February 25, 2011

Friday - and a glimpse of things to come

Well here is a poor attempt at having something to show for the week.  I must say it has been a bit of a procrastination week.  In my defence, I have done a lot of general tidying up - just little things like my dressing table and totally boring stuff!

At least it's something I suppose!  An old magazine (I don't buy any mags any more, so that can't happen again) a little wall plaque I used to think cute, an old (broken) necklace and a few odds & sods like fridge magnets.  Now if ever there was a category for clutter, fridge magnets would be right at the top of the list.

Now a glimpse of what's to come.  Actually this is probably a good idea.  Maybe I can publicly shame myself into it.  A 'before'  photo .... hope to come back with an 'after' photo on Monday.  Have a great weekend.

Cheers Wendy

February 24, 2011

oh Christchurch

So hard to take in what has happened over there.  My heart goes out to all concerned.  It was difficult at first to comprehend the devestation and magnitude of the event.

New Zealand has long held a special place in my heart.  The South Island in particular.  Back in the day (a long time ago, actually the early '80s) I spent twelve months on a working holiday there.  Travelled around a little, but the two places I worked were Mt. Cook region and Bay of Islands.   In that time frame I spent quite a bit of time in Christchurch city and will always remember how different it was from any other city I had been to at the time.

I loved the uniqueness of it - so quaint... so cold!  I loved the Cathedral  Square (with The Wizard preaching) the cute little coffee shops, the River Avon with the beautiful parks, the High Street with great shops,  the closeness to the water  at New Brighton, the closeness to the ski fields.  The beautiful heritage buildings. 

Christchurch just had a different feel to it - a bit boho, a bit old world.  Coming from Brisbane it just seemed to have an fantastic  sort of avant garde feel to it.  I loved it.  Still do.

Since that first trip to NZ, I have been back to the place (I think) six or seven times.  I lived there about another 18mths and had several briefer visits there. ski-ing and holidaying.  The last time was in 2009 when my little family spent 3 weeks travelling the South Island and visiting some of my old haunts.

So of course, we stayed in Christchurch.  Flew in and out from there and spent an extra 2 nights.  The memories of the place are still vivid.  I loved it just as much that time, as I had all those years ago.   When my husband and I are more grown up, we plan to spend an extended length of time there, maybe after our son has flown the coop. 
It will be a long time in recovering, but it is such a major hub of the Canterbury region, it will surely bounce back.   The people are resilient and strong. ... but oh it is just so sad to see what they are going through.    Thinking of you Christchurch city (and surrounds) and its people.

February 23, 2011


I was about to waffle on a bit about things that I have just sold online.  It suddenly occurred to me that wouldn't it be funny *though highly unlikely* if one of my onlline buyers happened upon this blog.

So I thought that maybe I should do a Disclaimer.  Something along the lines of -  Dear New Owner of my Previously Treasured Possessions :

I would like you to know that although I may have sold this object online as part of a decluttering process, it was not an easy decision.  I would like to think that now, as new owner, you will love and perhaps cherish this piece.  I hope that you will find it either beautiful or useful in your home.  

Just because I considered it necessary to part with this object as it was part of the clutter in my house, it doesn't mean necessarily that I am paying it forward!  The fact that you have stumbled upon a blog glorifying the sale of said object online is just one of those things.  Enjoy.

It may or may not ever happen, but it would be funny wouldn't it.  Selling things online is so difficult for me.  I only ever sell things that have been owned within this family, not just bought to offload.  So I feel personally connected to each one, and it's difficult.

Without going into too much sad detail, several years ago, my family home where I spent much of my childhood had to be sold.   A familiar story to many I'm sure.  However, in my case, my one sibling chose not to be involved in this process.  Enough said.

Consequently, it was up to me to removing all contents, including all furniture, personal belongings, memorabilia   - everything.  Then I had to organise the sale of the house.    I'm not trying to make it sound like a pity party, but it was difficult.  Very difficult.  Particularly when you're as sentimental as myself!  

Consequently,  I packed everything up the best I could and basically brought it all here.  Ev erything.  Where the two household contents merged for a while.  Clutter would be one way to describe a house that resembled a wall-to-wall furniture shop. Luckily my family coped.  My husband built a mezzanine level for the garage and I have boxes and boxes up there that I haven't even looked at yet.

For quite a while it was difficult to deal with - much much easier to just put it off.  However, now although most of the bigger things have already been sold, I am starting to get into the smaller household items.  

So I guess what I'm saying is that, apart from our household clutter (and I am by nature a bit of a hoarder I must say)  all these other things which have taken a little more time to address.  

On the plus side (and there has to be a plus side right?) I now have a little more pocket money than I had before.

 So dear new owner, enjoy and treat these objects with love and respect as they have been treated in the past. They all have a history and a story to tell.   Enjoy.

Cheers Wendy

Thoughts and Prayers to all those affected by the Christchurch NZ earthquake

February 22, 2011

Objects of my affection - a Tuesday Theme - Week 4

Lately I've been thinking that since I started this blog I have been looking very judgementally  (and rightly so) around the house for things that I can declutter.  All a bit negative.

As a bit of light relief, I thought I might make Tuesday a day to appreciate the things that I do enjoy having around me.  Not because of $$ value, but just because they are special to me for whatever reason. 
Please join in - I apologise in advance if this is a bit twee or it has all been done before.  

Another calendar-like post.  This is a bit different from last week though.  This is a daily ritual of turning over the blocks.  I've had this one for a while too - and I seem to have a very annoying habit of dropping the cubes as I'm changing them over.  This has resulted in rough edges on all of them!

However, my thought for the day is - if you don't have dreams what do you have to look forward to?

(I dream of an uncluttered house .. lol)

That's my object of affection this week .... what's yours?

Cheers Wendy 

February 18, 2011

The sweet sound of goodbye

These are two things I have just farewelled as part of the grand declutter scheme.  They were sold online and have now left the premises.

The violin.  Oh how sweet the sound.  not. 
As many parents before us, we fell into the trap of thinking perhaps our son would play.  In fact, at the age of about 6 said son mentioned in passing something along the lines of 'I want to play one of those' probably when watching the wiggles or similar.  This was enough for doting husband to dash off and buy (luckily a cheap 2nd hand) mini-sized violin.  

Doting parents we may have been (and still are of course) but anyone how knows us, knows that we don't even have a musical whisper between us.  I have to say too in fairness, that although we only have one child, he is/was/will never be unduly spoilt with material things.   Maybe this was the exception. 

After one lesson, much gnashing of teeth and tantrum flinging of bodies onto floor (and that was only us) it was announced that he would never play again.  Would never hold said instrument and try and bring forth a note.

So now, friends, some 10 years later, the violin ended up on ebay.  To travel off to another mini-virtuoso wannabe.

 The toy box was also a remnant of earlier years.  It had actually been hidden, covered over with assorted accessories in the room of a now groovy almost 16 year old.  

I loved that thing.  I bought it as the markets.  Not possessing even the slightest hint of sewing skills at all, paid someone to cover it with the bright and slightly wild looking material.   The material was chosen by son, again at about aged 6 or 7 I think.  At that stage he was very sweet quiet little boy. 

I have to admit to maybe being a little bit scared when he picked that particular material.

But it lasted the distance.  It lasted some 10 years.  After it was a toy box it became a blanket box and several evolutions after that.   Are we getting a theme here?  I hold onto things.  I hold onto things too long while trying to justify a need for them.

Anyway, two more items have left the building. Some $$ exchanged.   Hurrah.

Two other large items have left too.  These were of sentimental value, but regardless I've bitten the bullet and they have gone.  Hurrah times 2.

oh by the way, those who have read this far.  Apologies for the look of the blog at the moment.   I had a bit of a tweak and I don't really like it, but don't have time atm to change it back.  It's a work in progress.

Cheers Wendy

February 17, 2011


I really didn't think we were getting much from the garden of late.  It is the sort of in-between month here.  Too hot to get too excited about planning anything later on in the year, but knowing that it really is that time.  However, these are the spoils from more earlier established plantings.  

Those strange green things are Monstera deliciosa for those who aren't familiar with them.  Very easy to grow, a bit wierd.  The only time to eat is when the outer segments are coming off, otherwise fruit is a little prickly on the tongue.  Nice in fruit salad.

The bananas look a little sad.  Ali how are yours going?  I have made a banana cake bread and decided it was only just passable for a show and tell photo.  Well it's half eaten so that says something doesn't it?  Nigella rest assured your job is not in jeopardy.

The pumpkin was picked too early - unfortunately the vine was weighing down a trellis, and will probably be inedible.  Oh well ... the chooks will like it if I chop it up a bit for them.  It is a Qld Blue variety of the incredibly tough skin.  One year we had a really big harvest of them, and I got so tired of trying to cut them that my husband starting using a circular saw to cut them in half!  Don't laugh - I know it sounds a bit rough & ready, but it works.  Once they were tidied up a bit nd over the shock they were fine.

Passionfruit - yep plenty of them.  The yellow ones that is, we can't grow the purple ones for love or money.  Don't know why, must be something lacking in the soil.  

Sweet chilli and hot chilli - always some around somewhere in the garden.  So easy to grow even I can do it.

Eggs - luckily plenty of them at the moment.  'The girls' are now producing at full steam after a lengthy break.

So on the plus side of the learning curve I have now learnt how to push a few more buttons. Note to self - this blog started about decluttering.  I must go and do some! 

Cheers Wendy 

Dexter on Thursday 17/2/2011

February 16, 2011

I've got a lovely bunch of ...

Bunya Nuts!  We have just found these - our first from our bunya pine trees which must be about 10 years old I think.

Down the back of our 5 acres, we planted a grove of Bunya and Norfolk Island pines - about 8 in total.  They are now pretty big and beautiful and have produced quite a few of these.  

Each one is fairly heavy and obviously break in impact after dropping about 5 metres at my guesstimate.  The large complete one in the middle weighs 1.47 kg!   I certainly wouldn't want one dropped on my head!  Spikey and heavy.

Now I'll have to look up some recipes.  I should be familiar with some as we have visited the Bunya Mountains quite a few times and the restaurant there features bunya nuts quite a bit.  From memory they are quite soft inside the kernel which has to be cooked first. 

Beyond our back fence.

No much decluttering going on, but I have sold a few things on ebay.  They were bigger bits of furniture - so the place is looking a little clearer - which is great.

I've had a bit of a playaround and changed the look of the blog a bit - what do you think??  I think I'm happy with it..... and I've even learnt how to link - wonders will never cease!

Cheers Wendy 

February 15, 2011

Objects of my affection - a Tuesday Theme - Week 3

Lately I've been thinking that since I started this blog I have been looking very judgementally  (and rightly so) around the house for things that I can declutter.  All a bit negative.

As a bit of light relief, I thought I might make Tuesday a day to appreciate the things that I do enjoy having around me.  Not because of $$ value, but just because they are special to me for whatever reason.

Please join in - I apologise in advance if this is a bit twee or it has all been done before.

This is my lovely  Book of Days - Roses.  It's always open on the hall table.
One week to a page and a lovely rose each week with a little verse to go with it.  Cute little snippets such as:

As I plant this tree today
I see the children of a distant day
Play around an old rose tree
Gaining pleasure from one as me
Robert Frederick

or this one ...

The rose was awake all night for your sake,
Knowing your promise to me;
The lilies and roses were all awake,
They sighed for the dawn and thee.
Alfred, Lord Tennyson

which is much more romantic I think than the one for this week (which of course includes Valentine's Day) -

The Rose, wherein,
the Word Divine makes
itself flesh..

Whatever.  I just love it.  Have had this book for quite a few years and I had given it to my mum originally.  She enjoyed it greatly also.  Each year,  each week brings a new delight.  This is definitely an object of my affection.

So that is my object of affection today - what's yours?

cheers Wendy 

February 11, 2011

Well that is something after all ......

 I had been thinking to myself that I didn't have much to be proud of in the decluttering today.  Well then ....... hello what's this then?  Maybe I don't realise sometimes that I am now constantly clearing and moving things out.

I knew I had this boot load of goodies to take uptown on Monday.  Our local neighbourhood centre is doing a fundraiser for residents affected by recent flooding.  When I read about it in local paper I realised this was what I had been looking for.  A real need in our local area and one that I (once again) feel happier about than donating money.  Money is in shorter supply these days and we have clutter aplenty!

This is gorgeous creature had been looking for a new home for quite a while.  My husband won it for our son at a local agriculture show at a knockemdown or similar.  I never really asked how much he spent in tickets, but this was the thing that D Jnr had his eyes on.  I think he was aged about 7 then and he is now (spoken in best gravelly voice) nearly 16 and taller than me.  At the time the big rage was Pok√©mon and this critter became known as Boxermon ?!? on account of the boxing gloves.  He has had a pretty good life sitting on top of a bookcase for all that time.  Now things are moving in the house and that bookcase has gone (and of course son terribly shamed by having it still in his room) and Boxermon was looking for a new home. 

Sadly I have already tried to donate him but he was rejected by the local Children's Hospital on health grounds.  Apparently they cannot take pre-owned items because of the risk of infectious diseases.  I guess I can understand this, but was sad that he couldn't at least make an appearance on top of a shelf or something. 

Anyway, this fundraiser was the answer - and now he is off to greener pastures.  To be (maybe) raffled off or maybe just part of Trash & Treasure - all to raise funds for flood victims.   The big flat thing is a skimboard - used approximately twice.  The rest of the items in the boot were more or less ready to go anyway and I may have already mentioned some of them.  Some will be going to the Salvos. 
Note the CD stack.  These had already been sorted from our collection when we donated the TV entertainment unit.  We now have a much more manageable stash of CDs which I really think could be pared down more again.  *Note to self - do not sort things and then just leave them sitting in a pile * .  Action was required, and luckily I don't feel too bad about letting go of these.  Farewell Bee Gees, Paul Young, Prince,  and all your friends.   Our relationship is over.  My heart will go on. 

So now I am feeling rather chuffed.  Thank you blog (and blog friends).  Just by putting this down I realise how much I am getting through. ........ and the scary part is I haven't really started trying yet!  None of this has been sourced from cupboards and deliberating on will I keep this one or that one.  All this is just from looking randomly about the place.  Scary indeed.  Dexter looks worried.

Just re-reading through this I have just realised an important fact.  If you don't have the place to put the things into (in this case TV entertainment unit and bookcase) then you really can't have clutter? Thought for the day.    Oh and by the way - I don't really have a thing about toys, stuffed or otherwise.

Cheers Wendy

February 9, 2011

Bye Bye Santa - have a holiday

This is the last of the Christmas decorations to finally be put to bed until Christmas 2011.  Finally.  Poor old Santa and his reindeer had been sitting on top of a cupboard on the back verandah and starting to gather cobwebs. 

So I gave him a bit of a look at the outside world and then tucked him away with all the other Christmas decorations.  Unfortunately that means the Black Hole of the Garage - but that's another story) {a very scary story}. 

Just as an aside - this is a lovely hand made deco we bought at a market when on holidays a couple of years ago.  A lot of work has gone into it (not sure how much detail can be seen) but it is made from just basically scrap metal with little tea light holders at the top of the figures. Gorgeous and kitschy - we all love it.

That's about it for serious decluttering today (who am I kidding) although I have been busy putting more things online to sell.  Goodness it takes a lot of mucking about just to write an ad sometimes doesn't it?  Getting some background info on the item, working out postage price, waffling on a bit to make it sound interesting.  Hopefully it will be worth it.

Thought I might show off our very first sweet potato harvest.  For some strange reason we haven't really grown them before.  Don't know why - they are surprisingly easy to grow.  Neither or us actually looked up the best time to harvest them (not like other vine crops, this still is growing vibrantly).  However, D decided to dig a few out and presto!  they look great.  I guess this crop is the type you can just pick as you go - which is a bonus.   The hardest part was how to photograph them without making them look like rude objects d'art! 

Cheers Wendy

February 8, 2011

Objects of my affection - a Tuesday Theme - Week 2

Lately I've been thinking that since I started this blog I have been looking very judgementally  (and rightly so) around the house for things that I can declutter.  All a bit negative.

As a bit of light relief, I thought I might make Tuesday a day to appreciate the things that I do enjoy having around me.  Not because of $$ value, but just because they are special to me for whatever reason.

Please join in - I apologise in advance if this is a bit twee or it has all been done before.

This week inspite of - or maybe just to spite the hot weather - I thought I would show off my lovely crochet granny blanket.

No I didn't make it (can knit but not crochet).  Actually I bought it a few years ago when we were on holidays mid-north NSW at a show.  I just love it.  It is so beautifully made with the raised flowers, very warm and bright.  

Luckily it's a bit cooler here today.  I don't think I could have even touched this yesterday!!

So that is my object of affection today - what's yours?

cheers Wendy