Thursday, 16 October 2014

Where unsolicited advice is given .....

Hello blogworld.

I have been asked a lot in the last 12 months "what are you going to do with all your free time?" once all my study was complete. My standard answer has been "catch up on 6 years of housework". Turns out I was right. (This may be the only thing I get right in this post). Bonus.

Instead of spending weekends and nights at the computer procrastinating from studying, I have been renovating my bedroom and doing lots outside. Pictures of my bedroom when I have finished ... but now ... by special request ... the blog where I give advice not only on handy home hints but also beauty tips and parenting.

1. Furniture restoration

Step 1
Have pre-made window seat that your ex-husband made for you and promised to stain 7 years ago.

(In this case he broke it in the 30 minutes he spent dropping the children off after a weekend down South, after I spent a weekend catching up on 6 years of spring cleaning of my bedroom and then I had to wait 2 weeks for him to fix it).

Ok, so your furniture does not need to be acquired in this manner, but that is the story of my window seat and bookcase.

Before restoration, but after being broken.
Step 2
Go to hardware store of choice (I like Bunnings but I suspect this has more to do with a love of sausage sizzles rather than any informed decisions) and buy stain in appropriate colour. Spend ages reading instructions. I cleverly decided to go with a stain and varnish so I didn't have to do both. I accidentally got oil based instead of water based though which was annoying.

Step 3
Follow steps on the can.

Step 4
Realise that the following things were not included on the can, but would have been useful:
  • Open the windows first;
  • Start from the back rather than the front if you don't want to get your clothes dirty;
  • If you ignore tip two it is probably best to do it naked; and
  • It is even more fun than painting.
Step 5
Spend rest of week trying to get wood stain off yourself (see Beauty Tips below).

Step 6
Wait (im)patiently for ex-husband to visit and fix the seat he broke while collecting his children (Thanks DB).

Step 7
Get home and realise that he fixed the window seat but didn't put the bookcase back in. Refuse to wait any longer and make your children help you move furniture before they go to bed. They are teenagers, they spend all night up reading anyway.

All stained and back in place.

2. Beauty tips for the professional look
If you read my tips on furniture restoration above, you would have seen that not only did I get myself covered in wood stain, it was oil based. Let's just say that five days later I am still covered in marks which look like they may be bruises or dirt, but are actually stains from the varnish.

Some are actually bruises.

Clearly the number one suggestion would just be to be careful but if like me this is not likely to happen, the suggestion has been made that you should pick your stain in the colour you would like to be and instead of applying fake tan you can use the woodstain and accomplish it all in one hit. While I haven't attempted this myself, I would always recommend following the suggestions on the packet.

Other useful tips include stockings, pants and long sleeved jackets for covering up stains, nail polish remover for clean nails, and being prepared to answer the questions about "what on earth were you doing on the weekend?".

3. Gardening tips (with bonus suggestions on parenting)

This used to be waist height weeds
This weekend was dedicated to gardening.

This involved bribing my actually useful teenage daughters and by giving them very specific jobs that needed to be done. In their defence, Buglet and Tink worked very hard and did what I asked them to do.

Mount Mulchmore
Pixie tried very hard, but needed lots of reminders that we were gardening and not just posing for pictures.

Parenting tip of the day is get them to do something, be specific and say thank you. And be thankful that you have teenagers who will still talk to you for an hour or two and will be helpful without excessive complaining. Then adopt some nice younger children to help you and who will actually think it is fun. My lovely gardening elf and my gardening fairy (from across the road) helped me all of both days and were super enthusiastic. They also looked after Flip-Flop.

In addition to the woodstain and bruises, I am also covered in scratches from gardening. I am wondering if gloves might have helped.

Stay tuned for next week when I will give more household tips.

  • I am not qualified to give gardening or beauty or any other household advice. Follow my suggestions at your own risk.
  • It is doubtful I am qualified to give parenting advice, there is still time for me to stuff up.
  • I am not even allowed to give legal advice without supervision.
I would recommend finding more reliable sources for any advice of any nature.

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