Look what we put up the other day! It’s about time I had somewhere on the deck to to laze around and read my book! I have this hammock on loan from a very special friend but I like it so much I might have to buy one of my own.

Although I love the white wall of storage, I couldn’t help thinking that it needed a little ‘jollying up’. So we set about using it as a photo/notice board. I think it lends some character to the kitchen.

and up close…

The open shelving above the cabinetry also allows us to incorporate colour. At long last I’ve somewhere to display my Samantha Robinson ceramics and pretty things that’ve been in hiding for ages.

This panorama shot should give you an idea of what the entire kitchen space looks like now. We’re still not finished. The floor is not polished and varnished and we haven’t put splash backs behind the stove or sink. In fact, there’s still blue masking tape on the window pane above the sink, left there from when I was painting. Oh well, budget renovating does take forever…

Sorry it’s taken me so long to publish all this. Hopefully my blog has inspired other budget renovators, or perhaps just comforted others who can relate to the chaos and mess depicted in the majority of my photos. I’ll try to keep posting on any little changes in the near future…

x Rachael

Pretty happy with the new pantry and kitchen drawers…


Before the reno it was all impractical cupboards, with everything stuffed into tubs for easier access. The pantry items also lived out in the open on the shelving above the sink. Here’s how it used to look…




I’m writing this in retrospect. All the reno stuff stopped ages ago, like, MONTHS ago.  Don’t get me wrong, the reno isn’t complete. It’s just that a couple of factors prevented me from finishing stuff and blogging about it.  TIME and MONEY. There are more but they are too personal to discuss here.

The process of putting the kitchen back together following the reno was pretty tedious. It involved lots of washing. Everything from the old kitchen was greasy, covered in dirt and dust and spread from one end of the house to the other. Similarly, the linen and towels sat in messy piles in the sunroom. Combined with the normal, everyday, mess generated by a family, the task of putting things back together was rather overwhelming.

Here’s my new linen cupboard. It’s part of the vast wall of storage in the kitchen. It’s stuffed pretty full now. These pics were taken a couple of months ago. Even so, it feels so lovely to have a nice new, clean space to store linen.

Here’s where the linen lived before the reno…

These shelves were knocked up by The Colonel many years ago. They were just outside the old bathroom entrance. Now (post reno) our TV and sideboard sit where the door is on the left of the photo. And below is how my linen collection looked for months while we renovated…

I should’ve tacked this pic onto the end of the last post (which was titled “Cleaning up the corner) as you can see what the entire space looks like now. Lounge is away from the wall and the book shelves now line it instead.

And this one is taken from the deck, looking inside. Actually, the bookshelves aren’t there. Oops. And the papers on the floor, well that was me doing trial HSC marking (yawn).

Here’s a photo from an old post that shows what a junk heap various corners in the house became during the renovating. And here’s another one…

and another…

Those piles of stuff started to really get to me. It was mostly kitchen stuff, coated in a film of kitchen grease (from exposed kitchen shelves and cupboards) and dust. The thought of having to wash everything before actually being able to find a new home for it all almost drove me to dump the lot in a skip and start from scratch again. But that would be wasteful and soooooooo unkind to the earth that I eventually mustered the energy to run a tub fill of hot, soapy water and get out the scrubbing brush.

It took several hours but little by little I made a dent…

Now, as you can see from above, the lounge has been moved well and truly AWAY from the wall where it used to reside (see below).

What to fill the space with?

Hello Readers! (if indeed anyone out there is still interested),

It’s been an AGE…

I’ve broken the most important blogging commandment – “THOU SHALT BLOG INCESSANTLY IF THOU WISHEST TO RETAIN ‘FOLLOWERS’ “. Sorry about that.

But I’m back now, even if it’s just to write a few more posts and bring you all up to speed. I kind of lost the blogging bug once the cupboards went up because it felt as if all the ‘sexy’ progress had come to an end. All that was left was the decidedly ‘unsexy’ task of putting all our kitchen stuff into the new kitchen, lining new kitchen drawers, and sorting out the chaotic mess that had spread all over the house during the renovating process.

You know the old adage about there being two certainties in life – death and taxes? Well, that’s not the entire story. Here are a few more inalienable truths I’ve discovered since embarking on a low budget renovation:

  • renovating while working full time SUX
  • full time work takes away from important pursuits such as blogging about said reno.
  • full time work means not having time or energy to finish off all the little jobs properly (i.e. the most important jobs!!!)
  • renovating on a budget means that renovating never seems to end
  • mothers are suckers (more on that later)

I just looked back at the last post I made and it was about the Colonel and his cupboards. You got a pretty good idea of what his handiwork looked like but here’s a picture of what it looks like tonight. The computer nook is operable. Teeny, tiny handles have been put on the doors. We are, in fact, using the pantry and all the rest and YES, it’s great!!!!

Here’s how this wall used to look with its free standing stove and refridgerator…

Sorry I don’t have a long-shot of the entire wall (pre-reno). Before we extended the kitchen the space was so small that it was impossible to stand at enough of a distance to take a shot of the entire wall length. Anyway, must get on with next post.

x Rachael

The Colonel has been a busy bee this week. He’s managed to almost finish our wall of Ikea storage. The kickers and shelves/drawers are still to go in but it’s looking pretty darn good. The wall of storage also includes a little office nook. I can’t believe how effortless he makes it look when in reality the process has been far more complicated than it looks. Remember our walls aren’t at right angles and the floors are uneven? The Colonel knows how to cut little filler bits to exactly the right size. Genius!

Here’s where we’re at…

The Colonel with his masterpiece. For some reason, Ikea doesn’t make 80cm horizonal cabinets to go above the fridge. The gaps are yet to be filled in with the White Applad facing.

It’s all so close to completion but the MESS….. when will I ever get time to sort it all out?

‘Til next weekend…

Rachael x



Last year. Same character. Different material.


On top of the normal chaos that is my life, I’m performing in a local cabaret production. I think I’ve mentioned previously that I was an actor in my former life in Sydney.

Tuesday night was the one and only rehearsal for said performance. So there I was, running through my TEN MINUTE monologue for the very first time in front of my fellow performers in a freezing cold, empty hall and struggling to remember my lines. When I’d finished, Hamilton, the director of the production, asked, “How did that feel, Rachael?”

HOW DID THAT FEEL???????? That’s Hamilton’s line when he’s concerned. Why the fuck do I do this to myself?

On the way home I felt FLAT, FLAT, FLAT. My harsh, unforgiving inner-critic went into overdrive, “It’s not funny enough”; ” People aren’t going to laugh”; ” You won’t be able to get it together in just three days time”  “The audience is going to go home saying, “She was so much better last year. Why did she come back and ruin it for herself?”


But now it’s Saturday morning…

Last night was opening night. One performance down. Whew! One more to go!

It was AWESOME! When the lights go up and the audience is there, somehow or other it all comes together. I LUUUURRRRVVVVVED  the audience and they LUUUURRRRVVVVVVED ME.

And Hamilton was very happy. He he he!

Last night. “I’m fine!!!!!!!” Minutes before curtain…


I have  to include this image below. It’s from last night. It’s not going to mean much to you guys who didn’t see the show but I think you can see from the colour and the energy, just how much fun performance can be and why we do it to ourselves.

Dot gets ready to make a birthday cake.

Now I’m going to write a post about the Colonel’s progress on our kitchen.

Rachael x

I mentioned last weekend that we went back to Ikea and bought all our storage for the kitchen wall where our stove used to be.

So, this week, the Colonel has been diligently knocking them together and minutely adjusting bits and pieces to account for our Queenslander’s wonky lines and measurement. Our floors are uneven and the walls don’t meet at right angles. Lucky he’s a builder and is a dab hand at solving such dilemmas. This, of course, doesn’t stop me from sticking my nose in from time to time and checking that he’s doing everything properly ( just like any typical pain-in-the-arse, control-freak female would): “I know you’ve been a builder for 50-odd years now, Colonel, but are you SURE the fridge is going to fit in that cavity?” The Colonel , bless him, has the good grace not to tell me to F#@k off!

The bare wall where the storage will go. Our stove and fridge used to sit along this wall.

The platform is done and the cupboards start to go in.

Here’s Craig modeling the new cupboards. He can just squeeze into them. I guess modeling is like riding a bicycle. You never forget how. I couldn’t resist putting in these shots of him back in his modeling days. I am soooo DEAD for publishing these….

Back when he had his school boy figure.

Anyway, back to the the sexy cupboards…

And the top layer goes on. They will actually run all the way to the end!

Hopefully doors and shelves will go in tomorrow.

Rachael x