Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Still Unpacking & A Tour!!

Hellooooo!! Yes, I'm still here and still a bit quiet on the blogging front because there's still a WHOLE LOT of these ...

... waiting for attention ... SIGH!!! Apparently the unpacking fairies are running way behind in their schedule to visit us. Oh dear! I may still be unpacking boxes at Christmas time ... NEXT year!!

Since this photo was taken in my sewing room, you can guess that there's been no stitching or sewing happening, so I don't have any photos of stitchy stuff to share. BUT ... I thought (since quite a few of you have asked so nicely!!) that I would share a few pics of our new house with you. Now, considering most of the rooms still look like versions of the above pic, I'll share the real estate photos that first helped us fall in love with "Edward House". These were borrowed from the Elders real estate site ... I think they've now been taken down ... cos the house is SOLD! :0) 

WARNING!! There are a LOT of photos to follow, so you might want to grab a cuppa ... and maybe a bickie to tide you over. Brace yourself, Chookyblue, for one of my mammoth posts! :0)

Our new home started it's life in 1890 and was in a rural area on a large historic property about an hour and a half west of Toowoomba. It was moved to it's current spot three years ago and has been extensively renovated and remodelled to make it a fabulous, roomy place to live. Here we go ... and we're walking ...! :0)

Welcome to "Edward House". Our front path.

Approaching the lovely wide verandah ...

... where you can sit and relax a while. This sweet wicker set belonged to the previous owners and I'm on the lookout for something similar. In the meantime I have a flea-market-find table there with a couple of director's chairs ... not quite as picturesque, but they do the job. :0)

Step inside the front door and walk down the hall. I love the arch ... it's very similar to the one in our previous cottage, though a bit wider.

Here's the main bedroom and that walk-through to the right leads to ...

... the ensuite. We've never had an ensuite before, but we're finding it very handy when we have guests ...although ... it does mean there are now TWO bathrooms and toilets for me to clean ... GROAN!! One of my least favourite jobs! :0) You'll notice a lot of doors in odd places as we tour through ... the folks we bought the house from reconfigured most of the rooms from the inside (like a lot of farm houses, it was a bit 'rabbit-warreny'!) but they've kept all the original door and window placements.

Next is the guest room ... I'm loving the size of the two main bedrooms ... my collected treasures, vintage finds and antiques are all shown off much better. :0)

Then we come to the sitting room ... doesn't that sound flash?! :0) With the open fire place, it will be a cosy spot for my stitching friends and I to hang out ... although, there's no furniture in there as yet, just more boxes. :0) And LOOK!! I am now the proud owner of a chandelier!! Tall people will need to remember to duck, but my Beloved Geek Boy and I are both shorties, so we won't be ending up with concussion from passing through this room! :0) Do you see the double doors to the left there? They lead to ...

... a sun-room/sleep out/library/nanny-napping-nook. :0) We've put an old single cast iron bed in this room (the one I showed you in the office of our cottage in a previous post) and GB has already ascertained that it's the perfect spot for a nanny-nap! :0) And the sleep out leads into ...

... the sewing room. That lovely stained glass door is the one that connects the sewing room to the sleep out. The sewing room is a smidge bigger than my last sewing room, but with no built-in cupboard (ugly as it was, it was handy!) so I'm working on more storage solutions for my creative space. Stay tuned! :0)

From the sewing room, you walk past the laundry (which has a LINEN CUPBOARD! WOO! HOO! I'm very excited about that as you can tell!! :0) ) into the walk-through office. You can see to the right of the picture that the office is also entered from the sitting room. Our office desk isn't as grand as the one pictured, but it does the job ... though GB has been told he has to keep his desk tidy, since you have to pass through the office to reach the main living area. What do you think my chances are of holding him to that?!?! :0) Passing through the office, we go into ...

... the kitchen/dining/lounge room ... which for the sake of brevity and not twisting our tongues into knots, we refer to as the 'back room' or 'living area' ... since this is indeed where we predominantly 'live'. :0) Those two sets of French doors let in lots of lovely sunlight in the morning (will have to be a bit careful of fading of any fabrics in this area) ...

... giving the room a warm, open feel. And the best part is (besides the combustion heater snuggled in the fireplace!!) ...

... those French doors lead out onto a nice sized back deck, making for the perfect entertaining space ... and yes ... there are already more 'house-warming' events being planned to test-drive this space! :0)

The kitchen looks fabulous, though I have discovered it isn't the most practical in some respects ... and like GB and his office desk, I'll be challenged to keep the kitchen a bit neater because it's open for all to see ... no hiding cooking clutter behind handy dividing walls! :0)

And finally, the view we have as we wave you goodbye after a lovely, relaxing visit! :0)

So ... those were the photos that started us on the road to falling in love with this house. You can see why we think all the rush, stress, work, headaches and pain of the last few months was worthwhile. :0) I promise that as we get rooms set up, furniture arranged to my liking (don't ask GB how many times he's heard the words ... 'maybe it would look better over there'.!!! Tee! Hee! Hee!) and my pretties hung, displayed and arranged, I'll share some more pics as we make the house our own. I'm struggling with the very neutral colour scheme at the moment, being a colour freak as I am. As much as I love all those lovely photos of serene, French-inspired, shabby-chic all-white houses ... apparently I'm too much of a colour freak to be able to live with neutrals for too long! :0)

In the meantime, I'm in the middle of a much-anticipated week off work, so I think I shall go and play Polly to put the kettle on for a cup of tea while I take a little hop around blogland to see what everyone else is up to. OH!! OPAMers ... thank you to everyone who emailed their finishes to Sweet Peg and me. We've been experiencing some internet issues since the move (rural area, so slower, less-reliable internet coverage ... GRRRR! Telstra!!) so I haven't managed to email you all to say thank you and well done ... so consider yourselves now congratulated and thanked! :0) My Sweet partner-in-crime has done the prize draw, so if you haven't yet caught up with the news, you'd better pop over to visit her. Thanks Sweet Peg for holding down the OPAM fort while I'm in the midst of moving-madness!! :0)

I hear the kettle calling my name, so shall sign off for now ... I'll be back after the weekend to share the fun of our annual Stitchers Dream Day Out which is on this weekend ... WOO! HOO!! :0) My Bestest-Buddy-Since-We-Were-Nine Lynette is climbing the hill to join me for a sleep-over play-date and my quirky-clever-clogs blogging buddy Toni will be joining us for the day on Sunday, too, along with the Fabulous Fiona and my dancing buddy Lynda. I hear there are a few other bloggy gals coming to play too ... let me know you're coming, gals ... and if you see me swanning around chatting (cos I've been told that I seem to do more chatting than stitching at this event!! Tee! Hee! Hee!) , make sure you grab me to say "G'day!" :0) Til next time ...



Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Checking In From Amidst Chaos!!

HELLOOOOOO!!! Yes, I'm still in the land of the living, just a wee bit buried under a mountain of boxes and unpacking. We're all moved into our new house safe and sound ... though not without a few 'adventures'!!

The biggest adventure occurred as we were packing and cleaning our cottage ready to move ... my Beloved Geek Boy had been up in the roof storage/attic space and having finished, he stepped onto the ladder to climb down. That's when he felt the ladder slide out from under him and he fell 11 feet to land flat on his back!! Mum and I were in another room and all we heard was some swearing (Oops!!), the clatter of the ladder falling and one humongous and very final sounding THUD! I think my heart stopped for a few beats ... and again when I raced into the room to find GB flat on his back and gasping for breath! EEK! After he caught his breath and found that everything moved and wriggled that should be able to (Thank you Lord!!) I picked him up off the floor and carted him off to the chiropractor ... who said nothing was broken, his pelvis which bore the brunt of the abrupt landing was out of alignment (which he fixed) and the spine and muscles were badly bruised. With rest (HA!) and anti-inflamatories, he would live to fight another day ... as long as he steered clear of ladders for a while!!

Well ... almost two weeks on, GB is still hobbling around (and just quietly reminds me of the old-fashioned sailor with a rolling sort of gait! Tee! Hee! Hee!) but is on the mend. I think his guardian angel is missing quite a few wing feathers, tho! And we are incredibly thankful that things didn't turn out worse. Really, as difficult (and frustrating for GB!) as things have been, it really was the best worst-case-scenario possible in the circumstances. And we were extremely blessed to receive huge help and support from friends, workmates and family members ... we'd have been lost without my folks, especially! Thanks Mum and Dad! :0) They went home to rest for a week or two ... or three! Tee! Hee! Hee!

So ... now it's just a matter of continuing the endless task of unpacking, rearranging furniture and wrapping our heads around fitting our belongings into a different space and house configuration. Not to mention finding homes for everything ... and then trying to remember where you put everything! SHEESH! We're still playing hide-and-seek with our belongings just to get ready in the mornings! :0) And there are many 'mysterious mounds' like this around the house ...

Did I mention I was paranoid about my breakables getting broken in the move?! :0) On the up side ... newspaper is great for helping to get the wood heater going on our freezing evenings and frosty mornings ... one of the HUGE plusses of our new house! :0)

There's still quite a bit of unpacking to do ... I haven't had any time off work during this process and GB's been handicapped ... but we're just muddling along, doing a bit more each day until one day we hope it's all unpacked and in new homes. Then maybe I'll get back to my sewing!! :0)

And when it all gets a little too much and we start to ask ourselves what the heck we've done ... I make myself a cup of tea and go for a stroll around our lovely large new garden. There are lots of plants I've never tried growing before, lots of deciduous trees and mysterious bulbs beginning to dress themselves in their spring finery, not to mention a few veges and some mystery herbs. (Note to self: find a good herb reference to make sure the herbs aren't suspicious! Tee! Hee! Hee!) The showiest of the plants at the moment is this pretty lady ...

It's not the best photo, as I snapped it in a hurry as I scooted past to head off to work this morning, but don't you just love those fresh spring colours? It makes me smile to see the garden coming out of hibernation! I promise I'll give you a tour when more spring beauties are showing their colours. And a house tour will also be on the agenda ... just as soon as it looks like a house instead of a giant jumble sale. :0)

Hopefully some of you out there have been stitching away madly to make up for my lack of sewing industry again this month and if you have ... OPAMers ... don't forget it's only a few days til the end of the month, so please update your sidebar lists of finishes and email your tallies through to me or Sweet Peg. My lovely Partner-In-Crime has been a rock as I've been a bit unreliable in the blogging/emailing/OPAMing stakes during the process of preparing for auction, selling our cottage and buying our dream house ... thank you so much, Sweet Peg! MMMMMWAH!!!

Well ... that's about it from me for today and since the sun has finally peeked out from behind the storm clouds, I think I will play Polly and put the kettle on for a cup of tea, then take a promenade around the garden to see what new surprises I can see. Enjoy the rest of your week!! Til next time ...



Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Feeling Shabby!!

No, no!!! I'm not feeling shabby health-wise ... I'm feeling shabby in a CHIC sense ... you know ... decorating-wise! :0) With the bubble wrap and boxes outnumbering the people in our cosy cottage by a large margin at the moment as we prepare to move to our dream house next week (EEK! How did that time go so slowly, then quickly?!?!) you won't be surprised that I've been thinking about decorating, furniture arrangement and how best to display my pretties in their new nest. If you ask me what my personal decorating style is, I'd have to say it's kind of a mish-mash ... Shabby French Provincial Country Cottage Chic ... about covers it! Tee! Hee! Hee! Does that mean I'm incredibly eclectic or just plain can't make up my mind? Perhaps a little of column "A" and a little of column "B"! :0)

If I had to choose one decorating style that's "speaking to me" at the moment, though, I'd probably say "Shabby Chic" ... even if I can't convince my Beloved Geek Boy that purposely sanding patches of paint off a freshly painted piece of furniture is a good idea. :0) So ... with my thoughts (and Pinterest boards!!) leaning towards decorating in a chicly shabby style at the moment, imagine how EXCITED I was when I got an email from my gorgeous and talented blogging buddy Kerryanne over at Shabby Art Boutique today telling me that the latest issue of her e-mag "Simply Shabbilicious" is now available ... WOO! HOO!!

I've only had a chance to have a quick flick through this GORGEOUS mag, but I can tell you I'll be revisiting it again ... with a cuppa and a comfy chair!! ... really soon. :0) If you, too, love country, shabby chic, French Provincial, farmhouse, vintage, cottage kinds of decorating then hop over to Kerryanne's blog HERE to see how you can enjoy this beautifully styled mag ... it's well worth your while! :0)

And like a sign from the decorating powers of the universe, another email landing in my 'in' box today included a link to an interview with the Queen of Shabby Chic Ms Rachel Ashwell herself ... along with some FABULOUS photos of her latest venture ... a shabbily chic decorated B & B ... WOW!! Pop over HERE for a peek ... it will make a shabby chic gal's heart sing. :0) 

This will probably be my last post for a week or two ... until we're able to sort out the internet at the new house ... but I'm sure I'll find a bit of time to hop around blogland to take sneaky peekies at what everyone is up to. And even though I might be 'off the air' blog-wise for a little while, you can still contact me by email ... just in case you miss me and want to have a chat! :0) I hope you all have a fantastic end of the week, a fabulous weekend and that you ensure you're kind to yourselves and include some "ME" time in your schedule in the next week or two. :0) Til next time ...



Sunday, 10 August 2014

Packing/Moving House Philosophical Observation!!

As our house becomes a nest of boxes ... packed and empty ... newspaper, bubble wrap, heavy-duty tape, bags and marker pens (read: ABSOLUTE CHAOS!!!) I have made a philosophical observation ...


Tee! Hee! Hee! Not really news to you all, I'm sure, if you've been tagging along here for visits for a while and not really news to me either ... after all ... I ENJOY collecting things! Not only the "having" of the things, but the "process of attaining" the things, whether that be time spent in my sewing room to make pretty dolls, bears or quilts; whether it's an antique shop crawl with my Bestest-Buddy-Since-We-Were-Nine Lynette; or a lets-fill-in-time-on-a-lazy-Sunday with my Beloved Geek Boy. All of my collections have stories to tell ... as well as looking pretty scattered around our home. :0)

But ... it's a bit of a pain in the butt now that we're packing all the collections to move. You see ... I collect ...

... pretty china ... tea cups, trios, teapots, sandwich plates ... if they're pretty, I love to adopt them! :0)

... I collect bottles of all shapes and sizes, but these are some of my favourite ... those cobalt blues and pretty aquas make me swoon! :0)

... old ports ... er ... suitcases, for non-Queenslanders! :0) I just love them! Where have they been? What wonderful adventures have they shared? Who held tightly to their handles as they waited for the bus/train/plane? Oh ...and they're handy for housing another of my collections ...

... BEARS ... of course! :0) Then there's my ever-growing collection of ...

... green Depression Glass ... and we won't even MENTION ...

... my FABRIC stash collection. :0)

I TOLD you I was a collector! Tee! Hee! Hee! The nicest part of my collections, though, is that even though they're a pain to pack, as soon as I start unpacking them and displaying them in our new house, it will very quickly start to feel like ...

HOME! :0)

So ... there's a bit of packing/moving house philosophy for you. I'm not sure it will be very helpful to you if you're packing to move, except to let you know there are other hoarders COLLECTORS out there just like you! Tee! Hee! Hee!

I hope to check back in with you all before next week's big "S" day ... Settlement Day! :0) Then it might be a while before I get to visit you all again while we do the Internet juggle ... since I'm not clever enough to have worked out how to do blog posts from my phone. BLUSH! I hope your weekend is cruising along nicely and that you're managing to enjoy a bit of "ME" time. Right now I'm going to make myself a cuppa (I know that will be a surprise to you all! NOT! ) and then it's back to bubble wrap and boxes for me ... since GB is refusing to be responsible for any of my breakables! :0) Til next time ...



Friday, 8 August 2014

The Things You Find ... !!

... when you start cleaning and packing to move! :0) Just over a week til we bid farewell to our cosy cottage and move into our dream house, so you can imagine that it's approaching "Panic Stations" here at the Meares' Madhouse. We're walking that fine line between needing to pack 'stuff' ready to move and not being ABLE to pack 'stuff' cos we're still using it! It's doing my poor ol' head in, I tell you! :0)

So ... this week I decided to tackle my sewing room cupboards ... GROAN!! While quite a lot of my sewing and craft supplies are stored in plastic tubs as a matter of course, which will be easy to load into the moving van, there is still quite a LOT of 'stuff' stored in my shabby chic cupboard ...

I took a deep breath and dived in. WOW! Who's been stashing fabric, layer cakes, charm squares, wadding and all sorts of interesting things in my sewing cupboard while I wasn't looking?! Tee! Hee! Hee! I discovered all sorts of goodies ... along with quite a few WISPs ... OOPS! :0) And right at the back of the cupboard, I found a 'blast from the past' ... the second quilt I ever made ... er ... STARTED to make! BLUSH!

I started making making this tartan butterfly quilt about ... hmmm ... 15 years ago ... EEP! It was supposed to be for one of two single beds we had in our guest room at the time, the other quilt featured tartan fabrics and gingerbread men. It DID get finished and after years of gracing the back of our lounge chair, it is now our picnic rug that lives in the car.

This one showed off tartan butterflies and quilted Celtic knots. Alas ... as you can see ... I never got around to finishing it. You see, I'm predominantly self-taught ... though I've picked up some handy tips from more experienced quilting friends over the years. So when I was making this quilt, I made a few simple mistakes that led to it being discarded in the "Too Hard" basket.

1) I didn't quite do a good enough job of keeping the backing fabric smooth and flat when I basted it, so when I started to quilt it, lots of pesky wrinkles and bumps, that I didn't know how to get rid of, appeared on the back.

2) I was on a very limited budget and used poly wadding that was inexpensive, but quite 'floofy' (technical term there! Tee! Hee! Hee!) and this compounded the wrinkles-in-the-backing problems.

3) When we moved last time, I lost the Celtic knot design I was tracing onto the tartan squares to quilt ... DOH!!

So ... this quilt is now hidden in the back of the sewing cupboard like a crazy great-aunt is hidden in the attic in movies. :0) I'm not quite sure what to with it ... do I make a stab at re-drawing the Celtic knot, fix the backing wrinkles and keep quilting, or do I undo the lot and save up my play money, replace the floofy wadding with better quality wadding and get the Fabulous Fiona to work her quilting magic on it? Still thinking ... so for now ... it's been packed! :0) Any suggestions??

To take a break from our packing (BLECH!!) last weekend, my Beloved Geek Boy and I toodled off to a couple of second-hand shops in search of a couple of pieces of furniture that we'll need once we've moved into the new house. Not a lot of success was had there, but I DID find a sweet, vintage treasure to rescue for the princely sum of $5 ...

This linen and lace ... er ... ITEM!! OK ... giggle at me if you will (and let's face it, I giggle at myself quite frequently!!) but I don't actually know what this would have been used for originally. The lace is hand made and very delicate and fragile ... you can see a couple of places where it's coming away form the edge of the linen ... and it is only around three sides of the linen. I'm not sure whether it would have been used as a cloth for the top of a chest of drawers or similar that sat against a wall, or whether it would have been a valance for a half tester bed canopy. One of life's mysteries ... does anyone have any ideas? Here's a closer look at the delicate lace ...

Isn't it lovely! It has a few 'ugly spots' on it, so I'll reattach the lace where it's come adrift and soak it in some whitener. I'm sure I can find a spot for it in the new house ... whatever it was originally used for. :0)

So ... that's what's been happening here at the Meares' madhouse ... amidst the manic packing and planning! Speaking of "amidst manic packing and planning" ... thank you to all the OPAMers who emailed me and my GORGEOUS partner-in-crime Sweet Peg with your end of month finish tallies. 310 finishes for July!! Well done everyone!! Now, knowing that our life is topsy-turvy at the moment, my Sweet partner-in-crime has taken over the prize draw for the next couple of months ... THANK YOU SWEET PEG!! You are a gem!! :0) And my Sweet friend has posted the July winners on her blog this morning, so pop on over to see if you're one of the lucky ones. If you emailed your finishes to me ... I'm still working my way through answering emails for the last couple of weeks ... I do like to reply to you all, but I hope you'll understand if I'm a bit slack. I shall try my best to catch up with you all. :0)

Well, now that I've caught you up on our doings for the week, I think it's time for me to play Polly and enjoy a cup of tea ... before I head off to Friday night Sit And Sew. I'll be taking my cotton crochet blankie to work on ... not much thinking involved, so perfect to relax with while we chat! :0) I hope you've all had a great week and that your weekend includes sewing your projects rather than packing them ... SIGH!!! Til next time ...



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