Thursday, 27 September 2012

More painting in the dark

Jason started his second job tonight and is painting the louvre cupboard doors in the garage. He's wearing his hi-vis uniform, probably to illuminate the night time painting. 

Apparently, so I've been told by the man himself, wearing long sleeves and pants makes it easier for Jason to wash up afterwards. He used  to have to pick paint out of his chest hairs when he went shirtless. Our water bill has reduced substantially in the last quarter.

Fun, fun, fun at the Sow's Ear.
Painting undercoat on the timber louvre doors

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Storage, cushions and meatballs

We did a quick trip to IKEA today...that is, with the kids in tow as it is the Spring school holidays. I know. What was I thinking?

Since we've been busily working on the boys' room, we needed an extra IKEA wire storage thingy for the boys' built in cupboards...but do you think I could find the one I was looking for? Unless you know the name of the design, you're stuffed!

The system we've used in the past wasn't on display and I went searching for it online but couldn't for the life of me find it. Admittedly, I was quite confident I would find it on the shelves...again what was I thinking?

In the end, I bought a completely different storage 'solution'... but failed to make sure it would fit in the cupboards. And wouldn't you know it, after 'allen keying' it into its form the stupid thing is too deep for the cupboard by a a couple of centimetres. Aye, yai, yai!

Maybe I can use it for when we renovate the laundry...because I don't fancy taking it back without all the original packing.

Anyway, all was not lost. I let the younger boys choose a cushion each for their room.

ikea cushions which the boys chose
Also, tonight we're having Swedish meatballs for dinner. (Guess who couldn't be bothered doing the grocery shopping? IKEA food will just have to do) I've never had them before, I hope they're ok...

Hoping the Kottbullars are an ok dinner option!

Just one final thing. The Master's promotion I've been spruiking here ends tonight. You can win $500 worth of vouchers to undertake your own refurbishment project. Click here to win. There's only 30 or so entries, so your odds of winning are great.

It is such a useful prize...I know that we've put our vouchers to good use...and here is a sneaky peek of part of the boys' room.

boys' room - still need to finalise a few things before it is completely done.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Pineapple series: The Salad Bowl

It's back. Yes, the much neglected Pineapple Series, which makes you salivate, is back. I don't know for how long I can keep this up, as I've finally used my last tin of pineapple in the pantry...but I've been inspired, so perhaps you will see more...

Today's tasty recipe is from my Pineapple bible, Golden Circle Tropical Recipe book circa 1965. A simple little concoction that you can just throw together when you have a hankering for something more than just plain old salad.

It's called The Salad Bowl...with such a serious name, it is clearly THE one and only salad. It's on page 15 under 'Lunch in the tropics'.

The Salad Bowl.
I upped the colour saturation on this image. Tinned pineapples don't look as luminous as they did back in the day.

Jason was working his little heart out today on the boys' room renovation. I knew I had to pull out all stops for a wholesome lunch when I heard him cursing and cussing at the windows. So out came the Pineapple recipe book and my monkey wood serving ware to bring back the joy.

The Salad Bowl
15 oz can of Sliced Pineapple (in Syrup)
1 lettuce
1 cucumber
1 onion (optional)
250 grams tomatoes (I used grape tomatoes)
salad dressing

Drain pineapple slices and cut in halves. Wash and crisp lettuce, break into thumb-size pieces. Peel and cut cucumber into finger lengths (I used Lebanese cucumbers which I didn't peel) . Cut tomatoes in quarters. Slice onion finely. Wipe wooden salad bowl with warm olive oil then rub with cut clove of garlic (I didn't have garlic so I just oiled the bowl instead). At serving time arrange prepared vegetables in bowl. Toss and add dressing.

Jason tucking in to the salad.

Verdict: A tick of approval. Jason said that it was a nice, fresh meal for a warm Spring's day and was a good contrast to the pork spare ribs which it accompanied. He was much happier after the meal.

I must admit this dish is pretty much plain old salad with pineapple in it. But it is a recipe which totally justified the use of my timber monkey wood bowls I have accumulated recently. Win. It's also good to try something different to keep things interesting around here!

And in terrific news, it seems I am not the only blogger to be dabbling in the world of the Golden Circle Tropical Recipe book. You must check out these hilarious posts by Lucy Violet Vintage and Hung up on Retro.

Go on. Pineapples are en vogue.

Friday, 21 September 2012

Boys' room progress

I always say this when we renovate a room...but it is amazing what a difference a coat of paint makes to an entire space. 

We painted the boys' ceiling and are now on to the final coat for the walls. We've undercoated it and have done one top coat. We'll finish the second coat tonight...because we are groovers and spend our Friday nights painting...cra..cra..crazy!

Boys' room being painted
White, white, white room

I'm also organising some of the decorative elements for the room. Last year, my mate Jo from Desire to Inspire gave us a few reproduction Cuban movie poster prints which are just amazing. I've been meaning to frame them for a long time, so this room renovation is a perfect excuse to get them ready. The boys' are cool with them as well and I've been given the green light to hang them in their room.

Moby Dick Cuban movie poster

More Cuban movie posters
This weekend we plan to paint the windows and install new window hardware. And if time allows we'll remove the louvre doors from the built-in cupboards and give them a coat or two of paint.

Anyway, that is the state of play with the boys' room at the moment. Hopefully we're on target to get the room ready for the final reveal in a couple of weeks time... Stay tuned!

P.S Don't forget the Masters giveaway where you have the chance to win $500 worth of Masters gift vouchers to spend on your next home and garden project. Click here to win!

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Renovating a boy’s room and $500 Masters giveaway!

Sponsored by Nuffnang
We’ve had quite a few projects on the go at the Sow’s Ear. Most of it has been exterior work, outsourced to our builder Mr D. It’s been great to let Jason off-the-hook from the DIY, but the downside of that is our depleted bank account. Think dipping into the ‘Education Fund for the children’ thoughts...

Our next project for the house is to refurbish the two youngest boys’ room. It really needs to be freshened up in a big way and is the second last room in the house that requires attention. When we were approached by Nuffnang and Masters Home Improvements to see if we could write a ‘before and after’ using products from their store, we did a happy dance! Seriously, this could not be more perfect a match.

Masters have sent us some vouchers and have let us loose in their store. The timing is excellent as it means we don’t have to put off renovating the boys’ room. Hooray! And what is even better, they have given us $500 worth of vouchers to give away to a lucky reader!!! But more on that later…

So, the boys’ room is disgraceful. It really is. I’ve been told this won’t improve greatly as the boys mature….As a way to control the mess, it needs an injection of good storage and hanging solutions and the room requires TLC to be brought back from the tired to the terrific. With our youngest starting school next year, it is quite important that there is a semblance of order…

Here are some before photos of the room in question:

Brown louvered cupboards look crappy in a cream coloured room. You can’ tell me otherwise! 

This photograph of the room at its messiest best…home beautiful it is not!

Jason and I have already bought a number of products, the first thing being wash and wear paint to create the perfect blank canvas. We’ve also selected a number of shelving and hanging options to get most of the kid detritus off the floors! I’ll be ordering the final few items online just to see how well their online operation works and because I forgot to take measurements of the room before going to Masters.

Exploitative photograph of son #3 being wheeled around in Masters’ car trolleys…
kept him quiet for the hour that we were in store!

We’ll be working on the room over the next couple of weeks to get it looking schmicko for a room reveal. We’ve already decluttered some of the toys - there was just far too much. And if you've been following us on Instagram or Facebook, you would know that we've made a good start on the painting.

I hope we’ll be able to get the room done on time…the pressure is on.

While we’re under the pump renovating the room, we’re super-excited to give away a $500 Masters Gift Voucher for you to undertake your very own refurbishment project. Such a great prize!

All you have to do is go to Masters online, select your favourite products and leave a comment on this post on how you would use your selection to spruce up an indoor or outdoor space in your home. It is as simple as that.

Jason will short list the responses and Masters will select the overall winner from that list. (Hint: leave complimentary “you look hot Jason!” comments and you will be assured of a spot on the shortlist, because that’s just how he rolls)

Entries close on Tuesday 25 September midnight with the winner announced that week. Competition is open to Australian readers only.  If you leave an anonymous comment, please leave an email address with your comment so that we can contact you. Terms and Conditions HERE.

Good luck! We can’t wait to read what you would choose for your home. And stay tuned to see the new improved boys’ room!

Monday, 17 September 2012

Who is Faux Fuchsia...?

...she is a woman who has never met a sequin she didn't like. That's who.

flammable frock (it's vintage French polyester...) and paint splattered toes in  the only sparkly shoes  I own

With that in mind, I made sure I wore my sparkliest thongs and my very best vintage polyester frock for a casual bloggers lunch at the Corner Store Cafe in Toowong.

The quinoa salad was good.

Not that it mattered as everyone was too busy talking to be bothered by all that jazz. Although, it must be stated for the record that Faux Fuchsia was impeccably coiffed and groomed. She also had the most beautiful shade of pink lipstick. Very glamorous, as were the rest of the lunching crew (A-M, The Distressed MotherAnnie). It was very enjoyable and good to catch up with fun people in this blogging caper.

Faux Fuchsia, baby and THE Chanel bag which  Annie and I stroked inappropriately
And in other hard hitting news, poor old Jason fell off the ladder the other day. It was a spectacular fall from the six foot step ladder when he was painting the ceiling. He lost his balance and fell back onto some steel posts, with the back of his thighs receiving the full brunt of the impact.

Have a look at his bruises... (especially for his fans who are missing the lack of man flesh they are so accustomed to, now that Jason is Mr Hi-Vis)

Jason's very tender bruises...

Thank goodness he didn't break anything...he picked himself up, brushed himself down and after a few minutes break to catch his breath, he got back on that ladder and finished the job. Now that is a trooper.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

A new project

Work is under way at the Sow's Ear...I'll give you a few hints.

It involves VJs

VJ walls (vertical join) showing the patina of age

Some unnecessary hi-vis...

Dapper Jason has embraced his new Fun and VJs uniform

And a bit of hard yakka to keep us out of mischief...

Beautiful ceiling rose

All shall be revealed soon...

So, how was your weekend?

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Some Ipswich finds and a vote for Rough Linen

I'm still banging on about how great Ipswich is...and I know that some of you have been sneaking out there to see what I've been raving about. Good on you!

Anyway, here are a couple of the treasures I found.

The first is another Japanese dolls head to put in a bowl. I know...I know...heads in a bowl is kooky but it gives my evil dark heart joy! It is from Kerrie's store ES Traders which is tucked away in Ellensborough Street.

two heads are better than one. 

The other little find was from The Vintage Advantage in Brisbane Street. That place is dangerous if you are into vintage bric a brac. I found a smoky art glass vase which spoke to me. I love its simple, yet elegant shape. It looks a bit like Whitefriars but it's not...just some old no name thing, which is still nice in my book.

smoky art glass vase

Also, on a completely different tangent I'd like to give a big shout out to fellow blogger Tricia Rose who is the mastermind behind Rough Linen, which is the most exquisite bedding made from natural linen. I covet Tricia's range of linens because of its beautiful quality and its pure simplicity - two essentials when making one's house a home.

Tricia is a finalist in the Martha Stewart American Made awards and is drumming up votes to win or at least get a respectable second or third! There were 2000 entrants and she was thrilled to be in the last 100. If you know Tricia or would like to know Tricia, make sure you vote HERE!
If you pop over to Rough Linen you can look at her beautiful range of linens. I love her video footage of how to make a bed, but Tricia and Felix stuffing a duvet cover is my absolute favourite. I could listen to their lovely accents all day long and then dive into the bed they just made! Bliss.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Let there be roof!

Today, Mr D and Scotty finished off the roof over our new stairs. And it is looking great. We couldn't be happier with the final result. I'll let the images do the talking though...

view from the sunroom

back view of the new stairs and roof

Protected stairs
side view of the sunroom side of the Sow's Ear

Let the painting begin!

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Roof for the external stairs

Work began on the roof for our side stairs late last week. 

Mr D and Scotty returned after having some time off between building projects. These lads are such hard workers. They are well-oiled machines. If only they would discard their shirts Jason-style (his pre hi-vis days), this whole project could be called perfection...

In this image, the main support post and framework was erected
The new roof line will help break up the mass of the weatherboards on this side of the Sow's Ear. Traditionally Queenslanders sit on stumps and are not usually enclosed with weatherboards to ground level. It can look odd when homes of this type are weatherboarded all the way to the bottom...

progress on new roof framework

We are planning to use the downstairs area of our house as extra living space as our boys grow and mature. Building a roof over the stairs is our cheat's way of obtaining indoor/outdoor access without cutting into the existing internal layout of the Sow's Ear.

It will keep relatively dry during wet weather and if we get fancy we can enclose the structure with vertical slats or lattice. The image below is an illustrative example of what I mean

vertical slats enclosing external stairs
This week the tin roof, guttering and barge roll will be installed and hopefully this project will be another one ticked off the list!

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Ipswich day trip and Queenslanders

I have to say that one of my most favourite places to visit for a day trip is Ipswich. Now that the road work from Brisbane to Ipswich is mostly finished it's a fairly smooth run to the 'Swich.

The thing I love most about Ipswich, apart from visiting my fairy op-shop mother midcentury Jo, is the historical Queenslander homes. They are stunning examples of Queensland's early colonial and early 20th century architecture - many homes are being restored and others are waiting to be brought back from the brink.

There are pockets around the Denmark Hill Conservation Park which literally make you swoon...if you love Queenslanders. And so affordable compared to Brisbane.

Here are some photos of a couple of spectacular homes, which caught my eye.

This home was just spectacular. It is perched high on the street with views looking over the heart of Ipswich
Foxes guarding the entrance to  another old home. Amazing that they are still intact!

Beautiful stone Queenslander

This is the back of the home in the image above.  It may be where the kitchen was originally located with its two rainwater tanks. 
This is a former Baptist church which has been restored. This Art Deco building will reincarnate into something different when it is reopened soon.
On our last Ipswich visit, we visited a little cafe in Brisbane Street called Fourthchild which is simplicity done at its best with meals prepared with quality organic and free range produce. We only ordered morning tea and it was exceptionally good fare.

Lemon cheesecake and banana cake thing. So good.
Image stolen from Katherine at theoldboathouse
And a trip to Ipswich is never complete without saying hello to beautiful Kerrie at her shop ES Traders. She has the most exquisite treasures and many one-off pieces which she sources from overseas. I covet her Venetian mirrors. Kerrie's good taste and impeccable style is transcendent.

Stunning mirrors - my instagram photo does them no justice

And another good thing about Ipswich is its op-shops. I'll show you some of my purchases soon...

Monday, 3 September 2012

Flea with a retro vibe

Keep this Saturday free if you love a little bit of trash and treasure. My friends Chris and Susan, who are the publishers of Australian Modern and Brisbane Modern, are hosting a massive flea as part of their Neighbourhood Watch community.

It's going to be huge, with 22 stall holders from the neighbourhood. Items for sale include a 60s swivel lounge, 60s bar, and there will be a lot of small collectables to 'ooh and aahh' over. And everything is priced to sell, as no one wants to take it back home with them again!

I'm having a combined stall with Son #1 too - with a smattering of retro homewares (think retro kosta boda and iittala) and more contemporary crockery and pre-loved Star Wars toys. I'll be raising cash for our bookclub Christmas party (Son #1 keeps the cash raised from his toys though). 

Belgian milk glass cute!

Life is incomplete without a 1970s Scandi crystal plate...
Members of our bookclub have their hearts set on eating prawns this year...we hope to make that dream a reality....

The very generous Jo from Desire to Inspire donated all her excess teak and monkey wood serving ware to our cause when I visited her last week, with all proceeds going directly to the purchase of prawns. A good woman, our new bookclub patron.

There are some great monkey wood pieces. Fabulous for summer parties or for the beach house or for the retro pad. I've kept the fish right at the back as it is some kind of awesome, a couple of smaller leaf dishes for the boys and the square tray in the middle.

Here are the details if you want a fun morning out:

Saturday 8 September


9 Burchell Street, Carina
(cnr Burchell & Cotswold St)

There will be hot dogs and drinks for sale too.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Paths and parrots

There will be some more renovating activity mid-next week when Mr D and Scotty return to build a roof over our new side stairs. They came on Saturday morning to do some prep work including cementing the metal stirrup for the post support.

Before they arrived Jason and the kids were busy clearing a new path and removed  a narrow garden bed that was against the Sow's Ear. It makes a lot more sense now to have a wider walkway on this side of the house.

walkway from side stairs. We will need to reinstate a new concrete path later down the track when money allows...

All the concrete that was removed from the path and Jason's father's day work boots

Jason loves his hi-vis.
Mr D, our builder, is not a fan of hi-vis, and is so appalled to see Jason wearing it voluntarily...
"What are you wearing that parrot gear for, man?"
A good question.

Related Posts with Thumbnails