Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The playroom

Boys, I'm posting this here so that you will be able to look back and see that at one moment, on one day (after hours of slaving away by your dedicated mama), your playroom was clean, organised, thought-out and lovingly tended to.

You love it in here - especially you Hamish. You spend ages in this room emptying out every single toy storage drawer... one by one... until everything you own is covering the floor like a waist deep sea of toys.

Your mama xxxxx

Your mama is Pinterest caaraaazy. Decided on a whim to whip up this upholstered cushion for an old bookcase on its side today. I'm hoping you'll use it to lounge on and read.

Some country pictures that represent your heritage. You have English, Scottish, Australian, New Zealand and Italian running through your veins. I can't find NZ in this series, but I'll keep looking. 

This is your beautiful, clean, tidy, organised play room. I wonder if it will ever look this way again.

Friday, July 27, 2012

DIY painted cane chair

Loads of people have asked me how I refurbished my gorgeous turquoise cane chair, taking it from:  

This project was really really fun, not too difficult at all (save for needing just a little bit of patience) and I am in LOVE with the result.

The most difficult thing in the entire project was finding the chair! I missed out on so many on ebay. Ebay was my only real choice because taking the twinadoes shopping to vintage markets, second hand stores and recycling yards was absolutely NOT high on my agenda.

I had a budget for my chair in mind. I only wanted to spend $30. I saw lots of lovely settings, with tables, and some serious designer pieces as well, but I needed to keep the costs on this baby down.

Then I found her. She's definitely a her. She was under budget (just $20), close by, and in great condition.

I had to redo just one binding and did that very easily with some taut pulling, some tape to hold it in place while the glue dried, and some staples for good measure.

Next I had to clean what seemed like decades of dust off her. I did this really easily with a soft brush (just a brush from a dustpan and brush set) and a damp cloth. This is where my patience was tested. I had to wait for the chair to really properly dry. I just popped it out in the sun and went shopping for paint!

I [eventually] settled on this spray paint from Masters. Oh, there were so many colours to choose from! I definitely wanted to use spray paint as I don't have a paint gun and compressor and didn't fancy getting into it with a brush.

I bought two cans, and used nearly the whole lot. The paint was more expensive than the chair.

I did many light light layers, waiting only about 15 mins between each one for drying time. I started her one afternoon and had her finished the next morning. My finger was very sore! But I love her. LOVE.

I picked the cushions up from Spotlight for 50% off. I know. Get out. The base cushion is the perfect size and was originally $49.95. I got all three for that amount! I love me a bit of neon and I'm too scared to wear it, so this was perfect.

Here's the budget breakdown:

  • $20 for the chair
  • $28 for the paint
  • $48 for the cushions
Bringing me to a grand total of $96 - slightly more than the $80 I've been quoting to T (sorry honey), but still an absolute bargain in my books.

A really easy project, and so satisfying.

Monday, July 23, 2012

A little bit of deliciousness

Aren't they divine? heart.melting. they are such good mates.

Short letter: funny little habits

Dear boys,

I love finding the toy toast in our toaster every morning when I open the cupboard. I wonder which of you does this each night? I suspect it might be you Rock, given I've seen you lurking by said cupboard. But it could be you Hamey - we've always referred to you as the stealth bomber....

Love you two cheeky monkeys - you are hilarious.

All the love in the universe,
Your mama xxx

PS on another note, I'm off to clean that toaster. ewww.

Thursday, July 12, 2012


Earlier in the week, before the rain hit, we had some beautiful Winter days. I love this time of year; it's by far my favourite. I don't mind being chilly because I love rugging up. I know it's somewhat hilarious to think of Brisbane as ever cold, but it has been this year. I've lived in Europe, so I know real cold as well and I still love it, although, our Brisbane version is somewhat more palatable, it's true.

The boys running through the afternoon sunlight, off on adventures. "Bye Bye Mama, we're off to have our adventure now. See you later!", they shouted back at me as they took off as quickly as their little legs could carry them.

This awful fuzzy photo is of Hamish's first 'H'. He took his piece of chalk (blue, of course) and drew with great concentration (tongue out), and announced gleefully afterwards, "Mama! It's a H for Hamish. It's a H for meeeeee". Teared up, of course. Waterworks.
I finished the bedhead, and I adore it. I'm a terrible photographer, so I took a close up of the fabric as the  pic on the right below is totally yellow and doesn't show the detail. The fabric is a really gorgeous linen. 

The boys are growing up so much. We've been walking around our neighbourhood a lot and they seem to all of a sudden really 'get it'. They understand to check driveways for cars, and stop at the corners, and not go near the road without holding my hand. It's enjoyable exploring with them, instead of terrifying, and a privilege to see the world through their eyes. I can't really remember the last time I used the pram. Bliss.

I painted the chair! I LOVE it. It's such a gorgeous colour (which you can't see because there's that whole terrible photographer thing...). I just need to select cushion fabrics now. I'm thinking a busy navy/white botanical print for the seat cushion and something a bit wacky like a geometric pattern in yellow or coral for a scatter cushion.

Spent some time with my sisters. Pretty, aren't we. Genetically blessed, I tell you.

 And, oh, the mundane, my floors. Look at that. Disgusting. I can't believe my grouting was that filthy. Nothing a bit of bleach, some bicarb and a bit of elbow grease couldn't fix. So gross. I really had no idea it had become so bad until I saw one of those pins on pinterest about cleaning grout. I'm a  bit pinterest obsessed actually. I saw one of those ecards yesterday with words along the lines of, "Don't worry darling, it was on pinterest, so it must be true". That's me.

And in more of the mundane, it's been raining a lot here lately, so my washing pile is taller than me. I don't like using the dryer, but I may have to give in.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


My uncle died this weekend. My mum's little brother. 

It wasn't unexpected - he has been ill for a long time - but yet it was. On the actual day that it happened, it took us all by surprise. Adrian was a stubborn bugger. He came so close to death so many times, but always managed to give it a big kick off. I'd almost lost track of the number of times the doctors said we should say our final goodbyes. Because it never was the last one.

I nearly didn't go to see him on Saturday in hospital. But there was something in my mum's voice that was different. She sounded sad. So very very sad.

Seeing him was a shock. I'd only seen him a week earlier, yet he'd aged a lifetime. He was so thin the blankets on his hospital bed had more volume than his body.

It's a particularly hard time for my mum. He's her little brother - a troubled soul - who she has always looked after. He has lived with her on and off since he was a teenager. His life has been a hard one. A very hard one. He made choices and decisions that alienated him from many people and left him with nothing and no-one. But my mum has always been there. She has been his primary carer, his nurse, for the past three years while he's been living at her house.

She's given up everything. Caring for him has meant so many sacrifices; her relationship, her job, her life. She is a saint.

They were great mates. 

I don't know how to support her. I'm cooking a lot. She has 'breatharian' tendencies at the best of times, so I'm not risking her not eating. I've made batches of quiche, and pasta, and curries. In food there is love and comfort. I hope it helps.