Sunday, October 21, 2012

Best bits of Betsy

The jacarandas have all burst into bloom and it is a whole party of purple on Betsy's front lawn. We have five jacaranda trees in our yard and this sight reminds me why October is one of my favourite times of year. The hot days are upon us, see the dryness of my lawn and that washed out, heat hazy sky? We really need a good dump of rain, perhaps a thunderstorm would be a good start.

It reminded me that I wanted to share some other bits of Betsy. Some of her gorgeous trimmings that inspired us to buy her more than two years ago.
Firstly there are the ceilings, horsehair apparently, with amazing decorative features. This is the hallway, we cannot wait to choose a new light fitting.

Roboboy's bedroom , quite simple. We will be replacing the fan but will be keeping it as it makes sleeping in summer so much more bearable.

But my absolute favourite is our bedroom, I could lie in bed looking up at that giant sunflower all day long. Another ugly but essential fan, has anyone come across a fan that is not really ugly?

And now for something that I didn't notice straight away. A 1921 penny stuck above the old front door entry. See that brown spot at the top of the door frame? (Ignore that nasty stripe of custard that I haven't got to yet). Before the front verandah was enclosed, this was the main entry into the house. We have the old leadlight door but it has weathered poorly and is not able to be re used elsewhere in the house. 

There is a matching half penny above the external verandah doors dated 1953. Both coins are glued head down and Google tells me that this was done to bring luck and fortune into the house and because the heads are facing away the evil spirits will also be looking away and not into our home.  I wonder if the 1921 coin is symbolic of the year Betsy was built, or just random luck. I would have thought she had been built in the 1930's based on her style but I think I just need to get down to the City Council archives and see what I can dig up.


  1. What beautiful and elegant details, I would have fallen for her too! I'm glad she has you to restore her and love her! Ada :)

  2. Betsy is so clean and white.

    Would that have been you in ToyWorld at Indooroopilly on Sunday? I saw a head of hair which I thought may have been yours, but didn't want to approach the owner for fear of having to explain blogging etc etc.

    We were all drawn-in by the Lego Death Star in the window.

  3. I love the story of the coins. Those romantic gestures from the past mean so much. As for fans, good luck finding a good looking one.

  4. Ps what is the name of the white you use. It is a good one.

  5. All the pretty touches, the reason I love old houses- the pretty ceiling decorations, the timber floors. And the white really compliments it all.
    Have you seen the ceiling fans where the blades return to the centre when not in use?

  6. Very pretty ceilings Mel, we have some too. Half alot like yours, and the remainder pressed tin.
    The coin thing is lucky. My Mum has glued a coin under every front door mat of every home she's owned.
    There is nothing quite like a street lined with Jacaranda's in flower. Beautiful. You're lucky to have five, I always found the bees a problem when the flowers drop, kids running around bare foot on the lawn...

    p.s. I hate ceiling fans too. Never seen a nice one.

  7. MMMC - yes I suspect that was me you saw yesterday! Legoman was also in there probably ogling all the lego (he already has the deathstar- planning a street party to build it) and I was just rounding him up- we were doing a power shop sans children.
    Annie- the white I have been using throughout the house is Dulux vivid white in a semi gloss. However the foyer in the pic you are looking at is actually 1/4 strength hogs bristle- looks ok in this room as it gets a lot of light but in a darker room it is horrid and I am painting over it all as soon as the custard is dealt with.
    Kylie- how lucky are you to have pressed metal ceilings- they are the bomb! Perhaps you might share them with us?

  8. The original parts of our house have horsehair plaster walls as well, sadly without the fabulous ceilings!! I too dislike ceiling fans but have found them a necessity in Sydney. We have one in each of the bedrooms and no I couldn't find any I liked. There are some fabulous colonial style ones but I wasn't sure if you needed an old plantation manor to go with them! I so love the Pennies and their meaning, I wonder who stuck them up? xx

  9. Betsy, you stunner you. Love the trims and penny. I can see why you went to such great lengths to acquire her to begin with ;-)

    Hope you got a bit of last night's storm your way, we got just enough to scare the dog but not enough to make any real difference to the lawn.

  10. Betsy is beautiful.
    Those ceilings are devine. I was wondering if she was from around the 1930's until you mentioned the coin. Maybe she is a grander old girl. Either way, both decades are timeless.
    I loved seeing your old girl.

  11. Your ceilings are stunning Mel, yours reminds me of a ladies full skrit.
    Don't worry, our lawns are looking very dry already too. Although it's raining as I type this so fingers crossed they green up a bit. xx

  12. Hey Mel, I keep replying to your comments on mine, only to (re)discover each time you have blogger no reply. Any chance of changing that?
    Anyway, I always reply if you ask me something or I've got anything to discuss a little bit more with you, they're just not getting through x

  13. There is no such thing as an attractive ceiling fan,I'm afraid. Love the ceilings, more than makes up for having to have fans.Enjoying purple views everywhere too.

  14. What a beautiful house...I love all the details...and I love that you are restoring them instead of tearing them down!

    When we tore up the carpets in our Queenslander we found newspapers from 1942!
    I think the house was built around 1900 but they must have put down lino on the 1940s.
    I just love old houses...they are so full of surprises and secrets!

  15. Right then, well next time I'm barging up and saying hello.

    I told the Solid Gold Dancers that Santa doesn't make Lego Death Stars ... hence they won't be expecting a $600 lego set under the tree!

    I'm glad you've got one though. I'd love to see it built when it's done. All with 23 characters or whatever.

  16. Just beautiful Mel. Details like the coins and the ornate ceilings are fabulous. Yes, get down to archives to find out more about Betsy! xx

  17. Just beautiful Mel. Details like the coins and the ornate ceilings are fabulous. Yes, get down to archives to find out more about Betsy! xx

  18. Mel I just love that first photo! She's a beauty! I'd never get out of bed with those ceilings to look at!
    Allison x

  19. The Jacarandas are so beautiful mel as are the much character.

  20. Those ceilings are making my heart ache for our first house. It was in Tarragindi and was the same era, with the horsehair plaster and ornate ceilings. It was also one of three, built all in the same style.

    Enjoy your Jacaranda's, they are stunning right now.

  21. Hi again - thanks for your comment. and look a post on Jacarandas too funny. I guess it is the season. As for the 'impressive' comment on Maxabella I have no idea what it could have been now I am curious LOL. I do love your little bungalow and the little reading chair next to the golden book collection is such a lovely idea. I will have to reclaim all my old golden books around the place and find a special little spot for them. Great idea! PS her going out outfit is lovely. PPS thanks for sharing re our little guys too. Would love to talk more/share notes sometime

  22. We have just one Jacaranda and I love seeing the carpet of purple flowers each October, they are such a pretty tree. Your home has beautiful decorative ceilings, our little Queenslander just has the vj ceilings not quite as pretty but these houses have a nice feel to them don't they. I must look into when our house was built too I'm not quite sure of it's exact year.