Sunday, August 31, 2008
Im slowing making my way through my list of things to achieve before we can get on a plane and fly far away - one of these was Birthday invitations to my Husbands 30th Birthday which we are holding at an art deco inspired wine bar once we return.
The invites needed to feel classic, art deco inspired with a touch of masculinity suitable for a male birthday. I illustrated a subtle art deco pattern which was blind debossed into the paper and used to create a gorgeous tactile feel to our 100% cotton paper.
After printing with deep charcoal ink, we then used our gold dusting technique to create a slightly sparkly but ever so classy gold invitation names.
After lining the envelopes with my favourite Florence Broadhurst Japanese Fans, the invitations are now addressed and ready for the mail!
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
It seems nothing ever goes to plan not matter how well we do try and plan things, although maybe thats our downfall - Trying to be too organised and all...
Our kitchen is now installed and all the electrical work has been completed, Phew, that was an effort and a half! We are now waiting on our benchtops which we ordered last week to arrive late this week - perfect.
Only problem is that our colour is now out of stock and will be another three weeks. Oh dear. Very unperfectly timed for when we leave on our 5 week trip and my husbands gorgeous nanna and poppa move in for a tropical beach house holiday. I hope they can overlook that the kitchen may potentially will not have benchtops, stovetop or sink.
We have also hit a hurdle with our mirror splashback - it appears it can be done - but not behind stoves or hot surface. Now that wasn't great to hear. Although apparently a new product was released (2 weeks ago!) which is toughened mirror. Perfect. But that can't be measured and ordered until the benchtop is installed. So at this stage we are looking at November. Geezz.
So one step forward, two, or is that three steps back?
So im soothing my mind and kitchen angst over the fact that we have now booked our first accommodation for our trip in Dubrovnic Croatia. How delightful is the door to our apartment. So we have three nights booked, 33 more to find...
Sunday, August 24, 2008
It has suddenly dawned on me that with 3 weeks and 6 days until we leave for our 5 week trip around croatia and italy - that there is still so much to get done before we go!!
- We have airfares booked, but not yet one hotel, and no plans as to where we will go!
- Funding is required that has not yet been found for the above mentioned.
- A half renovated kitchen which is yet to be completed.
- My new Canon 450D camera to be sourced for the best possible deal.
- Fathers day presents to be found ( god help me, fathers day is the worst!)
- A 30th Birthday party to plan for my husband for soon after our arrival back home and invitations to be sent.
- A mountain of kitchen cabinets and appliances to be sold on ebay.
- A spring clean of clothes to be sold on ebay to help with the funding issue.
- Massive Spring Clean for the arrival of our dear Nan & Pop who will be house sitting and caring for our dog whilst we are away.
- New Graphic Design students starting tomorrow to inspire & teach
- A visit from the lovely Louise & her husband from Poppy Letterpress - we hope they can overlook the half done kitchen situation!
- And the scariest of them all, 3 weeks and 6 days to get fit enough to cycle 40kms each day through tuscany.
Oh dear! I think I need a nap just thinking about it all...
Image shot Milano Duomo sourced from Aries FAD
Friday, August 22, 2008
On a spur of a moment decision sick of looking at our half finished kitchen renovation, we decided to head to our local Cultural Centre which has $6 arthouse movies on a friday night. We turned up not knowing what was going to be showing just happy to be out of the house!
The movie of the night was The Counterfeiters (German with English Subtitles) which is a true story of the largest counterfeiting operation in history, set up by the Nazis in 1936. Thrown into the Mauthausen concentration camp Salomon Sorowitsch is forced to produce fake foreign currency under the program Operation Berhard.
My husband and I nearly jumped out of our seats in excitement when in the very early stages of the movie they show the printing room full of platen presses!! You can just see one in the background of the image above.
As the movie progressed you saw more and more platen presses churning out the forged bank notes. Very exciting to see a somewhat typical ( if you ignore the forgery & the fact its in a concentration camp) print shop back in the era. But at the same time also a very sad story knowing that this all in fact really did happen.
So our gamble at the arthouse cinema paid off - we think this movie is well deserving of its Acadamy Award - the platens are an added bonus!
My wonderful parents have spent the last 4 days helping install our kicthen. As avid loose leaf tea drinkers it has appeared we have failed to provide them with a tea strainer. My poor mum has been pouring tea for the last four days with the pasta strainer!
As for the monster kitchen renovation it has been flat pack kingdom here with 31 cabinets and 56 doors to install. Today is kickboard and end panels day and we might even make a start on the massive pile of handles. Benchtops have just been ordered and its slowly starting to feel like a kitchen!
Saturday, August 16, 2008
The living room of our house is also the entrance to the house. The photo taken above was on our first inspection when looking to buy it. My husband captured this moment of me looking not too impressed.
The current owners choice of furniture, pink walls, dirty cream architraves and patched up ply ceiling wasn't too inspiring!! But the high ceilings, original features and lots of natural light all had potential!
A few months later after a long and frustrating settlement the house was ours. The previous owners had planned renovation works so the house came with these plans. We didn't do any of their suggestions however this plan above became my bible! I had scribbles and scribbles all over the page calculating all the things we needed to buy!
This is the view of the entrance way pre renovation work!
Top quality ply ceilings in exceptional condition! Thats my husband in the roof... Is there a possum up there?
This little piddly door way didn't sit in the centre of the room between the living room & kitchen and is the first thing you saw when you walked into the house - it had to go!
Work begins! All the timber stripping is removed from the ply ceilings.
See the sag in the ceiling? top quality indeed.
New timber beams are put up to support the new plasterboard ceilings.
A panel lift is hired to lift the plaster sheetings onto the ceiling. This was a quite simple job and took 2 days to do the entire house. This saved us a fortune as the quotes were approx $5k to pay to have this done! Although, moving these sheets up a flight of stairs is a painful experience. We ended up cutting off our veranda posts so that we could carry up the 4 metre sheets!
The plaster is screwed into the ceiling.
Completed (very late at night!)
That old skinny off center door way is cut out so that we can make a much more open plan welcome to the house! The cornices arrived - we chose big colonial style cornices, much more expensive then your typical cornices, but far better suited to the style of house.
We employed the services of a fantastic plasterer to patch up the ceilings and install the cornices. These were delicate and expensive so we didn't trust ourselves not to ruin them! The plasterer charged $2.5k to do the entire house and took 4 days (our previously mentioned smelly tiler should take accountancy lessons from this bloke!)
The colonial style archway is installed. We were so lucky that we could buy this off the shelf from a colonial supplier and it fitted perfectly! It cost approx $400.
Archway completed and my husband drills holes for the downlights.
The mammoth sanding of the entire house begins! All the walls are timber VJ or Tounge and Groove walls and all had to be sanded. I obviously was still was friends with the sander above. This friendship was shortlived.
Painting begins! We are so grateful to Lili & Uwe our friends from the Gold Coast who gave up an entire sunday to help undercoat our gloriously sexy pink walls.
My husband getting some fresh air hanging out the windows painting the windows. Im so scared of heights so this freaked me out greatly!!
Painting the archway. Fiddly Fiddly!! Notice the newspaper and tape on the widows? We do not recommend using everyday masking tape... This is one lesson we have learnt the hard way - Buying the proper materials can make ALL the difference!
And finally we are finished!
We employed a floor sander & polisher to come restore our Silky Oak timber floors. The downlights were installed, handleware attached to the windows and skirting boards finished it all off. We are on the search for new couches to replace these beloved 20year old Moran Leather couches.
The archway now a much nicer welcome to our house as you enter the front door. The kitchen is to be demolished this week and the new one is on the way! The renovation of this living room is hard to calculate but we would guess somewhere in the proximity of $4k.
And finally it feels like home with my favourite Florence Broadhurst ottomans and cushions!
The first room up in our massive house renovation was the bathroom. A tiny room at 2.6m x 2.3m our biggest struggle was how to fit everything in!! The orginal bath was cast iron weighed a bloody tonne and was sold on ebay for a whopping 99cents. What a bargain. I think the buyer regretted such a bargain trying to move it out of the house!
My planning diagrams trying to work out the best arrangement to fit a shower, bath, vanity and toilet into such a small room! This was such a tough undertaking! Having never tried to "organise" a bathroom before we ended up with the top left diagram as I liked the symmetry of having the bath in the centre of the room under the window.
Once the bath, toilet and vanity were removed we then had to rewall all the walls with waterproof hardiplank boards.
We thought that the tiling and building of the shower would be too easy to stuff up so we called upon a tiler to come do it for us. He never turned up on days, turned up late on others, had not showered for weeks and smelt accordinly. But he did eventually build and tile us our shower for the grand sum of $600. Seeing as he spent 4 days building it we wonder if he needs an accountant to figure out that he really was giving himself a raw deal.
We did have one disaster with our shower. Three days after the tiler was done all the white grout turned a beautiful shade of dirty orange which goes just smashingly with white tiles. He eventually turned up and fixed it. Three weeks later of course!
We decided to do a built in vanity to make extra space within the bathroom. My husband built this wardrobe in the ajoining bedroom so that the vanity could be pushed into the empty space it created.
We had a cabinet maker custom make our vanity. At a cost of $2100 for vanity and mirror cabinets it wasn't a cheap exercise, but allowed us to have it fit perfectly snuggly into the empty cavity within the wall.
Bench top is essa stone. The walls of the bathroom were tiled (by a less smelly tiler) and the ceilings replaced with plasterboard and new cornices.
My husband in his finest working clothes making final touches on the new tapwear by Consolidated Brass. The windows were painted and floor boards polished.
The bath is a claw foot fibreglass bath by Marbletrend with brass feet. My husband made a metal bracelet which sits over the plastic plumbing. Brass pipes cost a fortune so we bought a steel pipe and had it coated in brass and saved a pretty packet.
Ruby our Toller likes the new bathroom too!
The Genevieve toilet suite was purchased from tradelink and made by Raymor. The freestanding toilet roll holder by Consolidated Brass. We found these guys fabulous for all our brass and chrome fittings. They custom mixed our brass and chrome pieces to create exactly what we were looking for at no extra cost... Now that is service!
Finished vanity unit with mirror cabinet and mirror splashback. It took three attempts at getting this splashback to work! The first cracked, the second didn't sit straight and the third thankfully did as it was told!
Handlewear purchased from "Handle This" here in Brisbane.
The silky oak doors where estapoled and original brass door handles were restored by S.Cook & Sons.
And finally the bathroom is finished! This renovation cost approx 12k to complete. A huge chunk of our renovation budget but it is just so lovely to lay in the bath, gaze out the windows and reminisce about the smelly tiler and the journeys of the last year!
Yesterday was the first anniversary of us calling Brisbane home. We moved up here from Sydney for my husbands work and what a beautiful wonderful year it has been!! We undertook a massive relocation - including moving the 800kg press! I started Lecturing and launched Bespoke Press, my husband started his new business and we took on the project of our first home with gusto, gutting the house and making it our own!
Our Art Deco 1935 Timber Queenslander sure has come along way since we first walked in the door when the ply ceilings were falling apart, the bathroom was original, it lacked light and airflow and it was painted beautiful shades of pink and window frames poo green!
With a very limited budget my dear husband has done most of the work including playing carpenter, plasterer and painter and assistant plumber and electrician. We have had some great helping hands along the way with help from my father in law who installed our bathroom plumbing and our dear friends from the gold coast who helped paint our house in stifling 30'c heat. My wonderful parents will be up shortly to help install the kitchen and we are so thankful for all those who have helped us along with this monster renovation.
Over the next couple of days I thought I would share some photos of this journey over the last year and the progress that our house has taken. It is not yet finished, we don't have wardrobes finished, we haven't yet installed the ceiling fans, the kitchen starts this week, we are yet to tackle painting the outside of the house and we are yet to really furnish the house, but it sure has come along way and it really is starting to feel like home!