Weather testing the house.

Floating jetty.

Today we walk up the ramp to stand on our floating jetty.  The neighbours’ fixed jetty (far right) is submerged.

We only just got to the barbecue as it was rolling towards the edge of the open deck, propelled by wind.  The kayaks were about to set sail, unmanned, as the storm surge lapped over the edges of the canal walls.  The pool is being filled, a kind of icky green colour.  The hail has just stopped.  Banging doors kept us awake half the night, but there are no puddles on our floors, nor water stains on our ceilings so I’m pronouncing the weather testing a success.  We are fast approaching the end of our 6 month maintenance period and need to finalise our list of items to be fixed by our builders, Webb and Brown-Neaves, so the timing of the lousy weather is rather good.

Flooded garden

Wading through the bottom level of our canal-side yard. Current landscaping project.

Plus, nothing beats a good storm for providing a legitimate excuse for a day off shovelling, or whatever other landscaping task I should be doing.  Time, instead, to blog.

What’s new?  Shutters!  Actually they’ve been in a few weeks now and I’ve been waiting in the vain hope that one of the Three Little Pigs might have a bedroom tidy enough for a blogworthy photograph.  The bedrooms and library all have shutters and are all rooms that are low priority works-in-progress.  So I’m going with a couple of “keeping it real” photos for you.

Bedroom shutters.

New shutters in sty number 2, on a good day.

Library shutters.

Library shutters. (Disclaimer: the pigs are not usually this perfect.)

The shutters look good from the exterior too, but today is just not the day to prove it to you.

I have a couple of new rugs.  One of the problems I didn’t fully anticipate with our house design is the poor acoustics.  The void space over the living area allows an echo to bounce all over our open living space, not good for conversation once we have a few guests over.   I thought we needed some more soft furnishings to absorb some noise.  Enter rug addition number 1:

Sanna rug, Freedom.

Sanna rug, Freedom.

I didn’t want to spend too much on a rug for the dining room, it’ll probably only last a year or two under our dining table.  I picked a wool blend rug from Freedom, with enough colour in it so that I don’t cry the first time it cops a bowl of spaghetti bolognese.  The weave is thin enough to vacuum the crumbs easily and thick enough to absorb some noise.  I think it has helped and I must say it’s nice under my feet on cold mornings.

Rug addition number two is multi-purpose.

Armadillo and Co rug.

Armadillo and Co. hemp runner.

It is to catch any stray hot embers that fall out of the wood fire when we stoke it, to protect our timber floor.  I needed something that could disguise any soot marks and preferably something with some fire retardancy.  I hoped for wool but couldn’t find anything the right size.  This Armadillo and Co. runner is hemp.  When the fire is not going, the rug doubles as a door mat between our deck and the living room.

There has been a touch of landscaping progress.  I visited the Perth Garden Festival, where there were a couple of inspiring exhibits.  The good bits:

I came home with 21 kangaroo paws in tubes.  21 wheelbarrow loads of dirt and two weeks later the kangaroo paws are all planted and enjoying the rainy weather.kangaroo paws

The professional landscapers have completed their day of work for the month, so I’m guessing I won’t see them again now until June.

Most exciting is that I received a present that my husband gave me for a certain conspicuous birthday.  My big art.  It’s an indigenous dot painting by artist Margaret Lewis Napangardi.  I said “wow” the first time I saw this painting in Japingka Gallery‘s window.  Now it’s in our living room and I love it!

Mina Mina Jukurrpa

Mina Mina Jukurrpa, by Margaret Lewis Napangardi

Mina Mina at House By The Water.

Love it!


Big Art.

A little birdie told me that….. not only do we have bricks at our block, but we also have bricklayers! Alas, no photos yet, so I’m going to fill this space with some art.

Courtesy of my mother-in-law, who is rather artistic, we have a lot of paintings.  Probably the hallways and bedrooms of our two floors will become mini impressionist galleries.  But in our living room, there will be a great big wall that calls for something different.  Kinda like these:

The wall that needs art (shown here with the black meshy thing):

Ruben living room.

The display house model of our future living room. Photo source: Webb and Brown-Neaves.

What I want:

  • Australian spirit.
  • Big  (eg. 2 x 1 metres)
  • Colours that work with my grand scheme – blues, blacks, greys, whites – all OK.  (Other colours OK too – but in moderation.)
  • Paint or textiles.
  • Maximum price $2500.

Here are some Australian artists currently on my radar:

Maureen Hudson Nampijinpa

Paintings from: Japingka Gallery.

When we visited Yulara in central Australia last year, my kids were lucky enough to experience a short “dot painting” workshop with Maureen Hudson Nampijinpa.  Maureen was the “artist in residence” at Mulgara Gallery at the time.  Some of Maureen’s art was for sale at the gallery and I loved them!  She has plenty for sale online but the prices at the gallery in Yularu were far better.  I should have squeezed one into our camper van…

Sean Wilkinson

Sean Wilkinson calls his style “Australianism” and I think his paintings ooze Australian culture and scenes.  Most of these paintings are too small for our wall, but I reckon I could commission a piece especially for House By The Water.  Fancy a trip to Mandurah, Wilkinson family?

Adriane Strampp

Nina and Patrick's "Offspring" home featuring "Ghost Garden" by Adriane Strampp.  Source:  Homelife.

Nina and Patrick’s “Offspring” home featuring “Ghost Garden” by Adriane Strampp. Source: Homelife.

OK, so I may be a little big biased towards this artist – lured by the love scenes filmed in her home.  Unfortunately large paintings by Adriane Strampp are out of my price range, otherwise I don’t think I could resist a piece of her oil on linen.

Sarrita King

My perfect colours.  Serrita King is a young Australian aboriginal artist with her finger on the pulse.  I can’t wait to see some of her paintings in person the next time I’m visiting Fremantle.

Do you have some Aussie art that you love?