Soo many moves

Who starts a blog three weeks before a house move? Honestly, after a hundred house moves, you think I’d know better. 

This move will make number 32 actually, and the 14th I’ve been fully responsible for (since I moved out of my parents’ home). Once upon a time I used to pack with great pride and care, wrapping each item in old newspaper and washing them all again before I put them in the kitchen cupboards. These days I just want to chuck things into a box and just drive carefully to the new house!

But despite all the packing, mess and disruption that goes on during a move, I’ve still been getting my DIY on! Remember that cabinet I was keen to makeover? 

First, I removed the drawers and door and rubbed them all down with some nail polish remover to make the surface gummy… Thanks painter friend Roman for that tip.

All of my daughters got in on the action with this project. Joanna removed the handles, Beth sprayed the handles with primer, then 2 coats of gold spray paint.

The handles with primer on…. 

Then Jo and I got stuck right in to painting all the timber parts black. I thought I’d give spray painting a go this time, and settled on Rustolem 2X paint and primer in one, in Canyon Black Satin.

The cabinet and drawers after one coat of paint. 

Note to self: wear gloves when spray painting the day after a manicure!

We’ve had a lot of rainy weather in Melbourne these past few weeks, and although it was under cover, my lovely cabinet did get some rain on it between coat 1 and coat 2. Sadly this caused some swelling of the timber in the join at the bottom right corner. So in my haste to get the thing finished and out of the elements before the next rain, Mary and Beth gave it a couple of coats of clear varnish and we left it at that. I’ll probably regret that down the track – I think it needs more coats and it’s a less than perfect job, but it’s done for now and is a whole lot prettier than the old cheapie laminate entertainment unit we had before. What do you think? Did it scrub up alright?

Despite the rushed job in the end, I’m pretty happy with it. Styling will happen next week in the new house… The only decor items on top of this baby right now are packaging tape, boxes and markers!


A fridge or two and a kangaroo…

So, now that things have settled down a little,

(Accident update: I’m all better and we get our glossy new car tomorrow or Tuesday – yay!!)

it’s time to tally up the planned DIY jobs, and figure out just what I can manage to complete before the big move – now only 21 days away!

For those of you who are wondering about my post title, it’s from a well-known Aussie song – Home Amongst the Gumtrees, which reels off a bunch of desirable attributes for the singer’s dream home. While I’m not too concerned about the wildlife my new home comes with, I do have a big list of the things I’ve been envisioning for my new digs. For starters,

this   272366565228_1 has to become something like this… 151bdc05b399675d066eb67f98f9f20a (Can’t wait to see that transformation!).

I’m also halfway through resurfacing the bath here at the old place (I’ll have to write another post about that!), I’m wanting to spray some chrome coffee & lamp table bases gold, and have been seriously considering painting my desk before I start using it again in the new house – along with the filing cabinet and bookshelf. Yikes! All this as well as culling and packing and moving an entire household’s stuff in 3 weeks. I have 2 weeks more of work before having a lovely and industrious 2 weeks off for the move. Piece of cake, right?

But because it’s late Sunday night, and I don’t need to do any of that right now, let me bring you up to date on the DIYs I’ve done so far. First there was the cute little 1950s style table/small desk. It was painted an off-white colour and was in pretty poor shape when I bought it from eBay for a lovely little $50. I stripped it pretty easily using Diggers Paint Stripper (the cheap one form Bunnings!), and also sanded it with my trusty dusty mouse sander. I chose a walnut stain and just applied 1 coat because I didn’t want it to be too dark, but later I decided to strip the top back again, because I preferred the non-stained look on the top. Here’s a little gallery of the transformation process, although you’ll have to tune back in for a final shot, as I forgot to photograph it after refinishing the top again!

20160618_152315 20160618_162902 20160618_180617 20160625_175256 20160625_175214

I learned one valuable lesson from this project: fine grit sandpaper is worth the effort! My little sander only takes Ozito brand sander pads which come in 60, 90 and 120 grit. According to the packaging the 120 grit is ‘fine’, but try as I might, I could not get the surface smooth enough with that. When I finally did get round to re-tackling the top, I bought a 320 grit sanding block. What a difference it made! I didn’t bother redoing the legs and sides of the table, so the rest still feels a bit rough, but it’s helped me learn what to do for future projects.

Which leads me to my next one… my lovely mid-century armchairs. These two babies were looking a bit decrepit but I knew they’d polish up beautifully! I actually haven’t seen the final result yet – the timber’s all done (by me), but now they’re at the upholsterer’s to get some new overcoats. The half century old shellac took some beating, and I eventually resorted to using my friend’s heat gun to remove that nasty coating. After lots of elbow grease, 320 grit sanding and varnish, they came up beautifully.

20160710_165028 20160710_165042  (Chair on left shows original shellac)20160902_131104 20160831_134858 20160903_163148 20160903_163210 20160903_163204 We’ve settled on a lovely brownish black Warwick fabric known as Dolly, which feels just like a soft woolen overcoat. I can’t wait to see the finished result in a couple of weeks – they’re going to be beautiful!

A week to remember

Last Sunday I started my blog, full of enthusiasm about the blog, the new house, and all of the DIY projects I was going to share. Then, on Monday, this happened.

Yes, I was driving. Yes, I’m alright, and no, I didn’t hit anyone else. Thanks for asking! The car, needless to say, didn’t fare quite so well.

The fact that I came out unharmed just had to be miraculous. I hit the guardrail hard, the airbags deployed and the cabin filled with smoke. I could see nothing while the car seemed to spin and move of its own accord, but I was ok, calm; held by God is what it felt like, until the car crunched a second time into the guardrail, coming to a halt out of the way of the flow of traffic.

A lovely fellow named Wayne ran to assist me, and couldn’t believe I was OK, but I was. While the front of the car had been reduced by half, the inside of the car (apart from the severely cracked windscreen and burst airbags) remained normal – I was neither pinned, bleeding or seriously injured.

Backtracking to February now, I found this scripture while doing my daily reading, and it really spoke to me. I was going through some challenging situations, and the idea of this hard pathways overflowing with abundance really stuck with me. I wrote it up and stuck it on the toilet wall where I could see it all the time.
As a Christian, I always have this sense that God has my back… When things are difficult, He’s got a bigger plan, and the challenge I’m in is just preparing me for what He’s got in store for me. Cynics may scoff at such an idea, but I tell you, it helps me bob up above many trying circumstances. I’m thankful for the faith I have, and the faithful God who looks out for me.

This week, with all the goings on, I’ve felt like I’m at the blessing end of some of His plans. It has been a very hard year. And in fact we’ve had 23 years of believing to one day have our own home. And on Wednesday we got our handover date (October 6th, get excited!), AND we also bought a really beautiful car – something that was totally unexpected, but suddenly necessary due to my accident. This week my “hard pathways” really have been overflowing with abundance, and I’m very grateful.

Hey, Bert?


Remember these two? One is steady, structured, and likes his routine. The other is playful, fanciful and sometimes just downright annoying. But somehow despite the challenges, they simply work. That’s me and Geoff to a tee. And you guessed it, I’m the fanciful annoying one. Still, we’re a great combo, and have spent almost 23 years counting sheep together.

After renting all this time, in Feb of this year (when I turned 40), we finally signed on the dotted line to build our own home! Fast forward to September, and our new home is almost finished, but I suddenly decided I should get chronicling some of the DIY projects (and other random bits of information) I’ve been cultivating lately. So it begins, another project (Geoff shakes his head and sighs).  I hope you’ll enjoy the ride!