Monday, May 28, 2012

Reckless light purchases

So, we have some renovation plans. We have left them in the hands of some local builders who are willing to let us know if our budget is remotely in the ball park. We have three possible deck roof plans but we only like one of them so fingers crossed we can afford the one we like.

So being the crazy fools that we are, with a potentially unaffordable renovation looming over us, we went and purchased lights. Extremely reckless, will not fit anywhere else in our house, lights. Handmade in France I might add. Yep, completely loopy I know.

Now , what about those wonderful mint green  bakelite canisters I can hear you ask? Well, I found these a little while back at the oppy and my heart just about stopped when I saw their beautiful colour. They were grubby but cleaned up beautifully and I have spent months looking at them and dreaming about them sitting on my new kitchen bench.

And then I stumbled across this beauty.

And I knew in that instant that three of these pendants would be hanging over my new kitchen bench. I was smitten and Legoman was wholeheartedly agreeable (which is a miracle in its own right). I of course had no intention of actually purchasing these lights for a good nine months being the sensible girl that I am. Legoman wanted to investigate further ( the details man that he is) and discovered that not only were they on sale (yippee) but that the ONLY Australian importer was not ordering any more  and there were only a handful left in the country. We managed to get 3 of the last  few in this colour and I like to just unpack them and swoon every now and again. The cord and inside the pendant are silver (you can also get them in gold) and the pendants themselves come in a whole jellybean range of colours. I figure with my bizarre logic that if one purchases the lights to hang over a kitchen island, that surely the island will present itself?

And while we are on green, this popped up at the oppy this week. Green wire basket to pile full of crafty goodies. Did I mention that in the plans for the potentially unaffordable reno  is a teeny tiny room just for me and all my creative stuff?

Plans coming soon. Oh, and a massive thankyou for all the lovely comments on my last post, and a big welcome to some new followers too. I am a shocker at leaving return comments and get a little overwhelmed by a pile of new blogs to follow but I am working on it.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Vintage wallpaper dresser cafe is open

So the vintage wallpaper dresser is finished and is now a fully operational cafe run by miss Liongirl. Here is the back story.

Original dresser in nasty orange pine colour purchased from Ebay for $15 and brought down in the boot of a friends car from the Sunshine coast. Lots of coats of white paint by everyone in the house. Yep, Legoman and both kids helped with this part. Top coat by me in Dulux Aquanamel. 

And my new friend, Mod Podge, courtesy of Spotlight. As well as a gradually collected pile of vintage wallpaper and contact and paper.

Once the painting was done, the fun colourful bit happened really fast.  The outside is a glorious assortment of vintage wallpaper, several bought from lovely Laura  at a recent Suitcase Rummage.

The inside is a mixture of vintage yellow flower contact, new red spotted contact and floral paper. The paper did not modge podge very well and has wrinkles, I might change it some time. I do like all the colours together though.

A packet of white hooks from Bunnings and we were good to go.

Time for Miss Liongirl and I to stock up all the shelves with goodies.

And start serving the tea and cake special. This morning when she came into our lounge room in the half darkness of early morning the first thing she said was " Mama, my dresser is sooooooo bewtiful". The only thing better than that is sitting at her little table and chairs having my order taken on an etch-a-sketch and watching her serving it all up.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

A pyrex gold moment

I had a little moment yesterday in the op shop. One of those moments where you see it, but you don't really believe it. There may or may not have been some hyperventilating.

Could it really be a full set of pyrex mixing bowls in my favourite colour? Could they really have NEVER been used? (Who could do that I ask?). And lastly could they really be only $12? While I was clutching them in my paws at the counter I was just so relieved that I had popped into that little oppie next to ballet class. It was last minute and I almost hadn't gone in.

Now I just want to bake biscuits, cake, scramble eggs and whip cream all at the same time. Actually I just remembered that I don't have enough bench space in my kitchen to do this. Time to hurry up with that renovation. (We have plans now).  I found these lovely pans too, thought they might look good on the wall.

And some colourful bottles. Miss Liongirl needed one for her marble collection, and good to have a spare. I think I have kitchens on the brain as I keep finding kitcheny things in the opshop. We think we have almost worked out our new kitchen design too. Hoping to pop some plans on the blog and see if anyone has any suggestions, figuring  there would have to be other stickybeaks out there who love the minutia of house plans.

And lastly a lovely little hideous coloured stool. This would have to be some shade of poo. I just want to break out the mouse sander and see what lies beneath.

Anyone else inspired by The Block? ( For anyone in the northern hemisphere, if Spring weather is rubbish and you need some reality TV with thick Aussie accents and renovations, go to the link and you can even watch all the back episodes on line). I really like Sophie and Dale's colour choices and vintage styling,  such a raw deal that they are not scoring higher. And the kitchens must be coming soon, yippee.  Back with a finished wallpaper dresser and some house plans.

And linking in with Sophie, has been a few weeks between linkups.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Best little mama

Yep, that's me. Actually the complete version is " best little mama in the world". Roboboy came up with this one a few years ago. It gets trotted out at odd random times when he is full of love, perhaps if he has been treated with extra TV, sausages, or other favoured goodies. I think on mother's day it was just the love part. Liongirl on the other hand has taken to calling me Mama Pama.( I think perhaps it in direct response to me spending the last few months calling her Minxy Pinxy).

 Now, back to that Cath Kidston piece of wonderful featured above .My official gift courtesy of Legoman who is, I suspect,aware that compensating for his 364 sleep ins a year requires at least a handbag. Actually, make that 365 sleep ins, as after dealing with the marauding  possum, the neurotic cat and the very cold small child at 5.15 am, I was well and truly awake anyway.

Aside from cold toe cuddles and cups of tea in bed, the best part of mother's day would have to be the homemade gifts. Liongirl dutifully trotted off and came back with her finest art work yet. Mama Pama and Minxy Pinxy holding hands. See we both have matching shoes on too. Footwear obviously being more important than noses. Portraits are highly regarded in this house as Roboboy rarely produces people, instead    turning his hand to ant farms, volcanos, heavy machinery and the like.

And Roboboy? Well he and Nonna had been cooking up these babies for months. She had trouble getting him the right mood to finish them with required paints and glazes after the initial firing. Needless to say, these have gone straight to the only spare horizontal surface in the house.

We have from left to right : Bird on a nest of eggs, self portrait, trinket box - the lid has a flower on it and Mama bird.

So what with all that joy and a delicious brunch at a local cafe while the sun shone down from a blue blue sky, it's great to be the best little mama in the world.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

On the go

There are numerous half baked projects going on over here. Here is a sneak peek of one that is nearly finished.  Let me just say in a previous life it was a nasty orange stained pine, it's a little too small for me and the owner probably wishes it was pink. Just a few more knobs to paint and pop in place  and I'll be back with the big picture.

In the meantime, there is always some time for a quick op shop visit. Can you believe this little coat? Pink velvet with an embroidered collar. Hoping it passes miss Liongirl's approval rating system. I wish it was in my size!

Apples or pears? Or both. Any thoughts on the intended purpose of this dish? I presume it is not for the decorative placement of one pear and one apple. I am thinking either keys or loose change.

And a gorgeous egg cup for miss Liongirl who has recently discovered the joy of gooey eggs with toast soldiers.

And some wonderful additions to our book collections. An Australian animal little golden book, and another hard cover Enid Blyton.

Better run, vintage wallpaper calling.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Yarnbombing the school

Not long after I learned to crochet last year, I stumbled across an amazing book at our local library. It was called Yarnbombing and it opened up a whole world that I had never heard of. The official definition of yarnbombing is "the activity of putting knitted coverings on public objects, especially secretly and without official permission". Everything about this appealed to me. Beautifying public spaces with colourful graffiti in a covert ops kind of way. How totally cool. I fantasized about sneaking into our prep playground and turning it rainbow.

Imagine my excitement to discover that the theming for this years school fete involved plans to yarnbomb the massive Moreton bay fig tree. I had no idea that so many other school mums knew how to crochet. So every Thursday we met after school and worked on a red and white piece to help dress the tree. Suddenly at Saturday ballet there were fellow crochet comrades all hooking away. The end result was an amazing collaboration.

There was a wonderful installation of rainbow pods dreamed up by another arty mum,

Trees wrapped up for winter,

And of course my little bird perch was up there too.

Despite a dreary day for the fete and a muddy oval that moved all the rides to a different part of school, all the colour made the day sing. We definitely had a great day. What with a day pass for unlimited dodgem car rides,

guinea pigs to groom,

and Liongirl finally had her wish, a whole fairy floss to herself. That beautiful vintage dress became a very sticky pink mess pretty quickly, luckily it did all wash out.

I cannot believe that Roboboy and I managed to stumble into a school that is so, well, cool.
Wouldn't it be great if we could keep up that crochet momentum and do a few more branches, maybe a different colour for each branch......... could look amazing for next years fete.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Birdmaking and crochet flowers

Well it has been a while between posts but for lots of really good reasons. There are about a zillion projects on the go over here at Betsy's which have left little time for blogging (as it should be of course). There has been a frenzy of bird creations, crochet, yarnbombing, sculptures, de cluttering, house plan tweaking, kitchen design planning, stone slab inspections, white wall painting, miniature dresser makeovers and of course a sprinkling of op shopping.

It all started with some seed pods really. From the Illawarra flame tree in fact, which is an extremely ugly looking tree that produces spectacular seed pods that look just like birds.

So the kids got straight into this little project with some paint for the bodies, polyfill for the chests, pipe cleaners for the legs, fabric and bendy straws for wings, colourful feathers for tails and some googly eyes and look at the results.

Roboboy's bird has bendable wings (thanks to the straws) and the cat was suitably impressed.

So then we took our birdmaking to school to expand the flock. Love those one eyed birds.

And seeing how the fete was coming up we thought we might be able to contribute an installation. Time to whip up a perch for our little family. (This actually involved much cursing and swearing at midnight the night before the fete trying to teach these little birds how to defy gravity and stop flipping upside down and dangling off the perch). It was so big I had to hang it off the fan, and keep the cat away.

And some gorgeous crochet flowers to add a little colour on the bottom. The lovely simple pattern can be found here. I think I might make a whole chain of these for miss Liongirl's room.

And here is the installation hanging our school's very own Magic Faraway tree.

Back soon with some op shop finds and my first foray into yarnbombing. Must say, I'm hooked!