Dream house, dream life, yeah right. Dream on…

Archive for January, 2012

White Measles

I looked in the mirror this morning and discovered I have white measles. Well  Stalactite white measles to be exact. They have even infected my glasses!  I HATE painting ceilings.
I was also under the delusion that the living room ceiling was white. One good thing about cream tinted paint is it makes it very easy to see where you’ve missed a bit. The bad thing about painting over cream tinted paint is it makes it very easy to see where you’ve missed a bit 4 hours later….
Which raises the question of ‘how good does it have to be?’ I look at the ceiling (of course after two days of staring up while scraping out the myriad of cracks, plastering them, sanding them smooth and then painting, the ceiling is all I can see (through the paint specks), I’m not sure my neck bends down any more,) and I see flaws. Roller marks, brush marks near a light fitting, bits that were over rolled, the bit I had to  touch up later to cover the cream… Will anyone else notice them, or is it just because it’s the brightest cleanest thing in the room that I spend all my  time staring at it at the moment?  I never claimed to  be a professional painter. And I’ve had to paint around the furniture. It’s hard to keep all the roller strokes running the same direction when you have tables and chairs piled around the room to run into and  light fittings to work around.  When I have occasional moments of clarity I hit myself over the head with the fact that it is a lathe and plaster ceiling. It’s not straight. It’s not level. It is never ever going to look like a modern plaster board roof. Never. But it is done now!

I have  running filtered water in the laundry! Since it never really runs cold at this time of year it’s actually very handy to  fill  the bottles in the fridge. What’s more it’s installed and (touch wood) it doesn’t leak. I only had to  take it apart  twice to  get it to  that stage (thanks for not including any instructions on how to actually attach the hoses to the filter, guys! They might be a fitting you’re familiar with, but I had to  work it out by trial and wet error.)

In the process of putting everything back in the cupboards under the sink after having the place bug sprayed on Monday I did a little rearranging. All my life the rubbish bin has sat on the floor –  first in the laundry, and then in a recessed bit under the bench in the kitchen. It’s the first thing I see as I walk in – and since I bought a new stainless steel one last year, all I notice is how dirty it looks (even when it’s clean!) I was theorising to  my sister  the other day about one day putting the bin in the cupboard beside the sink – tossing the wire bottomed drawers that are currently there (for storing root vegies, which I don’t store because they always start growing) and swapping the hinges so it opens to  the sink and putting in one of those  bins that opens as you  open the door. Well  today I tossed the drawers outside and put the pedal bin in the cupboard. And it works. LOL. Well it works when I remember where the bin is. The amazing thing is the kitchen looks huge without the bin in the corner. Going to put some shelves where the bin was and put doors on it – Yay extra cupboard!

The trek for water

So, the question is, ‘how far am I willing to  walk for fresh water?’ The water here in Tasmania is generally lovely. However a few years ago I caught  giardia while  only drinking tap water. Over the years the taste of our tap water has changed too,  so for years I’ve been using  a water filter. A jug to begin with, then for the last couple of years a benchtop cooler filter.  I seemed to spend more time filling both of them than drinking it, even when it was only me drinking it (I’ve never had a problem drinking my  8 glasses a day). Then a few months ago I noticed the benchtop cooler had a lot of algae in the inner  fridge tank –  where even a pipe cleaner couldn’t shift it. They are all built so you can’t clean the inner  storage area –  insane. So  I tossed it. I finally got around to  ordering a PSI underbench filter. I could install it myself the seller told me-  easy, all  the instructions come with it.

So, add a tap to the sink – shouldn’t be that hard. I knew just where I wanted it, opposite the existing tap (double drainer single sink). Except when I started rummaging under the snk, there’s a built in part of the cupboard there. I could cut out a bit of cupboard and put it in blind up  behind the sink…  I think. Or I could put it  in the laundry. In the laundry I’d only be cutting through  laminex and chipboard, not stainless steel (so I could return unopened the $58 drill bit I had to  get to cut the sink!) The area I would put it is open to  view, the filter can mount on the back wall without  having to move much…All I have to  do  is get over the stupid aversion to  drinking from the laundry tap –  which dates back to when we first moved in and the laundry taps were old ones that didn’t even have filters on them, on old pipes –  we were told not to drink from them. Those taps and pipes are long gone. In fact when Mum and I redid the kitchen (did I mention the laundry is at one end of the kitchen?) we replaced the old metal  trough with  a circular sink and a mixer tap. It has often been used as the ‘bar’ when entertaining.

So, am I willing to  walk from the kitchen sink (where the glasses are) to the other end of the kitchen (right by the fridge actually) for  filtered water, or am I going to try to pull apart a cupboard that could be used as a nuclear shelter?


I’m not distracted…oooh look sparkly

I need to work out a way to write without looking at the net. I’m sitting here watching Queen perform at Wembley because while writing a post I checked facebook, saw a link to a guy with two kermit puppets ‘singing’ Under Pressure which led me to watching something like five versions of the original. That of course led me to rereading Wikipedia about Queen and Wembley and then to watching more videos and.. well maybe tomorrow I’ll have a new post.

what happens if dynabolts have to be pulled out of old brick and mortar walls

Tomorrows tasks are to put another layer of plaster into the holes I made today pulling the shelves off the wall, patch the ceiling, maybe sand back the skirting boards, and then paint the ceiling. I bought one of those thick one coat ceiling paints. Hope it works, I HATE doing ceilings.

Tour Time: The ‘um’ room

My first memory of living in this house was the night we moved in, walking in on a cold wet winter’s night after a long car trip from our old house and Dad (who had come earlier with the furniture) was sitting in an easy chair in front of a roaring fire. We’d never had an open fire before and I loved it.

Unfortunately, the chimney design sucked (or more to the point, didn’t suck) and so regularly smoked us out if the wind changed), so over the years we gradually stopped using the fireplace.

A few months ago, trying to work out how to keep the house I decided I had to let out some bedrooms. Since I was using them all this meant some major reorganisation.

My first thought was to stay put in my little bedroom and tiny study and move the salon into the spare room and let out the lounge and master bedroom.

Then I decided I could get more money letting 3 small rooms than 1 or 2 larger rooms. So, the contents of my tightly organised and packed study would need to move into the large, open, loungeroom, a room with no morning sun, a hearth and a fireplace and essentially no walls.  This meant finding room for walls of books and folders, boxes of beads and assorted craft stuff, a desk and shelves full of scrapbooking supplies, a table (that my father built) from the sunroom, and the myriad of office supplies that any self respecting stationery junkie always has on hand.

Later, I decided that the salon really didn’t earn itself a bedroom of its own and had to move into the lounge too.

So, if youy’re looking for something, it’s probably in the um lounge, I mean the new study um, ah, that is the salon, or  the um craft room.Actually, right at the moment I probably have no idea where it is!

The um, study, from the library/hall


The wall colours are Dulux Azure Blue, and White Duck half.

The book nook. Can't wait to get the fireplace working again this winter.


The craft corner. Not sure what I have planned to deal with this mess.

The salon corner

Small things, big geek

Smiles are rarer  at present –  I got the electrician’s bill  today…, the only  person interested in a roomshare doesn’t want the room until March, the holidays are half over and I still  haven’t got anywhere with  my renovations. But I’m  sitting here grinning right now. My inner geek is ecstatic tonight.

In The Library I showed my cool colour changing lampshade. This lamp has become a regular part of my  night. When I get up  from the computer at night and turn off the desk lamp I then had to feel my way across the room in the dark to  the nearest light switch, which is for the study… then walk up  the dark hall to  turn on the light, then back down it to the bathroom, then back to turn off the study light, then… a lot of walking in circles. A few weeks ago I picked up some Kambrook remote controlled power switches to eliminate standby power drain (because every powerpoint in this place is virtually inaccessible once it is in use.) One of the remote switches in the hall, and a remote sitting on the desk and suddenly I can turn on the hall light before I leave the study and turn it off from the bedroom door before I go in. Then in the morning I just need to remember to drop the remote back in the study. I’ve also put a switch on all  the salon power eaters – fan, light, drill UVs etc, one click and they are all off. But the thing that is making me smile is today I moved a few things around and  discovered a spare lamp which I moved into the bedroom, with another switch. And I just discovered that I can turn it on through the wall from the desk in the study. The ultimate in geeky laziness. *Grin*

Tour Time: The old study

I’m  devastated. I’ve just discovered that apparently I don’t have any photos of the study  before I dismantled it. I have pics of the process to  put it together, but none of the ‘finished’ product of the last year or so.

My study used to be my sister’s bedroom. It was the first room where I got smart and picked the curtain fabric first, then used it to find the paint colours instead of trying to  find something to go with the walls. Of course, after trying literally dozens of paint samples I ended up using the same “Swiss Muesli” that is in the sunroom, but it’s the thought process that counts, right?

A few years ago I bought a new printer and discovered I had  something like 14  different  surfaces in the study and none that would fit the printer. So I built a desk across one wall and a return down the other, fitting them around file cabinets and bookshelves. I built DVD shelves behind the door that fitted my CDs, my VHS and my DVDs, as well as my laptop.. The shelves I built on the walls were made to  fit my  recipe folders, my  trade paperbacks, my  family tree folders, etc. The wardrobe and old library trolley were FULL of craft stuff.

Every millimetre of that room was organised and used. As I sit here in my new study and wonder where on earth  the crystal tabs and spare tapes for the label printer might be, I really miss it.

Here’s what I gave up:


A lot of stuff for a room that barely makes 2m x 3m. 🙂 It took more than 14 reflex boxes just to empty the dvd shelves.








Tour Time: The Formal Lounge


When we (Mum, Dad, my younger sister and I moved into No.28 Gumtrees (from No.28 Queen St, anyone see a pattern?) on the 4th of July 1975 it was the wettest winter in decades. Not that us kids cared. We had free range of a house at least twice the size of the one we had left, and much better laid out. We left the long hall down the middle, the 2 bedrooms off one side, the lounge room on the other with the bay window (which features in my earliest ever memory at 18 months), the large old kitchen and a tiny sunroom/laundry. We exchanged it for 4 bedrooms, 3 living areas and a terrace on half an acre of gardens.

One of those living areas was dubbed ‘the lounge room’ to distinguish it from the living room and the sunroom. Visible from the hall through a wood and glass internal wall it opens into the living room with double sliding doors.

It started out as the formal lounge –  the  brocade couch and chairs flanking the fireplace. We used to wheel the tv into the double doorway on Sunday nights in Winter and sit around the fire watching The Waltons or Little House on the Prairie and eating soup and  smoked toast.

Once the fire stopped being used it got very little use,  closed up  in Winter to keep  the rest of the house warmer it was generally only used when  we had  meetings or gatherings here. It was an excellent room to put the dining table in the middle to  serve buffet dinners or suppers. Finally after  fishing  my  nephew out from under the table one too many times when he started to  crawl we jsut moved the table permanently into  the lounge and called it the dining room. As such it got used about  twice a year. Mum and I usually ate on our laps or in the study.

I moved the table back into the living room after Mum went into hospital.  But the lounge room still  only got used when entertaining. It was a great room for that – we had 50 people here for dinner one night,  no  problem.

So, this is what the loungeroom looked like before this Spring…

From the hall:

The fireplace:

Looking back to the hall:

And, the last corner, behind the door:

Stay tuned to see how it looks today.


Ready for Christmas

Yes, despite the searing heat today I was productive. I’m  ready for Christmas finally.

Well, okay, I’m  not really, but I do know where all  the decorations are this time. 2011 decorations were on the thin side for several  reasons, one of which  being I couldn’t get to  half the boxes and wasn’t sure where the rest were. Today I turned on the AC and spent several  hours  sorting and reboxing (because of course when  you  get a new cupboard none of the old boxes will  fit –  it’s a law right?) box after box of decorations. End result –  one  reflex box of decorations to charity, one  to the craft cupboard. 2 large plastic tubs of lights to  the shedlet. And one new cupboard chock full  of decorations.

Ta Da!

Even  the door wreaths fitted, which I really didn’t think would happen.  This is amazing because it now frees up  the top  of a few wardrobes. And… next Xmas I won’t need a stepladder to  get to the decorations!

Not bad for a garage sale cupboard 🙂 I love that it’s not  white melamine!

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