Monday, 31 December 2012

A new year

Didn't 2012 just fly by? It only seems like yesterday that we were preparing for the 2012 projects we wanted to tackle around the Sow's Ear. And what a very productive year we've had! Probably the biggest renovating year we have had since moving here in 2009.

Hooray!  Finished painting the second carport the other day! 

This year you saw us renovate and complete the study and the two youngest boys' bedroom.

It also saw the introduction of a new builder, Mr D, who constructed a new front fence. The fence makes the Sow's Ear like the eyebrows to a face.

We liked Mr D's work so much we got him back to build external side stairs and to weatherboard the Sow's Ear to ground level (the bottom half of the house used to be clad in fibro).

external side stairs with added roof

Jason also did his DIY thang - cladded the internal walls under the Sow's Ear with VJ panelling, made a start on adding decorative valances to the Sow's Ear's exterior, replaced windows and installed new (old) French doors and of course there was the never ending painting.

We seriously have kept the DIY house painting market afloat with the amount of painting that has occurred here. If there is a global paint bust, don't blame us because we've done our bit...and more!

In terms of personal growth, Jason learnt that beautiful French sports cars are heart breakers, knows how to paint a straight line like a well-seasoned house painter, and discovered the joys of hi-vis work wear. He tells me yellow is his favourite fluoro.

For me, I have seen the boys grow rapidly with our youngest son starting Kindy, saw the publication of a pet project Australian Modern and got a few more freelance writing gigs to keep me off the streets.

Gotta love the $5 Panton chairs. Of course they are replica but they do the trick as extra seating on the deck.

I op-shopped and found some very excellent mid-century designer wares. And I also braved the cameras to get a kick-ass photo, so that you can now put a face to the Bris Mod name after years of anonymity.

One of the nicest things of all has been meeting a few of my long time readers (a lot of lurkers...more people read Fun and VJs than I thought!) and meeting other Brisbane-based bloggers.

I have found everyone to be very friendly and amicable and it always surprises me to hear about all the negativity surrounding social media and blogs. So far, I've had a charmed blogging life and the positives have been many. Thank you for the wonderful support.

All up, we've had a good year. Not for a minute do we take for granted the good health and good luck that has graced us in 2012. We can only hope that this will last and if it doesn't, well you get that...

Happy New Year everyone. See you in 2013.

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Christmas and carport update

Christmas is done and dusted. We had a lovely day, enjoying family time together. It really is a magical time, especially now the children are older and look forward to Christmas Day. Sadly, it is over too quickly.

Christmas morning at the Sow's Ear. Lego was the choice toy in the letters to Father Christmas.

Turkey for Christmas Eve dinner. I use toothpicks to sew the bird up...lazy prep but it worked!

Jason is back to painting the carport. It's his aim to have it finished by the time he returns to work next week. And he will have it done by the rate he is going.

Jason's a thorough painter. He's painting the trusses white. They used to be heritage green.

The carport from the side stairs of Sow's Ear. 

I thought it would be interesting to show you what this side of the house looked like about two years ago...We've just tried to simplify the exterior colours and lessen the amount of visual clutter that made up this side of the Sow's Ear. And in time all our changes will settle in and seem like it was never different...

Sow's Ear two years ago 

Enjoy the rest of your Saturday everyone!

Monday, 24 December 2012

Compliments of the season

Poor old Jason is painting the car port this holiday. As you do.

The car port has the last bit of heritage colours which we are painting over. It will finish off the entire façade of the Sow's Ear. When that is complete a happy dance will be performed.

Here are some shots  of the progress Jason has made during the past two days.

Jason painting the gutters of the car port. Crazy white guy thinks he can go shirtless in summer...Anyway he wasn't up there long and it was late afternoon as the heat of the day was fading.

Jason is hoping Santa paints the rest of the car port for him as his Christmas Miracle. 

It really is a sh*t of a job and the main reason we have delayed doing it. Anyway, it will look fab when it is finished.

And just to reassure you that it's not all work, work, work....see Jason in the image below catching 40 winks...

Christmas Eve dinner with all my favourite boys, Jason snoozing in the top right. 

So we will still be hanging about in blogland over the Christmas period, so check in to see what we are up to.

Hope you and yours have a lovely Christmas. Take it easy, have fun and stay safe this silly season.


Friday, 21 December 2012

Washing machine delivered and house raising neighbours

Is it wrong for me to obtain an excessive amount of pleasure from doing a load of washing?

Perhaps. A few day's worth of dirty laundry and a broken washing  machine can do that to a person.

So life is back to domestic normality. The appliancesonline people came through with the goods and delivered the new washing machine as promised. I could've kissed those guys when they rocked up on my doorstep with their trolley.

What stood out for me was that you get a telephone call in the morning with an expected delivery time and another phone call half an hour before they actually arrive. There was none of the ridiculously wide time frames (of up to five hours) that you often get with delivery services. No wonder everyone seems to rave about it!

By the way, this is not a sponsored post. I'm just pleased to share a good experience, especially when the purchase is an emergency. Hopefully the new washing machine will last the distance and I won't have to do this again in a hurry (as easy as it was, I hate having to fork out money for white goods!)

House raising. It's been fascinating to watch from our back deck.
Also, there has been a bit of renovating activity occurring around us. One of our neighbours (we don't really know them) is in the process of raising their post-war chamfer board house and have put in a swimming pool. It is such a big undertaking. And you know what? They're using the same builders as that Renovator's Rescue (read here) home I had critiqued recently!

I thought my regular readers would get a kick out of learning that...

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Replacing the washing machine

After making some grand pronouncements in the last blog post about consolidating our funds for renovating in 2013, the washing machine just packed it in!

The old machine was tripping our electrical safety switch, which is not a terribly healthy sign. And according to the service guy, it's not worth repairing. Water got into the motor and a replacement motor would cost more than the five year old washing machine was worth.

We paid the princely sum of $129 for the pleasure of that information...clearly we had hoped it was something which could be easily fixed...So a week out from Christmas we are left washing machine-less. The horror.

Old washing machine which lasted about five years...

Washing clothes is my main raison d'etre...well no, but it does form a great part of my daily routine. I feel like I'm missing a body part now the washing machine is out of action..., well no, but the dirty laundry basket is overflowing. It really needs to be replaced ASAP.

Thankfully my social media network came through with their personal recommendations, after my public pleas for assistance.  It seems the quickest, cheapest and most convenient way to purchase white goods theses days is through appliances online.

And it is, because I just bought a new machine this evening. My new washer arrives on Friday (free delivery too), it will be installed and they will take the old washing machine away with them. You wonder what the catch is?

I'm happy though, as I didn't have to drag the kids to the shops during the Christmas rush and with the plethora of information there is on the net, the final choice was as informed as it needed to be.

Sadly, I don't have a lot of faith in appliances these days. Most are not built to last. I've been told that standard front loaders will only last for about five years; standard top loaders will give you about 10 years. That's a pretty poor indictment of our throw-away society.

Anyway, I'll let you know how my online washing machine purchase goes when it is delivered. I really hope it does get delivered on Friday...we're short on undies!

Monday, 17 December 2012

All quiet on the renovating front and a privacy latch

It's been very quiet at the Sow's Ear. The incessant renovating has ceased for now as we consolidate our money for more renovating in 2013. With the school holidays in full throttle, poor ol' Jason fighting a man-flu and a very busy social calendar, renovating is taking a back seat.

There are always lots of small jobs we do but they seem so inconsequential and unworthy to dedicate an entire blog post to them.  But some of those insignificant jobs are quite life changing...

For example a week ago, Jason installed a privacy latch onto the bathroom door. Our only bathroom is a combined toilet and bath. As you can imagine in a bustling family household, it is an 'in-demand' room.

privacy latch

The door lacked a lock. Lockless. There used to be a barrel bolt on the inside but we removed it fearing the children would inadvertently lock themselves in.

So for the past three years we have been accidentally walking in on each other as we performed our ablutions. It has not been an easy three years.

I developed a clearing-the-throat nervous cough at the sound of approaching footsteps to signal that the bathroom was occupied.

Son #2 developed a hysterical "Close the door!" scream.

Son #1 developed a nervous post traumatic bathroom twitch as he is extremely modest and would be in tears if someone caught him mid-stream.

And heaven help anyone who dared walk in on Jason as he sat on the throne. He used to cut us down with a murderous stare and be cranky for the rest of the day.

The only one immune was Son #3 who, at age four, is entirely comfortable with an audience and gives us a running blow-by-blow commentary of his toileting experience.

The privacy latch has proven a complete success. It may look a bit public toilet, but sometimes function outweighs form. (You can get some awesome repro brass locks from the UK here if you want to have something fancy)

Again, it is the small things which make a big difference in a renovation. A peaceful wee is all anyone really wants, isn't it?

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Xmas gifts for under $50

Where has the time flown? I am so ill-prepared for the onslaught that is Christmas and have barely bought any gifts. And I think I've left my run a bit late for most online retailers...

So if you are a bit like me and have left everything to the last minute, and still don't know what to get for hard-to-buy-for relatives and friends, pay attention. All of the suggestions are independent, as none of these businesses had the foresight to contact me and pay me. Shame.

Just click the image captions to be whisked away to find out more.

A good wooden cheese board will never go astray in an entertainer's home. A nice vintage one would go down a treat but who's got time to fossick in mid-December?  Go to Myer first thing in the morning and buy this one. They have other cheese boards but this one is on sale, and you should never pay full retail if you can avoid it.
image and more information here
And if you team it with a cooler pack filled with Tarago River Shadows of Blue cheese from Coles Deli then you will have a friend for life.

For a new smart phone case go to The Dairy and check out the patterns from Keren Brown. Her pineapples and cockatoo cases are fun and summery. She's a Queensland gal too which will make your purchase feel very local, warm and fuzzy.
Image and more information here
I've only just discovered this Brissy online store called Everingham and Watson. They have a lovely assortment of Australiana that greatly appeals to me. And who can dislike an acrylic pineapple decoration to make your Xmas tree authentically Queensland?

image and more information here
As Christmas is focused around entertaining and summer get-togethers, you ought to have a big 9 litre stainless steel bowl which you can either fill up with ice and champagne or a retro punch. It is much nicer looking than the Coleman's esky if you are wanting to impress.

Image and more information here

Turkish towels are all the rage. They are made from a thin, super absorbent cotton weave which makes them light weight to carry and quick to dry. I say that is a great thing for those hitting the beaches and pools this Christmas. 

Image and more information here 

If you are really, really stuck and don't know what to get the person who has everything (ie a complete hoarder) and doesn't need more stuff, why not give a charity gift? UNICEF have a great range of charity gifts to choose from that will hopefully make a small difference.

The measles vaccine to protect 100 kids is bang for your buck at $27.
image and more information here
There you have some ideas to get you thinking but don't dilly dally.. You really have no time to waste!

Merry Christmas shopping.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

A winner

Thanks so much to everyone who entered the Bunnings giveaway. Sadly, only one person can win and that person is.....drum roll....

Marjee from My very own eye goggles.

Congratulations Marjee. I'm sure the evoucher will come in handy over the silly season. Go the power tool!

Again, thanks to everyone for entering the competition - it is always good to be able to give Fun and VJs readers a little something back. And thanks to Bunnings for providing the prize.

Monday, 10 December 2012

French doors and the question of toughened glass

Hooray the French doors are now finished. And funnily enough they look like they were always meant to be there...which they were.

Jason's finishing touches are probably what makes the door. Rim lock, brass door knob and brass escutcheon will age gracefully alongside the salvaged door.

A very interesting issue also cropped up when ordering replacement arctic glass for a shattered glass pane. I ordered the new glass over the phone and was asked whether I wanted it toughened to meet Australian Standard. It is twice the price of the  ordinary 'untoughened' panes of glass.

My response was 'no', what's the point having just one pane of glass toughened when the rest of the doors, as well as the rest of the house, has the original shattering glass? The salesperson then proceeded to read out what was basically a disclaimer about how I was advised and fully aware that the glass I was ordering was not safety glass.

I never thought using salvaged building materials on the Sow's Ear could ever pose a problem...but clearly it does in our increasingly litigious society...interesting...

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Turf update

It's been 11 days since we laid the new turf (read here). Since then we have been watering the lawn twice a day to ensure that it survives Brisbane's sub-tropical summer.

Sir Walter turf
Thankfully we have a rainwater tank which makes watering the grass a relatively guilt-free pastime.

And yes, so far, so good. The new lawn seems to have taken root and is nice and lush, but we are keeping up the watering routine until the mini heatwave Brisbane is experiencing passes...We just want to make sure the lawn doesn't burn off because yesterday the mercury hit a very uncomfortable 39 degrees Celsius.


Anyway, we are so relieved to have managed to keep the lawn alive, especially as we don't have green thumbs! Yay!

Monday, 3 December 2012

Hopscotch French Doors

There is this trend out there in Renovatingland of  removing walls and doors to make homes lighter and airy, and more open.

Sorry to say we have gone against the fashion and have kept all our walls intact and reinstated doors from previously naked doorways in the old Sow's Ear. Call us pent up.

Old hopscotch French doors

Salvaged French doors have been on our wish list for quite some time but the style we were after were difficult to source. We spied some hopscotch French doors online recently, which were more or less the right dimensions and in our price bracket. A good score.

Jason planing the doors to fit...he had to retrieve the plane from a garden bed after flinging it in rage at one point in time...Angry Jason.

These French doors have slotted in where the kitchen opens into the sunroom. There would have been doors there many moons ago... we suspect that the old doors were moved into Son #1's bedroom which has French doors leading onto the back deck.

For us, reinstating the doors will be a good thing during winter to keep the core of this rather draughty house warm. And if we ever decide to go down that air-conditioning route, we can cool the house far more efficiently.

Doors waiting to be painted and to have hardware fitted.

Jason's had all sorts of dramas fitting the door and threatened to never ever to do another DIY. Ha! Good luck with that Jason. He accidentally broke one of the glass panes which just crushed his morale. We replaced it quite quickly so there are no photos...actually I didn't dare take photos of that.

Shirtless Jason painting over the very hot and humid weekend. Jason fitted a new rim lock too. There will be brass fittings because Jason loves brass. Loves.
The doors are almost finished. I will share the final shots with you when it is all done.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Tell us your best Bunnings experience and win $150 Bunnings eVoucher

eVoucher provided  by Bunnings

When you’re renovating it’s a foregone conclusion that your main shopping destination becomes your local hardware store.

From popping in to buy much-needed drill bits or emergency paint supplies you start to become very intimate with the layout of the store; it almost becomes your second home…an extension of your life…

We spend far too much of our time at our local which is Bunnings, conveniently located six minutes away from the Sow’s Ear. Having it so near is enough to take the edge off the pain of forgetting building supplies. The ‘measure twice, cut once’ rule is adhered to quite randomly in Casa Scrofa Orecchio…(look it up)

I don’t think we’ve undertaken any project where we’ve never had to go back to a store to re-supply. We salute the people who don’t ever get caught short.

With Christmas just on our door step and the scent of DIY in the air, we’re thrilled to be giving away a $150 eVoucher to one of our readers, thanks to the nice people at Bunnings.

All you have to do to win is tell us your best Bunnings experience in the comments section. Entries close on Tuesday 11 December 2012. If you comment anonymously, don’t forget to include an email address so I can reach you. As per usual, Jason will select the winner and we'll announce the winner the next day.

To help you along I’ll describe Jason’s best Bunnings experience. He told me it was when he bought his cordless compact impact driver  (it even rated a mention in a previous post). He had been given Bunnings gift vouchers and Mr Rooney, our now Canberra-based builder, advised Jason about the features he should look for in a drill. Equipped with the vouchers and the knowledge he said the service in the tool department was great and the drill is one of the best things he’s ever bought. And my, hasn’t it been used!

Anyway, make sure to enter the giveaway and good luck!

Monday, 26 November 2012

Being asbestos aware

Asbestos. It's that dirty word which strikes fear into the heart of the seasoned and unseasoned DIY renovator.

The ubiquitous sheet of asbestos fibro cement which forms the fabric of most of our pre-1987 homes is not something you should be touching when you're renovating.

This week marks National Asbestos Awareness Week in Australia. And for those of you who are renovating older homes or are about to embark on your renovating odyssey, it's a timely reminder to be careful and mindful about what you are dealing with.

A recent study showed that over a four year period between 2005 and 2008,  8.4% of all men and 35.7% of all women diagnosed with mesothelioma (asbestos related disease) were home renovators, with renovations and maintenance being the main cause of the disease in women. Yikes! 

The campaign is about educating home owners. We need to ask ourselves whether our homes could contain asbestos products and could we be playing renovation roulette - putting our health and the health of our family at risk when renovating...

We have asbestos in the Sow's Ear - our whole under the house was clad in asbestos sheeting and most of our sun room was clad in asbestos. Unfortunately for us a lot of it was cracked and disturbed, therefore a good enough reason to remove  it. We've had the majority of it removed and disposed professionally. It's just easier. 

For the record we have DIYed asbestos removal in our last home but took all the necessary safety precautions with masks and disposable suits and hired a plastic lined asbestos bin for disposal. But really, if you don't need to touch it, then don't.

If you'd like to know more about the asbestos in your home and what you need to do with it if you intend to renovate, just visit 

Being informed is a renovator's best tool of trade. 


Sunday, 25 November 2012

Grassy knolls

Green grass. It's never really existed on one side of the Sow's Ear. Until now that is.

On Friday we spent most of the late afternoon and early evening rolling out turf. What I can take away from that experience is that a roll of turf is a lot heavier than it appears. It never occurred to me that I would barely be able to lift and carry the turf to where it needed to be laid.

Holy mother of lawn clippings! Thank goodness we were only turfing one small section of our yard. We chose Sir Walter turf because of its hardiness and it grows well in shaded areas. It is a type of buffalo grass.

The aim of the new lawn is just to minimise the dust and mud after all the renovation work on this side of the house - removal of tree stump, broken concrete and asbestos; and the construction of new stairs and weatherboard cladding.

The new lawn also softens what was previously a barren wasteland of nothing. You can see for yourself what it was like in the first two images below.

The sunroom side of the Sow's Ear in 2009

Side stairs circa 2009
The turf and the soil arrived on Friday. Unfortunately there was a stuff up and the turf arrived about 5 hours before the soil. Oi!

It also meant that the turf was blocking our access to where the soil needed to be spread. Oi!

The soil delivery guy would've been able to dump the soil straight to where it needed to be...but instead, we had to shovel it into a wheel barrow, manoeuvre around the turf and shovel it out. Oi!

Anyway, best not to dwell...

Turf blocking the way for the soil.

Jason starting to lay the first few rolls of turf

This shot was taken late this afternoon after a good watering
This part of the Sow's Ear has come a long way from the 2009 photos. I had forgotten how sad it looked...We have our fingers crossed that the grass will survive.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Kitchen renovation ponderings

You know how they say you shouldn’t renovate a house straight away and that you should live in it a good 12 months before lifting even a hammer? Well, we committed that most cardinal of renovating sins when we moved into the Sow’s Ear. We started planning a new kitchen before we even moved in and had it built within three months of moving.

Kitchen in a Queenslander house
I took all the magnets off the fridge for this shot! 

Do we have any regrets three years on? Hmmm…I’m not sure. There is nothing in particular I would change in terms of the layout or finishes. We have a great looking kitchen but I think we probably could have managed it better which would have meant more efficiencies in the long run – time and cost savings.

If we ever do it again, I’d most likely allow myself more time to research and shop around at kitchen showrooms and I definitely would organise my own tradies, especially now that we’ve got a great network at our disposal. 

You can get a more competitive price and the job is completed in a more timely fashion… as opposed to relying on someone else’s network. The number of questionable invoice surprises after our kitchen was completed would make you shudder…

We pretty much went with the first kitchen place that gave us a quote which is quite silly in hindsight. Although everything went okay and the design is good, I can’t help feeling that we should have got another couple of quotes, downloaded a kitchen design catalogue or two and perhaps not feel so pressured to rush to get the kitchen “done”. But that is the wisdom you gain through hindsight.

open kitchen shelving

One of the best things about renovating our kitchen was that it introduced me to the world of design and renovating blogs. Bloggers are generally very generous with the information they share about their renovating experiences and a lot of the inspiration for our kitchen was from blogs.

So are you guilty of renovating before the 12 month mark too or do you think that 'renovating rule' is just nonsense? 

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

More Queenslander House Renovation Blogs

I thought it was time to update my list of Queenslander house renovation blogs for all of the house blogger junkies out there.

There have been quite a few home reno blogs which have cropped up on my radar since my first list back in January 2011. Sadly, not all of the blogs on the original list are updated regularly...they've either finished (super-efficient!) or done the bulk of the work; have changed circumstances or changed blogging direction; or have just lost interest in blogging altogether... Check out the original list HERE

Queenslander in Stones Corner

Never fear though, some on that list are still going strong such as Crazy House Capers (this couple are the DIY champs. Love their hard work ethic) and Bungalow Bliss (they are about to start some major work soon) and we're still around too...plugging away at it. Nostalgia and Now and Spots and Stripes are two blogs in the midst of renovating as well.

Stones Corner Queenslander with enclosed front verandah and Roman columns. Bless!

So, in no particular order let me introduce you to some cool Queenslander reno blogs for your consideration.

West End Cottage
Caroline and her family (hubby and four boys! She would be hero-worshipped in certain countries) are finalising plans for an architectural designed renovation on their teeny tiny cottage located in West End. It's going to be a fabulous renovation going on the concept plans which Caroline has been sharing on her blog. It's interesting following the process of finalising the designs and the compromises which are made to meet their budget. Award winning OwenVokesPeters are the architects they are working with, so this should be a very chic and well-considered renovation. They hope to begin building in 2013...

Hudson's House
This is a very new-to-me blog which I discovered a few months ago. You have to start from the beginning to see the before shots of the 1930s Queenslander which had a very distinctive 1970s breeze block façade.  The 70s had a lot to answer for with these poor old Queenslander homes! Anyway, it is almost unrecognisable now after lots of hard-core work. They have kick-ass valances too.

The Old Post Office
This blog's author Edwina has been kicking around the blogosphere for a long time but in just the past few weeks she started a  new blog about renovating two very run-down Queenslanders(an old post office and a cottage)  in the country. They currently have the properties under contract (I hope I haven't jinxed them...). Edwina and her family are escaping the big smoke (it's relative, right?) of Brisbane to live the dream. They have their work ahead of them and I can't wait to read their adventures.

We could, We should, We wood renovate
Clarissa writes about a major extension to an inner-city Queenslander that she and her hubby are managing. There has been a lot of activity on their house this month, so check it out and enjoy the progress shots. Clarissa also works for Timber Qld so has a lot of knowledge that might be useful.

Rachel's extremely eventually bit by bit renovation
Rachel and her hubby have been renovating their 'Queenslander' in Northern NSW for the past five years and this blog chronicles the work they have done to their home. They completed their kitchen renovation this year.  The bog is updated only now and then but it is worth checking out to read about all the things this interesting couple get up to.

A House in Auchenflower
This little gem of a blog is updated sporadically and is not a typical renovation blog. It delves into the history of the 100 year old home, Clovelly, and is more about restoring many of the original architectural features. It is very well researched and a good read for those interested in keeping intact the integrity of the Queenslander home.

There you have it. If I have left anyone out inadvertently let me know and I can update the list. 

Monday, 19 November 2012

Recycling old stepping stones

We were going to buy new stepping stones as part of that outdoor turfing project that we are planning...but changed our mind when we realised we had a stash of square concrete steppers under the mango tree in the backyard!

The steppers are fairly basic - they should do the trick and save us some dollars. In their previous location, they formed a small path around the tree and were always covered up with leaves, being of no real benefit in that spot.

Relocated square concrete stepping stones.
We are not afraid to share the ugly in progress reno shots. 
We spent most of the stormy Brisbane weekend tackling small achievable tasks between the rain deluges and lightning strikes. We were very fortunate not to have the hail and the destructive winds experienced in other parts of Brisbane.

Jason finished painting the valances very early on Saturday morning before the first super cell storm hit. Lucky it was touch dry or else there would have been ugly crying tears.

The small valances on either side of the Sow's Ear are completely finished.
This shot is taken from the master bedroom window.

Early Sunday morning, we did some yard maintenance - emptying the compost bin and spreading the contents around the native lilypillies, fertilising all the plants, weeding and relocating the stepping stones to near our side stairs and getting them into position. We'll hopefully be able to get some turf delivered this coming weekend.

This last photo was taken when another massive storm hit late Sunday afternoon. A lot of rain in a short amount of time, meant those stepping stones were going to get a nice mud bath! Boo!

Water pooling near the stairs. Fortunately the water didn't get under the house.
We have a down-pipe that has been fitted in a poor location causing this rush of water when there is a big storm - another job to put on the wish list.

Friday, 16 November 2012

Win movie tickets to "LOVE IS ALL YOU NEED”

If you’ve been following me on Instagram, you would know that Jason and I have been tripping the light fantastic here, there and everywhere -  there have been lots of hot dates and events leading up to Christmas.

We are going on another date soon to watch the preview of a new movie called ‘LOVE IS ALL YOU NEED’ thanks to the good folks at Madman Entertainment.

It stars former 007 Pierce Brosnan and Trine Dyrholm (A Royal Affair) and is set in beautiful Italy. Check out the information about the film here

(Warning: I suspect it is NOT the action-packed, full of battle scenes movie as I’ve described to Jason…just saying...but it looks like I will love it given it is a Danish film)


Madman Entertainment has given me another four double passes to the ‘LOVE IS ALL YOU NEED’ preview to give away to lucky Fun and VJs readers in Brisbane. The preview is on Wednesday 5 December at Palace Barracks at 6:30pm.

All you have to do to win is leave a comment on this blog post, telling me who you think you’d take as your date on the night. Obviously, you will need to be Brisbane-based to get any benefit out of this prize!

As per usual, Jason will pick the four winners. Entries close on Wednesday 21 November with the winners being notified the next day. If you comment anonymously, just make sure to leave an email address with your comment so I can contact you. Easy-peasy.

And if you aren’t free on the preview night, you can always catch the film when it is released on 13 December.

Good luck!

Thanks so much to everyone who entered. The winners of the preview tickets as selected by Jason are:
Bronze Toes (I don't have an email address for you...please email me so I can arrange delivery of your prize)
Faux Fuchsia

I'll email you the details of the prize. Thanks again!

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Hose reels and holders

Yep, we're tackling all the big reno jobs around here. Not.

But let me remind you that it is the little things which finish off a home and in our case make it that little more silken purse. Untidy hoses be gone!

And hose reels and holders could not be more unattractive in this great nation of ours. To find something that will just be sturdy and unobtrusive is tricky business.

We didn't opt for the plastic retractable hose reel which seemed too hardcore for us... as hosers who dabble in only occasional watering...

This was what we ended up with. It was cheap (under $10) and easy (from the local hardware) and unfortunately heritage green...

white hose holder

But it is white. How can that be? A trusty can of white spray enamel solves the heritage green issues. At least they kind of disappear against the white weatherboards we have at the Sow's Ear. Functional and no nonsense is what we like.

From this:

To this

This hose holder is on the other side of the house.

And for the front we went fancy pants...extra scroll work equals $3 extra dollars...

white scroll hose holder
But if I had all the money in the world and lived in the US, I probably would've opted for this pineapple hose holder...

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Turf plans

dirt path 

Renovating an older home has a way of destroying the yard. We are currently left with large patches of dirt here, there and everywhere... which has not been helped by the extremely dry weather we've been having in Brisbane.

When the external side stairs were rebuilt, we pulled out an old garden bed and removed a lot of old concrete which formed a path to the stairs. Now that we've been pathless for a few months, we are planning on laying turf  with some stepping stones leading to the in the image below.

The lawn has a softening effect that appeals to me and it also has the added benefit of being an affordable option compared to laying an aggregate concrete path which we were thinking of initially. So, now we are researching turf options and 'how to lay turf' instructions. I can't wait for it to happen.

Stay tuned, as Jason may be casting off his hi-vis shirts for some shirtless turf laying action. You'll also be pleased to know that he's embraced the metro manscaped hairy chest look over his previous 70s porn star hairy chest look. It's his new Fun and VJs summer look to keep the punters happy.

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