Thursday, January 27, 2011

Day 310: Obsession

When I look back over the last year, I see patterns of obsession.  The most significant were tiles, door handles and light fittings.  I looked at different styles in magazines, Googled lots of sites and dragged Stos around various shops that were inevitably open during hours suited to people who don't need to work like the rest of us.  Other important things such as taps and vanity units didn't come into the obsession category as we found and settled on these fairly quickly, then moved on.  So it's time for a new obsession and it is Danish design.  Yes, Danish furniture has been in vogue for quite some time, but when you don't need  furniture, these things tend to pass you (me) by.  Now that we are looking for some chairs and maybe a couch, I am in love with vintage Danish items and am getting a crash course in the "who's who" of the Scandinavian design world.  And, of course, I'm looking at the expensive stuff, not the run of the mill.  But while we are considering a couple of options, we have bought this rather stylish wall unit for the loungeroom.  It's not Danish, but has the same simplicity of design:

Photo from "Know Your Product"
This was a built-in fixture of a 1950's Australian house and will do beautifully to hold the big bogan television and the DVDs, music etc.  We got this from Know Your Product which is one of those places that you can't visit without coming out with at least one vintage treasure.  Part of the fun is looking around and spotting things that our parents had/have.  I'm looking forward to this being delivered so that we can get a bit more order into the place.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Day 309: Downunder

This Australia Day is very different to that of 2010.  One year ago we were packing the house up in readiness to move out.  Not a very relaxing way to spend a public holiday, but it had to be done.  This year is different - back home and gradually settling back into our space.  We did say that we wouldn't do any jobs today, but it seemed a bit indulgent to simply kick back.  Besides, Bob and Pete are putting in our heating panels tomorrow so we needed  to move furniture so that they can access the fittings.  It will be a relief to get these out of the garage and onto the walls (plus the others being delivered tomorrow):
The panels on the left are to go in the kitchen/living area and the chrome panel on the right will double as a towel rail in one of the bathrooms.  I'm not in a hurry for heating but I do want to get rid of the clotheshorse that is serving as a towel rail in the meantime!

We have a few people coming for dinner tonight so the new Smeg oven has been getting a workout.   For dessert, I have made a traditional American dish; sweet potato and bourbon pie (yes, I know, a pav would have been more appropriate today).  Sounds weird (to an Australian) but tastes great.  I went to a function last week where this was on the menu and I was really impressed.  As a result of my fascination with American desserts, the first job the next morning was to find a recipe in order to make it at the earliest possible opportunity.  The finished product isn't the most impressive looking thing I have made but it smells good so I hope it is just as nice to eat.  What did we do before we could look things up on the internet? 

Monday, January 17, 2011

Day 301: Devil Gate Drive

Well, Christmas is officially over.  Bob dropped around today to look through the list of things to be finished off and talk about when the team will be back on the job. Pete, Dave and the painters are all expected to put in an appearance shortly but a very welcome sight today was the Steel Guy, who brought our front gates with him.  He has never built gates like these before; driveway gates cleverly contain a pedestrian gate, so he wants to set them up and leave them for a week or so to make sure they work as designed.  Once he is satisfied, the gates will be removed and galvanised.  We also went through the design for the side gates again and they will be started in the next couple of days.  One interesting thing I learned is that before the galvanising process, the underlying steel is blue, or coated in blue.  Therefore they should be called Zoolander gates (very bad joke for people who have seen the movie).

The weekend was busy with jobs, one of which was to pull out the weeds at the front.  They'll be back before we know it so tonight I quickly took a picture of the front of the house to put up.  Hopefully this dusk photo shows off the best attributes of the house and makes it harder to see the things that need doing i.e. garden and  makeshift curtains, to name a few.  But the Zoolander gates stand out, even by twilight.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Day 294: The Sweetest Gift

I think I'm a pretty modern girl but I really love the old fashioned niceties; hand written thank-you notes, gentlemen opening doors for ladies and that type of thing.  One lovely custom that we have noticed lately has been the offering of house warming gifts, cards and wishes.  I don't do these things often enough myself and need to make a New Year's resolution to be more thoughtful.  People have been so kind to us; Bob's mother bought us a lovely plant that she thought would go well with his landscaping efforts, then on Saturday, R presented us with a gift from local artist in original home ( from Northern Scotland) which she bought on her last trip back in August.  She was also happy to see that it blends in beautifully with my turquoise themes in the bathroom and kitchen.  We are so lucky to have such kind and considerate friends.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Day 293: Skylark

There is a lot that I should have been doing today , but it's about time that we had a "down" day. So after a spot of shopping this morning, I retired to the deck with the iPad and my book and  achieved the following:

1/. Finished reading "Under the Sun; the letters of Bruce Chatwin".  The letters of a man (and author) who was constantly on the move.  He said of himself that he knew what he was fleeing but not what he was looking for.
2/. Watched "Party Down" on iView.  Promising - anything with Jane Lynch in it is worth a look, in my view.
3/. Read blogs on Google Reader.

As the weather was cool and overcast it probably wasn't the best day to sit outside but it is good to have a break from the day to day.  And the average day was compensated for by a sensational sunset as seen from the deck.  Washing the dishes isn't my idea of a good time but a view like this compensates for a lot.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Day 289: Always in the kitchen at parties

Happy New Year!  The interstate visitors have gone home and things are getting back to normal although Stos does not believe that the house does not feel like home yet; most likely because there is still a lot to be done.  While we are in and largely unpacked, the place is still a mess and I think it is going to take a while for things to find their permanent home.  I'm also finding that the chaos outside is annoying me more than I thought it would but there isn't much point in 1/.  doing too much when Bob and the team need to come back and finish off work outside and 2/. trying to establish any sort of garden during summer.  But at least all of the boxes, general builders rubble and empty cans of polyurethane have been disposed of.  Out the front, all that remains are the weeds and the construction site gate and side fences that we are using the keep the girls in.  At least Bob's landscaping efforts provide some interest.

I really should take a picture of the front of the house with the red front door now completed but I really don't want people to see the jungle of weeds out there.  So here's a picture of the fabulous screen that Ro Baby made for us that sits on the side of the fridge.  Unlike the packing box, set of steps and mess in the bookcase, it's a permanent feature.