Master bedroom makeover: Painting progress

Total silence from me in no way means nothing is happening ’round here!

It’s all happening, just as fast as it can. Sometimes I get frustrated that it’s not fast enough… but for various reasons of work, weather and a weekend off, this coming weekend will be the first in six that we get more than a couple of hours to hit this master bedroom renovation.

I’m hoping for some dry weather so we can remove the windows for sanding and painting. But if we don’t get that, there are plenty of little things like putting outlet covers back on, installing some “new” wall lights, and planning and possibly materials shopping for the wardrobe.

But first, here’s a mass photo drop of our plastering and painting progress to date.

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Have a lovely weekend x

Homemade laundry powder

Well there was no progress made on the master bedroom front over the weekend. But only because Andre and I got to spend an entire weekend playing tourists in our own city, while the kids had a fabulous time at their grandparents! We are all back together again and feeling refreshed and ready to hit the last half of the year running. We have a lot to pack in… we just don’t know what yet?!

So I started today by walking to kindy in the rain, and then a morning of chores, with the fire crackling and the washing machine humming.

I also finally got around to making my own washing powder!

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Mum knew I wanted to make some, so she bought me all the ingredients from Wendyl Nissen’s shop a few weeks ago.

It’s so easy to make… here’s how:

  • Combine 1 cup of Soda Ash and 1 cup of Baking Soda in a food processor.
  • Mix 60mL of Dr Bronner’s Castille Soap and 20 drops (or 2mL) of essential oil (I used lavender) together.
  • With the processor running on low speed, slowly pour the liquid mixture into the powder until it is all combined.
  • Store the laundry powder in an airtight container. Use 1-2tbsp per load.

It smells amazing, and I can’t wait to try it out!

Happy Monday x

 

 

Pin of the day: Mid century time out

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I’ve been poring over a book of mid century house plans that Andre got me recently, so this outdoor space has me tying some of those plans into a minimal landscape like this one. I love the simple, neutral colour scheme, the clean lines and the scarce planting. And I just know those chairs are comfy – we have our own versions!

It looks like a good space to just sit in and contemplate.

I’ve been doing a little of that recently, hence the blog silence for a while.

It’s winter here in NZ, and while we haven’t been hit with nasty weather too much (yet!), it’s definitely feeling like time to slow down and just sit some more. Read books, chat by the fire, lay on the floor doing puzzles, anything… just to wind down.

I’ve been feeling exhausted with mothering lately – the constant demands, both physical and mental, and the guilt that comes with my need to take time to step aside from all that for a bit. We’re struggling to shift month-long colds and sniffles, and of course, battling to get our bedroom progressing so we can look forward to having a spare room again and another few square metres to breathe in.

I know updates on what we’ve been up to are well overdue… but I’ve just been busy getting on and doing it, instead of blogging it.

I’ll be back to blogging it when I’m done sitting in the “winter sunshine” in my coolie chair!

Small spaces: Textures in Antwerp

This image had me doing a double-take when I spotted it on Pinterest this week, because at first glance it resembles the little flat we lived in in London! Not that ours was nearly as modern and tidy, but the layout and the white and neutral tones are a very close match.

One difference is that we had a dividing wall between the kitchen and the dining/living area that made it more poky and a lot less amazing than this apartment in Antwerp.

Nevertheless, it makes me long for the simple life of living small in a big city! I remember the only baking I ever did was a packet mix brownie that came with it’s own foiled cardboard baking tin! And it actually tasted pretty good!

While I couldn’t resist adding some personal touches if I lived here, I do like the pared back colour palette, and the textures in the brick wall and the plywood cabinetry. And the sofa.

Happy hump day!

Transplanting the plum tree

So, for better or for worse, we’ve done it. A quick reread of some online advice on transplanting fruit trees and I realised we’d better get onto moving our beloved plum tree. Apparently it’s something that should be done in early winter when the tree is at it’s most dormant. The next best time is late autumn, and I wasn’t planning on waiting 11 months for the next one of those to come around! Plus, it was a dull but warm day on Saturday, with no rain coming, and at this time of year you need to take those and make them count!

You can just see the tree we’re talking about on the far right of this picture (taken before we put up the screen and pergola on the deck), and that giant planter (temporarily filled with daisies) in the middle is where we’ve shifted it to.

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This plum tree is pretty small really, and unassuming, and I even used to call it ugly before I truly came to appreciate it’s inner beauty. It produces the loveliest plums in abundance, and I will have my fingers crossed until I see it looking once again like it did last summer!

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To get in the mood I started by weeding every other garden and doing my best to tidy up the vegie patch.

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First I removed some weedmat that had been stapled around the inside edge of this planter box, and did my best to loosen things a little, wishing the whole box would just disintegrate. It sits under this odd little triangle of deck in the back corner, and has always been an eyesore. We are still trying to figure out what to do here to replace it or at least cover it all up.
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When neither the tree or the box were budging, I gave up for a bit and turned to the planter. There were some wintering daisy clumps in there that I hauled out and replanted in various other spots in the garden as fillers. And there was dirt to remove.
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A certain small guy was keen to help. You can see here how huge the planter really is – you can lose two or three small children at once!
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Then it was time to enlist Andre’s help in the form of ingenuity and brute strength. He rigged up this levering system, then with a bit of spade work, and some good old-fashioned hauling…0610_1850 0610_1851 0610_1853 0610_1856 … it was out!0610_1857 Here’s the planter ready and waiting. We painted on some waterproofing stuff in the inside of these to help keep the moisture in.0610_1863 Then I had to down camera to help lift the tree up and up and into the planter.0610_1864 It’s a sweetly lopsided ol’ tree so it took a little spinning to get the right positioning in order for us not to fight with it every time we walk around the front side of the deck.

Although it’s not intended to stay here – at this point we’d like to fill in that old planter box with concrete and roll the whole tree plus concrete planter right back over top of where it began. That way it will allow the neighbours to come and go without us keeping tabs on them!

Eventually I’d like to have planters right across that back fence, both for privacy, and to hide the fence and it’s awkward change in height. Plus we desperately need to add as much green as possible back into this concrete filled space!0610_1867 0610_3747

So, grow little container orchard, grow! (And enjoy all this rain you are getting today…!)

Pin of the day: Making an entrance

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There’s nothing grand about this, but I still think it is a grand entrance! I like that it just says “Hi, this is us, come on in”.

It’s friendly and welcoming - if a little reserved – and totally without fuss. It’s tidy, it’s sweet and it gives no inflated expectations of what you might discover inside.

First impressions count, and I’m getting well-scrubbed, big ol’ kitchen table and a pet-hair-free, comfy sofa from this one, which is just what I’d like!

Have a great Monday…

Shop it Friday: Dream bedroom

Of course I have our bedroom on my brain, and despite all the dust, I can still see the light at the end of the tunnel.

So, I thought I’d share some amazing things I would love to have in our bedroom, but probably won’t because they’re a bit much for my budget-conscious self. However, a girl can dream, and do her best to spend other people’s money instead. Get your wallets out!

Wall storage cabinet

  • I love pretty much everything this designer creates, but a smaller version of this wall cabinet is still one of my favourites – I’d hang it right by my bed and store my treasures in it.

Swing lamp

  • I’d also get a pair of these wall lights – they’re not so bad at $95 (US??) each and come in loads of colours!
  • I’m still shopping around for this rug, trying to snap up a bargain original on Trade Me, but of course I keep forgetting and miss them. One day… one day it’ll be my turn!
  • I kind of like this light. I say kind of, because I’m surprised I like it, but I do! It’s $280, which is not horrendous actually.

Growing Up in Blueberry Art Print by Amber Armitage

  • There’s some new art about and I really do love it. It’s by Amber Armitage, of Homestyle mag. $190 for A0 unframed.

Happy Friday, and have a lovely weekend!

Note: I’m all done with updating our Progress page – I’ve combined the previous To Do list and Before & “After” photos into this one page now. Much more satisfying to see how far we’ve come already, mixed in with what we still have to do!