Category Archives: House

Hello Again…and Some Changes About the Crooked House

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Hi all! I have been super slack on the blogging front of late.  My eldest started primary school and I have been focusing much of my attention on getting involved and getting to know all the new faces.  I have also been lapping up as much Mummy and Master C time as possible while big brother is at school.

So to ease myself back into this blogging caper, I thought I would share with you some pics of some of the little changes I have made around the Crooked Household, starting with my dining and lounge room.

Post- Christmas I blogged about my desire to inject a lot more colour into the house, especially during our Australian Summer. I showed you the mini makeover I made on the bedroom (see here) , now the makeover has spread to the main section of the house.

Just before Christmas we purchased a new dining table and chairs, as well as a matching TV cabinet for the lounge. We went for a chunky, light coloured wood table and modernised it with some industrial looking metal chairs.There Was a Crooked House

There Was a Crooked House

With a lovely new table, I had to pick up a few new table runners to dress up the room.

Here is the red and maroon one that ties in the feature colours in our kitchen.There Was a Crooked House

There Was a Crooked House

And this floral one because I am a sucker for anything green, blue and teal.

There Was a Crooked House

This area also got a new clock as our old one died.

There Was a Crooked House

The lounge could not get ignored a mini makeover, so I picked up these colourful cushions to bring out the main colours in our canvas collage.

There Was a Crooked House

I just love the change that these pieces and colours bring to the main area of the house. Everything seems so much more fresh.

Soon I will share with you the other changes about the house, but for now, have a great day.

 

A Bedroom for a Dinosaur Loving Boy

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It occurred to me the other day, as I was giving Master O’s room a quick tidy, that I hadn’t shown you all the changes we made in his room.

Towards the end of last year, as Master O’s 4th birthday loomed, we struggled to find him a present.  We really didn’t want to buy him toys as we knew he would receive more than enough as gifts from the family.  I really had no inspiration until I found myself staring absent-mindedly into a store window while waiting for my sister.  As she arrived and I turned to leave, I realised what I had been staring at…..the cutest range of dinosaur linen and accessories on a fantastic sale.  There and then I decided his present would have to be a dinosaur room makeover.

The day before his birthday party, while he was a daycare, I set about transforming his room.  Previously it had sported a nautical/pirate theme which I shared in these posts here and here, but this is what it looked like on the morning I started the transformation.

Dinosaur themed boys bedroom

After a good clean up and rearrange, followed by the addition of  the new duvet cover, matching cushions and bunting, the room looked a lot fresher.Dinosaur themed boys bedroom

Dinosaur themed boys bedroom

Dinosaur themed boys bedroom

I added a few other nick nacks that suited the theme, like these cute bookends.

Dinosaur themed boys bedroom

I had already added a padded cushion to the Trofast toy storage units to make a reading seat, but now I could see how well my colour choice matched with the linen. You can read about how I made the seat  here.  A little rearranging of the Trofast tubs I already owned enabled me to bring the colour green into this area of the room as well.

Dinosaur themed boys bedroom

I had tried to purchase some artwork for the walls in time for his birthday but I couldn’t find anything that matched the colour scheme. Master O didn’t mind, he was chuffed with the transformation.  The walls remained blank until about 3 months ago when I returned to the linen store and found a matching dinosaur canvas in stock.

Dinosaur Themed Boy's Room

So with one wall decorated,  I thought I might have to make something for the other wall – but what?  On holidays last month I came across a stall that sold all manner of dinosaur cutouts,  2D and 3D.  The were amazing and so well priced that I had to be restrained.  I purchased 2 x 2D cutouts and after a bit of spray paint, attached them each to a canvas.  It was a such a simple art solution and they really do pop with their shiny bright orange paint.

Dinosaur themed boys bedroom

The other purchase I made was 3D pterodactyl.  After a couple of coats, also in the bright orange paint, I attached him to the ceiling.  I was concerned that he might be a bit scary for a 4-year-old, woken in the middle of the night, but Master O has entrusted the pterodactyl with the task of keeping him safe.

Dinosaur themed boys bedroom

So after stalling for nearly 4 months with the artwork, the room is pretty much complete now.  Master O received a couple a big dinosaur figurines for his birthday and Christmas that fit in perfectly with the colour scheme so they now reside on top of his Trofast unit and look very much at home.  We also picked up a hat stand shaped like a tree on sale at Target.  It is the perfect place to hang his Kindergarten and library bags when it is not some how involved in some imaginative dinosaur play.

Dinosaur themed boys bedroom

Dinosaur themed boys bedroom

Dinosaur themed boys bedroom

This really has evolved into the perfect room for our dinosaur loving boy.  What are you favourite themes for little boy’s rooms?

A Weekend in the Garden

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Our Sunshine State has not been looking that sunny for a while now.  The rain has been hanging around for longer than I care to remember.  I hate it, but the garden has loved it.

So for the last few weeks I have looked out over garden, happily watching my trees and plants grow visibly.  I have also, not-so-happily, watched the weeds grow.

This weekend I decided that I had to wrestle back control of my garden before it got too unruly.  Here’s a look at what I got up to on Saturday before the rain descended – AGAIN!

This is the alcove area where I love to have my coffee in the mornings.  You can read about it here and here.

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Weekend Gardening

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You can see the weeds have well and truly taken up residence in the stoned area and my poor succulents in the small pot and agave in the large pot, have not faired too well in the wet weather.

After a fair deal of weeding, sweeping and some replanting, I improved the plants and the outlook of the area.  I put freshly laundered covers on the lounge’s cushions and treated the area to some new scatter cushions and placemat.

Weekend Gardening

 

Weekend Gardening

I just hope the rain stays away long enough to enjoy this area before the weeding has to be done again.

The front yard was looking a little messy with a lot of the summer toys still strewn about the place, like the paddling pool.

Weekend Gardening

 

Taking the time to pack things away and give the outdoor furniture a wash down, improved the area a lot.

Weekend Gardening


Weekend Gardening

I cleared out the garden beds and staked all my Cordyline plants that have grown out of control.  Each plant has sprouted 2-3 shoots. Until I decide what to do with all my ‘free’ plants, I think it is best to leave them as is.

Weekend Gardening

Take a look at the lemons growing on my tiny tree.  It really is the most prolific tree for its size.  As it is only its second season, I removed most of the fruit, at least 25 lemons.  I don’t know how this pipsqueak of a tree thought it could handle that many fruit!

Weekend Gardening

Tomorrow the plan is to tackle the backyard.  There is lots of weed pulling, pruning and replanting to be done.  I’ll pop in and show you the progress.

 

 

 

Easy Easter Rag Wreath

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Two weeks ago I was in a homewares store looking at their Easter decorations.  They had a very cute rag wreath for sale, but at $39.99, there was no way I was going to buy it when I could make it myself using materials I had at home for next to nothing.

A rummage through my fabric box, I came up with a few cute colours and patterns perfect for my own budget Easter wreath.

Easter Rag Wreath

I cut the fabric into strips about 4-5 inches (12 cm)  long and 1 inch (3cm) thick. I wasn’t too exact with this.  If they varied a bit, or my cuts were less than straight, I didn’t care.  Once I had a good stock pile of strips, I was ready to tie these to my wreath.Easter Rag Wreath

The base of my wreath was a wire circle purchased from the embroidery section in a craft store. The 12 inch (30 cm) round was less than $2. If I hadn’t had this on hand, I would have shaped a wire coat hanger into a circle to use.Easter Rag Wreath

I tied the fabric strips to the wire with a simple knot until the whole wreath was covered.  Easter Rag Wreath

I chose to alternate the different fabrics around the wreath, but I think it would look just as good tied randomly, or completed with just one choice of fabric.  I did think this process was going to be tedious and long but it was far from so.  Once the wreath was full, I ruffled and twisted the tied strips to ensure that the wreath looked full.

As it has been raining uncontrollably here, I didn’t risk wreaking my efforts by hanging it at the front door.  For now it is hanging on the inside of my front door, which I really like.  I love that I get to enjoy it as I move about the house and it has brought an injection of colour, much needed during this dismal weather.

Easter Rag Wreath

Easter Rag Wreath

I wish that there was enough light around to photograph the Easter wreath properly.  It is really cute.  Probably a little too girly for a male dominated house, but for now the boys are a too young to notice and I don’t care!

Linking up with some of these fun parties
Monday: I should be Mopping the FloorCherished Bliss, The Gunny Sack, Skip to my Lou, Craftomaniac, It’s so Very Cheri, Keeping it Simple, Creating Really Awesome Free Things, Alderberry Hill, Its A Blog Party, A Pinch of Joy, Making the World Cuter, Mad in CraftsSew Can Do, Sugar Bee Crafts, Tip Junkie, New Nostalgia, Ladybug Blessings,  How to Nest for Less, Watch Out Martha, Clairjustinexoxo,

Tuesday: Coastal Charm, Today’s Creative Blog, Not Just a Housewife, A Bowl Full of Lemons , DIY by Design, Funky Polkadot Giraffe, Home Stories A to Z, Hope Studios, My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia, Organising HomelifeCarolyn’s Homework, The Blackberry Vine,   A Little Tipsy, Gingersnap crafts,   The Thrifty Home, Its a Very Cherry World,  Cornerstone Confessions,   Rae Gun RamblingsClean and Scentsible, Creatively Living , Ivy and Elephants, Romance on a Dime,   The Real Housewives of Riverton, DIY DreamerPrimp, JAQS Studio

Wednesday:  My Girlish Whims, Uncommonly Yours, Creations by Kara, Raising Homemakers, The Thrifty Home, Twin Dragonfly Designs, A Creative Princess, Sugar and Dots, Seven Thirty Three, Fabric Bows and More, Someday Crafts, Handy Man, Crafty Woman, Trendy Treehouse, Women Living Well, We are that Family, The Mommy Club , Raising Homemakers, Sew Much Ado,t SimpleFireflies and Jellybeans, Beyond the Picket Fence, Free Pretty Things for You, DIY by Design, Bloom Designs, Mom on Timeout, We Like to learn as we GoFamily Home and Life, Savvy Southern Style, Fine Craft Guild, Embracing Change, HandyMan, Crafty Woman, Polkadots on Parade, No Minimalist Here

Thursday: House of Hepworths Delightful Order, Its a KeeperThe Frugal Girls, The 36th AvenueThrifty 101, A Glimpse Inside, Brambleberry Cottage, Bear Rabbit Bear, Michelle’s Tasty Creations and Crafty Ideas, Shabby Creek Cottage, Goings on in Texas, Happy Go LuckyRaising OrangesThe Answer is Chocolate, The Taylor House, Crafty Scrappy Happy, Imparting Grace, Made in a Day, 52 Mantels, Loving This Crazy Life, Days of Chalk and Chocolate, Confessions of an ADD Housewife

Friday: The Shabby Nest, Chic on a Shoestring Decorating, At the Picket Fence, Whipperberry, French Country Cottage, Thirty Handmade Days, Creation Corner, Finding Fabulous, Stuff and Nonsense, Fingerprints on the Fridge Naptime Crafters, While He Was Napping, My Romantic Home, Bacon Time With the Hungry, Hungry Hippo, Kitchen Fun With My Three Sons, Remodelaholic, Happy Hour Projects, Simply Designing, Simply Sweet Home, Tidy MomYoung and Crafty, Serenity Now , Life as Mom, At the Picket Fence, Tatertots and Jello, Craft Junkie Too, A Little Knick Knack, Blissful and Domestic, Maiden D’Shade, Petites Passions, Bubbly Nature Creations, Here Comes the Sun, Liz Marie Blog, THe Grant Life, Craftionary, Redoux Interior, Common Ground, Just Us Four, Delicate Construction, AKA Designs, Family Ever After,

Saturday:  Be Different Act Normal, The Girl Creative , Funky Junk Interiors , A Vision to Remember, Positively Splendid , Its Overflowing, Natasha in Oz, Shaken Together, Homemaker in Heels, Addicted to Decorating

Sunday:  I Heart Naptime, Under the Table Dreaming, DIY Showoff, Nifty Thrift Things, Sumo’s Sweet Stuff, Homemaker on a Dime, DIY Home Sweet HomeCherished Treasures, My 1929 Charmer

Prolonging the Life of Cut Flowers

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Who doesn’t like cut flowers? I find great joy in picking out a bunch of beautiful flowers and bringing them home to pretty up the house.  However, flowers can be a bit of a luxury item.  Depending on the time of year and where you buy them, they can be expensive.

Prolonging the Life of Cut Flowers

I generally buy my flowers from farmer’s markets as they are significantly cheaper than store-bought bouquets.  The flowers are also cut only hours before I buy them, so I know that I am going to get maximum life out of my arrangement.

To prolong the life of my bouquets, I follow some advice my florist gave me many years ago……

Feed and prevent bacteria in the arrangement by using a simple preservative mix.  To a clean vase filled with luke warm water add, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of sugar and 1/4 teaspoon of bleach.

Before adding the flowers, trim the stems on an angle and remove any foliage from the lower end of the stem (no leaves should sit in the water).  Endeavour to change the water every other day, trimming the stems again before returning the flowers to the water.

Keep the arrangement away from hot or sunny positions.

This advice has always worked for me and I am often amazed at how long my arrangements hang in there.  I hope it works for you too.

 

 

Study and Craft Room Creation

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For a small and relatively new house, ours seems to undergo an awful lot of change and renovation.  It feels like there is always a project on the go, or is that because it takes us forever to complete something?

Last year we decided to convert our very under-used study into a playroom/office to help clear some of the toys from the living areas.   You can get more details about that here and here, but these are a few pics of what it used to look like.

 

It was a great idea and it worked quite well until maternity leave meant I had more time for blogging and crafting.   I needed more desk space and we all needed more storage space.

Taking the bull by the horns, the kid’s rooms were rearranged to include the toy storage that once lived in the playroom.  I then spent a long time looking at pictures for inspiration and eventually came up with a plan for the room.  It was going to be clean and quite simple with oodles of bench space.

I had a few cabinet makers come out to quote the job and what I wanted was going to cost between $6000-$10,000.  That pricing was ridiculous.  I think the job was too small for them and they were quoting to make it worth their while.

Not one to give up or pay too much for anything, I started to work out a solution.  I sourced all my own materials, bought flat pack storage and got a builder to install what I couldn’t do myself.

I ended up with almost exactly what I wanted for a fraction of the cost.

Tomorrow, I will show you what we did.  But for the moment take a look at this pic from after the builder left.

Viva Glass and Mirror Wipes – My Saviour!

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What drew me to the house we live in is the windows.  The house is full of them.  Huge, floor to ceiling monsters that let in so much light.  What I didn’t think of at the time was the work involved in keeping them clean.

I have done the newspaper, vinegar, squeegee, soapy water, Gerni, Enjo and microfibre cloth cleaning, but I was only ever semi-satisfied with the job. Whinging about the onerous task to my mother, she suggested I try Viva Glass and Mirror Wipes.

Mum raved about them so when  I saw them on sale last week, I decided to give them a go. They are brilliant!

There is no need for chemicals when using them, all you do is wet the blue cloth and use it to ‘wash’ the window and then you use the  white cloth to dry and shine the window.  No streaks.

They are great value as the wipes are very hardy and reuseable.  All you do is give them a wash in soapy water and let them dry.  Mine are getting really dirty as I have been using them on the outside of the windows and they have been washing up beautifully.

I am only half-way through the job of washing the windows in the house, but I couldn’t not post about these beauties.  You must give them a go.