Friday, December 31, 2010

Let's get this party started!!!!!

Happy New Year everyone from all of us at Number 10.

To everyone who has dropped by, left a comment or just hovered for a look see...thank you!

I really appreciate your support, your comments and your bloggy friendship

I truly hope your year ends with a "bang"!...and 2011 brings you health, happiness...and lots of fun!!

Take care of yourselves, OK?!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

New Beginnings

I thought I'd try a new colour scheme for the blog...what do you think?

A bit bland....or fresh?

I thought it was time for a bit of a change, you know, being December 29 and all.

I might leave it this way for a few days to see if it grows on me. 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


I've been looking around for some wicker lamp shades to put in my dining room...something like this one below, but not necessarily exactly the same.

I've seen them around the internet, but they're a bit pricey and...they're overseas.

Does anyone know where I can pick up a couple in Melbourne for a reasonable price? They're for table lamps.

Monday, December 20, 2010

'Twas the Saturday night before Christmas......

...and all through the house, no-one was sleeping because it's the day when the family heads to Number 10 for the annual Chrissy get together.

This year's menu consisted of my glazed ham, chicken wrapped in prosciutto, (thanks Stacey) roast beef and scalloped potatoes with some greens on the side.

This year, for dessert, I thought I'd try three things... a white chocolate and berry cheesecake...

A three tiered brown sugar pavlova and some (modified) white Christmas ice cream cones, thanks to Valli Little from Delicious Magazine

Everything turned out fine. Some were a little more fiddly than others, like the ice-cream cones.

Some were extremely easy with no hassles at all, like the chicken in prosciutto....

If you'd like the recipes, then you can go here to check them out. I'll be posting them over the next couple of days.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Front hallway goes Christmasy

I had some branches and twigs left over from my "Christmas tree" so thought I'd put them to good use and decorate the front give it a bit of a Christmas feel...

I'd run out of white paint but had a little bit of silver left over, so gave the branches a good squirt.

The lights are battery operated ones from Ikea from a couple of years ago... The little birds on the tree are a couple of years old as well. The little silver George Jensen angels were a gift from last year and the crystals are from an old chandelier that MONT pulled apart.

Right, well it's back to the kitchen for me to start planning Saturday night's menu. The family's coming over with all the kids so it's time to get serious about Christmas food. Glazed ham, rib roast, seafood and to finish things off...a layered pavlova and a berry and white chocolate cheesecake.

I think that'll just about finish me off ! !

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Pared down Christmas

I've decided to do away with our usual Christmas tree this year... and instead, go with something a little more...natural.

I found this on the side of the road while driving home from work the other day and jammed it into the back of the car.

MONT and I also had a little drive up to the block in Kinglake to hunt out some dried branches (as well as plant a tree up there) to add to the twiggy Christmas. They've been sprayed white and will do just nicely to hang our decorations on.

Also...I've decided I'm not buying anything new at all as far as decorations go this year and am making do with what I have...which won't be difficult seeing I have enough tinsel and lights to deck out a small city.

So's what it all looks like after a quick squirt of paint

It was good being able to use up a couple of half full cans of spray paint.

and here it is all decorated.

The branches are standing in a long spaghetti jar that's been weighed down in the bottom with a $2 bag of grey stones from the Reject Shop.

It's a little stark, but I quite like it

Thursday, December 9, 2010

We're in!!

We moved into our new bedroom this week...and boy am I glad ! !

The room isn't quite "finished" yet though. There's still some tweaking to do. I  have to hang the photos/pictures on the walls and bring the mats in and Bill has to deliver the wardrobe doors, which are at the painters....but apart from that it's just about done.

The next painting project is the front hallway...but that can wait till after Christmas...much too much to do at the moment to be thinking about painting.

I'm finishing off the old coffee table with some tung oil, have to put the timber top and final coat of paint on that old chest of drawers and start decorating the "tree". We're not having the traditional tree this year, it's going to be a twiggy affair...more on that later.'s back to work for me

Monday, December 6, 2010

Coffee Table - Before & After

Remember that old coffee table base I found lying on the side of the road recently?

Not very attractive huh?

Well, here she is now.

I scrubbed and hosed her down in the garden, tightened up all the screws to make her a little more stable.... then gave her a good sand and 2 coats of undercoat, before a top coat of white satin.

I bought a ready made timber top for her and MONT used his router to give it a nice edge

I'm liking it....not too "shabby chic" distressed...just about right for Number 10 I think. So, there you have it.



I still have to coat the top. I was thinking of white washing it, but MONT likes it I'll give it a couple of coats of tung oil and that should do it. It's going to look very nice sitting on the back deck.

PS. Yes, that is our new bedroom and no, we're not in it yet. But that's all about to change tonight. We finished the skirting boards and architraves yesterday afternoon and we start moving furniture in there as soon as MONT gets home. YIPPEEEE!

Good bye lounge room, hello bedroom!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Painting 101

I'm always looking to improve my knowledge about lots of thing and the other day I had the good fortune to meet a master painter on a job MONT was working at.  Number 10 is the third house I've painted but one can never have too much knowledge about things like this, so I asked him for some tips on how to get a professional finish.

Here's what Craig told me. Preparation is EVERYTHING! If you cut corners on your prep, it WILL matter how well you paint the room.

Always paint a room from top to bottom. Ceiling and cornice first, then walls, trim, like architraves and skirting boards and finally, the floors.

When painting a ceiling, use the fluffiest roller you can find and do the first coat across the "light source" in the room...when applying the second coat, go towards the light source. For instance, if there's a window in the room, work across it first, then back and forth towards the window for the second coat. That way you'll pick up any bits you've missed or have left a bit "hungry".

For the walls, use a roller with a medium nap and start about a roller width in from the corner of the wall and use long sweeping strokes instead of quick, short ones.

The lighter the paint, the bigger the room will look, the darker the paint, the smaller it'll look because it'll feel closed in. Also, when trying to choose a colour, paint a sample of it into a corner of the room where the walls meet so the paint reflects off itself and gives you a better idea of how it's going to look.

When painting a long hallway where there are a number of joins in the plaster sheets... minimise the chance of seeing any variation in the wall by painting with only long, sweeping, vertical roller strokes...

Finally from Craig: Take your time. Rushing it will mean you cut corners and it will show.

A couple from me. One of the best products I've found for patching dings and holes in plaster is Cornice Cement.  Despite other fillers promising amazing results, the best one for me has been plain old Cornice Cement. It doesn't shrink, you can mix as much or as little as you like, it's sands off beautifully and it's cheap!

Buy the best brush you can afford and always get the proper masking tape for going around the skirting boards etc.....I know someone who used regular old masking tape once and left it on a little longer than necessary. They spent hours trying to peel it off and then had to neutralise the sticky glug that was left behind.

If you have any tips of your own, I'd love to hear them. The more information the better I say

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Yeah Baby!!

Have you ever had an experience where your head is just sort of "fuzzy" and your mind keeps wandering?

Welcome to my psychedelic world.

Now that the mind blowingly smelly gloss stuff has dried on the bedroom floor and I've been able to get in there and open some windows, the smell has started to dissipate and my head is, finally, clearing.

Phew...I thought I was way back in the 60's there for a moment

Far out!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Friday progress.....

The final coat of gloss is going on the bedroom floor as I type... but I thought I'd show you how it's looking so far.

This is after the second coat and MONT and I are really happy with the way the floor's turned out, especially seeing I had to go through all that hassle to find floorboards to match so they could be "slotted" in with the old ones. You can see the difference in colour up in the corner. But once the bed and bedside tables go in, you won't even know.

Yep...really happy.

...and here's a little Friday flower...inspiration from Sarah at Molly's Maison..

MONT picked it from our garden last night. It's the first gardenia to bloom on our bush out back....the perfume is amazing!

Have a great Monday I should be able to show you some more progress...fingers crossed

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Look at this....

Isn't this room gorgeous? Leigh posted it on her beautiful blog, Brabourne Farm and when I saw it I thought "YES"!!!

This could be our bedroom, or at least, our version of this .

I'm not that keen on having a bath in my boudoir and MONT would not, under any circumstances, allow a chandelier in there either. But the white, the timber floor, the airiness, the curtains and light....they all add up to LOVELY!

Thanks for posting this's given me more inspiration and hope of getting our bedroom "right"

The first sanding and coat of clear gloss went on the floors yesterday, the second is coming this morning...and I have to say it's all looking rather clean and shiny.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Decision Made

Call me a coward, call me boring, call me indecisive. Yep, guilty as charged

But you can also add practical, because I've discarded the idea of painting the bedroom grey and have gone with what I know... Antique White USA...albeit half strength.

Here's the new cornice after the first undercoat

...and here's the end of the room that looked so darn bad last week. It has just a light undercoat on it as well. I swear the plasterer did such a good job!!! You cannot see any sign of where the old part of the ceiling meets with the new. It's marvellous!

Now, there are a couple of reasons for this colour decision... while hunting out all the painting gear I found a 10 litre can of paint in Antique White USA. There was about 6 litres in it and I also had a can of plain white low sheen, so the two were carefully and thoroughly mixed together and that's what I decided to go with. I thought it would be a little bit wasteful if I just let it sit there and go and spend a couple of hundred dollars on a new colour that I had no way of ensuring I would love.

The second reason was I couldn't be confident I could find a shade of grey that I absolutely loved and could live with, without first seeing it on someones' walls

So there you have it.  If I eventually come across a grey that takes my eye, the paint brush and roller will be brought out again and I'll re-do the room, but until that's off white for us.

The first top coat was applied yesterday...I'm just about to head in there to put the final coat on now... YIPPEE!!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Party Time ! !

I would have to be one of the luckiest (and richest) people in the entire world ! !

In the past week alone, I've received emails telling me I've won millions of dollars in various postcode, suburb, email and Microsoft lotteries....Not to mention the people, mostly bank executives from Nigeria and various parts of Africa, imploring me to contact them so they can pass on gazillions of dollars they have left over from their institutions.

Then there's the cancer stricken Nanna from the UK who wants to leave me all of her money as well...I mean, is that the most amazing and luckiest thing you've ever heard of?

Yep, I'll be soaking in it soon...

Let's party people!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

What a difference a day makes

Can you believe the difference a few days really make?

Here's our newly plastered bedroom....

This is what it looked like a few days ago.

Plaster, or as our North American friends call it, "drywall" is one of those marvellous, versatile, relatively cheap products that, if hung and finished well, can really make a house.

I'm so, so pleased the cornice worked out so well. It covers a multitude of sins and looks sensational.

I have to say I really love plaster. I love the way it looks just before you paint it when it's all smooth with all the gaps filled in and to the painting!!


I won't bore you with any more pics of the bedroom until it's finished now. I don't want to bore you with unlimited updates of mess and painting etc... I've got a bit carried away I guess because I'm kicking myself  I didn't take any photos when I first bought the house and only a few during the building of the extension and I didn't want to miss this stage of the renovation.

So there you have it...the next pics you'll see will be of the completed bedroom

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Am I lucky or what?

I found another little gem on a footpath near us the other day. It was lying next to a pile of stuff and I nearly got whiplash when I saw it, but I was driving and couldn't stop.... so I called MONT from work and told him to skedaddle over there and pick it up for me...and guess what?


By the look of it, it's been left in a shed or out in the open for a long time as it's all weathered and split in a couple of places on the turned legs.

But that's fine by'll look great once it's sanded back, gets a couple of coats of paint and I work out what sort of top would look best.

Natural timber or a painted finish...maybe a white-wash? We'll see. I'm thinking it might be nice to have it on the back deck, so we can place our drinks and nibbles on it of a Summer evening. Sounds like a plan to me

Monday, November 15, 2010

Ahhhh Dior

The little Dioressence rose has opened up and I have to say is absolutely gorgeous!

The colour has toned down a little and it's bloomed into a luscious mauve....much more like the photograph on the information tag

It really is lovely and will look great in the garden next year...I just have to choose a spot where it will be seen and appreciated.

Oh, and the perfume's pretty wonderful too!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Bedroom Update

OK, back to the wonderful room that is consuming my every waking moment...

As you can see, there are rather large gaps along the top of the walls. MONT pulled the cornice down and was surprised that it came away relatively easily and with minimal damage. The ceiling looks like it's floating in mid-air

He's also wired in a couple of down lights, so we can read in bed, and put in a two way switch (concealed just behind the bed) so we don't have to get out of bed to turn off the main light.

Plaster goes up today and the cornice goes up on Monday. Hopefully, it'll be ready for painting by Wednesday, which gives me enough time to finish it before the floor man turns up to perform his magic.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Which Grey ?

Finding the "right" colour for your home can be problematic, because making a decision based on a small colour card can be a long, difficult process.

Right now, the interior of Number 10 is painted in Dulux: Antique White USA. The ceilings are plain white and all the trim: the doors, window frames, architraves and skirting boards are white as well. I opted for AW-USA because a friend had painted her lounge in that colour and I could see how it looked on a large scale at different times of the day and in different lights. Perfect. Basic. Clean. Simple.

But it's going to be a different story for our bedroom....or at least that's my plan at this moment.

After seeing the photos here of the Queensland house that's up for sale, I started thinking about painting the bedroom grey...but which one?

I went to my local Bristol store today to get some colour samples and I bought a small pot of a colour called QUARRY, but I fear it may be a little dark. Half strength may be better. I also checked out Harbour Mist as well as some other greys (dawn frost, imperial mist, mountain peak) from other brands...but WHICH ONE ? ?  Do I go for a cool or warm grey? What will look best with white? ...and which one am I least likely to tire of in a couple of weeks?

Anyone have a favourite grey I could try? I'm open to suggestions.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A little colour in the garden

Let's get out of the chaos that is our bedroom renovation for a day, at least, and head into the garden.

I'm not sure why, but lately, I seem to be leaning away from my usual white on white on cream...towards a bit of blue, a smidge of lilac and a hint of mauve.

I bought some roses a few weeks ago and am really happy (so far) with the way they're going. This one was on sale and looking a bit sad, so it came home with me. I hope that dark pink colour fades a bit!

This is how it should look.
I also bought some bare rooted roses on-line and they were delivered in just a couple of weeks!

I've bought roses on-line before, but this time round I decided to try  Magic Garden Roses and I was not disappointed!  I placed my order and they called me a couple of days later just to let me know they still had the ones I wanted in stock and they would take a couple of weeks to get out to me as it was right at the end of the season. No Worries!

I got 2 Blue Moons and a Blue Bijou...unfortunately their little buds haven't broken through yet but they will soon be greeting the sun and will look lovely.

Hope the rest of your Wednesday is splendiferous!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Number 10 Bedroom Update

Yes, I am absorbed (read: obsessed) with our bedroom at the moment, but when you're sleeping in the lounge room, both spare rooms are chocka bloc full of stuff, there are plaster fragments and dust and bits of timber all over the place and pre-Christmas dinner with the family is just 5 short weeks away, then that's really all I CAN think of !!

Things are moving along though....MONT and his mate Paul completed the floor on Saturday....

It looks a bit patch-worky now, but once it's sanded and polished it'll be fine.

Then, when I got home from work yesterday I noticed a bigger hole in the bedroom wall than when I left, because MONT had removed the bulkhead. Just like that.

Now you see it.....

Now you don't.

It makes a huge difference with it gone, much more than I expected. We'll hang the plaster this week and hopefully, the plasterer will be here next week to finish off. I've ordered new cornice and it'll be ready for pick-up tomorrow. Long story short: We had to replace the old cornice with a new design because the one we had is obsolete and it was cheaper to re-do the entire room than have just one, 4 metre length made.  Crazy huh?

Once all that's done,  I can paint it all and get the floor man in so it should will be finished by the end of the month. Fingers crossed!

Think I'll make it? Yeah.  I work best under pressure...and then I go stark raving bonkers.

Kristine at The Painted Hive has also renovated her bedroom, and it looks sensational!

Check it out.