Monday, 29 August 2011

Funky first apartment

One of our friends, Leanne has just bought a new (but old) funky apartment in a 1970s unit block. A bunch of us went to her place for brunch yesterday to check it out.

We even had a friend who is living in the US join us via Skype - she did not miss the grand tour, thanks to the magic that is the laptop. Classic!

Vintage dresser used as an entertainment unit

The apartment has great bones and is quite spacious.It also has fabulous black polished concrete floors.

Leanne's decor is vintage inspired. She told us her lounge suite cost her the paltry sum of $40. It actually looks fantastic in her place.

 Our friend Sarah who lives in Portland Oregon is talking to us on the laptop.
Leanne is planning to rip out the sliding doors on the back wall and convert it into open bookshelves.

Kinder Surprises framed

Leanne is a creative soul and can turn Kinder Surprises into art. See?

Love the concept of trapped toys on the kitchen window sill.

But my absolutely favourite thing in Leanne's place is this little nook.

Eames DCM chairs and large world map

Don't you just love the large map sitting above her kitchen table and chairs? The map is a gift from Leanne's sister to improve her geography knowledge.

I think the chairs are Eames DCM which were manufactured under license in Australia by Descon in the 50s. Just don't quote me on that though.

Anyway, thanks Leanne for the tour and a fun morning out. Love your new home! 

Thursday, 25 August 2011

House Fire

Most mornings, Jason curses the smoke alarm which pierces our ear drums when we make toast for breakfast.

The smoke alarm is highly sensitive, despite the fact our toast is barely browned. Jason threatens to rip it out and stamp on it. Thankfully, it is electrically wired into the kitchen ceiling or else it would've been tossed out for sure.

But we do know smoke alarms can save lives. At our last home, before the Sow's Ear, we heard our neighbour's smoke alarm in the middle of the night and smelt smoke. We called the fire brigade.

Our neighbour had fallen asleep (i.e drunken stupor) while making a late-night snack on the stove. His home had filled up with thick black smoke and his deep-fried chips were about to burst into flames. I have no doubt in my mind that his smoke alarm saved him from a fiery death.

I've told Jason to stop cursing our smoke alarm after the tragic house fire in Slacks Creek (read story here) in the early hours of yesterday morning. The fire took the lives of 11 people from the same family, eight of those family members were children. It is one of the worst fires in Queensland for over a decade.

Image from here

I read about the fire when it hit the news thinking how it was so tragic.

The tragedy became more poignant when we realised who the family was. Jason used to worked with and is good friends with relatives of the family - a very kind, loving Polynesian family who should never have to face something as tragic as this.

A foundation has been set up to help the family. If anyone would like to help, the details are below. Please pass on the information.

The Lale Foundation 
Rostron Carlyle Solicitors would like to invite people to forward donations to the Foundation to assist the families so greatly affected by the recent tragic house fire in Logan with expenses associated with the funerals of their loved ones.

BSB: 034001
Account: 105467
Name: Lale Foundation

Monday, 22 August 2011

Painting insanity

Front of the house

Weekend conversation at the Sow's Ear:

 "It looks a bit overcast out there," I yawned while peering out the window on Sunday morning.

"Hm mm...that's no good...After brekky, I'll put on my painting clothes and I'll do the final coat of the front wall," said Jason.

"But it looks like it's going to rain," I looked at him oddly.

"Maybe I'll just paint under the eaves then," Jason suggested.

After a quick breakfast, Jason moved to the bedroom to change into his panting clothes. The house grew darker and the rain began to fall steadily outside.

"It's really raining now," I remarked a little too loudly to Jason, hoping he got the hint.

In other words: "Step away from those f%?#ing paint brushes. Move slowly. Have you completely lost your mind to even consider painting anything in this weather?"

"Yeah. Maybe I won't paint," he said.

Anyway, you'll be pleased to know the day was not a complete waste. The weather had cleared by lunch time. And guess what? Jason got changed into his painting clothes and painted.

Jason doing the moon walk on the trestles.
(You know he's Bad, he's Bad - You know it, you know)

Rainbow Lorikeet in our grevillea tree. 

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Painting the façade and a house name

Today's a public holiday in Brisbane for the annual show (the Ekka as it is fondly referred to, which is short for Exhibition).

We didn't go to the Ekka though. We painted instead. Are you surprised? One day we will celebrate a public holiday without having to work on the Sow's Ear. I promise.

Earlier this morning, Jason painting the weatherboards while #2 Son looks on

With a nice new 15 litre tub of Dulux white exterior gloss, we made a start on the front façade. I had the honour of de-Tuscanifying the peach-coloured rendered walls. The walls are becoming white. Yes!

Gratuitous arse shot for Jason's hard-core fans. There is no dignity for this man and his buns made of steel!

Jason was in charge of balancing on the trestles to paint the weatherboards. It will take a long time for the front to be finished. We still haven't worked out how to reach the front gables, as there is no room to erect mobile scaffolding. The carport is in the way!

We could have achieved much more today but the weather was looking very gloomy and it is threatening rain. We called it quits by lunchtime, at least for the painting.

After a morning's work. It still needs a second coat of paint . Dark clouds are approaching.

Jason, being the busy bee that he is, started pressure cleaning the garden paths. There were quite a few paint drips to clean up. They disappeared with a high-pressure water Gerni. Like magic!

Garden path at the side of the Sow's Ear. This side is finished for now.
Anyway, the Sow's Ear may have to lose its moniker once she's completely painted.

I'm thinking she might need a house VJ House or Jason's Noose or Shirtless Manor. Do you have any suggestions?

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Mid Century Brisbane House Tour

My Go-Go dancing buddy, Yvette has a very cool mid century home located in Brisbane.

I asked her if I could take a few snaps of her home to show it off to you, my dear blog readers. Yvette and her husband are extremely house proud. They absolutely adore their home of nearly two years which was designed by Brisbane architect Donald Spencer in the 1960s.

My photos really do not show off the home in the best light - they didn't realise that I would be taking photos when I showed up at their doorstop on the weekend! I took some random shots from my iPhone.

I just love their front entrance with its brightest of orange doors.

Wide orange door, with Neutra house numbers and funky light fitting
The picture below is of their carport which is adjacent to their front entry. They have grand plans for a Palm Springs style cacti garden for the front yard.

Funky carport screen
Orange chair covers on white butterfly chairs in the courtyard. Yeah!

Rubber tree plant in a vintage American bullet planter. Notice the lovely Featherston in the background

Casala chair and table setting on the other side of the courtyard.
Don't they have a very groovy place with cool furniture? It is a work in progress for them and I hope to show you some more photos down the track.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Contemplating a Tuscan peach-coloured wall

This morning, I was contemplating this Tuscan peach-coloured render which adorns the exterior walls of the Sow's Ear. I was contemplating painting it but a few drops of rain on my head made the decision for me.

So easily discouraged, you say? I am very unlike Jason, who plays Russian roulette with his paint brush. He would've had a punt and painted the wall. And it probably would've been finished because the rain turned out to be a very light shower.

Sometimes it pays to gamble as I continue to contemplate the peach-coloured rendered wall.

Rendered wall in the old peach and new white. We made a start painting the bottom section of the house

We are continuing the white colour on the bottom part of the house. It's going to look schmick!

I've said it once and I'll say it again, it should be a criminal offence to paint anything Tuscan peach outside of the Mediterranean. I'm confident, the new classic white colour scheme will bring the Sow's Ear out of its early 1990s rut.

Also, thanks so much for your feedback regarding the iPhone. Your tips and hints were great - app happy I've become! The phone is easy to use and it's great for my new job. 

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Brismod in the 21st Century

Although vintage is all the rage, it certainly isn't when it comes to mobile phones. You'll be pleased to learn I've made the giant leap with the acquisition of a new iphone.

My antiquated Nokia can now be retired after several solid years of service. It was still working okay but the screen was getting too difficult to read.

I probably would've kept it until it died, however I was recently offered some freelance copywriting work. Yay! An urgent upgrade of some basic technology tools, such as the phone, was essential. Being connected 24/7 seems to be a must these days.

It wouldn't have felt right to whip out the old Nokia during important business meetings. The phone hasn't reached the right age to be considered 'cool' retro yet... just sad retro. And really, image is everything...

What credibility I have would be instantly wiped if I dared answered this dinosaur at a meeting.

image from here

I was a bit embarrassed at the Apple store because the kid who served me looked younger than my mobile phone. His name was Ace, by the way. And I know that I am getting old when my mouth speaks before it ought..

"Is that your real name?" I enquired of the very fresh-faced Ace.

"Yeah. It's Ace. Not short for anything. Just Ace."

"No! That's terrible. Your parents! You're not named after Ace Ventura - Pet Detective?" I exclaimed, like an old bat with no insight. (Thank goodness, I'm not a teacher)

"Oh, I happen to like my name," he lied, as he avoided all eye-contact. "I was actually born before that movie came out."

I was going to tell him "only just" but then I remembered this kid could possess the knowledge to hack into my accounts and unleash technological revenge upon big-mouth me. So I zipped it. Quickly.

Anyway, Ace couldn't have been nicer, despite our awkward start. Apple should give Ace a brightest star award, because he excelled at fresh-faced customer service. He did not judge my Nokia. He really was his name.

Now that I'm in the 21st century what tips can you give me about iphones? And do I dare use my igranny cover?


Thursday, 4 August 2011

1950s Tulip standard lamp: part two

Remember that 1950s floor lamp I bought from the very spooky Ghost Tours operator Jack Sim? You know, the one that shattered into a million pieces due to some super-natural forces soon after it came home? (as opposed to blaming myself for a rather dodgy repair job...)

Well, I found a replacement for it, thanks to the eagle eyes of a prominent Brisbane purveyor of used goods (well done Kristen!). I was actually looking for a replacement glass shade but they are impossible to find (drop me a line if you have one). So I just bought another lamp.

Australian 1950s tulip standard lamp in black
A black one this time.

It is in the most immaculate condition and I can't believe I found one in Brisbane so soon after breaking that first light shade.

It looks great in our sunroom

And best of all, it means there is a spare light shade should something happen to the second lamp. You know, like something super-natural...Boo!

Now I have a 60-year-old completely shadeless gold and chrome standard lamp under the house which is gathering dust. What do you reckon I should do with it (and be nice Anonymous Natalie)?

1950s gold standard lamp

Monday, 1 August 2011

Pineapple Series - Sweet Pineapple Omelet...and 2nd year blogiversary

Two words I've never thought of as a combination is pineapple and omelet.

1960s Queensland was clearly avant garde with unusual food combinations as I am discovering in the Golden Circle Tropical Recipe Book. And people think we're backwards up here?

After the dramas from yesterday's broken deck roof fiasco, Jason needed a bit of a sunshiny pick-me-up for Sunday brunch. So out came my pineapple bible and off to work I went to create the taste sensation that is the ....

Sweet Pineapple Omelet

15 oz can crushed pineapple
6 eggs
pinch of salt
2 tbsp cold water
2 tbsp butter

Drain syrup from pineapple. In a small saucepan melt 1 tsp butter, add drained pineapple, heat till bubbling hot. Melt remaining butter in omelet pan and keep hot. In separate bowl beat eggs lightly with a fork adding the water and salt. Then pour egg mixture into hot butter and cook quickly over high heat. When set, place half of the pineapple in centre and fold omelet over. Slide onto hot dish and spoon remaining pineapple over top. Serve immediately. Sufficient for 2 to 3 servings.

Sweet Pineapple Omelet

This was a very simple meal to prepare. But how did it taste?

Jason said it was okay. "I don't think I'd want to have this again though," he said through a mouthful of sweet omelet.

I'm not too sure it was his dour mood which gave him the dour outlook on his meal...But I have to say, it was disconcerting tucking into a what looked like a big greasy traditional omelet and then tasting that zingy sweet pineapple. This type of food plays with your mind.

I think a nice piece of crispy bacon could've worked well with it. Bacon makes everything taste better.

And on a completely different topic, it is Fun and VJs second birthday!! Who would've thought, two years today, where this first post would lead...actually nowhere really...just a lot of photos of Jason shirtless and lots of posts about the changes to the Sow's Ear.

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank all the nice people (and not so nice, because let's face it, I really don't know who reads this blog) out there for taking the time to read the blog, leave comments or send me emails.

It's been fun and let's hope it will continue to be so!
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