First World Dilemma

I've always loved that raised stud rubber flooring.  Maybe it was in my 70's kindergarten so there's some deep subconscious longing for life-before-it-got-complicated-attachment going on, but for whatever reason I've often hankered to have it somewhere in my home.  The garage/studio is taking shape and it is time to start doing some fun stuff, like choosing fittings etc.  I spent yesterday selecting a lavatory, which was perversely enjoyable.  I had to fight the urge to sit on them in the showroom, because let's face it, you need to know what it feels like to perch on.   I wonder if people actually do that?  I really wanted to.

The floor in the studio is now looking for some covers, and I believe the opportunity for stud rubber flooring may be upon me.   Unfortunately, and contrary to my naive assumption otherwise, it is not cheap.   But looking at other options such as vinyl and pretend wood (blagh), there's really no contest.    In case  you don't know what I'm talking about,  here is an example.

So I've found a supplier, had the measure up and now waiting for the quote, gulp.  But in the meantime there's another job to do that is choose the colour.  Now this is where life really does get complicated.  Here is the colour palate:

Limestone Green and Cool Blue are nice  but look like a dental surgery.  Steel is a tyre showroom.  Red is a children's hospital ward.   I thought I'd pretty much honed in on Deep Blue (third from the bottom, left) but fortunately the rep had left me a sample which we've been road testing today in the kitchen.  The dog has been kindly helping.  And let me tell you I don't like what I see.  Shows every greasy smear and crumb.   Would you want to be cleaning that?

So I'm now thinking the light grey ('Mercury' to those on first name terms) might be the go. But is it too airport terminal?   

The one I would really like, truth be told, is orange.  However on this 39 degree day I'm not (pardon the anti-pun) warming to an orange floor. 

Such dilemmas.  Then I feel guilty about thinking that it matters so much, when we have a solid floor and watertight roof in which to dwell.  Maybe some time in a shanty would fix that, or at least a thought to what life would be like to live in one, to appreciate how lucky we are.  



A while back husband arrived home one day with this set of six mid-century dining chairs.  There is a bit of a story here, as we had a set when we lived in England that belonged to his Grandmother, but had to leave them there (can't remember why now).  So a nostalgia buy, yes.  A bargain?  No.  Practical?  Not at all.  The string bases constantly come apart and unravel, and have to be repaired, ideally by someone who knows what they are doing.

What to do?    I've not done any sewing for a while but this problem calls for one thing, covers.  These could stop any further unravelling and also guard against sticky fingers that will seek out the nearest furniture surface rather than find a napkin.    I consult my vintage fabric cache and find this set of 70's curtains in a heavy drill cotton that will do just fine.  Some plain olive green is good for the backing.  

These cheap chair cushions from Ikea are ideal for inserts to make them a bit comfier.  It takes a few goes to get the pattern right, but after one dud, I've nailed it 

How do I look?! Now I just need to make four more...


Yo-yo for babies

My half-sister is having another baby, the last of the generation I'm fairly certain.  She is quite far off centre on the hippy spectrum, which I love her for.  A month back I received an envelope in the post asking me to decorate a flag, part of a concept called The Blessing Circle where friends and family contribute to a prayer flag for the baby's room, or other creative gift ideas.

I've been making yo-yos with some friends over the last year.  We've yo-yod camping, over wine, during music lessons, you name it. They have found their way to decorate bags, cushions, hair elastics. Naturally I like to make them out of vintage fabrics and sheets, of which I have no shortage.  So here is my flag, with some of my yo-yos mounted on some antique lacey cotton.

Each contribution is supposed to convey a message of some sort.... three times tables?  The joy of up-cycling?  Whatever, I think it is a lovely idea.


Number's Up

House numbers are a bit like lipstick, you put them up to look inviting and enhancing.  But of course they also perform a vital role of helping people muttering to themselves as they crawl down the street in their cars at night about how no one ever has proper house numbers.

We were one such offender, and in the past week our new house number installation has been born.  When the brickies started work out the back they built a small 'test wall' to see how the three blended brick varieties would look.   Chucking the mini-wall in the skip seemed sinful and wasteful, so we decided to turn it into a feature wall out the front for some new house numbers.

Here is the wall.  The jury is still out as to whether it works aesthetically in front of our wood and wire fencing, but it's recycling so who cares.  The letterbox sourced from the tip is enjoying the company anyhow.

I found these metal numbers which are made in India, perfect.  The trouble was, as they were hollow, affixing them to the wall posed a bit of challenge. 


Husband had bright idea of filling them with expanding foam.  Whoah there, enough expanding already!

Here is the finished product.  Cost not a lot, but looks pretty darn groovy in my opinion.  Now people can at least find number 38 and work backwards.



I've been promising myself for ages that when I stopped working I would do pottery classes, and this week I've come through with the goods.  Today I did my first beginners class at Perth Studio Potters, where I've been buying presents for years.    I wish I could say these were the fruits of my labour, but are in fact a (small) selection of the items I have gifted to myself from PSP.

For peanuts you can buy beautiful handmade items from their gallery (open Saturday mornings), and now that I've had a go at making a bowl on the wheel, I can tell you the quality of their wares on sale are bloody outstanding for the price.

For over two hours I was completely absorbed in clay and tableware design, with not a thought to housewifery duties or other random pointless concerns.

But what did occur to me, was the complete mismatch between the amount of time absorbed by art, and relative financial value of its results.  In fact this is probably the whole point of most art and craft, is that there is no monetary value in the end product 99% of the time, just the enormous pleasure of the creative process, to be banked.    I won't be giving up my day job though....  er, if I had one.


To pool or not to pool?

Today the forecast in Perth is for 42 degrees.   When some very nice English people went back to the UK last year, they left us with their HUGE above ground pool purchased for the duration of their nine month stay here.   While we were away our lovely house sitter went through the faff of putting it up and now we have the pleasure of resort living in our building site.  It's great.  The clothes line abutting the side  is a particularly classy touch.

On a sunday like this we are in and out of it like a fiddler's elbow.

The master plan for our house does include a pool, but the jury is still well and truly out.  The dollars required to put it in, the cost of power, chemicals etc ad infinitum, the environmental downsides are just a few of the negatives to putting in a pool.  We're told too that one the kids get to about 15 they will probably not be interested in this expensive feature, and we will spend our good money and time maintaining it.  And it's not like you can wheel it out and put it on Gumtree once the appeal fades, like some impulse buy boat or vehicle.  

Personally, I'm erring on the side of a spa.  All I really want to do is get in, get wet, sit on my backside for a while and then get out.  A big one mind you, party size.  And the thought of cranking up the heat and bubbles on a winter's evening after a run is also pretty attractive.  Any thoughts people?  Is it a bit too Kath and Kim?  In the meantime, I'm off to google spa pools....


Oh my edifice

Following on from my brick obsession, I thought it was time to update on the garage studio building work.   Returning from six weeks away, some bricklaying progress sure has been made.  With 40 degree plus temperatures over much of this time, these guys have my major respect.  Their craft is pretty good too, never let it be said that there is no skill in brickworkery, there is loads.  Now they are building the second story they need a lift to get the bricks up to that height.   Of course they do you say.

But the transition between a plan on a piece of paper and an actual real structure is something to be amazed by.  Dimensions on piece of paper are just concepts, really.  Now it is going up, it just seems so...... big!  A veritable edifice!

Here is the lift.  And plenty more bricks to still travel upwards.  They look great, and definitely the mid-century look we were after.  This will appear even more so once the shaped facade goes in at the top.

But like most things in life it is the unexpected that gives the greatest joy.  Building in between two existing old trees has seemed to impart an instant sense of being settled, hopefully like it has always been there.  Can't wait to get in.