Sunday, 24 November 2013

raggedy lampshade

Its been a quiet day here at Wind Dancer Farm. I've pretty much succeeded to avoid doing much of anything today.

Wayne's been out behind the garage sorting out old timber. When we bought the farm there were piles of all sorts of things in the paddocks. Over the last couple of years we've gone through and sorted things out, burning the timber which was beyond saving, re-using some of it to build the stable, trying to save as much of it as we could.

In fact, every time Wayne made a pile of rubbish to burn off, I'd sneak out and rescue any bits of wood I thought I could use. He hated it!

The reason we have to do this right now (and by 'we' I mean 'he') is because we're planning to have our driveway and the dam fixed and the old timber is lying right in the path of the excavator. Of course, the other reason is to clean up the place. I know farms aren't usually neat and tidy as there's always that extra space to 'just toss that there till later'... I just don't like big messes. We've cleaned up a ton since we moved in here, but there's still plenty left to do.

Last weekend Wayne sorted out weatherboards for the eventual revamp of our small timber shed. Today he sorted out floorboards. One day I'll have a little studio shed.

I can dream...

For now I'd settle for a new stove. A new kitchen. A new bathroom. A dam that doesn't leak. A driveway that doesn't turn into Niagara Falls when it rains.

I don't ask for much.

At least I have my projects which allow me to feel a sense of accomplishment amongst all the things on the To Do list.

Like this lamp.

This is an old lamp that I've had for quite a few years now. I never had the original shade for it so I've never really used it. Its been hanging around in the aforementioned timber shed since we moved here.

Last week, while sorting out things to make, do and finish for the market, I found the lamp base and decided it was time to actually do something with it. I mean, the colour is gorgeous!

I pictured beachy, fresh, white. I pictured texture, rags and frayed edges.

I had kept a couple of skirts I was given , even though I'd never wear them, cause I had planned to do just this with a wire basket I have. I guess the basket will have to wait for other fabric now.

I wove and wrapped the ripped fabric around the wire shade frame, tying new strips as needed, creating a random pattern of weave and knots. I added a few lines of pale taupe as well for a bit of interest.

The result is a gorgeous textured lamp shade. The freshness of the white combined with the turquoise of the base is exactly what I'd been hoping for.

I'm quite happy with how it turned out!


Saturday, 23 November 2013

fun day at the market and another baking tin caddy


Its been a long week day. Today a friend and I had a market stall in the Shabby Chic Market. I enjoy meeting people, selling stuff and spending some of my hard earned cash at other seller's tables!

 Its always fun to do a market but getting ready for them is a killer. 

I don't do them very often. I have more than enough on my plate as it is. A market means more time spent making things to sell and less time spent on cleaning the house, washing dishes or doing laundry.

Come to think of it, I should do more markets...

I'm sleep deprived.

I've been up late every night in order to get a few things finished and guess what? I haven't finished them all.

And guess what else?

I'm doing another market next weekend!

What's that saying? "No rest for the wicked"... or is it "Glutton for punishment"?

On the positive side, I came home to a cooked dinner, washed dishes and clean washing. Wayne is a gem!

Anyway, thought I'd share another baking tin storage caddy. I made 3 but only photographed two. I shared one last week but this is my favourite. It didn't sell today and I think it might be a sign.

I'm seriously considering using it at the sink to hold dish washing liquid, hand soap and sponges in the kitchen.

I've taken photos of some of my projects which I'll be sharing soon but I apologise in advance for the quality of some of the photos... The weather was 'ordinary' yesterday so I had to take most of the photos indoors with lousy lighting. Not even Photoshop can fix some of those photos....


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Monday, 18 November 2013

tiered tin caddy

I've always loved those cute desk caddys I've seen made out of old baking tins.

I have tons of baking tins. I've been collecting them for ages. I have them in all shapes and sizes. Same with ice trays. And colanders.

I collect them to put plants in, and I will be doing that too. I have plans...

Meanwhile I decided I'd make myself a tierd baking tray caddy. I went with 2 tiers. Its just the right size for holding all kinds of goodies. On my desk, the top holding tins with pens and other drawing stuff, the bottom holding the other bits and pieces we all collect on our desks.

I think one at the kitchen sink would be good, holding dishwashing liquid and sponges. Maybe in the bathroom to hold the moisturizer, watches, whatever.

When I have a nicer kitchen with room to put one of them... I have plans for that kitchen too.

Right now the plan is to bring in a tarp to throw over all the dirty dishes in the sink so I don't have to look at them...


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DIY Show Off

Sunday, 17 November 2013

about the birds...

Like all big plans, it seemed like a good idea at the time. You know what I mean. You think about a problem, you take your time thinking through the possibilities and solutions, you pick the best (easiest, cheapest) and go for it.

Then you discover it was a huge failure.

Not only did the solution not work, its created a whole new problem. In other words, its a monumental failure of epic proportions.

So it is with the bird wire under the eaves bird nesting deterrent solution I came up with.

I had a problem: birds nest in our roof. They pull out insulation as they muck around up there. If it wasn't for the poop all over the walls, the deck, everything ON the deck, and the fact that, apparently, nests in the roof are a fire hazard, I'd have been happy to leave them there.

I like birds. We have starlings, swallows, sparrows, wrens, the occasional robin and pardalotes.

I love the birds. I love watching them flitter around and chirp to each other. I love waking up in the mornings and the only sounds I hear are birds, ducks, chickens, frogs, the rooster, the horses... and/or rain.

Come to think of it, its pretty noisy around here...

So. Anyway. What I decided was, to stop the birds nesting in the roof and stop the poop on the walls and windows, to stop losing our insulation and limit fire hazards, that I had to block off the eaves so the birds can no longer get in to nest.


I decided that the easiest, cheapest way to do it was to use bird wire under the eaves, moulding it around and stapling it to the beams and walls so they can't get in. I had a friend come around and give me a hand and we did about 7 metres of it...

...Only to find the birds could still get in. They just use an alternative entrance: the gutters!

All I've succeeded in doing is create a catchment area for dead chicks. Yep. I looked up there yesterday and there were 3 tiny corpses in various stages of decay.


At this point I can blame MEN. It was men who organised new gutters on the house and men who didn't even think of getting gutter guards put up at the same time as the gutters. It would have cost, what... another $400? Tops?

I can't blame Wayne. He probably didn't even know there was a product which fits over corregated iron and screws onto the metal so it doesn't budge, forming an even solid seal for the gutters.

I should have organised the quote myself. 

The guys who quoted the job should have mentioned it. The friend who was here at the time, while the guys were measuring and quoting (and who'd actually used the stuff on his own house) didn't mention it...

I should have organised the quote myself. If you want a job done right, you have to do it yourself.

But, onto happier subjects.

The other day I went to an auction. I hadn't been to one for years. This is a regular auction place in Hobart, once a week, every week. I love it.

I'd like to say that it was pure strength of will that kept me away, but I'd be lying. It was 'cause I'd been working on Fridays.

Now that I've dropped back to 3 days at my regular job and spend the other two days working as a tutor and grooming from home, I gave in to temptation. I stopped by before work and eyed the goodies... 

I fell in love with this plate. Its old and crazed like crazy (heheh, sorry), discoloured and chipped. But I had to have it.

Of course if I wanted the plate I had to buy 5 boxes of crap.

I put in an absentee bid and won it. I donated about half the crap and kept a few things I know I can use or make things out of. And the plate is now decorating my kitchen.

What do you think of the awl collection? Cool huh? Wayne found a few of these, for working leather, at an antique store in town and I bought him a couple more. I love them stuck in the old flower frog. 


Friday, 15 November 2013

the masked avenger rides again

Its been raining on and off for about a week now. More on that off. However the sun is still sending out those UV rays, so Cass and her pink nose needs all the protection she can get.

The idea of running around behind her in the paddock with a tube of sunscreen twice a day like a Greek mother chasing a kid in the park to get it to eat its lunch... well, I wasn't interested.

I just bought her some sun protection gear. Here she is modelling her new fly veil with nose flap and her light summer rug.

The really does look like the masked avenger!

The rug isn't so white any more either...

Today was the first sunny day in ages and they say it'll be warm and sunny all weekend. Great. The lawn is growing an inch a day at the moment. I need to get out there and attack it with the mower and brushcutter.

My back is much better. My new exercises call for a long rubber cord and somewhere to tie it. Who knew the pole in the middle of the living room would actually come in handy for anything other than pole dancing?

I just need to blow up the exercise ball (yes, I found it in the casita). Unlike a lot of other things I can't find. Like my glasses. I've been looking for them for about a week now. I took them out of the car (my first mistake) and haven't been able to find them since.

Then again, I did find Wayne's passport. He'd been looking for that for 3 years. He thought I'd hidden it so I wouldn't take him to Greece with me. (I hadn't, but it was handy.)

I've been busy lately with organising stuff for 2 markets I'm doing. The Shabby Market next weekend and Lazy May's Market the week after. There's tons to do and I'm all over the place. I really do need to make things every week, regularly. That way I can avoid this madness.

When I'm away from home I can think of exactly what I have to do. I write lists of things I need to do, sketch ideas, make notes. Then I come home and even when I look at the lists I can't seem to get stuck into it.

I blame spring. The lawn. The plants. The seedlings I planted and look at every day to see how they're going. Somehow the good weather and the garden weasel their way to the forefront and sitting in front of a sewing machine or using power tools and paint brushes just can't compete.

It won't last. Soon as the weather gets hot I avoid the outdoors like the plague. That's when I'll get stuck into more art as well.

That's my story and I'm sticking with it.

Just for fun, here's a gorgeous photo of the sky one morning last week.


Wednesday, 13 November 2013

hanging baskets - prettying up the boring side

You may remember when I put the crates on the driveway side of the house as window boxes. I love them there. That side of the house was really plain and boring, kind of a wasteland with no plants and just blank walls. The window boxes give it some character and colour.

Although I found that its not a great spot for most plants. In winter the frost almost killed all the plants so I had to move them onto the porch. In summer it gets so hot that I will have to stick to succulents in the boxes. But that's ok. I have lots of succulents, all I need is some more of the creeping kind which might grow and hang out of the boxes. That'd be pretty.

You can barely see it, but the second box has a little bird in it. Its a wire jumble bird that Wayne made for the Salvaged Art competition. He's gorgeous. This is the only photo I have of him right now, remind me to get a photo of him in the window box.

 Anyway, back to the side of the house... the long wall behind the mud room is the bathroom and office wall. Other than one window it was blank and boring. I was thinking of going all wild with baskets and signs and all kinds of things but I now wonder if that might look a bit tacky... For now I've just done a few simple things... first I bought a punnet of snapdragon seedlings. They're doing great. Flowering for the first time now. That should create a nice garden alongside the house where there was just bare pebbles before.

Then I hung a few baskets I'd collected from tip shops so they have that old worn look. I added the rusty wire wreath I made from some old wire I found buried in the paddock and the barbed wire flower Wayne made me (never say the man isn't romantic!). I had to buy hanging hooks for the hanging baskets but I hung one from an old scale thingy I found in a tip shop. Love it.

So far the flowers I've put in there seem to like it there. Fingers crossed.

On the corner I hung a very old rusty wind chime from an old rusty bracket (also from a tip shop - I do a lot of shopping at tip shops). In that spot the wind doesn't get it too often so we're not tempted to rip it off the wall.

You may have noticed a small tree in the photo... I bought 2 plants from a little old lady down the road and she threw in one more. So I have 3 new pots, all with more than one plant in them! These will all eventually go in a new bed I'm planning (but not actually doing myself!) between the washing line and the water tanks.

I can't remember the name of all the plants, but one is a hellebore, the tree is some kind of orange blossom, and there is a lupin and about 3 other plants in the pots. It'll be a surprise when they flower.

I told you I've become addicted to my garden. 

Spring has that effect.


Sunday, 10 November 2013

weeds and other realisations

Let me introduce you to cape weed.

Ground zero (otherwise known as our lawn) is covered with the stuff.

Over the last week I've become obsessed with the stuff.

Now you know I'm not much of a gardener.... but I have this 'grandpa weeder' thing I bought a couple of years ago and never used, which allows you to pull out weeds without having to bend over or dig them out. I rediscovered this handy little tool last week and I've been waging war against the cape weed ever since.

So far, the cape weed is winning.

I've been out there every chance I get, when the weather is nice, when I have some free time, when I walk through the yard and spot another cape weed glaring at me with its beady little eyes...

Last week I filled four big garbage bags with weeds. This week I filled another three.

All I have to show for it are a whole lot of 'holes' in the so-called lawn.

And the cape weed continues to thrive.

I'm not ready to give up yet. Sometimes it takes a long time for defeat to sink in.

Like how long it took me to give up on the all natural, home-made, eco-friendly cleaning products.

I read all this stuff on Pinterest about how you can clean the shower using vinegar and dish washing liquid and I was like "Yeah! Healthy and natural, not to mention cheap!". So I scrubbed and washed and scrubbed and washed. But the mold kept coming back stronger than before. The vinegar was only making it angry.

It was a few months (and a disgustingly black shower) before I gave up and pulled out the big guns. Give me strong chemicals any time! At least now I don't need a tetanus shot to have a shower!

Similarly, the gardening attempts... We've been here for over 2 years... All this time I've been kidding myself that I'll create a garden... that I can create a garden. Despite all evidence to the contrary - as attested to by all the dead plants who came home with me in great hopes of a good life in the country.

When I was flat on my back groaning in pain a couple of weeks ago, I finally decided to admit defeat. I will never be a gardener. So I did what any self respecting failure would do: I paid someone else to do it!

I hired a friend to come over and weed and put in a couple of garden beds for me. I had planted a line of lavenders along the front of the house. (Most of them actually made it surprisingly.) But the weeds were drowning them.

This is the planning stage: weeds gone, weed matting down, pots placed where plants would go in.

I found this great mini corregated edging which is so 'me'. I love the yard now! (Well except for the cape weed.)

Just imagine how great the place will look when the painting is finished and the plants are grown....

The area around the trellis has a new garden bed too.

I'm really loving my new garden. When its mowed. And I can't see the cape weed...


I swear, I was never into gardens or flowers, but come spring, I kinda go crazy and want a garden and buy plants like crazy, then have to smuggle them into the garden so Wayne won't see them. He has no faith in my gardening abilities.

I love watching my flowers grow (some of them...) despite my ignorance! It actually makes them more special if they survive me!


I still have a few unusual containers with plants in them but I've decided to stick with succulents in most of them cause most flowers can't handle the heat in pots, and cause I love the way this old metal ammo box has filled out.

Eventually all these should fill up like the ammo box. Pretty cool, huh?

Anyway, this isn't meant to be a gardening blog is it? I apologize... I just haven't been doing a lot of creating lately. I have started a few new projects so hang in there, it will come!


PS. Thanks to Ginny who sent me a link to a handy page about "identifying that weed", I now know the names of all the weeds in my yard. Now I can greet them by name.

The sad thing is that if I were to actually succeed in getting rid of the weeds, I'd have no lawn, just a mudpit in my yard. Maybe the wogs had it right.... just cement it all! No weeds, no mowing, no mud! LOL

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

redecorating the casita

When you come home and the poodles greet you with white nails and white noses it can only mean one of two things:

They baked you a cake.


They started redecorating the casita.

I'll let you guess which one.

Yep. You got it.

The poodles decided they'd put a shelf nook in the hydrobath room for me to keep bottles on.

How thoughtful.

Romeo poses in front of the grooming room door, proudly showing of their handiwork. Pretty neat huh? Almost a perfect square.

Mind you, there are teeth and digging marks all over the place including my fancy dog lead hanger and chalkboard. Sigh.

By the time I took the photo I'd also swept up the piles of plasterboard bits.

So... Anyone want to hire two poodles to do demolition work? They come cheap! All you have to do is drop a small furry critter  (or feathered, they're not too fussy) into the wall cavity you want removed. They'll do the rest.

Of course, if someone hadn't left the casita door open this wouldn't have happened... I won't mention any names but it starts with 'w' and ends with 'ayne'.

After the great possum debacle of a few months ago, when we came home to find the contents of my workshop in the casita re-arranged, we decided to keep the door closed when we went to work.

Now, I was very mature about it. I didn't yell or jump around like a two year old denied a lollypop. Nope. I just laughed and cleaned the mess up.

Then I told Wayne what had happened. The words "Its your fault" never crossed my lips.

They didn't have to...