Wednesday, 31 October 2012

day 30 - the beach

Yesterday was a glorious day. 23 degrees C, a light breeze... It was the kind of day when Hobart is the best place in the world to live.

It was also one of those days when I have the best job in the world. Yesterday was my 1:1 day with a client where we're free to go out and enjoy the day. We went to Kingston Beach for a long walk on the sand and along a walking track.

Today its a bit cooler, a bit rainy, and tonight the temperatures will drop and the horses will have to put their pjs on for a few days again.

Got home late yesterday, meetings you know, and just didn't feel like doing anything at all.

List some random number big enough to make you feel queasy.
Zefi nil.

Ok. Not quite, but close enough.

What I did do:
I took the dogs for a run in the paddock and laughed at their antics.
Spent some time rubbing Ben's tummy.
Clipped off Montana and did 1/2 a groom on her as well. You could say I've now groomed one entire standard poodle...
Watched Mischa find the dead baby blackbird I tossed over the fence the other day, in an entire paddock, and roll in it.
I had another close encounter with the dead baby blackbird as I relocated its remains.

What I didn't do:
Wash poodles.
Clip and wash Barney.
Fold the washing. I did move it to a place the dogs can't sleep on it. Does that count as a tick?

Turns out I also unwittingly gave Barney a forbidden treat.

When I got home I put my bag on the floor in the corner of the office, forgetting I had a small organza bag in it (from the wedding) with 5 chocolate hearts in it.

While getting ready for bed I found an empty (and strangely undamaged) organza bag on the floor and one tiny bit of red foil. That's all that remained.

We're looking forward to finding the 'decorated' poop in the yard over the next couple of days.


Tuesday, 30 October 2012

day 29 - rusty horse shoes

What I did today:
I mowed the lawn.
I went to Fentonbury to have a look at what work needs to be done there, and organise it.
I visited the pacing trainer I bought Ben from and collected some rusty horse shoes. Cause you never know when you'll need more rusty horse shoes.
I put off folding and putting away clothes. Again.
I groomed half a dog. Or should I say, I half groomed one dog. I put Romeo on the table and clipped the dirt off him. Its amazing how poodles are clean under the top layer of fur. Tomorrow is Montana's turn. Then they'll both get a wash. At least that's the plan.
I bought a baby oak tree. Now to research where to plant it...
I made carbonara with minimum bacon. By necessity, not choice.

What I didn't do:
Look at my To Do list. Time is ticking, we're nearing the end of October and I've barely scratched the surface of the list.

Basically, I crossed off a couple of items and added 4 more.


Sunday, 28 October 2012

day 28 - it gets worse before it gets better

That's what they say. And let me tell you, its true!

Here is what the office looks like now:

I've pilled old suitcases and metal boxes on top of the dresser to hold things in an organised fashion. I added tags to everything so I'd know what went where.

I can  see the desktop. But give me 5 minutes...

And I found a use for a couple of the bedsprings I got from the tip shop a couple of weeks ago.

This is what the office looked like earlier today:

Yep. There's a desk under there somewhere...

This was yesterday:

This was today:

So, you'll agree... it did look a lot worse before it got better, right?

Then, cause I loved the whole tag thing, I went a bit crazy and started tagging everything. Including the suitcases in the guest room which act as a bedside table.

I'm pretty happy.

What I did today:
I found my desk. I found the coffee table in the living room. I did 3 loads of washing. I made a cheesecake.

What I didn't do:
Clip and wash the poodles. Its only been on the list for 3 weeks. Fold the washing and put it away. Cook dinner.

I'm going to go eat some leftovers and watch TV. I think I earned it.


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day 27 - running to stay in place

Oh boy!

Was today a day of rushing around like a headless chook or what!

First, I packed the car with everything I'd need to decorate the church, then I had to get the trailer onto the car so I could go pick up the dresser. In order to do that I had to let Wayne know what I was doing. It went down pretty much the way I expected it to... he spat the dummy was thrilled and excited about my purchase.

Here it is in my office - now go on! This is worth being yelled at isn't it?

Its going to hold a lot of crafting stuff, office stuff and general stuff in the office for me. All I need to do now is sort the stuff out and start cramming it in! Maybe I'll get lucky and actually clear the coffee table in the living room...

After moving this baby in I had a dog to groom. He's one of my special customers, a sweet little boy that comes in regularly for a wash and tidy.

When he was done I was off to the church where I made bows to the sounds of the choir practising for a concert in November. It was actually lovely to be working to their singing.

I put the little sign I'd made on a plate holder on a table near the church door. I covered the table in burlap and rose petals... The rose petals were stolen from a garden on the way to the church. I'd been thinking that I really needed some red rose petals so I took a scenic route to the church looking into gardens for easily accessible roses. 

Isn't the saying "Something old, something new, something stolen, something blue"?

Sorry about the photo. It was dark and the flash didn't look good on the sign. For that reason its smaller than usual... smaller photos don't look as blurry!

Then it was a rush home to jump in the shower and make myself beautiful so we could be back at the church in 30 minutes. The wedding was beautiful and Kelly and Simon looked happy as they said their vows. Kelly was gorgeous and the bridesmaids looked great in their red grecian style gowns.

After the wedding I shot off to the reception hall to add the heart wreath to the bridal table. The reception was great fun, the food very good, the sweets excellent and the hall looked fantastic in the red and white theme.

Here is the happy couple...

And here is the Baileys I ordered which came in a beer glass. I had to get a photo of that! ... Too bad they didn't feel the need to fill it to the top...

All in all, it was a very busy but lovely day!


Saturday, 27 October 2012

day 26 - wedding decorations

Yes, yes. A day late. I know. I know. I had started this last night but I couldn't get photos till this morning. So live with it!

I don't know if I mentioned that our friends Kelly and Simon are getting married today. They asked me for help decorating the church. 

I'd tried to get into the church a week ago to see about the decorations they'd arranged to use... the church is always open but there was no one there. And I had no idea how to find someone to ask. I'm greek orthodox and our churches are different, as are our wedding ceremonies. Not that I'd know how to decorate for a greek wedding either...

 Anyway, I thought I'd make a few things for the wedding to use at the church or the reception... Whichever worked. In the end, thanks to the endless amount of free time I have, I only managed to do two things - a heart wreath which I think I can place at the head table at the reception. Or on the cake table. Or on the door...

I used willow twigs, wire and jute string to make the heart, then reinforced it with raffia bows. I added flower decorations, a bought (and Zefi-fied) wicker heart, a jute tassel I made with a small clockface and rusty key and some pearls. I really want to add a tag which has their names and wedding dates on it but I dont have any tags! If I can get one this morning in town I'll add that to the wreath.

 The other thing I made was a small sign I had planned to put at the door to the church, as a kind of welcome to people as they walked in.

 I made this out of an old sign which I'd sanded back to resurface. I used an image of hand made paper with flower petals in it and created the sign in InDesign.

I then glued it to the timber using spray adhesive (I get too many bubbles with PVA glue) and then covered it all in some satin varnish for protection.

I added a rusty wire heart which I fixed to the sign using one of my pre-rusted eye hooks. Unfortunately there's nowhere to hang the sign at the door so I'm going to have to compromise. I'm taking in a small plate stand to put it on at a table near the door.

Another thing crossed off the list.

Gotta run. I have to get going this morning. Tons to do. Tell you later!


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Beyond The Picket Fence

Thursday, 25 October 2012

day 25 - a day off

And by that I mean a day where I slept in till 10am.

I no longer can sleep in till 10am. Not usually. On work days I get up at 6am and on weekends I feel the need to get up almost as early just so I can get things done.

Gone are the days of sleeping in till 2pm when I'd been out late the night before. Nowadays a late night is 10pm.

Getting old sucks. And I really needed the rest.

When I was young I'd hear about people working 2 or 3 jobs and I'd think "No thanks! One job will be enough for me when I grow up!"

And here I am now... 2 jobs and countless hobbies which keep me busy all the time.

No wonder I'm tired.

I had planned to go to the Royal Hobart Show today to help with poodles, but I was just feeling too average to go. Average sounds so much better than 'icky' and really, it implies that the rest of time you feel fabulous!

So, I slept in. Had brunch instead of breakfast... then pottered on down to the casita where I played with paint for a while.

Ahhh. That's the life.

And its been raining all day so its been the kind of day where you just want to take it easy and listen to the raindrops on the roof.

Meanwhile at least a few things in my garden are growing. Here is the clematis. I planted 3 things on that trellis, this is the only one that survived.

Here are my prize flowers. I just love them! Granny's bonnets or aquilegia.

 My purple daisies.

And my gorgeous baby snowball bush (vibirnum). Billy's bush.

I'm not going to bother with what I did and didn't cross off the list today cause, basically, I didn't cross anything off!

Rest wasn't on the list.


day 24 - its shameful

I wish I could say this was the home of a hoarder I happened to know.

Alas, its my office.

What happened was I had to pile stuff when I decided to re-make Wayne's office space in the living room. I had to take a desk and bookcase out... so I had to put things somewhere and the floor seemed as good a place as any.

There's an ottoman you can barely see buried under the piles of stuff, its meant to be a visitor's seat in the office. It basically holds the fabric up otherwise Barney will lie all over it and then I'll have curtains covered in dog hair.

The other stuff... well, some of its projects in almost-progress. Some of it is wishful projects. The rest is stuff I need to sort through and find a place for.

As I said, I got rid of a desk and bookcase from in here so now I'm down some storage.

And stackable surfaces...

I have, however, organised a new, improved lot of storage... I've bought an old kitchen dresser (a cupboard) from a friend who's moving. Its gorgeous. I have another similar to it in the living room. I need to make room for it in the office (by pushing aside piles of stuff) and then I'll be able to sort and stash.

Meanwhile, the problem is I haven't told Wayne about it. He'll flip his lid. Another piece of furniture.

Maybe I can sneak it in without him noticing... hm... He doesn't come into the office that often... maybe he won't see if for a few weeks and by then I can say "What? That old thing? I've had that for ages!"

What I did today:
I had a LONG day at work, ending with a meeting after work.
Bought chicken for the dogs and spent what seemed like hours up to my elbows in raw chicken frames, bagging them up into one day meals to freeze.
Went to a work Trivia Night. We came second. Always come second...
I downloaded and installed Google Chrome cause I was sick of the problems with Firefox.
I moved my desk in a fit of rage when the internet and FF kept playing up, so I basically just added to the mess in the office.

What I didn't do:
Cross much off my list. Seems I added more just to cross it off and that doesn't count.


Tuesday, 23 October 2012

day 23 - i see dead things

Got home after work, the dentist, whatever, and took the dogs out for a run in the paddock while we fed the horses. Again, great poodles! Went right past all the chooks and ducks and didn't blink, even when a duck fluttered.

The poodles had been running back and forth along the fenceline, sniffing everything, peeing on everything and even, thank you Montana, rubbing in things. 

Mischa went out and came back with a mouthfull of something crunchy.

A dead wallaby.

What was left of a dead wallaby.


I had to pick it up (don't ask) and throw it far, far away.

Well, about 2 feet away... as far as I could throw a crunchy, imminently breakable thing which was threatening to fall apart as I held it as gingerly as possible.

Then, we come into the yard and I find a dead baby blackbird on the grass behind the house. (Yes, we have blackbirds nesting in the roof... sigh).

I picked it up, it was big but just starting to get fuzz, no feathers.

I gave it a 'long grass burial (ie I threw it into the long grass on the other side of the fence) and then found another three!

Wayne said we only need 20 more to make a pie.


Thing is, they weren't tiny babies. Why weren't they safe in their nest? Did their mother throw them out? Did someone else? One things for sure, they didn't jump. They were pushed!

What I did today:
Visited the dentist. Again. Bought chaff. Forgot to buy dishwashing liquid from the supermarket. Re-arranged the office so I could get a better reception on the internet.

What I didn't do:
Finish re-arranging the office. Have dinner.

Better go do that now.


Monday, 22 October 2012

day 22 - rust a la pinterest

About a week ago I decided to try out a pin from Pinterest which claimed it would rust anything.

It said to place some white vinegar in a jar, add about a teaspoon of salt and leave overnight.

Well I left it overnight. Nothing happened. The bits and pieces were still silver.

I left it for about 4 days.

I even added more salt.

Then I poured out the water thinking "so much for that:" and left the bits outside in a dish.

That's when they rusted!

Excellent. Now I can use them on a project or five.


What I did today:
Finished the website work. Now if my connection would stop playing up I could upload it.
Took Barney to the vet. Learned that the 2 lumps he has are just fatty lumps (and the vet didn't mean me and Wayne) but that he needs to lose weight. Him and us both.
Collected a parcel from the PO which contains the burlap I bought for the market stall in December.
Two loads of washing. 
Put the new ironing board cover on the ironing board.
Arranged to buy a gorgeous old dresser I don't need or really have room for.
Crossed 2 things off my list. Not the BIG LIST, just the weekend list...

What I didn't do:
Iron anything.
Pay bills. Yet.
Figured out how to get the dresser into the house without Wayne noticing.


Sunday, 21 October 2012

day 21 - insulators

I collect insulators.

I didn't used to collect insulators.

What happened was, I went into a tip shop one day and saw the two larger white ones. I hadn't seen that type before, so I grabbed them... thinking I could do something with them of course.

I had tons of the small white ones - from the electric fence I'd put up in Fentonbury.

Then my friend Diane told me about her insulator collection and showed me photos of some really amazing ones... Who knew insulators were collectable?

So, when I saw those blue ones in a shop recently I had to have them. Firstly cause they're a nice colour and secondly cause now I have a real collection.

They say having 3 of something makes it a collection. If that's so, then six is way up there.

For now these guys are sitting on top of the hot water cylinder on our porch but one day I'll find a better spot for them. When I do I might give them a clean as well...

Anyhow, just thought I'd share my newest collection.

What I did today:
The dishes. Some washing, some hanging out of washing, some bringing in of washing when it rained. Brought up some firewood to light the fire cause it was cold. Groomed dogs. Discovered that my customer database had corrupted and, since I didn't have a backup, started it all over again. Did the grocery shopping. Made a salad. Entertained visitors. Spent quality time with Ben while the poodles rampaged in the top paddock.

What I didn't do today:
Work on the website. Pay bills. Work on any suncatchers or chimes. Crossed anything off the list.

Better go finish that database. 

What a pain. I learned my lesson though... from now on I'll have three copies: the one I use and two backups.


Saturday, 20 October 2012

day 20 - relax is a four letter word

Right about now you're thinking "either she's dyslexic or she can't count".

I'm neither. Sure, I'm not exactly great with numbers, but I'm not that bad. I can add up to 10.

All I'm saying is that sometimes it feels like 'relax' is a four letter word around here. To me anyway.

I'm always doing something, planning to do something, talking about doing something, thinking about doing something or watching TV.

What people (no names being mentioned here, but it starts with 'W' and ends in 'ayne') keep saying "Take some time off to just sit back and relax."

What he doesn't get is that I can't. I can relax and read. I can relax and watch TV as long as I can fast forward through the ads or read a book while they're on. I can relax and watch TV and bend wire and bead for suncatchers, or sew dog bandanas. Or using these flattened spoons and forks to make windchimes...

But I find it really really hard to just sit and relax.

I will, on occasion, go sit outside with Wayne and sit, surrounded by the horses and dogs and chat. That's relaxing.

Doing creative things is relaxing. Like painting (a portrait or the walls), or making stuff. That is what I enjoy, so its relaxing to me.

I love grooming dogs, but its work, often hard work. I think I dislocated my thumb today stopping one anxious little boy from jumping off the grooming table. But when the dogs were all done for the day I made myself a frappe and took a beer out to Wayne who was working in the top paddock.

I took the poodles, Wayne had Barney and Mischa with him, and we talked and walked around and enjoyed the sun, which had decided to make an appearance about then.

I'm so proud of the poodles. Even Wayne commented on it today. For dogs who had never been around horses or chickens before we moved here, they're doing so well (though we did have a steep learning curve during which we lost 4 chickens and 3 ducks). When I took them out into the paddock, they ran around, playing chase and kicking up their heels. The chickens and ducks were out, but they totally ignored them. 

Its funny to watch them around the horses though. They'll be trotting along, spot a horse and quickly change direction. And Dancer... She's a real mischievous little thing. She loves chasing the dogs. She'll be pretending to munch on grass and she'll suddenly take off, scattering poodles before her. 

This afternoon Mischa tried a new tactic. No way can Mischa outrun a horse - so instead she played dead. She just plonked herself on the ground and lay there. 

Dancer didn't know what to make of it. She was totally stumped. She stood and sniffed Mischa a while, then lost interest. If it don't run, it ain't no fun.

Mischa looked up, saw Dancer look away, and skulked off quietly....

Anyway, back to the matter at hand...

What I did today:
Made french toast with bacon, banana and maple syrup for breakfast. Groomed dogs. Shared a few precious moments with my partner and our animals on our land.
Soon we'll be going out for dinner with friends.

What I didn't do:
Banking. Bills. Website work. Dishes. The bed. Anything else on my list.

Guess I better go do some of that now.


Friday, 19 October 2012

day 19 - shabby bustier

It all started out as an innocent browse through a tip shop.

Then this thing kind of leapt out at me.

A wire bustier thing. Gorgeous. I think its made to hang earrings on... Whatever. It was pretty.

Even prettier when I finished with it!

Now its not just an earring holder. It's a work of art all on its own. It could hold its own in Marie Antoinette's boudoir.

Yep. Another thing ticked off the list. Way to go!

What I did today:
I bought a new ironing board cover. I bought a couple of new paintbrushes. I had coffee with friends. I pooperscooped. I weeded. I pulled out a plant I didn't want and planted some sage in its place. I watered the potted plants. Next I'll have a shower cause weeding makes me itchy all over, then I'm making bruschetta for dinner. Yum.

What I didn't do:
Buy chicken for the dogs. Buy black paint. Pay bills.

Tomorrow is another day.


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Beyond The Picket Fence

Thursday, 18 October 2012

day 18 - suncatchers

Last night I ended up doing a little more than I expected. I stayed up till way past my bedtime and made two suncatchers. With another two to finish tonight, I've made 4 for the lady who ordered them. I figure if I can finish 2-3 more before I see her, she'll have more to choose from.

These two are made using Wayne's wire creations. The one above is delicate and pretty, a flower with clear and pinkish crystals. It'd look great hanging in a window.

The one below is centered around a flattened antique spoon which Wayne has added wire embelishments to. This one is about 12in long all together.

The other ones I'm working on are recycled and re-purposed items. Stay tuned.

What I did today:
I finally cleaned up the mess on the guest bed. When I removed the linen closet from the living room I ended up with a huge amount of doonas, sheets and blankets that needed a new home. This is a small house with small rooms and a huge living room. I only have one wardrobe in the guest room and its really small... I'm cutting down on the amount of doonas I have and will get some vacuum bags for underbed storage for what I keep.

In short: one thing ticked off the list - clean up the guest room and sort the bedding.

Actually, that's two ticks. Yippee!

I also brought the ironing board in from the shed (we don't iron in this house - its against our religion). That's one tick off the sub-list in my make cushions and curtains from old flour sacks project.

Of course, before I can do anything I need to buy a new cover for it. The one on it is pretty disgusting... Its not handled the shed very well and I think mice might have been using the top of it as a lover's lookout...


So one thing crossed off the list, one more added to it.

What I didn't do:
Go back to the tip shop to pick up a couple of things I saw yesterday which I'm thinking I might need want.

Then again... I'm rethinking it now. Maybe I don't want need them after all.


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Wednesday, 17 October 2012

day 17 - more junk

What I did today:
Bought food for the dogs. Bought chaff and pellets for the horses. Went to the tip shop and scored a few things. Went to work, but that doesn't count on the blog. That's my 'other life'.

What I didn't do:
The night is young. I have plenty of time to not do a ton of stuff on my list.

Till then, here are a few photos of my scores... The hessian sacks I got at an antique shop last week. The other bits and pieces are new.


Interesting, no?

I really need to do something about my addiction to junk.


day 16 - over the hump

It was another beautiful day today. We've had a few good ones lately... the kind when I feel I have the best job in the world.

What other jobs let you take long walks in beautiful weather?

From Anzac Park in Lindisfarne, a view of the Tasman Bridge.

The yacht club in Lindisfarne.

I took a client out for a long walk today and enjoyed the views, met some nice animals, and just had a nice time.

Like this young magpie.

And this gorgeous bush. I have no idea what it is, and most of the year it looks totally unimpressive. Then in early spring it blooms to a cloud of brilliant purple.

On the to do list? 
I washed dishes. Cooked dinner. Folded washing. Pooper-scooped the yard.

What I didn't do?
Anything else. I was just too tired.