Tag Archives: gardening

Watch out UFOs about!

2 Jul

Have small green freaky looking creatures invaded Drawn Outdoors HQ? No, but we do have a lot of UFOs, UFPs and just a whole lotta stuff that needs to be done.  Not UFOs in the sense of strange flying saucer shaped alien transportation devices, UFOs in the sense of UnFinished Objects, UnFinished Projects and yes, just general stuff to be done.  I’ve talked about my powers of procrastination (check that one out here) and my list making love (that one is here) but I have another confession to make…

I’m not very good at finishing things.

I’m fabulous at starting, at dreaming, at thinking big.  If you need ideas, and you need them big, fantastic and mind blowing, I’m your girl.  The more freedom my mind is given to wander the better the idea.  I’m glad that this is a fabulous skill to have in the wonderful world of design.  It is so much fun to take an idea for a wander and see where it ends up taking you.

If you need a project planned and started, I’ll also put my hand up for that one.  I’m great at identifying what needs to be done and finding a pathway through the murky depths of “it’s too hard”, breaking problems down and then building up a solution.  My problem comes when I start to walk the pathway and something more shiny gets in my way, or another problem or idea jumps up and shouts out “look at me!”

I think my problem is deadlines.  When a project has a deadline, has a finish point, a clearly defined date and time, I manage to knock it out of the park.  When a deadline is a little bit  more flexible, or even worse, non existent, we have a problem.  I’ve worked out that when I’m wearing my Drawn Outdoors hat things are completed, on time and well.  It’s when things matter or people are relying on me that I tend to do my best work.  Why can’t I apply this dedication to all those incomplete little projects?  Why is the dress I started in my dressmaking class 3 years ago still not finished, and the 30th birthday present for my now 32 year old sister still waiting for its final touches?  Not to mention the multitude of stitches, sewings and ideas who’s seeds have been planted, allowed to germinate but not been able to grow and bloom.

I’m finding that blogging is helping with this problem.  When I blog about doing something, I tend to do it – I think it’s the guilt feeling I get when I don’t achieve a goal and too many people know about it.  Our 1000 things in winter is coming along fabulously, the girls are a third of the way there – Yay girls!  And my 31 posts in May was a total success.  But on the down side some things have slipped through the cracks, most obviously our own garden design and the Drawn Outdoors office.

To bust out of the half done rut that some things have found themselves falling into, I’m making a new financial year resolution.  When I have an idea that needs to be done, I’m giving it a deadline, letting someone who cares know about it, and then doing my best to stick to it.  I’m hoping that extra rewards won’t be needed along the way, the feeling of sheer unadulterated satisfaction when I”m finished should be sweet enough.

So here it is, my new financial year resolution to do list, with some deadlines and “reporting mechanisms” – I know you’ll hold me to it!  I’m starting small, just ten UFOs to start with, I don’t want any aliens messing with the engine.

1. Finish the 1000 things in winter challenge – and win!  This one’s a no brainer in terms of time – I have until the end of August, but just to make sure we’re on track I want to hit 500 things by 15 July, and 700 by 1 August.

2. Design OUR garden.  I’ve been designing a few gardens lately, but not ours. It  has been placed on the “when I get to it” pile for a bit too long.  I’ve measured the yard, analysed it to within an inch of its life, and now it’s time to turn my seeds of ideas into a reality.  Deadline – 1 September , or the first day of spring, ready for us to start building and enjoying this summer.

3. Set up Drawn Outdoors Office – I should really say finish setting up the office.  At the moment it’s working, but not well.  I need a desk.  It’s hard keeping things on a tilted drawing board and not so easy drawing on a flat one, and the computer desk is tiny.  I need to streamline and organise what I have so it works for me and so the office looks like an office and not a halfway house for anything without a home.  Target dates are 31 July for desk, then 15 August for office organisation.

4. Knit the Drama Queen’s scarf – I have taught myself how to knit (Yay me!) and my first project is a scarf.  I will have it finished so it can be worn this winter.  Completion date 31 July.

5. Finish the 30th birthday present – can’t say what it is, that would give away the surprise, but I will share when I get there. I’d like to have it done before Christmas.  30 November is the deadline.

6. Repair our walls – When we moved in, just over a year ago we repainted then replaced the light fittings.  Most are fine, but there are a couple of holes and patches of wall that need painting.  Deadline 31 August.

7. Plan a ski trip.  Mr Perfect and I love the snow, but The Drama Queen and the Daredevil have never seen it, and we’re feeling a bit sad about that.  We have decided that this year we will take them.  Holidays don’t plan themselves, someone needs to do it.  Deadline 20 July, any later and it might melt!

8. Finish the stitching for the Drama Queen’s new cushion – You know, the one I blogged about here.  Done by 31 August.

9. Plan our christmas presents – I like to make rather than buy, but I tend to get my great ideas around the end of October, and I’m left scrambling to get things done.  This year I’m going to be a bit more organised and get my plan ready before the end of July

10. Make myself an exceptionally cool post it note list that I can keep track of all my things to do on.  Just like this one from Cornflower Blue Studio.  I’ll show you this one by the 10th of July, and I will only use materials we currently have in the house.

There are so many more things I will need to add to this list, but if I just focus on 10 at a time I think my success rate might be a little bit higher, don’t you?

Sam

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Friday Finds – Still green inside…

29 Jun

I know that we shouldn’t complain about the cold in Sydney.  On a global scale, we almost have summer kind of weather some days during our winter, but for us it is cold, and therefore I haven’t been in much of an outdoor kind of headspace for the past couple of weeks.  Combine that with the evil winter cold / flu bug that has hit all four of us, and I really feel like hibernating.  Once again, Friday Finds is about bringing your outdoors inside, just a little bit, so you can avoid heading out and start hibernating!

I don’t know a lot about this online shop, but I really like their products.  SHELTERBLACK have a small but quirky range of products that seem to revolve around bringing the outside in.

I think the Daredevil would fall in love with the Dino planters, and I think we would just have to have a Stegosaurus!

Sam

Friday Finds – Peaches + Keen

22 Jun

Because it is winter, it’s cold and it’s been raining, I haven’t been much in the outdoor kind of mood.  Indoor plants have been on my mind.  I’ve been thinking we need some indoor greenery around Drawn Outdoors HQ, but with my not so green thumb, I’ve been a little wary of actually taking the indoor plant plunge.  I would need some sort of incentive, something that would make my aesthetic mind pop … Hello Peaches and Keen!

OK, so let’s start with the rather cool name, then take a look at the super colourful handmade and unique planters that this Melbourne duo create.  If there’s something that will make me try my hand at indoor gardening these may be the trick.  There’s no secret that I love something handmade.  If it’s a little bit crafty, a bit creative and a lot unique, I generally love it.  I also love a bit of colour.  Sometimes the brighter the better.  Peaches and Keen call themselves the “fluoro duo”, and there are colours to make this rainbow lovers heart jump with joy.

And planters aren’t the only thing they do.  I love their jewellery and artwork too.

The good news for those of us not living in Melbourne is that they have an online shop and will ship almost anywhere!  Their website is worth a visit, even if only to check out their blog for a little bit of visual loveliness.

Sam

Friday Finds – Lighting the way

15 Jun

Just a little something to lighten up your day.  Light is such an evocative medium.  It transforms space and creates mood.  I love playing with lighting in the landscape, but I’m not a touch on this guy.

Bruce Munro is a light artist.  He designs and creates spectacular lighting art installations.  I am in awe. I even love the words on his website!

Lighting sets the mood and stirs emotions, and can transform the subconscious feeling of a space entirely.

Creating a balance between functional and decorative is all in the details.

OK, the last two aren’t technically light, but I love how the light plays off the CDs, a perfect art re-use project.

Sam.

All photos are from Bruce Munro’s website.  You can check out all the other inspiring work he does there too.

Friday Finds – Heavy lace

8 Jun

Sometimes I find things in my research on the net that make me go wow.  Sometimes they are so simple, so unique or so insanely beautiful it is ridiculous.  Today’s Friday Finds falls into all 3 of those categories.  Dutch company, LACE FENCE has created a uniquely beautiful yet infinitely functional product that redefines the humble fence.  In their own words:-

LACE FENCE is a Dutch based company that designs & produces unique architectural fabric delivered globally. LACE FENCE has grown into a product which lives up to the highest standards for a variety of applications.
From safety fence to artpiece. Our only limitation is our own imagination.
The combination of the handmade delicate lace patterns with the industrial look and feel of the metal fencing is unique, and proves that functional can also be beautiful.  Lace Fence works in close collaboration with each client to ensure that each fence is unique solution.  The applications are endless within an architectural and landscape format.  I’ll let the photographs speak for themselves.  I would like to Thank Lace Fence for allowing me to use their photographs, and photographer Joost van Brug.
For more detail and information head over to their website at LACE FENCE.
So many places I would love to use this!
Sam.

Friday Finds – playing with fire

1 Jun

It’s the first day of winter in Australia, and by our standards it’s getting a bit chilly.  Yes I know that in Sydney we don’t know the real meaning of cold, to us it’s freezing if the mercury slips into single digits, and that’s celsius speak!  In honour of winter today’s Friday Finds is all about fire.  I love an outdoor fire.  Memories of toasted marshmallows on camp fires, bonfires on the beach and if I cast my mind back a long long way we use to have bonfires on cracker night before everyone became safety conscious and fireworks were banned.

Fire pits are becoming a backyard trend at the moment, and they range from a hole in the ground or half a metal drum to some seriously beautiful metal sculptures. It’s the seriously beautiful end of the spectrum I’m coming from today.  I stumbled across this artist when I was researching fire pits for a client.  Rick Wittrig calls himself a functional steel artist, and his company, Fire Pit Art, creates very simple, yet elegant fire pits that look good with or without a flame.

Check out his website at Fire Pit Art.

I’m headed off to find me a heater!

Sam

31 days in May and I blogged them all!

31 May

I thought I was biting off more than I could chew, thought I had over estimated my blogging prowess, but I proved myself wrong.  There’s nothing like setting yourself a challenge and rising to meet it.  I have had so much fun posting every day in May, but I know that it’s not something that I’ll be doing regularly.  My usual 1-2 per week, with the special edition of 3 or 4 is more my style, less structured and also gives me time to feed my ideas a little more.  There is one thing I will miss just a little bit, with the regular blogging my stats have skyrocketed.  While I don’t blog for the numbers it’s nice to know people are reading, and with fewer posts will come fewer views (theoretically), though I have mades some great new blogging friends who I hope will stick around!

The good news now is that I’ll have a bit more time to get back too the real world work of designing.  The Daredevil is set to have his first full day of child care on Monday, so watch out world here I come, munchkin free, and ready for inspired designing and busting barriers in my way.  Who knows, maybe our garden will finally be designed and built.  Maybe I could get myself a cool super outfit to bust out in, some ideas…

It’s also the last day of my Happy Days in May project, so to wrap it all up…

28 May 2012 – Child free for an hour while the Daredevil had his child care orientation, time to breathe and clear my head and enjoy a coffee without a babycino friend.

29 May 2012 – Hair cuts for the munchkins, the Drama Queen was right at home, and the Daredevil cruised through his first haircut – mullet be gone!  I have the best kids!

30 May 2012 – Frustrating but fulfilling, spent a large chunk of the day sorting out household and business accounts and records – feel much happier having completed them.

31 May 2012 – Crazy time with the cousins – how much fun can you have with 6 kids under 5 – apparently never too much!

Short, sweet, and time for a little feet up time, though I will be back tomorrow for Friday Finds – damn I didn’t time that one well.

Sam

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