Saturday, 31 December 2011

Happy New Year!!!

2012 is almost here! Crazy right?!

Christmas is over and done with for another year. We had a wonderful time at my in-laws (there were 40 of us!!) and here's a little look at the view from their farm...

not bad?!!

It was a hot, hot day like most of the country. But we survived. Lots of cold food, cold drinks and plenty of sitting around seemed to do the trick!

We've been home again for a couple of days, and found heaps of these waiting  for me to try and do something with...



We're kinda new at vegie gardens so I didn't quite realize that 3 cherry tomato seedlings could turn into the amount of fruit we're getting! Not to mention all the other vegies we have in! 
Luckily one of my goals for the year is to try new and healthy recipes as well as to incorporate organic foods into our diet. I'm slowly learning to be more adventurous with cooking, so hopefully it'll become less of a chore and more fun!

Do you set goals for yourself for the year?

It's something I've done in the last 5-ish years, and I find it helps me get things done, sometimes without even realizing it! There might be a small goal that I kinda forget about and then the end of year comes and you notice you did it ages ago. It's also a way to challenge myself, get out of the comfort zone every once in a while. (Starting a blog was goal I had for 2011)

Writing goals down on paper somehow makes them achievable. Do-able.
I highly recommend it!

Stay tuned for lots more furniture re-designs in 2012 as well as more of our house. My to-do list is as long as ever...cross one off and two more appear! Just the way I like it!!

To kick off the new year on a positive note and in the words of Adele Basheer -

YOU ARE A UNIQUE AND SPECIAL PERSON, ALLOW YOURSELF TO SHINE


Courts x


Wednesday, 21 December 2011

My 'Out-Of-My-Depth' Chair

Isn't she a beauty?

My awesome mum-who-understands-my-chair-fetish bought it for me years ago.
Thanks mum!!

There's only one tiny, miniscule problem...

See the cracks? Yeah. You can't really miss them!

I've hung onto this chair, thinking 'one day I'll have the skills to fix this.'
I'm pretty sure that one day is not coming anytime soon, and I really want to have this beauty in my house and not hidden in the shed!

Does anyone have any clue on how to fix this? Any help would be much appreciated!

I hope you all have a fun-filled Christmas with your family and friends and a safe and prosperous 2012!
Thank you for reading this little blog of mine, I am thoroughly enjoying posting about my creative stuff and rest assured there'll be plenty more coming your way!!

Warmly,
Courts x




Tuesday, 20 December 2011

What To Do With Small Timber Scraps...


A few pieces of our old oregon fascia were left after the table top had been cut to size, so we turned
them into these...

A little 'love' decor



And before they were sanded and sealed...


My apologies for the photography, I seriously need some lessons! Maybe I could learn something off my four year old?! She took this one...
Of her headband and sticker book.
The very top photo is me trying to recreate this photo, just changing out the headband for my oregon heart.
Unsuccessfully.

Sigh.

Again, I need lessons. I don't have the natural ability!

I checked the weather forecast today, sunny and hot here for Christmas day. 32 degrees. Perfect! I do tend to take weather forecasts with a grain of salt now, after the whole 'rain forecast and me not taking my stuff to Natimuk market, which actually received no rain' debacle :)

Not long to go ho ho now!!

Courts x

Thursday, 15 December 2011

How-To Wash Your Hair....Seriously!



Welcome to my highly anticipated post on...wait for it...yep, I'm actually going to explain how to wash your hair.

Properly.

Well my version of properly anyway!
Just in case it's never been explained to you by your hairdresser. The many benefits of this way include;  Longer lasting hair color,  more manageable hair and you can save precious time and money!!

Just to start off, what you are about to read is what I learned during my 15 plus years as a hairdresser working with professional salon products. These strategies work for me and hopefully they will for you to. For further information regarding your hair, speak to a professional hairdresser, preferably one who knows your hair. They can recommend products specifically for your current hair and scalp type, they both can change over the years!

1. How often to wash?
My answer to this generally frustrates 2 out of 3 people! I recommend to wash your hair no more than twice a week. Once a week if you can.
Yes, I'm serious!
I can hear the cries already....but I've got an oily scalp, I can't not wash it everyday! I use a can of hairspray everyday, I can't go a whole week without washing it! Or, I feel weird if I'm in the shower and I don't wash my hair!
Let me first explain my reasoning and then I'll answer those 'questions'.
Shampooing hair removes sebum (natural oils) from your scalp and hair. We need sebum to protect your scalp and it helps to stop hair from drying out. Shampoo can fade your hair color (as well as other external aggressors, like blowdrying.) Even though you are then replacing moisture with the conditioner you use, the good stuff is already gone. Bottom line - if you want your color to last longer, shampoo it less.
 Imagine only washing your hair 52 times a year. Or 104.
You've just saved a lot of time and money.
For the hairspray users....There are lots of wonderful hairsprays on the market nowadays that are flexible, so brush out easily. You can re-apply the next day if you've brushed it out at night.
I have used this one...

find stockist here
And it gives a great hold, but doesn't leave your hair feeling like concrete. BTW soft, sexy styles are very feminine and are 'in'!  A lot of salon products are water soluble these days, so they can be removed with water. You can still wet your hair through and re-apply products, you're just skipping the washing process.

For the oily scalps, there are way's to help reduce the over-production of sebum...if you really want to know more on this, send me an email and I'd be happy to answer your questions!

If it feels wierd to you to not wash your hair everyday, first try washing it every second day to start off with. The day you don't wash your hair, wet it if you want.
For the record, I'm a twice a week girl.

2. What products to use. (BTW, when a hairdresser uses the term 'product', it does include shampoo and conditioner as well as styling products. In this instance, I'm specifically talking about shampoo and conditioner.)
Ask your hairdresser what they think is best for you to use. They know your hair the best. Trust them. What I know is this: Salon products generally use the latest technology/ingredients, that's why they cost more. However, you use less. This is something you have to teach yourself when you first start using salon products, you don't need to squeeze out a palm full each time you wash your hair! Also, and this is important......Choose your shampoo according to your scalp type and conditioner according to your hair type.
Got it? Shampoo - scalp, conditioner - hair. Good!

3. Always shampoo your hair twice.

Always!
The first shampoo will clean your hair, the second shampoo will do the job it's supposed to. What that means is, say you're using shampoo for your dry scalp. The first one cleans your hair, then the second one addresses the issue of your dry scalp, you leave it on a minute so it has a chance to deliver extra moisture into that scalp of yours. If you only do one quick shampoo, it never gets the chance to do it's real job! Let it do it's job, that's why you picked it!!
The first shampoo probably won't lather up but don't worry, it's still doing the cleaning. Sometimes though, if you feel your hair's extra dirty, give it 3 shampoo's. The first 2 to clean, the last one to do it's job!

4. Always condition.

Select your conditioner according to your hair type. Comb it through, it spreads easier and you use less. Leave it on a couple of minutes to let it work it's magic. I'd recommend you only use those 2-in1 shampoo and conditioners if you're in someone else's bathroom and that's all there is!!
Conditioner seals and protects your hair as well as giving it some all important moisture. If you don't use conditioner because you have fine hair, use a leave-in spray conditioner. You still need the moisture and protection but this way it won't weigh your hair down.

Well, I hope this has been enlightening. Some people may already be twice a week washers, some of you might wonder what planet I'm from! That's ok! Even if you try cutting back a little, I know you'll see improvement. Providing you're using the right products for you, of course!
If you're giving new products a try, shampoo for your scalp type and conditioner for your hair type, give them a chance. You need to try them for a month or two, to really see if it's working for you. If your hairdresser isn't recommending the right products for you, it might be time for a change!
Until next time,

Courts x

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Is It Going To Rain Tomorrow?

All the weather reports I've looked at seem to think so.

So I've reluctantly cancelled my spot at the Natimuk farmers market which is being held tomorrow in Natimuk from 10 - 1.30pm. I have no shelter...not even a tarp to protect furniture in transit! So rather than risk any damage to my wares, we'll stay home.

If you so happened to be interested in any of the pieces you may have seen last week at the Makers Christmas market, click on the contact tab up the top and shoot me an email. I'd be happy to show them to you again, anytime!!

Meanwhile, back at the ranch...
See these boards? They were the fascia boards on our old carport.
Circa 1937.
Oregon.

Sigh.


Needless to say, there was no way they were being thrown out. I knew exactly what these beauties were going to become, something rather lovely. And useful. Here's a little preview...


Pretty obvious what it is!! Can't wait until it's finished.

I've also been playing around with my new toy this week. My phone was accidently dropped and had it's screen shattered, so I upgraded to an IPhone and I'm loving instagram!! It's so cool, have you tried it? 1977 is my favorite so far, which is what the bottom photo is.



           

Yeah that's natural curl...sometimes a curse, sometimes a blessing. The best of both worlds. When it behaves! Luckily I'm in the know with how to handle it and that just may be another hair-ie post topic. I've had good feedback so far on my first hair related post. So I may dare to do another one!

Hope you're having a wonderful weekend!

Courts x

Thursday, 8 December 2011

3 Things Your Hairdresser Needs You To Know...

...but might not have told you for various reasons.

In case you missed it, I did a post about how I used to be a hairdresser. I want to pass on some of the things I learned over my 15 plus years in the industry and this is the first post on the subject. Sorry, no pretty pictures for this one! I may or may not be going OTT here. I apologize now in case you think I do!

1. How-to wash your hair. Properly.
Yep, it's not just lather, rinse and repeat. There's a bit more to it and if you haven't been told the in's and out's of hair washing, I will be posting about that soon, it's kinda long!

2. If you love what they do, tell everyone! Hairdressers rely on word of mouth advertising, so do them a favour and let your friends and family know what a great job they do!
And even more importantly, if you don't love what they do, tell them!! I know it's not easy to say, 'Look, I'm not really happy with the cut/color. Is there something that can be done to change it?'  But as a hairdresser, I would be so much happier if you said it to me and I could fix it, rather than not having the chance and you leaving the salon and telling all your friends what a hideous job I did.
As a professional, I would do everything in my power to make it right for you. You have to wear it! You wouldn't be the first to tell the hairdresser you didn't like it and you probably won't be the last! Things happen. Hairdressers have bad days too.

3. The reason why you sometimes have to wait for a hairdresser is not always their fault. Sometimes it is. They didn't allow enough time for the work they had booked in. Or sometimes the scenario goes like this...

A client arrives 20 minutes late for their appointment because they had a flat tire/sick child/can't get a park etc.
How can you tell someone who's child suddenly became sick and they had to wait for their husband to get home before they could travel the 30 mins to get to the salon for their scheduled hair cut, which they've waited an extra 3 weeks for anyway because you're so busy, that because they're late you can no longer do them and you can't squeeze them in until next week? Or next year! Nobody's that cruel, right?
So you do their hair, which they're grateful for, but you're then running 20-25 mins late for your next client. And the client after that and the one after that.
It's nobody's fault. It just happens sometimes.

On a side note, in case your wondering where the time gets made up. And I'm coming from plenty of experience here (as if you couldn't already tell! Rant much?) The hairdresser makes it up in his/her lunch break if the client was late in the morning. Or they work late, for no extra pay, into the night until everyone's done!
Next time your having your hair done and you have to wait a little, give your stylist a hug! He/she may just need it!! Chances are they're feeling a little stressed and are probably hungry to boot! Especially this time of the year...it is the silly season after all!

That about wraps it up, hope it gives you a little insight into a hairdressers world. Please don't take offence if you've ever been late to a hair appointment! I was 15 minutes late to my waxing appointment last week! I apologized and it turned out ok, luckily I'm not that hairy!!
The bottom line is, we're all human. Mistakes are a given.
Maybe we could start a movement? Hug-a-hairdresser! I'm sure they'd appreciate it, I know I would!

Bring on the weekend!!

Courts x

Monday, 5 December 2011

A Quick Check In!

What a fabulous day Saturday was! The weather was perfect for an outdoor market, I sold a few things and I met some awesome people! I had lots of wonderful comments on my furniture and I handed out all of my info cards. An all round success I'd say!! A big thank you to everyone who took time out to either buy my stuff or let me know how much they loved them, being new to this I really appreciate the feedback!!

FYI, these got the most comments and are still available to buy...


After all...who goes to a market expecting to buy furniture?! Hopefully people will now!!

One of the best things about the day was meeting up with other local bloggers!! I met Deb from lets go moerkabout!



 Jacqueline from zippy zippy world, whom I knew but didn't know she blogged! She makes cool things like this...


 I had my friend Bianca from Ivy loves Jack helping me out all morning.

IMG_8445
 That's her gorgeous little girl who was also on hand to help out on Saturday!! I really couldn't have done it without Bianca, she kept me reassured and (hopefully) level headed leading up to and throughout the market!! I did get the first timers jitters a little!

Who knew there was a little blogging community in my town?!

Now for whatever reason, lot on my mind I guess, I forgot to take my camera to the market! Oops!! However, Deb kindly took some photo's and has put them up on her blog which you can go and check out here. She has written a hilarious post along with the lovely photos, you might even learn a cool new word!! I know I did!

I was also recommended to get a stall at the Natimuk Farmers Market this Sunday, which I am looking into and will keep you posted on!!

Hope you're having a wonderful start to the week!

Courts x

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Something Small...

So, I'm selling some of my furniture at the Makers Christmas Market on Saturday and I figured I need some smaller stuff to have at my stall as well! I haven't done much smaller stuff before so it's been fun working on projects that I can get done in a couple of days...remember I have kids, one hour BC (before children) now equates to one day for me!!

I HAVE to do what I love, otherwise what's the point right? I couldn't expect anyone else to love, and therefore spend money on something, that I'd made that I didn't love. It wouldn't feel 'right' to me.

What to do?

If you've read pretty much any of my posts, you'll know I love furniture and I love stripes...so the obvious answer to me was......lamps!! They're kind of furniture, small and I can paint stripes if I so desire!! And I did...


desire some stripes that is!! Here's a little of the process for this one.
This lamp has a beautiful shade, just not so nice in the leg department. Just four little metal sticks really.




Oh, you get a glimpse of my orange dining table!! It's on my to-do list.
The shade is kinda like woven straw, not sure exactly what it technically is! I guess I'm not really a technical girl...I'm more of a 'wing it' girl! I like to think that what I do is art and there are no limitations or rules and regulations. Just let the creativity flow and be yourself is my motto!
With that in mind, I knew I wanted to create a modern, patterned look for this shade so I thought I'd give chevron a try.


No measuring here! I wanted it to look organic and non-mass produced. Embrace imperfections people!!



I thought it needed a little something else besides the white chevron, so I added the silver stripes...what?! Me do more stripes?!! Who'd have thought!

I cut off those hideous legs so I could use it on a more modern lamp base, which I also painted.


I think it almost has a beachy feel. I love the texture and the soft white almost blends into the natural color. I initially considered a bright color, but opted out of that idea because of the texture the shade has. I think it would have ended up too busy. What do you think?

Here's another smaller one I re-covered then painted stripes on...am I sounding like a broken record yet?!
The base was brass. Some people love brass. I don't. I painted it. I'm not apologizing, either.


If you happen to be from around Horsham or surrounds, please come down to the library on Saturday and say g'day at the market...maybe you'll see a few things you like!
If you're on the other side of the world...I'll let you know how it goes! After I've done a bit of this...


Cheers,

Courts x

Linking to:    Saved by Suzy

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Some News!!

I did plan on doing this post about a week ago, but things have been a little hectic around here lately so my apologies!!
The reason it's been so hectic is because I am getting ready for my first market!!! Yep, I'm going to be selling some of the furniture I've been re-designing...you can probably hear Tony sighing 'Thank goodness' from your place! Our house/shed is kinda jammed at the moment, Tony wants his shed back!!

I'm selling at the Makers Christmas Market in Horsham this Saturday the 3rd of December outside the library, I can't wait!! I've been busy making some smaller things to go with the furniture, like these book ends I just posted about plus a few other goodies which I will share!

Here are some of the furniture pieces that'll be up for grabs...














Hopefully it'll be a beautiful day, so far the forecast looks good, 22 degrees. I have no shelter/gazebo so if it happens to pour, I'll have to stay home!
Wish me luck!!

Courts x

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Make-It-Yourself Book Ends

These bookends are so cool and super easy.


Here's what you need:

A sheet of 5 or 7 ply.      I used 7 ply, the hardware store can cut it for you
4 screws for each book end
drill
jigsaw
paint to decorate     I just used ordinary house paint. Whatever you have on hand!
spray polyurethane to seal

How to make it yourself:

First, work out what size you want your book ends to be. Measure the general size of the books they'll be holding up and make your book end measurements a little smaller than that. Also work out your design that'll go on the book end so you'll know roughly how big and what shape you need those to be.

To make 2 book ends you'll need 4 x rectangle shapes at your measurements.
Draw them on your sheet of ply and cut out with a jigsaw, or get your husband to do it like I did!! He rounded 2 corners on each one for me.



Next, you'll need 2 pieces for your design to go on


This might give you an idea on the size of my middle piece as I haven't measured it, sorry!



Now you will have 4 rectangles with 2 curved corners on each and two middle pieces for your design to go on. Sanding time!! You don't have to go overboard with the sanding, just take the roughness off. I did most of mine with a sanding block however some were a little too rough so I used my mouse sander for that.
Now you can paint on your design.



I drew on the outline with a pencil then filled it in with paint. Let it dry overnight at least before you start assembling.
All that's left is to put it all together. Tony pre-drilled the holes first.


This above photo is of the bottom. You want to screw the 2 bigger rectangles together first. They're the 2 screws on the right.
Then place your middle piece in and screw it in once from the bottom and once from the side...



You could fill in over the screws with putty if you were going to paint. I'm leaving them raw and you won't see any screws as they are either on the bottom or pressed against the books.

Now give it all a couple of coats of spray poly, letting it dry in between as per manufacturers instructions of course!! And your done!


If you have any questions, ask away! I'd be more than happy to answer them for you!!
Enjoy the rest of the week, I'll be back in the next couple of days with some news!!
Courts x

Linking to:
 36th WP Button Party

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Make-It-Yourself Fake Books

I half heartedly contemplated calling this project 'faux books' but for some reason, I don't like the word faux. It's just not a word I ever use!

This project is really easy and there are limitless variations and uses for some fake books, so lets get to it!
Here's what you'll need:

Small book sized boxes.            I used biscuit, coffee and snack boxes.
Craft glue or hot glue gun        I used both
Spray paint/s                             In whatever color/s you like
Permanent marker

The first decision you'll need to make is how many 'books' you want to have. There is a rule about using odd numbers when grouping objects together as it works so much better visually.  I generally like to break rules so I compromised and did one set with 5 and one with 6!! :)



Arrange the boxes in order that looks appealing to you. A few random heights and thicknesses work best, just like real books. Hot glue each one together in the order you chose. I did mine upside down as the botooms of the boxes were neater to be the top of my books.

Apply your craft glue to where you opened your box so that it's now closed down flat. You could also at this point put something inside, like rice perhaps, to add weight to your books if  necessary.

Once the glue has dried, it's time to paint. This is after one coat...



Let it dry then apply second coat.



Leave it now for at least 24 hours to dry, then you can draw on any design you like to make them look more 'bookish', using your permanent marker. I went really simple with mine, it's more me!




You could go more out there...have each book a different color, paint them with more texture so they look more real. The sky's the limit!
So why did I make these?


I'll share that very soon!
Oh, do you like the book ends? They are easy, easy to make!! Stay tuned for a tutorial on how to make some for yourself, or for a unique Christmas gift for a loved one.
Yeah it's only 6 weeks away, crazy!! One more hair cut to go for 2011 for those 6 weekly trim people!! I still think like that even though I haven't cut hair for a couple of years now, old habits die hard!!

Have an awesome week!

Courts x

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