Achievements, celebrations & the mundane

What a week it has been! We’ve done more home improvement in the last month than we have done in the last year! That’s Parkinson’s Law for you.

The biggest achievement (and a huge weight of my shoulders) is the completion of Richard’s office. It’s a small room attached to our garage and basically had bare brick walls, a concrete slab floor and a dodgy light. Richard installed down lights and put new power, telephone and TV points. Then we spent the entire last weekend painting the brick walls and ceiling, which by the way is very hard work! And on Friday I laid down the new vinyl flooring all by myself. Yes, me! I rock!

Richard's newly renovated office

Richard has set up his office now and he is a very happy hubby. Only 2 more weeks before my new house mate moves in and I’m starting to feel nervous and excited at the same time.

On Saturday, we celebrated our nephew’s 9th birthday and there was a bit of fooling around when the sparkles got lit on the cake! That’s the uncle (Richard’s brother) grabbing his nephew’s face. Haha… no harm done I promise!

Jackson's 9th B'day

Now for the mundane part of life. Charlie had one of his showers this week and was happy to show off for the video camera. He LOVES it and gets all excited when he sees the spray bottle.

[Video link]

I’ve also bought yarn to start knitting a charity Christmas project. I won’t say what it is just yet.

Red & White Homemaker Acrylic 8ply

Has anyone started their Christmas knitting? I can’t believe we’re only 4 months away from 2011!


Another Ikea Fabric Remnant, Another Curtain

The last window that needs a lovely curtain. It’s in the laundry room and directly opposite my neighbour’s front door and windows. Some privacy is in need, even it’s just to do the laundry and ironing.
Laundry Window

A little bit of sewing later…
Sewing Curtain

Another new curtain from an Ikea fabric remnant. Don’t you just love a quick, cheap craft project? 🙂
New Laundry Curtain
I think the curtain doesn’t look as good as the toilet because the laundry room hasn’t been painted yet. The door and window frame is still the original wood and the walls are still the dirty yellow I dislike so much. I can’t wait to see how it all looks when the room’s been painted.

Do you want to have a closer look at the fabric? There are quite a few types of birds on it. Recognise any?
Ikea Fabric Remnant Close-Up

The Ikea fabric lets in just enough light and they both look just as good from the outside. I’ve taken these photos from the backyard, looking up. The small window on the left is the toilet window.
Windows with New Curtains

You can just see the curtain when the window is slightly open.
Curtain at Toilet Window
I promise that tomorrow won’t be another post about curtains. 😛 But I’ve found a cute way to use up the little leftover Ikea fabric I have left.

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See you soon!

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Ikea Fabric Remnant = New Curtain

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Ikea Fabric Remnant = New Curtain

I bought a couple of Ikea fabric remnants on my last trip there and last night I got to use one of them.

Materials: Washed and ironed Ikea fabric remnant and curtain wire kit

Window to be madeover: In the toilet
The Toilet Before

Process: I made a simple curtain by hemming up all the edges of the fabric. The curtain wire is very quick and easy to install using the tiny hooks that came with the kit.
Ikea Fabric Remnant = New Curtains
Curtain Wire

After: A hidden toilet window
Ikea Fabric Remnant = New Curtains

You really have to take a closer look at the pretty fabric. I just LOVE the prints on most of the Ikea fabric. Really suits my style. With all the white in the house from my recent painting, it’s nice to bring in splashes of colour like this.
Ikea Fabric Close-up

And we’re not the only ones who like the new curtain. Look behind the toilet door to see what I mean…
Toilet door

When they’re not staring at us on the toilet, Olly and Ifa can look at the birds and dream of catching them one day!

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How to Store Painting Tools

Brushes, rollers and leftover paint have to be stored properly to prolong their life. I thought I might share some useful tips that I’ve gotten from here and there on how to do this.

Most importantly, you must clean your painting tools according to the type of paint you’ve used. Most household paints are now water-based so painting tools are a lot easier to clean. Simply scrap off excess paint onto several layers of newspaper and rinse in warm, soapy water. For a paint roller, roll the excess paint onto newspaper before washing in the same way. You can also get a tool from your hardware store, like Bunnings, which squeezes the excess paint out of rollers. Cheap and very handy.

Once your painting tools are clean and dry, you can’t just throw them into a drawer and hope for the best the next time you need them. With a little help from good, old regular cling wrap, you can ensure that your painting tools stay in good condition.

Wrap your clean, dry brushes and rollers in cling wrap. The cling wrap keeps the bristles in position and keep your painting tools free from dust.
Using Cling Wrap
Cling Wrap Rollers Too

If you’ve spent a bit more to buy quality paint brushes, the brushes would have come with protective sheaths. These sheaths are not merely for packaging and marketing. They are designed to be reused over and over again to store your brushes in pristine condition.
Using the Protective Covers

I’ve also recently learnt from my father-in-law the proper way to store leftover paint long term. The air in your half-empty (or half-full 😛 ) can of paint will slowly dry out your paint. So a piece of cling wrap placed directly on the paint will protect its surface. Your paint will now stay fresh longer. Obvious, isn’t it? Talk about a DUH moment.
Placing Cling Wrap in Paint Tins
Placing Cling Wrap in Paint Tins

And before you hammer the lid closed on your can of paint, grab a piece of flat wood. Place it on the rim of the lid and gently tap the wood with the hammer. It’s a lot easier to open the lid next time if the lid is not damaged.

Hope these tips help in some way. And if you have more tips or you’ve got a better way of doing things, feel free to leave a comment. I would love to hear from you, even if it’s just to say hello!



I had a very successful trip to Ikea today. Picked up the curtains and curtain-y things I wanted. And also got some very cute fabric remnants and a $4 salad bowl. I was expecting the bowl to be plastic with that price tag, but it’s glass. Yipee! On the way home, we dropped into Bunnings, my second most favourite place to shop (Ikea topping that list naturally), and got more curtain related items and cleaning products. So not only will my house be pretty and private, it’ll be clean too! Yay!


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