Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Some more of the new house

Ok - so last post was about the backyard - you might notice that we have a pool (yay) - the girl's will really enjoy it in the summer (I think it's got solar heating too which is good!)
Here's another shot across the deck - you can see all the bushland we own - it's nice and peaceful and yes - we'll be repainting the railings!
There are lots of birds that live in the gum trees - so it will be nice to sit out and enjoy the privacy (or as Claire calls it Privatsy).
The kids are looking forward to having their own rumpus room (complete with bar - won't be hiding the booze down there!) It should be easy enough to run water into the space to make it a wet bar - maybe even a kitchenette! The vertical blinds and the brick walls are another thing that will be going - I hate both with an equal passion - can't stand that Australian colonial look with brick walls, pine furniture or brown leather couches - brown, brown, brown and drab, drab, drab. (Sorry - getting a bit passionate there!) Here's the family room and the peach walls, vertical drapes and the tiffany light shades are going as is the slate tile. It's going to be so much brighter and paler!
Here's the formal lounge - yes the pink walls and green carpet will take a bullet as well as those very unattractive light fittings and curtains. I am tempted to put built in display/bookshelves on either sides of the open fire - not sure if there is enough depth there - I'd like to use the power to the unattractive sconces to have illuminated cabinets.
Sitting above the formal lounge is the master bedroom with equally tasteful light fittings and curtains and paint and carpet with the addition of a wallpaper dado. See - this makes it easy - you just think - bullet - it's a no brainer. I do like the double doors though I'll be painting the wood stained door trims white too.
Last but not least - the kitchen. In it's day I'd say that it was the top-of the line on offer - look at the granite benchtop - it's at least 2 inches thick. It's a bit heavy looking and ultimately I think I'll install a new kitchen based around my choice of appliances (I loathe Smeg with a passion - anyone with me on that?) I think the current oven is a Westinghouse - so I might actually be able to cook with it. In the interim I may well paint the cupboard doors white to lighten the mood a little and maybe change the doorknobs. The slate floor may stay till I decide exactly what I am doing in this space. There is a breakfast room and the family room in a straight line from this kitchen - if possible I'd like to take out the walls and open it up into one large communal space - but that will largely depend on whether the walls are supporting walls or not and implications of beams etc. to span the space.
Well that's it for now folks - my life will shortly be about nothing else but packing boxes.

Home Sweet Home

Ok - so the good news is we sold the house - for $6000 more than the asking price in two and a half weeks. How good is that? The unfortunate downside is that of course the rest of the family has gone into anti-keep-the-house-clean-for-potential buyers (grrrrrr........)
Just to add to the general merriment - we also bought the new house last week - here it is from the front. The tree ferns will be the first thing to go as they block the light into the front windows - I shall either sell them or move them into the bush at the back. We will also get the roof restored - repointed, cleaned, sealed and re-sprayed an get a soft wash and high pressure hose done on the driveway (we were so impressed by what a difference it made to our house!) I am also thinking of repainting the bluewall and trims - but can't decide on a colour - so it may stay the same for a while as I contemplate!
Here's around the back - it's a big block - 1910m2 but mostly it's bush - no garden to take care of which I am feeling slightly ambivalent about. Part of me wanted to buy an acreage and put in some totally splendiferous garden (probably had something to do with seeing a show on the ABC about Sissinghurst - but in reality I am not an upper-class English heiress with a husband interested in garden design - so I am probably having myself on - (you know - just a bit). However - I do have a genetic predisposition for gardening - my grandmother's grandfather was a self educated man who worked at various times as either a groom or a gardner. Apparently he use to go around the Botanic Gardens and point out all the incorrect classifications on the various plants to the gardeners.
Dad's side of the family has an even more impressive gardening history - his great grandfather was head gardener at several big estates in Scotland - he even worked at the Archbishop's Palace in Armagh, Northern Ireland. This is pretty funny as Dad's gardening ambitions have only ever stretched as far as mowing the lawns (and then having a nice refreshing beer soon after).
I remember one time when the grass was about knee high and Mum begged him to at least mow a path to the washing line. Which is exactly what he did - once around the Hills Hoist and back again. She was not amused.
We of course thought it was hysterical - until I saw Muriel's Wedding some years later (which is the most poignant and tragic comedy ever). Remember the scene where the mother had asked and asked for someone to mow the backyard so she could hang the washing out? She ends up committing suicide and when Muriel returns home the backyard is a smoking ruin as her mother set fire to it - evidently she was not amused either.
OK - wow that went off on a tangent didn't it? So I will do another post showing the rest of the new house and I will jot down other notes to myself about things I want to change.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Compassion

I haven't tried uploading video before so this may or may not work (or may well crash the computer!)

This is a video of Claire (my youngest) being interviewed after church for a video presentation at the annual dinner that kicks off the year.

video

It's a moment in time which captures her compassion for others so well. The little girl she mentions, Sophie Delezio really captured Claire's attention - I think because she has come through so much for one so young and also because of her unfailingly sweet smile despite life's difficulties. Whenever Claire has a whinge about her hair not behaving or (God help me) her thighs being too "jiggly" I ask her if she thinks Sophie whinges about the way she looks. It's snaps her out of it quick smart!

Psst - Want to buy a house?

Well - all creativity has ground to a screeching halt as we've been getting our house ready to go on the market. The only painting I've been doing has been up a ladder or on my hands and knees touching up scratches and scuffs etc. We have reached the Harbour Bridge status where you get to the end and have to begin again. The house (and garden) are looking pretty good having decluttered (all in storage at my brother-in-law's house - God Bless Him!)

Our first open for inspection was last Saturday and of course it rained constantly - at least people will know the house is water-tight! It's open today too and you guessed it - it's raining again! Despite the rain there was a good number of people who turned up for a sticky-beak and at least 8 contracts have been sent out. I am hoping that it won't take too long to sell as the whole keeping everything neat as a pin (with husband, three kids and a cat) is frankly not a whole lot of fun.

Prior to the decision to seriously put the house on the market there was some creativity happening between Christmas and school summer holidays! I was invited to be part of Patti Culea's new book - but I can't show pics of that of course!

I also made a fairy chair from Aves Apoxie Sculpt by following the instructions by Jean Bernard on the Aves site. It turned out pretty well I thought and it gets lots of comments from people passing by the shop. Here's a picture of it under construction - will take a picture of it totally finished when I can. I painted it with Lumiere Bright Gold - looks fantastic.