Archive for October, 2013

Kitchen Renovation – Day 23 to who the hell cares. (Day 29)

Friday, October 25th, 2013


Hi Everyone.

On Monday our kitchen was installed.

Well part of it.

Here is how that went down.








Pretty ok, but we are missing a handful of panels and couldn’t finish.

No idea when they are coming back.

The stone mason came too, to do the bench tops. But I had a very last minute change of heart.

I bought the sink for cheap, cheap, cheap, but it wasn’t ideally what I wanted.

I’ve never had a 2 bowl sink in the 4 places I have lived at and I have never longed for one either.

Yet, I bought a 2 bowl sink as I thought it was the thing to do.

But over the past 2 years I have sporadically been thinking about buying a different sink but quickly dismissed the thought because I had a sink and it was a bargain.

But what I really wanted was a single bowl sink that was big and deepish. Rather then having a double bowl with that divide in the centre that made the bowl too small for big items that you can’t put in the dishwasher.

I’m also big on the platters too. I love to put the food out in the centre on platters. So washing them up with ease is best.

He came and I asked why he would be cutting on site as I thought that wasn’t really the done thing, and he said it was best to be done at his factory and that he was only here because of the kitchen company, so I ran with it and said, I’m getting a new sink, I’ll bring it to you at the factory for you to cut.

Then I thought I could just go and buy a sink that day. Turns out you kinda can’t. Arghh. Most sinks I wanted were on back order. Then I just settled on the best I could get and it is 3 to 5 days away. Hmmp. I could have had bench tops, a sink and running water. But I would have been disappointed with the 2 sinks that I couldn’t wash much up in.

But now it will be cut much nicely in the factory.

I even measured my old crappy sink and that was wider then the biggest bowl on the double. (Not as deep though) So I just wanted a sink that was a bit wider then the sink I had.

And it means I will have more bench top space!! Which is something this kitchen could use more of. I think I have done the right thing for me and this kitchen.


So I don’t think anything is going to happen next week either.

I bought foam for the bench seat, fabric, piping cord and continuous zip. Gosh I hope I can make a pretty decent cover.

In other sewing news, I made Audrey a top. But like usual I just couldn’t make it as per the instructions. I decided to do french seams on the side. I knew it would take up more fabric, but I didn’t compensate for it, did I?




I made the 12 months size too and she is 6 months. Only JUST fits her.

(Needs buttons on the shoulders too)

I would call it 3 – 6 months dress. Not a top.

But it is so cute. And I will give it another shot.

I also ordered rugs for the kitchen too

Screen shot 2013-10-25 at 10.58.44 PM

This one to go under the dining room table. I like sisal rugs. I have 2 of them and they hold up nicely. Not very nice for Audrey to crawl on though.

The other is for in between the island and kitchen cabinets. The cooking/washing area.

Basically it is just a waiting game. ANNOYING. 4 weeks since rip out.


So cute. But I am going to miss those gummy smiles.

Kitchen Renovation – Day 21 – 22

Friday, October 18th, 2013


Three weeks today since the kitchen was ripped out.

On the menu for dinner is half a capsicum each, Jamie Oliver’s fish fingers and Ingams chicken nuggets!

Audrey had mashed banana and strawberry. I am rationing out what is left of her supplies in the freezer.

Thursday is the day I go to Mother’s group. It is basically my only commitment. I look forward to it. But I also look forward to delivery men bringing me my kitchen cabinets. I was on the fence about whether I would be able to attend mother’s group this week because I was waiting for these guys, but they came just shortly before and I knew I would be able to make it to Mother’s group, but I would be late, but that is fine. I would let them bring it all in and run around and grab Audrey’s stuff and get in the car and go as soon as they have left.

So, imagine me. Pen and paper in hand, dutifully trying to concentrate and mark down everything that the delivery man bring in as it is a requirement of the delivery. I was off to a good start but then they brought in things that I had no idea what they were or how to mark them down and then doors after doors rolled in but they were wrapped and I couldn’t tell how many and what they where for. . .


(First cabinet! SQUEEL!!)

Then they brought in these and placed them in the ONLY walk way through our house.


What would be the last thing I needed at this point in time?

Oh that’s right a knock on the door. Sorry I can’t really get to the door and I am pre-occupied.

So I ignore it. I am not expecting anyone, I haven’t placed any online purchases lately.

Then I hear it again and the delivery man tells me there is someone at the front of my house.

Oh gee, great.

I try and hustle my way to the door to find the LAST THING I NEEDED!!!



Surprise all right!

One of you owns a phone, use it for Christ sakes!

In they come while I am in a boiling rage!

They plod their way into the kitchen (GET OUT)

And start touching everything, looking at everything, asking me everything. . .

“How much does this cost? What colour? Why White? White will get dirty! Why does it stink of paint in here?”

I could not believe it.

My MIL has this thing where she has no concept of personal space and stands right behind you breathing down your neck anytime you’re trying to do something, like putting Audrey in the car! EVERY TIME!! I always step back on her toes and fall into her. EVERY TIME!

So she has me in a corner and I step back on her toes AGAIN! She is pulling open the ilve cooker box to have a look.

The delivery men leave and I tell them, sorry but I’ve got to go. I am going to Mother’s group. But No! She wants to see what everything looks like. Pen still in hand I unwrap a door and get pen on the door.

“See, that is why you don’t get white!”


Then I just take a deep breath and go, you. come here. I fling a nappy and an outfit at her and tell her to change and dress Audrey and then I give my FIL a screw driver and tell him to remove these magnetic catches off the pantry while he is standing there.

I am getting really good at turning these negatives into positives.

Delegation is my middle name.








Today I sanded the pantry, vacuumed and sugar soaped the max out of it.

I managed to paint three shelves and part of the wall before Audrey awoke from her nap. Tools down.


Husband will finish it off over the weekend.

Then our kitchen should be installed on MONDAY! Hurrah

To anyone that has got in contact about my stockings. Give me a few more days to get back to you. So Sorry.


They will be available for sale at Western Sydney Up Markets, Wentworthville (Dunmore Street) this Sunday the 20th from 9am.

$25 each. Fully lined.

My friend Handmade by Kahli is the stallholder and will be selling them on my behalf.

She is the lovely lady who made this blanket and nappy cake for Audrey



Enjoy your weekend!!

Get out to the markets if you are in that part of town. Especially if you have a bub as my friend sells bibs, blankets, nappy bags and nappy wallets.

Kitchen Renovation – Day 16 – 20

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013


Well this is all getting rather boring isn’t it?

Nothing much to really report on.

The kitchen delivery and installation has been delayed by at least A WEEK! I thought the end was in sight, but it is not.

We got our kitchen appliances delivered though. So they are here, chilling, sitting here in the way.


The floors have been sealed with 2 coats.

With this spare time, we have managed to paint the ceiling, walls and paint all the skirting and architraves. So there was very little cutting in to be done.




All we will have to do is patch and paint over the screw holes.

Next job with our spare time is to paint the pantry. I have already stripped of the ugly contact paper that use to line 3 shelves.


As of yesterday we have continuous gas hot water!! We bought the unit 18 months ago and it has been sitting in the garage ever since. We finally got that installed seeing as the plumber was booked in anyways.

We don’t have a date when the kitchen will be installed. It is kind of like playing it by ear at the moment. I am not too fussed at this point in time. There is still other things we can do in the room. Maybe we will install the architraves ourselves and save some money. We need to paint the windows as well and change over the hard ware to the new brass ones that I purchased a long time ago. The back door could be removed, paint completely stripped and painted again with new hardware for that installed too. The handle and hinges have been painted over entirely! ICK! I hate that. PEOPLE it is called take it off or tape it! DO NOT PAINT OVER IT!!!!!!


 Nearly 3 weeks since rip out and our mood is still pleasant.

Maybelle Imasa-Stukuls at the school

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

We interrupt this broadcast of non stop kitchen renovating posts with a foray into calligraphy

On Saturday I finally did a class at The School.



I have been wanting to do one for the longest time but nothing really engaged me enough to spend that kind of money. They were either too kitschy (macrame, neon etc) or not something I would need to take a class on but then there was a Calligraphy class!!

With none other then Martha Stewart’s choice of calligrapher.



From San Fransisco came Maybelle Imasa-Stukuls

I have attempted calligraphy on a few occasions, but I blame my tools or not being able to get anywhere with it.

This class was quite expensive because we had a star calligrapher at the head. She is truly divine, such a sweet person. Very honest and generous.

When I arrived I was the first one there and Megan greeted me, I have to say, I was a little star struck. She is very friendly though and unpretentious. I felt at ease right away.


Soon after we headed inside. We received a little pack to get us started.


So how’d I go?


I don’t think it is too bad considering this was day one and I didn’t have any rulers or guidelines marked out.

But I am getting a calligraphy book and a light box so I can practice more and more and make it better!


I think I am hooked and everyone is getting hand made Christmas stockings and calligraphy items for Christmas from me!


Even though my sister told me she doesn’t want one and my mum said to me that she wouldn’t pay more then 50 cents for one and my mother in law wouldn’t have a clue what to do with either.


But I will be selling them and if you are willing to pay more then 50 cents (Believe me, they are worth it) I will have them in my etsy shop very soon, but feel free to email me before hand if you are interested

Makes me wonder where my creativity comes from.

And why I persevere when people around me are so negative and not supportive.

Sorry to end on a downer but this has been playing on my mind. When I read interviews on creative people, they often talk about being influenced by a creative family members and that is where they got their flair from.

I can’t say this is the case for me.

Never mind. I have always marched to the beat of my own drum and I am really working on not giving a shit what anyone else thinks. Just do what I want.

I have really held myself back from doing so many things for the fear of criticism. But as I go and try new things I seem to do alright at it and I can take PROPER constructive criticism (as in people who are talented and successful advice on how to better something. Not jealous negative people who try and shoot you down in flames)

But the class on Saturday was really fun! So glad I did it and I am kicking myself for not doing the full day class.

Kitchen Renovation – Day 13 – 15

Friday, October 11th, 2013


The tiler returned on Thursday to do the grouting.




My photos aren’t the best. The grout is a charcoal colour, not exact to the tiles, so there is still slight contrast.

I went and purchased tile sealer for the floors. As it is a natural product it can stain, so it is advisable to seal the floors.

At bunnings you can buy some fairly inexpensive sealers but they are high gloss or if they are stain/low sheen then they are solvent based (which we aren’t bothered with and we got a bub in the house)

I purchased a little bottle (1 pint – 437ml) bottle of Aqua Mix sealer when I bought my marble tiles for the splash back. I had no idea until I examined the receipt that it was $66!!!

Sealers Choice Gold

Then after all the research we did, we decided it was the best option for the slate tiles as well. (Natural Look, ease of application, low VOC, all that jazz)

I tested the product on both a slate and marble tile to make sure I liked the look before investing in another $385!!!

I did not factor that price into the budget at all.

But I definitely think it is a necessary expense.

My husband has 8 trestles set up and it painting the 5.4m lengths of skirtings and architraves at night. He will be doing that for the next few nights.

As well as sealing the floors, painting the last coat on the ceiling and possibly some wall paint (highly unlikely, but one can dream)

On Monday our cabinets will be delivered as well as our appliances!!!!! Then on Tuesday it is install day.

Today is 2 weeks since they ripped out the old kitchen. Not over it yet.

This renovation is progressing nicely but still so much to do!

Kitchen Renovation – Day 12

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013



Laying tiles!

The tiler said to me luckily we chose slate for the floors because the wooden floors were in terrible condition (level wise) nothing else would have looked good if we were going for a pristine look. But it works with the rustic look of the slate tiles.


The tiles are out of this world SEXY.


They remind me a sexy man, tall dark and handsome, then add a 5 o’clock shadow

and you’ve got yourself a meow!

And then some.


I need to plant some green tree/shrubs between this window and the red/brown coloured colorbond fence. Bench seat is going under this window. (But in a pot because it is just a concrete side passage there)

It’s ruggedness reminds me of this kitchen



How heaven is this?

It kinda makes me want to paint my trim grey. . . but I won’t because I’m not game.

The tiler will return on Thursday afternoon to do the grouting.

Audrey at 6 months

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013

So good to have Audrey with me today. I miss her so much when I am at work and I only work 3 days week.


She has been such a doll through this renovation.

I love that she is surrounded by loud noise. It is helping her adjust. For a recent family birthday, she cried when we sung happy birthday because we were loud and that upset me, if I am honest. I DON’T want to have one of those sooky sensitive child and I don’t help the fact because I don’t have the TV on at all during the day. It is not because I have a baby and don’t want to wake her and all that. I just don’t like watching regular TV. I don’t have foxtel and never turn the TV on.


She is rolling all over the place and enjoys standing very much with assistance. She is also very grabby. If I am holding her and drinking from a cup she grabs it and won’t let go, so now I just let her have a few sips from the cup too. It is mostly water or really watered down fruit juice.

She sits up by herself now, well. . . until she slumps over like in that picture, but I catch her if she is on the ground though. Everyone says that the time goes fast! They are not lying. Audrey agrees, see her ‘shocked’ face above?


Luckily today is a cool day and she is able to get a little bit more wear out of her winter clothes. She is still growing into them and the weather decides to turn on it’s heel and leave, but enjoying the respite today. I think the floor tiler is too.


Oh no! She’s tired. Time for a nap. She is still napping like a champion. (Unless she is at the in laws or daycare) and sleeping all night.


Kitchen Renovation – Day 6 – 11

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013


Hi Everyone?

Been waiting with bated breath? Me too!

These past 3 days at work were hard for me because I am such a sticky beak and my husband flat out refused to send me progress pictures preferring for me too see it all in the flesh later on.

(But that was in the dark and so not many pics)

Ok here we go. What has been happening in the past 5 days.

Progress has been slow, but constant.


I has been more then a week since rip out. How are we fairing sans kitchen you ask? Not too bad. We are eating well (lots of scrumptious salads) unfortunately paired with frozen chicken products that you heat in the mini oven. But we have had 2 bbqs as well as some meals at the inlaws.

Audrey is taken care of because her bottles are in our bedroom, well protected from dust. The only little gripe I’ve got is the washing up station. We set it up on top of washing machine and using the laundry sink. That room is right next to the kitchen and the dust is flying in constantly and I am forever wiping it down and re washing dishes. As well as washing up tea towels as I am certain they are full of dust.


Dust is ALL through our house (minus the bedrooms and first bathroom) But life goes on. Once this is all over, I will be giving my entire house a spring clean and then the white glove test.

These past days have been about patching the former ceiling lights with gyprock and sanding them and patching/sanding all cracks and imperfections. Rendering has happened over the new electrical work.


Down lights were suppose to be installed on Saturday morning but he didn’t show up. I am not too worried as the ceiling still needed more sanding.


And WELL DONE to hubby, his dad and me for removing each and every staple in those floor boards! What a job!

Where there is a will there is a way. I expressed my dismay about not being able to access a tile from the box contraption, but handsaw and me got acquainted and I managed to pry some free.

My sister came over yesterday and I showed her the floor tiles, her response was funny! She pulled a quizzical look and said “hmm not what I was thinking you would pick” Don’t know what to make of that. We are chalk and cheese yet we are sort of like twins and say the same response at the same time. HEHE

We’ve received an email that the kitchen installation needs to be delayed by 4 days, again, not too worried. Because husband was able to start painting the ceiling and walls yesterday.

I’m all about remaining calm and adapting to change. No room from stress around this household.


Fresh paint! The ceiling needs another coat and the walls need their colour coats. I would love to paint the walls pristine white but when the husband painted the chimney breast he bought another 4 litres of that wall paint, limed white, but didn’t need to use it, so the walls in the kitchen will be the same colour as the rest of the house, which makes sense too.


Then last night, the tiler came and laid the hessian/bitumen membrane to prepare for tiling.



We have decided to nix the pendant lights over the island. The island isn’t symmetrical to anything so it is not like they will be framing the range or be in line with the dining table light. It is only a small room and having 3 feature lights seems excessive. Plus I can’t decide on any and the ol’ hip pocket.

Sounds like a good idea to me. Also CANNOT decide on a dining table light. (I’ve changed my mind, I don’t think the one I showed a pic of is big enough!! I want big if it will be the only one in the room) I have so many check boxes I want it to achieve, so it is making it difficult. Husband and I sat down last night and went through every light imaginable and we have picked one. Of course it is at the very extreme end of our budget and of course it has a long lead time. If it is in before Christmas I’ll eat my hat (Full disclosure, I don’t have a hat)

So today, Day 12. The tiler slept in his car last night in front of our house!!! He is from far away (I didn’t know that) and in order for him to start at 7am this morning and finish up last night at 9pm he slept in his car. I wish I had a spare room for him, poor guy.


And here are the first few tiles that are laid!


My poor neighbours! Tile cutting is noisy. Especially at 7am. Poor Audrey girl too.

Kitchen Reno – Day 2 – 5

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013


Sorry for the chunk, as I have been at work.

Saturday. Husband and his father got started with all the wall patching that needed to happen.


Exhibit ‘A’

Sunday. Some floorboards needed replacing as they were rotten. Then after work I started on pulling out staples and nails from floorboards till blister (through leather gloves) and then I retired.

Monday. Nothing happened but I came home after work and after visiting my sister in law whom I haven’t seen in 2.5 years to pull out more staples from the floor boards. (Again, till blisters)

She has been overseas all this time working on yachts as a masseur to marine biologists and the like! She’s seen 22 countries in that time and now she’s finally met her niece!

Tuesday. 4 big holes were cut in the floor boards while the plumber got to work as well as the electrician. A lot of noise and dust was made. Double brick makes things a little complicated.


Backsplash, rangehood, oven and fridge power points


New sink hole location. Old on the right, where the green crate is.


No more lights

Audrey did manage some naps, but a good chunk of the day was spent consoling her and telling her that the noise was not to be feared.

I would have liked to escape but I’m not fond of leaving people in my house alone and I like keeping an eye on progress and be available to take questions or ask questions.

Today the floor tiles turned up!


Chinese natural split black slate


The cruel people packed them in so tight that I cannot pull out one let alone a few of them to lay them out on the floor to visualise.

.   .   .   .   .

Meanwhile, as the sun goes down, everyday. Audrey gets grumpy. I don’t know what it is. (Maybe she is waiting in anticipation for her Dad to come home, she misses him?)


Luckily this thing has been saving my caboose.

Check that face!

It is hideous and I swore blue murder that this contraption would never grace the interior of my abode, yet here it is. And in prime position.
Welcome eyesore, I love you!