Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Project Life: Week 34

Late yesterday afternoon, Mike and I got really busy painting the primer onto the walls and ceiling of the art studio… and I’m desperate to show you… which means I really do have to catch up with my Project Life album so here’s Week 34 – August 17th to 23rd.


This winter we’ve had so much rain… and we’ve also had lots of really cloudy days so we’ve been doing our washing once a week and taking it to the laundrette to get it dry.  I’m super looking forward to just being able to hang things on the line again!

As you probably already know, Toby is quite partial to ‘treats’… which usually come in the form of things he probably really shouldn’t be eating but Mike has been buying big bags of brisket bones and Toby loves them!  Mike wraps each one up in glad wrap and then pops it in the freezer and now I’ve discovered that he warms them up a bit in the microwave before giving them to Toby… my boy is so spoilt!!

There’s been more baking going on as well.  While watching TV one night Mike mentioned that he felt like something sweet so I decided to bake a batch of peanut butter and chocolate chip cookies.  I experimented a bit with the shape of them and Mike posted them onto Facebook.  One of my friends mentioned that the ‘rustic’ cookies looked a bit like a dog turd… so now I’ve gone back to shaping them again!

In other baking news… Krystal found a recipe on the internet for gingernut cookies and gave it a go… the results were delicious!

Here’s a close up of the start of the week:LEFT_1

Dad has a few friends who get together on a regular basis for Friday lunches.  They call their little group ‘The Last of the Summer Wine’ so when I saw a card with lots of ‘more mature’ men sitting on the park benches I knew it would be perfect for Dad’s birthday… plus I actually got it posted on time!  Dad really loved the card too so that was a huge bonus.

This week it was the floor of the art studio to get all the attention.  Over a period of a couple of days Mike got to use lots of ‘man tools’ to prep the floor.  First up he ‘sanded’ the floor with an industrial grinder which was attached to a large vacuum… perfect for catching the bulk of the dust!

Then he managed to score some paint that was perfect for painting onto the concrete.  It was a two-part paint which means it’s going to be really strong.  The paint had been sitting around for a long time so Mike grabbed a big paint stirrer that attached to his electric drill and it worked the paint together without Mike having to do all the work… actually it did it so well that I’m looking forward to having a go with it myself!

Next up Mike used a brush to do all the edges and tricky bit of the floor and then he was able to do the rest with the roller.  The floor got a sand down in between and it’s now had two coats put on it and it’s fully cured.  The colour is a very neutral grey and it’s going to be super easy to wash down and clean.

While we’re on the subject of paint… I’ve finally found some ‘vintage paint’ to use on my desk.  I also bought some ‘vintage wax’ to put on top of the paint to protect it.  I’m looking forward to starting work on my desk but first I have to find somewhere to actually do the work!

Here’s a close up of the rest of the week:RIGHT_1

On Saturday we went around to visit Krystal and drop some stuff off to her and she was busy in her garden.  She’s been really getting into growing seeds lately and she’s got them growing in all sorts of containers.  She’s even drilled holes in the bottom of a couple of buckets to use for growing garlic and vegetables.  She’s quite industrious and has strawberries growing as well.

After we’d visited Krystal, Mike dropped me off to Third Place to have lunch with Chris, Carey and their mum’s.  It was Chris’ birthday so it was lovely to meet up for a late lunch together.  I’ll easily be able to remember both Chris and Dad’s birthday’s now!

Getting back to painting the art studio floor… poor Toby really wanted to be involved and he definitely didn’t want to be shut in the house on a lovely day… but he just wouldn’t listen to instructions so in the end we parked one of the cars outside the art studio and put Toby on the backseat.  Problem solved!

He was most put out when we placed the chairs in front of the doorway to create a barrier because he just wanted to go IN… he was even more put out the next day when Mike was inside the art studio and we kept telling Toby NO!

On Sunday we headed out for our first bike ride since we got back from Dad’s at Labour Weekend!  It had been about 2 1/2 months of bad weather and busy weekends so it was wonderful to head out together for a day.  We headed over to Tauranga because Mike had a few hours of work to do at the Mount and I took my book to read. 

After Mike had finished work we went to Columbus Cafe at Gate Pa and had brunch.  I ordered French toast with bacon and banana and Mike ordered himself a Big Breakfast and he was pretty stoked with it!  We had a great trip home on the bike and it was a lovely end to our week.

All in all it was a busy and productive week :)

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Project Life: Week 33

It’s been a horrible, wet and rainy day today… absolutely perfect for working on my Project Life pages!  Here’s an overview of Week 33 (10th – 16th August)


This week started off with some bartering!  Mike made a deal with the guy from the second hand place to exchange our old roller door for some demolition firewood… he even managed to get them to do the pick up and delivery!  When they turned up with the firewood the guys offered to stack it all up in the woodshed for me so who was I to complain about that?

I also took the locking mechanism from the French doors down to a local locksmith to see if he could help us out.  The keys were missing and the lock was full of paint, dust and spiders webs.  I left the whole mechanism with them for a couple of hours and when I went back it was opening and closing beautifully plus they’d cut me two keys… and all for $20!

Here’s a better look at the start of the week:LEFT_1

I’ve been enjoying baking and cooking lately and Mike is actually quite a fan of the whole ‘meat and three veg’ thing… definitely not my style!  I have to admit that I’ve been perfecting my sausage casseroles and mashed potatoes and peas (Mike’s favourite!).  This week I made meatballs with spaghetti and Mike LOVED it!  Of course we had some grated cheese on top and I even made a little guacamole which I really liked.

On my last visit to the library I picked up some recipe books for making ice cream.  I’m definitely drawn to cook books with beautiful pictures and this one had some great recipes in it… along with the most gorgeous photography!


I haven’t shown Mike the recipes in the book yet but I think if I served something like this for dessert it might just blow his mind!

imageMadagascan vanilla ice cream between oatmeal and raisin cookies

Best I get back on track again…  This week I’ve heard from both my girls.  Mikayla sent me some photos of her latest hair colouring.  She quite often sends me photos and I love to see what she’s up to down in Invercargill… she’ll be coming home for a visit in just a few short weeks and I can’t wait to see her again!

Krystal also came around for a visit this week.  She was feeling a little under the weather which was probably due to the huge amount of pollen there seems to be at the moment.  She fancied some Indian takeaways for lunch and Toby was more than happy to share with her. 

I also found some time to work on my project album.  Working at the dining room table is actually pretty good because I’ve got an excellent view over the park and there’s plenty of light.

On the weekend things went rapidly ahead with the art studio as well.  Toby has this thing where he has to tell on ‘Daddy’.  He’ll come and tell me what Mike is up to and if I think it’s a good idea Toby acts like he’s part of it too… but if I’m not so sure Toby acts like he was trying to help me by telling me… basically he’s a big nark who’s just looking out for himself!

Mike went down to get some more wood on Saturday.  He’d decided to build something in front of the French doors to help make it look good and also cut down on the mess going inside… mostly from Toby I suspect! 

At first he called it a patio… an area, usually paved, adjoining a house and used as an area for outdoor lounging, dining, etc. but that didn’t seem quite right…

Then he called it a deck… an open, unroofed porch or platform extending from a house or other building. But it was too close to the ground for that.

I was trying to explain to my sister what Mike was building and she said… “Oh that’s called a LANDING”… Mike was quite taken with that so now I have a ‘landing’ at the front of the art studio!

Here’s a closer look at the rest of the week:RIGHT_1

On Saturday afternoon I got busy in the kitchen and made a roast for dinner.  We had rolled roast beef with gravy… roasted vegetables… roasted garlic and Yorkshire puddings.  Mike had never had Yorkshire puddings before but he’s definitely keen on having them again!  The best part was that I was able to save half of what I cooked so that we could have the rest for dinner on Sunday night!

On Sunday morning Danny came around to help Mike do the gib stopping.  They decided we needed to do a bit of a trip to Bunnings for some more supplies so Toby and I went along for the ride. 

Mike had been telling Danny about how we’ve had a few sausage sizzles at Bunnings so he bought us all one… and one for Toby as well.  In spite of what the photo looks like Toby absolutely loved the sausage sizzle and now every time we mention Bunnings he gets quite excited!

While the guys were busy in the art studio I got busy in the kitchen and did some baking for them… chocolate chip cookies and a pavlova roll.  I also tried out one of the recipes from my new ice cream book… rum & raisin!  Mike would tell you that it’s absolutely delicious but then he might have to share it!

While they were taking a break from the art studio Mike and Danny started making up a ‘tool wall’ in the man cave.  I jokingly asked him if he was going to draw around all his tools at which point Danny said ‘I TOLD YOU!’   It does look pretty good having his tools on display like that and it’s certainly easier for him to find what he needs!

So there you have it… another week in our lives.  I hope you’re all having a good week and managing to stay out of this crazy weather!