Thursday, 29 October 2015

The first of the garden paths .........

Hi Vintage Lovers, 

Over the last few weeks we have re -paved the front garden path that leads to the front door. We already had a path but we decided to plant weeping birch ( you know how I love my weeping trees ) half way along the path, then create a circular path around the birch with the path leading off the circular area to the front door and gate.

We reused all the old pavers on the old path as well as some others that had been left here ........ we are thinking from the old fireplaces.

I found these old teracotta garden edging tiles ( I couldn't believe my luck ) in an antique shop a while ago to edge around the birch.

The gorgeous hand forged stakes that are on either side of the path are made by the blacksmith at Sovereign Hill. I am planning to plant standard iceberg roses ( to match the burgundy iceberg standards on the front verandah ), five each side of the path with box hedging bordering the roses. This will be next years project.

This years spring garden projects are coming to end apart from normal garden maintenance (time to start planning next years garden projects) and watering has now started as the garden is already showing signs of drying out.

Have a great weekend, everyone.

Mel xx

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Ahhhhhh ........... its Spring  !!!!!!!!!!

Hi Vintage Lovers, 

Ahhhhhhh ........... Spring is here ............ and you know how much I love my garden and playing in the dirt, don't you  ???????

I love this time of year and to be honest I would be quite happy to spend all my time out in the garden ......... spring has only been here for a month and we have already been busy bees with lots of garden projects (hence why I haven't been blogging).

We have just finished mulching the garden and everything is growing beautifully and looking fantastic.

Over winter I was busy planting box hedging along the driveways in front of the pitasporums that I have growing to make a hedge to hide the ugly fence line. When the box hedging grows it will create a two tiered hedging. We also bought a weeping birch that we planted in the middle of the front walk way ( we have re-paved the front path to incorporate the birch into the path ........ pics in the next blog post ).

We have also created a new garden bed around our main lawn area for sunflowers over the summer period. Then during winter next year I will plant box hedging to match the driveways.

We have also created a bit of "garden art" with some mirrors. One in between the store house and fence to hide down the side of the sheds and the other one in between the two sheds so that you don't see the fence. The hedge will grow up to the edge of the mirror, and I have also planted a glory vine that will eventually grow over the arches.

All my bearded irises have been flowering beautifully and for the first time ever one of my yellow clivias have flowered  ( I have had it for five years). I certainly was not expecting it to flower as it was quite frost bitten.

Hope you are having a fantastic weekend .......... I am planning to spend the rest of the weekend out in the garden playing in the dirt.

Mel xx

P.S. All the hay bales down the shed end of the garden are to save the pitasporums from all the footy,  soccor and cricket balls. I know they looks alittle silly but the certainly save my plants from being damaged. 

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Our old lady's Kitchen Reveal ..... 

Hi Vintage Lovers,

Ta Da !!!!!!!!

Our old lady's Kitchen is all finished .......... I finally have some photos for you to see all the changes we have made. I wanted it to be like an old country kitchen ........ like Grandma's kitchen with a few modern touches. I think we have achieved our goal.  Our lady's kitchen is perfect now ........ my dream kitchen. 

Our new butlers sink .......... which I love. Yes ........ I have always wanted one (ever since my parents put one in one of the houses they renovated when I was a kid). 


I love love love my new tap ........ maybe even more than the sink. It suits the sink perfectly. 

The work bench is a free standing one as we wanted as little as possible permanently attached to the wall ........ to keep the old kitchen feel. 

We have put shelves above the bench as well as Aggie. The brackets we bought from Sovereign Hill and the shelves are made from old baltic floor boards. Don't they look fantastic ?????

The shelf sets off Aggie beautifully ........ just what she needed.

So glad we decided to have the open shelving ....... it is perfect for displaying vintage items.

The only thing I would love to have above the fireplace now would be an old clock ....... it would finish the kitchen off nicely. Eventually I will find one ......... just need to keep searching. 

So ....... I would love to hear what you think ?????

We absolutely adore our old lady's Kitchen ......... it is lovely to have a finished room that we love spending time in (I really don't want to leave at all). 

But, the next lot of jobs await (no rest for the wicked). The tradies are working on the front room and we are heading outside to work on some garden projects now that spring is around the corner. 
I will fill you in on them in the next week or two. 

Mel xx

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

The Waiting Game .......

We are playing the waiting game at our old lady at the moment ......... the plastering and flooring in the kitchen are all complete, now we are waiting for them set and dry for a few weeks. 

We are certainly looking forward to having a fully functioning kitchen again ............ we are getting alittle tired of washing up in the bathroom !!!!!! Although it really hasn't been that bad and it will be all worth it in the end. At least we have Aggie to cook on ........ the advantage of doing the kitchen in two stages.

So in the mean time we are continuing the work in the front rooms ( demolition of the old fireplace) ready for the plasters who are due back when the kitchen is back together and finished.

Mel xx

Monday, 6 July 2015

The New Kitchen .......
Hi Vintage Lovers,

 Quite by accident a few months ago while shopping for other bits and pieces for the renovations at Recollections we discovered that they pre-make all timber kitchens with granite tops with porcelain sinks.

Now, we didn't love or hate our kitchen cupboards but decided to keep them as we didn't want to spend a fortune on cupboards made of MDF. So, until we found just the right cupboards for our old lady's kitchen we were happy to wait.

We couldn't believe our eyes when we came across these pre-made all timber kitchen units.
I did a little happy dance, went home, measured up and then ordered the next week.

So, our kitchen has a renovation zone again for a little longer. We have removed the old kitchen cupboards and the plasterers are back in re-plastering the wall this week with the flooring guys to follow in a few weeks time.

Next week we will be repairing and painting the ceiling as well as installing open shelving above Aggie (the AGA) and above the new work bench area (when it gets popped in).

A busy few weeks.

Mel xx

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

A Present for the Garden…...

Hi Vintage Lovers,

We have taken delivery of a very large present for the garden, a 10,000 litre water tank. We already had one tank and had enough room for a second one on a cement slab that was already there when we bought our old lady.  We wanted to ensure that we always have enough water for the garden over summer without the use of mains water.

We have continued the hedging around the tanks with the pittosporum plants (that we planted around the fence line last year) that we grow and eventually hide the tanks completely.

All we now need is it to rain lots and lots to fill that tank up.
Mel xx



Wednesday, 6 May 2015

My Happy Place...
Yes, I know ... I have been MIA for far, far too long.

It has been a crazy few months, busy with lots and lots happening .....

..... The reno's are continuing with a new water tank being delivered at the end of this week, a new kitchen has been ordered and is expected soon and the demolitions in the front room are continuing, slowly but surely.

...... New garden plans have been thought up and have started to be put into place.
I bought the first lot of plants for the garden for this years planting season (rather excited).

..... We spent a week in one of my favourite places, Ballarat, the main attraction there being Sovereign Hill - a vintage lovers paradise. There were so many ideas there I plan to use and many items were purchased to add to the house and garden.

But it is the little moments that count the most, don't they ????
There has been a few of those moments this week ......

...... We had the yummiest lunch at Mum and Dad's on Sunday to celebrate an early Mother's day and see them off on a three month trip around the West Coast of Australia. We had a lamb roast with all the trimmings, all the vegies were freshly picked out of Mum's vegie patch. We planted all our winter vegies over the weekend also ....... so I am looking forward walking out the backdoor to pick fresh vegies of our own. 

....... I am now curled up on the couch with a blanket over me the fire roaring and Jock (Mum and Dad's dog) curled up next to me. It is lovely to have a dog back in the house. He is staying with us until Mum and Dad's return.

..... Pottering out in the garden this afternoon instead of doing the dreaded housework.

...... Baking banana muffins the other night with Emily.
Not that she really needed my help at all, as she is a rather incredible cook for her age.

..... Lying in bed last night listening to the pouring (and I do mean pouring) rain on our tin roof. It is due to rain all week. Yeah !!!!! The first decent soaking for the season. The garden is loving it.

Mel xx

Saturday, 14 February 2015

 Demolition and a Slow Weekend ……..
Hi Vintage Lovers,
 It has been a bit of a slower weekend here.
Summer has finally arrived, as it has been rather hot with a north wind blowing a gale all weekend. Up until now we really have not had a summer (which I am rather thankful for) with very mild weather, chilly nights and quite a bit of rain in late January. 

So needless to say we didn't spend much time outside over the weekend ........ we started the
demolition in the front rooms instead.
The stud wall has come out as well as the second bookcase.

The area looks much much better now that stud wall has disappeared. It has really opened up the area ........ just what we were hoping for. The stone fireplace still needs to be removed. It is too large and dominates the area (even with the stud wall gone) so we will start the demolition next weekend ....... Although it will take a few weekends to finish.
Mel xx


Sunday, 25 January 2015

Last Lazy Days ……..

Hi Vintage Lovers,
Hope you are having a lovely weekend and enjoying celebrating Australia Day.
I am still in holiday mode here but the slow summer days are coming to an end as the kidlets go back to school tomorrow. Once tomorrow ticks over the crazy busy year will start ....... so I am making the most of having a lazy day at home today. J

My sunflowers have loved all this rain we have been having.

We really haven't had summer so to speak of yet here, really strange weather.......we have gone from a few really very hot days in early January (I did lose a few plants and others were quite badly burnt) to drenching rain with chilly days and nights. We have all been rugging up with rugs over us at night !!!! Not that I mind, I am not really a summer person, much prefer the cooler weather. We have had lots of rain which the garden has loved and it has been lovely not to rush around watering every night ....... one less job to do !!!!!!!!

 So, next week ........ I am planning to get back out into the garden to get some overdue jobs done, as well as to start demolishing the rest of the front rooms (our electrician came last week to disconnect the wiring) and I also have a new project on the go. It is under wraps at the moment, but I will keep you posted.
Mel xx


Saturday, 17 January 2015

To live with a little less......

Hi Vintage Lovers,
In a few weeks it will be the two year anniversary of us owning our Old Lady. Where has that time gone ???? We are still smitten over her and wouldn't part with her for anything. We are no where close to finishing (we certainly didn't plan to do it all at once and that's part of the fun of it !!!!), but our lady has come a long way and we are loving every minute of it !!!

Since the very start our project has had its critiques, always wondering why we bought a little stone cottage in the first place with all this work and money to be spent on her, when we would be extending on the back of the house, put built -ins and walls to create more bedrooms, where our modern kitchen was with microwave and dishwasher, how we were going have time for the renovations with three kids, and the rest !!!
 But to be completely honest with you guys I haven't found any of these things to be an issue. Yes, our house is a little smaller than most, but not small enough that we really notice it. It's only when others ask that I think of it. Less rooms is a big advantage when it comes to cleaning and I hate cleaning !!!! Our old lady will always be a 3 bedroom cottage (so the girls will always share). Cottage's are not meant to be huge.  At the moment she is a two bedroom cottage as we have moved out of the front rooms, but certainly not cramped at all. There is a grand master plan for the back area and we are planning to put in a hallway and make the back family room our bedroom ....... eventually.

When we first moved in, after we had redone the kitchen, we decided to leave the microwave out in the laundry, since we hardly used it at all and it was just taking up valuable bench space. We have also managed fine without a dishwasher (it turns out that - contrary to popular belief - it isn't a life-changing appliance to have!). When we do end up getting one, it will be housed out in the laundry, along with the microwave. I am not finding it that hard to live without an abundance of modern appliances at all, what you don't have you don't really miss.

I have found that its actually kind of fun to downsize and live with less stuff, because you really notice what you need and what you don't. I got rid of so many unnecessary items and things I just didn't absolutely love when we first moved, and it makes keeping the house tidy now so much easier.

So there is my thought for the day......... It is much simpler than you think to live with a little less.
Mel xx

Saturday, 10 January 2015

The Front Rooms
Hi Vintage Lovers,
Over the Christmas and New Year break we had a chance to start looking at and planning the renovations for the front rooms of our Old Lady.
 We were using the rooms as our bedroom and a music/sitting room, which the front door opened into.
The photos don't do the area justice ........ it is quite a large area, 8 metres by 4 metres with 12 foot ceilings.

This photo was taken just before we moved into our Old Lady (I haven't taken one since then !?!)
We have decided to completely gut the room or two rooms as it is right now and start over again. Previous owners of our Old Lady put in a stud wall to create two rooms rather than have one main living area up the front of our cottage. We have decided to return the front rooms to one main front to retain the original detail and character.
It will be our sitting and music rooms ......... eventually.
We moved out of the rooms and have started some of the removal of old skirting boards and built - in bookcases over the break.

We now need to get the electrician in to disconnect the wiring, which will be in the next few weeks .......then we can finish the demolition of the other built-in bookcase and stud wall.
Now this is what we discovered under the built-in bookcase we have removed already (as well as under the stud wall ) and we are certain this is what we will find under the bookcase yet to be taken out !!!!
So, needless to say we will need to replace the timber flooring in the area.

This fireplace is not the original one ....... so this is coming out also, as it is too big and dominates the room and is not well constructed either.

The original room had fireplaces up each end, but both were taken out by previous owners and have just left the chimneys on the roof for cosmetic value. So .......... Once the fireplace, stud wall and other bookcase is removed we will decide what the area needs and work out if it is feasible to re-construct the fireplaces in the original way.

I am certainly crossing my fingers and toes that this can happen, you know how I like to restore (as much as possible) to what it would have been when our Old Lady was first built. J
Mel xx