Archive for the ‘The House’ Category

After being wowed by the outcome of my long-laid plans to install a Gallery Hanging System through my house to hang artwork (rather than drilling holes into walls and patching and redrilling and…you get the idea), the success in (half of) the hallway and in the office inspired me to get more!

Beautiful photographs by Cherina Hadley are now hanging in my hallway

I write “inspired”, like I wasn’t going to get more gallery hanging system. I was going to get more: you know I was, I knew I was.

The only point remaining was to convince DIY Dad that he wanted to hang more Gallery Hanging System, after his experiences with the first 8 metres.

In my bedroom, there’s 4 metres of gallery hanging system being slowly filled on this wall

(In all fairness it’s not the gallery hanging system that’s the pain point, it’s the diamond hardness of the bricks used to build the interior walls of my house).

On another bedroom wall there’s more (3 metres more to be precise)

So, dear reader, I purchased 13 more metres of Gallery Hanging System last year and arranged with DIY Dad that we’d install them in December, after my studies for that semester. This timeline gave him a couple of months to recoup, sharpen the masonry drill bits and prepare for another battle with the interior walls of my house.

But in December I was sidetracked finishing his gosh-darned curtains, and then making his gosh darned roman blinds, and then all of a sudden it was early March 2020!

…then everything started slowing down, and shutting down as a result of the Australian and Western Australian Governments measures to slow down the spread of CoVID-19.

And DIY Dad, who likes his regular morning swims in the local pool, and his regular trips up to his beach house, and his regular dinners out, and his regular catch ups with his friends, and his regular book borrowing session from the library; was really impacted by this.

He couldn’t swim, borrow books, travel to his beach house, go out for dinner and many people were self-isolating… First world problems, but a real challenge for a retiree used to doing his regular activities any time it’s convenient to him. Did I mention DIY Dad doesn’t have a tv, or Netflix’s or etc at all at his house?

…what’s a DIY Daughter to do when faced with this challenge? Find things to entertain her DIY Dad!

DIY Dad waving at you, dear reader! Mid installation, after he’d installed the gallery hanging system on the left (in the hallway)

And by “entertain”, I mean “keep DIY Dad busy with regular home cooked meals, and visits over to mine, regular movie nights and regular DIY tasks”.

And you’ll NEVER GUESS what one of those DIY tasks was…

3 metres above the fireplace in the living room…

I did have to work with what I had available at the time to keep DIY Dad busy. And I had 13 metres of gallery hanging system that needed to be installed… 😉

Now all I need is 5 more metres of Gallery Hanging System…and then I’m done. Properly done. Promise.




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Art Restoration

As you know from my post about the Gallery Hanging System in my office I have a beautiful painting by my mum that my uncle framed with a gorgeous, hand-made plaster frame. My uncle worked in a bespoke picture framing and restoration company in London for many years before he retired, so the frame is VERY special, unique and rare.

Sadly the beautiful plaster frame came into contact with a hard floor when it fell off its hook. And when bespoke, but slightly fragile, plaster meets immutable objects like floors…tragedies happen:

Very tragic, made worse by terrible photography

I asked my uncle’s partner whether it could be restored, and sadly the advice was that it was a handmade frame and if I’d lost the plaster bits (which I had, when they shattered into a bazillion pieces), my only resort was to get a new frame. One that – sadly – that wouldn’t be in the same style.

Much tragedy.

So I started looking for fine art restoration companies in Western Australia, and came across Guest Fine Art Services: Picture Framers and Restorers and sent them the above tragic photo.

Gregory responded that they would be able to restore it (one corner was in perfect condition so they could take a mould of it).

After a couple of months of eager waiting, my beautiful painting is back on my office wall in pride of place with a newly restored frame:

So beautiful!

My uncle and his partner are in the UK so they can’t see the outcome in person but I taught them how to Facebook video call and took them on a tour of my home gallery in our second video call, that was fun!

I asked if Gregory could save the framing label and information my uncle had written on the back of the painting (as it’s about the painting and who mum was studying with when she did it). Gregory was super accommodating, so he’s helped preserve all the important parts of this work – from the painting, to the frame, to the writings on the back ❤

Back hanging with its friends


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Turns out I spoke too soon about 2017-2019 throwing curveballs…

…2020 told them to “Hold my beer” and has shown EVERYONE what a curveball (or series of curveballs) REALLY looks like.

The Ginger Menace doing his best”2020 is looking at you” face

No sooner had 2020 started, than sh*t started hitting the fan around the world. In late 2019 we had some of the worst – if not the worst – bushfires in Australia and these continued into early 2020…and then CoVID-19 really started having a wider impact around the world.

Perth, where I live, has been pretty lucky but the experience of one massive catastrophe after another has given many of us, myself included, pause for thought.

It also meant that for the first 6 months of the year there were a lot of unknowns, a lot of not in our lifetimes, a lot of how can we make this works and more. Plus a significant dose of personal reassessing, and empathy for others who have it so much worse on a wider scale.

In the light of everything, I don’t feel so bad about documenting my 2020 houseolutions really…there have been more pressing things to think about!

But it’s now July and maybe, just maybe, I would like to make a list of things I’d like to achieve before 2021…as well as progressively fill you in about some of the things I did while this home reno blog was “dark”.

FYI: I’m still studying, so I have been fitting these things around my studies.

2020 Achievements so far

  • DIY Dad and I (well mainly DIY Dad) fixed a leak around the chimney and I repainted the ceiling where it had stained…but I still have to sand and repaint the wall above the chimney
  • DIY Dad and I (again: mainly DIY Dad and also his trusty industrial strength wet and dry vacuum cleaner) cleared out the two soakwells on my patio which were block (with sand)…saving me about $1500 (BOOYAH)
  • I finished the silk panel project (now waiting on DIY Dad to hang it Chez DIY Dad)
  • I did a WHOLE bunch of CoVID cleaning… and now have space in my studio to paint again
  • DIY Dad and I (again: mainly DIY Dad) installed another 13 metres of Gallery Hanging System
  • And then I hung a bajillion artworks on my new Gallery Hanging System (…it felt like a bajillion but was really closer to 15)
  • I (finally) hemmed DIY Dad’s curtains
  • I made roman blinds for DIY Dad’s windows…from SCRATCH. I am very impressed with them, so is he.
  • Researched what was broken with two of my venetian blinds, ordered parts, which turned out to be THE RIGHT PARTS, and finally fixed them (one of those blinds I haven’t been able to open for 6 years…no rush).
  • Measured and drew up plans for my future bathroom, laundry and kitchen…and started pinterest boards.
  • Got the bespoke plaster frame that my uncle framed a painting by my mum restored
  • Did a bunch of gardening and random crafts

There will be some photos and posts about some of these achievements to follow, and I will update this posts with links because I am pretty happy with these achievements!

2020 Houseolutions for the next 6 months

  • Fencing infills: turns out the only thing holding up the crappy lattice fencing infills on my front fence is the native wisteria…so I need to start considering my options there. Ugh.
  • Floating shelf in the toilet above the door (it’s been briefed into DIY Dad for cutting and logistics). As you know I buy Who Gives A Crap TP…and it comes in boxes of 48. In an effort to keep my studio free of clutter, I am looking for convenient and appropriate places to store bulk TP. The life of an home owner is just SO GLAMOROUS.
  • Dig out my front planters to seal my bricks because it turns out decisions by previous homeowners about setting earth filled planter boxes against exterior house walls…did not include any waterproofing (something that became really apparent thanks to the soakwell issue)
  • Repair one of the planters (it needs to be shortened and tied into the wall)
  • Buy another 5 metres of Gallery Hanging System (And then I’m done. Promise).


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My feline housemate and I are pleased to announce the household is expecting some new arrivals! Very long awaited arrivals, that we (well I) have hoped for and sent a non-binding, secular plea to the non-existent and certainly non denominational garden gods. Now the day has finally arrived, and I can share my joyous garden news with you.

As it turns out Figgy Forrest is not actually Figgy Forrest, but rather Figomena Forrest and SHE IS GROWING A FIG! [NB: Technically she is Figgy Forrest #2 as Figgy #1 met an unfortunate accident from which he never recovered (and which I try not to mention as it still upsets me to this day #tragedy).]

If you look to the top left and squint, you will see a baby fig on Figomena

Anyway, Figgy short for Figomena has decided that 2019 is the year she will deign to produce a fig, thereby confirming she is a female fig tree (reassuring because otherwise for several years I have been watering and caring for what would be just a decorative fig plant).

All new parents do the obligatory out of focus of their offspring (it’s just normally the offspring look more like Winston Churchill than a fruit)

I am hoping in late 2020 she may deign to produce figs in plural, but we have to learn to crawl before we walk. And one fig is better than no figs and a decorative fig tree that you’ve been watering for several years hoping it will fruit.

On top of that GREAT GARDEN NEWS, I decided this year to follow some random advice on the internet about dealing with non-fruiting pomengranate trees:

If the tree bloomed but bore no fruit, there probably were no bees in your garden when it bloomed. If there are no native or domestic bees or other insects the flowers won’t be pollinated and won’t become fruits. So when your the tree blooms in spring, take a sable paint brush and pollinate all the flowers. Just play like a bee and go from flower to flower spreading the pollen from one to another. Sometimes people use a feather duster for this job but a paintbrush is better.

And the results, dear reader are in! Random advice on the internet does occasionally work:

There are two pomegranates in this picture…

…and with the help of a number 4 watercolour brush I succeeded in getting my blossoming but never fruiting pomegranate tree to fruit not ONE BUT TWO pomegranates!

I am currently calling them P1:

P1 is a bit of a runt because it’s growing next to the stake, but whatever I LOVE IT JUST THE SAME

And P2:

P2 is definitely the more pomegranate looking of the two (but don’t tell P1)

For those of you wondering what I will be doing once these new residents are finally ready to join my household, I will just leave this link to Jonathan Swift’s A Modest Proposal

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It’s not only the Gallery Hanging System in the hallway making me happy, it’s also the Gallery Hanging System in my office!!!! Yep: my office now has a bad case of the Gallery Hanging Systems AND THIS IS ONE THING I DON’T NEED TO VACCINATE FOR.

Gallery inspiring productive prettiness.

I chose my hallway (hello to hanging my amazing Miik Green’s) and my office as the first two rooms to receive the glory of the Gallery Hanging System. And it’s a decision making me very happy.

FYI: phase two will be: bedroom, lounge room; phase 3 will be studio and part of the other side of hallway…I dread to think how many drillbits DIY Dad will go through (one reason why this project is being approached in stages.)

Gallery on the facing wall.

Most of this artwork is actually my own work, so I don’t get to #humblebrag and #namedrop an amazing artist, I just get to #humblebrag that this is mostly me 😉

This is what I see when I look in the doorway of my office, and it makes me happy.

From the top left: You have a drawing of my mum (study for a larger painting I still need to do for my sister…it’s only about 7 years late), a painting by my mum and framed in an ornate plaster frame by my uncle (sadly the frame was damaged when the painting fell off a wall – we don’t talk about that, it still hurts – so I need to get it reframed e.x.a.c.t.l.y. t.h.e. S.A.M.E. or else: and you’ll be pleased to know, dear reader, I DID) and the rest is me again.

How could you not be happy with this view?

On the other side, from the top left: that’s me, then a still life donated to my by my aunt Denny, then a painting donated to me by one of my workmates (we’ll call her Isabella’s mum)…it was Isabella’s mum’s mum’s if I recall correctly, and then the rest is me again. Fun fact: the bouganvillea cuttings I painted in the bottom right and on the opposite wall, were from my aunt’s garden #itsallconnected

Making me happy (in spite of the awful damage to the amazing plaster frame that still makes me sad)

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You know I’ve wanted a gallery hanging system in my house since 2012. Technically, I’ve wanted it since 2009 but I made it official by telling you that I wanted it in 2012. [I do like to workshop things before I commit in case they are passing fancy (cough…peacock blue coloured hallway), or I find a more practical/economical/suitable solution (cough…felt storage boxes as inserts for my expedits instead of costly expensive milk crate decalled plywood boxes shipped from Europe)].

And now, in 2019, I’ve broken the seal and bought the first set of lengths of the system and begun populating my walls with gallery hanging system and then artworks hanging from the aforesaid system. First room off the rank, is the hallway where I’ve finally hung two massive Miik Green paintings. Miik is a contemporary Western Australian artist (and friend) who does both paintings and sculptures, very amazing!

Looking down the gallery Miik Greens into the living room

Miik’s paintings draw from cell-staining techniques and biological pigmentation, where colour can define abnormalities or infection. He injects, drags and extracts liquid materials, pigments and chemicals, and the paintings evolve and develop as the materials and mediums used interact with each other.

I’m a fancy art owner now. Like a grown up.

Miik finishes his paintings with a hardened, highly reflective skin so any photograph of his paintings is also a photograph of reflections. Super amazing.

I’m quite enjoying seeing parts of my house reflected back at me, although it has made it challenging to take pics of only the works, especially given their placement in my hallway means I’ll always take the pic on an angle.

Much reflection, many book. Such artwork.

Just glorious. SUPER massive props to DIY Dad who did the drilling and fixing of the points into the wall so we could fasten the rail to it.

DIY Dad’s efforts were not without challenges: we went through 3 drill bits thanks to the occasionally super hard bricks in my house; and 3 different sizes of wall plugs thanks to the occasionally super soft bricks in my house; and had to discuss our different appreciations of levels (DIY Dad = use a level, DIY Daughter: follow the cornice so it looks good, I can level the paintings.)

Reflection of a bekvan stool in a Miik Green.

3 drill bits, 3 sizes of wall plugs, 1 trip to bunnings, 1 trip to DIY Dad’s house to collect a couple of important things he’d forgotten, a brief stop for Yum Cha et voila!

The hallway is not completely done: there’s another section where I can put the hanging system but that’s not as urgent as getting Miik’s beautiful works on the wall. So 75% of the work is done, but there’s 25% to do when budget and DIY Dad time permits me to continue the progress in the hallway.

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New Years Houseolutions 2019

Frankly, if I thought 2017 threw me some curveballs, 2018 and 2019 threw and are throwing even more!

Early 2019 books to read pile: I now only have 2 of the books left to read.

I’ll be travelling to USA and Mexico this year, because my sister is getting married in Mexico this year, and I’m the bridesmaid. Plus while we’re over there, DIY Dad and I will be doing a road trip across the USA. That’s going to be both fun, and funny. At the same time.

So this year, I’ve had to strip back my houseolutions to the bare minimum, because I got sh*t to do this year. And not a lot of it house-related.

2019 Houseolutions

  • Travel (not actually a houseolution)
  • Study (also not actually a houseolution)
  • Gallery hanging system: I can’t wait anymore, I want some paintings hanging on my walls instead of just leaning against them…and I don’t care what else has to go on hold while I do that. (The important part of the hallway is done, and the office is done.)


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Although I may have finished the restoring the MCM daybed project, it hadn’t quite finished with me.

After we put the daybed against the wall at GreenHead, and propped some of DIY Dad’s lairy cushions on it…we realised it needed a little something, something, something.

It just needs…a something.

A little something like a bolster to lie its length.

Luckily I had enough fabric and piping to make a cover, once a suitably proportioned bolster was sourced (and here I’d like to thank eBay in all its glory, and also myself for my magical ability to use eBay to find things. So many things.)

To be frank: if I had ended up keeping the daybed at my house, there would have been a bolster (…and no lairy cushions), so I actually got to execute the restoration as I had envisioned (because envisioning is my jam, you know).

DIY Dad took his bolster up to GreenHead this weekend and sent me pics on request…I have to warn you that I haven’t quite finished impressing on DIY Dad the importance of the jzuzz. But he tried.

He really tried:

It just needs a little…jzuzz (translation: straighten the mattress cover, centre the bolster, take another photograph).

I had to ask for a lairy pillow free photo (above), because the first pics he sent me had the lairy pillows hiding most of the bolster:

Also in need of a jzuzz (translation: straighten the mattress cover, put the lairy cushions on diagonally…or if you want them square then make them more symmetrical and give them the karate chop on the top like the good interior design shows do).

He tries…he took these pics for me before he’d even taken the dust covers on the couch:

We’re so civilised, we have dust covers at our beachhouse…

…what you may not realise, is that dustcover is this quiltcover (it got holes in it…so had to be retired).




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Just linen around


The holidays weren’t just about drapery for DIY Dad, I managed to purchase a linen bedspread in my favourite green. Turns out: also The Ginger Menace’s favourite green.

Reflections and creases (well: l.i.n.e.n. d’uh).

It looks pretty and replaces the green “floral/branch” one which sadly developed holes, and is now having a second life as a dustcover at DIY Dad’s beachhouse. Look for it in cameos in future posts.

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This post 2 months late, no biggie…

White, tin and wood themed styleMAS tree

I took these photos in early December, but just didn’t get around to writing the post for a number of reasons: 2018 was a big year for me.

Why? Well let me unpack how big it was for me…I am still trying to process it myself.

I started studying late January 2018, while still sorting out being burgled in late 2017 (that situation didn’t get fully resolved until early March 2018). So there’s that.

I studied two modules that overlapped by a month in April/May, so I could apply for a Masters at mid-year (which I was accepted into). So I swung from the modules, to applying for a new course, to studying again. And of course I decided to do a second year unit in my first semester of the Masters #nobiggie!

My exam was 2 days before my birthday in November, the results didn’t come out until the 11 December so I didn’t completely wind down from that aspect until the grades were up (got a High Distinction so it paid off!).

Moody lighting

The study load alone would have been tiring, but we went through change management at work too.

If you’ve been through one, you know how shite they are for months on end. That’s months and months and months of stress, speculation, the anti-climax of the announcement, followed by the drag of waiting for the changeover date…and then months and months and months as new hires and new teams storm, form, norm and perform (and that’s still going on).

And while there appears to be a fantasy that change management can be smooth, easy, not stressful and transparent, the reality is it’s about change, people’s livelihoods, and change. And that is always stressful: whether you have the stress or whether you are surrounded by others who are stressing, speculating, second guessing. And then there are the people who are impacted, really impacted by the change. People who you know and work with for many years. It’s a tough time on so many levels, and that suck is part of the ugly nature of organisational change…

So yes: 2018 was a big year. On many fronts.

Dark reflections

And then on top of that, my sister announced the date and location for her wedding: so I knew I would be travelling in early 2019. That threw a wonderful spanner in the works in terms of house stuff for 2018-19, study in 2019 and meant other things to prepare for. Delightful, wonderful spanner, but a spanner in all my finely laid plans nonetheless.

Make no mistake, it’s going to be great: DIY Dad and I will be travelling over, celebrating with friends and family in an all inclusive resort and then doing a road trip afterwards.

Meanwhile planning and logisticating for the epic trip in early 2019 meant much time in between study, shite and stuff has been spent planning the itinerary, destinations and logistics for the upcoming holiday. Also planning menu items: I plan to eat my way across the USA, eating all the regional foods. And maybe see some sights…in between courses.

Well lit

On top of that, I was still on planning duties for DIY Dad’s epic home renovation. ARGH. If my lunch breaks weren’t full of study, or trip planning, then they were full of Ikea kitchen, bathroom and laundry planner and planning. I was even tempted to add Expert at Ikea Kitchen Planning to my resume: I did it that much.

Across 2017-2018, I have tried every online planning tool there is, and then had to jig, and rejig designs as DIY Dad confirmed measurements, requirements, preferences and then selectively listened to counsel about important features for kitchens, bathrooms and laundries which he then turned into some naively optimistic demands that could not be facilitated in the space he had, on the budget he had or with the design constraints he himself had put in place.

If you have ever wondered where I get my Veruca Salt level demandingness, wonder no more. DIY Dad gives Veruca and me a run for our money (something that not only impacted kitchen, bathroom and laundry planning but has also impacted Daddy-Daughter road trip and itinerary planning as well).

You can thank me for the fact that there is a place inside DIY Dad’s house where you can fill a bucket for a mop, wash a cat litter bowl and soak clothes…that isn’t the kitchen sink. You can thank me for planning a laundry that meant he had to get rid of his twin tub washing machine and upgrade to a front loading washing machine. You can thank me for the ample amount of bathroom, kitchen and laundry storage (DIY Dad has so much storage he does not know what to do with it, but for everyone else there is an ample and satisfying amount). You can thank me for introducing him to 4 switch light switches, over trying to have 4 separate light switches on one wall. Yes: thank me.

Last belated pic

I even hit my holidays running: going up to the beach house with DIY Dad to drop off the day bed, making curtains for DIY Dad and cleaning and jzuzzing his house, having sleepovers and making cheese, testing out blancmange and junket recipes (long term goal, tell you about it later), plus reorganising, gardening, and doing all those annual jobs and stuff around the house in preparation for the big trip plus getting the flu…and then recovering from the flu (still not 100%  yet). YIKES.

So I have been a bit slow on posting, and I probably will be for a little while as I catch up and think about what else I want 2019 to have in store for me…


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