the ongoing search for a decluttered way of living - combined with a stroll through our semi-rural lifestyle

January 29, 2015

4/52

2015 is my year with some weekly gratitude posts.  Keeping it simple might be the way to go for me I think.
 
Grateful that all the rain we have received recently has topped up our little dam nicely.  

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A big welcome to my new followers.  I'm grateful too for the Grow Your Blog hop! My giveaway continues - if you leave a comment on my blog - anybody can enter, including international readers.  

I have a little parcel with several pretty vintage hankies and two vintage Australian tea towels to be mailed to the winner. Giveaway drawn on February 11.   - any comments added to this post will be to the February draw. 

Please note!  I've had to change the draw to February 11 as we will be away from this date until the end of February with no computer access.
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Back to the dam though - we are on town water, but use the dam for watering the fruit trees, the vegie garden, washing the car etc.  

However, recently the dam was so low we could not pump from it.  I don't have a 'before' photo, but this is how it looks 'after'.
Not only is it of use for watering the garden, but it is also our outdoor entertainment area!
The little upside down feature is our paddle boat which gets quite a bit of use. Perfect for sundowners on a sunset cruise!
Another feature is our 'Iron Bar' (side view) our dam-side entertainment area.  It is actually a re-built horse shed and quite a popular spot for entertaining.  


The front .... with big spotlight on awning.
and viewed from inside, facing the dam.
Some lovely big gums we planted, they are about 10 years old. 

I thought this might be interesting to some readers and now the secret is out. 
You all know where we often sitting on a hot day to watch the sun go down! Certainly much nicer to look at when there is plenty of water in it.

cheers for now
Wendy 

January 24, 2015

Grow Your Blog .....


I'm joining in with Two Bags Full - Grow Your Blog so if you have jumped over from there - welcome! 

Just a little intro if you haven't been here before.  I'm Wendy and welcome to my blog which I started as an incentive to clear out my clutter - hence the name duchess_declutter.  However, over time it has evolved a little.

I blog about life on our little acreage in South East Queensland, Australia where it is hot and humid at the moment!  We've had a lot of rain lately and our 5 acres are looking very tropical.

I also blog about my love of vintage and retro items.  I'd like to say I blog about decluttering - but there hasn't been too much of that lately.  I love to op shop /thrift / upcycle and have done so for a long time.  I love the thrill of not knowing exactly what you are going to find, what's just around the corner.

Of late though I am more selective and concentrate more on items from the late '60s and early 70s and am particularly fond of retro homewares.  Bright colourful, geometric patterns get me every time!
However, these photos are of  recent painting blitz.  Our house is dark brick inside and out and after 20 or so years of it, I decided it was time to lighten things up a little.
I've just discovered Annie Sloan chalk paint and absolutely love it.  It is so easy to work with and very forgiving to a basic painter like me!   So I've been madly painting some of the not so special bits of furniture and oddments that have been sitting in the garage waiting for some attention. 

of course I have my little assistant Dexter overseeing my work!



This is one from a pair of bookcases from my teen years!  At some stage they were bright orange - but my husband removed multi layers of lead paint  (at my request) and took it back to the natural timber.  Now I wouldn't mind if they orange again - however I've settled for white.

All items turned out really well - I might try and take some photos inside the house when it's nice and bright.
This our resident brushtail possum.  I know I know I know - they can be pests and I should not be feeding him - but he is so cute!  He must get very hot up in the roof on some of our summer days though.
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If you've got this far well done!  I'm offering a giveaway if you leave a comment on my blog - anybody can enter, including international readers..  Of course I would love to have new followers but that is not a requirement. Prizewinner drawn randomly. 

I have a little parcel with several pretty vintage hankies and two vintage Australian tea towels to be mailed to the winner. Giveaway drawn on February 15.  

EDITED TO ADD:  I have had to change the draw date to 11 February.  My apologies, but I will be away after that with no computer access.


cheers for now
Wendy













January 22, 2015

Some finds ....

At last the op shop gods were smiling at me.  I've had a run of no-shows for a while now.  However this is what has come my way recently.
These cute little demitasse cups.
The best part of course though was the price.  Wish I hadn't taken off the 50 cent stickers as proof! I think the sorter must have thought they were from a childs tea set.

However they are T G Green, vintage ware similar to Cornishware.  As it happens I have these in the cupboard.
Bad photo in situ in the cupboard, but they are matching colour, also T G Green.  This set belonged to my parents and date back to the early '60s.  The cups are a slightly different shape.  However at $2 I wasn't going to leave these babies behind.  Score!

Then (same shop) I spied these two interesting plates.
Cute 70's ware - Wood & Sons Lima pattern.  I did think twice about these, but they are in great condition and I like this sort of geometric pattern.

Then my ebay purchase arrived.  Thrills!  My retro wallpaper all 6 metres of it.
Photo doesn't do it justice.  I absolutely love this pattern.  Sadly I think it is because I might have seen it before back in the day.  Did I have curtains like this?  Pants? I'm not sure.  However I plan to re-purpose it. Unfortunately my husband did not seem so enthusiastic about the potential wall feature I was raving about, but it will be put to good use anyway.
Can you read that price tag?  I know I had to put my specs on to make sure it really did say $13.99 reduced to $1.47!!   Score!  and it was still 2 days before use-by date.  So I put all 600grams of it to good use and whipped up a Spinach and Feta Pie.
You'll have to take my word for it that it tasted very good as it does look a bit of a mess here.

That's all for now.

cheers Wendy

3/52

2015 is my year with some weekly gratitude posts.  Keeping it simple might be the way to go for me I think.
 
Grateful that I was able to get this shot in the late afternoon.  Technically it is probably rubbish and the background is fairly ordinary - but I'm pleased with it.  


Mainly because I've never seen these insects before.  Are they bumblebees?  I think so, but unusual here nevertheless.
Short and sweet this time - but more to come soonish I promise!

I have joined with Grow Your Blog organised by the lovely Vicki at Two Bags Full (see button on sidebar).    Looks like fun and a swagful of other bloggers joining in too. A great way to look at other blogs and also an incentive to really get me up and blogging regularly again!  


Cheers for now
Wendy







January 14, 2015

2/52

2015 is my year with some weekly gratitude posts.  Keeping it simple might be the way to go for me I think.
 
Grateful for even more long awaited rain.  Our place is now looking very tropical and that darn lawn needs to be mown a couple of times a week it seems!


Grateful  too for our humble above ground pool.  When we bought it we thought that if we had it for 5 years or so we would have had our money's worth from it.  However, we've had it now for about 10 years and we seem to be using it more than ever. 
It is certainly a sanity-saver on on these hot days (and nights).  We have a pretty good set up too - it directly faces the back verandah - and our outdoor entertainment area & TV!
Many a night lately we can be found lazing in the pool with a cool drink at hand watching a movie - or lately the cricket or tennis.  It's a hard life! 

cheers for now
Wendy