Monday, July 26, 2010


8 weeks old, covered in fur and very very cheeky. He looks like he should be in a toilet paper commercial or using his puppy super powers to encourage people to donate to the Guide Dogs association. Ada is completely head over heals in love, but insists on calling him 'Norgan'. Freddy likes the new chew toy, I'm sure Norgan, sorry Norman thinks the same thing about Freddy.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

flea market finds

Just quick flea market finds this week, I'm completely shattered after Ada's third birthday party today and the arrival of Norman, our new puppy, phew (wipes brow).

A very good week for finds, I went out with Cintia from My Poppet on Wednesday and managed to take home a good haul. Vintage crocodile skin suitcase ( a bit 'ewww' and a bit awesome at the same time). New Bally shoes, so lovely and comfortable and should look good with jeans. A small model of the Mayflower destined for Freddy's room and a beaded African doll for Ada.

For more flea market finds pop on over to Her Library Adventures

Thursday, July 22, 2010

my creative space

is full of very tiny things

like this folk art painting for Ada's dolls house.

Tiny painting is quite hard (it's only 3 inches long, it looks bigger than it actually is...really),  and I'm not very good at it but I'm hoping a bit of practice will get those lines flowing nicely.

For more creative spaces pop over here.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

dolls house nerd

Ada's turns 3 next week and I've been getting very busy bee style restoring a bunch of old dolls house furniture to go in her new dolls house. This has been a really fun project and I'm not ashamed to say I may be becoming a bit of a dolls house nerd. There's so much scope for creative expression when you kit out and decorate in miniature. I'm particularly pleased with the restoration job on the Queen Anne bed (which came to me in many pieces and in much need of some tlc) I think the end result is pretty special, no?
I still have quite a bit to do between now and this time next week. Painting, laying carpet, bathroom fit outs and then there's the wallpaper...... somewhere in there I also have to throw Ada a third birthday party, prepare for a house inspection and oh did I mention we get our new puppy on Sunday? Thankfully Ms My Poppet will be putting in some elbow grease to help make it all happen, god I love the Boss Lady! Check out her funny post about the truth behind all those pretty pictures you see on blogs here (mine included)!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

how to give your rental a face lift

My house has more cracks than a plumbers convention. Big, long, other wordly cracks with bits that fall out and gaps so wide they resemble mini crevasse. After years of drought and then six months of rain the old girl has shifted significantly and her once perfect plaster walls are telling the truth about her age. 

Since the problem is basically cosmetic and the structural integrity of the house is not a concern our landlord is not particularly motivated to fix all of the issues that arise from living in a 80 year old weatherboard, cracks included. I however am a little more invested in the issue. Since I have already painted and repaired a couple of walls at the back of the house I figure 'why stop now'?

When we first moved in to this house I got permission from our property manager to paint the walls at our cost. I stuck to a simple off white (Dulux China White) and have been working my way slowly  from one end of the house to the other repairing the walls and painting. If you get permission first and stick to simple, classic colours in my experience most landlords are happy for you to take the problem and cost off there hands.

Reparing cracks and small holes in walls is a fairly simple exercise, the products are cheap and the end result always makes a huge difference to your home. To me the outlay of time and effort is well worth it. 

There are a few things to check before you start. 

1. Are your walls plaster or plasterboard? Older homes tend to have walls made of plaster, new homes plaster board. If there are cracks or the wall crumbles when you hammer a nail into it, it's probably plaster which tends to be brittle.
2. Cracks are different to holes and require different products to repair them. A crack is usually the result of movement in the buildings foundations and requires a flexible filler like No More Gaps. A hole is generally the result of blunt force and unlikely to re-open so a traditional plaster filler can be used.
3. You need to be able to paint over your repair and so either need to match the existing paint or repaint entirely. If your landlord is aware of what your doing then they might be able to tell you the name of the existing paint colour so you only need to get a sample pot.

Fixing a (small) hole

you will need

Plaster filler like Selleys Spak Filler
putty knife
medium grade sandpaper and sanding block

step 1, Clean out any debri left inside the hole. Dust and grit will prevent your new plaster adhearing properly to the old so it needs to be clean. I use a vaccume for this bit.
step 2, Prepare your plaster filler as per the manufacturers instructions and using your putty knife trowel the putty into the hole, making sure to fill it completely. Leave to dry.
step 3, When your plaster is dry sand until smooth and even (use a sanding block to avoid creating dips and bumps).
step 4, Paint over you repair.

Fixing a thin crack (anything you can't stick your finger into)

you will need

Flexible filler like Selleys No More Gaps
putty knife or trowel
medium grade sandpaper and sanding block
Corking Gun

step 1, Using your trowel, clean out any debri left inside the crack making sure to scrape away any loose plaster. Vacuum.
step 2, Most flexible fillers come premixed and in a tube. Insert your filler cartridge into the corking gun and slowly run the filler down the length of the crack.  Using your putty knife smooth over the surface of the crack making sure all gaps have been filled, leave to dry.
step 3, When your plaster is dry, sand until smooth, using a sanding block to avoid creating dips and bumps.
step 4, Paint over you repair.

Job done!

I'm going to start doing a weekly post on DIY and home decorating for the renter, a topic close to my heart and for which I have some expertise! I would love to hear what you think and any ideas for future posts, questions or advice would be greatly welcome. 

Sunday, July 11, 2010

flea market finds

Some great finds this week.  Another portrait print by Lou Shalman to add to the collection. A mint wicker saucer chair (adult size) and this faux teak plant stand all for under a fifty. Some weeks the Gods are just with you. For more Flea market finds head over to Her Library Adventures and see what Sophie and the gang have been hunting. 

Friday, July 9, 2010

pay it forward

The delightful Allana from High Maintenence Hippy is participating in a really a nice swap called Pay-It-Forward and I think I want to play too (I'm a sucker)
Here's how it works.

- I will make one handmade gift for the first three interested people who comment on this post.
- I have 365 days to do it in…
- What it will be and when it will arrive is a total surprise!
- you must participate as well
- you must have a blog

Now, before you leave your comment here, write up a pay it forward post on your own blog to keep the fun going!

Golden Town by Super Wild Horses

Thursday, July 8, 2010

my creative space

I don't get a lot of time to get the pencils out these days but I've been working on this penicl and water colour for the last couple of weeks. I'm hoping to get it finished over the weekend...we shall see hmmm.

for more creative spaces, head over to kootoyoo

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


'Three days alone, who was I kidding' 
image from here

Caz from Bird With the Golden Seed has tagged me for a round of 10 questions for a bit of fun so here goes.

1. If you had to spend 3 consecutive days on the same train who would you want with you and why?
Nobody! Three days on a train by myself with a book, my ipod and a bunch of magazines. Even thinking about it makes me want to weep.

2. Have you ever had a sewing-related injury? Give gory details!
I recently stuck a felting needle through the tip of my finger which was particularly unpleasant  considering it was barbed. 

3. What wouldn't you be caught dead in?
Ed Hardy, for all the obvious reasons.

4. What garment/ accessory do you wear the most?
Ballet Flats, I never leave the house without them.

5. Which pattern/ vintage style have you been thinking about recently?
Navy & White boat neck T with 3/4 bell sleeves and big cuffs, saw it on etsy, I want it bad.

6. What is one place you really want to visit that you haven't been to before?
Barcelona, bottle of Pedro Ximénez and some grilled Sardines anyone?

7. What do you wear when you want to impress?
Something without food or baby chuck on it, preferably wash and wear and with easy boob access. It's been a LONG time since I have had occasion to want to impress anyone, how tragic.

8. Who is your favourite literary character and why?
Sherlock Holmes, because who doesn't love a misogynistic, grumpy old smart arse!

9. Which handmade project are you most proud of?
I made an angora and silk felted wrap for my aunty about 5 years ago. She still wears it almost daily so that's nice.

10. What was the best date you've ever been on?
A picnic lunch in the botanical gardens for my birthday one year. The sun was shining, the swans were greedy and raided our basket and we got well and truly shattered on a couple of bottles of Bollinger and then fell asleep, doesn't really get any better than that.

Hmmm, now who do I tag?

Sunday, July 4, 2010

In the market for treasure.

I grew up on the remote West Coast of Tasmania in a small mining town called Luina. The town was so small that when the mine closed at the end of the 1980's the entire town vanished off the map. Men with chainsaws and behemoth trucks came and cut all the houses in two and one by one they disappeared until there was nothing left but shadows on the ground where the houses used to be and streets with driveways leading to nowhere.

Mining towns are full of ghosts. Towns built upon towns, they are at the mercy of outside forces, free markets and the generosity of mother earth. It is not uncommon for a mining town to have had two, three or sometimes four reincarnations depending on the demand for the bounty they exist upon. Where gold was once mined, thirty years later a ghost town could have new life breathed into it by the demand for nickle and silver and, 60 years after that, iron ore. Each boom and bust period leaves its residue on the land. 

Luina was one of these historical layer cakes. 120 years of mining history written in the soil. Broken crockery, old leather boots, rusty tools, bottles of every shape and size, sometimes still with the contents intact. I found fob watches and bit's of dolls, medicine chests and rusty tins, and many many whisky bottles. Every clump of dirt we turned over seemed to offer up some new treasure. That cold, wet ghost town fostered my love of ephemera, and of hunting. 

It's been a long time since I got to pick through the bones of a ghost town and in truth I never thought I would again, but just recently a very odd little stand has been appearing at my local Sunday market. Tables full of perfectly curated bits and bobs and odds and ends. Rusty thimbles, wombat skulls, badges and alarm clocks sit nestled amongst broken false teeth, coins and old clay pipes. Nothing has been sorted into groups and at first glance you might think the contents of a giant draw has been upended onto a table but if you look closely you can see that every object has placed with consideration. Thousands of little treasures, collected over thirty years, laid out on a table for you to discover. 

For more lovely flea market finds pop over and see Sophie at Her Library Adventures!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

tiny digs for little kids

via The Shopping Sherpa here

 Miss Ada is turning three at the end of the month and has her little heart set on a dolls house (yay!). I found a natural timber house at a local Op shop last week, very similar in shape to the vintage Lundby but without any decoration or furniture. It's in perfect condition but is completely bare and will require a complete fit out. Wallpaper, carpet, paint, furniture and a family all need to be found in the next 3 weeks. I find myself in home renovation mode on a miniature scale.
Doll housing (or what ever you call it)  is apparently a very serious business with many die hard collectors out there prepared to pay large sums of money for very tiny things. I do not have large sums of money (being of the stay at home, single income variety) and so have no intention of paying $50 for a replica Panton chair, I do however have a sewing machine and a glue gun. 

I figure as a starting point I should write a list of all the basics, fridge, bath, beds, tv etc and work out what I can make myself and what I will need to buy. I haven't set myself a theme, it seems a bit contrived to do that for a three year old, but I would like to keep things as handmade and 'folksy' s possible. 

I would love to hear any suggestions or ideas, leave us a comment!

Now... where did that box of matches go?

Thursday, July 1, 2010

plastic fantastic

In the hunt for a new cutlery drainer I came across plastic nirvana.

I believe this is where my bucket will go when it dies.


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