Posts Tagged ‘Supporting characters’

I’ve always wanted to write that sentence on this blog: and it’s curtains for DIY Dad. And it is literally: curtains for DIY Dad.

Some people travel on their holidays, some catch up on things to do around their house, some watch eleventy billion hours of netflix…and at least one person will make curtains for their Dad. 24 metres of curtains. That’s right: 24 metres of curtains. Yes, dear reader, that IS a lot of curtain. It is a shedload of curtain, a metric fuck-tonne of drapery, a herculean holiday task…one that I decided from start to finish it was only going to take me 5 days.

This herculean and expedited task involved wrangling 8 metres of 280cm wide blockout lining, 18 metres of 150cm wide curtain fabric and 5 metres of 280cm wide curtain fabric to turn them into 24 metres of tab-topped curtains for 4 windows. Not that I am counting, or anything. And I pretty much did it: started them on Thursday afternoon and (mostly) finished them on Monday (there was one tiny piece of facing I sewed the next morning). So I feel like a bit of a hero, actually.

The backstory to this epic sewing task is: DIY Dad is reaching the final stages of doing up his house. And part of those final stages has been the gentle realisation (thanks to many firm suggestions on many fronts) that matchstick blinds and 2 saris do not a window treatment make. They don’t make a window treatment if you are seeking privacy, and they don’t make a window treatment if you’re seeking to block the sun out and they certainly don’t make a window treatment if you’re in a 100+ year old weatherboard workers cottage which needs all the insulation help it can get:

Not actually a window treatment, unless you’re living in a share house in the 80s or 90s…and even then.

For the record: matchstick blind and sari thing is actually all my fault: I decided it was cool in the 90s and did it in my bedroom…and then DIY Dad wanted to do it in every other room in his house.

Clearly sari-over-matchstick-blinds was a design decision that appealed to his patchouli-scented, indian bazaar maxi wrap skirt wearing, doc martens owning and Smashing Pumpkins listening nineties uni student self. The nineties are alive and not only living in Portland, they’re also living in DIY Dadland.

These saris have been hanging up there since about 1997-98, for the record. The original vintage sari I used in my room disintegrated about 15 years ago…

Something needed to be done, and not just in his bedroom (the photos above), but also in the guest bedroom where these curtains were hanging when DIY Dad purchased the house…and they were old then (the blinds are slightly newer…if you remember that everything 90s has come back around and is new again):

What super villain puts window length drop curtains in a room that has 12 feet high ceilings? ARGH.

And then in the loungeroom, DIY had replaced the disintegrating vintage silk sari with some hand-me-down curtains that one of his lady friends gave him to address his lack of curtains (nice curtains, not really to the style of the house AND WHAT SUPER VILLAIN PUTS WINDOW LENGTH CURTAINS IN A ROOM THAT HAS 12 FEET HIGH CEILINGS!?!), so that’s two layers of sheer if you count the matchstick blinds:

For the record: the matchstick blinds don’t have long to live…

And then in my old bedroom, some more ill-fitting matchstick blinds (my old bedroom is the junk repository at the moment, hence the broken chair and eskie in the shot):

Privacy: who needs it when you’re in weatherboard cottages this close together?

Luckily the firm commentary about drapery and curtains from MANY sources made an impact, so DIY Dad and I went on a daddy-daughter haberdashery expedition, where we purchased 8 metres of 280cm wide blockout lining, 18 metres of 150cm wide curtain fabric (I had to order the living room fabric from the UK):

It looks a lot smaller when it’s folded.

And then I had to do planning, lots and lots of planning involving consulting several sewing and interior design bibles (including the 1985 Laura Ashley Book of Home Decorating, which my aunt gave me along with her retro cookbooks):

Luckily I had a good project manager

And then I had to scribble a bunch of calculations for hems, widths vs lining widths, tab calculations (width, count and distance between…#headexplodingemoji). It was analogue Mission Impossible level planning:

The only reason I didn’t have post its stuck all over my house…I WAS OUT OF POST ITS

Srs planning: for each room and each set of curtains because each of the windows and curtain rod measurements were not quite the same:

Many calculate, much plan.

The project manager was concerned about the complexity of the job and the timeline allowed for it:

Concerned and bitey project manager.

Thanks to some amazing tips from the peeps at Homecraft, I managed to eke out double layers of curtain lining for 3 of the 4 rooms…the 3 where the weight of the curtain fabric was lighter. That’s going to be good when the cold hits the weatherboard in winter:

I turned my lounge room, dining room and kitchen into a curtain production line…

First curtains finished, marimekko-esque canvas ones for my old bedroom. I actually thought the curtain colour choices would help mute the level of yellow paint DIY Dad has applied to every room of his house. Fun fact, it didn’t and in fact the yellow is reflecting off the curtains…

Pretty epic curtain drop (I’m going to hem all the curtains once they’ve hung for a while and settled)

I had enough canvas fabric left over to make both DIY Dad and the project manager some cushions. The project manager decided he liked his newly reupholstered throne:

Every day he’s supervising.

Then it was onto the guest bedroom:

That light duck egg blue is not making a dent in the yellow…time to cover it with artwork.

At about this time I realised DIY Dad’s house had not been dusted, polished or cleaned since I last did it…in 2016 when my sister visited. So I added another holiday job to the list: cleaning and jzuzzing DIY Dad’s house. The photo below is pre-cleaning and it’s been colour corrected to show the colour of the curtains:

It’s a shame the yellow walls aren’t this washed out.

At this point, you might be asking why DIY Dad has a thing for yellow walls? Turns out: along with the sari-over-matchstick-blinds-for-window-treatments, that’s also my fault.

Yep: my fault….In 2007 DIY Dad and I went to the UK to see my sister (she lives there) and as part of that trip I dragged them across the channel for 5 days in Paris. Because DIY Dad likes Monet’s paintings (as do I), I thought it would be a great idea to visit Monet’s house and garden in Giverny.

And it was a great idea: amazing, amazing, amazing.

An amazing idea, but for one thing: Monet painted his dining room yellow. And boy did that make an impression with DIY Dad: he liked that. He liked that a lot.

He liked it so much he’s so far painted the inside of two houses: yellow. Every single room inside those two houses: yellow. For the record: Monet only painted ONE room of his house yellow (along with the dining table, chairs, credenzas and more) and he covered up a lot of the walls with artwork and the colour scheme for Monet’s kitchen is BLUE, but those are minor details and when DIY Dad picks a colour…he really PICKS a colour.

So yep: that’s also all my fault. Unintended consequences. BRILLIANT.

Getting back to curtains, the last set to be made in my 5 days of intense curtaining (and cleaning), were the ones for DIY Dad’s bedroom (to replace the mismatched saris):

Pre-cleaning…and the yellow just bounces of everything.

The curtains really are a lot whiter than they look in the photos (thank you so much Monet, thank you so much 2007 me):

Much pigment, many eyeburns.

Then I had to wait for the living room fabric to arrive from the UK (and for time in my schedule to finish the herculean epic). The fabric for the living room curtains gave me the most joy:

Welcome to the jungle…

At this point, I had cleaned all the house and jzuzzed (just ignore the tiled platform in the living room…that’s a battle I will fight another day):

Curtains by big sister, cat cushions by little sister…

And I had fabric left over from this, so I made DIY Dad a runner for his kitchen/dining buffet (and did a bit of cleaning and reorganising as well):

Nana and Grandma’s crockery takes a bow

And placemats for his dining table (trying to ween him off terrible tablecloths):

I got to put the placemats down, then I had to put everything back on the table…

And I even had enough fabric to make placemats for myself #winning.

Now that I’ve recounted my epic task, I am feeling a bit tired…I think it’s time for some downtime chez moi:

Project manager MIA



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Vale Her Majesty


Her Majesty, Madame Mim.

2016 was a pretty pants year all round. On the 10 December, I had to say goodbye to one of the housemates who featured on this blog: Madame Mim, you’d know her better as Her Majesty.

She was 19 years old, which is a very good age for a cat. My sister got her as a kitten, so we’ve had her in our lives a long time. I will miss her steadfast presence in my life, the comforting weight of her next to me, the special way she tinkled her bell when she was unimpressed, the click of her claws when she walked on the floorboards, the warmth of her purr. So many things.

I remember when she was a kitten, and she singed her whiskers investigating a candle. I remember when she was old enough to be let out of the house: she got stuck on our patio roof. I remember when I moved to Watermans, and took her with me. It was the first time she’d ever dealt with stairs. It took a month, and me taking her to the top of them, before she would climb them.

When I painted, I had to have two water containers: one for my brushes, one for her; otherwise she’d drink my paint water.


You are in the spot that I want to nap in.

She was the silent mass of black who kept me company through assignments and blog posts, almost every bath I’ve had involved her sitting on the bathmat to keep me company….or insisting she be patted while I bathed. In the last couple of years, she’d deciding drinking the water at the bottom of the shower was a delicacy. I haven’t had a shower to myself and unobserved for about 2 years: she was outside the shower door, waiting for me to get out so she could get in and drink the shower water. Being able to shower without a feline deadline has been an adjustment.

The silent reminders (and the many not-so-silent hints) that it was approaching dinner time. She would start off subtle, then get very chatty.


Waiting patiently. This is the last photo I took of her.

When she got chatty, I always figured it was because she thought she could talk people. And that I understood. Sometimes I did: the cat bowl is empty, let me out…other times it was a regular gossip session on her end, and I just acted like I understood.

The ability to communicate a thousand expressions with the twitch of an ear or the change of an eye.


The you’re trying my patience expression


You’re trying my patience, but I am hopeful of pats. Now put the camera down.

Her ability to both dribble, and later on to drool, when she was content. There’s a definite difference between dribble and drool…something I’ve learned over the years.


So content I am about to dribble.

The steady, comforting presence to the right of my pillow on the bed.


Official spot

She was a very mannered bedfellow: she’d miaow, or sit on the floor next to the bed looking hopeful until I patted the cover, then she’d jump up (towards the end of her life it was sometimes more of a scramble) and nestle into position.


Hopeful expression

Her diabolical strategy for waking me up, mainly when she wanted to get under the covers. It involved moving her head until her whiskers just touched my face and then purring. When that didn’t work and I rolled onto my other side, walking around my head (on my pillow and, yes, treading on my hair) and doing the same on the other side of my face. And…when that didn’t work and I rolled over to my original side, walking around my head (on my pillow, still treading on my hair) to do the same again to the original side of my face. Diabolical, stubborn…and impossible to resist forever.


The face of a cat who has just woken up their owner

Her love for the sunny spot: particular favourites were on the sofa, on my bed and on the patio. She could bake for hours on the patio paving stones.


One sunny spot, reserved.

Sometimes when I came back from work, I could never be entirely sure she’d moved during the day as she was occupying the same spot on the bed. She had a particular fondness for covers folded over, pyjamas or clothes left on the bed: anything you could nestle into and nap for long periods of time.

Her patient presence, even when I tried it very severely by introducing a new cat into the house. I had two single cat household cats, in one house.


The expression on her face says it all

She tolerated it, she mostly tolerated him being annoying.

I think – although this is even more anthropomorphic personification – it’s been rough for him. One day she was there, the next she was gone.


Awkward Housemate Photos, sadly no one is wearing a bad Xmas sweater

She did have a good life, she was loved and she is missed. And I was with her to the very last.


Gone but not forgotten

The house feels a little emptier now.

It echoes in strange places now, and in others is strangely silent.

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The other Fog Index

On Saturday (yep: we’re now almost up-to-date), I got out in the garden in the early morning and weeded. I filled up my entire waste bin with weeds from my front garden.


Looking into the Rising Sun

It was very pretty.


Slightly different shot.

Her Majesty decided she wanted to get out in it (she is the project manager). You can see some of the weeds in the patio planters…


If I can’t see the rest of the world, is it really out there?

The dawning sun through the the mist, and through my front door was very pretty.


Just one more photo and THEN I’ll start weeding.

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Smugness at stealing the middle of the bed. Smugness.

Her Majesty, Madame Mim, hasn’t been on the blog for a while. Since the last time I “properly” updated the blog (June), she’s had a couple of traumas. Namely the removal of 3 teeth.

And in case you wondered: there is a tooth fairy for cats, but s/he pays out direct to the vet. With each tooth costing roughly $333.33 AUD. Cat teeth are like cat years, they manage to cram more into the same period as humans. She lost her upper canines, so no more little cat fangs there. She still dribbles when you pat her…

Speaking of cat years: HM is actually 17-18 years old. That makes her ~84 according to the useful chart at the vet tooth fairy. And she’s still got (most) of her teeth.

It’s not many 84 year olds you see climbing up on window sills:


All hail the great mid century styled vessel.

She does this occasionally: sometimes I find her on the mantlepiece, where she’s jumped up to from a window still. Other times I find her on great aunt Eileen’s buffet (where she had to jump from the floor).


Looking for the weekend.

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It takes no time at all and it’s addictive.

So how could I not?
There are so many things to say:
And Captain Pouncealot is very photogenic:house-539
Pun intended:

Again: how could I not?


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Some days it is really hard to make my bed: some housemate or other always gets in the way:

Supermodel Card

Supermodel Card

I know I am biased, but I think he even he gives Feminist Ryan Gosling a little run for his money:

house-529Of course he has to do it without Ryan’s classic lumberjack look:


A little late for the actual date, but who gives a sh*t:


Yep, having a little fun with this:
house-532-b Last one I promise:
house-530 Feminist Captain Flouncealot 😉

I promise to not go looking for personalised meme generators. Really. Truly.

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While I am on the thank you trip, another person’s contribution to my household shall not go unacknowledged: that of Mme Luscious who is a long time reader, but first time appearer 😉

You could be lime

You could be lime (with cameo by depressed sage)

Backing up a bit: a bunch of us have our birthdays in November/December, so we have an annual girls dinner to celebrate in that period. Rule is no presents, but Mme Luscious came with a couple of lovely little presents for peeps.

That Mme Luscious, she is so naughty 😉

I was lucky enough to be given a voucher for a large hardware chain…which was lovely, although still very naughty of her 😉

Through the miracle of modern technology, the voucher was transformed into a Red Centre Lime (terracotta pot in the picture above).

The Red Centre Lime was developed by CSIRO, they crossed Australian native citrus with modern citrus varieties to create plants with “with larger than normal fruit, consistent yields and the unique flavour and texture of Australian native limes.” (Source: New CSIRO Lime Varieties). How amazing is that?

According to the CSIRO site:

‘Australian Blood’ (also known as ‘Australian Red Centre’) is a hybrid between an acid mandarin and a native finger lime. It has blood-red rind, flesh and juice.

How amazing is that? Thanks to the generosity (and naughtiness) of Mme Luscious, I have a plant that is the culmination of CSIRO research in my house. CSIRO research, in my house!

CSIRO research that is not the CSIRO diet, in my house! How amazing is that?

That Mme Luscious, even her naughtiness is lovely.

p.s. Readers should note that no sage plants were harmed in the making of this post (blue pot), it gets a little down in the heat (who can blame it). It was fed water and perked right up again.

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While I was checking off things I achieved in my 2012 Houseolutions, I realised there were a couple of things I hadn’t told you about and a couple of people I hadn’t thanked or acknowledged for their help achieving some of my goals 😮

So here goes one acknowledgement on the topic of FREECYCLED Retro Pots!!!!! In the middle of the year, The Coffee Fairy found and helped me freecycle two extremely large and very retro concrete planters:

Sanded, planted but not yet painted

Sanded, planted but not yet painted

Being as they were so big, I actually had to drive around with them in my little hatchback for a couple of days until The Amazant Monsieur H came over to help me unload them. Going around corners was fun.

I sanded them, but haven’t painted them yet. The lime tree and the blood orange tree got planted into them as soon as I was done, because they were getting rootbound in their pots.

When I do get it together to get some proper concrete paint, they will be painted…grey. No surprises there, really.

p.s. I just did a search in grey to find I have mentioned it in 21 posts so far…clearly I like grey.

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If you are tracking down a minor damp issue and have a vent in the wall of your house, you can take the cover off, put your iPhone inside it, take a picture and then inspect your wall cavity:

Multiplicity of uses for technology

Then DIY Dad can spend the afternoon cleaning out the cavity, taking pictures along the way to monitor progress:

Indiana Dad and the Cavity of Doom

He was so happy when he came up with this use for his iPhone, like a kid at Christmas. Bless.

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We interrupt regular programming to bring you…a picture of a cat on a G-Plan:

The sofa coinesseur tests the new resting place

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