Tuesday, 31 May 2011

inspiration board inspiration

two assignments down...just one to go.......(yay - insert happy dance here)
need a creative break i'm feeling!!!

found this pic through pinterest -

found at Post Road Vintage
 and this one -

found at Lemonade Makin'Mama

 and i'm thinking of changing this pic here in my study -

and i've done it - but i have to shoot off to take eky to her volleyball game.
sorry for the cliff hanger.
i'll post the photos asap - i promise.
mrs c. xox

Monday, 30 May 2011


my internet connection has jumped in and out and is so flippin slow today.
and i really need it for good not evil today - i'm actually getting through another assignment. (surprise!)
but i need good internet speed to check on sources to reference and quote.
and i need it in a timely manner or i may slip and lose my concentration and start hanging out at undesirable places like blogs and pinterest or the like !?!!
(if i were a kid today - perhaps they'd diagnose me with ADHD!?!?!?!)
the gods of the internet (?!?!) are really really making it hard for me today.

kill. me. now.
*mrs c. bangs head once more on the new fabulous desktop - just hard enough to not cause a dent*

i'll be back soon - i promise.
hugz from a frustrated me.
mrs c. xox

Sunday, 29 May 2011

pinterest love

oh my.
yes - i'm late to the party - but i am still managing to have a very very good time!!!
it's only been 24 hours since i finally logged into pinterest and started to play around.
i have a confession.
i'm hooked!! hook, line and sinker......

i have found more inspiration for my home and loads of crafty goodness in 24 hours than i would have ever imagined.
yes - you can waste a heap of time there. absolutely. without. a. doubt.
not a good place to visit if you have university assignments to complete........*sigh*
but it is really good.
the amazing and creative things that peoples are sharing is truly inspiring.
if you're interested - here's a link to my page -
http://pinterest.com/nefotlak/and if you need an invite to join - just drop me a message and i'll send you an invite.
if you need help navigating around - there is a tab on there to the pinterest blog that tells you more - and that also has links to other peoples blog posts on how to start out - i found this blog post very useful.
anyhoo - i really must go and do some real work.
happy sunday peeps!!!
mrs c. xox

Saturday, 28 May 2011

autumn skies in canberra

canberra gets some of the most beautiful sunsets - and autumn times are often the best.
flippin cold this autumn - but still pretty all the same.
snapped these out of the car window whilst there was a short stop for traffic.
(i know - i'm bad - but i just couldn't help it - iphones are useful that way!!)
here's another -

i have spent a lovely day watching daughters play netball. the sun was shining and the wind was quiet. oh the joys of saturday winter sport - thank goodness the weather gods were being kind this week!!

tonight i've been investigating pinterest - have been seeing it mentioned around the interwebs and actually applied to be a member a few weeks ago - but never joined up officially when i got the go ahead.
(oh great - another place to procrastinate with my time!!)
lovely gemma from my big netshell (and I can't seem to currently add comments to her blog to say thankyou for some reason ?!?!?) mentioned that i should upload photos of my study onto pinterest (thanks gemma for the suggestion) - never would have even thought of doing that! -  time to really check it out me thinks!!

hope it's turning into a great weekend at your house.
hugz from here.
mrs c. xox

Friday, 27 May 2011

new desk top love

if you'll recall from yesterday's post- our new desk top arrived.
so here it is - now in it's home in the study.

arty angled shot - it's actually hard to ger this huge sucker all in the lens!!
please excuse the grainy shot - it's from my iphone - as miss g. has escaped with the other camera for a geography excurision today!!

the desk top is a super heavy bugger - lucky we had a strong male friend staying over last night who could help mr w. bring the huge thing in.
it's currently just sitting on top of those draw units - with a couple of old encyclopedias raising it up a smidge extra for good measure. we want to see what height suits this tall family first before we fix it into place - but it is so heavy that I can lean and work on the left end - and the desk top barely moves!!
mr w.will get onto fixing it onto a wooden batten on the wall - and make an end on the left so that things can be organised (ie hidden) a little better.

already it's so so so much better than my little make-shift desk i've been sitting at until now -

before shot - i would sit at that little table on the left!!
the one good thing about my little make-shift desk - it made us aware that we needed a desk top slightly wider than first thought - as this is a family of long legged peoples - and the extra width would be far more useful.
super glad we went with the wider top.
super happy that progress is happening - albeit slowly!

more pics of the new desk -

my spot to blog and do (or not) uni assignments.
a straight on shot for those that don't appreciate my arty one!!
things still to do - organise all those bloomin cables and fix them up underneath so they're out of sight; complete the painting of the boxes on the shelves (white) so they melt into the wall more (i have many more boxes on the dining room table waiting for some painting love! they hold my huge stock of crafting bits and bobs); put holes in the desk top so cables can come up for the 'puters & source some hole cover thingys to make it look pretties; buy an apple keyboard and mouse - cause they're white and good looking and I want them!!!; add some underbench lights under the shelves from ikea & decide whether to buy one more chair - or stick with the stool (??!) (i'll have to make the 5 hour return sydney trip for some ikea love me thinks - shame really!); and just generally settle into the place.

we ordered the desk top online through a local kitchen cabinet making company (it was the cheapest option we found) - then we picked it up a couple of weeks later. it's plain white laminate - nothing fancy - just solid and smooth.
dimensions = 3300mm x 700mm
cost  = $532.00
(making it 700mm wide instead of the usual 600mm booted the cost out a little (like $200 - eek!) - but we're really glad we went for the slightly wider width.

here's the other wall which we finished a few months ago - (and there's more pics in this study post).

many months ago (sometime last year) - we got quotes to have built in cupboards and desks added to the room - for over $3500 - ouch!!
a few ikea pieces (draw units under printer & shelf unit), sourcing some items and putting them together ourselves (the desk top and drawer units) and repainting the black shelves and all the boxes - we end up with a much cheaper alternative - and we're so happy with how it's turned out.

oh - and i've added a tab with the nefotlak. house tour up the top (as all the cool kids seem to be adding them to their blogs - and i love visiting them!) - go have a look up top ...... then come back here..... - so i'll keep photos updated in there also when we get around to doing things and documenting them.

i'll repost once i've done some more of the 'to do' list for our study also!

love love love my new desk.
hope your day is going well.
mrs c. xox

missy higgins love

i've been tidying up a little in my study - cause i need to take some photos of my new desk!!
i've had the music up loud on one of my favourite songs while i've been tidying.
steer by missy higgins.
love love love this song.
just found this youtube clip of missy singing it live in a radio station studio.

missy is one awesome lady.

here's the lyrics to steer - they really speak to me at this time in my life.

Feel it falling off like clothing
Taste it rolling on your tongue
See the lights above you glowing
Oh and breathe them deep into your lungs

It was always simple, not hidden hard
You've been pulling at the strings
Playing puppeteer for kings
And you've had enough

But the search ends here
Where the night is totally clear
And your heart is fierce
So now you finally know
That you control where you go
You can steer

So hold this feeling like a newborn
All the freedom surging through your veins
You have opened up a new door
So bring on the wind, fire and rain

It was always simple, not hidden hard
You've been played at a game
Called remembering your name
And you stuffed it up

But the search ends
Where the night is totally clear
And your heart is fierce
So now you finally know
That you control where you go
You can steer

And now you finally know
That you control where you go
You can steer

'Cause you've been listening for answers
Oh but the city screams and all your dreams go unheard

But the search ends here
Where the night is totally clear
And your heart is fierce
So now you finally know
That you control where you go
You can steer

And get out of the box
And step into the clear
Cause now you finally know
That you can steer

anyhoo - just wanted to share.
new desk photos coming soon - check back later.
hugz from here.
mrs c. xox

Thursday, 26 May 2011

sooooooo excited - study desk top has arrived.......

we've waited for so so long - and we've finally got it.........

at 3.3 metres long - it takes up the entire interior of our car!!
i have real love for this long-awaited-for study desk top!!!

now - you'll have to wait for more photos and study updates.......cause i have me some assignments that apparently i must do.
mrs c. xox

i love to teach............

and i know deep deep down that that's why i am putting myself through all this angst.......but....but......
i.....just....want.....to.....get......this......flippin degree......
one assignment down - just two to go (for the semester).........
(and can i just say - a.p.a. referencing - just kill me now.)

i love to teach
i love to teach
i love to teach

send me some good focusing vibes please peeps - i just gotta get through this next two weeks......
hugz from me.
mrs c. xox 

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

the backyard and the pool

i have been meaning to post about our backyard and our beautiful new pool for a while now - and what a better time than when one is procrastinating over uni assignments i say!

our house is placed on one side of the block - and most of our yard is in fact a side yard (all on the north side - to get that all important sun) - with a small section at the back. 

here's the almost finished pool (photo taken in january 2011) -

just need to add the glass safety fence which will sit between the grass and the pavers - and around the edge of the pergola. (it's the law here to have a safety fence surrounding your pool)
now let's go back in time........
here's what the yard has looked like over the last 8 years -

2002 real estate photo.

 i can't find any photos of the progress to here - but there were loads of messy bushes against the fence - we pulled them out and added birch trees, and laid some new turf. we also hired a builder to put in the pergola (with mr w. helping out with the labour). mr w. also built the huge cubby house up the back from scratch for the kids. (he's very clever my mr w.!!)

i also added some ikea tea-light lanterns to the fence to light up at night time. it's a little bare on that fence - but looking forward to the birch trees growing big and strong.


garden is starting to grow up. the big drought started to hit and we lost about 5 birches - so that is why 3 are much bigger than the rest. (heavy water restrictions started to be imposed)

 winter again - lawn starting to struggle with the water restrictions - but the birches and other plants are slowly coming along (with the help of using recycled water when we can).
the slide on the cubby house actually sits out from that top window (doors) - however mr w. placed it up to mow the lawn - and didn't put it down for the photo!!!

enough of the past - here's what's gone on in the last 12 months - our journey to having a pool!!

2010 - lawn full of weeds (it was a dust bowl - until the rain finally came)
2010 - fence down / digger starts removing the 'lawn'.
2010 - the pool man (Joseph) and his son - marking out the pool area.
2010 - hole dug/storm water pipes rerouted (they weren't on our land plans - doh!/blue metal base in/all ready for the pool
2010 - very big fibreglass pool arrives on large truck - concern that we've picked a pool too big?????
2010 - large crane to lift very big pool over house and into the back yard!!
2010 - careful placement of pool into hole!
2010 - pool is in and filled (wooden braces to hold pool shape while concrete edges dry.)
2010 - concrete all set/new front fence in/pergola area and backyard cleanup begin
2010 - capping stones concreted in place (by the pool man)
2010 - sand over existing pebblecrete concrete/pavers going down (by the paving guy with help from mr w.).

2010 - paving complete/some new outdoor furniture and lanterns (more on that another day)
2011 - soil and new turf going down (by mr w. and mrs c. - with help from the kids now and then) - Molly loves her new grass!!
2011 - pool just about done - yay!!
so the christmas and new year of 2010/2011 was a hoot in our back yard!
(needless to say - we had the coldest summer in many a long year - but thank goodness we put in solar heating to help keep the chills away!!!)

2011 - our pool.
we love love love our new pool - and the backyard looks way prettier too. (and not so much lawn to die when another drought comes along - although we are going to try to fit in some slim line water tanks on the other side of the house to collect the precious rain water to help keep the garden green)

here's what we look out on from our kitchen window, loungeroom and study -

2011 - our lovely pool view.
love love love our new pool!

there is always more to do - a box to cover the filters / an upgrade on the cubby to turn it into the nefotlak arty studio / some cleaning up of the garden around the back where our outdoor table and bbq now sit........but that will have to wait for more time and more money.
those things never change!!!

hope you enjoyed this picture heavy post.
mrs c. xox

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

i'm alive and all is well!!

prac was amazing - and - i survived!! year 3/4 is not really so bad after all!!
thanks for the lovely well wishing comments from those that stopped by.
apart from the 'íncident'- it all went really well.
i have a glowing report - and now i wait until later in the year for my next prac placement.
so now - i have some assignments to complete to finish off the semester - and in true mrs c. style - i'm procrastinating by moving around the furniture in the loungeroom!!!
(hey - i couldn't do anything creative around the house for 3 weeks - so i just needed this little break! hee)
here's some pics - i'm loving the new layout - heaps more room. (still hating the blue carpet - and still want some other changes - but don't we all???)

you can see here how it looked before.
i've also been making some changes to that lamp on the left (no-sew changes) - but i'm not completely happy yet - i'll post more on that once the assignments are done and i have some time.
i do love me my King Furniture Delta Lounge though - it's so easy to reconfigure - which is perfect for peeps like me who like to change things around - often!! some days i'd love it to be in white fabric (slip covers) - but the leather is so easy with kids. thinking of making some slip covers for a change though....hmmmmmmmm.
it's now back to the books/study-time for me.
hope all is well in your world.
mrs c. xox

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

talk about a rough day at the office............

well......it wasn't even an office........it was a whole school.......and my class of kids were the target..........
talk about a doozy prac placement!!! (and i'm not even on the payroll......pfffft!)
so......i'm essentially a 3rd year primary education student - currently on a 3 week prac block within a local primary school.
i've been assigned to a 3/4 composite class of really great kids - however some - let's say - do have some interesting behavioural issues.
today was my 7th day on prac - and things really did not go well.
today was the day that the kid (9 years old) with the most challenging behaviour lost the plot.......completely.
kids got things thrown at them and pushed - i got hit (while trying to protect some of the other kids) - i was threatened with a shovel (!?! - i kid you not) - the library got trashed around us while we were there - our class got placed into lock-down for all our protection - and for 5 minutes (that seemed like an eternity) - i couldn't find one of our class members that has mild autism and who was terrified by the events that were happening all around us.
and - to make it all the worse - the usual class teacher (my mentor - and the one that knows all these kids so well) - was absent from the school for 4 hours due to other teaching committments.
we made it through in tact - other more experienced teachers got the child in question calmed down and picked up (ie - taken home from the school) - and everyone else managed to leave the school today in one piece.
but then - once packed up - and back in the staff room - someone looked at me with 'that look' - and asked if i was ok..........
and i burst into tears.
i came home - and headed straight to my neighbour (a very experienced teacher of special needs kids) - and upon seeing my face and hearing my story - she made me a nice strong gin and tonic, and let me cry it out on her shoulder.
needless to say - i love my neighbour to bits. xox
my mentor teacher got back to the school late - and immediately phoned me.
her first words - "mrs c. - it's mandy - please do come back tomorrow!!!!!".

i'm good - and i still have my passion in tact to follow my teaching dream.
it's just been a very rough day - and i'm sure there will be many more like this one.
this troubled child has had a very very rough start to life - and is incredibly misunderstood. i and mandy both saw the behaviours escalating earlier in the day - but our calls for help from powers above were spoken to deaf ears - and the result was some pretty wild and somewhat scary behaviour.
*sigh* - some people just don't really understand what makes some kids tick.
i hope that mandy and i can calm this all down so that my remaining 8 days are as good as my first 6.
fingers crossed for me please peeps.
hugz from me.
mrs c. xox

Sunday, 8 May 2011

happy mothers day

i awoke to cuddles, hand-made cards and breakfast in bed !!
breakfast included - french toast with maple syrup, freshly made plunger coffee, apple juice & an eggcup filled with flowers from the garden.
(it's so cool having a 15 year old who has been taking food tech at school for the last two years - although she doesn't clean up the kitchen as well as she cooks!!!!)
i am so so blessed to have 3 such amazing daughters - who make me smile every. single. day.
love you gorgeous girls.
today is a beautiful clear day - and hopefully we'll get outside as a family to enjoy it.
i just have to get my lesson plans done for the upcoming week.
i survived week one of prac in a 3/4 class - now two more to go.
there has been some challenging behaviour from some class members - however, this last week has clearly shown me that teaching is what i love - and i just can't wait to get a class of my own.
happy happy happy mothers day to all you mums out there.
loads of love and hugz from this family to yours.
mrs c. xox

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

my girls

two days into prac - and all is going well.
busy - but well!
just thought i'd share with you some photos of my gorgeous girls. (yes - i'm completely in love with them - and totally biased!!)
from left to right above - triple j is 8yrs - eky is 12 yrs - goob is 15 yrs
photo taken at the start of the school year in february this year. (and miss e.'s first day of highschool)
here's another - 'say cheeeeeeeese"!!

that's it from me - i'm off to get prepared for tomorrow's teaching sessions.
hugz from me!!
mrs c. xox 

Sunday, 1 May 2011

cleaning up the front door shoe pile

two posts today - as it will be very quiet around this blog over the next 3 weeks as i go on prac in a local primary school for my professional placement. (i'm a 3rd year student of a 4 year primary teaching degree)

so anyhoo - today i decided to finally clean up and reorganise the space near our front door where the kids shoes all reside - and most of our hats.

here's a before -

and here's the after.

the box was once filled (packed full) with home and garden decorating magazines. it used to sit just across from the shoe basket (you can see a corner in the bottom right of the 'before' pic)
i've spent the last few weeks finally going through the lot and ripping out all my favourite pages - i'll show you the results of that project another day later.
my neighbour is getting all the leftovers before the whole lot gets recycled - or passed on again - who knows.
the best bit - they're now out of my home!!
yay for decluttering my home!! - it's a painfully slow process - but it's better than nothing.
the girls went throught the shoe basket and put away the shoes that don't come out much - and the most used shoes now reside in the box.
most of the hats have been packed away - as the weather has turned much much colder. (a top of 16 degrees c forcast for tomorrow - eeek!!)
and the dog lead has returned to it's rightful place - in the laundry!!
the basket is getting a good clean and will be reused to hold our throw rugs in the family room.
and that's another of my bathmat pillows i wrote about earlier today.......  :)

i hope to one day soon paint this floor (this floating floor laid by the previous owner is very dark in this confined space) - i want white - i'm still trying to talk mr w. into that one!!  he might go for a light grey...keep your fingers crossed for me. (he often worries about my 'ideas' - but luckily they usually all turn out ok....!!)
and i'm also thinking of repainting the walls - all white - i'm feeling the need to paint the whole house white!!
all in good time i say!!!

so - that's it from here.
i'm off to help teach year 1 tomorrow - wish me luck - i'm really looking forward to it.
hope you all have a great week.

mrs c. xox

bathmat pillows

whilst watching the royal wedding on friday night - i stitched up a couple of bathmat pillows. (as you do!!)
the mats had never been stepped on - i bought them on sale earlier in the day!
i've made a couple of these before in our family room - i'll show pics of that room one day - but it's always the most used and busy - ie messiest room of the house!!
these type of pillows are available in the shops these days - but i still prefer my version as they are bigger, fluffy all over and i can have a say in how much fill is inside.
so here's the bathmat prior to stitching (mine were "mercer & reid - soho tufted bathmats" - from addairs - but you can pick up similar in most department stores around the place)
(please excuse the quality of these pics - it was late - and i was watching that wedding!!)

i folded the bathmat in half (tufted side facing out - wrong sides together) - and hand stiched the edges together.
i started with one side - finshed off the thread - then did the other side.
i then stitched the bottom edge - leaving a small section open to allow for filling - then stiched closed when happy with the shape. (i recycled the polyester filling from some old pillows i had stashed away)

below is the stitch i used - it is called 'saddler stitch' (that's all i could find on google) - i taught myself how to sew so have no idea if that's the real name ???????

essentially it's a stitch that butts the ends together so they become flat. (!?!)
if anyone out there in blog-land knows of a better name for this stitch - please do chime in!

here's a shot of the stitches......you can't really see them as i used white cotton - but it's that bit right in the middle (click on the pic - and you should get a closer look).....

once the pillow is filled - the seems become almost invisible........

and here's the finished product........all stuffed and ready to sit on........(i filled it well as i've found they tend to flatten down over time)

to keep clean i just surface clean when needed - and i'll perhaps undo one side seem, take out the filling and fully launder when required. (i'm lazy with zippers and buttons - and just find this method for this type of pillow easier).

here's my bathmat pillow teamed with some other pillows of mine......

left to right - ikea ektorp lumbar cushion in hovby white & black / can't remember where the 2nd one came from as we've had it forever! / mrs c's bathmat pillow in white !!

so that's my bathmat pillow method - hope you enjoyed it. 
i love the look and the feel - they're very robust as well as soft to feel.

mrs c. xox
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