Thursday, 24 February 2011

What to paint our back door?

We've started painting the sunroom. We will be doing it in stages over the coming weeks - one section at a time.

Already, the white undercoat has lifted the sunroom from looking like it was a movie set in a bad 1970s Alpine porno. Those are Jason's words, not mine....

scraping the door back

painting the sunroom

I also started to scrape back the inside of the back door. It is in a bad state but that's mostly due to the many layers of paint and spakfilla. It has endured numerous gluggy paint jobs.

I love seeing the history of the door being revealed. Under the cream colour, there is a light grey colour, then a fire engine red, then orange and then a deep shade of cerulean blue.

After it is scraped back we will paint it white like our internal walls, however I would like to see the outside of the door in a strong vibrant colour. It is currently a heritage green (dark green).

orange exterior door

The exterior of the Sow's Ear will be white with a dark brown trim, but it would be fun to do a bright door. Perhaps a red, blue or even orange...

Do you have a colourful door and what colour is it?

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Tick of approval

I'm back online!

I  know I have a problem after my visit to the addicted blogger's equivalent of a methadone clinic (the public library for free internet when phone and internet connection is down). The internet hit yesterday was definitely needed; and my, didn't it feel good!

Anyway, much progress has been made on the sunroom. All the VJ (vertical join) walls are up! And the room  is on its way to looking most excellent. We are not called Fun and VJs for nothing!

Below are the photos I took before Jason finished the work. It was getting too dark to take the final shots.

VJ walls in the sunroom

Mr Rooney, our doubting Thomas builder, has been keeping close tabs on Jason's efforts.

He was slightly dismayed that Jason was opting to use real VJs rather than the Easy VJ paneling board. The intention was always for Jason to finish off the walls with the Easy VJs as it would be...well, easier.

VJs being added progressively

It seems Mr Rooney has been won over. He left a really nice comment on our last post:

Dropped in to check on progress this afternoon.

For the record, I'll say here, what I said then.

"An absolutely first class job, meticulously planned and perfectly executed.

I'm not in the habit of blowing smoke up other people's fundaments, but given the degree of difficulty, the workmanship exhibited here would embarrass many professionals. I only wish I could take some of the credit for it."

But you can Mr Rooney. More credit than you'd ever know. And the loan of the nail gun sped things up greatly too!

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Sunroom VJ wall progress

Day one of Jason's holidays was productive and thankfully he seems much happier.

VJ wall beneath the casement windows.
I cropped shirtless Jason out of the photo...two days in a row would really be spoiling you all.
He nailed up the VJs beneath the windows and added the decorative bull nose and scotia, which is consistent to the other windows in the Sow's Ear.

Jason also nailed the timber frames around the windows. This one side is now almost complete, awaiting just a coat of paint. If Jason is really motivated he may try to finish the other side of the sunroom on his holidays.

The sunroom is progressing nicely and is starting to feel more like a room rather than a "tacked on" afterthought, which is often the case with enclosed verandahs in Queenslander homes.

P.S Our telephone and internet access were knocked out during a spectacular electrical storm last night, so I've had to post this from the free internet service at the public library... Dedicated blogger that I am! I'll be offline until further notice. Boo hoo!

Sunday, 20 February 2011

VJs in the sunroom

Jason is taking the week off work to get some much needed R and R. He's been cranky at work, he's been cranky at home, he's cranky at clients, he's cranky at friends and it's like the whole world is conspiring against him.

The man needs a holiday and this week he's planning to cruise and do what he pleases.

Fortunately for me, that means working around the house and finishing off the internal wall lining in the sunroom! What madness! But some people are happier when they are perpetually in motion!

If it were me, I'd be lazing on a beach with a Caprioska cocktail with newly-painted toe nails and a few good novels. Ha! 

Mr Rooney, our trusty builder, will still be on the scene over the next little while doing other things like attaching weatherboards on the external side of the sunroom and finishing off our deck ceiling.

Stops nailed onto the window sill and VJs nailed above the back door.

This afternoon, Jason had a bit of a potter in the sunroom and added stops on the window sills (this seals the gap where window and sill meet).

VJs will form the wall lining

He also started to nail the VJ (vertical join or tongue and groove) boards for the wall lining. Real VJs. We were originally going to use Easy VJ which is like paneling. Faux VJ.

The real VJs are a lot stronger which is probably a good thing with three young boys running around the house. Because the sunroom is a high traffic area, we thought we'd need the added strength. It will be slightly more expensive and perhaps more fiddly, but it is only one wall which is mostly made up of windows.

Shirtless Jason is back! Perusing his handiwork. This photo is for Faux Fuchsia who was wondering about old Jason. 

So that's the plan for this week. 

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Exterior lighting on my mind

When we added the ceiling to the deck, we removed the old fluro lights which illuminated the entire space. No one was sad to see them go, despite the darkness which now reigns.
Fluro light

So we have to think about exterior ceiling lights. We need four lights. What to do?

I've started compiling a list of lights but I have completely no idea, really...
iRoll 65 by iGuzzini
image from here

small Boluce spotlight to bounce off the white walls for ambient light or  to use for directional lighting
image from here

small stainless steel surface down light by Havit
from here

Small brushed chrome bunker light
from here

small round boob bunker light
image from here

I'm looking for a small and discreet ceiling fitting with a modern aesthetic; the ultimate goal being ambient light when entertaining.

Maybe I shouldn't care so much and just buy tealight candles...?

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Bedside tables by Rosando

One of the first "grown-up" purchases Jason and I made, when we had enough savings to buy furniture, was a pair of matching bedside tables.

I know, I's no longer fashionable to be all matchy-matchy...but after years of living with a mis-matched pair of cheaply made drawers, I just never felt fashionable. Just poor.

A few years ago, we sourced a nice pair of 1960s Rosando cabinets from Angelucci 20th Century in Melbourne and had them sent up to Brisbane. And we have never regretted the purchase because they are so nicely made and they are just lovely and simple.

Rosando was a family furniture making business in Melbourne. Many of their pieces were custom made and they are now becoming quite collectable in this age of the mass-produced.

Rosando bedside table circa 1960s

My favourite part of the cabinet is the pull-out top shelf, which we use for our drinks and cups of tea in bed. Ingenious! There is also one top drawer and the bottom door opens to reveal a small storage space with a shelf.

Rosando bedside table with pull-out shelf

Miniature Murano art glass vase

And I am the very lucky recipient of a miniature Murano art glass piece - from a giveaway hosted by Katherine at theoldboathouse. It goes well with the turquoise bud vase. Cute!

Thank you Katherine! And also thanks to Liz from Nostalgia and Now who gave me her entry (there was no collusion involved either) and thus increased my chances of winning. Seriously, you are too kind!

Monday, 14 February 2011

Retro glazed planter

On the weekend I went to the Cottage Garden Nursery at East Brisbane to check out Katherine's (from theoldboathouse) wares. I was looking for a plant inspired gift for a birthday present and I was not disappointed.

Vintage Australian glazed pottery planter with Calathea plant
I found a vintage glazed planter in a retro brown and mustard glaze amongst Katherine's treasures. It had a great shape and I thought it would make an interesting jardiniere for the green leafy Calathea that I also picked up at the nursery. It made a great gift to go with a nice bottle of red wine.

And on a not-so-romantic note this St Valentine's Day, we've spent our cash on timber for the Love Shack Sow's Ear.  It is money better spent at this particular moment in time.

Who needs over-priced roses (or Servo flowers) when we can buy over-priced weatherboards for the house instead? Kisses to you all. xx

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Saying goodbye

to our old windows...and passing them on.

Some of the timber casement windows being sorted into pairs

Our mates, Melissa and Richard, who live in the neighbourhood are renovating their timber postwar home and are replacing all their aluminium windows. Their home would have originally had timber casement windows.

The 1970s have a lot to answer for, especially when sliding aluminium windows became highly popular. Poor timber windows were ripped out of older homes without hesitation.

This morning, Richard came around to pick up all the 50s style windows we've removed from the Sow's Ear and he'll be using them for their renovation. We had about 20 or so windows that would match the era of their house.

He said he was quoted  $23,000 to have new timber windows made but it was too much for their budget.

Anyway, they now have our old windows instead. We're happy the windows can be re-used, as we love to recycle and even happier that they are no longer taking up precious under-the-house space.

It is all good!

Saturday, 12 February 2011

The casement windows are all in

Hooray! All the casement windows are now installed in the sunroom.

Today, Jason served as apprentice to Mr Rooney, our multi-skilled ("I didn't realise you were a pilot, as well!") builder and helped install the last set of windows.

Casement windows in the sunroom installed

View of windows looking from the bathroom end of the sunroom

There is a lot of finishing off things to do (paint, replacing weatherboards,  flashing etc), but at least the most difficult part of the job is done.

Jason also tested the privacy of the windows after his shower this afternoon and instead of doing the nudie run from bathroom to bedroom, he did the nudie walk. Nothing like streaking with confidence!

This song below is dedicated to Mr Rooney who correctly identified a Russell Morris song on the radio and also identified the producer as Molly Meldrum and song writer as Johnny Young. Top marks, Mr Rooney.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Master bedroom built-in wardrobe

Paint is like magic.

Jason painted the wardrobe doors in the master bedroom a few weeks ago but I forgot to do a show and tell. Bad blogger!

Newly painted built-in wardrobe in an old Queenslander.

The final result is a thousand times better than before. I couldn't be happier! 

A few coats of white gloss paint and some discreet door knobs and we have an inexpensive (though very tedious for Jason) makeover. 

If we had money spare, we probably would've changed the doors completely but since we don't, painting the doors was the best solution.

We will also need a new light fitting or new shade. As much as I like Chinese lanterns, it is just a temporary measure until we find something suitable.

What the built-in wardrobe looked like before.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Casala chairs re-sprayed

A lovely reader, Jo from country South Australia, sent me a very cool photo of some vintage Casalino chairs which she had restored.

Vintage Casala chairs resprayed bright aqua (and cute little girl!)

Don't they look funky?

Jo said that she bought the secondhand Casalas, which were originally white fibre glass, in a country Bazaar. These chairs don't often crop up in Jo's neck of the woods so she snapped them up even though they were a little more expensive than what she wanted to pay (even after bargaining).

Jo took them to a panel beater to be re-sprayed with 2pak paint - she wanted it to be done properly as she's not great at DIY.

She said the re-spray process was quite expensive (about $200). I didn't think she should worry because she just loves the final result, as do I!

Besides her re-sprayed original chairs would still be cheaper than buying replicas if you include shipping to the country. And her new improved chairs are definitely less expensive than buying brand spanking new anything...let alone something which is iconic.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Weapons of Mass Distraction

Jason and Mr Rooney, our respected builder, took the weekend off. Jason's experiencing renovator's fatigue, so Mr Rooney kindly distracted him this weekend, instructing him to leave the Sow's Ear alone.

Yesterday, they drove to the Museum of Australian Military Intelligence in Canungra which is about 1 1/2 hours drive from Brisbane. They are both serious military buffs.

And today they were determined to build a tank...for the kids...yeah, that's what they told me.

Tank design based on a WWII Cromwell Cruiser tank with trusty crew under enemy fire

image from here

Spitting image, isn't it?

Luckily, the crew members didn't seem to be bothered by the slight discrepancies in design, due to budgetary constraints, and carried on valiantly.

Friday, 4 February 2011

Window Hoods

The window hoods which Jason and Mr Rooney, our friendly builder, made on Australia Day are ready to be hung.

Jason painted them to perfection each evening after work. They have been painted gloss white with the contrasting trim painted in Dulux Peppercorn Rent.

The photos below show the old external  window covering:
Old flimsy window hood. This shot was taken from my bedroom window.

Old window hood photo taken from the front yard
Last Sunday, Mr Rooney took down the old window covering and started to install the new hoods. He soon realised that the scaffolding we had was a fraction too short for him to hang the hoods high enough.

The hoods need to hang higher to allow the window to open easily. Mr Rooney tacked one up as far as his six foot self could reach, but he'll have to shift it up a fraction when we have taller scaffolding.

Window hood on the scaffolding

Window hood left up temporarily until we get taller scaffolding

It should look great when they are finally installed (and when we paint the exterior of the house) and it is a vast improvement to what was there before. 

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Grim times again for Queensland

Queensland is disaster prone it would seem - first floods and now cyclones.

Cyclone Yasi which is due to hit Far North Queensland later this evening is the worst the nation has seen since 1899.

Fortunately, some still have their sense of humour in such crazy times. It says it all.

A message of defiance to Cyclone Yasi as businesses board up doors and windows

We were checking on the boys just before going to bed. I had to take a photo of Son #2, sleeping blissfully...clearly unperturbed by the events happening in his home state...

We are really lucky to be safe and well while others are huddling in evacuation centres waiting out a destructive cyclone...

Good luck Far North Queensland. Our thoughts are with you.
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