Sunday, 26 July 2015

what i've done and how i spoiled myself

Since Wayne has been in hospital and recouperating, I've been the one feeding the horses morning and night.

As such, I've had to go into the feed room morning and night... and every time I opened the door I was greeted by the aroma of mouse pee.

Eech. Yes. Mouse pee. I felt like scrubbing out the inside of my nose every time I went in there.

See, I sorted out and cleaned up the feed room about a year ago. Since then it deteriorated and deteriorated into the mess it was up until this morning. Sorry, there are no before pics.

Part of it was my fault. I used to store all my timber in the feed room along the left hand wall. I also stored some old kitchen chairs in there that I planned to fix. I did remove my timber a while ago but the chairs were being used to toss horse rugs over.

All good in theory. Then came Wayne. The pile of horse rugs got bigger and messier, no longer tossed over the chairs but piled on them, falling off them, pooling on the floor. Bags of horse feed with small mouse holes in them stood along in front of the old freezer we store horse pellets in. The old bench I use for general horse medical stuff was covered in molasses, mice began to nest in the rugs, empty feed bags and the plastic bags carrots or licorice come in were all over the place...

I would go in there every now and then and pick up bags and put them in the rubbish. Every now and then I'd sweep the floor, wipe up the molasses spills... but I finally had enough.

Today I went in there and hit the place with a vengeance. Firstly I sorted the horse rugs into a 'cut off the buckles and throw the rugs away' and a 'keep' pile. Then I bagged up all the rubbish and swept the floor. I put all the feed bags into a large chaff bag to give to a friend who re-uses them.

Then I got a couple of pieces of leftover pine lining (left over from our kitchen remodel) and put them on the walls. I had to use a nail to find the studs to screw the pine into (its an old house, the studs are all over the place!). I used whatever large hooks I had for rugs to hang on.

Would you believe the place no longer stinks?

I'm so pleased with the new, clean feed room. Which will no doubt stay clean till Wayne is well enough to take over feeding the horses...

The large box on the right holds 2 bags of chaff. The old bench in the middle holds medical bits and pieces, the old freezer holds pellets. I put the old pink bin in between the chaff bin and the bench for rubbish. Hopefully it'll get used.

On the left I've piled up feed bins and some buckets and my carrot basket. I made that out of a galvanised metal basket I bought at a tip shop and some old legs off a side table I pulled apart. Its perfect, I lined it with an old summer horse rug so the smaller carrots don't fall through and it keeps them fresh as it allows air to circulate around them.

Meanwhile, here are some other small updates to my workshop in the casita. I re-used some old boxes to make shelves. I love this new little storage corner for things like spray paint, glues, fillers, etc. Nails hold my levels and some old tins screwed into the lining on the wall hold pen, paint tubes and box cutters. Where the wall lining stopped there was a gap I often lost things down. I fixed that by putting in a bit of timber and creating a new shelf.

On the other side is my original shelf which used to hold not just the small paint tins but also the spray paint. A basket for odds and ends, some tins for paint scrapers and more shelves made where the wall lining ends. One old rake head holds brushes and another holds scrapers.

And my Haywood's sign is up on the wall properly!

I've also done some rearranging of work benches and stuff but I'm not ready to show it off yet. I mean, I did organise it, but then I got to working on things I never finished so... its messy again.

Meanwhile our old kettle has been playing up. Everytime we boiled water it was like a flood on the benchtop. I decided it was time for a new kettle.

I also decided I deserved a little spoiling so I got one of these:

Yep. That's right. I bought a Smeg kettle, one of those kettles which, for the price, should not only boil your water but should make the coffee and serve it to you in bed. I got it in the mint green of course, to match the kitchen doors.

I love my new kettle.


Tuesday, 21 July 2015

cheap cubbies makeover

Here I am. Still alive.

And barely crafting.

I've done a few small things lately, and one not so small and pretty stupid. But more about that later.

Here is one of my small projects. I bought 4 of these little babies from Kmart, but a smaller version with 9 drawers.

They're just mdf and cardboard. Cheap.

I thought they'd make perfect storage for all the little crap things I like to keep around. Like buttons, crystals, beads, small found objects.

You know. The kind of stuff that fills small containers which collect in larger boxes or fill drawers and cupboards and when you need something, you know you have one but you can't find it anywhere cause you're sure it was in a small plastic jar with a red lid, but where did I put it, I was sure it was in the box under my desk...

Or is that just me?

ANYWAY, the little cabinets have to be glued together and painted. I picked one of my miss-tint sample paint pots for the cabinet colours, a kind of warm grey. It goes with both the tones of scrapbook paper I also bought for the drawers.

One set of cubbies are already full, the other is still waiting for me to get around to it. They'll live in the office where they'll (theoretically) make looking for things easier.

Here's a closeup of a tin and wire fish made by Wayne. Cute isn't it?

So, back to the stupid big thing I did? Well a couple of weeks ago I decided I was sick and tired of the swamp in the back corner of our yard and knew that if I dug a trench I could redirect the water from the yard.

It seemed easy enough. The ground was really soft due to all the rain...

But afterwards I was sore.

I'm still sore.

Every time I think I'm better I'll do something - like get some wood for the fire, pick up a bag, get a cup of tea, get up - and the pain is back. I'm walking like a bent old woman.

Meanwhile Wayne is in hospital. He's had spinal surgery. It went well but he's out of action for a while and I'm keeping busy. I have all the animals to take care of, work, hospital visits. If I wasn't sore I'd be taking advantage of his absence to remodel the bathroom or paint the living room.


So I amuse myself with small things, like these drawers.

At least they're handy.


Sunday, 12 July 2015

another thing you can make with old shutters

This is a project I finished last weekend but which I couldn't photograph till this yesterday. It was still gloomy and overcast but better than trying to photograph it in the dark after work.

So, here it is! Our new 'gas bottle and bin hiding' box!

This is what you'd see as you came to the front of our house - my little window shelf with the pretty succulents and a small cement slab holding gas bottles and stuff to go to the rubbish bin. Not particularly attractive. Which is why I never have any photos that show it.

I always planned to make some kind of cupboard to hide them. I had these old shutters (louvre doors really) which I'd bought at an op shop a few years ago. I'd used them to make a screen to cover the hot water cylinder when it was on the front porch. When we moved the hot water cylinder to the side of the house we no longer needed the screen.

But I never throw anything away if I can help it. Things have more than one lifetime around here.

The shutters were too big for the new gas bottle box so I had to cut them down. I had two narrow ones and two wide ones so I worked out which would work best - the narrow ones on the sides, the wider ones in front as doors. 

They were already painted the same colour as the house so they were perfect. I cut them down to the right height and joined them at the corners using hinges. I used small brackets to attach the sides to the wall and keep it all in place.  

The lid is hinged above the box so that it slopes. This is for two reasons. Firstly I just thought it looked nice. Secondly I don't want this to become another flat surface for things to accumulate.

Now all we need to do is lift the lid, use the hook to keep it open, then swing the doors open to access the gas bottles. 

There's a small bin in there for empty bottles and I put the kitchen rubbish on top of it every night cause I hate stinky rubbish in the house. In the morning we take it down to the bin on our way to work. Having the rubbish inside the box means less temptation for the dogs to go excavating for goodies. 

Not that they would.

My dogs are well behaved.

But in case a possum comes visiting. You know.

Of course, nothing ever comes together easily. The leftover bit of door I planned to use for the lid wasn't long enough. The solution was obvious: I found an old bit of timber to extend it to the right length. 

I even added some initials.

Did I ever show you the gorgeous little watering spout I got at a garage sale?

So here it is. Our new gas bottle box.

Ok, one thing finished and crossed off the list.

Another 5 million to go.


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Saturday, 11 July 2015

poodle playdate

Today was a busy day. And a fun day. Our friends Mary and Zephyr came over for a visit (and grooming session). Usually when Zephyr comes over to play we all go out for a walk in the top paddock which has the best view on our property. Then, once the poodles are nice and dirty, we go back and they all get a groom.

Its actually quite handy, cause by the time Zeph is ready for a groom so are Montana and Romeo. Mary comes up and together we groom all three poodles in a production line kind of arrangement. That way they're all clean at the same time.

I love clean poodles.

And the weather wasn't too bad either. Overcast but not really cold, and the forecast rain didn't turn up either. Good weather for playing with crazy dogs.

Its been pretty cold lately, often below zero overnight and lots of frost in the morning.

The garden is struggling a bit with all the frost lately and I'm already sick of drying our clothes in the living room in front of the heater. I can't wait for more sun and longer days...

I'm now working 5 days a week at my 'day job' which means less time for playing at home. I have no idea how I managed to work full time, 5 days a week, for so many years and still managed to get things done!


Thursday, 9 July 2015

we got one of them there run-amoks

Yep. We got a new truck. Well, new to us.

Its a VW Amarok.

Pretty cool.

Wayne is one of those 'trade a car in before it gets too old and while its still worth something as a trade-in' people.

I'm one of those 'buy a car, own it and drive it till it stops' people. Not really. But then again I'd never consciously made a decision to trade in a car in order to upgrade to something newer before.

Anyway, we started discussing the idea of trading in and upgrading our Mazda BT50 to a newer model truck... sometime in the future...

We weren't in a rush. The Mazda was 8 years old by now. We got it as a 5 year old car. I only had 2 more years left on the carloan... I was in no rush to start over, for sure.

We'd been looking at trucks on the road and giving them points out of ten for style and looks. And we were gathering info on their performance and features from wherever we could find them. We were considering looking at a later model BT50, an Isuzu Dmax and the Amarok.

I loved my BT50 so we had that at the top of the list and one of Wayne's sons owns an Amarok and is really happy with it, so it was up there too. Plus I love the chunky design.

Then we made the fatal mistake of stopping to have a look at trucks at a local car dealer. The one we bought the BT50 from incidentally.

We went in 'to look' and came out 4 hours later with a car.

Ok, not exactly, but every time we made a move to leave saying 'we're just looking' we were kind of steered back in like a bugs caught in a spider web. Or being drawn to the light...

Whatever. Its done. My beloved BT50 is gone and I have another truck and guess what? I love it!

We got a good deal, its a 2013 model and we got it with a canopy and tow bar for a good price. Plus I can now say I drive a Run Amok!


Saturday, 4 July 2015

wire work

Its been a while since I posted, and this post was something I started before I pulled my disappearing act. So, without further ado, here are some cute little cups I made to hang in my kitchen to add a bit of whimsy.

They've been sitting on the window ledge since I made them but when I finally get them hung up I'll share some pics.

Meanwhile I apologise for the silence. Things have been... odd. I've been really tired lately. To the point of coming home and just plonking in front of the TV and fighting sleep till I can justify going to bed.

Maybe its just winter and the darkness. I dunno. 

Thing is I haven't felt like posting, or doing much of anything else. My mom would freak if she saw our house right now.

...Actually she might not freak out. She may feel vindicated. She never thought I was a good housekeeper.

I'm of the 'no one ever regretted not doing more housework on their deathbed' school.

I try to keep things organised and I hate filth, but messy I can live with. Obviously.

Still, I hate the mess (it messes with my mind, ha ha) even while I avoid doing anything about it. When I have time and feel a stirring of energy I prefer to use it to make something or work in the workshop. Cleaning is so boring.

Anyway, I thought it was time to touch base to say I'm still breathing and that one day soon I'll have some photos and stuff to share. However, it will get harder for a while cause I'll be working 5 days a week at my 'regular' job, fitting in everything else in the two remaining days... Hurry up longer days!