Sunday, 5 May 2013

A tallboy painted teal

Hey look I painted something! I've had this tallboy for years. It used to hold my clothes until we moved into an aparment with tons of closet space so it got to hold my fabric stash for sewing instead. For a while after we moved in here we really needed it because we have very little closet space in our bedroom. But now that we've bought an entire bedroom suite it was time to put it back in the sewing room and fill it full to the brim with fabric.

Since we had leftover teal paint from painting the Dining Room I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to give this tallboy a new life in a different colour.

I started by sanding the whole thing down with the Orbital Sander. Yes. That's right. I used a power tool and I totally knew what I was doing. I used P40 sandpaper for the fiddly bits.

Once it was all sanded back I moved it inside on some dropcloths and painted for four hours. I ended up doing 2 coats of paint on the entire tallboy inside and out as well as all the drawers. I gave the top surface a third coat at the end since it would be highly visible and would most likely have stuff stored on it.

Here it is in place in my sewing room holding my machines. It doesn't have handles yet because I've never loved the handles that came with it and I can't bring myself to put them back on. I'm going to get little round wooden handles from Bunnings and maybe paint them black? Or maybe just keep them teal? What do you think?

So while we're in my sewing room want to look around?

I've moved my table over into the corner so I get the morning and afternoon light through either sets of windows.

And I have all my notions and books stored against the other wall lookin all neat and tidy.

And here's a pretty average photograph of one of my next projects. I've enrolled in a short course on upholstery so I'll be taking this chair apart and redoing it in some fabric that goes with my sewing room.

Stay tuned!

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Backyard - Stage 1 - Weeds, weeds, weeds

The problem with weeds is they take FOREVER to get rid of. We've been hacking away at our backyard since we've lived here and it was only quite recently that I feel like we've made a breakthrough. Above you can see our wire fence down the side of our backyard absolutely covered with weeds. The right hand side fence was lush with green weeds whereas the back fence had so many weeds on it they'd competed and competed and killed each other off. Fabulous. Less work for us disentangling them from the wire!

Ta Da! We finally finished the other weekend! Now you can see the fenceline all the way down. A number of people have asked me why I want to be able to look straight into the neighbours yard (and vice versa). The fact of the matter is that while the weeds were a pretty good screen they were ugly. They were also so over run that nothing was ever going to grow. Ever.

My favourite part is being able to see through our fence into the bush reserve behind our house. One of the many reasons we bought the house in the first place. You can see here where we had a bonfire to burn out a tree stump right in the middle of the back part of the yard.

So let's talk about The Vines. Unbeknownst to us when we first started weeding was the incredible amount of vines running through every square centimetre of the yard. Here's what I'm talking about.

Every handful brings up tangled vines that criss cross over each other and require a whole lot of muscle to pull out of the ground. Here's one section of our backyard complete with side fence.

And here is the pile of vines that got pulled out.

I kid you not this backyard is going to take forever to fix up. But at least we have a little helper to eat the clover!

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Dining Room - Stage 1 - Painting in Teal

It's a funny thing choosing paint colours. All the colour pallets and colour swatches in the world can't prepare you for what your final wall colour is going to look like. We spent a whole lot of time looking at colours online and taking fistfuls of colour swatches from Bunnings every time we visited (and we visit a LOT these days). In the end it boiled down to one conversation while sitting in the dining room trying to put into words what colour we wanted. At the time there was a pile of junk mail on the dining table and we flicked through to match the colour we were trying to put into words when we realised our perfect colour was sitting right in front of us on our mantelpiece.

We received this as an engagement/housewarming gift from a friend of mine. It's a sort of money box where you're meant to put in only gold coins and smash it open once it's full to spend it on something really nice for your house. We loved the colour of this bottom stripe so much we took it on an excursion to the paint shop to match it. We came back with the following two shades knowing that what we wanted was more halfway between these colours. We let it dry properly overnight but still weren't super confident the next morning when we stared down the wall.

So off we went again to get more fists full of swatches when, just as we were about to leave to go buy paint for another room, I found this colour and fell in love. It was exactly what we wanted. Not too green, not too blue and brighter and deeper than our test colours. We knew it was the right colour as soon as we painted it on the wall and the rest is history.

Teal Vortex - Taubmans Endure

So what did we have to do to get our Dining Room ready for all this? We sanded down the walls quite vigorously and then sugar soaped them.

Josh realised just after this that we couldn't actually sand our ceiling back because the paint just wanted to flake off and fall to the ground. So that's what we did. Got some scrapers, stood up on the tall ladder and scraped every last scrap of paint off the ceiling until we were left with the plaster underneath.

Thanks to the guy at the local paint shop we were recommended a sealer to paint on the plaster so the paint would actually stick and not be sucked into the plaster. So it was at this stage that Josh sealed the ceiling. We let that dry overnight and the next day did a coat of ceiling white and let that dry while we started painting the feature wall/s. It was a bit tense because it went on as this milky blue but slowly it dried into this deep, vibrant teal that was exactly what we wanted.

We ended up doing 3 coats of ceiling white, 2 coats of the teal for the feature walls and 2 coats of duck white quarter on the other walls (not pictured here). It's a nice neutral colour without looking too white.

In the end we managed to get a perfect contrast to this orangey/red artwork that hangs above the fireplace. Josh's grandfather developed poster design for a local supermarket in the 1940s and we salvaged this poster from Josh's grandfather's garage the last time we visited. We couldn't be happier with the colours.

And look what we got for buying all our paint! Woohoo!

Stay tuned for the next exciting installment - making a light fixture for above the dining room table...or maybe making blinds for this room? Let's see where our decisions take us shall we?

Friday, 29 March 2013

We have a house, now what?

It's such an incredible feeling buying a house. People can try and explain how stressful yet rewarding
the process is and give you all the advice in the world but nothing compares to living through it.

We were that crazy couple who had a settlement date of the 19th December. Which meant in the weeks leading up to Christmas when everyone's panicking about what to buy people and wrapping up work before the break we were trying to pack up our lives into boxes. I was still packing boxes as we got the keys, I was still packing boxes the day after we got the keys and I was still packing boxes when Josh's awesome mates turned up with utes, and 4WDs and trailers to haul out all our stuff. We ended up moving in officially on the 21st December, having a whole bunch of family and friends come through the place on the 22nd whilst we were living amongst the boxes. Then we cleaned up our apartment from top to toe on the 23rd, handed the keys in to the real estate agent on the 24th, went scrambling through the boxes to find all the Christmas presents and wrap them and then suddenly it was Christmas. By the time we stopped to really look at what we'd been through we had already lived in our house for a full week.

And that was the point that we looked around at this house full of potential and asked ourselves - now what?

Obviously there was a whole lot of unpacking and deciding where to put all our stuff. But beyond that we walked around the rooms of the house and all through the backyard overwhelmed at the possibilities of how this house could turn into a home.

In the early days we set about fixing up some obvious stuff like changing the locks on the doors since it was tenanted before us. We hit the front garden and backyard really hard because believe it or not this backyard came complete with 10 years worth of weeds. Weeds that had turned into TREES. We also ripped down some floral green wallpaper in our hallway - don't worry I have photos so you won't miss a thing with that!

Which brings us to today. We now have a house that's ready to have work done to it. We're now comfortable enough and settled enough in our work/life routines to be able to dedicate whole weekends to working on the house. So why are we still feeling stuck?

The only thing I can attribute it to is the overwhelming range of choice. Yes choice. Faced with millions of sites full of gorgeous bathrooms and bedrooms and decks and fancy kitchens it's very easy to want to do all of it to your house. But you can't. You need to spend a whole lot of time being selective about what will fit with your style of house, your budget, your aesthetic and ultimately how you're going to live in your house.

So here we are at the start of the long weekend for Easter staring down the barrel of 4 days off, our heads swimming with ideas and asking ourselves now what?

I've got a chalkboard full of things I'd like to achieve and a vague idea of a colour scheme and while I don't have all the answers yet I'm really excited to see how our choices over the next little while settle into place. I can't wait to share it with you!

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

A Tour of our Abode

Here it is, our little abode! Some of these photos are from the days after moving in, others are taken on the day of our engagement party (did I mention we got engaged recently?) but you'll get the picture. So above is the outside and the front lounge room complete with open fire place.

This is the dining and kitchen (a little blurry sorry!) complete with chalkboard wall!

This here is my sewing room which is where I'll be creating furnishings/cushions/curtains for our home.

This is the backyard. The previous owners left that swing seat which I love so I'm sure you'll see a post on here where I make a nice cushion for it.

Here's the yard from halfway down and then right down the back. It backs onto a reserve so all you see is bush which is so nice. Ocassionally I sit out on that bench just to hear the bellbirds, kookaburras and the occasional owl.

And finally this is how we dressed up our yard for our engagement party. You may be able to make out the massive amounts of fairy lights strung through the trees as well as all 130 tea light candles that lit up the pathways as it got dark.

I'm documenting this all here because these are essentially our "before" photos. We have SO many ideas on how to do this place up and make it ours so it will be fun to look back on these pictures as our home emerges.

Thanks for stopping by and visiting our house!

Friday, 22 March 2013

Hey look we have a house!

Hello and welcome to our little corner of the internet! We're Jodie & Josh and we just bought our first house!

So what's so special about our house I hear you say? It's a little 3 bedroom place in the Blue Mountains just outside of Sydney. It's a 1000 square metre bush block which backs onto a reserve so you can look out and not know where our land ends and the reserve starts. From looking at the style of house, it's fixtures and character, it may be around the 1940s era and we're madly in love with it.

So this brings me to this blog. While this place is everything we'd ever dreamed of owning (in our budget) it needs a LOT of love. It came with original green floral wallpaper, lilac living areas, a kitchen that has a lot of floor space but somehow no bench space to speak of, a poky bathroom and separate toilet and a whole backyard rampant with weeds. We're telling people it's got potential.

We're dreamers. We got ideas bigger than this house can contain and it's our mission to turn it into a home. Every step along the way we're going to document our progress. The wins, the fails and everything in between. We hope that you can follow us on this journey and learn alongside us as we grow into this little house we call ours.

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Find us on Bloglovin'!

We're entering the blogosphere just as Google is getting rid of Google Reader so if you want to follow along on Bloglovin' here we are!

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