Thursday, 7 April 2011

But first things first

Earlier this week, in the happy fog of new home purchase (no regrets - yay!), I was full of ideas about what we might do with the new place, stage one. That's the stage of living it in a while until we do a Great Big Renovation - temporary kitchen, furniture stashed in the garage, books in boxes in the bungalow.

But that has now shifted. My attention is completely on this house, our comfortable and happy home of 13.5 years, that's due to be auctioned on 28 May. A house that is freshly painted outside and in (except for two bedrooms), with super shiny floorboards and a gorgeous kitchen. And unfortunately with a very messy garden and piles of stuff everywhere thanks to the two adults and three kids who live within. It's amazing how many stuffed animals one can acquire in 13 years....

This is a very old picture of our current place, but you get the idea.

There is an awful lot to do. I have now cancelled a planned road trip to Sydney over Easter and will be concentrating on schmicking things up instead.

Good thing we've got an attic. And there's a ruthless mother (me) on the case; teddies beware.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

A new home...

This is a dusty old corner of the worldwideinterweb ... I've not posted a thing since February 2009!

I've come back with a plan. A friend of mine has been charting the making of her new home via her most entertaining blog, The House at Porter Street. In it you can read all about the trials and tribulations of the purchase, the move, and now the transformation of a rather unloved house into a lovely new home for herself, her little boy and her no longer married parents. (It's a long story - visit her blog to find out more.)

I've decided to borrow the idea with pride (ie be a blatant copycat), and chart the making of our new home, which we bought - ta da - last Sunday! I figure it's a great way of charting all the ideas I will have in the lead up to moving into the house and then how it goes when we actually get there.

So here she is, our new home come August.

She's a funny old thing, but with great bones. One family has owned it since it was built in 1928; the old lady lived there from birth until recently when dementia took over and she needed to move into assisted care. We're buying the house from nice people; their grandfather built it and they are pleased that we intend renovating it rather than pulling it down to make way for a boxlike structure.

The big renovation won't happen for a year or two. I'm of the view that you need to move in and live with a place for a while before you make major changes. But we do need to make some changes now to make it cosy and comfortable for a family of five (11 if you count all the pets!*) to live in happily.

So, let's see how I go at charting our adventure, in the house in Gough Street.

*One cat, two rabbits and three guinea pigs

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Battered but beautiful

The latest issue of Living etc to reach Australia (unless you count a very expensive express delivered February issue) features the home of delightfully quirky Melbourne retailer and interior designer, Lyn Gardener. She does lovely rooms of old rather battered furniture and faded textiles ... very restful, and very pretty without giving you a toothache.

I always enjoy reading stories about Lyn which pop up occasionally in Australian magazines. And I can recommend a good fossick around her lovely shop in Albert Park; I've bought some old and new letters there. Well worth a visit, and especially nice if Lyn's there too.

I particularly like the old flower paintings on the wall is this photo. I have the start of a similar collection myself, although I've not got very far - I think my collection stands at about two, one of which was painted by my aunt in honour of my eldest son's birth. I never seem to have the time for much of an op-shop hunt for specific things like soft flowery paintings, so I've decided that I will collect then when they come to me. Sort of building a collection by opportunistic stumbling ...

Thursday, 29 January 2009

Lucky me

I got some lovely homewares for Christmas (and yes, I know I'm late in posting about this, but it's been a busy month).

My mum gave me this beautiful, intensely blue platter. It came from Market Import and was wrapped in loads of bright, happy tissue paper. I've used it to serve food, but most of the time it's sitting on my table with stone fruit on it.

My brother and sister must have been reading my blog, because they gave me some lovely pieces of Bison (actually, I think my mum told them that I really wanted some for Christmas!). I've since added the little mango coloured bottle and the big purpley one with money my aunt gave me for Christmas.

Sunday, 21 December 2008

'Tis the season to feel ...

...well a bit frazzled really. I thought I had Christmas under control, but a combination of a domestic crisis or two, a ridiculous work schedule, and my child minding arrangements falling through this week is leaving me feeling on edge. A cup of tea and a glimpse at Domino magazine's website is helping somewhat.

Shiny and pretty and Christmas is nearly here!

Now, back to work...

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Now is the time for Christmas

While I love my overseas magazines, it always seems a bit ... well, sad ... when the Christmas issues appear in Australian newsagencies in January or February. Which is why I visited the Livingetc site this evening to see what's what at Christmas, at the right time of the year.

Here's what they're featuring right now.

And my favourite image. It's all that white again.

Of course, we do some lovely Christmassy issues of Australian magazines too, including my favourite, Inside Out. This is a particularly lovely issue ... a real celebration of how we do Christmas here.

Monday, 15 December 2008

Comfort food in December

It's been unseasonably cold and wet here in Melbourne over the past few days - lovely! (Well, except for discovering that our bedroom ceiling has leaking at 2am on Saturday morning...)

The cold weather has meant a return to comfort food, at a time when we're normally gearing up for barbecues and summery pasta. I've made two lovely winter-ish, but not too heavy meals over the past two days.

One is an old favourite; Tessa Kiros's lamb and green bean casserole from Apples for Jam, which is my favourite of her beautiful books. This is just delicious with feta crumbled on top and a green salad. It's very easy too, but it needs a long time to cook (the secret is to leave it in the oven to cool completely, and then heat it up the next day).

The other dish is new - chicken pot roast. I've been looking for a good recipe for this for years, and I discovered it, appropriately enough, in David Herbert's Complete Perfect Recipes.

This is a book that I keep forgetting that I have, but I have liked almost everything I've made from it - and this dish most of all. The vegetables were delicious, the chicken was melt in the mouth, and the gravy was just yum. I'll make this a lot come next autumn. Or this summer, if the colder weather hangs around (unlikely I know).