Posts Tagged ‘Progress’

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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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 ๐Ÿ˜‰

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 itย 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%ย  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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Impending blossom: like impending doom because it’s equally inevitable, but it is more nicely scented.

The Jasmine I have out the back has finally come into its own: it’s covering the half of the back fence/neighbour’s house that I wanted to (such ugly bricks) and in August and September it brought me a lot of joy as it delicately scented the air.

Festooned with future blossoms

It was really nice to enjoy the first hints of Jasmine in the air, before it became a heady scent in the warm (well occasionally warm-ish) spring air.

Peppered with prettiness

When it was in full riot of blossom, it was absolutely glorious…

Pink jasmine, pink flamingo…is there a theme?

I am hoping I can get it to cover the rest of the wall next year ๐Ÿ˜‰

…and then we take Berlin.


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…with bonus “spot the difference” puzzles.

With the a.n.t. problem in Dianella, I’ve decided having my bed up against the window sill sans headboard is a no go because I really don’t like finding the occasional stray ant on my pillows. This may seem unreasonable to you, but that is just how it is in my house. (Plus it’s SUPER cold in winter.)

This bit didn’t change much.

So the first night of my 2017 Xmas leave was spent rearranging my bedroom from this, to this:

Puzzle 1…

Can you spot the difference between ^ that pic, and this one:

Puzzle #2: it’s very subtle, I know.

Obviously, the perspective is slightly difference…but there might be something else:

Distance can sometimes help…

Do you need a hint?


Now that I have the bed against the wall, I’ve started thinking about my perfect headboard again #sigh.

A headboard is #commitment

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Do you notice anything missing in the photo above?

One of the other little changes I’ve made is to get some Powerline adapters so I can run my internet through the electric wiring in my house, rather than having additional cabling through my house. A much cheaper change than the other incremental improvements I’ve made recently, but such a difference.

Before this, I had a 15+m long RJ45 cable running from my modem to the other side of the house where my computer is. Although you can selectively ignore it, every time I vacuumed the vacuum cleaner would get caught up in it and often yank the modem out of the wall. Although I mostly photographed around it, you could see it in the background of many photos…

…or the foreground…

It photobombed many living room photos:

…on the left, just below the falcon chair

Like a horror movie villain, it was always lurking:

…it’s BEHIND you!

And it added visual noise and clutter:

During the great sewing adventures of 2016

One tiny change, and it’s so much more serene. I feel relaxed each time I walk into my living and dining room with that one tiny change:

Cable free

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