Sunday, August 31, 2008

My Sunday

I did some of this...

and then some of this...

and this...

to get the house ready for Mitch to come home to.

Then I went here...

to eat these...

with these two lovely girls.

After that, we went here...

to see this interactive exhibition...

where we did this, with some of the 300 kg of lego.

My log cabin.

The girls' clubhouse, complete with furniture.

A cathedral.

No, not made by me but by someone with too much talent...and time on his hands. Apparently it took 120 hours to make.
Now to make a chocolate cake to welcome my man home.

Friday, August 29, 2008

The Saling Gods are smiling.

OMG! I can't wait to show you the bargains I picked up this afternoon... an early start to my "saling" weekend. I had decided that I would only go garage saling every second week (after payday because that's when I get my $20 "pocket money") but was still trying to work out how to break the news to hubby that, yes, I'm going out shopping for more "crap" to fill the house with this weekend. But wait, Mitch has gone away for 2 nights, to his State titles for boxing, so now I don't have to hide anything. Yesss! (Imagine a fist pumped in the air.)

Anyway, I was driving home from dropping Rosie off to gymnastics when I spy a lady setting up a sale in her front yard for tomorrow. Looks interesting, I says to myself, are they canisters I spy...and crockery? Goody. But do I have my purse with me? NO.

After picking up Rosie however, I decided to stop and just innocently knock on the door to ask what time the sale starts tomorrow. (I made sure I had my purse this time.) What me, have an ulterior motive? Can I help it if they invite me to look around now? And,oh boy, was it a good sale or what. There are two things that indicate a GOOD sale 1. Obviously that they have good stuff and 2. That they are cheap. (If I wanted to pay $20 for a cup and saucer I would go to a shop.)

The first thing I went for was her stack of china saucers. She's been collecting them for years she tells me, there's even Meakin and Shelley in there. I don't care what the labels are, I just go for what grabs me, right there in the stomach region, but if it has a label, even better. I look at a few pretty ones. "How much?" I ask, half wincing, waiting for the answer. (I had a bad experience last week, but then again it wasn't my week for "saling" so maybe that was my punishment for breaking my own rules.) 5c each! I take nearly all of them, 14 plates in all. "So that's 70c," she says. I feel so grateful that I say, "No, that's $2, at least." And even then I feel like a cheapskate. I also got this little canister (in the middle) which matches some dinner plates I already have. 50c. Yep. I think I'll keep my Chai tea in here.

Then I found this cute Dutch clock, which is plastic but looks real. I'm half Dutch, so would like to start collecting more Dutch things and I've been looking for a clock for the lounge room. But I think it would suit the kitchen more. We'll see.

Next up was this great set of scales. (The one in the middle, already friendly with my other two. I think I feel a collection coming on.) $5.

Then I found these cute pictures, the set for $3. They are about 20 cm square and have got double matting and everything.

And last, but not least, my favourite. These frames.

The lady told me that they are really old. She bought them from an estate sale years ago and has been holding on to them from move to move, but it was time to let them go. They are really old, she tells me again. So I ask the price, wincing again, thinking $15, $20 each. Nope, only $2, and even then, she's almost apologetic, as if she's overcharging. Woo hoo, as Homer says. Maybe it's a desecration for something so old but I think I'll paint them white. Then I'll have to work out what to put in them. I kind of like them even just propped up against this chair.

And I've still got money to go saling tomorrow with my good friend and crafting buddy, Lisa. Bring on tomorrow.

P.S. I have a confession to make. We had takeout pizza for dinner tonight (when Mitch is away, the girls will play) so after my holier-than-thou description of my baking in my Things About Me, I feel like a fraud. No, maybe just human. I do just get tired of cooking sometimes. Do you still love me?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Australian translations and Rosie's camp.

Thank you so much everyone who has stopped by and left me a comment. It's exciting, especially to know that people all the way over in the USA are looking at my blog. And for those American tourists, you will notice that I have put a translator on the side of my blog. I knew about the differences like fairy floss and cotton candy, but it never occured to me that "chook" might be a word that only Australians would use. It is, Susan, a chicken. If I use any other words that you don't know the meaning of, just let me know and I'll put it on my translator.

I got the name Pineconeprim, because pine trees are my favourite trees and I like primitive decorating. It actually comes from a label I made up few years ago when I was planning to make things to sell at the weekly markets. I thought a name would make a nice touch and actually chose Pinecone County, which I also use as my email address. When I joined ebay, I changed it to pineconeprim so I wouldn't get it confused with my email address, and I thought it had a nice ring to it, so I chose it for my blog name too. To me, it encapsulates a simple life, in the countryside, close to nature, without all the fussings of modern life.

I have a backlog of posts and photos to show you, but today I'll just tell you about Rosie's camp that she went on 2 weeks ago. It was held at Mapleton, in the mountains behind the Sunshine Coast, and the weather was just gorgeous. Blue sky with enough of a chill in the air to make it cosy. We had the fireplace in the common room going all day. I went as a Mum rather than a Teacher Aide, which although meant no pay, also meant that I didn't have all the responsibilties that went with it. I could just enjoy spending Mum and daughter time with Rosie (and 59 other kids :) ) AND all of us Mums got a cabin away from the little darlings so we didn't have to do night patrol, or break up girls' arguments or clean up vomit (yes, one girl threw up all over her bed in the middle of the night.)

Instead Rosie and I got to canoe...

and do archery (which Rosie said was boring at first but THEN she got 50 points in the competition for shooting an arrow through a swinging plastic milk bottle)....

and orienteering and a giant swing (which for me was a low-light of the camp because the harness gave you a giant wedgie. OUCH!) Rosie's favourite was the rock-climbing wall.

Here's me going up.

I never quite made it to the top because I would get near and then look down (that's a no-no) and also the kids were holding my ropes, and even though they were meant to pull them tight as I climbed, they were more often than not, sagging, and as you climbed up the handholds got smaller and smaller, and I wasn't entrusting my life to two 10 year old kids.

Rosie however showed her usual determination. There was one wall that jutted out, meaning you had to hang there just by your hands while trying to hoist your leg up. No one could do it. A few tried and failed. But Rosie...when she gets her mind set on something, she doesn't give up. She hung there for about 5 minutes, trying and trying, with the whole group cheering her on...until she did it...and climbed the rest of the 10 metres up. Here's a photo of her, past the outcrop...

and a photo of her at the bottom, feeling very proud of herself.

Well, that's all for today. I'm actually having a sick day off work, and have spent far too long at the computer now. It's easy to do. All the best.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Pay It Forward Game

Joanne at My Little Cottage in the Making (see my favourite blogs at the side for the link), is playing the Pay It Forward game, which I've signed up for. The rules (as explained by her)are easy. The first three people who let me know they want to play will get a small gift from me in the mail. Then in turn they list this game on their blog and the first 3 people that email them play and so on.

The gift is just a token, nothing big. It can be homemade, bought or found. Just a little something to say hi, I'm thinking of you and to put a smile on the person's face.
So if you want to play then please leave me a message and email me your address( ) and I will send you a little surprise package. If you have a blog you will need to post this game on it (but you don't have to wait to get your package from me) and send a little gift to the first three people who tell you they want to play.

I don't know how many other people read my blog other than family (I am only new after all) and I know most of you don't have blogs, so I'm going to bend the rules a little. If you don't have a blog and want to sign up, pass the game to your friends by email, or just choose 3 people to send something to or do something nice for. It's a little something positive in this world and it's a great way to get to know each other better.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

I'm procrastinating...

I should be tidying the house this afternoon but am feeling uninspired. I am spending my time instead looking at other people's blogs. That's what I do when I can't face the mess behind me...I look at other people's houses and for half an hour I can pretend that they are mine. In the meantime, I'll show you Rosie and Ella all dressed up for the Book Week parade today. They had to go as a character from one of the short-listed books.

Rosie (looking really pretty-I think) is from a chapter book called Dragon's Moon and Ella is from Parsley Rabbit's Book about Books. Ella is wearing a pyjama outfit that her and Rosie asked me to make for them.

Here is the inspiration.....

and here is the result....

complete with fake bum flaps.

But now, back to reality. Sigh, the housework is calling. Here's a little something pretty to get me in the mood...

and something yummy to eat as my reward.

There's one for you too!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

The Thrill of the Chase

What a week! I went on Rosie's Year 5 camp this week which was so much fun, but we both came back exhausted. I'll write more on that another time with photos but for now I want to show you my garage sale goodies that I got yesterday. For after reading so many blogs on doing up "yard sale" finds, the bug has bitten me again. I know Mary would probably remember when I lived back in Brisbane, me going out nearly every week on my Saturday treasure hunts. She joined me for a few. Well I've started again, much to Mitch's horror. "We've got enough #*! already and can't keep clean what we do have." It's been one of those weeks where the house is an absolute pigsty and you fervently hope that the cops won't have any reason to come to your house because if they did, they would rescue the kids and photos of your lounge room would be plastered all over the newspapers. Well that's in my 3 o'clock in the morning nightmare. I'm blaming it on the fact I was away at camp, and before it, I was too busy getting ready, and afterwards I was to tired to do anything, and Mitch had the flu. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. Anyway here's my treasures.

I bought this sunlounge for $10 after a bit of umming and ahhing ($10 is a bit of a commitment for me and I could just see what Mitch would say - after all, big things are a bit harder to hide) but I love lying outside and reading on the weekends and our old hammock gave up the ghost last summer. And it's metal, not plastic...priceless.

The fabric isn't too bad, but it is fabric and I have no intention of dragging it under cover every day, so I also bought some cheap vinyl tableclothes with which to cover it. I'll show you that when it's done.

I also bought this pink and white pine table for $10 (I know, another big purchase) which I have put outside in my laundry area to fold my washing up on. Maybe it could also double up as an eating table in summer for when it's too hot to eat inside. I don't know about that yet. On it you can see some dirty wicker baskets which I bought for 50 c each. They have only one handle and these I intend to spray paint white, tie a big ribbon onto the handle (blue and white spots maybe) and hang up on hooks in the girls' room (when I finish painting it) to put their teddies in.

Here's a close up of a pink transferware plate that I bought for $1 to add to my collection. One day I just want to have a crockery collection of plates and bowls that I love, no 16 piece matching dish sets for me. I particularly like transferware but only if they have "European" pictures on them. I don't like the Japanese style. I currently have them in blue and pink and one in brown, which I like because it reminds me of Oma's and Opa's plates. And if they have scalloped edges, that's even better.

This is some fabric I got for $2 this morning at the markets (along with a big punnet of juicy strawberries for $5 and some of Sally's slippers for me.)

I was going to make some cushions for my couch out of it but now I'm thinking I might make a wrap-around skirt like this (have a look at the second post)out of it. Maybe there would be enough for both, if I don't mind matching my couches.

And last of all, these footrests for $1 each. I bought them more for the girls to sit on, then for your feet and they are just the right height for sitting at the coffee table to play board games. I'll probably cover them sometime, but I don't know how yet and they are in perfect condition, so it's not a rush.

I also asked the guy at the garage sale if I could have a cutting from his gorgeous white geranium and he gave me the whole pot plant. It was his late mother's and he said she would be pleased it was going to someone who'd appreciate it and look after it. (So now I can't kill this one.) So overall, a very successful weekend and that's part of what I like about "saling" never know what you're gonna get. And yes Mitch, we will use those things and it will be all worth it. And no Ella, you can not bounce on the footrests on the trampoline....and stop having races on them with Rosie. I promise, it will be worth it.

Friday, August 8, 2008

What gets me going in the morning?

My cosy dressing gown...

a clean kitchen...

a cup of tea outside on the step...

with one cat...

two cats are even better.

The green of this tree against the blue, blue sky...

and the smell of my sweet alice.

Would you like to join me? Rosie did.
EDIT : In response to your question Vron, the flowers are called Alyssum or Sweet Alice and are probably one of the easiest and most hardy flowers to grow. I love the smell and Rosie and Ella get tired of me saying "Just smell smells just like honey." Also interestingly enough, Rosie's rat likes to eat them. It must be the nectar. Also in my planter (in case your wondering) is a minature rose and feverfew plants which have no flowers yet.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

At the markets

Sunday morning...time to visit the markets. I usually try to get my fruit and veges from there, and I like to have a look around at second-hand stuff for little bargains. Today they were at the Duck Ponds...not as good as the Southside markets, but almost worth going just for the bad singing they have there every time.
I went with my friend, Carmel, and her two daughters, and Rosie and Ella of course.

We like to look at the ducks....

and pat the dogs.

I liked these rolling pins....

and these beaters...

but the stall was ridiculously overpriced.

This is my friend, Sally's stall.

She knits the most gorgeous slippers and scarves. I bought Ella some slippers, which you'll see in a photo later, and I put in an order for some pink ones for Rosie.

This guy (in the yellow shirt) pickles his own olives which are absolutely delicious, especially the herb and garlic ones. Mmmm. But no olives today.

After a look and a play and a bask in the winter sun, it was time to go home.

I didn't buy a lot today but this is what I did get. (Half the sugar snap peas had already been eaten, as well as the manderines, which don't look so good on the outside because the sellers didn't use sprays, but are oh so sweet.)

Get to know me

  • I love the smell of cinnamon and vanilla.
  • My favourite flowers are daisies.
  • My favourite trees are pine trees.
  • I always like to have the bickie jar full and a cake on the cake stand. I know...not that healthy, but so good to look at.
  • Autumn is my favourite month, although I do wish we had more of a change of colours up here in Queensland.
  • I love Anne of Green Gables and Laura Ingalls Wilder. They started my love affair with "old-fashioned" stuff.
  • I'm a boots and jeans kind of girl, but also love vintage skirts and dresses.
  • I like sewing and am in love with quilts at the moment.
  • I love reading. (I have a weakness for archeological thrillers and historical romances, but not Mills and Boon-type ones.)
  • I love old houses with character. No new estate houses for me. (Sorry Rosie.)
  • I love vintage/cottage/farmhouse decorating and pretty pinks and blues, with a splash of red for colour.
  • Polka dots can make me sigh with delight.
  • I have 4 chooks. They are MY pets. Another tick on my dream-come-true chart.
  • I don't eat dessert much any more. I'm not dieting, I just don't want it. (Does that mean I'm growing up if I say no to an icecream cone?)
  • I'll still always say yes to chocolate though!
  • I like to sit on the front stairs in the sun, to drink my morning cup of tea, while I contemplate what to do in the garden.
  • I've got the gardening bug again recently. It comes and goes with the weather. I'm envisioning cottage flowers in pink, blue and white to go with my green picket fence.