Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Homemade Gifts

I only made two gifts this past Xmas, a pincushion for dd Emma & a bag for my lovely friend Pinky. I also made a bag for my dear friend Helen's January birthday.

The pincushion pattern is in Annie Downs book 'Some Kind of Wonderful.' 
I handpieced the whole thing. I tried machining the top & base to the embroidered section, but it didn't end well, lol. 

 The base.

I hoped Pinky, a US friend, would like this cute Aboriginal inspired fabric so I made a bag for her out of it. The fabric is much brighter than it looks in the pic.

I got this cute fabric at Spotlight last year. 
I made 2 identical bags, one for me & one for Helen. 
I'd seen a few pleated bags online & I really like them. I didn't have a pattern, so I made one up. I plan to make more pleated bags in different sizes.

Monday, 28 January 2013

The Gamesroom

Just so you know I haven't just been sitting around on my bum doing nothing - ta-da!

The Gamesroom - I call it the playroom, but ds Rowan says that sounds childish, oh to be 16 again & so grown up.

This room used to be dh's study, if you're familiar with the tv show Hoarders insert before picture here:

Total disaster area with no floor visible!

His reason for the disaster area was that everyone dumped all their stuff in there. Funnily enough, when he moved out & took his stuff, the only thing left were the family photo albums.......

So an empty room, what to do? I thought it would be good to have a dedicated place for the Wii etc, also a quiet place to sit & read, or watch a dvd. I also decided to put in a bench for the printer & a cupboard to hold  stationary. The wardrobe holds all our games, photos & some old videos. I do like to be organised!

As you can see it's a pretty bland room, here we'd already ripped up the hideous aubergine carpet. I'm slowly getting rid of it all. 

The walls are blah coloured, & the original owners finished all the timber work with one of those awful 2 pack stain/varnish products which looks patchy & horrible. I will work my way through the house painting all the timber work white, it not only looks a lot better, it also lightens up each room enormously. But on the downside it's a bugger to keep clean, lol.

We bought some aqua paint for the main bedroom a couple of years ago, but it never got done, so I decided to use the paint in here. It was a lot darker, read brighter, than I remembered, so I added a lot of white, & ended up with a very pretty colour.

I wanted a timber floor but not all the work & expense involved so this is a cheat. See pics at the end of the post.

I went to IKEA to buy the white shelves & as always had to check out the 'as is' corner. The red lounge was a bargain as the cushions were dirty. As they all come off for washing I figured why not? It washed up brilliantly & I love it. Rowan & I spotted the rug at Masters & being total Anglophiles had to have it.

And finally, with the quilt we had to have, the curtains up, & the cute lampshade I also found in the IKEA as is corner, plus a lampbase from my fave vintage shop, it all came together.

The bench, again IKEA as is, it's actually a cupboard door plus some IKEA legs.

The cute little vintage cupboard I bought on eBay for $20 has heaps of storage & the top lifts up, how cool!

I've always made do when it came to shelving but I decided to splash out & buy something a bit swish. IKEA Hemnes was just the ticket, it's actually solid wood & I'm really happy with it.

Finally all the dvd's in one place instead spread between several shelves through other rooms.

Inside the wardrobe.

The Floor

The floor is 2 layers of ply, first we laid the sheets, cutting them to fit.


Then we cut the top layer into strips & laid them. We glued them & nailed them with a nail gun. We then undercoated them & gave them 2 top coats of paint. 

You could stain & varnish them, or just varnish them. We have jarrah through the rest of the ground floor & I didn't want to stain these to match, it's too dark. I thought a light stain would look bad against the jarrah, so decided to paint the floor white as a total contrast.

We have also decorated the main bedroom & Rowan now has it. Once he has his double bed I will post pics. I'm currently working on the 'library,' formerly a dead space between the kitchen & my sewing room. I have a list a mile long for improvements for each room so I will be very busy this year!

I should mention too, I don't get any commission/kickbacks from IKEA or Masters for mentioning them, worse luck!

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Christmas 2012

  Xmas got away from me, so this is a better late than never post. :-) 

 I used all my fave traditional stuff for the foyer.


  This doesn't show up well, but looked really pretty. I simply hung a range of baubles on mono filament thread from a piece of dowel. I wrapper tinsel around the dowel to cover it & then hung it from the window pelmet.

 I saw this idea on another blog & thought it was so cute. I love old ports & have quite a few. I've left it out & will set up another little vignette in it to enjoy through the year.

It was nice having a 'pretty' tree this year. I decided to go pastel with my tree, soft pink, aqua, lime, silver & white & I really loved it.

The dumb waiter makes a great place to display our village. Rowan set it up for me this year & it looked great!

I decided to put together a hamper of food & fun for Emma & her fiancée James. I picked up this gorgeous vintage cane hamper at my fave vintage shop, it was just perfect & Emma can use it in her sewing room for storage.

 Molly loves Xmas, (she's very fond of ham), so it's her fave time. :-)

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

December Book

Well it took me a month to read this book, all 946 pages of it. 1096 if you add in the appendix & index! The downside of this book, weight, boy is it heavy, the upside, one of the most interesting books I've ever read! 

It starts with the birth of Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon in 1900 & follows her incredible life until her death at the age of 102. 

Although I'm a 3rd generation Aussie,I've always been an Anglophile & I'm very proud to have Scottish & English great grandparents. I'm also a royalist, so this book was just my cup of tea, though I have to say this book is not just about the Queen Mother, it is also an excellent way to learn so much about the 20th century in England, so many things I knew a little about, suddenly became a lot more detailed.

One of the main things I learned was just what an incredible lady the Queen Mother was. When she married she expected to one day be the King's sister in law, of course when King Edward VIII abdicated she was suddenly the King's wife, & knew that her eldest daughter Princess Elizabeth was destined to be a Queen. King George VI would never have been as successful without his amazing wife. Her sense of duty was never-ending but she was also incredibly devoted to her family, & was a adored by her entire family. She was also a very loyal friend to hundreds of people.

I also came to understand a lot more about how the royal family works & just how much they do. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves the royals. Oh & I picked it up at All Books for Less for just $5!!!!