Saturday, 31 January 2009


There is a beautiful blogspot I visit daily at this address . The blogger is an interior designer, and she posted some info the other day about having fresh flowers in the house. Apparently, if you see fresh flowers first thing in the morning, particularly in the kitchen, you will have a calmer start to the day and feel less stressed during the day. I thought I'd try it, so I bought a bouquet to keep Jamie company in the kitchen.

Then, when I realised today that the Geisha Girl tree by the front door needed trimming, I grabbed some condiment bottles and a small water bottle to hold the cuttings, which I then placed in the loungeroom.
I filled a big Decor tub on the front window ledge, which looked so good when I finished, that it inspired me to actually leave it there! Love those little purple flowers.

New computer desk from Ikea!!!!!!

I have been wanting to get a new desk for ages and now it's here! You wouldn't be able to even guess how excited I am about this!! A desk with shelves!! I am in heaven!!!! I cannot even express it. Anyway, I spent a bit of time today filling some of the shelves. I want them to be decorative as well as functional.

And along the top, my collection of inspirational books. As the inscription on the Willow Tree figurine says, Open Books, Open Minds.

Jack and Jonathon at the park and the oval

The school term is beginning!

I thought I would show you how I have been setting up my classroom over the last couple of days. I LOVE this part of my job; arranging furniture, organising, cleaning, sorting out the dress-ups - basically, the same things I do at home! I LOVE making adorable play spaces for Kindy kids. There will be eighteen of them starting school on Monday. Get ready for the fun!

I have to show you this 'before' shot, because it may give you an idea as to why teachers groan and carry on at the thought of going back to work after the holidays.

Now for some 'after' shots! With the help of the lovely Diana (my assistant for the day), we were able to make shiny new labels for the children's take-home boxes (they put drawings, newsletters, etc. in there to take home at the end of the day). Best price that I've found for boxes like these is 5 for $3 from Ikea (gosh I love that place!) It looks a little colourless, but once the children put things in the boxes, the whiteness prevents the area from looking too cluttered.

Next, is the puzzle area. The children's names will be on that blue pocket chart next week, and behind the chart are all the reading resources.

Here are the new name tags for the children to wear on Monday. Thanks, Diana!

The cuter-than-cute mat area, where the children assemble for lessons. Check out the spotty hessian (from Spotlight) - love it! Mum got me the hot pink Eeyore - adorable! The hessian hides teaching resources like CDs, construction sets, puppets, TV.

The reading corner. It needs some cushions, but oh, how I love to see children reading books!

Home corner. Oh my gosh - adorable! The dress-up trolley needs some more clothes, but Mum is onto that. She's at our place with Jack today, and she's ironing the dress-ups for me. Thanks Mum!

The art trolley. Love the look of drawing implements - colour, lines! In the bottom right hand corner is a bowl of glass writing stones. If you know a child with a funny pencil grip, get some of these stones (Bunnings, about $5). The child chooses one and holds it in the palm of their hand, just with the last two fingers. This leaves the other three fingers free to hold a crayon/pencil/texta. Works every tme!

A table for role-playing; on one side a castle, on the other, a dollshouse. Yes, the doll bed is tragic, (mattress on the floor, uni-student style!) but I will order a new one from a toy supplier next week, as the last bed broke. Note the cabbage patch mini dolls - they are about 25 years old! They belonged to my sister, Kristie.

Transport for the construction area. (Those trucks were FILTHY from finger prints at the beginning of the day. Eww!) The green baskets were donated from Bunnings. Very handy!

How much would I love for these blocks to be put away like this at the end of every day? Kindy kids just can't do it, but this year I'm going to put this photo above the shelf and ask them to copy it. Let's see if that works!

Computer corner and drawing table. These days the kids swarm around the computer! I totally get it.

Fishing - the perfect ice-breaking game, and one that draws in the dads.
There are three more rods, but, at the moment they are tangled!

The mandatory playdough table. Great for encouraging conversation, because the children need to share tools. Also, therapeutic, for those who like textures.

On my desk, a Dutch clog that Kristie picked up for me from Holland, a box of note paper, postcards, stickers and stamps, and a calendar from Chudleigh honey farm in Tassie. The number blocks split, but I still use it. Too cute!

So, a few more spaces to organise on the weekend and I'll be ready to go! I love the beginning of the school year! (Can you tell?)

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Good buys

I better keep posting now, because school starts for teachers on Thursday, and I may never get to post again!

I went to the shops last week and got some great buys. Firstly, at Coles I found this el cheapo set of office supplies. All this for $15!

Next, from Newspower I found a beautiful diary for work.

I got some photo albums from Kmart, and filled them up with photos of Tasmania.
And this book from Angus and Robertson's. I feel guilty saying I bought it for the cover (so pretty!) but actually it has turned out to be a really good read.
A bit like Chocolat, as the girls mix magic flowers from the garden into their cooking to influence people's behaviour. Quirky and fun!

And on the subject of books, I've just read these three books.

  • P.S. I Love You: good, but the movie was better.
  • A Small Part of History: pioneers on the Oregon trail, wow, what they put up with!
  • And Midnight is a Lonely Place - a gripping thriller, but bit of an anti-climax at the end.

I've just finished this book too.

This one's really quirky! But beautiful, magical.
Now, I better go fold some washing.

Australia Day BBQ Lunch

Invited Emma and Paul to our place for a BBQ lunch. Jonathon always makes a brilliant BBQ and Emma brought a yummy salad. Lots of laughs were had!!

Then we went to have a look at the house Emma and Paul are building. It is so exciting, I think, seeing an idea creep up bit by bit until it is exactly how you envisioned it to be. So I'm posting rooms of their house here, and then we'll look back later when it's finished.

View from the street.

A week or so before, with Em standing at the front door.

The master bedroom, with bed going under the high window.

Three windows on the wall closest to the street.

Ensuite: this side of the half wall will be a double basin, other side a double shower (two shower heads- oh luxury!)

To the right, Paul's wardrobe space, to the left, Emma's. Loving this!
Across the hallway, the home theatre, with space for a BIG tele!

Nice, spacious hallway.

Study, with huge space for scrapbooking, sewing etc. Love it!
View from study. That bright sky tells you the beach is close and it is a very hot day!

Brenden's bedroom.

Khayla and Rhys's bedroom.

The bathroom and toilet between the bedrooms.

View from the fridge recess of the huge kitchen, dining, living area, out to the alfresco.

View of same room from the other end.

From left to right, bench space, pantry, wall oven, fridge recess.

Laundry: that whole wall there is for built-in cupboards. Good thinking!

Alfresco area.

Double garage: bigger than this picture shows.

A few more months and I'll show you the end results. Can't wait!