Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas in Australia!!!

Christmas is very different here is Australia and I thought I would share some of what we do. I live in Townsville in far north tropical Queensland. It is summer and very very hot!!! About 32 C every day, nights are only a little bit cooler and very humid. So humid sometimes everything feels wet. There will be no cooking for our Chrissie fare. Cold meats, chicken and ham with lots of different salads and garlic bread. Ice cold fruit punch to drink. A spiked batch for the adults!! Maybe roast potatoes because we just love them so much. Seafood is a huge deal for Christmas lunch. Prawns are a must. Kids are outside playing in the water while the full stuffed adults lie back and 'supervise'. Pudding and custard for afters. We will be eating left overs for days. Aussie Christmas is very much an onslught of the digestive system. Too hot to do anything else but eat!
Townsville or the 'Ville' is where I live. You can see Magnetic Island as well. 

Boxing Day is usually spent at any one of the wonderful water parks are local council have available free of charge. The Strand Waterpark is one. Beach on one side and the city on the other. Surf life savers always patrol. We come here a lot.  I find a spot under a shady palm catching the see breeze in my camp chair while the kids get drenched.

We spend afternoons and nights here at The Strand. A walk way that stretches the length of the beach. The Waterpark is here, BBQ facilities, playgrounds, large park area for night markets. A pier that goes out into the water. For New Years Eve a pontoon is floated out and the fireworks are shown of it. Everyone gets a great view.

The Space Net on the beach for the kids, big and small. It's in front of the only stinger net in Townsville. Living in the tropics and having palm lined beaches and aquamarine water may look pretty but we don't swim in it!! Criminal I know. We have the box jellyfish which is about all Spring and Summer. It's sting can is extremely painful and can sometimes be fatal. So councils along the coast put up stinger nets every season so you can swim safely and they are always patrolled by trained life savers. So if anything should happen they can treat you immediately.
At the north end of the Strand is the Rock Pool. Nearly every summer it is closed at least once so that a crocodile or two can be removed!! Usually baby ones. Occasionally a reef shark will be washed in. They are harmless but still give you a fright.

A river goes through Townsville, I don't live far from it. Along it is more walkways that goes for kilometres. In one part we have another free water playground. It is two massive split level pools or lagoons joined by cascading waterfalls. The top one here has a gallery and cafe right on the water. There is seating and tables in the water! At night in summer a giant screen is put up and you sit in the water having a drink or two watching the latest movies. The bottom pool below is lined with giant trees and more for the kids. It is a wonderful place and my kids love it. As the weather is warm here all year round we can use these places all year. We may get a week or two in winter where I might throw on a jumper. We don't have heaters. Don't need them.

Our homes up here are like this. Called Queenslanders. The old ones are like this anyway. Mine is and we love it!! Always up on stilts to keep us cool and to keep flash flooding away. Always a verandah and lots of casement windows. But we do have air conditioning and I would be lost with out it on hot humid nights!!
We do hope this doesn't happen. This time of the year is cyclone season!! Cyclone Yasi hit us last February on my 40th Birthday!! But if is does then the Army is always there to lend a hand. We have two large military bases here. My brother in law is one of the guys who fixes helicopters. I am so lucky to have been able to go up in these incredible machines on three occasions now. It is such a buzz and a great way to see everything way up there. Yay to family days!! They are very loud though, very.

This is some of what I do here in Townsville and how we do Christmas.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Shameless Plug

This is as the title suggests, a plug!! For my sister's work!! Our views, life and loves etc are the exact same but what we are drawn to in styles is so very different. For her it is Tudor and Moroccan!! Here's a pic of her latest creation. More pictures can be seen on her blog http://lavenderbliu.blogspot.com.au/. Please have a look!!!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Tuscany in a Book

I was sooo frustrated in projects taking sooo long to complete (mostly due to the time it takes for mail to be delivered,  Aussie is a big country but dollhouse wares are not readily available and are cheaper to buy from overseas, that takes weeks!!) where was I? Yes, that I marched into my mini mess room and declared 'enough'!! Determined was I to do something that showed the fruit of my labours and choice use of frustrated language that I wasn't leaving till I had produced a something!! A finished something!!! Children you know how to use a microwave!! Mummy ain't coming out till there is the sound of 'wohoo I've done something!!'. The universe had heard me for as I walked into a favourite craft haunt I saw something I had given up on ever finding. A stash of those paper mache book box things. So wonderful for doing vignettes and the such. I had searched the proverbial high and low for months for something like this. When ever I was able to tackle down a staff member of any shop and enquire about such book box things I was always greeted with the bewildered look that one receives when speaking in another language. But I grabbed a few of these recycled paper beauties and took off home!! After going through my pile of placcy boxes of mini stash looking for doors and windows I was again agog at how much I had collected over the years. And still in all that Aladdin's Cave of miniature treasure I did not have door handles. ??? So I had to buy them online and am waiting the two-four weeks it will take for them to get here. Groan. But anyhoos here are some pics of my little bit of Tuscany. I have found all my Pascale Garnier kits while scrummaging amongst other things and will make this a conservatory of sorts. Wall fountain and the such. I have a battery wall light coming as well. They are so wonderful!! No wiring, ahhhh. Race is on to see which one will be here first, handles or light.

I placed a window in the back to allow more natural light to filter though.
The wonderful table was made by Susi at MiniEden Tienda on Etsy.

Cheers from the Eternally Sunny Land Down Under and be well!!!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

A Small Bit of Work Done

I got to finish a few more little things this week. I thought I would add a couple of photos. The suitcase and the pretty box on top of the cupboard I got from Susi at MiniEdenTienda on Etsy. I have only the bottom book store floor left to do on the townhouse. Then the fun of filling it full of lovely little things!! The French Revolution doll is called Genvieve. My boys wanted to know why she was wearing a pirate hat. They got a bit of a history lesson but still thought the idea of her being a pirate princess was far more interesting!! Be well!!!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

A Little Bit of This.

I have had a little bit of spare time while I have been waiting for stock to fill orders. I did that awful thing we have to do at least once a year, clean up my work room. Groan. Then I went through my stash of goodies. Furniture to be exact. I had very much forgotten how much I had accumulated over the years. Yikes. Anyways out came the paint stripper and I had some fun. Here's a few things I did over the weekend. I have listed all of them in my shop on Etsy. Wish it was this easy to make over RL furniture.
I adore this last painting. I don't know who it is done by unfortunately. Anyways back to it. I have a bed waiting to have it's corners and edges sanded. Then I'll have to go and buy more goodies!! There's space, albeit a little one, in my room now!!! My room will cave in from the vacuum!!!! Blessing to you all!!!!   Carriex

Monday, September 10, 2012

Attic Bedroom

It's been soooo long since I have been able to work on my own mini projects!!! I stole Sunday afternoon to get stuck into the Livres attic which will be a bedroom for my young Parisian. That is my niece Rebekah who like her aunt adores the French style of everything. The floor still to be whitewashed and baseboards to go in. A roof of course that helps. Needs to dirtified. Just two quick pictures. Got to get back into that other stuff that fills our lives and keeps us from being mini!! Thanks to all my new followers! Big thank you to everyone who has dropped by my Etsy shop! You are truly fabulous!!
Oh my goodness I nearly forgot to mention I am going to Rik Peirce Fair Rosamund's Bower course in March next year!!!! ARGH!!!! Happy dance, happy dance!!!! I was going to go to his last one in 2010 but a family tragedy put a stop to that. He was retiring but I found out he was doing one more and I got the last vacancy for the first course. Need to get  my passport application cracking! New Zealand here I come. Woot!!! My sister is coming along with. Big thank you to the New Zealand Government for offering the best website ever with driving routes, accommodation  and all that stuff all on one site. We plan on looking for some Hobbitses as well. Excitement or what!!! Bye for now!!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Little More Livres.

It has been a while since I posted!! My Etsy shop has kept me very busy. But I do put my evenings aside to work on the Maison de Livres. I hope to have it finished for my nieces graduation!! I have added a couple of photos of my recent progress. There's still tape on the floor. The room needs ageing and I don't want the floor to get too yukky. A fake door in the back room. Next door to this room is a little room we are calling the Lavender Room. Lavender coming from old French for launder or washing. This room is only a door width wide!! The doors on the corner cupboard aren't actually hinged in. I am a huge hinge fail. So they just pop in and out making it easy to fill. Both rooms have yet to be filled with paraphernalia an stuff. The attic bedroom will be next!!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

A Sink!

Just a quick pic. Sink is done, yay. All made out of cardboard and balsa, bit of cornice trim. Sorry for the terrible photo. Took it with my phone. I keep forgetting to buy new batteries for my camera! Cannisters are from MiniEden Tienda on Etsy. Love them. Will have to get some more I think.

Bye for now and be well!!!!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Salon Livre.

The book house has a lounge at last. Well mostly. For the time being anyway. I am always changing things. I only got two photos before my camera politely shut itself down and told me a need new batteries. Snap!! So here are the only two pics I got. The wallpaper was the perfect shade of green I wanted. It's scrap booking paper. The fireplace is lovely and from Art of mini. Everything is made from cardboard, foamboard and balsa. I had wanted to do more frenchified panelling in this room but not one single wall was square!! The back wall bowed out. So I had to do each wall independant of the ones next to it and add balsa strips to cover up gaps when the wall peices were glued in place. Even then it moved heaps!! Yay for thick gesso. Arrgh but more of a challenge that way. There is a fake door at the back in the fake hallway leading to fake stairs to get to the rooms above which won't be fake. Great way of doing stairs. Don't.  I haven't glued in the french doors. Thought it might be bit of a trick trying to change light globes in the hallway with the doors in place permanently. So they pop in very snuggly. There's a non working chandelier to go in again from Art of Mini and more timber beams in white on the ceiling. I ran out of balsa. To ceiling rose or not to ceiling rose is still the question. Froggified furniture to be shabbied. Lots of cushions. A gramophone with Edith Piaf records. We are huge Edith fans. Scruffy books, brocante finds and all sorts of other mini goodies an 18yr old in Paris would bring home to fill it up now. Fun.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Bicycle Makeover

I had bought this so long ago I had forgotten I even had it. I came across it looking for something else, got sidetracked painting up the bike that I now can't remember what it was I was looking for in the first place!!! But I thought the Maison de Livre would like a little old basketed bicycle leaning up against it's walls but there's way too much black! I just used a fine gesso on areas I would want to paint. Painted it in washes of lavender n soft blue. The leather looking seat it just made from heavy paper glued over and I squished it in around the edges like old leather would do. I glued two spiral like jewelry findings under the seat to be springs. I didn't get a photo of that. A basket on the front. Timber board on the back with a wicker case on it. All good to go. It was a lot of fun to do. Think I might have to get another one or two to do.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Warm Thatcham Nearing Completion.

This photo is showing the back removable wall in place. There is a roof panel as well that is held in  place with magnets.

Photos are a bit all over the place sorry. Blogger keeps changing and I haven't been blogging enough to keep up with the changes!! I'll add more external photos later. But now that both my boys are at school I have been revelling in all that time to myself!!! So I pulled my litte house out of the corner and got to work. The kitchen and upstairs area have remained mostly unchanged. The garden now has it's daffodils, bluebells and cyclamen. The lounge area more cluttered. Now if I could just shrink myself and all who wish to visit.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Water Everywhere!!!

I haven't had too much time for minis. My Etsy shop has kept me very busy and my youngest has been home from school for over a week now with a nasty cold. The weather here gets pretty crazy at this time of the year is well. As you can see by the photo below. It's not called the wet season for nothing. Torrential tropical rain!!! This is what happens when we get a downpour. Sometimes my street can flood up to four times a day! It was just a little one when I took this picture last week. That's my bin you can see lying down on the lawn. It was further up the street and it had  floated down. I have a very nice neighbour and he has brought my wandering bin back for me many times.

The picture below is looking outside my bedroom window. There is a street under all that water. The thing is it is still very very hot and humid. This was taken at 5am and it was already hot. So I stay inside all summer and do minis!!! It's the dry season we get out and play!!! That's Autumn,Winter and Spring. Eight months of beautiful weather!!!!

So back into my cool house to do more minis!!!! I'll pop my head out the door occasionally to see if the street has gone under again and check that my bin is still in it's moorings. Hoo roo!!!!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

A Start for Maison de Livre

What a start to the new year!! Crazy as usual. I hope it means it is all getting itself out of the way now and the rest of the year is quiet. My computer crashed twice, under my house flooded ( the Esky was the first floatation device to find its way out into the street), lost the Internet soooo many times, my roof leaked in my mini room so all furniture moved out and sooo many other things happened that I need a holiday to have a rest from the holidays!  And Blogger has all changed, argh. It doesn't like long posts it seems and wants page break. ??? Hellloooo says 2012!!
Deep breath in and out. I started this Parisian inspired townhouse with book shop on the bottom floor for my niece nearly a year ago. I've lost a year!!!! The main problem was as always I had too many ideas. I couldn't decide. Soooo many ways to do a Parisian townhouse with a book shop on the ground floor. Then life came in as it does and filled in the little areas of quiet bits I had left and Maison de Livre (book house) got pushed to the scary grey area and never seen again. Up against a wall behind Greenleaf kits that is. Then the wonderful Christine Lea Frisoni started up her blog and the wonderful ease in which she does her beautiful homes helped clear up my messy head. I knew I didn't have the room for stairs and was trying desperately to get my head around that. I knew I had to give the illusion of there being more to this tall house as it was a skinny bookcase in a former life. Not a whole lot of room, just a lot of rooms. With my inspiration freshly awakened from it's coma I got stuck into it. So after nearly 12 months of face pulling I did the kitchen in a week. Insane isn't it. I like to tell myself that I used that time to collect all the bits n pieces I needed for it. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it. I started with the entrance. A room 5cm x 12cm wasn't too much to take on and easy to rip out and start again if it was awful. I used heavy cardboard for just about everything. Bristol board is relatively unheard of in the Land Downunder. Gesso, my best friend, on everything. Use it as a spak when need to. Comes of my clothes very easily. The range is a cheaper one made over to look more Frenchified. I drilled a hole in the back and have put in a flame flicker globe. It comes with a flue but I didn't want to use that so I glued a finding over the hole so the fire light will flicker through. I painted over all of it with a matt black to give the look of cast iron and change the handle and knobs to ones more in scale. Everything else is made from balsa. I love balsa because it's soft and easy to work with. I hate balsa because it's soft and hard to work with.

The tiles I made myself. It is something I thought of quite some time ago and it was great to finally give it a go. They came out way better than I expected. I have some tiles coming and I will be doing some more to put in my Etsy shop. They are easy to put in and give a great look.There are also sooo many designs out there. I have found some wonderful Art Nouveau ones for the bathroom. Rebekah had a look at her kitchen over the weekend and I took the squeals of delight coming from my mini room as a good sign.