Tuesday 29 December 2015

The Year That Disappeared...

Also known as "we haven't written diddly on the blog for months!"

Where on earth did this year go - well a lot of it was consumed by our renovation; and our blogging of said reno evaporated between work, family, study and school. I dip my hat to Caroline from West End Cottage because delivering weekly updates while in the process of project managing a reno and raising a family is an achievement in its own right. And while we have failed miserably in the blogging, I want to start loading some photos and writing brief blog posts where possible as I think it is important to finish documenting our (still a work in progress) renovation. 

Our biggest achievement has been the extension - building in the two car garage to deliver a new Master Suite, complete with ensuite and walk in robe, as well as a separate storage area at the front of the house for the bikes and frequently accessed items. And when I say we, I mean Kate, as this build has been her responsibility and she has done a grand job in delivering our new 'digs'. So below is a photo journal taking us through from construction starting to fit out commencing...

Adult lego building blocks arrive

Front 'Before'

The blockies begin their magic

Initial block-work complete

New window ledge laid for Master Suite

New slab laid for Master Suite

Studs going up
(New Storeroom at front)

New Walk-in Robe

The Boss oversees construction

Master bedroom back to door to house

Stud wall separates storeroom from bedroom

New wall cavity for Smart TV

Plasterboard rough fit out

Master Bedroom

Plaster and Insulation fit out (WIR)

Ensuite Window Cavity

Villa-board fit out in ensuite

Bring on the mud and sanding

Priming, sealing and undercoating

Ensuite floor tiles down

Windows fitted and lock-up complete

New storeroom to right (before roller door fitted)

As you can see some progress has been made!! Thanks to all who have followed our shenanigan's so far and from all of us in the land of Sunshine and Paint Pots - Happy Festivus, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy New Year. 

We'll try to be better bloggers as we get jobs done in 2016... we promise?!

Cheers, Col

Saturday 12 September 2015

If it's good enough for us, it's good enough for them

Hello readers......it's me, Kate!  I know right? I got a shock too!

Omg.  I haven't written anything on here for what seems like years, in fact it may very well be one whole year that I actually sat down and typed up a post. I really have no excuses apart from life getting in the way.  (Oh and unexpectedly going back to work after 11 years of being a stay at home mum...whoa that was and still is a shock to the system) Thank goodness Col managed to find time to get a few posts out there to keep the momentum going a little!  I absolutely take my hat off to those bloggers who manage to post things weekly, heck some of them do it daily, I have no idea how.  Well done you! (I give you all virtual back pats)

Anyhow I digress, the reason I have had this urge to get something out there into the great wide world of webs is quite an exciting one.  *Note - if you're not into nature and the environment around us please click that little 'x' now cos you won't find this fun at all.  But for those like me, who love, love, love all creatures great and small, (apart from spiders, I don't love spiders...urghh, vomit... I hate spiders) please do read on cos this is soooo soooo special.

I have to begin way back at the end of 2014 to start this gorgeous story......

At the end of Poppy's Prep year she made the most amazing hanging mobile out of  driftwood. Lots of the other kids mobiles were a mess wonderful collection of whatever they could be bothered to lovingly thread together and were sparce and looked like... well they looked like a 5 yr olds work of art really.  Of course I may be totally biased, BUT Poppy's was just beautiful, perfectly matched pieces of wood, different coloured beads in between each piece and the perfect length. Honestly I would have bought it in an en-trend interior store, no worries at all! As soon as term was over I said to her teacher if there is one thing I want to take home it's that mobile...I loved it and knew it would take pride of place hanging out the front of our house where we and all our guests could see it every day. 

Here's a photo (from when she lost a tooth recently) with the mobile hanging in the background...

It has hung there for 7 months gently swaying in the breeze attached to our door bell, being admired by us and people who visit.  Anyway a month ago I noticed a few twigs and dirt on the floor underneath it.  As we are going through a whole lot of reno stuff I just thought it was rubbish being left from boots and the like as so many more people have been using our front door of late. Another week passed by and even more mess accumulated on the tiles.

One day just as we were leaving the house we were shocked to see a bird flit past us as though it had departed our house at the same time as us.  The next day the same thing happened, so the following day we stood and watched through the screen door and saw this gorgeous little sun bird flying back and forth trying to build herself a brand new nest.  Clearly she has great style and in her wisdom had decided Poppy's mobile was the prefect place to start. Unfortunately she had tried over and over to attach the first pieces to the top of the hanger piece which is a slippery piece of plastic thread.  So the more she tried the more it kept falling off and littering our front porch.  But still she came back day after day trying to get that first piece to stick.  
Poppy was so impressed with this little birds determination despite getting nowhere after trying every day, that she decided to help her.  I didn't actually think Poppy's plan would work but in true Poppy style, she went ahead with it anyway. Everyday she would pick up the pieces from the floor and lay them lower down on the hanger so they could attach to the first piece of wood instead of the plastic string.

To our amazement, it worked!  And after four or five days the little bird realised Poppy's additions were the way to go, and began rebuilding lower down where Poppy had given her a head start. From here on out, it was built in no time at all (rather unlike our current build, a'hem). 

The main body beginning to take shape....

The distinctive trailing tail on the bottom is nearly complete...

Filling out the body for warmth and strength and beginning to add the front porch that all good sun bird nests have to have...

The porch is completed, nearly ready to take possession...

A few finishing touches including feathers and soft materials to line the inside ready for her eggs and her beautiful castle is complete.  Exactly how cute is that???!!!

Over the next few days I got the real camera out and sat outside watching her come back and forth, 

We feel so privilege to have these little birds share our front door, and it literally is sharing.  The nest is less than 15cm from where we go in and out all day, and our screen door has the loudest slam to it, especially with our Poppy Mae coming and going! For the first week or so after completion she would fly away every time we came near or opened the door.  But now she is so used to us she rarely fly's away when we leave, she just sits and watches us go past, just amazing!

However, when the tradies are here it's a different story, as soon as they come anywhere near the door she fly's out chirping away, straight past their faces at super fast speed, she's scared the living daylights out of each and every one of them so far.....hilarious!

Apparently they desert the nest for a week after full completion and then come back to lay eggs later on...so far the nest is still fully tenanted so who knows, but hopefully we will have an update with a few little extras in coming weeks.

Thank you for trusting us and moving in little Sun Bird, we love you!

K xx

Sunday 26 July 2015

And the Master Suite Build Begins...

...that is to say, demolition has begun - it's going to look worse before it looks better.

This is what happens when you go away for a week long work conference and 5 minutes after you're gone your wife (#sitemanager) lets the builder loose with a concrete saw... #noturningbacknow

Cheers, Col

Monday 29 June 2015

A long overdue update...

Yes I know it's been two months since our last update, and we have been useless at blogging to keep friends and family up to date on our progress. But we have been making progress on a load of things to do with the house, in amongst all the daily activities involved with raising a young family, and then there has been my post-grad study taking up what's left of my free time. But here's what we've been up to:


  • Taken the building plans to some builders for quotes, which ended up varying in range by $100,000.....!!!!!
  • The hallway and laundry walls that weren't rendered have been rendered.
  • The laundry ceiling was repaired and new cornices installed.
  • The kitchen has been gutted completely.
  • All the old hallway and kitchen lights and fans were removed, the ceiling fan relocated and new pendants (over the island) and LED down-lights installed.
  • The kitchen and hallway ceilings have been repaired and prepped for painting.
  • New kitchen installed (post to follow in due course but 'before' and interim 'sneak peak' shots below).

  • Kitchen walls that weren't rendered have been rendered.
  • Kitchen, laundry and hallway ceilings and wall have been painted (loved it - awesome job !!)
  • Purchased a new Nick Scali dining setting for the kitchen.
  • Installed a new double 'wall bed' in the guest room (doubles as a desk and a bed), the idea of which we got from Finlay Homes 'Innovation House' (which we wrote about here).

  • Fired up the wood fired pizza oven 

  • A long weekend at Magnetic Island for the ANZAC Day Dawn Service.

  • Sasha has competed in Irish dancing at Ayr (Eisteddfod) and Mackay (North Queensland Premierships) and is preparing for Queensland State Premierships in August.

  • Poppy has been practicing her Choi Kwang Do (martial arts) and had her grading this weekend.

  • I've completed 50% of my Certified Financial Planner Accreditation program (and getting ready to start the remaining 50% of study).
  • Kate has been coordinating everything above (when I say everything, I mean EVERYTHING!!), in addition to starting part-time work, and is hoping to have some free time in the not to distant future to do some 'crafty' things for her. 
So while I apologise for the delayed update, you can see we haven't exactly been twiddling our thumbs !! I'm going to devote some time to putting together a couple of blog posts to show off the finished laundry (cum butlers pantry) as well as the new kitchen.

Cheers, Col

PS. How is it June already ?!