Category Archives: Pizza Oven

A Weekend in the Garden

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The other day I posted an update on the creation of our woodfired pizza oven and hanging herb garden.  You can read that article here.

Woodfired Pizza Oven

Hanging Herb Garden

Last weekend we also completed a few other biggish jobs about the garden which I thought I would share with you.

With the arrival of a puppy to the household (and to help with his toilet training) we thought it best to forgo the ‘no mow’ stretch we had at the back of the house for some lawn. It once looked like this.

Gardening

Now it looks like this.

Gardening

 

gardening

It was a huge task.  Firstly the rhoeo border had to go as Murphy, the dog, loved pulling them out. Sections that survived his culling were flattened as he loved to run through it.  Next we had to move cubic metre after metre of stones and replace it with soil.  Once the whole thing was leveled, then we could lay the turf.  Hopefully the dog appreciates the time and effort everyone put in for him!

Instead of wasting the stones  and the pavers from this section of the yard, we decided to use them to top up the stones down one side of the house and put in a path.  Here is a picture of our finished job, still drying from the wash down.

Paving

pavers

Again this was a big and annoying job.  As the side of our house is angled every which way and there were obstacles to avoid, it was difficult to work out the line of best fit for the pavers.  We had string lines set up all over the place.

Some smaller jobs also got completed around the yard including a touch up coat of paint on the pizza oven.  I repotted and replaced a few of my herbs, including my parsley, which was gobbled up by the resident possum.  Hubby also hung a heater in the patio area so that we can sit out and enjoy the pizza oven and not freeze in the cooler weather.

It was nice to spend the weekend outdoors, even if it was dirty and back breaking work at times.  With these tasks completed, hopefully the whole family – but especially the dog – can enjoy the garden even more.

 

Pizza Oven and Hanging Herb Garden Update

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We were doing a whole heap of work about the garden on the weekend and I realised that I never posted about our finished pizza oven. You can read about the start of the project here and here.

The completed pizza oven, and accompanying hanging herb garden, brought a 3 year plan to fruition and we couldn’t be happier with the way it turned out!

Here is what the area looked like before.

Woodfired Pizza Oven

Woodfired Pizza Oven

And here is the completed pizza oven and hanging herb garden (please forgive the awful shadows in the pics).

Woodfired Pizza Oven

Hanging Herb Garden

 

And some pics of it in action….

Woodfired Pizza Oven

Woodfired Pizza Oven

In  the end we bought a pizza oven kit and hubby, with the help of a bricklayer friend, assembled it over a series of weekends. It wasn’t as big a job as they anticipated.

We already had a slab down and some besser brick pylons so with a little more block work and a poured concrete top,  the base was constructed.  This left a sizable space underneath for us to store wood and other patio essentials.  The oven kit was really simple to piece together and after some curing, the whole thing was ready to paint.

Woodfired Pizza Oven

After some hit and misses with how best to fire up the beast and cook a perfect pizza, hubby now has it down pat.  In fact it has become his little ‘thing’.  When the pizza oven is being fired up, he does everything,  including making the dough. Hooray a night off for me!

The plan was to use this for all sorts of cooking, like roasts and breads, but we haven’t really got into that.  As the weather warms up here in Australia, we will have to perfect these other dishes too.

This weekend just gone we fired the oven up for pizzas.  At the moment we are loving this prawn, prosciutto and basil pesto concoction my husband put together. Yum!

Woodfired Pizza Oven

Pop by later in the week to see some other changes we have made in the garden to make it a more useable space for the whole family.

Hanging Herb Garden – Finished!

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This weekend just gone we finally finished our hanging herb garden by adding a few more pots and herbs. You can read about our decision to put in this garden and a woodfired pizza oven here and here.

Take a look at our finished creation.

 Lots of space left to add more if we get our green thumbs in order.

At the moment we have an assortment of potted colour, cherry tomatoes and the following herbs:

  • Italian Parsley
  • Curly Parsley
  • coriander
  • Mint
  • Dill
  • Basil
  • Chives

My salads have already benefitted from the addition of  my newly growing herbs.  Yum!
Linking up with some of these fun parties
Monday: Singing Three Little Birdies, I should be Mopping the Floor, Polly Want a Crafter?, Cherished 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, The Kurtz Corner,  A Little Tipsy, Gingersnap crafts, Time Warp Wife, These Creative Juices, The Thrifty Home, Its a Very Cherry World,  Cornerstone Confessions,   Rae Gun Ramblings, Northern Cottage, Clean and Scentsible, Creatively Living , Kathe with an E, Ivy and Elephants, Romance on a Dime,   The Real Housewives of Riverton, DIY DreamerPrimp, JAQS Studio

Wednesday: Oopsey Daisy, 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: A Rosie Sweet Home, 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

Outdoor Suite Refresh & Easy Envelope Cushion Tutorial

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Since we are putting in the pizza oven and hanging herb garden in the back patio area, we have had to do a little shuffle of plants and furniture into other outside areas.

Our outside alcove area that sits between our master bedroom and dining room has always been a bit of a ho-hum area.  We really have struggled to do something with it that we like.  Up until recently we had a water feature out there but I have been waiting for inspiration to hit. With no idea in sight and sick of not utilising the area, I just took the bull by the horns and started.

We had to move the couch from the back patio to make way for the pizza oven so I moved it to the alcove.  Here is a pic of where it once stood.

Its green covers were looking less than  their best, so I investigated recovering the cushions as they were in satisfactory condition.   Good outdoor appropriate material was going to cost me near $50 a metre and the sewing would have taken a good deal of time and sewing skill, which I don’t really have.  I was beginning to think I would have to put up with the green covers a little longer.  But once again, the Ikea Gods looked favourably on me and provided a solution.

I took a look in their outdoor furniture section, which I have never have done before and I found on clearance, seat pads and cushions exactly (well almost)  the size I needed for the suite.  They came in a nice neutral tone which suited me as I often  like to change things up with scatter cushions in different colours and prints.

Picking up some canvas material from the local craft store, I decided to make some envelope cushions for the suite.  You too can make these with little investment of time or sewing ability as they have only 4 seams and no zip.  If you want to cut this work down even more, pick up a nicely printed large tea towel for your cushion material and you will only have to sew the side seams.

Firstly you must determine the size of your cushions by measuring the size of your cushion insert.  I work with the metric system but I know many of you use inches so I will give you both (please note the conversions are are approximates but won’t affect the final outcome of your slip, as long as you always work with the one unit)

My pillow is 13 x 13 inches (35 cm). I was a little generous with this measurement making sure I didn’t under-measure.

Cut your fabric to the following guide: Width of cushion + 1 inch (3 cm) x length of cushion x 2 + 6 inches (15 cm)

So my material ended up being 14 inches x 32 inches or 38 cm x 85 cm

Hem the two small edges of your fabric.  I used a 1/2 inch (1 cm) seam allowance.

Fold the small edges of your fabric towards the middle allowing these edges to overlap by 4 1/2 in or 12 cm.  Makes sure you fold the material so that the printed side is facing the inside.  Sew along the side seams using a 1/2 in or 1  cm seam allowance.

Turn your cushion right side out and fill.

I have added only a little wiggle room for the cushion – 1/2 in or 1 cm for both the width and length as my cushions did no have much height and I like my cushion to look generously stuffed. If you have particularly lofty cushions, or like a softer looking cushion, add a little more width and length to your cut material. 

So here is my finished suite with my new scatter cushions.  As it is a public holiday here in Brisbane, I think an afternoon refreshment on the ‘new’ lounge is in order.

The rest of this alcove area will get a little bit of a overhaul when I claim some free time.  I have a project I am itching to start that involves some serious garage sale shopping and spray painting.

Chaos Descends – Project Clean-up and Hanging Herb Garden Update

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Welcome to a new week.  I hope you enjoyed your weekend.  Ours was a full-on working bee around the yard but unfortunately I can’t see the progress.  I think we only completed a few tasks, half completed most and had to let some fall by the wayside.  So today I am in a bit of funk, annoyed that many of them will have to wait until next weekend.

The good news is that the hanging herb garden that I wrote about here, is constructed.  I love it!  Sorry about the pics…the sun was going down.

Over the next few days it will get a lick of dark grey paint like our patio. 

You can see that we have some pots hanging up but no plants as yet.  The plan is to get some more pots.  In fact I headed off to two garden centres to buy more today but they had both sold out. I have painted a few of the pots the Indian Red that we use as a feature colour in our yard.  I am yet to decide whether they will all get a spray paint.

We started some prep-work for the woodfired pizza oven which should get started this week.  I am so looking forward to trying it out.

So after a very busy weekend outside, today’s cold morning saw us inside and me going CRAZY.  I only just realised how much of a state the house is in.  It isn’t just that it needs a tidy,  literally every space has a project I would like to complete attached to it.  These range from simple little aesthetic things to big, fat organising projects.

After letting the enormity of it all depress me for half a day, I instead chose to seize the day.  I worked out a little project/tidy planner and got stuck into the first room. 

I began with an easy room – the bathroom.  I hoped that after seeing one room clean and project free that I’d be even more motivated to complete the others.

I gave everything a good clean including inside the cupboards and drawers. 

I threw away some old kid’s bath toys and towels and culled the toiletries. I packed away the baby bath as my little boy is sadly too big for it now.  Once everything was spick and span I completed my project for the room.

I had picked up this great set of seaside theme picture frames for next to nothing at Target.  Years ago I had taken some lovely photos on a beach holiday so I found and printed them.    Putting them in the frame, I hung the whole lot above the bath. 

It is only one room down and heaps to go in the process of regaining some order in the house, but I am already feeling happier and more energized to continue on.

Have a great week.

Project Pizza Oven and Hanging Herb Garden

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Here at the Crooked Household we love a big project.  We have dozens of projects that have been dreamt up.  Some have been altered, quoted, begun, delayed, squashed and the odd one finished.   One project that we have had in a holding pattern for at least 3 years is a woodfired pizza oven.  After watching ‘The Block’ 2012 season religiously the last few months, hubby and I were itching to complete at least one of those big project ideas and we chose the pizza oven.

For those of you living outside of Australia, ‘The Block’ is a TV show competition where couples renovate and decorate derelict houses to be auctioned off.  We love it.  The couples have some great ideas and we especially loved Brad and Lara’s outdoor area, complete with pizza oven and hanging herb garden. To have a look at pictures of their great area, pop over here.

We love their idea of having the pizza oven as a feature in the small yard.  We also love the idea of the hanging herb garden so close to the pizza oven.  You can just imagine reaching across and pulling off some basil leaves to put on your freshly cooked pizza, or breaking off some rosemary to put in with your roasting lamb.  Yummm!

We too have a small yard and can see a pizza oven and hanging herb garden as perfect additions to our patio area. 

So have a look at our space. 

It used to have a strip of grass running down the side and along the back until we decided it was just plain annoying to mow.  By adding more exposed aggregate  slabs we created one big entertainment area. 

It is a lovely space when it is in use.  At the moment it is the middle of winter so we haven’t been out there a lot, hence the dust on the table. 

In the top right hand corner currently sits the wicker lounge suite. 

The pizza oven is destined for this corner.  It will be put on a rendered structure incorporating the feature piers that already sit there.  This means that my suite will relocate to the front porch where  it can sit undercover.  It will get more use in that location and I will feel a lot better about leaving it uncovered there.

The hanging herb garden is destined to sit between the pizza oven and the barbecue where the yuccas currently sit.

They have grown like crazy and are a little wonky, so it’s probably time they go.  I hope to replant them in some capacity.

Like a typical Crooked project, the location for the herb garden was changed to here at the eleventh hour (the builder comes tomorrow).  Previously, it was to go outside an alcove type area off our dining room. 

Can you see the chalk drawings on the fence to show the builder what we wanted?  We spent a good chunk of yesterday afternoon working out the scale of the frame and removing the plants and garden bed that sat below where it was intended.

Having a lightbulb moment this morning, I knew the herb garden had to move.  Even hubby, who has to take out the yuccas tonight after work, will come around to the idea.  Our next door neighbour is a tree lopper, it’s not like he won’t have professional help ;)

I am so excited to be having the herb garden’s frame put up tomorrow.  Hopefully after a visit to the garden centre and the markets on the weekend we will have our herbs hanging ready to go. 

As for the pizza oven, we will have to wait another week or so.  The rain we have had has made the ground behind us soggy.  As the pizza oven is huge and heavy, there is no way we would easily get it down the narrow side of our house.  Instead, we are taking down part of the back fence and driving the oven through the acerage behind us, to its intended spot.  Thank goodness for lovely neighbours. 

If you would like to see how this project turns out for us, I would love for you to sign up to be a follower, either by email or Facebook. 

Have a great week all.

 

Linking up with some of these fun parties
Monday: Singing Three Little Birdies, Add a Pinch, I should be Mopping the Floor, Polly Want a Crafter?, Cherished Bliss, The Gunny Sack, Skip to my Lou, Craftomaniac, It’s so Very Cheri, Keeping it Simple, Creating Really Awesome Free Things, Between Naps on the Porch, Alderberry Hill, Its A Blog Party, A Pinch of Joy, Making the World Cuter, Mad in Crafts, Sew Can Do, Sugar Bee Crafts, Tip Junkie, New Nostalgia, Ladybug Blessings, My Favourite Finds, Jillify It, 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 Homelife, Raising 4 Princesses, Celebrating Family, Carolyn’s Homework, The Blackberry Vine, The Kurtz Corner, Sassy Sites, A Little Tipsy, Gingersnap crafts, Time Warp Wife, These Creative Juices, The Thrifty Home, Its a Very Cherry World, Reason to Skip the Housework, Mommy by Day, Crafter by Night, Cornerstone Confessions, Naptime Delights, Rae Gun Ramblings, Northern Cottage, Clean and Scentsible, Creatively Living , Kathe with an E, Ivy and Elephants, Romance on a Dime, Tales of a Trophy Wife, Creatively Living, The Real Housewives of Riverton, DIY Dreamer, Primp, JAQS Studio, MercyINK

Wednesday: Oopsey Daisy, 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, Passionately Artistic, Trendy Treehouse, Women Living Well, We are that Family, The Mommy Club , Raising Homemakers, Sew Much Ado, Somewhat Simple, Fireflies 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 Go, The NY Melrose Family, Family 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 Keeper, The Frugal Girls, The 36th Avenue, Raising Mighty Arrows, Thrifty 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 Lucky, Terpblog, Raising Oranges, Live, Laugh, Rowe, The 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 Mom, Kojo Designs, Young 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, Lolly Jane

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