Saturday, March 31, 2012

A Birthday Picnic at Manly

Last Saturday we celebrated Steve's birthday with a picnic at Manly.

We parked at Fairlight and found a nice spot along the path to Manly.

and enjoyed the beautiful weather 

and the passing parade of boats and people.

Laura's idea of a picnic is lots of action.

We explored the rockpools and collected shells and seaglass.

My idea of a picnic is a little bit of action and some reading.
But there wasn't much reading this time.

Laura found a hammock and made herself at home

... when she wasn't here:



and everywhere.

Emily was content to stay on the rug with Harry Potter

and the birthday boy enjoyed 

some exploring, 

some relaxing

and icecreams on the Corso later.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Afternoon Sun in my Craft Room

Late afternoon - the perfect time for sewing in my new (yet to be revealed) craft room.

Unfortunately not the best time to be sewing when one has a family.

But this fabric has been patiently sitting since 10th March pretending to be a cushion.

And now it is one.

Another little peek at my lovely room:

Life has been busy!

More photos of our new upstairs and craft room soon ...

Friday, March 23, 2012


I found this at Target yesterday,
while looking for something else entirely.

(well, except for the US spelling)

And on sale.

It will hang on this wall,
close to the dining table.

. . .

Just wondering ...

...if it would be bad base all one's future parenting tactics

... on something that came from a department store???

Our New Upstairs - Pt 1: Laura's Room

At last some photos of upstairs,
where the girls have been happily living now for two weeks.

Today is the first day that sunlight, tidiness  and free time
coincide so that I can take photos.

It is a glorious day, the sunshine is pouring in.
Laura's bed sits under the eastern window.
She can see the sunrise if she sits up!

We are slightly jealous of the views over the trees from the girls' rooms.

Paper lanterns from Typo
are pretty by day
and cast a soft glow by night.

On the other side of the room,
near the door,
a bookcase full of books,
trophies and cuddly toys.
Just the way she likes it.

Bunting is hung across the room

... to the desk, which by now is flooded with northern sunlight.

Lucky girls, to have two windows!

We love the Alex drawers from Ikea under the $39 desktop.


Two weeks ago we spent an evening assembling them.
While we were still living like this.
Hard to believe, we are all settled in now.

The blue office chair was $10.00 at Vinnies and is in great condition,
although hard to see in the contrast of the photo above.

 In the opposite corner to the bed,
an armchair that Jacqui and I found by the side of the road
a few weeks ago.
Lots of laughs getting it home.
But worth every bit.
Under the quilt it is a lavender colour and in reasonable condition.
(Now I just need to find one for Emily!)

First night in the new room.

We still have to hang pictures, 
paint a bedside table,
find a bookcase for school books
and tidy some stuff.

But the really important things are in:

Lumpy, Broccoli and Wibbly Pig.
So that's ok.

Laura has settled well into a room of her own 
and has even been keeping it fairly tidy,
a new phenomenon for her.

I'm looking forward to seeing what she can do
when the room is completely furnished.

Homework is happening at the new desk 
and everything is going pretty smoothly
after a few hiccups early on.

We are LOVING our new upstairs!!

Stay tuned for Pt 2: Emily's Room

Friday, March 9, 2012

The Last Day of This:

Today is the last day before 
we move the girls 
and their things upstairs 
to their new rooms on the weekend.

And hopefully the last day of having things piled up around the house,
even in our bedroom.

The last day of having my craft desk in the dining area

closely packed in with other things

the last day of dining surrounded by too much furniture

the last day of looking at the girls' messy school stuff at meals.

And this, my friends, is why we renovated in the first place.
So much stuff, so little space.
So little room to get in and make the bed.

This will become my craft room :-)

Kitchen clutter comes and goes  on a daily basis,, but I hope  
that the kitchen can improve with the new arrangements too.
I've already been able to make some changes inside the cupboards 
which make cooking easier.

(The boxes have only appeared here today and yesterday 
as I start to unpack stuff.)

One day we might even be able to sit on those bar stools ....

The last day of a cluttered enclosed living space

The last day of chaos in the back of the living room
(although some of this chaos might stick around 
till we completely finish painting)

Living room looking back to the dining area

The study is piled up to the ceiling on two sides.
This should improve too.

And when I teach piano twice a week I won't have to 
hurriedly move all this stuff out of the room
so we can reach the piano:

Even the hall bookcase will lose a lot of its clutter:

So you can see why I'm just a tad excited!

This extension of two bedrooms and a bathroom upstairs
will have massive and positive consequences for downstairs too!

Now we just have to wait another 24 hours or so before the fun begins!

Stay tuned for the "after" photos ....

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Sunshine on a Grey Day

After all the excitement of yesterday,
today didn't start well.

I forgot to turn my alarm on.
For the first time in weeks 
I didn't wake at 6.15am, but at 7.20.

My old rising time.
Which, it seems, I am not accustomed to anymore.

The morning was grey.
I felt horrible.
I dragged myself around,
struggling with the morning routine,
and dreading painting the last coat of varnish on the stairs.
Tea and toast cheered me a little but I was oh so tired and miserable.

And then ...
the doorbell rang.


With flowers!

For "surviving the last four months" of renovating.

With a sweet card for our whole family.

Because she understands the toll it has taken on us all.
Even though it's all for good!

Lovely roses and irises (and thistles?) in a sweet posy.

Because I hadn't started varnishing the stairs yet
I was able to show Tanya around our lovely new upstairs.
(which is so perfect, I don't know why I was depressed today)

And then after she left things got better.
I tidied the dining table in honour of the flowers. 

And remembered that everything is better with a clear dining table ;-)

I started sanding the stairs, and the sun came out.

Turns out it was a great day, after all.

Because of a good friend 

who just knows where I'm at.