Monday, 19 August 2013



I have been waiting for years and years for O'verlays to make their way to our shores in Australia.

It truly is worth the wait though. If you are a DIY'er who loves Ikea, this is the product for you!

If you have never heard of O'verlays before, let me explain.

They are thin pieces of decorative PVC that can be glued onto furniture or mirrors. They can be painted, and they are used in so many different ways to make a simple piece look much more "high-end". It truly is an inexpensive way to transform furniture taking it to the next level.

Ikea furniture can be transformed into designer look pieces using O'verlays. You can buy O'verlays to suit the particular styles of Ikea furniture, because it is already premade and measured to fit.

If you have an old piece of furniture lying around that you are bored with, you can order custom fitted O'verlays to suit your project. They really are so versatile!

Let me demonstrate.........

They give a bit more "depth" to plain furniture.

Love this one layered over the top of a mirrored chest of drawers.

Just look at the transformation of this basic "Malm" chest of drawers. Makes such a huge difference to this basic Ikea piece! I love the Greek Key style, but there are so many different patterns that I would find it hard to pick one.



With the O'verlays glued on and painted a lovely blue, this chest is anything but boring or basic.

With the help of some mirrors, a bit of DIY skill and lots of different O'verlays,. This Ikea wardrobe is transformed into something you would expect to be an expensive custom piece.

If you want a modern look, you can paint them a different colour and stick them on. This nursery looks fabulous with a pop of colour on the O'verlays!

And how could we forget the $20 Lack table? Doesn't look like a cheap table now with the Greek Key style fretwork!

The possibilities are endless, only limited by your imagination...

They stick on with Liquid Nails, so there is no carpentry skills required. Some people use heavy duty double sided tape so the O'verlay can be removed if you like to change the look for something different.

The O'verlay Blog has lots of great ideas, advice and tutorials, you can find it here.

To order or buy O'verlays you can go here

I can't wait to try some out!

On another note, I have been having problems with my blog. I am trying to reply to all my comments, but the text box has my blog page on it (my blog within my blog) so I can't reply to you until I figure out how to get rid of it. So I am very sorry if it looks like I am ignoring my lovely commenters! 

Anyone else having this problem?

Friday, 16 August 2013

Once in a lifetime.....

Any Rugby Union fans out there?

As a mum to three boys I have watched many football games in the past, and I see plenty more in my immediate future too. There really is no escaping it!

In our small town sport is what brings us all together as a community, and it gives all the kids something to do on the weekends to keep them occupied. It gets parents out and about socially when events are few and far between. And a welcome break from the daily grind on the farm.

In short, sport is pretty important and a life essential out here.

Our Rugby club is a little parent run organisation. The coaches are all volunteers, and we just do Rugby carnivals. We aren't in a points competition as there isn't any clubs around close enough to play with. So we travel a fair distance to play, and have three games each time we play to make it more worthwhile. It's nice when you can catch up with people you havn't seen in ages from other towns you don't get to go to very often. We have met other people through Rugby and it is great for our kids to mix with other kids.

Oh and the other bonus is that they learn how to play Rugby and grow their confidence before they hit high school and want to play with their mates.

Anyway, to cut to the chase......

Our club was nominated to be included as the guard of honour for the Wallabies at the Bledisloe Cup tonight! It is pretty exciting, and one of those once in a lifetime opportunities that never come along. Especially when Australia is looking to break the long drought of having the Bledisloe Cup back from the All Blacks (New Zealand) hands. If you are overseas and wondering what the hell I am going on about it is basically the biggest game in Australian Rugby for the year.  

Probably will be as close to the Wallabies as H will ever get too!

They basically stand there looking proud and clapping or waving flags and high-fiving as the Wallabies run onto the field. They stay on the field for the national anthems and The Haka. And then they get to go back to their seats to watch the game. It is really quite exciting and fabulous for these boys from their tiny club in the sticks!

So H and my husband went down to Sydney yesterday. They flew down so they would have more time to play in Sydney without the long drive making them tired. It's H's early birthday present going on the plane and having a Dad/Son weekend too. So that worked in quite well!

They have already been shopping (for football gear), went out for dinner at Darling Harbour, eaten lots of seafood and caught up with some friends too. Today they caught up with some of the boys who are in the team, and they did laser skirmish and ten pin bowling to wear them out. And one of those metre long pizzas went down a treat! As it will be a late night, my husband was hoping to wear H out so he would have a really big afternoon nap before the excitement.

One of my husband's friends is in the television hosting business, and he said he is mates with the guy who does all the camera work at the Rugby. He is going to try to put as much camera time on our little bush team as much as he can. So I will be at home watching with little F and little N waiting to see their brother's smiling face tonight!

So exciting!

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

The dining table

Thank you all for your nice comments yesterday about Ted, I thought I had better put a post up that I meant to before he died. So moving on........

I found a dining setting on Gumtree a few weeks ago. Not many antiques come up in my area very often, and none that are as nice or in as good condition as this. It was a real find!

Anyway, I saw it and made a mental note to show my husband, as he is into nice antiques. And of course with hectic life stuff happening I forgot about mentioning it again.

We were in Sydney and I mentioned my find as we were talking about going for a look at some antique shops while we were down there. We never found enough time (like always) and I really don't relish dragging the boys around shops that have precious items in them (good as the boys are usually).

Anyway, I mentioned that I found this huuuuge mahogany table with matching chairs on Gumtree. He had a look and I called the number. Turns out it was from friends of ours locally and they couldn't fit it in their new home. So I went out and had a look.

We thought it was stunning. And worth every cent.

We collected it ourselves and because it was so heavy, it takes about 4 men to lift the table, even without the leaves in.

Here she is in extended glory!

It's a 10 seater solid mahogany table with 10 balloon back upholstered chairs. I love it a lot!

The upholstery is in mint condition. Floral grandma fabric isn't really my style, but it isn't offensive to me so I will keep it until I (save up) to reupholster. I think re upholstery/flash fabric would probably cost more than an arm and a leg, so at the moment it will stay.

I should have moved the ironing board before taking a pic.

I love the detail on all the legs.

fits in the room quite well.

The carvers are divine.

The whole setting is in amazing condition and it looks like someone had it in their "good" dining room and probably never used it. Not many people have the room for such a big piece, So I am glad it fits really well in my dining room.

I kept my old Harvey Norman table we bought when we first married for everyday use in the kitchen. The boys will be able to sit here when I get some sort of protective tablecloth for it.

I just can't stop looking at the shine and feeling the silky smooth top.

I know dark antique furniture is pretty outdated at the moment for most people, but I am not like most people. Beach style and Hampton's style, as much as I like it doesn't really suit my house in the country. Even this table feels slightly out of place, like it should be in some stately home in Melbourne. But it fits, I love it and we will use it all the time.

The buffet in the background is matching to my old table, I am figuring out what to do as they don't really gel together. If you want to know what the paint colours are they are Dulux Grand Piano (full strength) on the walls. Taubmans Iron Gate on the bank of built ins. The trim and door is Taubmans white. The floors are original floorboards of the house and they have been sanded, but not sure what stain was used. They are a matte finish.

I am pleased that I found a full set, often with old furniture the chairs are missing.

Whichever child of mine gets my house in the future, the table will  have to come with it. No one will be able to move it without a hassle.


I am sorry to say that I have sad news to tell about our dog Ted.

This morning we had to shoot the most beautiful dog I think we have ever had. It was a terrible way to start the day.

In the early hours of this morning Ted was barking like crazy. He is pretty good at night as a rule, because we trained him to be quiet at night.

He only ever barked at night if there was a fox prowling, or if another dog turned up at our house. When Ted started barking and just wouldn't stop, I went out to investigate. I couldn't see anything as it was so dark. I couldn't spot a fox or anything at all, so we went back to bed. He barked on and off until 6.00 and I went out there to see if there was in fact another dog annoying him, but he seemed to be barking at anything and everything. He started biting his poly kennel as he thought it was attacking him when he raced past it. I couldn't get him to stop barking and I realised that he just couldn't really see me, or he was hallucinating terribly. My husband noticed that his eyes were popping out and that he had crazy eyes. It was terrible.

We were wondering what to do, and suspected rat poison firstly. I googled it, but none of the symptoms were the same. We called the vet as soon as we could gwt a hold of her and straight away, she said 1080 poisoning. She said it was up to us what we do, but there isn't really any hope of saving an animal from it. We checked him again and he was having trouble breathing and he was shaking like a leaf all over and close to convulsing. We decided to shoot him then and there.

My husband had to do the deed and put him out of his misery.

I just feel so terrible about the whole thing. I know that if we figured it out when he was barking like mad for no reason, he still could not be saved from the 1080 poison. It works very quickly and it kills within around three hours. Apparently the symptoms may take 6 hours plus to show up, but when it starts showing, the dog just won't survive.

We don't put 1080 poison out on our property. We do bait on a property 20 kms away though. Some of the neighbours do occasionally put them out when the foxes and pigs are particularly bad, the vet said that a piece of bait can be dropped by a crow, or within a dead fox that's remains are disturbed. I have since found out that pig vomit can contain 1080, and if it is eaten by an animal, it can easily kill it too. And the poison can last a long time out in the weather too, it may be weaker, but it still kills.

I am just so sad that our beautiful 1 year old pup suffered this. I am glad we were all home to put him out of his misery once we knew what the problem was.


Ted was a lovely animal, he was very placid for a cattle dog and never aggressive. He would try to get as close to you as possible by sitting against the back door, or on your lap if you were sitting down. He could not get enough pats and would lie on the ground just gazing and wanting those belly rubs and scratches.

He was like a baby really. And he was growing up to be a great companion too. Just out of that annoying puppy stage where they chew every shoe in sight, he was good at letting me know when random people showed up to the house.

The boys are shattered, this is their first pet - so it's one of those learning curves of life on a farm. And I have always tried to not get too attached to farm animals as I know nothing lasts forever. But, he was really my dog. He thought I was his mother, he usually looked to me first.

I would not be so sad if he lived to 14 and died of old age, it has been quite a shock to see a healthy young pet die so suddenly. I think we will have to get another pup when we can from the same parents as he really was the best cattle dog I have ever had.

If you want to know more about 1080 poison baits here is a factsheet on first aid you can do if you see your dog or cat consume 1080 poison.

And here are some pics of my beautiful Ted
How I remember him

When we brought him home

Lovely and calm Ted

I promise I will post something a bit happier tomorrow.

Thursday, 1 August 2013


I love succulents!  They are fairly tough, drought tolerant, can be easily propagated from cuttings, and they usually look good year-round.

Some gardeners don't really like cacti and succulents, but I think they certainly have their place. Especially in my garden where it can be incredibly hot in summer. Plants need to be tough to survive our inland Australian summers.



succulents in eggshells - cute!

 Colours of the rainbow

There are plenty of ways to display succulents, you can make a succulent ball like this one. This looks fabulous and not too hard!

Make a succulent ball
Make a succulent ball

Some look like ocean coral
You could grow them vertically in a frame like this. Easy care garden!

They can grow vertically too like these ones in wooden frames
Gorgeous and hardy in pots

love the contrast and variety of these in the garden

How about a whole garden of succulents?

So Beautiful.

If you aren't too impatient, you could collect loads of cuttings and plant in mini pots as bonbonniere or party favours. Not an expensive gift, but lots of impact!

They make wonderful wedding gifts

mini wedding cakes for guests

Wedding bouquet

So what do you think?

I love a few succulents in my garden, they seem to be the only thing that has done well in our last scorching summer. I am always propagating more to add to my collection too.

All images can be found via the links under the photos and all others are from

I will be giving my backyard a much needed blitz these next few weeks. It is looking rather sad and neglected and spring is just around the corner - warmer weather to look forward to!