Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Long weekend

Had a lovely (birthday) weekend.

Planted a Magnolia x Soulangeana, purchased from the nearby Weber's Nursery. I've loved this type of magnolia for a long time. As a kid I can remember them coming in to flower in and around the suburb I grew up in in Sydney. So pleased we've planted one here. Of course it's just a stick really at the moment . . . but hopefully when spring comes I'll be able to take some photos. (Weber's also has a cafe that I'd recommend. It serves really lovely cakes and is great value for money.)

Saw this new Australian movie (which is fantastic), at the wonderful and slightly quirky Mt Vic Flicks.

Had much fun playing with my new toy, this great digital internet radio. Now we're listening to music from all over the world despite living in a non-digital radio part of Australia.

Visited the local Growers Market. Which has an amazing range of products. I love talking to people who actually make things! Each time I go I meet new people, and this time I discovered there is a buffalo farm in East Kurrajong. Their ice cream made from buffalo milk was sensational.

Enjoyed spending time with visiting family. A weekend visit is the best way to catch up!

But I'd have to say the highlight was High Tea (with champagne!) at the Carrington Hotel in Katoomba. This was a lovely way to celebrate a birthday with the whole family and a great thing to do in the mountains on a misty, winters day.

Having the extra day off school/work made such a difference!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Heating & a new project

The sun is out today which is great after the last few days of cold and lashing rain. This will be our first winter with our underfloor heating working throughout the ground floor of the house. Quite a milestone! 

Of course the piping was all put in when the slab was poured right at the beginning, but it wasn't until last spring that we were able to purchase the heat pump that makes it all work. 

There isn't any natural gas at this property, and as we have quite substantial winters, it's important that we are able manage the running costs of whatever heating we use. We have a wood burning fire in the family room that we light in the evenings that adds warmth and makes the room feel cozy. There is a lot of timber lying around that we are able to collect from the property and this fire is also connected to the piping in the floor and gives the heat pump a hand. 

We've recently been doing some work on the garage/studio. Mainly installing new windows and doors in the garage section. Upstairs is the two bedroom studio that my sister and her children lived in for a few years.

New timber door and windows at back.

The main push to finish this building now is because we would like to be able to rent out the studio for short stays. I think it will be a good project for me to manage and hopefully will provide some extra funds to help negate our heating bill!

New unpainted garage doors at front.

Keith has built the garage doors and once they have had some details added, I'll give them a coat of paint. There is quite a bit still to do, but we've made a good start and hopefully it won't be too long before both the inside and the outside are ready. Can't wait to show some 'after' photos!

Small 'wicket door' for easy access.

This is the picture we used as the starting point for inspiration, minus the top row of glass.

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