Sunday, February 27, 2011

Lessons in being thrifty

I'm trying really really hard to pinch my pennies - between buying a house and having a handful of friends get married I'm somewhat lacking in the funds department. I shouldn't complain because I very rarely go without - I have plenty of food to eat and a roof over my head, and if anything actually thinking about money is forcing me to be a little more creative.

Take for example the fact that there is no way in hell I can justify buying new shoes at the present moment.
Solution = shoe clips!
I'm not sure about your mother, but my mama has always had amazing style. And I remember in the early 90s when she clipped chic navy blue bows onto the front of simple court shoes. She transformed relatively plain shoes into something special - special enough for me to remember them 20 years later. I won't even try to pretend for one moment that I'm chic or stylish like my mum, but I still have style... it's not just necessarily any good. But either way, my desire for cute shoes was waging a war with my new thrifty mindset, so I took a pair of $8 flat black shoes from Kmart and raided my craft stash (and by stash I mean pile, and by pile I mean mountain) and some clip on earring backs to make these clip on flowers.
And while I may be thrifty for the moment, I'm still plenty greedy... so I made myself multiple pairs.
I've been dreaming of shoe clips for a while now and might sell them/pay people to take them at Glebe markets as a bit of a test case. So would you wear an oversized flower on your footsies? Say yes!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Sitting on my (dream) sofa

Edit - I've just been watching the news, and you know what? Couches really aren't so important, either is soup in ice-trays. Sometimes life can be a massive jerk - we're thinking of you Christchurch x

About two months ago I bought a house! Okay I lie, I bought a very small apartment. But I absolutely adore it - and that fact that my 1.5 hour morning commute will soon be replaced by a swift 30 minute walk across a bridge that affords me a nice view each day. I never get over telling people that when I move I will reclaim TEN HOURS A WEEK.

Since high school I've always had a pretty long commute - I live, quite literally, in the Middle Of Nowhere which is very fitting for a former (ha!) Hanson obsessive. It's a lovely place to live with gorgeous trees and water views, but it takes a good 5 minutes to get out of the suburb. So since I was 12 years old I've always had at least 2 hours of my day dedicated to travel. I'm not going to know what to do with myself. Okay, actually I do - washing, cleaning and cooking. Basically all the things I take for granted that my darling ma does for me now.

Anyway I'm still excited that I won't have to stand in the sauna that is Town Hall station at 6pm each evening, or elbow my fellow commuters out of the way for that last seat on the train. I get a little brutal when it comes to public transport. I swear for the other 21 hours a day I'm all sweetness and light, but as soon as the doors to the train so help you if you're in my way.

ANYWAY I digress. We aren't moving into the apartment for a couple more months, which allows me plenty of time to imagine how our life will be, and more importantly how it will look. Or alternatively, it allows me plenty of time to annoy Owen with pictures of couch covers and thrifty ideas about freezing soup in ice-trays. Interesting, no?

I've been living on Apartment Therapy and there I discovered Bemz - basically the best thing to happen to Ikea furniture ever. They make slip covers for Ikea couches in a myriad of fabrics, which takes your very smart Scandinavian sofa to a whole new level.
For example - take the humble Karlstad sofa, apple of my eye.
And then a couple of hundred Euros later...
I really love this cover and I'm going to do my best to pinch every penny so I can eventually call it my own. I've been warned that perhaps a couch with that much white space isn't suited to someone as accident prone as myself... but I'm happy to eat with a bib if it means I can have it.

So I have my dream couch sorted - but does anyone have any other suggestions for good blogs/websites for home inspiration?

Friday, February 18, 2011

Sweat child of mine.

Today is stupidly hot and unfortch I inherited the excessive sweat gene from my grandma. It's super attractive to be sitting on a peak hour train and having to hold on to the edge, in fear of slipping off of the seat because I'm so freaking sweaty. Or the awkward squirm in my seat to try and remove the huge sweat batch my butt has left on the seat...followed by the sprint to the door just in case I wasn't successful. The trick is not to look back at the sea of judging eyes.
Anyway I've been a busy bee finishing up orders and I made some new tags which I like! My cute friend Heidi and I are aiming for a Glebe market stall in a couple of months which is great because I've literally been talking about having a stall there for about three years. I'm pretty sure my business card title is Procrastinator... if I had actually bothered to get business cards. But anyway the plan is to set up the week before Mother's Day and sell some new teapot designs - ready made and less custom. I love custom (and they are the most popular) but it gets a little stressful some times! Speaking of here is one I just sent off.

Otherwise I've also been catching up with friends and drinking tequila - the two best things in life, no? Last week we headed to Cafe Pacifico for a dear friend's birthday, where Coronas are a mere... $9. Ouch! Mortgages hurt my feelings and my bank balances. Expensive beers or not, I had such a great night as captured by this picture of me and Oh. It kind of sums us up quite well... he looks disinterested (or possibly like he's eating my face) and I'm lost in the moment. Which is also fitting because he's up and left me for the weekend to make some money. That's love, right?

Monday, February 14, 2011

Love shack.

Hidden in the heart of the national park on the very edge of the water sits a little fibro shack, with an outdoor loo, enough beds to sleep twelve and a dinner table that doubles as a pool table (no joke!). Back as far as WWII, my granddad and my great grandparents had enough foresight to build this little home for my family to come and unwind. And even though the outdoor loo scares the bejebus out of me in the middle of the night (I stop all fluids at 7pm to avoid it), this teeny tiny shack is probably my favourite place in the whole wide world. Come inside and I'll show you why...
 We have two ovens and two fridges, but no warm water in the sink. You have to boil the kettle every time you want to wash dishes. Charmingly rustic, or just plain annoying? I'm going with the latter.
I don't think this oven has been used since I've been born, but no one wants to move it - probably because it's damn heavy, but I like that it makes me think of my grandma cooking dinner on it fifty years ago while my mum crawled around on all fours as a babe.
The plates all sit neatly in a row and always have... and are ridiculously hard to get out sometimes.
And there is always a hat to borrow for the day, even if you're a teenager (or 25 year old) who wouldn't be caught dead in a straw hat.
Oh and the boogie boards, freshly minted... in the 1980s. But seriously there is no better way to get across the seaweed (aghhh!) than belly flat on top of these with your dadda pulling you along. And for the record, you're never too old for that to be acceptable okay?
And if the weather is truly miserable you can always play Yahztee, complete with old scorecards from when my mum was my age and was really good at Yahtzee. She's still really good, suffice to say I don't enjoy playing with her because I'm a bad sport. She also cheats at Scrabble... I'm just sayin'.
Here is where I used to sleep when I was little - on the one closest to the wall because the windows scared me (yes... scared...). I distinctly remember being 10 years old and struggling to sleep because bush fires were literally a street away from where I was lying. We left early the next day and we drove through endless roads of charred trees.

Now that I'm older I'm more likely to take the window bed... and take in the ridiculous view I'm afforded from this little fibro shack. Unless it's a bit windy and the branches are scratching at the windows... then I'm back by the wall (or sleeping in between mum and dad).
And here is where my mum and dad sleep (I've been told I have to tell you that mum normally makes the bed... I apparently caught her on an off day). I know I'm big on the boring nostalgia (it's not boring for me but I can imagine it is for you... but that's not going to stop me, sorry) but I remember being so scared that dad would die because he simply couldn't stop laughing. Hours passed with him in hysterics and I was so convinced he would never stop and he'd just laugh forever and ever amen. All Carry On movies have since been banned...
When the sun goes down you can walk through the lagoon, over to Bundeena and clamber across the rockpools - poking anemones and running away screaming from the crabs you just pissed off.
Sure there is no internet, and the TV reception is sketchy at best but the worst bit of if all is being presented with this view - the haphazard steps home. They are no doubt an insurer's worst nightmare (we all have a couple of scars to prove it) but it also signifies the the end of another little trip to the shack. It's so simple and basic and maybe without charm to anyone but me. But these fibro walls and this outdoor loo are full to the brim (of that silly straw hat) of memories I relive every time I walk through that door. It was made with love some sixty years ago and I think I can speak for all of us when I say we're eternally grateful. Because really all you need in life is four walls and to look around and see the faces you love... beating you at Yahtzee. Jerks.
Oh and Kylie Minogue fridge stickers. Happy Valentines! x