Sunday, January 31, 2010

Lamp & terrarium DIY.

I visited my local charity stores and the only item I came home with was a lamp for which I paid a measly $3. I liked the shabby base but definitely not the shade (it doesn’t match the nursery!).

I’ve never attempted to change a shade before or really even considered it but I have been reading some blog posts which have totally inspired me.

I removed the existing shade, which peeled off rather easily and used that as a guide to cut the new fabric. Craft glue in one hand and shade on the other and I was off. Turned out ok and looks super cute in the nursery.

I also have an old fish bowl which has been sitting waterless and fishless in our bathroom for a few years now. So since we recently cleaned up the back yard, I thought I’d put together a terrarium for the outdoor table. I kept the pebbles in there, a layer of carbon (the ones used to filter a fish tank), soil and then plants. I chose succulents only because they are so easy to grow and needs little TLC. A great little project for those who are green thumb challenged!

What did you do this weekend?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Nursery purchases, before and after.

I haven’t mentioned much about the progress of the nursery. Don’t be fooled I have been like an insane woman scouting, sanding or painting furniture for the nursery.

I have been on the lookout for a bookshelf and laundry hamper for a while now both on ebay and thrifting. Finally, I found both on my thrift trip over the weekend. Both are cane and in pretty good condition. I get so excited and I love LOVE finding items during my trips. Don’t get me wrong, I usually don’t find anything but sometimes you just get so damn lucky!

I wanted these in the nursery so they obviously needed to be repainted white. This is my first “project” with spray paint so I really didn’t know what I was in for. I found spray paint by White Knights which is lead free and has non chroming properties. A great find given I’m six months pregnant!

Firstly I cleaned the hamper and bookshelf. And then I put my gear on, shorts/tshirt/thongs a.k.a. workwear, goggles, mask and spray painted my heart away. I didn’t realise that spray painting was so difficult! Ok not difficult but…awkward?! In hindsight, I maybe should have used a brush instead. Has anyone else tried to paint cane furniture? Did you have any issues?

Took a few hours to dry and once ok I had to put it in the nursery immediately. It’s very shabby chic but i think it works!

I started to paint the shelf before I realised I hadn’t taken a picture! So the before shot of the shelf should really be titled “in progress”.

I forgot to mention  the lid on the hamper wasn't attached so I used black ribbons to keep it in place and allow for opening and closing.
The nursery is almost finished. I am just waiting on a toy box, which I'm not sure I will get *sigh*.
The room smells like paint so I had to move some plants in there to filter the air. I *heart* indoor plants .... but I'll save that for another post.
Until next time!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

New ebay items listings tonight.

Here are some ebay items that will be listed tonight. Have a peak!

Just search vintagefokus in search bar tonight or click on this link

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Miss J - Our dog

I don’t think I’ve mentioned the other part of our household…our dog Miss J! We got her as a gift for our engagement. Our friends plopped her on our front door one night, rang the door bell and we immediately fell in love!

Her first night with us, we were woken up at 3am by a crying pup because she didn’t want to sleep in her “mess”. So K and I spent the next hour bathing her and mopping the laundry floor…what a night!

Here are a few pictures of Miss J, isn’t she cute/big? (hehehhe)

Look at those paws!

A few months old.

Harrassing the dog next door.

A big smile for the camera!

Miss J is a cross great dane/bull mastiff and is the most placid dog you will ever meet – just make sure K or I have introduced you.

Today she had a vet appointment due for her annual shots and ongoing skin problems - always scratching to the point where she bleeds. We have been to four vets and all of them useless! So today we went to a new vet and she was absolutely wonderful. She explained what may cause the itchiness:

1. Mites

2. Food

3. Touch/Atopic

4. Allergies

So now it's a matter of elimination. Miss J has to get skin scrapings and is on special dog food. It’s going to be a slow process and could take up to 3-4 months to diagnose/ make a full recovery. Does anyone else have skin problems with their dog?

Note: Don't forget to check out my ebay items ending soon

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Dinner craving.

Tonight I had a craving for one of K’s pasta dishes. Usually this is cooked with prawns but I felt like fish so he worked with that.

In our household, my husband K does all the cooking. Let’s say it’s a hobby and not a chore for him. On the other hand, I can’t cook anything more involved than 2 minute noodles, boiled eggs and….. *scratches head and thinks hard*

Anyway here are some of the ingredients that went into tonight’s dinner.

And here is the finished dish. Yum!

Going to finish dinner off with some Dairy Bell ice cream. Have a great night!

P.S. Check out my new listings on ebay:

Friday, January 15, 2010


I’ve been a busy bee preparing the nursery hence the lack of posts. Every night this week I’ve stayed up until midnight (yes that is super late for me) moving the furniture in and diy décor. I can’t believe I’m 70% there! YAY!

So I had a bit of a problem with the chest of drawers. I imagined it to be painted in white and replace the knobs with antique wrought iron style round handles. I found the perfect set on ebay at a bargain price. I received them and they were too damn big! Note to self: CHECK MEASUREMENTS! I know it’s ebay rule 101, but I was so excited I found them. Anywho, they will probably end up on ebay again – or I’ll store for some other furniture makeover.

I went back to the original knobs and was going to paint them black to contrast with the white. But that was too boring. So I went on Etsy to look for some inspiration. Etsy never disappoints! I found handmade fabric covered drawer knobs and they were exactly what I was after. So of I went to Lincraft to choose a fabric and craft glue.

So I started off with this:

And ended up with these:

It’s pretty simple to make. All you need is craft glue, fabric and a knob(s). Check out the tutorial on this blog

I had a bit of material left over so used that to make a table runner to place on top of the chest. I like how the runner and knobs match.

I also sewed together a change pad cover (fitted Sheet). Got the fabric from remnants basket at Spotlight. Wouldn’t have taken too long if I measured correctly and sewed on the correct side. BUT I got there and here is the before and after shots. The picture doesn’t really do it justice but trust me it looks better in person (and on the actual change table).

If you haven’t noticed already, the nursery will predominantly be black and white in décor with a hint of romance. I’m not finished yet but I promise to do a comprehensive post once it’s done. In the meantime, keep checking in...

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Today is the end of our heatwave and alas, the cool change is here!

All weekend I was in my parents garage sanding and painting the baby furniture. Trust me when I say it was hot...38 degrees hot plus electric sander, goggles and dust mask! But I am a pregnant woman on a mission. This nesting instinct is definitely taking over my life! Why didn’t anyone warn me about this?

K was at home finishing the backyard. Our decking was so dirty and dry it took a number of times to clean and scrub plus three coats of decking oil. Glad K was in charge of that!

We had family portrait shots at Treasury Gardens on Sunday morning. It was an intense hour of smile, walk, look this way, move an inch here and an inch there. Phew! I have a new found respect for models.

Here is a picture of my view and me sitting in St Patrick’s Cathedral  garden after the "photo shoot".

Dress: CKM
Shoes: Big W
Sunglasses: Salvatore Ferragamo

Today I received the handles for my chest of drawers from ebay . Absolutely gorgeous BUT too big. DEVASTATED!

Friday, January 8, 2010


Well today is the start of a four day heat wave. Temperature soared to 38 degrees and I am literally melting. To make it worse, I’m back at work and can’t even spend my day around the pool or beach *groan*

Here I am with my feet up. Trust me this is a very very rare sight. Usually I can’t sit still!

Top: Portmans
Leggings: Cotton On

Bangles: From India

Watch: DKNY

Don’t forget to check out my ebay listings

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Front Garden Makeover.

We moved into our house about three years ago and the estate we live in advised that, as part of our land contract, they will do the front landscape for free. Sweet deal!

So the grass was laid and shrubs planted and” ta-dah” – the landscape was done without having to lift a finger. Garden was nice and neat until water restrictions came into force (unfortunately, I don’t have a picture of the original landscape). AND I didn’t know how hard it was to maintain real grass! Also, at this time I was too busy trying to furnish the house and honestly didn’t care too much about the front yard.

So without any tlc the front garden was overcome by weeds, overgrown grass, dying plants and a mound of unused gravel left over from the back yard. Yes – you guessed it, we were that derelict looking house on the street. It hurt my eyes every time I came home.

So late last year, I decided that something had to be done. K & I agreed to get the front yard looking somewhat presentable and of course to stick to a budget, i.e. $2,000.

So here are the before shots – trust me it looked worse in real life.

We hired someone with a bobcat to clear the garden except the magnolia tree. Then K & I decided on the layout. I bought the plants from the local weekend market – much cheaper than a nursery or Bunnings. K placed the timber borders for the garden bed, planted, organized rock and got someone to lay the Tuscan topping. K & a friend cut the fake grass to size, prepared the foundation and laid the grass. The two pot plants at the front were indoors but look better outside, so didn’t cost me anything but a “Please K can you carry them outside?”. This garden blitz took us a few weekends with family coming to help when they had spare time. But I must admit – this version looks much better than the previous don’t you think?

Overall, we spent no more than $1,600. That’s $400 under budget *happy happy joy joy*!

Monday, January 4, 2010


Today is my second last day of holidays then back to work. Oh how time flies when you’re having fun!

I’ve heard that “nesting” instincts in women start to kick in around five months and mine was right on time. These holidays I have cleaned out the nursery, house and almost finished the back yard (with the help of K naturally). Also, I’ve been on the hunt for nursery furniture. Christmas is always a bad time financially so I don’t really have the funds to purchase any new furniture. Hence, I’ve needed to think of alternative ways to furnish the baby room on the thrift. K doesn’t believe me when I say I can do up the nursery on a budget. So – here is my challenge.

Absolute must items are as follows:

1. Cot

2. Change Table

3. Chest of drawers

4. Rocking Chair

5. Toy Chest

6. Bookshelf

7. Rug (preferably a thick white shaggy one)

Can you believe I have the first four! Ok so they are not in the best condition but with a bit of elbow grease and new paint they will be good as new. By the way, on top of my “nesting” instincts on hard drive, my DIY impulse has also taken over.

Here are pictures of the items I have been successful in purchasing. These are “before” shots and I will definitely show you “after” shots once the nursery is complete.

Cot – hand me down thanks to Aunt D & Uncle R

Needs to be stripped, repainted and of course, assembled.

Change Table – Salvo’s

Needs to be sanded lightly and repainted.

Chest of drawers – Ebay

Needs to be sanded and painted.

Rocking Chair – Ebay (see previous post)

To be sanded and varnished.

I got these items at absolute bargain prices, except for the cot which was free!

I am considering painting the furniture white except for the rocking chair. Haven’t really decided on the décor yet, but I have another 3+ months to think about that.

Dad said he will help us out. I swear Dad and Uncle D don’t stop when it comes to handyman things. Here’s a picture of them today downsizing a vanity unit for another Uncle who is renovating his entire house!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Costco escapade.

Costco has been open in Melbourne for some time now and I have heard both good and bad. So I thought I would go and check it out for myself.

If you’ve never been just imagine a massive warehouse full of everything that you need! The trolleys are MASSIVE. I swear I saw a lady pushing a trolley holding five kids! WOAH!

Half of Costco consisted of consumables and groceries and the other half of electrical, homewares, furniture, clothing, white goods and even jewellery.

I focused more on the groceries and quickly browsed through the other sections. You really need to know your prices and be prepared to buy in bulk. Otherwise, you could/will/did spend more than anticipated.

I think the novelty definitely got the better of me today.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Hello 2010 - please be good to me!

Happy new year to all! Hope the hang over isn’t too bad…

I had a pretty quiet night. The first NYE that I have gone without any alcohol since I turned 18! I hope to make up for it next NYE…

I hope 2010 will be as great as 2009! Although no European holiday planned *sob*, there is the bub on the way YAY!

Anyway, below is one of my recent “hello I’m pregnant” outfits.

Jacket: Lee (thrifted)
Maxi Dress: Bardot
Necklace & Bracelet: Tiffany & Co. (gifts from the lovely K)
Bag: Coach (gift)