Sunday, September 28, 2008

Aargh! I'm so over scrubbing...

...and cleaning

....and sanding
....and filling
with my faithful companions, bleach...
and a rickety ladder...

and music to pass the time.

In the June holidays I thought that I would paint the girls' bedroom. "It should only take me a week," I said. I didn't count on the time it would take to strip the peeling windows, and fill all of the gaps between the boards and clean off the accumulated mould and dirt from...God's knows how long ago this house was last cleaned. The old lady we bought it off wasn't exactly able to keep it spick and span, and that's putting it nicely. So in that week I was able to clean and fill 3 walls and strip one window. Nothing more. So this is where the girls have been sleeping for the last three months.
The sleepout in all it's messy glory...

(I'm being brave and letting you see the real state of things in our house.) Their furniture is stored in the hallway, their pullout drawers are under my bed, and there is just enough room to walk up beside their mattresses in the sleepout, which is usually their playroom. Needless to say it isn't conducive to a orderly room.
So these holidays, I swore that no matter what it takes, I am finishing their room and getting them OUT of the sleepout. One more day it should take to finish scrubbing the ceiling and filling the gaps THEN I can finally start painting. Oh, but wait, the original paint is oil-based and I'm going to use water-based, so the primer will have to go on first. Doh!

But I just keep thinking of how good the room is going to look, once I'm finished with it. A rhapsody of pale blue and white. It already looks so much better just having the layer of filth gone and the cracks all sealed up.

But I would so much rather be doing this....

or this these holidays.

Also these are the girls bunk beds which I will be painting white. They are a horrible orange pine with, I think, a varnish over the top.

Does anyone know what I'll have to do before painting them to make sure the paint sticks. Please, please, please don't tell me that I'll have to sand them. Isn't there another way?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Let's Romp!

On Sunday, we took part in a charity event in Brisbane called Romp. It's part Amazing Race (although you were only allowed to walk or catch public transport), part scavenger hunt, part trivia. You had to form a group (ours was my sisters Bec and Mary, my niece and Rosie and Ella and myself), give it a name (Funny Bunny Foo Foos - thanks Rosie) and if you like, have a costume. We were all going to go as bunnies but it didn't quite work out. It was too hot for Ella and Rosie to wear their bunny suits, and the others couldn't find ears. I was proudly sporting my ears though.

There were cowboys and Indians....

and frogs...

and Dora the Explorers...

and farm animals...

and Smurfs....

and members of the French Court....

and monkeys and bananas...

and boots that were made for romping....

and my favourite...these people got inspiration from the Japanese animated movie "Steam Boy". Part Victorian and part industrial. They had real detail in their costumes.

And then us!

We talked about going next year as the Von Trapp family (we used to refer to ourselves as the Von Crapp family...well, there are 9 kids but we don't sing) but it was already taken.

We started at the top of the Queen St Mall, where we got our clue sheet for where the checkpoints were and our first compulsory checkpoint we had to go to. It was...guess... the Story Bridge Climb headquarters....where we were yesterday with Mum. It's too far to walk so we had to catch a ferry....which was soooo slow... and then when we finally got to our stop...apparently WE were too slow...and the driver wouldn't let us off, along with about six other rompers. WHAT THE... So we had to get off at the next stop, 10 mins walk away. So it's taken us nearly an hour to get to our first checkpoint and we only have 4 hours to try and get to as many checkpoints out of 50 that we can. At each checkpoint, the girls got their passbook stamped and we had to try and solve a puzzle and then text the answer to the organisers and then they'd text back if we got it right or not and how many points we got.

It was slow going at first, as the first 3 checkpoints were on that side of the river, with a lot of walking along the boardwalk. At Riverlife, we had to find a fish and text what was in it's tail.

Answer: Springs.

Once we got to the other side of the river, it was better, with checkpoints closer together.The next one was at the Kookaburra Queen ticket office. That's the Kookaburra Queen there, the old paddle steamboat.

Question: If 10 people go on a Sunday cruise and 3 people have the devonshire tea, and 2 have (something else...I can't remember) and 1 has nothing to eat and the rest have a full lunch, how much did they spend all together? Hmmm.
Answer: $415.
Time for lunch. Argh, look at the time, where did it go? Quick, but don't run. We covered 12 checkpoints in all, not bad seeing we got such a bad start.

Back to the starting point for a concert and some prizes. Oh, I'm soo tired.

The girls each won a $20 gift voucher for Myers, which they promptly spent on Littlest Pet Shops, of course.

Afterwards the girls and I went here...

to South Bank... a beach in the middle of the city...

so I could soak these tired little footsies.

(Don't look too closely at the ugly feet.)

And the girls had an impromptu swim in their clothes. Ella hopped in because she had her bunny outfit to change into afterwards, but Rosie needed a little encouragement.

OK, I confess, I pushed Rosie in. But you know she wanted to.

So who wants in for next year. I thought we could be called "Don't get your "hick"..ers in a knot" and go dressed like this.

I don't know whose photo this is but thank you anyway.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Happy Birthday, Mum! Are you ready for your surprise?

It was my Mum's 60th birthday back in July, and we finally got together on the weekend to celebrate. There are so many of us (9 children) and we're all so busy that we couldn't get together sooner than that.
It's always nice just to get together with family...

and see my Mum and Dad again...

and my youngest nephew who is seven weeks old....

but we wanted to do something extra special for her. So we told her to bring along these comfortable shoes because...

SURPRISE MUM... you're going to be climbing this.

One of Brisbane's landmarks, the Story Bridge. It was Veronika's idea and you've always been a bit of a daredevil, Mum.

You were pretty excited but you should have seen your face when we told you that you were going to be sharing the experience with Dad. Ecstatic! (And you thought you would have to do it all by yourself with a bunch of strangers.)

It's time to go....a short walk up to the headquarters.

Mary and I made sure we got some footage.

You yelled down that it was "awesome"!

Dad was getting all smoochy. The other climbers will either think it was cute or go home and complain that they had to climb with "a gross old couple who acted like they were teenagers again". I think it was cute.

This is the view down the river from the footpath on the bridge.

While you were climbing, the cousins just played...and played. Wait, is that the sound of "Greensleeves" I hear? Yay, an icecream van. I haven't seen one in ages.

A choc top and a sprinkle icecream please. Yum!

A big storm was coming and they weren't letting any more climbers go up by the time that you came back, so that was lucky that you got your turn. We couldn't stay for a BBQ at the park so we all went back to Bec and Mike's place where we shared sausages, salad, wine and conversation. Perfect! So you had a balloon ride at 50, a bridge climb at 60, what's next for 70?

I hope that you had a great day. I love you, Mum!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The sunlounge gets new life...finally.

You might remember the sunlounge I got here. Well, I finally covered it. (I'm not that good at completing projects. I either lose interest halfway or get an stunning idea for something else I could make, that needs to be done RIGHT NOW.)
Here it is in all its cheap vinyl glory. Like I said, I didn't want to use fabric because it was going to be outside all the time. Now, these colours are a bit of a departure for me. Normally I would have gone for something a bit "classic" looking, navy or red or something, BUT to save money I used cheap tableclothes ($2 each - I needed 3) and the selection wasn't that good, I was shopping with Rosie who likes a bit of pink and I thought, well maybe I could do something a bit fun and "Springy". (And yes, I can see you Noo Noo, hiding behind that tree.)

Here's a close-up of the material (and a bit of rust). Spotty for the edges and floral for the main.

And some matching cushions.

And one curious cat, just checking out what's going on.

Hey, Noo Noo, get out of there. That's MY tea.

I had a bit of left over material...what can I do with that? How about a cute banner for the tree above it. It needed some blue and pink in it though, to edge out that yellow. Why not some ol' cheapo shower curtains. $2.50 each. Thanks to Wendy at the Shabby Nest for the inspiration.

The perfect place now for a bit of this...

and this.

What do you think? Did the colours work? Is it just tacky to use plastic? Sometimes I love the lounge, other times I just not sure.

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.