Saturday, October 18, 2014

House progress

 I cannot believe I havent updated for nearly a month, time has gone so fast, we have been so busy and the house has progressed at amazing speed.  Our completion date is 27th November only a little over 5 weeks, yeeks, still so much to do. To save money this couple of 70 year old pensioners have decided to do all the painting and all this week we have been working our butts off to get the exterior painted while the scaffolding is still set up, and this 5ft 1inch dame has to use all her leg muscles to climb up and down about 10 times a day onto the scaffolding, the bottom ramps are about 3 feet off the ground nearest to the front going to 2 metres at the back, takes me back to my days of playing the first game of netball of the season without training, boy those thigh muscles where screaming for a couple of days, but, soldiered on.  Bit scary up on the top ramp out the back looking down, thank goodness that one has hand rails.  The first day I must of cracked my head on the rafters 20 times until I worked out to stand back a bit before standing upright.  If I did this for too long I would have a permanent stoop from bending all the time to avoid hitting my head.
 Scott the head of the building team (what a great group of boys) doing business on the top of the roof, I swear he is like a mountain goat, and there is no getting away from the phone these days.
 John surveying the workmanship, think he enjoys doing this each day, think he was impressed how quickly and efficiently things where done, went like clockwork. It was a great day seeing the decking done on the verandahs.

 You may not be able to see it but all the rafters have been painted with two coats of paint, one great thing was that with the new Solver paint you don't undercoat or seal, saves so much time.  Pete, son-in-law turned up yesterday on his day off and got up and painted the gables on the roof, we where worrying about how we where going to get them done, we where certainly not up to climbing up and painting over 6 metres above the ground at the back, or the front for that matter, we where so grateful.  We are paying another pensioner to help us with the painting of the rafters, while I painted all the walls, only one coat so far and not the front, hope to get the exterior finished by the end of next week.  Did you notice the lack of building materials on the ground, all the left over material is under the house so it can be used for studio at a later date, thought might as well as we have paid for it.
Wetting the roof with the building structure team Tom, Trent and Scott.  These three boys, seem so young to me, travelled over an hour each way each day starting at 7 am each day.  They finished up on Wednesday, miss seeing them each day.  Yes I did bribe them with cake but there favourite was the savoury bacon, cheese and onion pinwheels.
 Electrician and plumbers where in week before last laying cables and pipes and come back later to do the rest.  It has been great for us as we have been involved in each process and being country builders they are happy to see us, when we built in Perth once it was at lock up stage we couldn't get in and also we where working and could only go around when they weren't working.
 Gyprock guy started Friday week ago, we have a new appreciation for how hard these guys work, no morning or afternoon tea breaks and only stop long enough to eat their lunch before getting back to work. The plasterer didnt even stop just ate while he worked.  He has another week to go then the doors and all the fittings are done, cabinets, lights and plumbing finished.  I think we will be able to start painting inside once the gyprocking is finished. Dad would be proud of us I think.

The other evening these white cockatoo's swooped into the tree at the house we are renting, something they like up there.
It is beautiful down south in spring, blossoms all along the highway where a lot of the fruit orchards are. This lovely little tree in our orchard is a mass of white blossoms, somewhat later than the other trees.  It is a lovely prune plum and we where lucky enough to get heaps off it last season.  Its very green down south reminiscent of our homeland.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Framework all up

Framework was up in a few days, came all prefabricated so builders just more or less had to nail it together.  This is the biggest part of the budget at $70k.

Rear view at the stage where they are waiting for the scaffolding to go up as it is rather high up on the roof at the back.

 John surveying his territory from the kitchen/dining/family area. Looking out through the space for the sliding doors with verandah behind it.

Views from the verandah at the back, overlooking the hills, at the bottom of the orchard is the South West Highway.

Scaffolding starting to go up.

Scaffolding waiting to be assembled.  Cladding on front bedroom.  Garage is on the left.

Its spring down in the valley and typical of spring last Saturday was 32 deg and Sunday it poured rain all day and has continued off and on all week.  Produce from the orchard, have picked a few big bunches of daffodils.
Have a great weekend

Monday, September 22, 2014

Great Grandmother

Last week we spent two days up in Perth. Had a lovely barbecue tea with Jo and all her family.  It was noisy, exuberent and just lovely, reminded me of when I was a kid.  I never realised that we where such a noisy family until Karen a cousin, said, she loved coming to stay with us for that reason.  Was great to see Jessica and her little family there too.  Above is my four generations of my female line with nana Jo, mum Jessica and great granddaughter Amelia who just wasn't going to crack a smile. 

All the great grandchildren.  Jaidyn pulling a face in front and Jo holding Mason who is thinking 'What the heck is my crazy brother doing'.  Looking forward to being a Great great grandmother.  And just to not confuse the kids I am super nana.  The little ones are so full of energy, its hard to keep up, but love them dearly, and with 4 aunts, fortunately, I don't have to.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Its Spring down in the valley and things are starting to move

Spring is here in the valley and snapped this photo of a little wild rabbit outside the window at 9 am, thought it was a bit late for him to be out in the open.  I know they are a pest, but, oh they are so cute.
 Before spring, a last minute hoorraa Friday week ago it rained and it rained and we had floods, water everywhere, great excitement.  Reminded me of when we where kids dad would take us to see the flooded rivers in New Zealand.
Getting lots of blossoms in the orchard, I put breadcrumbs in the bird feeder, not sure who eats it but its gone when we go back the next day, hoping its birds and not encouraging possums.
 Daffodils all coming out in the orchard, the jonquils are finished now.  The previous owners planted straight rows between the fruit trees, you may see them in the foreground on the left, now I know what they are will dig up and spread around the orchard in clumps next autumn.
 Biggest exciting news is the house has been started.  Above you can see the pad for the garage has been laid, this took a few days.  Timber has arrived for poles, floor joists and flooring.

 Looking from the orchard you can see the brickwork used to build the pad level with the house.
 Poles all up and waiting to be levelled off, this was the day before the storm hit and had to wait a few days for the water to drain out of the holes.
 Putting on the floor joists. Starting to see the layout, and the surrounding land for gardens, love planning that.
 Prefabricated walls and roof panels arrive, $70,000 worth, these should go up very quickly, the hardiplank for the outside walls is also there.
 Thursday the flooring started going down, two thirds finished at the end of the day on Friday, fortunately they covered it all with black plastic as more rain arrived through the night.
 Friday I spent the day turning the soil along the western boundary and planted cuttings and some shrubs, I am hoping the wood chip mulch will loosen the soil up and I believe I need to add dolomite and lime.  Next job.
 The view from the orchard of the house with half flooring done, John was pruning the fruit trees, did a great job as he has never done it before, we also got some pelletised organic chicken manure spread all around the orchard, so should be well watered in.
 It has been up and down as to wether we could build a studio and garden storage underneath and as you can see from John standing checking out the workmanship, there will be plenty of room.  We will be in denial this week as we will be without the van for 4 or 5 days, hell, I can walk down there, about 10 minutes walk and good exercise.

And finally the roses are starting to bloom, picked this lovely lavendar one out of the garden just to share with you.
Hope you all had a lovely Fathers Day weekend.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Nannup in the South West

 Last friday John and I took to the road our destination, Nannup Garden Festival.  I just fell in love with Nannup, such a progressive little town.  It was a lovely day, took us about an hour to get there, through beautiful natural bush.  Nannup is a timber town and most of the buildings are built of timber which reminded me of home.  How cool are these patchwork quilts hanging out on the line with yards and yards of bunting, lot of work in there.
 This is a Nannup tiger, extinct now but they did have them here.  Carved out of timber.
 yarn bombed bicycle outside the quilt house
 lots of yummy places to eat and this lovely shady hideaway
 guess who, waiting patiently enjoying the sun, a lonely little petunia in a tulip patch
 Just one block back from the main street, this old tractor sitting in the weeds

 Nannup also has a musical festival in this beautiful park where there is a stage and beautiful covered buildings to get out of the sun, they have lights in them so would be quite magical listening to the music  
they have these amazing carved totems at the entrance to the park, must of been about 8 towering above us

 the tulips where stunning in raised garden beds all around the town.
Had to add these guinea fowls, such amazing markings which unfortunately I didn't capture.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Special gift for a special boy

After quite a few years gathering materials for this special present I made this for my son last christmas.  Raymon has been battling with  cancer and then the after effects of the radiation treatment which is still ongoing.
This art journal is made in an old army steel lined case which I think was made for water bottles.  I love how the fabric on the outside and in is all faded and marked showing it was used for a purpose and one can imagine if it could talk it would have a lot of stories to tell.  Across the bottom is a belt of used artillery shells, attached to the right side a used bullet, dog tag and small bottle of sand found in the pocket of the old army jacket i cut up and used on the inside pages, the sand suggests the African desert. . On the left is the 8th army star which my dad fought with in El Alamain and an army photo of my dad on the truck.  One of the pages has the New Zealand badge with his dog tag number.  Tied in the lid is letters he sent back home mostly to his sister as the ones he sent my mum got lost when we moved around, also another photo in the camp.  The pages inside have his army photos taken when he served in the 2nd WW. 1939 to 1943. Following are the pages inside the case.  I made them in a concertina style using string to join.  The pages are displayed on an old english flag, which I cut up and included into the book.

Alex you might be interested in this of your uncle Ray