Rove Concepts

The Sound of Music birthday party

We finally had our 50th birthday bash. A combined affair for Kelvin and myself as well as our good friend Glen. Hence the reason for a June party for an April birthday. We had to split the differences.


This is Glen making his entrance early in the piece. It was a late afternoon/early evening "do". We're getting old remember! I only have a few photos from the very early party goers. I promise more as someone took 450 and managed to capture all the amazing fancy dress costumes.

Here's one of the tables. "Favourite Things" ... raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, bright copper kettles and warm woollen mittens, brown paper packages tied up with sting ... these are a few of my favourite things.

My kettles weren't so bright but I did discover that almost everyone in Ipswich owns a copper kettle if the costumes were anything to go by. Here are two of the six nuns that turned up. Beer seems to be the tipple of choice for those of the cloth.

Glen, Julie and Andrea performed "So long, Farewell" with all the movements. This was even before the party started and they were sober. Things got worse as the alcohol flowed.

As the night set in we lit up the side of the house with badly hand coloured shots from the movie and fires were necessary.

I then got caught up in feeding 35 guests. No more pictures but we did have pumpkin soup with truffles and warm olive sour dough bread, slow rosted beef with red wine gravy and creamy portatoes as well as a couple of yummy pasta bakes to keep away the cold. Dessert was apple strudel and ice cream. I was too busy to eat much let alone take more photos but here is one at the end of the night of my friend Kerrie going home ... with her bright copper kettle and brown paper package. Face obscured because she would kill me if I showed her face!

When I can steal more photos from friends I'll pop them up. I need to put my feet up now and open one of the bottles of red I got as a present. Gotta love when you get to a certain age and everyone buys you bottle after bottle of decent booze :)


Cold nights

The weather has changed. Brrrrr! It is certainly chilly. Nothing like a fire though to warm the hands and the soul. I snapped a couple of pictures. Nothing special. No tripod. Point, shoot, hope for the best. Here are a few. Mickey loves nothing better than plopping down on the rug close by. I'm stretched out on one sofa. Kelvin on another. Bliss.

Busy with business if you know what I mean. Finalising designs for the Faded Empire range of clothing. Not much time for anything else this weekend. I started the first layer of the pattern I'm painting over my Puki piece. I plan on serval of these in varying tones sweeping across the bottom of the painting. This is just the start. At least I have it hanging in my hallway as I work. Mind you shortly after I took this photo I turned it upside down to keep going. Looks strange but I can reach the area I am working on more easily. Lovely morning light in that hallway. Hopefully I'll have something more exciting to share next weekend :) Maybe ....


Doing nothin' on a slow weekend

You know the drill. Sunny autumn days when you want to be doing something outdoors, something exciting. Doesn't happen though. A weekend of errands and house cleaning, food shopping and blog work. I guess my dose of outdoor time was walking from the new old house down into the town to buy the week's groceries. We're having potato and cauliflower soup with crunchy bacon bits and olive sour dough croutons for supper tonight. The thing Mickey loves the best about a walk into town is lying on the floor in the breezeway when he gets home. What I'm loving this weekend are the zygocacti blooming all over my house. Lovely cheap and cheerful colour pops.

There goes Mickey. He hates having his photo taken. Unlike Puki and his girlfriend Portia. Did I tell you that Kelvin bought ANOTHER parrot? Here they are this morning eating Brazil nuts I picked up at the shops.

Puki at the front and Portia at the back. She's about 9 months younger and a little bossy boots. And greedy! Pushes straight forward to be first at everything. Her first taste of Brazil nut. Definitely not her last.

Yesterday I found a rope hammock at a thrift store for a couple of dollars so we strung it up across the ceiling for them to play "cargo netting". They love it, swinging round and round and chewing away. It won't matter if they chew it to bits. We'll get them another toy when that happens.

Here's Puki  fluffed up because I think I scared him with the camera and that's Portia in the next two playing away to her heart's content. Best $2 I ever spent.

Here's Puki come to say hello on top of their cage. Cheeky as always. A polite bird though as he waited for Portia to finish before he stepped up to the bowl. I don't think he had a choice though :)

Kim sent me a box of goodies all the way from Canada. I'm going to drag out taking photos of the contents. 1 - because I have to find homes here and there for them and 2 - because I have to find them all again because Kelvin has put them away in safe places but can't remember where! She must have heard me through the ether coveting these when I saw them first turn up on her page way back. A cinnabar vase and a red retro owl vase. Now happily at home on one of my living room shelves. The colour works perfectly with the chocolate brown walls and a collage piece I did years ago.

Still with me? I must admit this is becoming a stream of consciousness post. Did you see the spotty throw on the end of the bed in the small and cute cottage I was stalking this week?

I have it in stock in my online shop Faded Empire. You can find it here. So soft and snugly.

About the only thing we really got done this weekend (besides drinking coffee and cleaning house ... oh and the shopping) was to clean out the storage shed. It's time to let go of this vintage curly cane bedhead. It's in great nick only missing two curly canes and you don't even notice. I've used this on a double bed and a queen size bed without any trouble. New ones like these are selling from $399 for a single and up. I'm flogging this off for $100 as is. Usual deal. I don't ship, don't do couriers. You'll need to come to my place to pick it up but then you can say hi and see the new old house and rub Mickey on the belly. Email me and let me know if you want it.

That's it in my old place. Thank goodness I have a new camera. What a difference! OK so that's it for this slow old weekend. I have to work on blog posts now. Nothing new around the house on the renovation front. We are still saving our pennies towards the next round of work. Bathrooms and kitchens cost a lot of money. I am hoping to splurge on new lights for the living and dining rooms soon. Maybe when my tax return comes in or when my fairy godmother sends me a pot of gold. Bye!


Saturday morning at Jo's

Had coffee and read the papers at Bon Laneway. OK so I had a croissant too. These are honestly the best croissant outside of France. I'm sure they are low calorie ... ya right! Picked up some sourdough bread and an organic pumpkin for soup tonight. I've nibbled the corner off the loaf already.

Dropped in to say hi to Kerrie at ES Traders. God I love that store! So beautiful.  New lights and industrial table and stools. Couldn't stay too long. So much more to do.

Hit the thrift stores but no luck. Here's Mickey behind the counter of his favourite thrift store, The Animal Welfare League. The ladies keep a box of dried roo sticks under the counter. His private stash.

Dropped in to see Glen and Grant at The Vintage Advantage. If you are ever in Ipswich you MUST visit this store. Little bits of vintage treasure everywhere and the prices are ridiculously cheap. Love these lead soldiers and the controlled bubble glass owl.

Creepy dolls and kewpie doll jug covers. Not sure about these.

This split cane child's chair was so cute but I didn't need it. Really wanted the original ticket writer's card though.

What did I pick up? These cute little blue enamel saucepans. Perfect for my retro make-do kitchen.

My other score this week was this  glass demijohn. Have plans on converting this into a lamp base. Have to clean the inside first and I'm not looking forward to that job.

That's why I was exhausted. So much shopping and chatting around the Top of Town in Ipswich. (Can't forget the grocery shopping. Never exciting but always necessary.) Came home. Made a cup of tea. Opened that new magazine and promptly fell asleep in the sun. And it wasn't even midday! Life is good sometimes!

Here's another shot of Kelvin's new old Coke sign in his office. Just two years younger than us. Oh so not really old then. Not really!




Lights, bulbs and birds

I managed to get my hands on some industrial light shades. About 15. I've already sold 6 and now I'm wondering if I really need 9 in my house ... or should that be my shed. Here's a pic before we cleaned them. Don't worry the dirt comes off with vinegar and kitchen foil. I'm thinking I should sell them. $40 each will cover my costs. Here's the kicker though. I'm not interested in posting them. Too big, too clunky, too much work. I guess that limits it to those of you who live within driving distance of Ipswich.

How about these lights? Great heavy glass shade, brass fitting and a brass and aluminium (I think) shade that you can leave on or off. I like the idea of the glass ones along a kitchen bench or island. These are wired but I am not selling them as working. You will need your electrician to check them and they may need to be rewired. These have been an expensive fitting in their time. Found them at my secret source. Once again $40 for the whole thing, glass and metal shade. I have 12 but some have broken fixtures or a screw missing. The first can be fixed by your sparky and the second doesn't matter if you get in early :)

This is where all the old bulbs from the industrial lights ended up. In my old french dough bowl. Like big ostrich eggs.

Forgot I had this large one too. Has a couple of dings but that adds to the character. Kim thinks it's so funny that it is in my kitchen drainer. $50 if you want it and can come pick it up from my place. If you're interested in any of these lights email me. If I don't sell them here I'll pop them into the vintage shop down the road but they'll put the price up on them for sure.

Puki's painting is coming along but it is a slow old process. Never using oils again. I keep repeating that like a mantra. Never again. Still a long way to go. It's a bit "bad amateur hour" at the moment so I'll keep going. There needs to be lots more "abstracty" overpainting I think. Turn it a bit more Miranda Skoczek. Hopefully I'll get it finished before I go back to work.

I'm photographing vintage kantha quilts today for the online shop. I love their old, imperfect beauty. The stitching! OMG to have the patience to do that. Shop open soon :)