Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Mother Love

My boys, worshipping at the shrine of their cousin, Miranda Rose, who just recently turned one.

A mental break from the whole painting thing to inform you of my recent "Bursting With Pride Mother Moment'.

'Big One' came home last week to announce that he has been made 'Captain of Guitar' for the Prep School. Not bad, considering he has only been learning for 16 months. He loves guitar, can't walk past it without picking it up. He has the grooviest teacher (classical and jazz trained) who loves to finish each lesson with a bit of classic rock. My boy does a mean electric guitar version of: Stairway to Heaven, Money For Nothing, Sultans of Swing - Dire Straits....... and the guitar riff in Thunderstruck - ACDC?.... makes your hair stand on end! I must be the only Mother in the world who screams, "turn it up", from the other end of the house!

Now 'Little One', I am equally proud. Your 'running writing' is superb and your Harry Potter reading-out- loud is mesmerizing! The shopping list he wrote last night, while I dictated.... priceless! I love how he never asks me how to spell something... he just grits his teeth and writes whatever!

Life just doesn't get any better. Boys, your Mum loves ya!
A-M xx

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Image Courtesy Sony Pictures

Like everyone else in the total universe, this pool from 'the famous movie', was my inspiration for my pool and terrace. I knew I was going to do the French door thing, I knew I was going to do some sort of flagstone, random stone thing and I knew I had to do the pool light thing but......

.... I never imagined it would be so pretty at night! 'Lloydy'.... you are a master!

Sorry about the tragic photos... these were the best I could do. I have a dinky, 'keep in your handbag', cheap camera jobby that comes in very handy when one stumbles upon an 'emergency defect in current house build' and not so handy for panoramic, potentially breathtaking scenes. Oh well, my care factor on this issue is relatively zero which frees me up to worry about more important things like... what sort of furniture should I place around my pool? Adirondacks, lounges? Hmmm. Lets firstly finish painting the picket fence, retaining wall and pool house and splashing some greenery around. Hubby and I are tackling the painting next weekend so I guess that means I will have to find some pyjama pants to wear alongside hubby.... oh and a cricket hat!
A-M xx

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A Purchase

Driving along, running some errands, minding my own business and wham, found this little beauty, for half price.... currently staged with everything I could find from my shoppe, that sort of matches.... for the purpose of the photo, of course! Excuse the long sentence... I'm excited!

It's funny, I had an overwhelming feeling yesterday that I would find something special... maybe that's because I finally got to escape from the house for a few hours! Freedom! You see, I am literally trapped in my house, whilst tradesmen are still here..... well it's now just Wilfred, the French painter... but the random person 'pop in's' keep me busy too!

Yep, 'swallowed' by the house. Not that I am complaining. I could think of worse places to be trapped for 3 months! I love hanging out in my 'floor plan'. Just as well I work from home... although I have never consumed so much coffee in my life. "Oh, hi, would you like a coffee?...great, might have one myself too!"
A-M xx

PS. Turf looks fabulous. Will take photos. Still can't lift my arms.
Wilfred is motoring along. Still can't open painted shut windows. Working around them for now!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Monday Nook

Today's 'nook' is my front porch. I took these photos one afternoon last week, after inspecting Wilfred's spectacular 'save' of my front French Doors. The afternoon light is positively divine. I am looking forward to making this very bare front porch pretty with plants and 'things', eventually, but in the meantime it is still a tradesman's entrance, complete with muddy footprints up the steps and to the front door. Now honest opinion....see my little copper table setting, should I paint it white, leave it and green it up with plants, or turf it in the skip? I am NOT a hoarder but I think that I have some unexplained sentimental tie to this little setting. What should I do girls? Be honest.
A-M xx

Sunday, July 19, 2009

For Julia....

Image Courtesy Polly Wreford

A-M xx

Friday, July 17, 2009

It's Time For Some DIY

We take delivery of 144 square metres of turf today so tomorrow, Mr A-M, A-M and 'friend' are going to attempt to lay it right here.

This area is at the top of our block. We terraced the block so we could have an area for the boys to play on lawn, beyond the pool. Hence the block was cut into 3 levels, lawn, pool area and living and the garage level.

It's a long walk from the front footpath to the 'soccer field to be', up the back, and it is so NOT wheelbarrow accessible...... so transporting the turf will all be via hand with blood, sweat and tears (my contribution, I'm sure). We have to carry it up past the house, up 10 side steps, along a path, up 3 more steps, through the pool gate, past the pool and up 8 more steps. It is going to be interesting. If I can recall, I tried to lift a roll of turf once, ... and it didn't budge. On Saturday, I will, theoretically be lifting many!

Do you like our pool filter? We call it the 'Tardis'. It sits behind our pool house and will eventually be disguised somehow. Lloydy installed a larger filter than we really need to ensure that it will never be 'overstrained' and will run smoothly. Good on ya Lloydy. Hey where are you? You have still got some tiles and a gurney to collect. Lloydy generally turns up around dinner time so we might see him this weekend for a meal and a laugh!

Looking back, from the 'soon to be turfed' area, to the house. Those second floor windows are the ones painted shut and they are still just an undercoat. They look ok from here though!

Can't wait to use the pool. Lloydy has installed beautiful blue lights that light up the inside of the pool at night. It's magical!

Lloydy masquerades as 'Lloyd A. Brouwers', Future Pools and Spas Pty Ptd (phone: 0413 434 474). He builds the best pools, is meticulous, never has to advertise (as people just gossip about his great work) and he has never been known to say no to a coffee, an anzac biscuit, A-M's special toasted wraps or any substantial meal for that matter! Love ya Lloyd.

A-M xx

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Lesson's Learnt

Image Courtesy Marston and Langinger

One thing that I have 'painfully' learnt in this building process is that if you find a good tradesman, keep him. It is so difficult to really find good subcontractors, due to 2 things: the skill of the subcontractors employees and the supervision/quality assurance of those employees. If you have an inadequate site supervisor and a subcontractor with mediocre skills, quality finishes will be hard to come by. However, even if you have a poor site supervisor, yet have subcontractors with their own quality assurance regarding their employees, you are in with a chance.

Unlike many other outfits, who take shortcuts wherever they can, e.g, most trades, it has been refreshing to find tradespeople who rigorously defect their own employee's work..... even before you get to it! My new painters, who I have used before on smaller projects, are outstanding! Most days, my new on-site painter gets a visit from someone in the company, for quality assurance of his work. Oh why did sign up for my builder's painter when I should have had you in the first place, Harry Latter and Sons Painters, Morningside, Brisbane? Ask for Nigel. Tell him I sent you!

Thank you Nigel (and Wilfrid) for a beautiful paint job! Paint dust's a masterpiece in progress.

Their details?

A-M xx

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The World Stops.....

....when your babies are sick. My little one was so ill yesterday... I nursed him in my arms all night and all day. He was up and about by late afternoon and here I found him, having a pensive moment, catching some afternoon rays. He's so much better today.... boy, they go down fast but with a bit of tender love and care (and a nice warm bubble bath) they bounce back!

Now back to work today, A-M.
Here's to good health! Have a happy day!
A-M xx

Saturday, July 11, 2009

I Love..... my boys love each other sooo much. Makes my heart burst!
Happy Weekend.
A-M xx

Friday, July 10, 2009

Thank you Norbert

My 'cousin-in-law' found these links for me.

Explain heaps. I am making the changes as I type. I hope these links help you all.

I knew it was something to do with IE too!
A-M xx

Still No Solution

Image Courtesy Canadian House and Home

Well thank you my friends for coming out of the woodwork and sending me all your emails. I love how you actually call yourselves, 'lurkers'! My suspicions, with my limited technical knowledge, is that the problems I am having are due to different browsers being used.

.... but I have been stalking help sites. I'm a bit scared to actually post a question on any of the blogger related help sites as most people who do send in help request emails, start with "Please do not get mad at me but........" I think there is a general intolerance out there for people with limited tech knowledge. Don't blame me, I did my degrees back in the days when you hand wrote your assignments and typed ones were not accepted, there was no internet and the library catalogue consisted of written cards that you flicked your fingers through!

This is what I have gathered so far. One is a blogger problem: blogger is not compatible with all browsers. And updating your browser can help. The second problem is an Internet Explorer problem. Updating helps but doesn't solve all.

QUOTE FROM BLOGGER, in reply to someone who posted with a similar problem.

"We're looking into the underlying cause of this and hope to have a fix out shortly. However, I would strongly encourage those of you still using IE6 to upgrade to a newer browser. IE6 is quickly becoming obsolete across the net.

Is anyone who can't get into my site prepared to change their browser and do a little experiment for me? Some people can't even access my site, some just can't comment, some can comment sometimes but not others. I post in Mozilla and those readers not having any problems also use Mozilla as their browser. I originally had problems posting to my blog with Internet Explorer so I changed to Mozilla and had no more issues, errors or 'catastrophes'.

Latest goss at 'The House'.

Still eating dust. It's a slow process. My knight in shining armour, aka new painter (he's shy, does not want naming), is a bit concerned that he has only been allocated 3 weeks to do all this. After 4 days, he has completed (prep and painting) 3 sets of French Doors (both sides), 5 windows, 2 internal laundry doors, 2 internal transoms and that's it. It's a big house. We are already scheming on which skirtings can be missed out. Oh everything looks so beautiful with good prep work and a decent coat of gloss paint. Some windows only had an undercoat on some areas!

Hubby is going to start painting the back picket fence on the weekend... that will be interesting.... think 'Millie's MOTH', without the handyman skills. Give me strength. He is determined ....... nothing like the carrot of saving a few dollars to motivate one into believing one has the skills! Sorry darling, I do love you!

Hubby is also planning to now GROW our turf up the back. The turf quotes we have received have been ridiculous, due to access problems.... so manned with a hoe, rake and leveller, yep my hubby is going to create the soccer field he has been promising the boys.... from seeds. Thank goodness for the park at the end of our street.

Stay tuned, this is going to be great blog fodder!
A-M xx

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Could It Be?

Thanks guys for all your attempts/emails. No joy yet. Could it be a Mozilla Firefox vs Internet Explorer problem? C'mon 'Norbie', cousin-in-law, techie guru, in Melbourne, work it out for me pet! I use Mozilla. Am I clashing with IE users?
A-M xx

A Technical Question

Image Courtesy Flickr

I am receiving many emails from readers informing me that they are having trouble leaving comments on my posts. They either receive an error message or some 'catastrophic failure' occurs. I do love that word 'catastrophic'!

Does anyone know why this is occurring?....... and how one would rectify the problem? Has it got something to do with browsers? operating system incompatibility? ra, ra? I am so NOT a tech head. I would so appreciate some help.

Hmmm, for those who can't comment!... please email me at:
Thanks 'muchly'!
A-M xx


Image Courtesy Riviera Maison

I have got my eye on this for the wall outside my pantry, in the kitchen. It would be just perfect!

Just there, on the right side of the pantry. The other side has a grey clock on it now but the kitchen was just too messy yesterday for an up to date photo. We were making school holiday biscuits!
A-M xx

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


The House Before A-M Built

We had a lovely surprise on the weekend. A gentleman was standing out the front of our house taking photographs. He turned out to be one of the children who grew up in the original house...... the one that was moved out of town and renovated. His parents passed away just before we purchased the place 4 years ago and he was just a baby when the house was built in 1947. He grew up here and the kids he played with in the street, back in the 1950's, are now elderly gentlemen still living in the street!

He was over the moon when we offered to show him through our place. I showed him the pictures of what his original home now looks like, relocated and renovated. He had a tear in his eye. He was delighted with our home. He loved how it fits into the street and is sympathetic to the era of homes that are still in the area. He took lots of photos and shared memories of his parents and their lives in this area over the past 50 years. He was so sweet. He said his Mum and Dad would have been so happy to see what we have done with the block and to see the street alive again with children. It was such a lovely afternoon.



Saturday, July 4, 2009

Latest Goss From The Study

Don't mind the blue stickers everywhere - they're the defect stickers, still keeping us company after 5 weeks in the house!

Latest additions to the study...... a bordered sisal rug and a coffee table. Still waiting on the desk chair so the kitchen ones will have to suffice at present. It was a very windy, cold day here in sunny Brisbane yesterday so I sat on that very sofa with my feet up on that very coffee table, tapping away on my computer. For some strange reason, the heating is the warmest in the study so I ditched the freezing cold 'Frog Room' aka 'Armchair Trader Gimp Room' downstairs and set myself up in this lovely space... complete with piped guitar music!
Have a lovely weekend everyone. I am scooting off to the Trade Fair here in Brisbane, with my 'instant, new best friend, neighbour'. See you Monday.

Friday, July 3, 2009

The House That A-M Built

I think the last time I posted a picture of the front elevation of the house, there was a big pile of dirt in the driveway and a port-a-loo off to the side!

So here she is today, waiting for a coat of paint for the front wall (it's just bare render at present), and the beautiful front gates we have on order. The gates will be similar in design to the porch balustrade. Some greenery would be nice too. We plan to plant a leopard tree in the 'garden-bed-to be, behind the wall, off to the right side.... and something else green, down the sides. The front steps and courtyard, up from the gate, will be paved in the same stone that we have out on the terrace.... eventually. The front wall lights are sitting in a cupboard, in my laundry, waiting for hubby to paint the front wall ..... and there they will sit while the back wall painting is completed first. We have one tiny strip of lawn up to the front gate, which our landscaper dropped off one day... excess from a job he was doing. At least it gives us a relatively 'clean' entrance up to the gate. The rest is dirt with building remnants all through it. It is still such a work site... I pick up stuff everyday and dump it in the bin.

So that's her. It's amazing to sit back and look at her now. The first house I have ever built. I know everything about her, every nook, cranny, beam, window dimension, tile. It is a surreal feeling to know her so intimately. She does have a presence in the street but she sits nestled into the block so comfortably, like she has always been there..... and living in her?... she's light and bright and warm and she feels like I have always known her. I love her now, even with all her flaws and blue sticky defect spots. She feels like home.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Time For A Breather

Image Courtesy Good Housekeeping

Sorry about my absence over the past few days. I have being suffering a stocktake for my little store, while entertaining a house full of boys and cooking for them and cleaning up after them and mending them (falling down steps is a full time job in this house). Now to take a breather ... well sort of... I'm now starting on the end of year accounting today. Done the counting, now the accounting.

I really do need to swan around and take lots more photos of the place. Things have come to a standstill, sort of ... funny how things stop when the funds dry up. I am waiting on some more furniture for the Great Room, a desk for moi (you should see the little setup I have here in the 'Frog Room'.... and it's freezing down here!) and all my beautiful soft furnishings, that will be installed in a few weeks time.

The new painter starts today, in 45 minutes!. "Just start at the Front Door and work your way to the back". He will arrive at 7am every day, I have been told, so he'll be joining hubby and me for a coffee in front of the fire, before he starts!

Have a great day everyone. I will put together a few more photos of "The House" for you tomorrow.