Let's start with the renovations, so the poor male readers don't have to wade through all my other random thoughts this week.



Not a lot has happened. We've had yet more rain (although a gloriously sunny weekend... which is typical when no one is working!). They've finished bricking up one side of the house (that I showed partially done last week) and moved onto the other.


The ceiling lantern has had the blanks put up on the blind sides, been roofed and tomorrow (or Tuesday given that there's more rain forecast) they will put in the windows and the fixed louvres over the blanks to finish it all off. Then the living room should be roofed.



I've spent the week working on the Lighting/ electrical plan. Fun times.

So that's it for the renovations. Moving onto to the week in general, it did not start well, and has finished poorly.

I had a terrible sleep on Monday night and awoke riddled with anxiety. I can only blame it on the very strange dream that I had... In my dream, I was meeting the blogger known as Faux Fuchsia, and we did not get on at all well. Yes, Disturbing. I can only blame it on the fact that the last thought that went through my head as I fell asleep on Sunday night was that I had yet to get around to removing the remains of the chipped red nail polish that I'd put on for the Jam Factory dinner on the Friday night. The Horror. First thing Monday morning, I was scrubbing it off, but I had a strange and unsettling day as a result.

Faux Fuchsia has been much on my mind this week at any rate... After reading on her blog that moths had attacked her cashmere, I felt a mild state of panic myself. It has been quite some time since I hung fresh moth strips around the AV wardrobes, so I made haste to hang out some fresh ones... this is the good stuff - Orphea moth strips. They're natural and non toxic, don't smell like moth balls and are easy to administer. As I was distributing them liberally around our dressing room and the children's drawers and cupboards, I became aware of the fact that I clearly harbour a paranoia about moths... I have various remedies in almost every drawer and wardrobe.


I've made lavender bags... here are the ones I made for E after she was born - there are a set of 8 Matryoshka dolls with different coloured faces and ribbons. I also made them as gifts for other friends and family with little girls, although I'm not sure they share my horror of a lavender bag-less house.


Then I've also tried these Thurley moth repellant blocks impregnated with some sort of herbal stuff that smells nice (made in Western Australia). Here I've doubled up with the Orphea strips. Just to make sure.


And lurking in the very bottom of the drawers rattle some cedar balls as well. If only I had the money to line the actual drawers with cedar, I'd be a happy girl indeed (I did do this for a job in London once... that was for the House that Didn't Have a Budget, which I've mentioned before on the blog. I was given free reign in decorating the staff quarters. The Glory.).


During the week I restocked the gift cupboard. Do you have one of those? I have a pathological fear of being disorganised, so keep a very well stocked present cupboard (Mr AV refers to the contents as The Inventory, as in "The Inventory level is looking very high at the moment"). This stems from my Mother and Grandmother, who used to do the same, and is deeply ingrained in my psyche. I have run low on hostess gifts/ gifts for kindergarten helpers/ random other little present type things... and found these gorgeous Mor triple milled soaps during the week. I always love the packaging that Mor does, and their things always smell so nice too - perfect little indulgences. These are packaged up like little vintage letters, with wax seals, pretty stamps and cursive hand writing... and best of all they were reduced to $7.50 from $15, which was quite good value in my opinion. They smell divine... it's tempting to keep them all for myself, but I'll resist, and they'll make the perfect little gift for others.


Finally, the Magnolia has come out, in all it's frothy pink glory.


and the hall table arrangement for the week are proteas in the Alvar Aalto vase. Sick of seeing it yet? Unfortunately I packed all my others into the shed, so there isn't a lot of vase changeover until the reno's are over.


Lastly, my week ended on a rather sad note when my Grandmother died. Fortunately I had visited her on Wednesday, taking with me a bunch of camellias from my garden. While it was not exactly unexpected due to her advanced age, it has of course been sad coming 10 months after my Mother's death. Mr AV took me out to dinner on Saturday night to cheer me up, and we had a glass of Champagne to farewell her.

Hope you had a good week xx

42 comments:

  1. Oh Heidi, I'm so sorry to hear that your Grandmother has died....
    Sending you lots of virtual hugs. I hope you can take some time to grieve properly while the renos are going on.

    Also sorry to hear about your bad dream and start to the week. It's unnerving how much a bad dream can effect one's mood th following day.

    If nothing else, your house is looking stunning, and I love your vase.

    Lots of hugs xxxx

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    1. Thanks for your kind words Ruth. The dream did make me laugh a bit when I realised where it was coming from.. but it was unsettling as silly as it seems! The house is slowly plodding forward. I keep thinking "this time next year..." and it keeps me going xx

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  2. Sorry to hear about your Grandmother Heidi. Always sad no matter the age and as you said especially so soon after your mum. I hope the renovations go smoothly so you aren't even more stressed.x

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    1. Thank you so much Leah, it's been a bad year in a lot of ways... hopefully the weather improves and the renovations start to pick up a bit more pace xx

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  3. Dear Heidi, so sad to hear of your grandmother's passing, my thoughts are with you ... Your reno is coming along nicely, love the ceiling lantern. Did you get your Lady of Shallot roses yet? Ours are planted this weekend with fingers crossed for some blooms in the not too distant future. Have a peaceful week. Karen x

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    1. Thank you for your kind words Karen. My roses haven't yet arrived! I'm so envious yours have... I was checking this week to see when they'd be arriving. Hopefully this is the week... the rest of my roses are starting to put out new leaf, so it's nice to think that blooms are not too far away. xx

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  4. Dear Heidi, sincere condolences on the loss of your grandmother, particularly so close to your mother's death. One can feel very alone at times like these, although it does focus one's attention to live every day without excuse or reservation.

    When reading about your moth remedies, I realised that I too suffer from pathological fear of moths, if the number or repellents scattered through my wardrobe are any indication (those cedar balls are absolutely hazardous if you step on one). I am very lucky, I have a lovely antique Australian cedar chest of drawers where my woolly treasures safely reside.

    I enjoy your blog very much, it is so informative about so many things.

    Good luck for this week's stage of renovations.

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    1. Thank you for your kind words Passionfruit! You're right, those cedar balls are a hazard to step on... I've also had to fish them out of the youngest's mouth on a couple of occasions (fortunately we're now past that stage). Your cedar chest of drawers sounds absolutely lovely - lucky you! Australian Cedar is definitely the thing to get your hands on antique wise, so you've been very fortunate. xx

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  5. Am so sorry to hear the news of your grandmother- so nice that you were able to see her recently with your camellias.

    ....
    In other news, sorry to hear about your horrible dream re FF. She is absolutely lovely. Even so, I have the same concerns when my polish chips, and am conscious of the state of my nails at all times!

    Love the ceiling lantern. Can't wait to see what it looks like when finished.

    Take care x

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    1. Thanks HIH, generally, I don't wear polish as it lasts about 5 seconds on my hands unchipped.... my subconscious was definitely talking on that one! I'm hopeful the ceiling lantern will be done by the end of the week... fingers crossed. xx

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  6. Hi Heidi I am so sorry to hear of the passing of your Grandmother. It is always a sad time when it happens because it is so final. Bonita xx

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    1. Thank you Bonita - we were very close, and similar in many ways, so she will be missed. xx

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  7. Hi darl,

    am very sad to read about Grandma. I was very very sad for the longest time after my Grandma died. It's been 3 years but it still makes me really teary. She was old and had lived a great life but I didn't care, I wanted her to still be here with us.

    You have had a challenging year.

    Don't be worried we'll get on and if we don't we'll just fake it!!!!

    I am so scared about moths it isn't funny.

    Seriously. I am going to do some hardcore extermination.

    Take care of yourself. xxxxxxxxxx PS house looks uber fancy in progress.

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    1. Thanks FF - I know how hard you found losing your Grandma too. I'm glad I got to see her on Wednesday though, it's been hard to visit her as I've been so busy during the day. I had a feeling it wasn't going to be long.
      It has been a pretty hard year. Hopefully things will improve from here.
      I'm sure we'll get along - I'll just make sure that I'm not wearing nail polish (or chipped polish at any rate!!). Good luck with the moths. I'm still getting rid of cockroaches myself. They seem harder to kill.... xx

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  8. So sorry to hear about your grandmother...

    But yes I have a gift cupboard. Saves so much time before dinner parties when you are already running late and I always feel less rushed. Only organised part about me! Loving the lantern.

    Funny about your dreams re FF hehe wonder what Freud would say? Xx

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    1. Thanks N. Bet you're super organised if you have a gift cupboard (without the impetus of children, the main recipients from my gift cupboard with the endless party circuit my three are on)... That was definitely a psychological dream with the nail polish - what would Freud say indeed??! xx

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  9. Sorry to hear about your Grandmother. You were lucky to have her as long as did and your children were fortunate to have a great grandmother. Still upsetting though.
    I also practice in keeping a well stocked gift cupboard, as well as cards and envelopes. (I never buy them, always make myself) So I make sure I am never without. I am self taught though. My sister cracked it at me when she learned that I re-used her gift bag to me for someone else. I keep gift bags too, and never buy them either (I'm pro recycling). I love little E's pink smock dress. Poor little Audrey is lavender bag-less. I better remedy that. I love that "Thurley" brand. I've purchased some of their products. I swear I learn more about keeping a nice house-hold from you then my mother. he he. Gazing in awe at your blooming magnolia!

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    1. We were lucky to have her for so long - she had absolutely terrible health as a young woman through to her advanced years, so it's frankly a miracle that she did survive (she had uncontrolled asthma) as long as she did.
      You're so clever to be able to make your cards - I just keep ones that I buy on hand... but I keep ribbon and recycle it from presents too, and gift bags as well. It seems a shame to just throw them out - what did your sister want you to do with it if not to recycle it? That dress of E's is so gorgeous - it's wool with velvet trim. Wouldn't mind a grown up version for myself! xx

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  10. So sorry to read about your grandmother passing... Yours has been, what I call a very discombobulated week I think? Your house is coming along very nicely - I love your vase and also the mirror hanging behind the proteas (which are favourites of mine at the moment)....I am absolutely terrified of moths in all of their various guises -- especially the 'dust' they emit when one tries to catch them. I hope you have a better week Heidi! xxx

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    1. Thank you Jenny, and you've chosen the perfect word for the week too!
      Slow progress on the house, but it's starting to look more house like, and less like a frame, which is nice... if only the window installers would come back! Hate that dust from the moths too. They're little horrors all round xx

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  11. Magnolia is my favourite flower/shrub, it is such a beauty. Hmm I always kill a moth within 20 seconds if I see one, I've never had any problems but hmm, I am now paranoid about losing anything else so might have to copy you, it's hard to find moth armoury that smells good, ours seems to be that old fusty smelling stuff.
    Love the idea of your gift cupboard, so organised, things like that calm me, we don't really have need for anything like that, it's just us two and mum really in the hermitage.
    Oh and you know how I've always said I could never take on the big renovations that you are doing? Well I now now need two new floors and my doors are going to have to be taken away and copied - aargh! Bloody burglars.

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  12. Oh I am so sorry, I lost the first comment, I'm on the iPhone which is driving me nuts, so sad to hear about your grandmother and in the same years as your mum, that's so sad, take strencghr form your own lovely family.

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  13. Ugh typos - just excuse me for a while.

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    1. Thanks for persisting with your challenging technology Tabs! Look out for the Orphea, it smells a lot nicer than moth balls. I can't believe you have to replace two floors?? What on earth did those Burglar's do? Doors as well?? Have you checked salvage yards for the same ones? They were a gold mine for doors, and you'd probably be able to find your style and correct size no problem. We've both had a bad month I think T - hopefully things will settle down for both of us.. Good luck with the renovations at your place, I do feel for you having to do all of that on top of being burgled, which is surely enough for anyone xx

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  14. I'm so sorry to hear the sad news about your Grandmother but you must be glad that you saw her so recently.
    Your building is taking shape and the lantern roof is going to look so attractive. I have a gift cupboard too and often forget what's in there! I like to buy gift wrap too when it catches my eye but I think I need to stop buying any more for the time being. Someone's going to be so happy to receive those soaps in the pretty packaging - I know I would be!!
    PS I must see if I can get Orphea over here.

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    1. Thank you Miss B, and yes, I'm very thankful I visited her so recently. I'm getting quite excited about the house now - while it's slow going I can really see it all coming to life (although there's still so much to do I get in a mild state of panic just thinking about it). I know what you mean about the cupboard... I'm particularly guilty of doing that with the children and often end up with 'left over' gifts at christmas or birthday when I decide I can't possibly give them everything I've put aside in the cupboard for them! Orphea is made in Switzerland, and I had to buy mine from the UK, so you should definitely be able to get some locally xx

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  15. I am sorry for your loss of your loved ones this year. It seems to me that sometimes we get a year that is sent to test us.

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    1. Thank you Linda, it does seem that I've had my fair share of stresses over the past few years... hopefully we'll head into a quiet and settled period soon xx

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  16. I am so sorry for the loss of your grandmother Heidi. My grandmother died in 2001 and I still miss her every single day. Must investigate the Orphea - as I don't like the smell of traditional moth balls. Do you mind me asking where you bought the soap "packages" from? Would love to get some if they are still available. Good to see some brickwork happening, just need some finished windows to go with it!! Hope you have a better week. Jo xx

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    1. Thanks Jo, They got some of the windows in the lantern in today, though I can hear rain on the roof now, so who knows how it will go tomorrow!!
      The soaps were from Peters of Kensington online. There's around 7 different types with different packaging.. here's a link to them http://www.petersofkensington.com.au/Public/catalog/searchresults.aspx?search=Mor%20correspondence%20Soap

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  17. Im sorry to her of your grandmother's death...grandmothers are very special..mine has been dead for over 30 years I still think of her. I never knew my mother's parents so only had one grandmother

    I too must replace moth strips ..it's never ending isnt it ?

    Talking of anxiety I hve misplaced (lost is too final)my greatgrandmother's ring , it's in the house somewhere but ...

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    1. Grandparents can have such an influence in our lives - my mum often used to talk of her grandfather to us, and he had died many years before I was born.
      Hope you can find the ring. I'm sure it'll turn up somewhere... it's definitely not down the back of the sofa? xx

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  18. Dear Heidi,
    So sorry to hear of your grandmother's death. Even though she may have been suffering it is still such a sense of loss to know they are no longer with us. My husband lost both parents in the last year. His mother after a long and painful illness but then his dear dear Dad 10 weeks later with an agressive cancer. We flew down in the midst of a cyclone to see him knowing the end was close and my husband was able to be by his side right to the end. So bitter sweet.
    On the moth frotn I also add the pantry trap moth thingies asto the arsenal and I think they are a good defense.
    You could not possibly NOT get on with FF. She is the most engaging and interested person I know. Such an winning combo. However I always make sure my polish is ship shape before a date with her!

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    1. What a terrible year for your husband, to loose both parents so close together, just dreadful. I think no matter how old you are when you lose a parent you still feel a little like you've been orphaned.
      I loath the pantry moths too, nothing worse than weevils in the flour!! It was definitely my nail polish looking so shabby that was speaking to me that night!! I obviously was feeling uneasy about it to be visited by FF in my dreams! I'm sure she's as lovely as she seems on her blog/ in emails. xx

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  19. After loosing my Aunt and Father in Law in quick succession, I empathise with your loss. I hope that you will, like we have found with time, have funny, fond and dear memories of her and embrace her living memory. To change pace, I have never (crosses self) experienced a moth problem, though have seen the exasperation friends have endured with them.
    Am getting excited for you (sad, but true!) about the progress house wise. It's going to be MAGNIFICENT! x KL

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    1. Thanks KL, it was a hard day yesterday, but she lived a long and full life, so it was also a time for celebration.
      Glad you're getting excited about the reno... I'm starting to find it all a bit blah!! Hopefully I'll get my renovating mojo back in the next week or two. I think after the plans are completely done, I'll feel a bit less under pressure! xx

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  20. I am so so sad about your Grandmother, I miss mine even though is was ages ago when she died. She was about 4ft 9 and had the thickest Mancunian accent you've ever heard. Terrible cook. Boiled the hell out of everything. We got moths in a rental house during our re-model and I know what you mean... we were getting a bit panicky... there were holes through all our stuff because it took us a long long time to figure out what it is. Now we're back in our house for three years and I dry cleaned everything and Im trying to keep them at bay with cedar balls, so far so good - btw, you are so clever with those Russian doll hanging lovelies!

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    1. Your Grandmother sounds like a total character Jody, my other Grandmother used to boil the hell out of all her food too. She lived in the country, but was the worst cook. I can remember her doing curries that were basically yellow coloured meat stews with sultanas and tinned pineapple in them. The other grandmother that just died was an excellent cook... I have lots of her recipes that she wrote down for me in a recipe book.
      Sounds like you've lost the moths in the move, which was a good thing! They are hard to evict once you've got them! xx

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    2. They have been replaced by Gophers who apparently move in and out of the neighbourhood. And a horrible skunk that sprayed out dog. No animals in suburbia I say.

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    3. You can definitely keep the skunk, but Gophers?! So "Little House on the Prairie"! Very exotic!!

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  21. Heidi - Just popped over from your comment left on About Last Weekend. I'll be one of your newest followers. :-)

    Mostly, sorry that your Mother "went" out of order. Grandmothers are supposed to go, as they have seen many born after them and have taken the time to share their wisdom and set a standard for all to follow.

    Blessings, Linda

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    1. Hi Linda, and thanks for becoming my newest follower! I know what you mean about the order... we all said last year that it wasn't right... and it meant that we were feeling a bit raw about it all, rather than celebrating her long and wonderful life. xx

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Architect & Interior Designer. Mother of three. A sometimes Cook, Baker, Reader, Gardener, Fashion Lover, Renovator, Writer of random things in South Australia email me on anadelaidevilla@bigpond.com
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