Monday, May 30, 2011

Chores and chooks

Today Liongirl and I stayed home and caught up on some chores. The sun was shining  down as she got straight to work testing out her new pegs (all her own work, she's obviously concerned those teatowels could lift off in the breeze). While we were outside pottering around, we had a little company. Or shadows might be a better term. The girls - Sooty, Rose and Dora2- associate the sight of me with lunch. So that means Liongirl being a mini version of me, is odds on for meaning at least some sort of snack. And if she is armed with snacks they are a lot closer to the ground and worth following closely.

Ok, Sooty, Dora2 you run ahead and keep her distracted, I'll just hang back a bit until she completely forgets I'm here and she leads us directly to the stash.

Ooooh, I wonder is it worms or beetles, worms or beetles or maybe both. Like a worm and beetle hotpot.

I'll just go and peek over her shoulder, they must be hidden in that pot.

Where's she gone?  She's got the worms I know it.

Oh cripes, run, it's the cat. And she looks cranky that we are stealing the photo limelight (she has Home Beautiful cover aspirations you know). See here for her portfolio. She only has two poses though- asleep or huffy.

See, told you. Huffy huffy huffy.

I think now would be  good time to look busy (until the cat goes back to sleep)

Good work girls, head down bum up....... scratch scratch scratch......I heard there may have been termites here a while back.

Hang on a minute, is that the sound of the toddler taking the lid off the worm farm? Make haste girls, Sizzler has just opened for lunch.

Ok, she really has the worms now. You two distract her somehow and I will infiltrate Sizzler.

Aaarh  that was Deeelicious. By the way, where is that toddler?

Of course, cram the toddler into the laundry tub trick. Good work girls. Where are your shares of the worms.......umm.......hey is that a lizard over there? There, just outside the gate....actually next door....quick, go look now.

This excerpt of the blogumentary " Days of our Chickeny Lives" was inspired by a decade of Gary Larson cartoons. Starring Rose as lead girl. Supporting roles Sooty and Dora 2. Toddler  played by Liongirl. And yes, Talking Animal movies would be one of my favourite movie genres. Except for Cats and Dogs 2, it was bitterly disappointing.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Winter Woollies

I know we are still weeks from winter but I seem to keep gravitating towards all the warm and woolly things in op shops. This lovely soft scarf was from one of those lovely choc-a-block op shops where the little old ladies who run the shop also have a rack of handmade baby cardigans and scarves. Unfortunately the cardies were all a little small for miss Liongirl but this scarf just had my name all over it. Mustard, burnt orange and grey- perfect.

Then there was this woolly blankie. Look at all these gorgeous gelati colours. I'm curious to see which of the kids nabs it first for laptime during early morning TV.

And the little packet of wooden pegs for $1. I had been wanting to get some of these for Liongirl as she has her own washing line but the modern plastic pegs are too difficult for her to use. I wasn't sure if supermarkets even sold them anymore but look, there they were in an op shop, on the top of the craft pile and still in the packet.

And some more books for Roboboy- he is needing them for his" Research". I nearly snorted out loud when he selected the Readers Digest's Guide to the Outback at the last fete trash and treasure and cited that it too was required for " research" purposes. I think that was the same day he was watching a Justine Clarke music videoclip on ABC kids and exclaimed out loud to himself about the " beautiful illustrations". I do have some concerns about how his refined gentlemen style  of language goes down in the playground amidst games of armies and Ben10.

At least now he will be able to at least tell his friends the correct terminology for all the quartz crystals they keep digging up at school. Pockets full, before every washing load.

And this one was for me, the colour and texture was completely enough to stop me being able to walk away.

I had a good feeling about this little daisy pot. It did not have any brand name on the bottom but had a "made in England" and an impressed number 1582. From these two clues and google, it appears to possibly be some Carlton Ware from the late 1930's but I haven't been able to find anything quite like it on ebay. No matter what its history, noble or otherwise, I still love it.
Oh yes, almost forgot- for anyone like me who was unable to post comments on most  blogs ALL THIS WEEK due to a blogger glitch , the way to fix it is when you sign in with blogger, just unclick on the teeny box that says "keep me signed in" and it should all be working.  And feel free to pop back and post about your eternal gratitude as that took me 4 days of scrolling through blogger help forums to sort out.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Orange inspiration

I have never previously considered orange to be one of my most favourite colours. But since I brought this magical cushion home I seem to be drawn to shades of retro orange everywhere.

 There is a pile of not quite finished orange inspired crochet.

And not to forget the painting that has pride of place in the one completed corner of the lounge room.

Gazing out of my lounge room window today, I was admiring a green backdrop dotted with the flame coloured leaves of one of Betsy's crepe myrtle trees. I had never noticed before that they are deciduous.

They are not a flamboyant expression of autumn by any means but in Brisbane you can travel an entire suburb to find a deciduous tree so you have to take what you can get. School pick up revealed another glorious crepe myrtle tree on the footpath.

So it was straight home to find a pair of secateurs and a long ladder. Those crepe myrtles did need a prune anyway.

Now I just hope I don't wake up tomorrow to the sight of some dead twigs in a jug with a pile of gorgeous leaves on the floor.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

To market to market we go we go

Yesterday morning we decided to brave the chill in the air and hit the Green Flea Markets in West End. Snack in hand- check. Pink pram with baby doll - check. Toshi  beanie with ears - check. I will not labour the point but beanies with earflaps are just slight overkill for a Brisbane autumn as I doubt we even hit single figure temperatures but who am I to argue with a toddler fashionista. Especially when she has chosen the beanie to match my scarf.

I love the West End Markets. The atmosphere has a buzzing kind of energy and the canopy of grand old fig trees that cover the stalls as they wind through the park, makes it a little darker and more wintery. All the better for scarves and beanies.

Not to mention the avenue of food stalls which is where we were headed. No time for groceries, there were Hungarian treats to devour. Roboboy had gone to the land of Grammy for a sleepover so we did what we always do if he is otherwise engaged, gorged ourselves on dairy laden goodies. Those Hungarians have a lot to answer for with respect to global obesity as not only did they provide the savoury deep fried cheesy/sour cream doughy thing with the name I can't remember, but also this spiral of crunchy lemony cinnamon deliciousness.

As if the morning wasn't going beautifully enough, we turned the corner and stumbled onto the CUTEST vintage caravan in the whole world.

And have a peek inside - try and look without squealing.

Kris, the owner of this beautiful little van, told me that it was a 1964 Glider and that she had just spent the previous 4 months renovating it herself. She had only recently started doing a few local markets where she is selling vintage clothes, using the little van as a changeroom of sorts.

The van doesn't have a name ( of course I put my two cents in on that one) but is known as The best little vintage van in Vegas and she has a blog with the same name if you want to pop over and share the vintage van love. I was completely spellbound by the sight of this little candy coloured treasure and was adding Kris to the list of people whose jobs I covet. She is now in first place followed closely by Set Designer for Playschool in second and Florist in third. I unfortunately couldn't get a photo of the pink 1967 Holden Special she uses to tow this beauty but they are currently featuring on the cover of Vintage Caravan magazine . Yes there is now a dedicated mag to share the vintage van love around.

After a good 15 mins chatting and dreaming, Liongirl dragged me away in search of pears. They are her favourite and her best (her words) and imagine the joy at stumbling onto this. One of apples, one of pears.

And when you approach the man in such a cute beanie, clutching just one pear, he is kind enough to give it to you for free.

And when you drop half eaten pear in the dirt and go back to buy another one, the man gives you another one for free. Goodness, we could have filled a whole bag if only I had a few more children wearing cute beanies.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Fete Goodies

At the school fete we went to on the weekend I was a woman on a mission. With a plan. No matter what, our house was to stay in a Negative Stuff Balance. That is, as we had recently donated a TRAILER load of stuff to charity, under no circumstances was anywhere near that  amount of stuff coming back into the house.

I left the kids (stamped with all day ride passes) with Legoman and hit the hall right on opening. I did not even look at toys, glanced over the kids books ( bagged a few), had a brief ferret in the kids clothes (the mounds were so high even I was overwhelmed) but did snag some corduroy pants for Roboboy complete with leather cowboy pocket and edging. He was impressed as he shares my fond appreciation of all things corduroy but wants me to sew something over the cowboy.

 A super fast scan of bric a brac and proud to say NONE purchased.

And then I stumbled onto the manchester corner. And no one was even nearby. On the top of the pile a glorious Grover Purple chenille bed throw, minor fading in parts but still awesome. I'm not sure whether I should applique some patches over the faded bits or chop it up. I'm leaning towards patching if Roboboy is keen on it. There were actually two but the other one had alot of stains so I let it be.

 Hidden under the sheets and blankets were three boxes of fabric - all $1 per piece. The pile in the top photo was only about a quarter of the stash on offer but to maintain the negative stuff balance I was selective. I also found a pile of felt and beads all untouched so they had to come home too.

Two glorious Australian animal puzzles. Roboboy was straight onto these the minute we got home. I love Australiana and if it's educational as well it's a winner. I had just given away some Postman Pat  puzzles so Stuff Balance = Neutral for this one. At 4 oclock the fete was winding up and it was announced that a bag could be filled for $2. Despite this and the fact that that Legoman and the kids snuck back in with me, we only filled one small bag. Stuff Balance still overwhelmingly well short of  a trailer load. Now I just need to finish painting the curbside find and set up my sewing machine.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Love a good Fete in May

Nothing better on a gorgeous clear blue skied May day than hitting a local school fete. We have five  primary schools within ten minutes of us and as Roboboy and his old playgroup friends are spread around all five of them, there is a good chance we will run into some mates. This was the much begged for opportunity to fish for ducks and win a prize. Two best mates in green and yellow chose water pistols, Roboboy in orange, chose a stuffed toy lizard. I suspect that like us, that their highly visible T shirt colours were selected for ease of spotting in a crowd.   Liongirl (having not paid to catch ducks) won the man over with her smile alone and received a little stuffed duck toy.

I didn't see Roboboy for a good hour or so as he and his mates just did back to back turns on this.

He is not a fan of things that spin/rotate/lift off the ground but super slides he has had a thing for and has been tackling these solo since about 4. The view from the top was amazing- level with the top of the main school building. Thankfully I had the excuse of Liongirl being too small to do this alone, so we did a few runs together- pink lane of course.

She was more than happy on her new favourite ride, the carousel. She has been on several of these recently and is a little obsessed. She was sitting on Legoman's lap tonight looking at his laptop and excitedly declared CAROUSEL, at the sight of a red retro coffee machine. Hmmm.

Our kids have never had Fairy Floss before so we caved into peer pressure. See this very happy face?

And then he was told he would be sharing with his sister.....

Figuring I didn't want to ruin his first and possibly only contact with  fairy floss (food colouring is not Roboboy's best friend) I relented and bought a teeny one for miss Liongirl. Sunshine all around.

The highlight for me was sneaking off with a few other mothers to have a good ferret  through the enormous Trash N Treasure that filled the school hall. Two bags of fabric and books and crochet patterns later we all emerged into the glorious sunshine. And how had the dads been passing the time with our precious children? A game of alien laser skirmish involving alot of running around, aiming large gun like lasers at your mates with a head shot being the primary objective. Hmmm, so much for deliberately avoiding any exposure to guns for our five year olds. Very pleased later to see that despite his contact with shoot to kill our Roboboy still chose the lizard from the toy pile, over the toy gun. Although knowing him, that  lizard will be embellished with extra features much scarier than any gun. I'm thinking a detachable remote controlled tail, acid secreting glands and retractable claws. Too late tonight to photograph the fabric stash, just enough time to quietly collapse with a cup of tea after throwing on a few catch up loads of washing.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

One perfect corner

Just a teaser to start this post. See that beautiful white wall, there's more of it coming. See the decorative items in front of the wall, with not a lego brick in sight, well that's what Betsy and I have been up to. I do have a confession though. It's not the same white that I had decided on back here . Despite dedicating an entire post about finally making a decision to go with Dulux Natural White, once I slapped on a few coats and put everything back, I didn't like it.

Just too much tint or colour in with the white, too cream, as it was a little brownish. Now that I think about it, it was really a soy milk imposter. So, it had to go. Coincidentally around this time we went to Cleveland to pick up the cast iron bed for Liongirl. As happens, got chatting with the seller of the bed who was also renovating her house. By some miracle our kids all played together, our husbands discussed pools and decks and Trudi and I talked paint and wallpaper and building designers. A playdate arranged by the God of all things Ebay. We stayed for TWO HOURS. And Trudi told me that her uncle, guru of all things VJ (vertical join wall boards found in old Queenslanders) swore by using Semi gloss paint whenever he was painting VJ's. So, I got home and went straight to good old untinted, completely additive free Dulux Vivid White, in a Semi- gloss. And it is perfect. Has a slight sheen that reflects light but not so shiny to show up every imperfection in Betsy's quite imperfect walls. Now for the exciting before and after shots.

Remember this?

And now?

And from another view

To this

And my favourite view from the lounge, which used to look like this.

And now, I could just stare at this perfect corner of full cream milky goodness, all day.

Only the rest of the room to go, hoping to go a bit faster now that I am not having to pause for days to check if the colour is right in different lights. Trying to avoid looking at the ceiling as it looks really grubby in comparison with these fresh white walls. Loving being able to create a beautiful corner with not a lego  brick in sight, and not having to try and compliment a custard backdrop. Hoping that no one took my rambling advice on white paint selection 2 weeks ago. Feel free to take it now though, Vivid White Semi-gloss all the way baby.