Wednesday, 31 August 2016

a little gardening and where on earth have i been?

Tomorrow is the first day of spring. Not that the weather has been told. Its sunny one minute, pouring with rain the next, frost in the morning, warm in the afternoon... Pretty normal really.

The garden is confused. Plants flower. Then the frost gets them. So they flower again, The frost comes again and gets what survived the previous frost. Pretty normal really.

The garden isn't the only thing that's confused. Annabelle (the goose) has laid eggs. On top of last year's dead eggs which I never got around to removing from the nest she abandoned.

In fact we're not sure she's actually laid new eggs on top of the old ones or if she decided to give the stale eggs another chance... either way, she's gone clucky. Too early.

The place is a mess. Muddy and wet. Seeds I tossed out are growing and blooming between the frost bitten plants. The grass is growing and the weeds are growing faster. When walking across the yard I sometimes just can't resist picking up the grandpa weeder and 'just grubbing out that obnoxious weed that's just staring me in the face, laughing at me'.

An hour or so later I put away the weeder and go into the house.

In the good news department, my new hyacinths are up. And the tyre retaining wall is filling up as the plants grow.

I put more wire up for the hardenbergia so it can spread across the carport wall.

Even the dogs got into gardening - digging new holes where pretty succulents used to grow.

I'm trying to get the garden done in short spurts, a bit here, a bit there. There's just so much to do. And so little time. Which is why I haven't posted. I just haven't felt like writing, watching TV is all I want to do at the end of the day.

That and exercising my fingers.

With the broken finger now healed I can do almost anything again. My fingers are very stiff and sore and my left hand has only 1/2 the strength of the right,but I'm grooming again and I've started doing things in the workshop again. Finally.

One of these days I'll be organised and have time to do it all.

In my dreams.


Friday, 12 August 2016

what language does your phone speak?

This afternoon I ran into a problem I've had on numerous occasions with my phone. I was in my car, using bluetooth, to make a call. I hit the 'phone' button on my steering wheel and the phone said 'Main Menu'.

I said "Call Amanda".

It said 'Would you like to call Pam?'

I said "No."

'Would you like to call Tourist Information?'


'Please press the call button to select from the following names: Brian. Mano. The Japanese Embassy.'


Lets try again...

"Call AMANDA!"

It said 'Would you like to call Pam?'


'Would you like to call Mom?'

"NO!!! Cancel."

'Sorry, I don't understand that request.'


Lets try again...

"Call Ah-MAN-DAh!"

It said 'Would you like to call Pam?'


'Would you like to call Steven?'

"NO!!! Cancel."

'Sorry, I don't understand that request.'


At this stage I asked Wayne to help. I pressed the phone button and he said (in an INDIAN accent): "Call Amanda".

It said 'Calling Amanda'.

I mean, really.

Its like that message to text thing some phone services offer.

Have you ever got a message from them that makes sense?

You say "Hi, I'm calling about the table you have on Gumtree. Please call me back this afternoon".

The message the guy on the other side probably says "Hi I'm talking around me cable pull have up tree. Please collar after you."

I don't have a typical Australian accent, but I really am not that hard to understand. I speak English. As a native speaker. With a mostly northern American accent... you wouldn't think technology would have such a hard time understanding me.

But its not just me it doesn't understand. The amount of times I've received incomprehensible texts (which have been conveniently converted to text for me by a helpful phone provider) makes me wonder if they aren't just having a joke at our expense...


Sunday, 7 August 2016

indian sign


A project I began and finished entirely since breaking my finger!

I had this large piece of plywood, with a thin metal border from when Wayne bought a wood splitter. It arrived in a lovely ply crate which was, unfortunately, destroyed during the unwrapping stage.

I went into the garage to see the unveiling and snuck off with the intact top. I put it in the silver shed where I store a lot of 'future projects' (ie junk I have plans for) and forgot about it. For at least a year, probably closer to 2 years... A few months ago I saw it while searching for something, thus it was near the front of my mind when I was wondering what kind of project I could do with one hand.

I had always planned to paint the Indian Motorcycle logo on it for Wayne's garage. I mean, he's a cowboy, he loves anything american indian, and its a great sign for a garage...

First I undercoated it with a 3 in 1 primer, sealer undercoat I had on hand. Then I projected the image I wanted onto it so I could trace it. I'm no sign writer, I needed the help!

I worked on it in the grooming room (since it wasn't being used for grooming!) so I could keep it a surprise for Wayne. I only worked on it in spits and spurts as the inspiration and energy hit me so it took a full 3 weeks to complete.

I began painting it with artist acrylics but they didn't give a nice finish. The face and head dress (which is a pale beige but looks white in the photos) are textured and not smooth. I had to buy some tiny (and expensive) pots of water based enamel paint. Its liquid and goes on smooth. However they have limited colours - I used those for the red, yellow and black.

The sign will hang in the garage, probably be put up next weekend if we're lucky. Its something thats best admired from afar... the black outlines are a bit wobbly in places.

Wayne is pretty impressed with his gift. Its for putting up with me constantly complaining about my finger and for using it as a good great excuse for not cooking.


Wayne has hung the sign in the garage.


shared at:

Saturday, 6 August 2016

passing the time not so productively

So, other than pondering the big questions in life (like is DIY worth it) what have I been doing with myself since the circumcised finger incident?

In short: not much.

Today I managed to make the bed almost entirely by myself. I had to call in reinforcements to pull the last corner of the fitted sheet down... But I was able to wrestle the doona into its cover all by myself.

I call that a victory.

Other than that I've been doing a lot of computer stuff. My mouse hand works fine.

Things like a heap of pics for my dog grooming:

And some self promotion for the radio show Wayne and I do:

Or, my favourite:

I've taken to wrapping my splint in neon coloured vet wrap.

I've been bored.

Tomorrow I'll try to take some photos of projects which have been finished for a while but lack photographic evidence.

Plus, I finished a gift for Wayne's workshop which I can photograph and share.

I can do that now cause I got batteries for my camera.


Friday, 5 August 2016

DIY - is it worth the bother?

Seriously, I've been thinking this for a while now... in fact its a thought I get every time I go shopping...

And let me say right now, this is in no way an advertisement for Kmart (though if they'd like to throw some money my way I'd be more than happy to take it!)

Why bother making our own stuff when Kmart, The Reject Shop, Big W, Target and just about every other big store sells the stuff we pin, make from scratch or make over from curbside finds.

And (usually) for less than we can make them for!

We spend hours and often $$ making these things when we could walk into Kmart and just buy. No muss, no fuss.

I mean, I'm a fan of old, rusty, crusty and broken, so I'm not a big fan of cheap new imitations... but if you make things to sell then this is what you have to compete with. And not everyone has the same passion for old dirt as I do.

How about some examples? All items on right are from the Kmart website.

Ladder shelves are a big thing, pretty and practical. Image on left from Pinterest.

Who doesn't love cement lamp bases? Image on left from Pinterest.

Trendy pegboard shelves... Image on left from Pinterest.

 Cement planters. Image on left from Pinterest.

 Come on, haven't you been tempted to make one of these? Image on left from Pinterest.

Test tube bud vases... Image on left from Pinterest.

If I didn't love old things with authentic scratches from many years of use, rust from being treated with a healthy amount of disrespect, and antique grime, I would be decorating my house with this stuff.

So what if it breaks in a year or less? Just buy a new one. Or something else. Just means you can re-decorate again!

So where does this leave us DIYers?

I don't know.

I will still make, remake and revamp old stuff. For my own home and enjoyment. And maybe there'll be enough people out there who appreiciate the real thing with all its not quite perfection.

But sometimes I'm tempted...

Like this faux cowhide rug. I plan to buy this soon as I have some spare cash.

So its not real... it'll look pretty cool on my couch.


PS. Notice the new banner? Like?