My Pins

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Whispers From The Other Side

This is our last major room to remediate and our project for winter. It has been "affectionately" dubbed, "The Pissoire". Although we have already scrubbed walls and floors several times with an enzyme destroying solution, the smell remains quite strong and I suspect we will have to remove the render from the alcoves either side of the fireplace.

BUT, a strange thing happened....

Yesterday I walked in here and I swear I could smell bread baking.
I didn't move from my spot, I just stood, and took a moment to enjoy being in this room for the very first time. The sun was streaming in the window and the smell of fresh bread wafted. So certain was I that I could even pinpoint it wasn't quite baked and had about 20 minutes to go. Do you know what I mean?

In the next room is a bread oven. This house, when it was first built, must have supplied baked bread to quite a few in the district this side of the river. and almost certainly to the original hospital across the road (and that's another story...). The oven is of significant size and so is the cooking fireplace. I suspect in it's very original form and intent, this house fed many more than just the inhabitants. 

It lasted no more than a minute, as I turned my head and smiled, looking into all the corners, the smell receded.....Was it a trick of the light? Did I momentarily pick up a time thread? Whatever or however you explain it, I'm taking it as a sign of positive encouragement.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Guest Book With A Twist

One of my family's most treasured possessions.

It used to be the back door on the Granny flat at my mum's. For now it is in our new garden shed.

All through the years, we have recorded everyone's height.
Family, dogs and friends.
A guest book if you will but with a twist.
It makes me smile to see the girls growth charted year to year and fondly I think of special school friends that grew with them and recorded along side.
A tear comes to my eye when I see "Nanny 21.11.98" exactly a year bar one day before she died. Roxy, Jet and Indy the wonder dog, gone but never forgotten.
I see brothers, sisters-in-law, cousins, partners and

And now it waits for Julien and his cousins - the next generations.
True family treasures are irreplaceable and un-insurable. They are warp and weft of intangible weaves.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Another Before and After Journey

While not as glamorous as an indoor renovation, this has been just as exciting and important for us. Let me take you on a journey as we salvage and renovate an old shed that has it's roots probably in the depression era. 

I've no doubt most would have demolished this poor soldier but trust me, trying to build another shed from scratch in a community where even the "skyline" is heritage listed would be no easy or quick task. We have dug around the perimeter and put in footings for the original walls.

It's profile shows just how sagging and decrepit this building had become. The goal is to keep as much of it's original character as possible and give it a future for a few more generations hopefully.

The beaten 44 gallon drum walls were a common building material of the depression era and provide a lovely patina for the old shed. Many of the upright supports are salvageable but the roof trusses and base boards were mostly all rotten.

A new bone structure...

The new roof for the shed was the corrugated iron that we removed from one of the ceilings inside the house. Hmmm, is that "double provenance"?

Some left over building materials left behind like this laserlight sheeting is also incorporated to maximise natural light as the shed is not powered. Free off cuts of patchwork pieces of cement sheeting lines the inside making it very cosy and weather proof.

The chooks, housed at one end, heartily approve of their new "villa". Weather and wind proofed, yet light and airy with access soon to their own private run and quince thicket. We have designed the new hen house to accommodate when we are raising new generations of day olds or when the separation of the sick/injured is required.

Far left is the new door into the hen house. I plan to paint some black hen silhouettes on this, purely for whimsy you understand. On the right you can see the nesting box with easy opening inspection lid, a big hit with young Julien when collecting eggs. The old milk can is our vermin proof poultry pellet storage.
(Note the lovely new cement floor throughout)

Plenty of recycled shelving...

Loads of character and reclaimed materials...

And a treasured family piece....but that is for another story.

We've kept as much of the old as possible...

And renewed. 

It is essentially the same shed. Exactly the same size and profile, but a little straighter and certainly more weather proof. It's a palace for the chooks and a handy place of storage for our less valuable items (read - my fabric stash and the children's left behinds! Sigh!)

This has given me more space for my preserving equipment and the shearer has gained a much more workable space in his garage for his "toys" too. Little by little, we have unpacked some more and moved our lives in. It all makes a house a home.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Layering Up

We've already had a couple of light frosts that have wiped out the pumpkins, zucchini and tomatoes but we are still covering the chillies trying to limp them a little further.
The "summer" doona is not quite warm enough some nights but we aren't ready for the deep fluffy Scandinavian downy, "winter" doona.
Adding a light layer, like this lacy piece in wool is a Goldilocks "juuust right".
It was crocheted for me by my grandmother when I was 9 yrs old and was designed as a bedspread for a single bed but it is generous enough for topping our queen. It is pure wool and washed seldom and only by gentle hands but looks almost as good today as 40 years ago. Variegated wool was quite big in the 70's. It's not a complicated pattern, just a repeated hexagonal motif, I'm not sure is grandma had a pattern or adapted it from a lace tablecloth pattern. If anyone has this pattern I would be grateful.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

My Autumnal Things

Boys on tall shoulders and black clucky chickens...

Golden ripe quinces and wild mushroom pickin's.....

Tall banks of dahlias in which to hide in...
These are a few of my favourite things

Easter egg baskets and cloths for the dishes

Bright orange pumpkins for soup so delicious...

Adding light layers and memories they bring....
These are few of my autumnal things.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

The Doll Maker and Artist

A wee while ago I posted about my Matthew Simms doll 

He is a regular at Evandale Market on Sundays and I took another couple of photos of his work.
As well as his doll making with willow wood (all dressed by him too) he writes and illustrates books, paints small works and I see now he has added sewing shepherd smocks to his repertoire.

I also found this facebook page if you wanted to see more images
It hasn't been updated for some time but his work is fascinating.

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