Spare room makeover

As promised, I have finally finished taking pictures of my spare room makeover which I’ve been dying to share with you. It is going to become my craft room, where I will have a place for all my yarn, toy fibre, fabrics, sewing machine, buttons, crochet hooks, knitting needles and little nick knacks that only I appreciate. My little space where I can be creative and make a mess without having to tidy it away before dinner time. I’m so excited!

bedroom pre decorating

Here is the room in its original state when we viewed the house. It adjoins another bedroom separated only by a wobbly wall made of chipboard that didn’t even reach up to the ceiling. We took the wall down and got a handyman in to create a proper wall with built in storage cupboards for each room. The following photos show how it looked after the wall addition, and before I started painting it last week.

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The window wall has not been rendered, so it has a bit of a prison cell feel to it with the brick. To make matters worse, its painted dark brown, which closes the room in. The other walls are gyprock. I don’t like the terracotta floor tiles, but they extend all through the ground floor and would be too expensive to change, so I have to work with what I have to try and detract from them and brighten things up. I have removed the curtains and had a roller blind put in instead to allow more light in.

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This photo is looking back towards the door, see the new built in cupboards! They made such a difference. And below is the room all painted white! What do you think?

spare room makeover

Painting that brick wall was serious hard work. I had to use a brush to get the paint into each gap between the bricks. It took forever. I still have a long way to go to get the room ready for crafting. The dart board is my son’s and it is staying for now, I quite like playing too, so I am happy to share. I made some bunting to decorate the wall. I used denim from old jeans I cut up and saved, and some nice beige cotton I had already, and some blue striped fabric I picked up from Lincraft in the sale at next to nothing. Another blogger mentioned adding some red fabric in, which I did and it made all the difference.

bunting fabric

I am pretty hopeless at sewing and had to re-learn how to use the sewing machine again, but even I could manage to make bunting. I was really impressed with myself. Plus, its such a thrifty way to decorate a room.

beachy bunting

I’m really happy with how its all looking, and we actually spend time in there now. Before it was dark and dingy, and a bit of a junk magnet. Now its bright and cheery and being used. I can’t wait to get my craft stuff in there. It will double up as a guest room so I will have to keep it tidy. That might be the next challenge.

spare room makeover

Have a great week, hope the sun shines!

 

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Five on Friday

Its school holidays here and this week has just flown by. We’ve been busy with park meet-ups and play dates, card games, baking, gardening and dog walking. I wanted to share a post of my spare room makeover this week but time just went and its friday already! Time to link up with Amy from Love Made my Home for Five on Friday!

1. Dog walks on the beach

Its been nice to have the kids for company on some dog walks this week. Our pup Kess is 3 months old and I have never had a dog before, so I am getting used to dog world. Having a few extra pairs of hands helps me get a bit more confident being out and about with her. There is a beach that is off leash for dogs where she can run with the kids and learn to socialise with other dogs. I’m still a bit anxious, but I know the more we go out in public with her, the better it will be.

20150623_141551 20150623_143741 dog walks on the beach

 

 

2. Making pumpkin soup

This is the lunch of choice at the moment, simple homemade soup, perfect for the cooler weather.

homemade pumpkin soup

3. A gift from my husband

My husband bought Dawn French’s book ‘oh Dear Silvia’ at the airport for me the other day. Have any of you read it? Sounds like it will be a good read. I have never read any of her books before and I’m looking forward to starting it. Just need to find the time!

oh dear silvia, dawn french

4. A dinner recipe

I bought a chicken from the farmers market the other day. Not just any old chicken, this was ginormous! It was more like a turkey, and weighed 3kg! I asked the farmer what he had been feeding his chickens. He told me a load of them escaped and they couldn’t find them anywhere and thought that was that. A couple of weeks or so later they turn up again, and they are massive! He reckons they had been hiding out in the pig pen eating the pig’s food and thats why they got so big! Anyway, I roasted it the other night for dinner, knowing I would have heaps of leftovers. The next night I found a recipe for leftover chicken curry, which I adapted by adding a few other bits in, and it was a big hit. Absolutely delicious. The chicken cost me 15 dollars, very cheap for such a monster, and fed the five of us for two nights dinner, plus extra for sandwiches for lunch. Bargain!

leftover chicken curry

Here is the recipe for leftover chicken curry, which I adapted from this link for leftover chicken ideas:

1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
300ml chicken stock
Tomato passata, or tin chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato puree
1-2 cups cauliflower
1 small sweet potato
leftover roast chicken, roughly chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 can coconut milk
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp garam masala
half tsp ground cardamom
half tsp ground cinnamon
half tsp ground turmeric
half tsp ground chilli powder (or to taste)
fresh coriander, chopped, to serve

Method:

Fry onion with salt until soft, then add garlic and ginger and fry for 2-3 minutes more. Add the spices and coat onion evenly, gently fry for 2 minutes. Then add the tomato passata and puree, cook for 1 minute then add the stock. bring to boil then add the cauliflower and sweet potato and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Stir in the coconut milk, then add the chopped chicken and warm through. Serve with steamed rice and sprinkle with fresh coriander.

5. A dishcloth swap

I am happy to be joining in with Kimberley at Creative Chaos for her dishcloth swap this year, and I have been paired up with Kimberley herself! I’ve not taken part before, so this should be fun, and you know how I love my dishcloths! I won’t share any photos now so I don’t spoil the surprise, but I will keep you posted on how it turns out.

Have a lovely weekend, if you get chance, hop over to Amy’s blog to visit the other bloggers joining in.

A weekend of simple living

I love weekends where you can just go with the flow, with no firm plans made. This weekend was particularly nice, with kids getting along with each other and spending time outdoors. The girls collected lemons off the trees and wanted to make lemonade from them. It was actually quite delicious, better than the lemon slice I tried to make a few weeks back which was a complete disaster.

homemade lemonade

 

homegrown lemons and papaya

lemons collected off the tree, and some papaya, and a bowl of pumpkin seeds ready for the veggie patch

The local strawberry farm opened their farm shop to the public this weekend and I bought the plumpest sweetest strawberries I have ever tasted. The smell of strawberries in the shop is just so mouth watering. I’d have a hard time working there. The kids devoured them in seconds.

fresh strawberries

The neighbour invited us over for drinks saturday afternoon and the kids played while we chatted and drank wine. After dark the kids went inside and played chess! Very civilised, unlike us grown ups. The husbands had sore heads in the morning! Sunday was spent outside working on the veg patch again. My son has a ‘get rich quick’ scheme planned by growing and selling herbs at the gate. I’ll keep you posted on that little project.

veggie patch

Pumpkin soup was made for lunch with pumpkin bought from the farm shop. Twelve eggs were collected from the chooks, then a fire was started at the bottom of the paddock to burn off some of the lantana we cleared. The kids played in the paddock with the chooks and there was huge excitement when one of the chickens found an enormous spider and ate it. The kids were fascinated!

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in the paddock

the kids have even worn the dog out

Then of course the kids decided we couldn’t have a fire without marshmallows.

IMG_5456 marshmallows on the fire

 

ride on mower fun

Hitching a free ride back after a good day in the paddock

Dinner was organic butterfly lamb bought from the farmers market, with roast potatoes and veggies, followed by a movie and bed, feeling tired and content.

I hope you all had a good weekend. Thanks for all your comments on my previous post. I will post more info on those cushions in my next post as so many of you liked them. I will also be sharing my spare room makeover 🙂

Five on Friday

Hello again, linking in with Amy at Love Made my Home, five randoms from my week.

Buying – lovely cushions from Eumundi markets. Made from recycled plastic bottles! The fabric is just like very thick cotton, you would never know.

colourful cushions

Collecting – lovely fresh eggs from my chickens. Just look at the size of this big one we got this morning. Poor chicken! It was so big I couldn’t close the egg box properly!

free range eggs

Lunching – at beautiful Noosa. A special treat to catch up with some friends before school holidays begin.

Noosa beach

Walking – at the beach now we have fine weather again after a week of rain. I have a serious laundry issue at my place.

Mujimba beach

Making – some bunting from fabric I have laying around. It will go in the spare room once I have finished doing it up. There’s a bit of a beachy theme going on here.

fabric for bunting in blue

Have a lovely weekend! I Hope you can visit the other bloggers joining in with five on friday this week.

 

Catching up

Well after a restful wet weekend I am back into my usual cleaning and house tidying routine today. The in laws flew back to the UK on thursday and we had a public holiday on friday so the kids were home and it was raining. Today is the first chance I have had to get things back in order. Cleaning really fell by the wayside with guests in the house. They spent quite a bit of time reading books or snoring on the sofa. I felt I couldn’t really barge in with the dyson blaring at full whack and ruin their peace and quiet. I am happy now the house is all back to normal. I even managed to catch up on some blogging and try a new crochet pattern, these little granny squares from Lucy’s great tutorial at Attic 24.

crochet granny squares

I did a few of these while waiting at the doctors with my my daughter. Such a great portable little project for when you’re out and about. I’m not sure what I will make yet, maybe a cushion.

crochet granny square

We had a wet weekend which was good as we needed some rain to top up our water tank. With seven of us in the house it was dropping steadily and I was starting to worry how we’d manage during the dry season. We have more guests turning up in a couple of weeks (family of 5!) So the rain was a good thing and the tank is now overflowing. I placed a laundry tub under the overflow to catch the excess, which I will use to fill up the chicken’s water container.

collecting rain water

It was nice to just chill out at home and enjoy cosying up watching movies and playing cards with the kids. They love the game ‘go fish’ and will play it for hours. Its easy enough for the 6 year old to play, and entertaining enough for the older ones too. No weekend would be complete without a spot of baking though, I made this yummy, sinful white chocolate and raspberry slice, gluten free. This is mine and hubby’s favourite.

IMG_5413 whist chocolate and raspberry slice

On sunday we made a rare trip to the movies to see Jurassic World. I thought it was going to be awful, after the last jurassic movie sequel, but I really enjoyed it. Very similar to the original Jurassic Park movie, with some almost identical scenes, but very entertaining. You can pretty much guess from the start who is going to get eaten. The story is predictable, the lab nerds create a ‘super dinosaur’ from a cocktail of DNA selected from the scariest, fastest, smartest, meanest, biggest dinosaurs, with a few other bits thrown in. Of course this monster dino figures out how to escape its enclosure and creates havoc on the island (I’m not spoiling the movie here, its obvious from the get go). Of course there are a few raptors and T-Rex thrown in for good measure. All good family fun. We came home and had scrambled eggs on toast for dinner! Not our usual sunday fare, but it was quick and easy which suited me, and no one seemed to mind. Our chooks are laying heaps of eggs now, so it was great to use them up and eat them fresh. We had 11 eggs today, the most so far.

free range eggs

eggs drying on the draining board. While eggs and the nesting boxes are clean, chicken’s feet are not.

After all the cleaning and house organising today I took my daughter down to Caloundra for her gymnastics class. I did my usual walk along the coastal pathway which I can fit in before dark. Its such a nice time to be out. The light is slowly failing and the shadows are long. There are a few couples and families out walking dogs, jogging, cycling or kicking a ball around. Its a very nice way to end the day.

bulcock beach

In this next photo you can just see a Kangaroo on the beach in the distance. I stood watching him for a while hopping along, then stopping to graze. I see him every week. Its probably not the same one but I like to think it is.

kangaroo on beach in distance

The coastal path connects Bulcock Beach with Kings beach via this boardwalk that juts out over the rocks. There are steps down to the rocks and little patches of beach where you can hunt for crabs and shells.

caloundra coastal path

Kings beach is pretty much deserted, except for the odd fisherman and surfer.

Kings beach caloundra

 

Bulcock beach caloundraIt was almost dark when I got back to the car. I made a quick trip to Woollies for the groceries, picked my daughter up then headed home for dinner. Bolognaise tonight, made earlier in between the school run and gymnastics run. Just call me super mum!
I hope your weekend was a good one.
T x

 

Five on Friday

Joining in with Amy from Love made my home, this week I’m sharing five wonderful things from our short break away to Stradbroke Island.

We wanted to take the in laws away somewhere where we could see a bit of wildlife, do a spot of fishing, and really just enjoy a quiet break away from normality. Stradbroke Island is the best place to get away from it all. The Island is situated just south of Brisbane in the Morton Bay region, just a 45 minute ferry ride from the mainland. The island has 5000 permanent residents, but in the summer holidays it peaks to 50000 people! I really cannot imagine how that many people can fit in such a small place. As we were going out of season it was lovely and quiet, we felt we had the place to ourselves. We stayed at Sea Shanties, in two cute, well appointed beach cabins by the water. Wild koalas were frequent visitors to the site. In our 11 years in Australia we have never seen Koalas in the wild until now, so this was fantastic. I was snapping away with my camera like a tourist on overdrive.

Wild Koala on stradbroke island Koala in a gum tree

We did the North Gorge walk which was just stunning. You can look down from the cliff tops and see sea turtles and rays swimming down in the water. It seemed pretty rough down there, like a washing machine with surf and sea going in all directions. The beaches were amazing with miles and miles of soft white sand and turquoise water. Apparently the beaches are notorious for sharks and friends have often seen huge sharks very close to shore. We didn’t spot any though, much to my son’s disappointment.

A kangaroo followed us along the coastal path

Kangaroo on the coastal path

North Gorge stradbroke island North Gorge Stradbroke island

 

danger sign stradbroke island cliffs

Scary sign on the cliffs.

stradbroke island beach

This beautiful beach was just a 10 minute walk from Sea Shanties

beach walk

Hunting for starfish

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Wild dolphins cruised past the site daily. They came right up to the jetty at night when we put the light on for fishing. They obviously knew this spot was an easy place to get a free meal.

IMG_5356 dolphins in the sea

 

I took my crochet with me to get some of the granny stripe blanket done. Sitting by the water basking in the winter sun with my crochet and a cuppa was just idyllic.

crochet granny stripe by the sea

 

We watched the most amazing sunsets, with the sky changing colour by the minute, displaying the most intense shades of orange and blue. We could enjoy this while cooking in the outdoor kitchen at night which was great, as we felt like we were camping, but had the comfort of a proper bed and shelter at night.

sunset

My daughter photo bombing the sunset shot

sunset on stradbroke island

I hope you enjoyed my five little snippets from Stradbroke Island. Its funny looking back over these pictures as it looks warm and sunny, but it was absolutely freezing!

Please go and visit the other bloggers joining in with Amy this week for Five on Friday.
Have a lovely weekend.

My blog anniversary

This sort of crept up on me. My blog anniversary was actually yesterday! I knew it was coming up, but we went away last week, and the in-laws are still here visiting, so I’ve really been off the ball with blogging lately. I have made no plans for celebration as yet, but in the meantime I thoughtI would reflect on the past year and what we have achieved here in my little corner of the world. My first ever post a told of our exciting plans for our tree change, and how we might actually do this one day. I remember being so nervous when I hit the publish button. Here we are one year later already 6 months into our new life in the country.

view of the country

Our change has made us the proud owners of 10 acres, a house, a dam, 14 chickens, a dog and a ride on mower.

acreage life

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The girls like helping dad do the ‘farm jobs’ as they get to ride in the trailer

acreage duties using ride on mower and trailer

We have experienced floods, snakes in the house, 96% humidity and the hottest nights ever. No cold weather yet though, which is lovely as I mind the cold terribly.

flooded land, sunshine coast

carpet python in the kitchen

The python that turned up in our kitchen

It has been hard work, managing the land by clearing the lantana that bordered the entire fringe of our property. We are almost there with it now and hope to get a few head of cattle soon, perhaps 4, and see how we go. We built a chicken coop, adapted from an existing outbuilding that was previously an animal shelter. This was serious hard work, hammering in endless nails in the heat of summer. I built the door! And it hasn’t fallen off yet!!

chicken coop

Now we are reaping the rewards as our lovely chickens are finally providing us with eggs, averaging 8-9 a day at the moment.

free range chickens

fresh free range eggs

collected fresh today, lovely eggs

It has been a great experience, with more adventures to come. I am hoping to get back into a proper routine with blogging, and visit all the lovely blogs I like to follow more regularly. I seem to spend my days doing chores and errands, leaving little time for anything else. I think its time for change of a different kind, and focus on why we actually left the city and came here in the first place. I really must get that veggie patch growing! I also really want to continue with my craft too. I have had a few projects materialise over the past year. Some of the most viewed posts are the recycled t-shirt crochet basket and a toadstool, super cute knitted mini toys, and the knitted bunting.

crochet project

half finished basket with cut up t shirt yarn

crochet toadstool

knitted toys

A rainbow of cuties

knitted bunting

Some of my favourites have of course been the tapestry crochet dishcloths and the crochet snake!

crochet snake

crochet snake finished

tapestry crochet dishclothsI have only achieved 48 posts in the past year, but its nice to look back and see just how much you can do in one year.

A big thank you to all my lovely followers and commenters. I do love your comments and enjoy visiting all your blogs. I love the endless source of motivation and inspiration I get from reading all your posts. Here’s to another year of blogging!