Monday, 15 July 2013

fs vintage renovation ~ Week 5

Back in The Bah after another flying trip down to the house. We left last Thursday evening and drove through the night. We have decided ~absolutely unequivocally ~We are NOT doing anymore night drives. It is to hard, to dangerous and far to tiring.
We arrived Friday morning about 8.30 am and had no time to stop before meetings with Builders / Painters / Kitchen people.
So ~Bottom line? Very productive as we have signed a Builder. His name is Chris The Scottish Builder. Fantastic to deal with and basically our conversations go something like this:
Me: Chris I really want to have such and such
Chris The Scottish Builder: Ye canna have it Trace (You're all reading with a Scottish accent now hmm?)
He then explains very clearly WHY I cannna have it .... he will then give us an alternative and away we go.
On the other hand...
Me: Chris can I have another shelf thingy near the basin please?
Chris The Scottish Builder : A nook Trace? (Pronounced "oo" rhyming with poo)
Me: *blink* Ummm yes....a nook.....
Both Mr Fab and myself now are incapable of saying Nook without adopting really bad Scottish accents.
He is the one who came up with the idea for The Fabulous Shop.

Entry area down toward the fs vintage shop

The wall from upstairs is coming all the way down to the bottom level (we thought that was a "canna have"~ its not) A fab glass door will go right here and that awful brick wall will be GONE. Under the stairs will have a little store cupboard but the rest will be open with a gorgeous chair maybe? An artfully placed little table perhaps? What about a small desk for doing the shop paperwork? Who knows!!!!! The pretend plastic woodgrain will of course be gone......

Stairwell will be replaced and no balastrade

The Kitchen chaps were interesting and they were very clear I have to get rid of my island bench idea as there will simply not be enough room to walk in the room. We also managed to go to the stone place and after much deliberation ~we have decided on Wild Rocks for the bench's with the cupboards in white. We have sent the first lot of drawings back as there were far to many angles. The far wall drawers and shelves are FABULOUS and I can already envisage our gorgeous vintage jar collection looking super fab! The entire process is so time consuming going from this display to that to choose everything from door furniture to benchtops and we have not even begun to look at tiles!!!!

Vintage wire Ball Mason on Wild Rocks sample ~Perfectly Fabulous!

I honestly did not think the whole process would be so HARD.

On a positive note ~Mr Fab has been resisting my hounding for a King size bed. We managed to find some time to pop into a mattress place and he lay his weary bones on a Pillowtop King size mattress........ Yep we have a winner! I am super excited about THAT.

Stay Fabulous

fs vintage

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

fs vintage Renovation ~ Week 4

Welcome to Day 29.

After going round in what seemed like never ending circles ~we have finally reaching Decision Time. The Quotes we have had come in ~when you eventually get them that is ~ have been well over 50 Thousand MORE than we budgeted. Keep in mind we were very liberal in our Budget! I needed a Bex and a good lie down to recover and they seem to have come in about the same on all of them. So ~as much as I really dont want to ~we will have to go The Mates Rates Way. I may have to compromise on things ~ Perhaps the Studio will not have as many bench tops. Maybe my Prep area will not be as big. Perhaps the Tiles in the downstairs bathroom / Laundry will have to be a less expensive version of the look we want? Maybe I will have to do some serious legwork to find some bargains?

Then lets do this!

I have now donned my Project Manager / Build Boss hat and will begin the long and arduous job of finding what we need and making sure the needed Trades person is at the House when he or she needs to be!
So far I have sourced and confirmed ~at this stage ~A Plumber / Tiler & Painter. It will mean Mr Fab will have to take some Leave and go down to be there for things like the Pest Control Chap and The Tree Lopper Chap. He will also start ripping out Kitchens, Bathrooms and all the internal Doors. I also conducted an experiment yesterday and purchased the Perfect Bathroom Light! I thought I needed to try the whole Online House Requirements and Accoutrements scenario to see how easy or hard it was.

Beacon Lighting 

I was browsing through Beacon Lighting Online and noticed this beauty.
Ok ok it is NOT vintage but it looks pretty darn nice! I have spoken to the gorgeous Alicia over at and she will be keeping an eye out for a vintage version so the Shop is even more Fabulous than my vision.
Anyway ~ The real deal crystal was over $400 and I simply cannot justify that much money for a light. This one is pretty, glass and only $99 delivered. Yep they do a set delivery via Courier rate of $10.
After purchase I received a phone call from Beacon Lighting Rockhapmpton to inform me this item has to be ordered and will be out to me in about 2 weeks. The lovely girl I spoke to ~Lisa ~was super helpful and so nice. I loved how she actually TALKED to me. I asked her about putting it in the Bathroom and you could tell she was genuinely keen on the idea and gave me information to help. For example ~I can have it in the Bathroom but it will have to be a certain distance from the main water source as you cannot put a light in within whatever feet from aforementioned water source. Fair enough ~Duh and what a shocking experience that would be .......
Lisa mentioned it is quite simple to remove the shade to refresh the globe and while not very environmental ~a Halogen will hit the glass crystals in a far more sparkly way...... I do try and be very Earth Conscious but I am torn ~Save the Planet or Blingy Sparkle ~sigh ~Decisions Decisions. All in all ~a super shopping experience!

We have booked an appointment with The Kitchen Chap / Cabinet Maker for Friday at noon to discuss what we need  ........... Hang on Hang on ~ BACK UP ........... *blink blink blink*  Does this mean I will finally start to see that darn kitchen ~ seriously stuck inside my head for 15 years? I will actually have the tactile experience of literally touching the stone bench tops? Seeing the color of the cabinetry?

Corner of Kitchen ~Before
So after all these years I wont be looking at Volcano Benchtops and dealing with cupboard doors that fall off?

Pretty sure I passed out for a second there .........

Stay Fabulous

fs vintage

Monday, 8 July 2013

Lets go back to Mates Rates shall we?

We are now in a form of Limbo? Purgatory? Suspended Animation? It is literally driving me insane. Yesterday we had another quote from one Builder who was on our Short List. It came through as a text message and it was DOUBLE what he told us it would be. He stood downstairs in our home and said it would be about 20% either way in difference but nope ~ DOUBLE. I near passed out of course so Mr Fab and I now have to rethink the entire process.
We also had two Builders who we contacted over a week & two weeks ago phone us to say they would like to Quote ....... So what has happened to returning calls? Messages or emails?

Now I am aware I am a bit of a stickler for manners and maybe  fs vintage does not turn over squillions of dollars but I make sure I return any customer contact I receive! It is literally making me crazy! We spent the entire day waiting for another Builder to get back to us to let us know if he wants us down at the House on Friday and Saturday. We will leave here Thursday Night when Mr Fab comes home from work ~ share drive straight through to arrive Friday Morning and meet with the Builder. We had narrowed it down to a couple and still dont know for sure but we have gone back to looking at Mates Rates ~ Friends and Family who can help because the costings are blowing out of proportion. Seriously NOT happy about that as I find the stress of dealing with people you know to do a job becomes incredibly frustrating and you also tend to not say if you are not happy with something just to be....well ....nice. I may have to rethink that mind set and just make sure I do say when I am unhappy with the appearance or result of the work? ARRGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH ....... *mini nervous breakdown* I honestly thought we were borrrowing a reasonable amount and then I added another 40 odd percent to be sure but it seems I am so far out of the Proverbial Ball Park I would need a Bus and two trains to get there!!!!

Downstairs Area ~Furniture will be restyled for The Shop

I am beginning to think that maybe the Builders Quote really high because they dont want the job? Maybe it is to big and far to hard for them? I now understand why people say Renovation is one of the most stressful things you can do!!!!
I need to be doing something! Not sitting around waiting waiting waiting.... So after the shock of yesterdays quote (I might add we really liked this Builder but WOW!!!! Double your original estimate???????) anyway I set to with Mr Google to see what I could source and obtain via the Internet. Remember we live in The Bah and we dont really have all that many options!
Also ~lets recap on what needs doing shall we?

*New Kitchen
*New Bathroom upstairs
*New Bathroom / Laundry downstairs
*Kitchenette Downstairs as fs vintage Studio
*Wall to divide fs vintage downstairs
*New wall upstairs
*Repaint entire house
*Floors repolished
*New Back Deck
*New Front Door and upstairs Panel
*All new internal Doors
*New Internal Stairs

I would have thought in today's climate that people would be WANTING work and trying to find as much as they could!

Bathroom Upstairs
It appears I am very wrong. However ~those of you who have been following us for awhile know that we Fabster's tend to shine brightest when faced with problems. When I told Mr Fab what was happening yesterday he really surprised me by remaining stoic and hitching up his pants so to speak and trying to figure out our next steps.

On a brighter note ~yesterday was also delivery day for some Rare Mason Jars we sourced from one of our suppliers. They had contacted us to advise they had some Aqua Blue Wire Ball Jars and some very early original's. Definitely enjoyed unpacking the goodies and imagining them on the shelves in the New Kitchen ~whenever that finally comes out of my head where it has been for about 15 years.......

Beautiful Vintage Aqua Blue Wire Ball Mason Half Gallon Jars

I definitely do not anticipate us being back Home till after Christmas the way it is going. But lets stay positive and see what today brings........

Stay Fabulous

fs vintage

Saturday, 6 July 2013

fs vintage Renovation ~ Week 3

So we wake up on Day 23 refreshed and ready to begin the Builders Quotes. Well I was woken at 5 am by Dexter about 2 inches from my face making these weird growly noises and scraping the blankets back. So downstairs to the backyard we toddled so he could do what he does. Absolutely freezing but gave me a chance to peer around the yard and start to make some plans for getting back into The Fabulous Garden. I am super keen to go back to growing my Hydrangas and Roses in pots so I can have fresh flowers in the Entry to the Shop. *blissful sigh*

Went back to sleep on the loungeroom floor ( Please note ~ I washed it with Domestos!!!) only to be woken again by super prompt Builder Number One. He was absolutely lovely and we enjoyed chatting to him and arranging to have a quote sent to us over the weekend.

Lounge area ~will be walled
By about 11am we had two builders email us to say the job was far to big for them so we waited around for another appointment all day only to have him not bother to show up. In the meantime we pottered around going through the boxes and repacking everything we needed to pack away.
It is interesting to note we firmly believe downstairs was being rented out as a sort of an apartment. Not to our knowledge of course but it was set up with another dining setting and a large couch. Someone has painted a delightful feature wall / ripped out the TV aerial / plugged a massive hole with plaster and a ...coin *blink* and installed Foxtel both upstairs and downstairs. In my humble opinion the garage was ALSO being rented out as it had curtains and a daybed......

Downstairs in what will be The fs vintage Shop

Moving on

Builder Number Two turned up and we also really liked him!!! I was by this stage getting up a full head of steam as I was concerned the Builders would not agree to my idea of putting a wall in where the balcony is upstairs. THEY LOVED IT!!! Very positive and might I just mention ~ My Reno Book? They also loved that. They all took pictures of my pictures and ideas to do their quotes. Apparently I had made it very easy as there is no compromise in what I want.
Mr Fab loved discussing Pergolas and Decks and Boy type Buildy stuff ~ I just zoned out and thought about Hydrangas and how well they would grow under the Deck...............
It appears his idea of a 6 x 6 Deck was so massively enormous it was suggested by all maybe he downsize a wee bit? Size does matter to the Boys but in this case ~ smaller is better and far cheaper!
He also enjoyed discussing The Bathroom. He had some great ideas but at the end of the day ~ some were not doable. We have sorted out what we want and because our ideas are so very clear and we have pictures in our Book ~The Builders said it was easy!

The Bathroom

We also started going through the dark and hidden places and found to our surprise ~all our framed Movie Posters. Yep they had been knocked over and smashed somewhere along the road and we spent a good hour laying them down on sheets to try and get the smashed glass out. They have all been popped into the garage to go back to the Framers at a later date. That is also when we found The Giant Rat Trap. I went into FULL girl mode and Mr Fab stood his ground.

Me: Dear god ~Look at that trap!!!
Mr Fab: Well check to see if there is a rat in it
Me: *blink*
Me: Me?
Mr Fab: Yes just check it dont be a bloody girl
Me: Me?
(My Husband ~Hero and Protector)

So I poked and prodded the trap till we could see it and thankfully I am happy to report ~No giant Rat. Goodness me those things are so bloody big you could strap them on as a shoe!!!!!
After waiting all day for Inviso Builder who would not answer his phone ~guess who WONT be getting the job ~we grabbed a bottle of wine and a few beers to head next door to check out the work of Builder Number Two and relax for an hour or so. Also found out some interesting goings on which had been happening but we wont go into that!!!!!! *blink blink*

So Day 27 came to an end and as we lay on our BlowUp Camp Beds we discussed how well we had slept and how we both feel like we have come home......

Stay Fabulous

fs vintage

The Fabulous Renovation ~ Week 3

So here we are at Day 22. This week we finally went back and actually saw our home.........For me? The first time in 7 years. Mr Fab has been down a few times.
We left on Tuesday night as soon as Mr Fab had managed a few dodgy hours sleep. Dexter came with us and initially thought it was a great funtime in The Car on a Holiday. He was NOT impressed by the end but he did travel very well indeed.
We drove through the night and arrived in Brisvegas around 9 am. We have no bedding at the house ~ well actually that is not true ~we have our old bed but seriously? Damn? I was pretty clear my body was NOT going to be sleeping on THAT mattress.
We stopped in at Caboolture KMart to grab some blow up beds so we could Camp on the floor. It was insane busy and I found it quite stressful to have so many people around???? Anyway ~ grabbed what we needed after parking what seemed like 25 miles from the car and me having to lug everything while running after zero sleep.........Back in the car and.............We arrived at Home about 9.30 am.
There was no Electricity connected because we had to wait till between 1pm and 6 pm for an Electricity chap to come and inspect the house to ensure it was safe to turn the power on. This was quite interesting. I called our Electricity supplier on Monday to turn the power on ~I had the lovely girl say:
Lovely Electricity Girl: Who is your Seller?
Me: My what pardon?
Lovely Electricity Girl: YOUR SELLER (You know when people talk louder when they think you might be deaf or not quite right?)
Me: I am sorry but I have no idea what you mean
Lovely Electricity Girl: (speaking slowly and carefully) ~ITS LIKE YOUR PHONE ~THE SELLER OF YOUR ELECTRICTY.
Me: *laughing* Sweetie we have one choice in decent phone service out here and I still dont have any idea what you mean
It appears while living in The Bah that the world moved on and changed ~You need a Seller of your Electricity and then The Provider connects.....Our current one does not Service Brisbane...sigh
Needless to say ~called company's ~blah blah they will all do the best deal blah blah ~settled on one / made an appointment for testing ~move on.
Ok so we are at the House ~I stood on the entry steps for a few minutes collecting my thoughts and thinking DontthrowupDontthrowupDontCryDontCryDontCry

opened the door and walked inside.

Looking Down to Entry from top of stairs
We spent about 30 minutes walking around while drinking our Maccas coffee ~ (no power remember? ) Finally sat down at a random table and chairs in the dining room and just looked at each other.....

Kitchen sink section

To be fair ~ it was not really as bad as what I thought it would be. Yes its dirty but you could see the Chaps had made an effort to at least make an effort. The paintwork I did 7 years ago was actually not all that badly damaged and good old America White USA has withstood the test of time so we are definitely going with that again. I love that color and will be doing all the existing furniture in it to match the walls / skirting and ceilings. Yep ~the whole lot in one color. I love that look and originally did that when last painting and still love how open it looks. All of our furniture except the Old Washstand ( with 100 plus year old tile inserts) was downstairs and while some of it is damaged ( one piece has no door and some red stuff that looks like Paraffin wax *shudder* all over it but nothing some elbow grease and my trusty tool kit cant fix with a lick of paint.) ~ I will use it all in The Shop as my fittings so nothing goes to waste. The Washstand is gone for sure and I will even mention in another post about going into the under stair cupboard to search and finding a Rat Trap I could have strapped on and used as a SnowSki.......
We started going through boxes and cupboards and we did find quite a lot of our things still in tact and not broken. Most of our vintage china and collectables are still there and our Kids special things are still perfect apart from a layer of dust that will probably require some heavy duty cleaning. We actually found the Marble Top of our Old Washstand in the very back of the very top of our linen cupboard.
Me: Ronnie ~ check this out (I am standing on one of the random dining chairs we found)
Mr Fab: : What the hell.....??? Is that the......
Me: Yep
Mr Fab: But how did they get it up there?????
Seriously? It is so heavy we spent a good five minutes maneuvering it out of the back of the cupboard to get a good hold on it to manage to take it down without smashing this beautiful piece of Old Marble into a zillion pieces!!!! It took two of us to ensure it was safely deposited on one of the Blowup Beds. So we have the top but no Stand so I will be turning that into some kind of table as we have a set of really old sewing machine legs laying about here..... I LOVE RECYCLING AND RESTYLING!!!!
Entry leading to Downstairs

Electricity was connected by about 2 pm and we spent the rest of the day just going through boxes and sorting out whats gone and whats still useable. 
All in all ~ the pieces that are missing ~ old Botanical lithographs and prints / decorative wall pieces / various other vintage bits and bods ~ at the end of the day its just things. Some things made me sad but then I thought ~ Fresh Start and when I am meant to find the perfect piece? ... I will
HOWEVER ~ All my clothes are gone ~ everything ~ GONE. The containers they were stored in ~ gone ~ Clothes ~ Gone. 

Hmmmm maybe I am cooler than I thought?

Stay Fabulous

fs vintage