Category Archives: DIY

For a king & a fairy princess

My last post got me a bit motivated to move things along another step in the kids bedroom. Actually it was less that, than the fact Miss E’s feet were hanging over the end of her toddler bed – a sure sign she was ready for a “proper big bed”!

So the last couple of weekends have been about furniture shuffling and a little shelf install. Fun times!

And version 4.6 of the kids room is…. here! And today it is tidy, which is as good as you’ll ever get from me. Styling to perfection is not going to happen despite my best intentions. So that creepy dark thing on the wall? It’s not a giant bug – it’s a peacock feather which looks perfectly charming in reality, it just doesn’t photograph well (or look particularly harmless in the middle of the night!).

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Here’s how it looks from the lofty heights of King W’s bed (a bit scary to be honest when I’m up there making the bed, but he’s fine with it!):
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And here’s my little fairy princess doing her best to untidy the room (which I totally am ok with because it tells me she loves hanging out in here!), and she’s super excited that Version 4.7 gets underway tomorrow with a “princess bed” pick up planned.

0925_7105Let’s hope she can hold that excitement for a while, because Mum’s gone and bought yet another thing that requires some Daddy DIY to get it functional. Stand by kings and princesses!

 

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Summer lovin’

What an absolutely stunning summer we are enjoying here in Auckland this year! It’s hot, dry and the locals will agree that it’s not even humid!

We were lucky to spend a few glorious days at a bach on Waiheke Island. So, this was our summer – beach fossicking, swimming, stunning views, and a few motorbike rides around the winding roads!

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But we are home now, and back into the DIY groove that has been off since our last big project. Of course this time of year lends itself to the outdoors, so we are tackling the backyard once again, with a pergola/playhouse in the pipeline. Pipeline – it’s a clue! Stand by…

Merry Christmas and a bit more

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I feel a bit of a fraud – writing on my own blog, after ignoring it for so long!

But I do have to check in and say Merry Christmas and thanks for being here. And in case you get all nostalgic at this time of year (who doesn’t… just a little bit?!) here’s how we did Christmas last year, the year before, and back in 2011. As the years go by it gets a little more… well… Christmassy!

It’s been a year and a half this one. Lots has happened that wasn’t supposed to happen, and not much has happened that we thought might happen! But we are looking forward to “big things” next year, and I have my fingers crossed for a little more time to myself, with one off to school and the other to kindy. I may even get back into blogging regularly?!

But for now, just have yourselves a merry little Christmas!

Thanks x

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DIY clothes rack

As you know, we moved into our bedroom without a wardrobe. We had plans for a midcentury style built in, but got cold feet on that at the last minute. Neither of us could visualise it entirely, and we decided that wasn’t a good thing.

So our plans are to find a gorgeous pair of vintage freestanding wardrobes (like this one – below), and give them a modern lick of gloss white. Because we like our white bedroom, even though it really was unintentional!

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But… we do things a little slowly, so an interim measure was required. Crossing the hall to fetch clothes from the spare bedroom only felt fancy-dressing-room-like for a couple of days. It didn’t help that the wardrobe in that bedroom is less than an arm span in width and full of “stuff” already. Something more convenient was required!

On an instagram (@duckeggblueblog) post a while back I vowed I wouldn’t consider a clothes rack, knowing our collection of clothing is a long way short of colour-coordinatable. Plus, there is an alarmingly large pile of husbands trackies and swanndri jumpers that don’t fit in our drawers, and will never know a coathanger. Where to put those?!

Ignoring that small problem for a minute, I quickly realised a clothes rack would be the perfect interim option – cheap, quick and not so bad if I could leave the loudest of our clothes across the hall for special occasions!

So… a clothes rack:
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For anyone in a similar situation, there is so much inspiration out there for DIY clothes racks. It’s a simple matter of finding the one you like best and copying it.

I started this on a night when chaos was reigning… so excuse my over-zealous attempt to regain some control by laying out all my pieces like this:
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From there it was a simple matter of attaching the tees and elbows to the right pieces and then Andre helped me to connect them all up (one person holding up the frame, and the other spinning the allen key). Once it was all put together Andre got his squint on and adjusted everything so it was all in line, and standing straight up.
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We opted not to put flanges on the bottom to keep things a little more minimal, so needed some “feet” to keep the cut off end of pipe from scratching the floor. I found the perfect size bungs at Para Rubber!0904_2104

A little spray primer, followed by gloss white and we had ourselves a basic clothes rack!0904_2108 0904_2109 0904_2202 0904_2203 0904_2204 0904_2205-(2) 0904_2206 0904_2207 0904_2208

Budget breakdown:

Pipe $40 – Easysteel
Joiners $46 – Advanced Steel Products
Bungs $6 – Para Rubber
Spray paint (we had primer already, and some leftover white gloss, but I needed one more full can of gloss white) $8 – Bunnings

Total $100 (give or take a few cents!)

I’ll be honest and admit I removed half of our clothes for the styled shots above. This is how it really looks, with a few more colourful summer clothes still hanging next door. Not so bad!

0904_2212Next up is something other than a chair in the corner to dump those aforementioned trackies and big fat jumpers…

 

A little light makeover

Following on from last weeks bedroom reveal-of-sorts I thought I’d cover how we went about replacing our wall lights.

While shuffling things around in our bedroom was definitely talked about (mainly to accommodate a larger wardrobe) we ended up sticking with the current layout, because we didn’t want to turn a fairly simple reno into something major involving moving electrical stuff and patching big holes.

So, that meant utilising the current wiring and dimmer switches for some new look lighting over our bed. Cue a sad face when I knew I wouldn’t be following the trend for plug in pendants wound artfully around a bracket on the wall. But I consoled myself with knowing that is likely just a short term trend, and that my “statement making cord”-free wall lights were probably safer with kids around anyway.

That was the easy bit. I spent months keeping an eye out for a pair of good looking mid century wall lights. It seems fixed lighting was something of a novelty then, because there wasn’t much to be found.

But eventually I came across these ones on Trade Me.

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They’re by Beamalite, made in 1963, and were advertised as needing some restorative love. Fine, we can do that! We can do that with some glossy white and gold!0814_1889 0814_1894 0814_1898 0814_1914Over two or three days I painstakingly masked off each part and sprayed happily. Gold was a whole new experience for me and while it admittedly made me nervous, it was a fun kind of nervous!

Until I undid my “last” round of masking. Ooooh not good. Despite using proper painters tape (which I’ve not bothered with before) I had parts of the gold come off. It’s the worst to get to the end of a project and get yourself pumped for the big reveal, only to find you have to start almost from scratch again. There was feet stamping, and maybe tears.
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But I got over that, and went for round two. A little wiser maybe… So I tried taping first to get a smoother edge to my mask, then layering the foil over the top and taping it down. (You can get a glimpse of this in the back light, far right.)
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My trigger finger was a little lighter this time, and I left loads of time for drying. So the result was much, much better, although not perfect. There were some jagged edges of bleeding paint that still made me cross. But not cross enough to deal with it. I was over this project and considering other options…

But Andre assured me those little imperfections were not going to be noticeable to anyone else, so I handed them over to him to get them installed.
0814_1952 This is where things should have ended happily ever after right?

Alas, no. I’m going to summarise this quickly for you because it still hurts. We ended up with a hole in the wall (just days after we’d finished painting it) where Andre had plastered over the hole left by the previous fitting. Which meant more plastering, sanding and painting. Yes it was just a hole a few centimetres across, but at that point in the whole scheme of things the thought of just getting the plaster back out was enough to make us give up for another couple of days!0814_1965

 

So onto the other light. It was successfully installed in minutes. But then I get another shout – “the light is melting!” Sure enough the paint was starting to run, as it was warmed up by the bulb.

We quickly turned it off, and left the whole sorry mess in a huff!

Turns out that all we needed was a couple of smaller, lower wattage bulbs, and a few more days drying time. No more melting lights!

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So that’s how we came to have “new” lights that match the character of our scuffed up floors. (That is my excuse for everything that turns out a little imperfect in our house!)

Really, they’re not so bad. They’ve just lost a little of their shine, and have some dull patches where they were handled during the melty paint stage.

Time heals, and I’m back to thinking they look pretty awesome actually! Agreed?!

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

 

 

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!