Sunday, 4 October 2015

my new office, or while the cat's away, the mice will play

Welcome to my new office.

Thing is, I had a nice office before. Let me remind you what it used to look like...

The office used to be the room beyond the bathroom, the room furthest from the living room. When making it over I ripped out the carpet and finished the floorboards, painted the peach blind, painted the walls, put up shelving... I did a lot of work making it a gorgeous room.

Then I never used it.

It was cold in winter. I used it as a store room. I'd open the door, toss something in, then close it again.

Meanwhile, the guest room was depressing. I painted it taupe when we moved in and its a dark room, with a small window. It was gloomy. On the down side the room was unwelcoming. On the up side, none of our visitors stayed long. :)

Anyway, I got the idea to swap the rooms. Make the guest room the prettier room, with the big window, lots of light and fresh air. Bring the office closer to the heater, with the carpet to keep it warmer, and make it more usable.

I began operation Room Swap on Friday, once Wayne had gone off to spend a weekend with friends watching the Grand Final and male bonding.

Here is what the guest room looked like once I removed almost everything and before I began painting.

I started painting before I got the bed out cause I needed help to do that. The colour I chose was Dulux Mountain Snow half strength. Its a much cooler white than the one I chose for the kitchen. It might be a bit stark with its undertones of grey, but I really wanted to crisp up the room. The taupe was really getting me down. Here it is after one coat on the bottom part.

After 2 coats.

And here it is finished. Its very white and bright, especially since I haven't got any window coverings.

Here is the same corner once the room was finished. Notice my new wardrobe? I've put shelves in it and am using it to store craft stuff. I've never distressed anything this much before and I'm not sure I got the balance quite right.

The desk I was using in the old office wouldn't go through the door to the new office, so I had to make do using the filing cabinets and an old shed door.

All I did was sand the door, it hasn't been finished in any way. I used an old crate to hold the dvd player and the TV I use as a large monitor. I no longer have a desktop and just connect the laptop to the TV when I need a bigger monitor.

Its a work in progress. I'm not showing you the other side as its still a bit of a mess, with things which need proper homes.

I love how the light comes in through that window and how bright the room looks in all white. Though it is hard to photograph it.

My favourite part of the room is the wardrobe and armchair. And the old wash board with photos of my mom. Even the old icon my aunt gave me when I was in Greece last time.

It took me all weekend. I just finished this afternoon, finally got (almost) everything out of the living room and cleaned the rest of the house. I have not finished the guest room... yet.

Here's a preview of the new guest room...

I told you I've been busy.


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Saturday, 3 October 2015

a cute paper towel roll holder

Do you ever get sick of all the things that seem to gather and multiply on your kitchen bench? I do.

And one of those things is the $2 wire paper towel roll holder I've had for years. It gets shuffled over this way and that but its always there, another bit of clutter.

So while I've been running around moving furniture and painting rooms (more on that later) I got sidetracked and made a new roll holder.

I'm like a magpie with ADD when I'm busy, but I got inspired when I was looking for something in my workshop and knocked down a pile of wooden junk useful items I've collected. Among them were these spindles which I looked at and thought, "hm... that'd make a great paper towel roll holder..."

I had the perfect cast iron bracket (only one) so I cut a bit of timber for the top. Naturally I painted it the minty green I've used in my kitchen as a highlight colour.

It was all going great till I realised I'd cut the spindle too short.

I do this all the time! Nothing I make is ever quite perfect. Its always a bit off or a bit too long or a bit crooked... I did measure. I just cut off the wrong end of the spindle to the right height...,

In full solution mode, I looked around for something to add length. I have a broken shovel handle which was perfect. I cut a slice off that and joined it all together.

... I won't bore you with details, lets just say it wasn't pretty. The result is this odd looking chunk of wood at the bottom but guess what? It works! The thicker bottom bit holds the roll in place so it doesn't rattle around too much.

I capped it off with one of the knobs from my kitchen cupboards (again, a little crooked cause I can't drill a straight hole...)

My methods aren't exactly professional, but in the end it worked out great.

When I asked Wayne if he liked it, he said "Its cute."

I'm pleased with how it turned out. Now I just have to put in the shelves above the coffee tray and the kitchen will be finished.

After 2 years.

Meanwhile, I know I've been really silent on the blog. I've got great excuses. Firstly I was sick with a bad flu for about 2 weeks. I felt lousy and really didn't feel like doing anything at all, must less finding interesting things to post about.

Then I went to Victoria for a week, where I stayed with a friend and groomed her toy poodles for 3 big shows. The shows went great, I got a good fix of toy poodle love and then I got back to work just in time for a week off!

Way to plan! :)

My week off has been flat out. Grooming dogs I had to put off while I was away or sick. Swapping out the office and guest room. Painting walls. Moving furniture. Mowing grass that seems to grow a foot overnight. Replacing plants which didn't make it through winter.

I'll leave you with some photos of the poodles I groomed - I love the smell of hair spray on poodles!


I miss having a toy poodle... I almost stole a baby puppy Iris had at home. Maybe one day again...


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Monday, 14 September 2015

a wire teapot

What do you get someone who has everything?

A proper sized teapot made of wire of course!

This little beauty is made of a combination of galvanised and copper wires. 

I had planned to enter this in a competition but changed my mind. Its now for sale at the Handmade Emporium in New Norfolk along with other items I've made.