the horsie blind".  I bought two metres of the Horse Stampede fabric in the Signature Prints sale last year, without quite knowing what to do with it, but for less than half price, it was definitely worth picking up.  Then I remembered that we had a small window in the 3rd bedroom and the amount of fabric might just stretch to a blind.  When we were discussing this with Donna, she looked dubious, then told us to leave it wither her and she would make it work.  Which she did, with some fabric left over.  The blind on the right is typical of those in the rest of the house, with the 2nd and 3rd bedroom blinds having block-out lining.  With window furnishings in, the house looks fully dressed.  Stos had likened having no curtains to going down the street in your tracksuit pants.  I'm not sure about that analogy - I shop in trakkies.  Just what is he saying?!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Day 316: I want Candy

I wish I could say I agonised over the decision to buy these chairs and couch.  But I didn't.  The thought process was limited to:  I love them, I want them, what the hell.  So after two visits to the shop, a bit of research on comparative prices (not that you can buy these exact chairs anywhere else) they were delivered yesterday and I'm thrilled with how they fit in.  The couch is matched up with the Florence Broadhurst ottomans that I bought last year while we were homeless.  Just ignore the carpet off-cut on the floor.  Once we have put up some of our pictures, the mancave will be a really great space.
Someone pointed out that the colour is similar to that of the front door.  Spooky.  The various people who were in and out of the house yesterday (more on that tomorrow) liked them and even Bob seemed to approve.