Wednesday, 18 May 2016

an orange phone table

Sharing another item I'm selling. This time a 60s phone table. Its in really good condition but I didn't like the formica top - boring! Again, there are no 'before' pics cause when I decide to do something I often just start without grabbing the camera.


Montana gave me a hand with this job. She checked my work to make sure it was up to standard...


Basically what I did was use the offcuts of tassie oak planks I had, cut them to size, attached them to the formica top with glue, then sanded and planed them to create an even surface. Ok, not totally even. What's the point of going old wood and making it perfect? You want some character!



Sanding and planing ended up taking off the weathered look so I had to bring it back. I didn't want to stain the wood but wanted it to have some depth. I used another of my trusty artist acrylic paint washes. This time I used burnt sienna first to get the brown tones, then I used some black, especially in the joins.

The colours have brought out the beauty of the timber and its way prettier than the formica could ever be. The varnish on top just gives it a lovely finish which invites you to run your hand over the surface.


I have this for sale on gumtree and facebook for now, but I'd love to keep it if I had room for it.

z

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Monday, 16 May 2016

industrial rustic table


Today I'm revisiting a project I did a couple of years ago. Not sure exactly when I made this table, but it was Wayne's second desk for quite a while.

The base of the table is an old office desk from the tip shop. The top was ruined when I got it but that was ok, I got it with the plan of putting a salvaged timber top on it. That's one plan I actually followed through on!


Up till now I've been quite lucky with salvaged timber - when we bought our farm there was tons of old wood just lying around the place, exposed to the weather and rotting away. We saved and reused, then stored what was left over. Wayne fixed and extended the stable using this wood. We revamped our woodshed using it. We've gone through a lot of it, but its not all gone yet.


I went through what's left of the timber to find 4 pieces that matched. I didn't. But I found some which were close enough. That's the beauty of rustic... it doesn't have to be perfect!

I had to brace the timber under the table to hold the slats together, and I used the holes in the metal frame to screw the top on. I then gave it a light sand to make sure there were no loose bits and to even out the worst of the wear.


Of course that ended up taking away the gorgeous grey weathered look I wanted.

Easy fixed. Using a mix of acrylic artist paints I gave the timber a wash, brushing on watery paint then rubbing it off, till I got the colour I wanted.

I used black wood putty in nail holes and filled the gaps between slats with gap filler. When that was dry I gave it a couple of coats of semi gloss polyurethane to make it easy to keep clean.


It was great as a desk. For a while. But it doesn't have drawers. So I made Wayne a new desk (the less said about that one the better!), and this one is now for sale. If I had a large kitchen I'd keep it for an industrial rustic farmhouse look... but our kitchen is too small for such a long table. Its too cool to end up as a workbench, thus I'm trying to find it a new home.

Sometimes you just have to part with things in order to make room for new creations!

z


Sunday, 15 May 2016

my first big love


You got it.

My first big love was David Cassidy.

On the way to the radio station to do our show today* we swung past the community market and I found this in one of the stalls. When I saw it I said "Oh, David Cassidy! I had the hots for him real bad when I was 13!"

To which the stall holder said "And still do!" as I oohed and ahhed at the photos and memories.

I guess he was right. You never do get over your first big love. How can you get over that smile with that one crooked tooth, those long dark eyelashes and those beautiful brown eyes?


I'm guessing never. He set the standard for the type of guy I'm a sucker for: deep brown eyes, long lashes, a mouthful of (big) teeth, with at least a couple of crooked ones in there. Dimples are a bonus but not a requirement.


But get a load of this book! Seriously. I'd have killed for this when I was 13.

"How to make David happy" is just one of the amazing articles in it. I bet the owner of this book read it like a bible and slept with it under her pillow. I know cause that's what I'd have done....



This one takes the cake: "How David wants you to look"! 


But look at the photo of David in his corduroy trousers that end about half a mile above his ankles and his platform boots.

The seventies really were the era of fashion best forgotten.

This stuff is priceless. Did they do this sort of thing for every teen idol back then? No wonder the guy hit the skids. Who can live up to this sort of marketing!

Sheesh.

Anyway, it was a great trip down memory lane, with a bit of nostalgia for the feelings of adoration only a teen can feel for her favourite star.

*I mentioned a radio show. Its been a few weeks now that Wayne and I have been doing a 2 hour show at the local station on Sunday afternoons. Between 12 and 2pm. We play (or should I say *I* play) rockabilly, country, some hillbilly, some country swing, some rhythm and blues, some big band stuff. Pretty much the type of music you can dance to or tap your feet to. The stuff I used to dance to when I lived in Melbourne and used to go dancing 3-4 times a week.

We're loving it!

Sunday is our day now. We sleep in, have brunch out, do the show, lots of laughs and great music, and then follow up with some coffee in town and perhaps bump into old friends. What a great way to spend a Sunday.

If you aren't in range of the station (and lets face it, who is outside New Norfolk?) you can catch the show online at the TYGA FM website.

So there!

:)

z

Friday, 13 May 2016

the couch - finally

A long long time ago I talked about how much I wanted a new couch. I had my heart set on leather, brown leather. I really really wanted a brown leather couch. I was sick and tired of fabric couches which ended up being covered in dog hair and smelling of dog. Thanks Barney. Poodles don't shed! Or smell doggy.

My first preference was a chesterfield. An old chesterfield. Brown. Worn. Soft.


But do you have idea how expensive those things are? As expensive as a new leather couch. Plus almost impossible to find. Sure, I found a few I drooled over... in Sydney. The price of the couch plus shipping would have killed me.

Then I began to think of club lounges. The solid, chunky blocky type.


Not as shiny as that... softer, cosier...

Couldn't find one I liked that I could afford.

So I began looking at stores in Hobart and found this one at Freedom. The Hermitage.

Not exactly the thickest of chunky club lounges, but very comfy, in a lovely dark brown, studs at the bottom... I was ready to buy.

If I could have afforded it.

So I started saving.

Then, somewhere along the line I began to think of tan leather... lighter colours, not so heavy looking... I think it was the mid-century looking TV divider I built which changed my mind on style of couch. So I began to look for a couch like this one...


Better yet this, Freedom's Copenhagen 3 seater.

I was totally convinced I wanted this one. I dreamed of it. It was even more expensive than the Hermitage, but I wanted it.

Till I went in and sat on it... and slumped back and almost slid off it.

It was too deep, I couldn't sit in it properly. I'd have preferred that when I was younger and could get up off a couch without having to roll off, but not so great now I'm older, fatter and I almost need help hauling myself off deep low furniture.

Bean bags are a nightmare these days!

Anyway, I spend a lot of time in Freedom testing their couches. In the end I picked this one. The Bonnie 3 seater.

Not as long as the Hermitage, not as deep as the Copenhagen, not as soft as most of their couches. A firmer, higher couch. Easier to sit up properly in and get up out of.

I can get off this one without looking like a floundering whale.

Here it is in the living room.



I need to make new cushion covers. I want a bigger rug. I need to get rid of the awful carpet. I want to get rid of wires everywhere. I want a full wall of books behind the couch but till then I wonder if I should paint the timber bookcases white so they're all the same colour.

But at least I have my leather couch!

And bonus: the dogs don't like it! They only get on it if I'm on it and have a throw over me. Fantastic. I was worried they'd damage the leather with their nails.

Another bonus is that Wayne won't sit on it either - he's terrified he might ruin it and I'll kill him.

z

Monday, 9 May 2016

apple bread - a pinterest recipe test run

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I've been AWOL for ages, then I finally come back and share a recipe! Not a craft project, not a home improvement project, not artwork, no furniture makeovers...

I have the nerve to come back after a long absence with a recipe!

Geez.

I feel your frustration.

But I have an excuse. I've been busy! I ran out of gas! I had a flat tyre! I didn't have enough money for cab fare! My tux didn't come back from the cleaners! An old friend came in from out of town! Someone stole my car! There was an earthquake! A terrible flood! Locusts! It wasn't my fault! I swear!

(must be channeling John Belushi)

But we all have to eat, right? So I made cake.

This is the cake I decided to try (click image for original recipe).


Holly from Spend with Pennies calls it Apple Bread with Cinnamon.

This is what mine looked like the day after. I was too busy eating it the day I made it.


You'll notice two things: mine is darker brown (I took the photo under artificial light without flash) and its drier. I probably cooked it a bit longer than I should have...

But its still yummy!

This is her recipe with comments, I didn't change it:

Apple Bread with Cinnamon
 
½ tablespoon ground cinnamon (me, I like cinnamon, I'd use more... its not enough!)
⅓ cup white sugar
⅔ cup brown sugar, divided
¼ cup butter, softened
¼ cup applesauce (Holly said you can skip this if you double the butter... I used applesauce. Too much apple is not possible.)
2 eggs, well beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or, like me, just pour it into the bowl and guess what a teaspoon is)
1½ cups all-purpose flour (or plain flour if you prefer, or live in Australia)
2 teaspoons baking powder
⅓ cup milk
1 large or 2 small apples, peeled and chopped obviously (I used 2 smaller apples but I think I'll go for broke and use 3 next time, just cause I can.)
1 tablespoon butter, melted
 
Instructions - the way I did it

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F or approx 200 degrees C. Grease and flour a loaf pan. I skipped that and just lined the loaf pan with baking paper. Why scrub if you don't have to? 

Combine ⅓ cup of the brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and set aside. Next time I'm going to put in a bit more cinnamon. Or maybe I have defective cinnamon.

With mixer on medium, beat white sugar, remaining brown sugar and butter until fluffy. Mix in applesauce. Add well beaten eggs and vanilla. Yeah. I did that, in that order. My sugar and butter refused to go fluffy cause there wasn't enough moisture. So added eggs and it went fluffy. And vanilla and applesauce and it was a bit curdled looking... Eh. What the heck... I was going to cook anyway, right?

Stir together flour and baking powder. I sifted them together and then mixed. Can't hurt to be careful they mix well. Add flour to egg mixture and stir just until combined. Do not overmix!! Add milk. Ok... now this bit I didn't understand. Add milk after you've mixed the flour into the batter... after?

Ok. I mixed the flour in and didn't overmix. I didn't want the world to end. Even though I was worried I'd have some floury unmixed bits of batter in my cake... And I might have added the milk before I'd totally combined, not overmixed, the mixture....

Pour half of the batter into a greased and floured loaf pan. Sprinkle with ½ of the apples and ½ of the brown sugar mix. 

Stir the remaining apples into the remaining batter and pour into the pan. Top with remaining brown sugar mixture.

I see the theory of this. However, in my endeavour to improve every recipe I come across, I think that next time I'll do it this way: Pour half the mixture into the baking paper lined pan you don't have to scrub later, top with half the apples and less than half of the brown sugar mix. Do as she says for the top, but put more of the sugar and cinnamon mix on top cause its what gives you the caramelised crunchy bits you'll want more of!

Bake approx. 40 minutes. Remove from oven, brush topping with melted butter. Brush? The crumbly sugar mix? I think not... I poured the melted butter over. I think it got the idea. 

Continue baking an additional 5-10 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Don't know about you, but I use a slightly longer skewer when testing a cake. About 10 inches longer. I already burned my finger when melting the butter!


Let cool 10 minutes and remove from pan. Agreed. But about that baking time. I did the 45min thing, the butter thing, then put it back in... but every time I tested it, my skewer came out coated in batter. I'd give it another 5 min, then another 5. In the end I think I overcooked it a bit. 


All in all, I think this was a success. A great cake and I'm definitely making it again. I like it even better than banana cake or carrot cake!

And one day I might even work out how to use an oven properly.

z