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

Archive for November, 2014

Seven minutes

Nearly missed this tonight. Just glanced out as the rainy sky turned into this.

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Click for a larger image.

Then just 7 minutes later looked up to this…

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Can’t ever imagine getting tired of this view.

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Upgrading the salon desk

A couple of years ago I bought a new in desk extractor fan for dust and fumes for the nail salon.  It cost a small fortune, and for another small fortune I could have got it already seated in a cheap and nasty laminate desk that didn’t really fit the space I had at the time. (Most of them had one small drawer for storage, if that.)

I started out thinking I’d have to make a desk, then ran across an oval computer desk in a discount clearance centre. I’d seen this desk at $90, looked at it at $69 and decided it was too flimsy (the oval sat atop the  two side pieces (a file drawer and a computer tower box) on 2 tubes that allowed the drawers to roll under the desk.)

When it hit $25 I looked at it again with new eyes. For $25 I got 2 pairs of drawer slides, 8 castors, and a nice large top – all in horrid brown plastic laminate (crapboard as my neighbour calls it). The top was big enough to fit the fan in, which was the most important consideration.  So I bought 2 of them.

I shaped one top, attached it to the bases with 2 posts each side (so much more stable), mounted the fan, set up one set of drawers, cut the other set down and made them sliding shelves,  added some  wings to hold UV lamps and even cut the spare top in half and made shelves.

I ended up with raw chipboard against me as I worked and so it got covered with a layer of duct tape. One day soon I would  give it a coat of paint I said.

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Three years later, the salon has moved rooms, the duct tape was half off for the third time and the acetone had wiped away some of the plastic wood finish. It looked charming – not.

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So, since I had the paints out for the kitchen, and I had a sudden surge of clients that left me with a week without any appointments, I taped off the metal, undid the wings, rolled on some primer and a coat of Lexicon white acrylic.

Then I started playing. I diluted some black acrylic, brushed it on, sponged it back, rolled over it with diluted white, brushed some more, rolled some more.

And TaDa!

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I went into Bunnings to see if there was a non yellowing oil based polyurethane to seal it with (can’t use acrylics with acetone around). I didn’t think there was, thought I would probably be rolling on a coat or two of normal poly and watching it yellow up over the next year or two. But the woman serving me said there was a clear paint, not a poly, from Dulux. It was low chemical and so didn’t yellow she said. The label said it discouraged chroming with low chemicals. It wasn’t until afterwards that I discovered chroming is the word for using spray paint fumes to get high!

So I sprayed my desktop.

This was it two days later after 3 light coats.

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No that is not the lighting, it is yellow! Not cream, or slightly off white. Yellow!

Lesson learned – This 2014NOV10 006ais NOT CLEAR.

My desk looked like something pulled out of grandma’s kitchen which hadn’t been changed since 1930.

I couldn’t face the thought of all those layers and dying times again. But I couldn’t live with pee yellow either, even the fake woodgrain had been better.

So I got the primer out again, and  coated the desk. Then a coat of white semi gloss enamel (left over from door frames). Then the next day, another coat of white, this time with some diluted black enamel (left over from my bedroom trim) painted into the white while it was still wet, with a feather. No sponging, no blotting. A couple of spots got a bit of another layer over them to fix up strange bits the next day. No sealer (so it’s not as shiny as it was). And there are brush marks because I didn’t use the roller this time.

But it looks so fresh and bright. And best of all, it doesn’t show the acrylic dust, which was the whole reason for painting it 😉

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There are black buttons that cover the screw holes, it just isn’t dry enough yet 🙂

before-after-desk

How I made my bathroom taller.

I made my bathroom taller today.
It took all of about 2 minutes.
Definitely one of those “why didn’t I think of this earlier” moments.

This was my bathroom.
bathroom

The orchid on the windowsill has grown, and has a couple of flower spikes coming. Every time I move my towel I have to move a leaf and I’m scared I’ll break a spike.

This is my bathroom today.
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Two minutes to find the spare hanger and hook it over the old curtain hook. The flower spikes are up out of harms way and without the plant sitting on the sill the window seems bigger, taller, brighter.

Scales

One thing about relief teaching is you never know what you’ll be doing on a day. Which is how I ended up touching my first ever live snake on Friday.

Snake!

Snake!

This tiger snake shed her skin the day before. Those gold highlights aren’t light reflecting, they are actual streaks of gold in her scales.

There are only three species of snake in Tasmania, all are poisonous. The tiger snake is the 6th most venomous in the world. Lucky us 🙂

And this guy was standing in the middle of a complete set – tigers, copperheads and white lipped snakes. They were climbing his leg, hiding under tubs and generally ignoring him. It was the best demonstration I’ve ever seen of the fact snakes get used to your presence, and as a result can be slow to react when you come across them. Snakes won’t chase you. Their only interest is in getting away.

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He also showed a ‘snake bite kit’. Two compression bandages. He gave the example that by tightly wrapping the bitten limb and sitting very still you could last 8 hours after a bite. If after being bitten you ran the length of the schoolyard to the house, you probably would be dead before you got there.

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Please excuse the poor quality photos – taken on my phone in terrible lighting.

There were a range of other reptiles and spiders there, but this blue tongue was my favourite.

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She’s a bit shabby because she was shedding her skin.
This is what blue tongues usually look like.

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The pure black one is apparently the opposite of an albino.

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