Saturday, December 22, 2012

Knowing when it's time

It turns out the hardest thing you will ever do as a pet owner, is also the kindest

Knowing when "it's time" to make that last, heartbreaking visit to the vet is one of the hardest decisions you'll ever make, but if you not only love but respect your pet, it's a decision that has to be made

That's what MONT and I had to do yesterday.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Limoncello - it really is sunshine in a bottle

It's done.

After weeks of standing in the back of a dark cupboard, the limoncello is bottled and all ready to drink on Christmas day...or sooner.

The finishing process was quite easy

Strain the lemony liquid through some gauze

Use a funnel to put it into sterilized bottles...

... and it's ready to go

Great as a Christmas drink, over ice-cream...or even as a nice gift

Saturday, December 15, 2012


To say I've been late getting things organised for Christmas this year is a wild understatement.

Until today I didn't have any Christmas decorations up...or even a tree.

Now at least the mantle is done.

I made these little doily trees and I think they look pretty cute

As for the tree...or at least my pile of sticks....well....

It's got a few crystals on it at the moment, but that's about all.

Mont has to get up in the ceiling for me to retrieve the box of decorations

Then I'll put the wreath on the front door, tidy the back deck and we'll be ready to go for next Saturday night when the "FESTIVAL OF MEAT" really kicks in.

How have you gone with your Christmas shopping this year?

Have you been a little more careful than usual...or is it business as usual?

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Disappointing response

I mentioned in my last post that I'd contacted a paint manufacturer because I'd had a bad experience with their paint

But unfortunately, I've had no response from Dulux..

Maybe they're super busy because we're heading into Christmas...maybe they haven't had time to read their feedback emails...or maybe they don't really care

All of those options are possible...I hope it's not the latter though

I was really disappointed with the can of Dulux paint I purchased... it wasn't cheap and I feel like it was a waste of time because it took the entire six litres (and then some) to get a decent coverage on the walls of the new studio. I had to buy another can of a different brand to finish the job.

It's a pity because I'd heard such good things about Dulux.

Maybe I got a dud can. Who knows. I'm still looking forward to hearing from them though.

Monday, December 10, 2012

I'm in...almost

I've spent the past few days (read: week) painting my new studio...

It was a very disappointing and frustrating experience too, because the paint I bought (a popular brand) was AWFUL!! Six litres of paint just wasn't enough.

A sealer-undercoat and three top coats later and it still wasn't right. Truly AWFUL!
Not only an expensive experience, the main thing is that it was such a waste of time. Instead of it taking me two days to finish the room, it took six! I've contacted the paint manufacturer to express my disappointment with their product. It'll be interesting to see if they respond.....

Anyway... here she is...

After I purchased some more paint and applied the final coat, I started filling the cupboards

The cupboard doors still need painting but they can wait...

Also...I got this little gem at a garage sale a couple of years ago...

MONT's been using it as a bit of a work horse

But yesterday he removed the blocks of wood on top...took to it with the metal brush and gave it a spray coat of anti rust black paint.

I'm going to use it as a temporary sewing table...until I get my long table after Christmas

A little more painting to do on the arch's and skirting boards etc..but that'll be done next weekend

What do you think?

Saturday, December 8, 2012

A white Christmas in Oz?

Well, it can be

You don't always need snow and a cold season for it to be a white Christmas

White is good anywhere, anytime

Monday, December 3, 2012


The cupboards are in....

We've gone from this...

To this...

With plenty of shelving for all my "stuff"

To say I'm happy with the result is an understatement.

I'm absolutely thrilled!!!!

Now onto the painting

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


It's all happening here...

Plaster was delivered this morning before 7am....and the plasterer was here a few minutes later...

...and this is the end result...

All the walls and ceiling were insulated to within an inch of their lives...

The plaster was hung and then fixed off...and all that we need to do now is wait for it all to dry and then it can be sanded and then I can PAINT!!

I think the cabinet maker's here on Friday...fingers crossed.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Devils Dust

This week is NATIONAL ASBESTOS AWARENESS WEEK... and for all of us renovators and DIY''s a timely reminder to make sure we take care when we come across this deadly stuff.

In fact taking care basically means NOT TOUCHING IT!

Last week I got an email reminding me about Asbestos Awareness thought I'd pass on the details...seeing many of us are renovating old places

You can check out the website here . It has some great advice....

Most homes built before 1987 had asbestos in them...Don't think yours does? Well all you have to do is look under your eaves and more often than not, that dimpled stuff up there is asbestos sheeting

I know the eaves at Number 10 are asbestos and we haven't touched them. No sir-ee

Don't drill it. Don't sand blast it. Don't sand it. Don't cut it.

That's what these guys are for.

All renovators should check out 

It pays to be safe. Your life may depend on it

Monday, November 26, 2012

Nearly there....

This weekend was a big one as far as getting the studio ready for the plaster and floor-to-ceiling built-in cupboards

Come on in..... the door got fitted yesterday. I just have to paint it now, which will be pretty easy as the glass has a plastic coating over it...easy huh?

This is the wall where the cupboards will go

...and this is where I'll be sitting under the window......

MONT's been putting the weatherboards on and painting them as he goes.

Lookin' good

The plasterer is booked for Wednesday. Once it's all hung and finished off we just have to wait for it to dry so it can be sanded and i can start painting.

The cabinet maker said he'd be here late in the week...the cupboard shells are all made so they just have to be fitted into place.


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Limoncello - Looking good- and a slight change

Lets finish off the Limoncello...and yes, I have modified the process a tiny bit.

Make the sugar syrup. I used a litre of water, 1kg of white sugar and the juice of 5 lemons.

Boil the syrup for about 5 minutes then let simmer for a few minutes until it thickens just a bit. Allow it to cool completely. In fact it would be good to put it in the fridge overnight.

Combine the lemon zest/vodka mix with the syrup in a large container and seal.

Place it in the back of a cupboard and let it stay there for the next 30 days.

The waiting is the worst bit.

The final process:  Now I know I said you only let this stand for another day before straining and putting the mix into bottles...but I'm changing it a bit. Let the entire mix stay in the container in the back of the cupboard for a month to let the flavour intensify.

Time now to drain the Limoncello into sterilised bottles. Use a funnel lined with cheesecloth to make sure you remove all the zest

Seal the bottles, put them in a dark place or fridge and let sit for a few days until ready to drink....on Christmas Day!! The night before Christmas, put the bottle in the fridge so it's nice and chilled for the big day

Monday, November 19, 2012


I'm going to be missing for a few days....and there'll be no work done on the studio/sewing room for a little while..

Mont's Mum passed away at the weekend so, understandably, everything has ground to a halt here...

She was a lovely lady. Always looked nice and always had delicious smells coming from her kitchen. She loved baking and was sensational at it! Her sponges and scones were second to none!

She'll be missed a us, her grandchildren and her great grandchildren.

Fortunately, she didn't suffer or go through any pain.

R.I.P. Nanna

Friday, November 9, 2012

Studio exterior

One wall's been wrapped in insulation...

...and the weatherboards have been put on.

I got home yesterday and they'd even been painted!

..and then we put the window back in. It came out of a bathroom during an earlier reno here, so has frosted glass in it. We'll have someone put clear glass in it and it'll be perfect!

Nothing happening around here this weekend as MONT's heading off to Bonnie Doon... hopefully there'll be more progress next week.

MONT's talking about putting a little "hood" over the window so it looks a little more cottagey...and also to help keep rain off the window. There'll be river-rocks along the bottom here under the window to help with drainage  and MONT's also talking about a water feature on the grassy area here...not sure when all that will happen though. We'll see.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Studs and Noggins

Do I have your attention? Yes?

A little update on my studio, which is progressing nicely. Yesterday MONT put in extra noggins just in case I wanted to put shelves up on the walls. He also put extra timber around the windows so there's plenty of support for curtain brackets and rods.

It may not look too good as it is...but once all the plaster and weatherboards go on, you won't see it of course.

But apart from giving the walls extra support...'s a great way to put some timber, we had lying around, to good use

Here's the other end of the room. This is where there'll be a full wall of cupboards. On the other side, MONT's lined the walls with chip board so he can install a lot of shelves for all of his work things

That's what I like... a win-win

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Sunshine in a drink

It's Limoncello and I'm making it with some of the lemons off our tree.

The tree has gone crazy this year...too many lemons just for tarts and cakes and Limoncello it is

This recipe yields about 2 litres, but I'm starting with just one's an easy thing to make but it's a long process so I thought I'd post the results in stages so we can do it together if you like

Ingredients for 2 litres of Limoncello

- 10 lemons
- 1 kg of sugar
- 1 litre vodka

- 1 litre of water

Grate the lemons with a fine grater and put the zest in a couple of jars with lids. Pour in the vodka and close the containers tightly, letting the mix rest for 15 days in the dark. Make sure you shake it every two days to help distribute the flavour

At this stage, the alcohol will remove all the colour and scent from the lemon zest.

Pretty easy huh?

See, it's cloudy already

I'm yet to make the syrup, but here's the recipe in case you'd like to get started on it

To prepare the syrup... juice the zested lemons, add 1 litre of water and the sugar and mix together in a pot. Bring it to the boil then let simmer for a few minutes till it thickens a little and resembles a syrup. Let it cool and refrigerate

After 15 days, it’s time to mix the lemony alcohol with the syrup. Put all the liquid in a large container or bottles and let stand for another day

Time to drain the Limoncello into sterilised bottles. Use a funnel lined with cheesecloth to make sure you remove all the zest

Seal the bottles, put them in a dark place or fridge and let sit for another month...then drink...on Christmas Day!!

I know there are recipes around that don't use the juice of the lemons, but I thought I'd try it this way, for a change

Monday, October 29, 2012

When I say progress, I mean progress....

Another weekend another step towards my little sewing room/studio being finished

Did I say little? ahhh no, it's not little at all.

Mr P the builder turned up yesterday and helped MONT get most of the frame up.

The rest will be done this week (fingers crossed) and then MONT can start on the weatherboards to get it weather proof...

We're hoping to get it completed by Christmas. I think that's a bit ambitious to be honest, but hey, we can certainly try

I described it as "little, but I have to say it's not little at all.

The room will be around 3.3 x 4.7 metres, and that doesn't include the 650 deep floor to ceiling cupboards along the back wall.

I'm pretty stoked with the way it's all coming together... can't wait to get in there and start painting and getting all my sewing stuff in there...

Sunday, October 21, 2012

A little holiday

MONT and I have just arrived home from a little vacation in Thailand.

It was planned some time ago and by the time it rolled around we really needed it, especially MONT who's been run off his feet these past couple of months.

I love traveling but I have to admit, it's the waiting around that can drive me absolutely bonkers.

The 9 hour flight is manageable...but it's the 3 and four hour stop overs doing absolutely nothing, that are so frustrating

We did have a wonderful time though....

Saw quite a few of these critters...

Cute baby huh? He was just 5 years old...

...and the view from our room was amazing!

If you look into the distance between the palm trees, you can see a white structure.. just beyond that is the beach. It was so beautiful! Such a wonderful place.

We would definitely go to this place in Phuket again. Five stars from us.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

A great time of year

It really is a lovely time of year...

The wisteria's blooming

The Banksia Rose is gorgeous

...and the bees are buzzing...they're everywhere.

I love Spring!