Rove Concepts


Why not much progress at the new old house

People are starting to ask to see more of my renovation. I have to tell the truth. There isn't much progress at all. Yes I need to photograph my book page hallway properly but I'm waiting on a light and a piece of art for the space. Perhaps I'll have a half way done photo shoot this weekend if the light is OK. But the real truth why there is not much action here? No money. Some of you will remember that I took 6 months off from work due to ill health. This was mostly leave without pay. Hence the grinding halt to work around here. It's amazing what two salaries do for a house renovation. Full steam ahead. With one? Sputter sputter klunk stop. The good news is that I am much much better health wise. The bad news is that because I feel so good and the coffers are empty I shall be returning to work in about a month. Yeah! Money! Boo! Back to work for the government. The fun thing will be that I will now have 3 jobs. Public servant, blogger and soon to be e-retailer. Soon I promise. Oooh you should have seen the linen sheets that came in today. And as for the jewellery we just ordered! If edgy and large ring your bells you'll love it.

Slowly working on my painting. I'll have to speed up. I only have a few weeks left. What is it? Look closely. It's a portrait of Puki my parrot. I'm using a palette knife now to add his plumage and let some of the background show through. That's the plan anyway. Better go. I have some patterns to work out for embroideries we are having done in Kashmir for the website. Bye!



I'm meant to be working on my Faded Empire online store but instead I'm working on a large painting for my living room. The luscious dark brown room. I'm painting in oils and I now remember why I use acrylics. It takes FOREVER to dry. So I'm working the colours over the top and into each other. Fart-arseing around if truth be told. One day I'll finish it. When it dries. So I can add the top layers. If it ever dries. And no the hallway isn't quite finished. I'm doing my best stunt woman impersonation stretching up on a too short ladder :)


Archeology of a chair

You may or may not remember this chair. I bought it from my friends at The Vintage Advantage. Not because of its stunningly dusty barkcloth upholstery and its ugly lines but because of its handmade appearance. There was something about this chair. I lifted its skirt (yes I am a furniture pervert) and saw that the seat was an old box. A piece of depression era furniture I thought? It sat for months leaving sad little piles of dust until last week when I decided to undress it. What an adventure. What a find. Layer upon layer of fabric that just got older and older. Then I found even more ...

Six layers of fabric on the body and nine on the arms. Then finally the arms appeared to be covered in a piece of quilt ...

Except it wasn't a quilt. It was a pair of sleeves with cuffs and underneath were pieces of old clothes. Late Victorian/early Edwardian women's bodices, sleeves cut off and wound around too. Beautiful, old, ruined rags. The back was "webbed" with two old sugar sacks for support. Colonial Sugar Refining Co Ltd Brisbane. CSR as it came to be known. My early and not too thorough research shows it was known as Colonial Sugar Refining Co Ltd up until 1915 when it started to be differentiated by region ... Colonial Sugar Refining Australia or Colonial Sugar Refining New Zealand and Fiji. I'm not so sure that my piece is a depression piece. I'm tending to believe that it was a piece of homemade furniture from the early 20s. There was a lot of soldier settler activity west of here after WWI as bush farm tracks were opened up. My romantic notion is it was made for one of these farms when money was tight and people were inventive.

The box reads "Brisbane" faintly as well. I've cleaned the chair, pulled out a lot of the upholstery tacks (from 6 layers of upholstery) but still left some for their effect. A little judicious sanding mainly for splinters and a careful oil to bring out the old grain. As rough as old guts but just splendid in its utilitarian plainness. It's sitting under the stairs in the new "library". You'll see it there when I take photos of the space soon.


Don't judge a book by its cover

Or a hallway by its pages. I thought I would show a progress shot of my entry hall/weird space/soon to be library. I have papered or is that paged as far as I can reach without ladders and trestle. There's the delay. I'm waiting on the trestle and some nice tall ladders from a friend but he hasn't come to play yet. I'm thinking that to do the last 2 and a half rows I'll need to climb up and down the ladder I have as I scoot around the small space. Oh my almost 50 year old legs!

It doesn't look much in these photos (some of it is still wet) but in real life it looks kinda cool. The colour is closer to the last two photos. The paper is from a 19th century encyclopedia and is almost silky to the touch. Bookcase needs to come in, comfy chair, side table and reading lamp. Don't forget the rug. The two small pictures hanging on the walls won't stay. That was just me hanging things on the nails that were in the wall. Lazy me didn't remove them. Hey I plan on driving in even more. I'm thinking gallery wall on the left wall and a very large painting on the right. Or maybe two large paintings and just get over the whole gallery wall thing.

I always wondered why they left the power point and phone socket hanging so high up on the wall then I realised that that is where the ground level is. This part of my house is buried into the hill side. So there they stay. My bookcase will cover them though. OK that's it. Show time is over. Hopefully finished soon, styled up and ready to be photographed properly. Maybe :)

P.S. Speaking of judging a book by its cover here's a quick snap of me today sans make-up with messy hair and skew-wiff eyebrows. Never thought I'd post a shot like this but I'm actually getting to an age where I don't care anymore. LOL. That's what I tell myself anyway.


This week's finds

The Thrifting Gods have withdrawn themselves to their upcycled, restyled, reused and dirt cheap palace on the lofty heights of Mt Frugality leaving their poor minions unable to suppress their instant gratification by means of fiscal self-restraint . In other worlds I have found bupkis at the local charity stores. Doesn't mean I have found nothing in my travels though. Remember I have always been a little tardy in my ability to suppress my instant gratification. Behold the treasures (read other people's trash) I managed to dig up in a couple of secondhand shops.

The Vesuviana. No not Mt Vesuvius but a vintage stove top espresso machine. Consider it a poor man's Atomic. The day I find an Atomic dirt cheap at a thrift store is the day I will sacrifice my first born to the thrifting gods. (Note to self. I am childless.) Needs a clean but it does work. Remind me to leave the lid up when I finally run the coffee through. I didn't on the water only test run .... oops.


Next a small piece of shibori. Love Japanese tie dyed indigo. No idea what I will do with this. I'll just add it to the textile collection.


How about dozens and dozens of mehndi stencils? These will become a large bricolage. Lined up regimentally in a super large frame. Just have to thrift the super large frame. Hang on there is one in the garage! Fabulous!