Saturday, February 26, 2011

Up, up and away ....

... in the morning we will fly up to Queensland to spend a week with Russ, Shannon and their little ones, Evelynne and Liam.
It's exactly a month since we farewelled all but Russ at Canberra Airport, and they've had a busy time since then moving into their own home.
I'm sure Liam will have grown quite a lot in that time; Evelynne will have learnt lots more words; while Russ and Shannon have been trying to childproof their yard, paint the house, unpack their belongings, and do a million and one other things.
Hence this visit from Grandma and Grandpa. I'm sure we'll find plenty to keep us occupied, ie, housework, cooking, grandchild minding and cuddling, definitely gardening and maybe even some painting. My gardening gloves and secatuers are already packed.
In spare moments we'll be able to explore the neighbourhood and just relax with this family whom we've seen so rarely in the past few years.
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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Household changes ...

When Russell and Shannon decided to go to Belgium to live and work we readily agreed to store all their furniture in, around and under our house for the ONE year that they would be away.

Four and a half years later they returned to Australia, married and with two children and with a house interstate to move into. A busy few days were spent sorting, repacking and loading furniture and effects onto a hired truck which Russell drove to their new home.
It wasn't all work though and there was still some time to play with 2 year old Evie and get to know 8 week old Liam, as well as chat to Russ and Shannon. At last almost everything was packed, and sadly, the family departed - excited at the prospect of being in the first home of their own, but also aware of all the work ahead of them. We are very much looking forward to our first visit in early May. I am assured there will be plenty of gardening to do (don't mind if it is only weeding), and lots of cuddle time with the grandchildren.
The blue room hasn't remained empty for long - I had big plans for it. My new sewing room has emerged, and I love it. It's much larger and lighter than the one I had previously, which was on the south side of the house and didn't let in much light.

My plans included buying flatpack cupboards and shelves, and big crates for fabrics and little tubs or baskets for haby items. We searched the shops for shelves and cupboards, and couldn't find what I wanted, mainly because I didn't really know what it was that I wanted.
So I moved the sewing cabinet and the machines, then did a little measuring and found that my old kitchen table fitted in nicely as did a set of bookshelves when placed on top of the table (you don't want the shelves back, do you, Michelle?). Crates of fabrics fitted into the wardrobe and under the table, and there was still room for the sewing table with the side(s) either raised or folded down. Add in the ironing board and the clothes rack, blue and white baskets on the shelves, a chair, a fan, and something to play music on and I'm all set! Oh, I almost forgot two little yellow and blue ducks on the window sill (you don't want them back, do you Sara?).
We needed to find a home for stuffed toy bears which the grandchildren all seem to want to take to bed with them when visiting, plus a wombat, a penguin and Tanya's earless lamb, and now they're keeping the top shelf dust free.

The loungeroom too seemed to have acres of space now that several pieces of furniture had gone - Richard won't be able to watch two television sets at once any more - and after making good use of Shannon's roomy loungesuite for four years, we suddenly had nowhere to sit. Well, that's not quite true. We could rustle up 24 dining chairs and 4 other assorted chairs, but none of them suitable for a tired TV watcher. I find it difficult to sit up straight and watch my favourite programs when I'm nearly falling asleep, and off the chair. We have bought a new suite (2 recliners and a couch) but it won't arrive for another two months.
So the first project for my new sewing room was to cover two deck chairs which Richard repainted three years ago, and we bought new fabric at the same time, but it sat buried in a tatty cardboard box. I was quite pleased with the result even though the fabric wasn't quite long enough and I had to join pieces, and it's an irregular pattern which is why they don't look quite the same.
I finished them with Velcro strips, which I didn't fully trust to hold my weight, so added buttons for good measure. Okay, so the buttons are odd but the colours aren't too bad, and I even sewed each buttonhole and button with matching thread - how's that for being pedantic?