Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas KATcapers Style

Christmas 2012 is almost over.

At the house of KATcapers it has been all about rest and relaxation.

We stayed home. We didn't overcommit ourself (read myself) in the catering department and a peaceful and fulfilling day was had by all.

Prawns, Ham and salad with the Pavlova eaten later in the day because we were all too full to do it justice.

Silly hats, silly jokes, silly conversation around our little table whilst Sally (the dog) sat on one of the new pillow pets being fed the occasional morsel of ham.

I hope your festivities have been as enjoyable?

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Advent Calender Craft - Growing Seeds of Love

We're starting a new Advent Calender tradition this year at KATcapers.

The idea evolved organically. I knew that I wanted to use brown envelopes and a pinboard (recycling one that I've had for a while).  When I was out buying paint at Murobond I saw these seed envelopes

Once I started playing around with positioning them on the board I began to reflect on the fact that they were seed envelopes.

Seeds. Growing. Love.

I realized that there was a way to link the anticipation of christmas and the birth of our saviour with the love that we are growing within our little family.  Loving each other is a very important life lesson that Saint Mike and I want to teach our KATs.  Loving each other in spite of our differences.  Knowing that whatever happens, we are here for each other.

So, our Advent Calender has become a ritual that will have significance each year and will produce a 'crop' of love via notes we will write to each other each Advent season.

The way it works is:
  1. Each of the KATs writes two notes to their siblings and mum and dad (3 X 8 = 24)
  2. The note can be something you love about the person or something you admire about them or something you've appreciated that they've done for you (Littlest KAT draws a picture at the moment as she can't write)
  3. Mum and Dad write one note for each KAT and one to each other (2 X 5 = 10)
  4. The notes are placed in the envelope randomly (some obviously have two notes per day)
  5. Each day we will open the envelope for that date and a family member will get a special message of love
  6. Each day the person that gets the note will get a chocolate that they can each eat or give to someone else (hmmmmnnnn we'll see how this goes!!!)
  7. Each year we will put the notes in a keepsake box and save them so that as the years pass we can re read them and hopefully cherish them:)

The girls all helped with putting the Advent Calender together - stamping the title, stamping the envelopes, attaching the red striped ribbon. 

I put it all together last night in readiness for today.  It is obviously a couple of days late but this is due to Middle KAT being very unwell over the weekend and ending up in emergency needing anti nausea medication and fluids....she's on the mend now!

Getting this Advent Calender completed is the first thing I have done in the way of Christmas decorating.  Saint Mike is itching to get his lights up.  The KATs are itching to get the inside decorations up.  I think we're going to have some busy evenings around here!

I'd love to know what you think?  Like?? 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Trolley Dolly Reveal

Here she is folks.  The Trolley Dolly makeover is complete and if I do say so I'm rather pleased with the result.  Her new paint finish is Murobond "2 Peas" a colour from the range designed by the interior stylist and alround creative guy Mr Jason Grant

I'm a romantic at heart and choosing paint colours for my little (and not so little) furniture finds is an exercise in indulging those romantic tendencies...hence a quick trip to Bunnings and choosing from the Dulux (or other brand) paint display isn't enough for me.  No I'm attracted to paints that tell a story and Murobond ticks all the boxes for me.

The store is a sensory delight and the range of colours on offer makes me feel like a kid in a candy store.

In the case of this colour I chose to pick up the colours in the fabric of the pinboard above the desk.  They are calming colours and the blues and greens at the top of the board are my favourite tones.  So "2 Peas" was a winner!

This shot is of the top of the board that sits just above my laptop screen.  The two little items are a daily reminder that I need to stay strong and not let the nasty voices in my head beat me down.
Anyway, back to the Trolley Dolly....
Look there's no getting around it, the Trolley Dolly is not destined for a glamorous life.  She holds a rather unattractive printer for goodness sake!  Her minty green/blue surface is crying out for an arrangement of pretty stationery...that will be a job for another day.
You can also spy my cord organizer in the shot below....a repurposed hanging rack usually destined to hold spices on the inside of a pantry door.
These photos are reminding me that sanding and restaining our floors needs to be high on our list of jobs for 2013!!!

So there you have it.  Another painting project is behind me.  I really enjoyed this one and hope you like her too.
Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Vinnies Trolley Revamp

A Bloggy hello to all of you out there in cyberspace:)
I've been observing my "stats" and I've been pleasantly surprised to see that my pageviews are increasing. So a special hello to anyone who reads KATcapers and hasn't introduced themselves....I'd love to hear from you if you feel so inclined to comment.

This weeks DIY project is a wooden trolley that I picked up at a Vinnies store not far from us.  I liked it's simple lines and I particularly like the old casters.  She's now been christened the Trolley Dolly.

Like all my projects, the Trolley Dolly is naturally a "she".  One of these days I'll make a boy (ie furniture DIY not baby!) but given that we're a house heavily disposed to the female hormonal inclinations I'm going to keep referring to this one in the feminine.
I'm imagining that she was once a drinks trolley?  Her veneered shelves held the odd bottle of sherry and some delicate glassware?
In our house she's being re purposed as a printer trolley.  She's the perfect height to slide under the desk in the kitchen (photo above).
Note the relatively neat desk top and the lack of electrical cords below?  Hmmmmnnn another example of my OCD behavior which I need to confess to - I installed some hanging baskets (ie the spice rack variety) to get the bloody cables out of view!  This deserves a post of it's own...stay tuned:)
First job was to whip out the Bosch palm sander and get to work taking the stain off her.
Note to self - next time don't be lazy and do this in the back room with no mask on!!!!

I managed to accomplish sanding, dusting her off, wiping her down to get the remaining dust off and started undercoating her before school pickup.  Fifteen minutes before I was due to depart, it was time to get out of my painting attire and get myself presentable for our after school activities.

My essentials for a few hours of DIY:
  • Radio tuned to 702 ABC Local Radio
  • My painting tracky dacks
  • My painting 'smock' which is an old linen dress now reserved for painting duties only
  • My Birkies (ie my Birkenstock sandals for those uninitiated of you out there)

FYI toes are currently shellacked to an inch of their life...I'm finding Shellac on my toesies very easy and durable.
Aaaahh if only I could spend all day doing this.  Alas, children, chores, preparing dinner get in the way.

You can see that my trolley dolly has lovely bones beneath that unattractive dark stain.  Unfortunately the veneer shelves don't come up as well but I'm not fussed as I just needed to get enough traction going for the undercoat to adhere to.

Next post will be to show you Trolley Dolly with her undercoat applied and perhaps (optimistically) painted up in her finery.

What's the verdict my lovely readers?  I'd love to hear your thoughts:)

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Revamped Hall Table

Told you I need an intervention to stop me from my constant search for items that can be given a makeover!!!!
This is an old hall table that was put out for council clean-up.  Fortunately there was no need for furtive curb-side shopping as it was put out by my lovely neighbor:)
I just grabbed it and hauled it back in from the verge.

It sat outside for months (seems to be a theme for any curb-side purchases of mine) before I got around to painting it.
The usual routine was involved - a clean with disinfectant (no offence to my neighbors), a sand and then a wipe down to get the dust off.

This time I went with a limewash affect for the table top and used a murobond sample pot to do the legs and remainder.

These shots were taken around Halloween...the bats and voodoo necklace are now back in storage.  Mirror is one I've had for years, thinking I may need to give it a new coat of with it here for a while before I make up my mind.
So what's the verdict?  I think it makes for a nice welcome as you enter the porch from the stairs of death....

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Living In Colour

I've been painting again.  Seems once I start I can't stop...may need saving from myself.

This weeks project (or to be more precise last weekends project) was this wardrobe purchased on eBay a few months back.

It is a 1930's wardrobe from a deceased estate.  Saint Mike had to hire a ute to go and collect out one Sunday morning.  It weighs a ton!  When both doors are open it has a nasty habit of tipping forward onto unsuspecting passerbys so there will need to be some serious tethering I suspect to keep it from being a hazard.

Nothing like trying to instill a sense of orderliness in the KATs and then having the hazard of falling wardrobes to discourage any initiative.

Anyhoo, it was a purchase designed to provide a home for a variety of paraphernalia that otherwise would be shunted from room to room and hanging from doors in this house of never enough storage.

As you can see, it also houses the vacuum and scans of my injured arm/wrist:)

She'd already been given a dousing in antiseptic when we first received her so all that was required was a light sand using my palm sander and a light grade sanding pad.  I wiped her over with a damp cloth to remove the dust and then got into the undercoating.

Saint Mike was at work when this commenced, hence I was able to adopt my haphazard approach of not completely emptying her before getting started....nothing like a rushed job is there:)

I'd been considering what colour to paint her.  Initially I was going down the grey or greige step beyond bland old white (no offence to anyone that likes white).
Maybe it was my week of throwing caution to the wind but I decided to follow this fearless approach and chose to paint her a rather alarming (to some) but stimulating (to me) shad of blue.  It's a colour from the Murobond range of paints and is called "Pre-Loved".  It is an apt name for the item as I'm sure this wardrobe has some stories to tell.
In this shot it looks like a duck egg actual fact it's really more a robin's egg blue (or Tiffany Blue if you prefer)
I am quite proud of the patience I displayed as I managed to slap on about three coats of the blue and have nary a streak to my name!!
I also painted the interior of the lower (hanging) section, undercoated and then a couple of coats of Dulux Natural White to provide a nice contrast.  Last thing was to trim up some of my wallpaper remnants for the base and upper shelf.  Note the strategically positioned wooden box (that contains Saint Mikes coin collection) to stop the thing from tipping over on me:)
I used some letter stickers to adorn the plastic tubs that hold various craft/paint supplies and they are now out of the reach of the KATs which means I get to control when we actually do opposed to it being a free for all!
I realize this bright burst of colour would not be to everyones taste but thankfully Saint Mike and the KATs are used to living with a mummy who's never seen a colour she can't embrace and are totally enamoured with my choice (or so they say).
In the end I decided to leave the top interior section as it was (except for the wallpaper on the shelf).  I like the idea of seeing the natural state every time I open the door to remind me that she has a history and it doesn't need to be completely covered up:)
So there you have it!
What next you ask?  Well, I need to choose between making over a curbside collection bookshelf or a Vinnies trolley that I got to hold the printer.  One is going to be spraypainted bright yellow...the other is potentially going to be the same orange as the front door..........................................

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Releasing my inner westie

It's been a while since I've posted about any of my insecurities and hang-ups on KATcapers.

I try to keep this place an angst-free zone.

Last week was an interesting week though. I had a run-in with a school parent that caused me equal parts distress, exhilaration and shame.

This parent has been the source of many moments of tension in the nearly seven years I've had the misfortune to be in her midst. On a good day I can stay above it all and just conclude that she's just not my cup of tea. On a bad day I want to smack her in the face and tell her to keep her opinions to herself and stay out of my business.

Suffice to say that my interaction with her last week could be described as a bad day...but only for her:)

My choice of language to encourage her to move her focus elsewhere can be described as colourful...that's if you're a sailor:). If you're the type of person that doesn't use bad language then you would be rightly appalled.

Ive spent most of my adult life trying to distance myself from being a westie. A good friend of mine has an expression she whips out to piss me off "you can take the girl out of the western suburbs but you can't take the western suburbs out of the girl"!

Well I can honestly say that I'm perfectly fine with being a westie even if I never appreciated it when I lived there. If being a westie means I call a spade a shovel. That I try and be a genuine person and not adopt airs and graces. If I respect other people and don't try and tell them what they should do.

All okay with me...proud to be one and I'll proudly wear the tshirt. The truth is that being a westie in my book is just being real as opposed to fake, insincere and shallow which are traits I seem to cop in spades from the more aspirational folk that I come into contact with these days.

So yes, this week I released my inner westie and shut down a vicious, mean-spirited mother who I will thankfully not have to deal with again once this year is over and oldest KAT is off to high school.

Here's to being real. Here's to the benefit of hindsight and realizing that what you've spent years running away from is the way you want to be. Here's to my inner westie.


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Pasting the days away

There's been some more wallpapering going on over here at KATcapers.
It seems that if there's a choice between doing another load of laundry and doing a bit of wallpapering I will always choose the latter option.
Slapping up some wallpaper is a great excuse to exercise my creativity.  I'd been eyeing off the back of my shelves for some time....

Instead of sticking with the one pattern I used two papers from my Etsy stash in complimentary tones of green and blue.

Pops of orange are still making me smile.

I'm patiently training the older two KATs to place the plates back in the correct spots on the shelf.  If I have to have open shelving then it darned well needs to look organized (yes scary OCD behavior I know).

Canisters were a find on our recent holiday...probably overpriced but I had to have them:)

The yellow flour canister hides all of Sally's treats! 

The orange wooden box on the top right shelf was picked up at a junk store.  It holds plastic clips from Ikea to keep bags of cereal etc closed....the rest of the pantry in the CLOSED cupboard (which isn't blog worthy at all) isn't quite as tidy.
I've now almost exhausted my supply of vintage wallpaper....going to have to do some perusing of Etsy for some more inspiration!!!

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