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April 18, 2012 / MildlyCrafty

Ready for drying clothes and summer!

The last two outside items to finish were done this week.
Firstly the clothes line arrived.  It’s powder coated the same colour as the wall so it blends in a bit.  I’ve tested it out and fits our queen size sheets without having to fold or scrunch them up which is great!
The biggest item was the pergola!  It arrived in pieces and just had to be bolted together onsite.  It still took them five hours to install it though.
The delivery guy posed for the photo :)
It’s hard to take photos in the afternoon light here but I think you can see it well enough.  It’s matt black powder coated steel with galvanised wires and I think it looks awesome!  They did such a neat job, every detail is perfect.  I’m very impressed.
We’re going to grow a grapevine over it that comes from a cutting of my parents vine which itself came from a cutting of the vine at the house I grew up in.  It should look something like this in a few years time (this is my parents vine a few days ago).  It’s an ornamental variety so it doesn’t actually have grapes on it, just looks pretty.
March 27, 2012 / MildlyCrafty

Bye bye birch tree

The poor birch tree did not survive the building process very well and gave up the ghost early last summer.  We had it removed and the stump grubbed out today.  It only took them 20 minutes or so, they were amazingly efficient.

Check out the lean on the power pole!  I didn’t realise it was so bad!  I just called the power company and reported it.  It would be very bad if it fell on the house!!!
March 20, 2012 / MildlyCrafty

Garden furniture

Our Luxembourg chairs and table from Cotswold arrived yesterday.  Love em!

March 15, 2012 / MildlyCrafty

More garden photos

All the planting* is finished now and the lawn is in.  Now we just have to wait for it to grow :)
It makes such a difference to the feel of the house.  Now I can hear wind rustling through the bamboo and see the light and shadows changing through the day.  It’s wonderful!
*  actually there’s one section where we have to get council permission to take out a tree that is dying that hasn’t been planted yet, but it’s close enough to call it done!
Kalamata olives.
The photo above is of the fellas who are going to build the pergola measuring up.  The pergola will be black painted steel with galvanised wire and cover that whole paved area.   It’ll take a few years but I’m really looking forward to sitting under our grapevine :)
Mulch!  How cute is that old truck!
More plants delivered yesterday.
Lillydale turf!  We got a little showbag with it that had a proper book on how to care for your lawn and a “keep of the lawn” sign :)
Pineapple plants!  (not the real kind of pineapple, just a flower that looks like them)
I think this is brown sedge.
Top-dressing the lawn with sand helps to keep it damp and helps to make sure it’s flat and even (looks a bit crappy though).
500 little dichondra!
Back lawn, yellow iris in front of the retaining wall.
March 7, 2012 / MildlyCrafty


OMG the garden is going in, so exciting!

February 18, 2012 / Matt

The Hifi Setup

Designing and building our own house gave me an opportunity to have the the hifi set up exactly how I wanted it.   There are always compromises, but I’m very happy with what we ended up with.

When designing the electrics in the house, I wanted to be sure we had plenty of power-points.  I wanted to be sure I never had to use another powerboard or double-adapter ever again.  While unpacking I took this photo showing all the powerboards we were using in the previous house (lots!!).   And I’m happy to say there isn’t a single one used in our new house!  Yay!

All the hifi components are housed in cupboards in our living toom.   As you can see in the photo below, there are 4 power-points (8 outlets).  The electrician thought I was crazy…. but now I’m using almost all of them (without power-boards!)
The cupboards doors are retractable so we can keep this open for easy access to all the components.
Now for the best bit.  This cupboard backs onto the under-stair storage space.   This is where all the wiring for the house is centralised (speakers, telephone, ethernet).     I had an opening made between the hifi cupboard and this space which made it easy to connect things up and keep everything tidy.
This shot shows the opening and all the cabling, network hub, ADSL modem, NAS. and one of the Sonos units.  It also shows the shelves I put up on Australia Day.  I’m not very handy, so was pretty pleased with the result.  (There’s also a few power-points in this room too – some above the opening and more in the shelving).

December 15, 2011 / MildlyCrafty

We’re in!

That’s right ,we quietly moved in at the end of October!
I was waiting until we had the house tidy to take some photos but couldn’t wait any longer so here’s some taken as is, no fancy styling here!
So happy to finally be in!!
The crazy paving in Castlemaine slate is almost completed and it looks awesome!  There’s been lots of digging and mud around this week so it’s looking a bit dirty in this photo but trust me it’s fabulous in person.  This photo is of our north facing courtyard, we’re in the process of arranging a pergola which we’ll grow an ornamental vine over.  The vine is actually a cutting from my parents vine which in turn was a cutting from the vine we had at my childhood home, which is a nice connection to have.  It turns an amazing rusty colour in Autumn but it’ll be quite a few years before there’s enough to provide much shade :)
This is also the north side of the house, looking east.  There will be a nice patch of lawn down there.
Standing on the “lawn” looking south-ish towards the garage.  That’s more paving there but you can hardly tell as there’s a lot of mud covering it.
Standing in the back north-east corner which will be the vegie patch.
From the side street.
The front door.  Getting in the festive spirit I put up a wreath but it’s so tiny you can hardly notice it amongst the mess :)  More crazy paving here.
The front garden.  They’re putting in new soil.
By the end of today it should be a lot cleaner and tidier here!
The front deck with assorted pots and stuff.  That’s our landscaper’s sign.
And one of my favourite things that we’ve done since we moved in was to put up these two fold out clothes airers.  We don’t have a clothes line yet and the clothes horses were driving me crazy as I have to put them in the lounge room and they take up a lot of room in the laundry when they’re folded up.  These things however are awesome, they’ll take a full load of washing and they’re right near the machine, so easy to use!  (if you’re interested they’re from Howards Storage World and have 9 rungs 120cm wide)
October 27, 2011 / MildlyCrafty

Un-freakin believable

This is where the 600mm wide oven is supposed to go, yeah, it’s 595mm.
I thought we were screwed!  Luckily we’ve got some brains between us and we managed to move this cupboard over by cutting down the filler piece on the right hand side and cutting a hole in the plaster and sliding the benchtop into the wall (so we didn’t have to get it cut down).  It was all fixed in half an hour, big “phew”!!
Painters, electricians and chippies workin hard.
September 29, 2011 / MildlyCrafty

Hard landscaping

The stone retaining wall has been finished and work has started on the hard landscaping.  They had an excavator in to remove a lot of clay and now they’re preparing the areas that will be paved with Castlemaine slate and digging foundations for the retaining walls.
In the photo below (looking out the kitchen door) the area that the excavator is sitting on will have a retaining wall in front of it, along the back fence there will be olive trees and we’ll have vegie beds in the middle.  Can’t wait to be able to potter around in the vegie garden again!
You can see the excavator through the window down the end there, that’s the east side of the house, on the left is the north side and you can see the lovely sun coming in and warming the concrete for passive solar heating.  That northern area you can see will be paved also with a narrow garden bed running along the fence.
The privacy screen on the western side has been completed too.  This side faces the street and the westerly afternoon sun which would blast through here in summer so we needed something to block it.  The screen is galvanised steel clad on the outside with 65mm silvertop ash and retracts into a cavity in the wall when not in use.
And most excitingly, the floor is being ground back today!  The floor was not adequately troweled smooth when it was laid, never fully sealed and not adequately protected during construction so it was rough, not level and badly stained from paint, plaster, grease etc and it looked crap.  But today all that should be remedied with a great big sander!  They’ll take off 1 or 2mm to level out the high and low spots and to get it smooth but hopefully without exposing the aggregate.  I can’t wait to see it!
And here’s a photo I took the other day from across the street.  Hopefully the curved sections will be finished next week so you won’t have the bright blue bits in the next photos :)  (I also can’t wait to get rid of that damn bright yellow site toilet)
August 24, 2011 / MildlyCrafty

New roof

The new roof for the lower level is going on today.  The old one had been crushed in dozens of places by all the people traipsing over it while trying to sort out the cladding issues.

(sorry about the ass view in this photo)
These are the new downpipes, we’ve changed them from square to round and there’s a bracket to hold it away from the wall so we can paint behind it when the cladding needs to be stained again.