Wednesday, August 3, 2011

WOW: Budget Blooms

In last week's post I told you how I am trying to make the bouquet I received as a farewell gift last as long as possible, just like John and Sherry do at Young House Love. I do wish that I had taken a picture of what the bouquet looked like when I was first presented it- the overall effect was very cheerful! Here's the pic I showed you in that post:
I love receiving flowers, though it doesn't happen very often, so I thought that I'd make this one last for as long as I possibly could- with minimal effort of course! No taking the blooms out every day and snipping them or fancy liquid for my flowers! They lasted quite well in the first week in their original arrangement- I just gave them a light misting of water every day to keep them watered. Then PK and I went to Albany for a few days and I forgot all about them while watching the whales do their thing.
When we returned, I realised that flowers really don't last long without water as a few had past their peak- as you can see above. So, I took them out of their wrappings, discarded the wilty blooms and arranged them in a glass vase that I have "borrowed" (like many things) from my mum. The result was the bouquet in the first picture- notice the difference? Here's another angle for comparison.
I was pleasantly surprised that more of the iris buds opened after that transplant and enjoyed the cheerful colours for another week. Then this weekend, I repeated the culling of wilty flowers. Unfortunately, that meant the last of the irises met their maker. But I am still left with a few of the brightest of the flowers!
I've cut them down again and arranged them in a shot glass (because I'm fancy like that). Currently they are in the bathroom for a shock of cheery colour in the morning. I'm so happy that I have been able to enjoy the blooms for a little while longer- and all for free!
Thanks YHL for giving me the idea to save my blooms!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

If At First You Don't Succeed

As I write this, PK is in the kitchen, wielding his newest man-toy: a rotary hammer drill- I'll explain why in a moment. You'll remember last week I showed you that we had made a start on the final part of the kitchen reno, tiling the back-splash above the sink with mosaics. Here is PK, prepping the area in question.
You can see a couple of the glass mosaic sheets in the foreground. We ummed and ahhed over these tiles for quite a while before eventually purchasing them- which is why it has taken us sooooo long to get this last little bit completed (the purchase was on the list from the beginning of June and that was after ages of inactivity!). We even had another pattern/ colour mix picked out originally and then on the day that we were going in to buy them, decided on a different set. Unfortunately, our champagne tastes caught us out again as our final choice was only stocked interstate and cost a fair bit more. Doh! The tiles of our choice look like this:
Image from giant.co.uk
We loved that they have texture and would tie in the current colours of the walls, cabinets and glass back-splash, but would also introduce a bit of variety. The image makes them looks quite bright with hits of aqua here, but in person they are more of a light blue/ sky blue with splashes of pale green. Sort of like the ocean on a warm summers day... Definitely something pretty to look at while washing the dishes!

So after a few weeks of waiting for our lovely tiles to come in from over east, we were finally ready to tile. We thought we'd give it a go ourselves- after all, how hard could it really be, right? The guys that had laid our floor tiles had left a bit of mastic behind and PK decided that with that, a spatula (previously used to patch the ceiling and walls) and a little "I can totally do this" bravado, he could get it done. Mistake! Although PK definitely gave it his best shot, we weren't using the correct tools or adhesive. We now know that there is special glue required for glass mosaics so that they don't slip. We are also now aware that we need a notched trowel to give an even and textured layer of said adhesive. Hindsight is definitely 20-20!
The finished job didn't look too terrible (as you can see above), but the mastic was so thick that it squished into the gaps between the tiles, leaving little room for grout. That meant that the dirty grey colour of the adhesive would always be visible. Also, in some places a few tiles were not even sticking and as soon as we peeled off the plastic sheet (that holds the tiles together for application), tiles came with it. Not cool.
Farewell Mosaics Ver 1.0!
So that is why PK was in the kitchen over the weekend, new power tool in hand, removing our first attempt. We've ordered another batch of tiles and with our new-found knowledge (and the correct tools), I'm confident that attempt number two will be perfect. I just wish this lesson hadn't been such an expensive one!
The blank slate- ready for Ver 2.0

Have you ever learned to DIY the hard way like us?

Monday, August 1, 2011

Monday Meditation

Mornin' all! How was your weekend? Did you accomplish everything you set out to? I know that there were still a few things left on my list but I did get a lot of important tasks completed. A little more on that later!

I know I haven't had a lot of commitment to this feature since I started it, but now that I'm getting used to waking up at the same time every morning and beginning to follow a routine, the posts might pop up a little more frequently. Let me know your thoughts!

"I will celebrate my successes. I deserve it." 

I think that this is a good one for me to try to remember- I'm a bit of a perfectionist so I tend to focus on the failures! Must work on that! Recent successes that I can celebrate... getting through my first week of my new job unscathed, making new friends and gaining confidence. I also cooked some pretty awesome meals last week! Later on this week I'll be showing you a bit of a DIY failure, but I think PK and I should celebrate the lesson we learned and the way we've picked ourselves up afterwards.

What do you have to celebrate?

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