I decided to do this in video form to give you a better idea of what we're tackling over the next month or so...
Saturday, December 7, 2013
I recently had an email from a reader, Bridget, sharing some photos of the restoration of the pressed metal ceilings in her Queenslander and I've just fallen in love with them.
The ceilings come complete with a cornice and are in fantastic condition (they possibly didn't sit under a leaky roof for years). They're also done in the most beautiful patterns.
Bridget introduced me to the idea of sodablasting, which is how they had their ceilings stripped ready for painting. It's similar to sandblasting but uses bicarb of soda. Neither Dan or I had ever heard of it before.
We'd love to try the soda blasting on our ceilings and I rang a few providers to get some insights. Unfortunately, because ours are painted in lead paint, I was advised it wasn't an ideal approach as it would spread the lead dust everywhere. The costs were also high and I couldn't find anyone willing to take the job on over Christmas, which is when we need it done.
So, we're back to Plan A for now.
You may remember we initially did the Kitchen Ceiling with Peel Away and, while it was time consuming, we think that's the way we'll go again in the rest of the ceilings.
So, Dan's planning to build a bund wall out of framing and a large membrane to contain the mess as best as possible. I'll be standing by with the wet dry vac to try and keep on top of it too. Luckily, none of the area is wired yet making this approach possible (although not ideal).
For the lack of a better option though, we'll have to make it work!
Friday, December 6, 2013
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
There's just something about this time of year. Summer, Christmas - happiness is in the air! Look at this kid on the bike track at Laidley.
Speaking of Laidley, it's looking quite lovely at the moment with all its Christmas finery in place.
The official Light Up Laidley party happens this Saturday evening in town, when the Christmas tree lights get turned on. Laidley loves an excuse for a party.
Meanwhile, somewhere not terribly far from Laidley, the Christmas decorating at our place has also got into full swing. We've been hanging and tweaking and moving our Christmas fairy lights around, then going out for regular nightly inspections.
And rearranging the baubles on the Christmas tree...
This year, Christmas will be in Little House. Big House, however, is getting a very special Christmas present as we prepare to strip the pressed metal ceilings in a week or two, and sand as much of the VJ walls as we can possibly bear to sand...
Also, if you haven't entered the Christmas giveaway, there's only a couple of days left to do so before it's drawn on Saturday.
Sunday, December 1, 2013
It's about five months now since we moved into the newly renovated interior of Little House.
To relive the before and afters, click here (As you may remember, we had a tenant move in for three months, then we moved in ourselves).
This is what Little House looks like today, perfectly functional but, well, a little too snug some days. It's at this kind of time of the year, when suddenly you're trying to find party dresses and high heels and luggage and Christmas decorations that, suddenly, you become really anxious for more space.
A bit less vinyl wood grain wall cladding wouldn't hurt, either. (Our renovations didn't make it this far, we ran out of time)
Now, I realise this is technically a perfectly ample space for a small family like ours. I would just love to be able to store more things in my house for the simple reason that our shed, which is where everything gets stored now, is snake paradise.
I've seen countless snake skins in there and a couple of weeks ago, Dan came back minutes after saying he was going to sort some things out to declare he'd changed his mind after seeing a large snake slithering into a storage box.
That's what worries me. Going in there and opening a box marked 'shoes' or 'books' and finding a nest of baby brown snakes or something.
I bought new Christmas decorations this year, knowing the old baubles were buried somewhere at the back of the snake zone.
We live on 11 acres with two houses and a large shed. I know I can't legitimately whinge about space constrictions, but I'll be looking forward to getting back up into the big house and actually being able to unpack most of our things for the first time in a year.
I'll be getting someone to check all those boxes out before they leave the shed, though.
Thursday, November 28, 2013
I'm a sucker for a nice country hall.
Some days, I wonder what percentage of the reason I moved to the country was related to my romantic ideas about country halls.
So, when I heard the Festival of Small Halls was coming to the lovely Forest Hill School of Arts, I knew we were in.
Basically, the festival involves sending wonderful folk and acoustic artists currently travelling Australia for larger festivals off into the backwaters of the countryside, to play to small crowds in quaint little halls.
I took Lucinda and, although we couldn't stay late because two year olds run out of party steam quite early, we had a ball - dancing together out on the little verandah here where she could be a toddler without disturbing anyone inside.
We had the best seats in the house.
Thanks for the fun night, Festival of Small Halls! Come back again next year!
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Dan and I are on a saving blitz for the next binge of renovating, a binge that involves paying our electrician and plumber and buying all the products we need to strip and paint the pressed metal ceilings and do the VJ walls in the lounge/dining area and kitchen.
In short, I'm working a lot of extra hours - late into the night - and we're living very frugally for the next month or so while we squirrel our pennies away.
However, there's plenty to do around here without spending too much cash. Pony riding has become a particular favourite.
Lu and I frequently go with our neighbour when she buys new animals. She is replacing some of her baby chickens after a few mysteriously went missing...
...which is not surprising, really. Predators are everywhere around here.
Lucinda's Grandma bought her a scooter, but she's been having a bit of trouble with it on the grass. She keeps getting bogged. At least the Big House has a nice long verandah she can scoot on when we move back up in there.
To try and raise excitement levels about moving back into the other house and getting her own room again (Little House has one bedroom which we all share), we've been creating some new paintings for her to hang.
That means another busy Christmas, but at least the end goal is in sight now.