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Friday, 4 April 2008

Frank's back!

Well it's been a long, long time and we're STILL not finished the renovation. Current ETA is 3 weeks before we move back in. The painters are finishing up and Dallas has been fitting out all the lights and powerpoints etc which has taken ages because there are just so many. I pretty much decided that since these final stages are taking such a long time I wouldn't bother posting photo updates seeing as nothing really changes much from day to day and I can't be bothered actually driving over to see the house anyway now I'm back at uni.

So like the title of the post says, our resident possum who we evicted way back when the reno started has moved back in. Mick the builder blocked the gaps under the eaves with chicken mesh, which apparently dosn't do a hell of a lot to stop a possum when it wants to move into a brand new, wool insulated roof.

Awwwww - aint he just the cutest widdle guy? I happen to love possums actually but once they're in the roof they cause all sorts of issues - chew electrical wires, shit and piss in the insulation etc etc, so unfortunately he has to go. Dallas is going to board up the gaps with timber from the inside of the roof (what the builder should have done in the first place) and the painter is going to lend us a possum trap to catch him. Once he is removed from the roof, he will be relocated to a nice new possum box in a tree courtesy of a couple of apple slices and hopefully live happily ever after...

Sunday, 24 February 2008


Oil on canvas 24" x 24"

Sunday, 3 February 2008

January Update

No, I haven't died ha ha - just been really busy! Honestly I can't wait until my vac work is over at the end of the month and I go back to uni - I need the holiday!

The reno from hell has been moving along, but not as fast as we would like. I haven't been over there for a few weeks now but do have some photos to post. To tell the truth, I am really put off by the builder's most recent fuck-up - the back door from the kitchen to the deck IS NOT LEVEL! I mean WTF???!!! How can you not install a door straight for Gods sake. So both Dallas and I are not happy Jan but because it has been nailed in, the builder can't remove it without totally damaging it. Apparently he has done something to make it look more even, but I haven't seen it since then so can't comment. His excuse was that because it is an old house, it is not square. Well derrrr! However this pathetic excuse dosn't explain the fact that the kitchen door is in the part of the house that he built from scratch so it should be bloody well square! Grrrrrrr.

It is not the only thing that is all wonky either. In the main bathroom the builder didn't install the door posts in line with each other - one is about 18mm out of line, so the waterproofer used these posts to line up his metal thingy that holds the tilebed, which is not straight, which means the tiles at the door had to be cut all crooked and it's quite obvious. Double grrrrrrr! Honestly, are there any tradesmen around these days that actually do a half decent job and measure things properly before they install things? My guess is no.

The third gripe is about the kitchen installers. Instead of measuring properly (surprise surprise) they just installed the kitchen units flush against the wall, which is not square (it is one of the original internal walls) so when the stonemason went to measure for the benchtop he basically stated that no way was he going to install a benchtop while the cabinets were all out of line. So we had to get the kitchen installers back in to re-install the cabinets so the fronts were in line, not the backs, and hopefully this has all been done and the stonemason has measured for the benchtop and maybe if we are really lucky it is getting made right now to be installed next week! Phew.

Anyway, here are the most recent photos.

The tiles in the main bathroom. So obviously out of whack. Well, the tiles are straight, but the doorway isn't. Absolutely nothing we can do about it now either.

One side of the kitchen. Dallas is also annoyed that the top of the fridge space is white, and not the same as the cabinets. Apparently it is very obvious. He has a bit of left over panel that he is going to get a cabinet-maker to install so the fridge space looks like the rest of it. Also, Kitchen Connection "forgot" to order the glass door for the microwave cabinet, so we are waiting for that.

The second part of the kitchen where the sink and dishwasher will go. They should all be straightened out by now, hopefully!

The kitchen door - currently about as straight as a dog's hind leg. I have no idea what the builder can do to "fix" it but no way will it be a job well done. Maybe they'll reinstall the cornice on all crooked as well so it's not so obvious.

Some photos of the ensuite bathroom and marble freize. It turned out really well, probably because the tiler is a mate of Dallas's and actually does good work.

Anyway, that's it for now. A whole lot of boring things are happening as well eg gas and stormwater getting connected (whole road had to be dug up for that ha ha!). Plastering is being finished and internal painting will start soon. We (I) picked a neutral wall colour called White Shadow (Wattyl colour) which is a very pale pinky brown to compliment the tiles, carpet and timber floor. We are thinking of doing a feature wall but can't figure out a colour just yet - I'm leaning to a dark browny-red but who knows. Also thinking about doing a very big desert scene in oils (approx 6ft x 4ft) to hang on this wall as well. Framed by deep red it should look good.

Once the carpet is laid in the bedrooms and the walls are painted, the floors will be sanded and polished. Estimated date of us moving back in is early March - right when I go back to uni... good timing huh?

Saturday, 5 January 2008

Winter in Graz

January invitation to paint on Wet Canvas. Not from one of my own photos unfortunately - although I would love to visit one day.

Tuesday, 1 January 2008

Binnalong Bay

Binnalong Bay in north eastern Tasmania. One of the prettiest beaches I have ever visited.

Surfers Paradise Skyline

Surfers Paradise (Gold Coast) with the Q1 building (worlds tallest apartment building) as seen from Coolangatta.

Friday, 28 December 2007

Two more paintings

My office has pretty much shut down over the Xmas break so I've knocked up two quick beach paintings in my spare time when not doing the Christmas thing.

This is Dallas on the beach at Broadbeach looking south towards Coolangatta from a pic taken earlier this year when we took a day trip to the Gold Coast. Done on watercolour canvas - not an experience I will undertake again. Not only is it rather expensive, but it is difficult to use and the colour lifts off way to easily making it hard to use multi layers of glazes. Finished last week.

I was inspired to drag out some old holiday snaps from our trip to Tassie last year. This is Wineglass Bay from the Hazards Lookout on the eastern coast of Tassie. A truly beautiful part of the world. Finished today.

Anyway, I'll probably do a heap more before I go back to work on Jan 2 since it is raining non-stop at the moment due to a low off the coast that will miraculously disappear as soon as my holidays are over. I was hoping to take a day trip to Moreton Island and get some more pics of the beach and wrecks for some paintings, but that is unlikely since there is no point if it is not nice and sunny. At least Xmas day was partly sunny - enough to drive to Manly and spend it eating huge prawns by the "beach".

Sunday, 16 December 2007

The floor is down!

Woo Hoo! The part I have been waiting and waiting for, apart from the fitout of the kitchen and bathrooms of course. Our new rosewood floor was laid on Friday, and it looks good! The internal stairs are in as well, they were installed earlier in the week and last but not least, the deck railings went on during the week as well. Oh yeah - the wall of doors to the deck and the french door in the second bedroom were installed too. It was obviously a busy week for Michael (our builder) as he probably wants to get as much done before breaking for Xmas.

In other, less exciting news, the waterproofing for all three bathrooms has been laid - very stinky!!! and Pat our tiler will start tiling the top two bathrooms on Friday, because the floor tiles won't arrive from Sydney until Thursday. The wall tiles were delivered by yours truly yesterday, and I can tell you it is not fun unloading 15 boxes of tiles from the back of my Excell all by my little self. The poor Excell didn't think much of transporting that much weight in the back either.

Anyway, enough of the blather - lets see the pics!

Looking up from just inside the main entrance. The stairs are made of Kwila, which is a native timber from Indonesia/Malaysia. Hopefully not from illegal, rainforest logging though.

Looking down the stairs from the living area. This pic still shows the old floor of course. And yes, there will be a handrail and balustrade going in so I don't fall down the stairs in the middle of the night ha ha.

And now for the main event....

The new floor looking in from the upstairs front door, stairwell directly to the right. At the moment it is a pale pinky colour which will darken with age, and also slightly once it is sanded and polished. We are going for a satin finish instead of the usual high-gloss.

The kitchen - looking toward the back door and deck.

From the kitchen again, looking the other way towards the pantry. That wall in front is the only original interior wall still standing and the main bedroom is on the other side.

Looking toward the back, right corner of the house (where the original kitchen was). You can see the doors leading onto the deck and the doorway leads to the main bathroom and two smaller bedrooms.

Looking back towards the wall of doors (there are 5 in all). The kitchen is on the other side of that wall.

Just pics of the floor itself to show the colour and grain.

Looking in towards the front door from the deck. The room on the right is the main bedroom - you can just see the doorway near the stairs.

The deck complete with railings. Dallas chose a "lady's waist" stule of rail which is rounded on top, nipped in the middle and flat on the bottom. I wanted a flat railing so you could set your bevvy down anywhere on the deck without it spilling. We also chose a "tulip" pattern for the feature railings, which are bloody expensive at $7.00 each.

. And finally, the wall of doors from the outside. These will be left open most of the time we are home so we get the cool breezes all through the house, along with the flies and bugs. The thing is, outdoor living is pretty much essential in most places these days, so a house without an indoor/outdoor living area is pretty passe. Now if only it had an ocean view...

Anyway, thats all from the house for now. I don't expect much to be happening with it over the next few weeks due to Christmas / New Years apart from whatever they get completed over the next week eg finishing the plastering and cornices. The bathroom floors should be done by the end of the week, but I doubt the walls will be done before Pat goes on holidays. We'll see.

Monday, 10 December 2007

Reno Update - Week 3026

Well, that's what it feels like anyway ;-D

Actually, quite a bit has been done in the past few weeks since my last post. The painters got most of the job done before they had to move on to another job. Unfortunately they won't be back now until February. We got them to make sure the front and top story were pretty much done since they needed the scaffolding to do it, and it was removed last weekend. There are still some parts that need weatherboards too, so of course those bits weren't painted.

The front all painted, well except for one wall in the verandah which hasn't been competely boarded up yet. It looks so much better now all the scaffolding has been removed.

The downstairs living room and the entrance hall. All of the granny flat has finally been gyprocked and is much lighter than it was. The internal staircase will be installed next week and will lead up from a doorway just near the front wires sticking out the wall.

Upstairs looking towards the front door from the back deck. The ceiling has all been finished today. The staircase will be where the floorboards have been removed to where the left wall is. Looking forward to having it finally installed.

The main bedroom looking towards the front window and the new walk-in-robe. The ensuite is just to the right.

Saturday was spent choosing tiles, carpet for the bedrooms and interior paint colours. I decided (note the "I") that the upstairs bathrooms will have chocolate floor tiles and a dark brown marble mosaic frieze which dosn't end up being very expensive at all. The vanities Dallas has baught are all white. We also decided on a chocolate brown plush pile carpet for the bedrooms which goes quite well with most floor colours so shouldn't clash with the rosewood floors. Interior walls will be an off-white and we will pick a colour for a feature wall after the floor is laid, if we have a feature wall. I like them, but maybe they are becoming too dated? Not sure yet but the verdict is open at the moment. The downstairs bathroom will be dealt with later - we had to order the upstairs bathroom tiles in a hurry because our tiler has to start the job next Monday before he leaves for Xmas holidays.

Another last minute change that was made (my fault) is that instead of boring old bunker lights on the front verandah I suggested we have traditional coach lights. I walked past a house one evening last week and the coachlights all lit up looked so romantic and old fashioned classy I convinced Dallas we should have them instead. It meant doing a wee bit of moving around of electrical wires, but not a big job. The end effect will be much nicer I think.

At the moment we are sort of on schedule to move back in sometime in February. It won't be totally finished, but it will be about 95% done and what isn't done isn't really important anyway.

Sunday, 9 December 2007

Two new paintings

The Beachwalker - Brooms Head.

This is actually my darling other half painted from one of the pics I took on our short break last summer. There was a bit of an afternoon change coming through which made a dramatic backdrop to the afternoon sun. My favourite part of this painting is the sparkles on the water which turned out surprisingly well I thought. Much better than expected anyway.


This is a quick painting I did this afternoon from a photo reference on WetCanvas. Every month there is an invitation to paint a scene from somewhere in the world, and this one is a springhouse (whatever that is) in Lancaster P.A. Not a scene I would normally choose to paint - way too much bright green foliage and a distinct lack of red desert sand or ocean. The point is to get outside your comfort zone, so in that regard I was successful. Not so much in regards to the actual quality of work though...