Saturday, 26 March 2016

Our renovation updates

Probably some of you might be wondering how our renovation is going, so I'll keep you updated. All the work by our builder has been done, but we're still painting walls and the ceiling. I know it's very slow compared with those renovation TV shows, but this is the reality. Lucky we've got just a small space, but there's still many parts to paint.

I don't know what other people do, but what I learnt from my Aussie family is this.. If you want to do a proper painting job, for each room you need to do wall undercoat cutting-in, rolling, ceiling undercoat cutting-in, rolling, wall first topcoat cutting-in, rolling, ceiling first topcoat cutting-in, rolling, wall second topcoat cutting in, rolling, ceiling second topcoat cutting in, rolling. 12 steps for each room!!! (+ window frame, skirting boards, architraves and doors.)

Paul's parents are away quite a lot this month so one of us always had to stay with our little boy. Paul's sister (aka our project manager) Maria is helping us quite a lot, but she has a little boy too. Every night after our boys have gone to sleep, Maria and I go to the new house and paint...FYI Paul has just started his new job and he's pretty tired from it, so he stays with Nico. We still need to get up in the middle of the night for our toddlers so it's not easy. I used to do some of my work like writing my blog after Nico went to sleep, but I don't have time for that now :-(

Probably we'll be painting over this Easter long weekend. No time for fun. I'm so much looking forward to sitting on the couch and watching TV after dinner at our freshly painted new home!


Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Sweet Home Project -Renovation Week 6

At the start of our renovation project, I wrote that this was going to be a 6 week project. So, did everything finish now? The answer is no!  But we don't blame our builder, because his work has almost finished before week 6. What I found during this project is that there is always some waiting time for other tradies, like the plumber, electrician, tiler etc. . It's difficult for them to come to our place at the exact timing we need them. If we ask for any plumber, any electrician, maybe some one could come I guess, but all builders have preferable or trustworthy tradies to work with and it's better to use them for a successful renovation.

our laundry cabinet in the bathroom

Anyway there are still some things to be done at our place.

Shaft for skylight (builder)
Kitchen doors (cabinet maker)
Laundry cabinet doors (cabinet maker)
Kitchen tiles (tiler)
Kitchen bench top (stonemason)
Floor sanding (floor specialist)
Carpeting (carpet specialist)
Painting (us)
Bath screen (bath screen specialist)

Probably if these people could come at the same time, our renovation would finish in one day even , but there is certain order too, like before floor sanding, we need to paint all the rooms, before carpeting, the floor needs sanding and after floor polishing, we need to leave a week to dry...etc.. We will need to wait 2-3weeks to move.

But actually this is much better than I expected. What I heard or read about renovations in Australia was worse. Like lazy builders who finish work at 2pm, tradies who never show up on the day they promised, inexperienced tradies who ruin everything and takes ages to fix up all the bad jobs... We never had these kinds of trouble. All the tradies who got involved in our renovation project did such wonderful professional jobs so far. I guess we are not just lucky. It's because our project manager Maria is organizing the right people and sometimes making sure they come on the right day.

Nico loves climbing boxes!

Our painting preparation is still going and our friends and family helped us with sanding over the last weekend. My sister even came from Sydney to look after our Nico for us to do some work. But I think she actually just missed her nephew too ;)

The worst nightmare we found at our new place was that the previous owner painted over some wallpaper in one of the bedrooms. Some parts of the wallpaper started to peel off or showed an ugly line, so we had to remove them, but since it's painted it's difficult to remove. Paul's parents, his sister, my sister and me were doing this scraping job in turns last Sunday, but it will take more time to finish this.

With love,

Thursday, 3 March 2016

Sweet Home Project -renovation week 5

So, the bathroom floor and wall tiles are installed. The kitchen cupboards are installed. Now what else?

Week 5 was a bit too hot in Melbourne and our cabinet maker postponed painting the cabinet doors. So we've only got basic cupboard at the moment. They will finish the doors and the laundry cupboard in week 6. They also have the template for the bench top so this will be installed next week or after, and then the kitchen tiles. I heard the bench top takes about 2 weeks after they get the template.

We will get the skylight installed in our dark bathroom too so that's very exciting. Now we've started painting one of the bedrooms!

Well...not quite painting yet. I never expected the preparation for painting to be so hard. Sanding..sanding..sanding! Sore hand, sore neck, sore shoulders. But in a way, I am so glad that I can learn a lot of things from my father in law and sister in law. Before I got married to Paul, I didn't know anyone who could do a handy man's job. All those skills seemed to be passed down in a family, but my parents don't do any of those jobs.. That's quite normal in Japan. 

makeover: bathroom into bedroom

new window is installed and looks lighter!But still the old toilet is there

Now I got this chance to learn about sanding, filling and so on and I'm super excited! We do these painting preparations and painting after Nico goes to sleep on weekdays too. It's not easy after a long day with a 16 month old son and my business but it's all for our future home. I will try my best so that we can move into our new home in two weeks!

With love,

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Our first TENUGUI + FUROSHIKI workshop

We had our first workshop last Saturday and had a great time ourselves. Well, our participants gave us some good feedback too, so it seems like everyone enjoyed themselves.

we made cutlery case with TENUGUI!

I wanted to include all the attractive points of TENUGUI and FUROSHIKI, so it went longer than I expected and my husband Paul said he started feel hungry during the workshop! Next time, I have to improve some parts definitely.

Through the preparation for this workshop, I learned a lot about the use of TENUGUI and FUROSHIKI myself - it really surprised me and I became a big fan of these fabrics all over again. I'm hoping to get more TENUGUI for myself and use them fully at our new home.

before starting the workshop..why do we need wine??

If you are interested in this workshop, please sign up for our monthly letter here. We will let you know all updated information in the newsletter.
This is also good fun to do with your friends. It's good for hens day crafter-noon party too. (I had a crafter-noon for my hens party too! ) If you have more than three people, I can also come to you.

I'm soooo excited about introducing this TENUGUI + FUROSHIKI world to you!

With love,