Sunday, September 30, 2012

Operation Cover-up

My big paint makeover is almost finished - what a mission to cover up all traces of blue! I'll be able to put everything back in the kitchen cupboards today and, when Mark comes back to paint the outside of the kitchen cupboards, I'll be able to put paint/dropcloths/brushes/paint charts away and enjoy my new home. I've gone with the safe option of Resene Double Rice Cake for the joinery but can always slap a colour on later if I feel that it needs it. I'm really pleased with the outside too, it still takes me by surprise as I turn into the drive way and see it blending in with the bush backdrop.

I tried two testpots for the kitchen joinery - the top drawer is in Resene Double Rice Cake and the second drawer down is in Resene Half Tea. Although Half Tea looked good when it first went on, it darkened quite a lot as it dried and wouldn't look right for the dominating expanse (the back of the sink unit) as you walk in the house. The unit is 2380mm long - I could get one of my bush prints printed on to corrugated iron for $250+ per lineal metre!!

Time to get on with the last of the painting - I'm painting the black TV cabinets (2 different types) white - one has the microwave in and the other, which sits beneath, stores my recipe books. Once everything is back in order I can plan my next challenge of designing the space to the right of the stove.

Have a great week...

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Is this my house?

The painter has finished his part on the inside and what a transformation! It's up to me now to sand and undercoat the kitchen joinery and decide on a new colour. Choosing a new colour scheme is not my forte - my initial thought was to go for silver to tie in with the stove and curtains but perhaps a 'warm' colour would be better. Colour replication is far from perfect on my notebook screen so would appreciate any suggestions.

I've strung together a few before and after photos for you...

Having light-coloured walls (Resene Rice Cake) has made such a difference - the space feels bigger and I don't need the light on when the sun's not shining. On the downside, the carpet stains and wall imperfections are more noticeable!

I've decided to change the furniture around to see what works best and still have artwork to go back up on the wall but am reluctant to start making holes. I will use my large (1800 x 800) computer table as a dining table for a few weeks and was wondering if I could use one end for a drawer unit that can be used for pantry items - sort of like this idea but not quite as flash...

There are many inspirational websites for decorating/furnishing ideas; it's easy to spend far too many hours looking at them :). My life became quite spartan during the week that the painter was here as the tv, radio, table and chairs were packed away and everything was under drop cloths. I slept in the garage to escape the smell of paint and lived on vegetable soup that could be heated up on the fire. Well worth the disruption though and I'm thrilled with the end result.

The painter made a start on the outside before the weather packed up again and the new colour (Resene Stonewall) is looking promising and should look even better when the second coat goes on. Here's a sneak preview of Stonewall going over the blue...

It certainly blends in better with the bush backdrop and although it doesn't go perfectly with the blue/grey window frames, it doesn't clash either. Will see what it looks like after the first coat is completed and then decide if I stick with Stonewall or go slightly darker with Double Stonewall.

The day is going far too quickly and I need to clear around the outside of the garage before the painter comes back - time to go out and enjoy the sunshine.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Spring is sprung

New seasons bring new beginnings and none more so than the season of Spring. The native kōtukutuku, Fuchsia excorticata, or tree fuchsia is deciduous here and is easily identified by its orange/brown peeling bark. New leaf buds burst through in late winter providing a welcome source of food for the birds, especially tūī and kererū.

I'm pretty sure this next photo is patē, Schefflera digitata, seven-finger but I need to check the plant again as I can't make out the edge clearly in the photo (it should be finely toothed).

Hand-shaped Schefflera digitata leaves with 3-9 fingers. Often confused with
Five-finger, Pseudopanax arboreus, which can have 5-7 leaflets.
Makomako, Aristotelia serrata, wineberry, has well-defined toothed leaves, hence the Latin word for serrated in the botanical name.

Kōwhai ngutu-kākā, Clianthus puniceus, Kaka beak, is a native plant that has been introduced to Stewart Island/Rakiura. It grows well here and provides nectar for the birds.

Kaka beak Sep12 with new bright-green Spring growth

Close-up showing the new leaf growth in the centre

Live life with your head in the clouds

Today's title is from the Cloud Appreciation Society, of which I am Member 1017. If you are bored of 'blue sky thinking' and want to get the most of watching clouds, then please check out their excellent website and consider joining. Another great place for cloud pics is the home page of; the best website for weather forecast charts.

Of course this introduction has to lead somewhere!! In the last week, I've been blessed with three weather-related treats and, thanks to my fab Sony Cybershot DSC-TX10 waterproof camera, I can share them with you.

Last Monday I had a meeting at 4.30pm and when I left work at 5:15pm it was raining slightly with this magnificent rainbow stretching over the DOC field centre...

The shower soon eased off and I walked up Main Road and at 5:30pm spotted the setting sun's rays shining upward...

Taken 5:30pm from Main Road by pine plantation - about 100m from
Back Road turnoff
Nice, but shame about the power lines. Three minutes later I turned into Back Road and was thrilled to see this spectacular 'spotlight' shooting out of the cloud. I continued taking photos for a minute during which the spotlight moved to the right. Wow!!

Bottom of Back Road 5:33pm

Taken at 5:34pm
 The following evening's sunset (Tues 28 Aug) had me running for my camera again to capture the scene and this unusual cloud bank to the left of the tall rimu...


I could so easily be a fulltime cloud-watcher - roll on retirement.