Monday 30 September 2013

Wet Spring Day at Kings Park Flower Festival 2013

Today, being the last day of the Spring Festival at Kings Park I had wanted to visit once again to take more photos, and see the old Holden cars exhibition as well as see some of the live entertainment on offer.

Albeit the wet and windy day (this month has been unusually wet and windy) the park was full of people, walking around looking at the flowers, sitting by the entertainment stage listening to music, dancing, eating, barbecuing ....oh yes some people were having picnics!

Apart from the music, there were workshops about native gardening and plant propagation, as well as tents selling native flower arrangements and native plants - I bought an orange/red Kangaroo Paw to plant in my garden.

I leave you with some photos to give you an idea of the atmosphere. The 80's music was great, pity the grass was wet and I didn't take a chair, because I would have loved to stay longer.

A collection of 10 vintage Holdens, all in working order
I like the number plate

The band played 80's music and there were a few couples dancing
How do you like this vintage caravan? The cold weather didn't entice ice-cream buyers though...
Plenty of food for sale near the entertainment area
There were 4 Florettes walking around delighting young and old alike
The Florettes were also having fun dancing to the music

Another yarn bombing done on this wheelbarrow
Another old Holden used as a "flower container"

Various Kangaroo Paw plants - the one I bought is similar to the one on the bottom right
More wildflowers - I loved the "Lambs ears" bottom right, they were soft as wool

Next year there's more - I hope the weather will be more "Springy"  and I will be able to go there on the weekends to listen to the live music entertainment.

Monday will be a Public Holiday in WA - The Queens Birthday - which in Australia is celebrated in different dates across the various states, none of them being on the actual day of Her Majesty's birthday!

Have a great week and hope you enjoyed the flower show.

Sunday 22 September 2013

Trash to Treasure - transforming a chair and a table

As I have mentioned before in my "R is for Rubish" in the A - Z of Australia, around "Verge collection time", some people go around on their trucks collecting little treasures that people throw away.
Fortunately in Australia, it's actually fashionable to recycle and reuse old stuff, vintage is the new modern!

Last month, it was verge collection time in our neighbourhood, and on one of my walks I spotted a Papasan chair at the end of my street. 
Yes, it's called "Papasan" - I didn't know either and had to search it under images for "round cane chair", until I spotted one.

The finished Papasan chair
The chair wasn't yet on the verge, just sitting next to the rubbish bins. The reason might have been, that you're not supposed to put things out until 2 weeks before collection date begins.

I liked the chair, it was in great condition, although it had no pillow.
I asked my son and daughter in law if they would like it for their house, since they are still furnishing their place after getting married two months ago, and they had a sitting area where the chair could fit.

I kept an eye on it, until one day as I drove into the street I saw it on the verge.
I quickly jumped out of the car, opened the boot and in it went. 

A few days later my daughter in law came to spend the day, and I took her out to buy fabric to make a pillow and a few cans of black spray paint to modernize the chair.
The pillow all sewn up and ready to be stuffed
old pillows
Luckily S is very much at home with a sewing machine and a needle and she quickly cut the fabric and sewed it into a big round pillow case.
I had lots of old pillows which were going into the rubbish and she used these for the stuffing.
To finish off she started by joining the back and front through the stuffing, to put a button in, but after a few attempts it was getting quite difficult as the stuffing was very thick, so she decided to leave it plain.

trying out if the pillow stuffing would be enough
All the sewing over, it was time to lightly sand the cane chair and then spray paint it in black.
It took about 3 cans of paint to finally cover it completely, but it looks very modern and bright now in it's new home.

The newly renovated Papasan
Around the same time I also saw this little side table which I also picked up. It was a bit wonky, missing a bottom link between sides to make it stable. That was soon remedied when I screwed a piece of wood from each side. The table was black, but had many scratches, so I used the electric sander to make it look better, and then used 1 can of dark grey spray paint to bring it back to life.

In the middle of being spray-painted

Although I was the one renovating this side table, after finishing it, it would be given to my son for his house.
Since their decorating colour scheme is red, black and white, I bought some scrapbooking paper with those colours and set about decorating the table. 

It was still missing a coat of varnish when I gave it to my son and daughter in law, but as they were going to varnish the Papasan chair, I thought they might as well finish the table.

The finished table

It looks quite funky and can be used as a side-table in the bedroom or lounge.
So for very little money they got 2 new pieces of furniture for their home.

What do you think of my verge collection finds and the renovated version?
Have you ever found anything interesting enough to give it a second lease in your home?

Tuesday 17 September 2013

My cats are 6 today

To commemorate the birth of 3 of my 5 cats, 6 years ago, on 17th of September 2007, (their 2 mothers are of unknown age, probably a year or two older, from what the vet said) I leave you photos and a little description of them and their different personalities.


Shelley or "Fatty" as we call her now, is a very overweight cat. She weighs 7,5 kgs!
No wonder, because all she does is stick around after I give them their breakfast and dinner and eat all the food the other 4 leave behind. Then she climbs onto my bed and sleeps...
I hardly ever see her outside, unless we are doing some gardening and then she will lie in the sun.
In the morning, she is the first one to wake me up if it's past the regular feeding time. She will put out her nails and gently scratches my arm while meowing loudly. It never fails to make me spring out of bed!
She probably thinks she is a "model thin cat" trying to fit into a small box


Twiggy loves boxes and will jump in any box she sees around the house

Twiggy was named after the British model, because when the kittens were born, she was the tiniest of the bunch, always the last one to come and eat and wouldn't eat much either. She was also the ugliest of the bunch, reason why she didn't get adopted and so we kept her.
A few years later, and she is now the first one to start eating. As soon as the first dry biscuits fall on the first plate she attacks it, and then moves on to all the other plates, as if to see if the other food is better, in the process shooing all the others aside.

Apart from this bravado, she is a scaredy cat. If I wear a different pair of shoes, whose heels will make a different sound on the floor I will see her running into hiding as soon as I approach. If I have visitors at home she will also disappear and only return hours after they leave. Any strange noise and she will hide.
The only time I see her more relaxed is when it's cold and she and her Mom will cuddle together on the blanket over the sofa, or on my bed. She likes to snuggle next to my legs when I go to bed, when she is relaxed enough allowing us to touch her without minding. 
She loves her Mom (the real one) and they will invariable be seen curled up together at night, usually cheek to cheek.

                                                                                         Sleeping cheek to cheek - Mommy and Twiggy

Fluffy,  is the only male and he certainly takes advantage of that, being a bit of a bully with 
his cat family! He is also a big cat, matching Shelley's weight, although he probably looks bigger because of all the fluffy hair.
To us humans our ginger cat is very loving and gentle, being the most vocal of the bunch, loves human company, sitting on the couch when we watch TV, or scratching the grass or the soil when we are outdoors gardening.  He is also my computer companion, when I sit in my study he will jump on his bean bag next to my desk. He loves "talking" to us, meowing frequently and always expecting a reply.
I love to see him sleep, as he always covers his face as if to block the light.

Fluffy and Twiggy

Please do not disturb!

Mommy, was never given another name, as we never thought she would stick around as I mentioned before in another post about my cats, as I presumed they had "owners". 
But after giving birth they stayed. We now tend to call her "velhota" which means "old lady" in Portuguese. She is not old, as she is probably only a year or two older than her kitties.
She is very clever and gentle cat, very regal and independent and for me the prettiest of them.
She loves a belly tickle and if she is in the driveway when we arrive home, she will lie there with her belly up until we tickle her, while she purrs contently. In fact she is the only one who doesn't mind being belly up.
She also knows how to get her morning meal quicker - she jumps on the chest of drawers in my bedroom and starts moving things around while she observes if I move. If I ignore her, she will make more noise or throw things down. Because I don't want her to break anything on my dresser I quickly jump out of bed.  I don't know why she wakes me up to feed her (them) as she is not much of a eater and is the thinnest at 4,5kgs, almost half of what Fluffy or Shelley weight.
She will curl up with Twiggy (her favourite), Fluffy or Shelly who sometimes will lie over her.

                                                                                    Mom sleeping very relaxed

Mommy being squashed by Shelley

Baby is the other mother, but she is probably Mommy's daughter, reason why we called her Baby. They look very similar and have the same colouring, unlike any of the other cats that came out all different, probably taking after the fathers....yes, female cats can mate with various male cats and have offspring of the various fathers.  
She is the only one who will jump on my desk and likes to lie over my keyboard or my hands when I sit on the computer. 
Unfortunately she is a bit of a loner, or has to be a loner, because all the others don't seem to get on with her. When both mothers were pregnant, they were the best of friends curling up together, and when the kittens were born they both made a circle around their 8 babies warming them up and feeding them. So I don't know where this antagonism came from? She is the only one who will sleep on her own as no one will curl up to her, and at feeding times she will be the last one to approach the dishes, waiting until all the others have taken a bowl. Not that she misses out on food, as she is the third one in weight at 7kgs.

Baby sitting on my desk
The 5 of them eating

At the moment none of them have a collar. I have various times throughout these 6 years put collars with tags on them, with their names and my contact number, but they seem to       pull them out or they get lost somehow. 
    All cats are micro-chipped and sterilized, so hopefully if they get lost anyone going to a vet     will be able to get our details from the chip.

    All in all they are 5 lucky cats, don't you think?

Wednesday 11 September 2013

50 years of Flower Power at Kings Park 2013

Every year from the 1st to the 30th of September, Kings Park comes alive with a riot of flowers, and this year Kings Park celebrates the 50th anniversary of the festival.

I love to visit Kings Park/Botanic garden, any time of the year, but Spring is certainly the best time, because all over the park there are wonderful wildflowers, and all sorts of pretty and colourful blooms. Also due to it's location, there are wonderful views of various suburbs of Perth and the city centre.

Bright red Kangaroo Paws around a wishing well
A view to South Perth across the Swan river
Huge expanses of grass where people play games, relax or picnic- even the grass had some flower tatoos
Another snippet of South Perth, framed by South African Aloe arborescens
Giant Boab tree
This Boab tree was transported 3200km by road to Kings Park. It is estimated to be 750 years old, weighs 36 tonnes and is 14 metre high, with branches spanning 8 metres wide. You can read the story here.   

This year also marks the 50th anniversary of the EH Holden, a car manufactured in Australia, and there are two very old utes (utilitarian vehicles) planted with wildflowers.
I only managed to see one of them, but I will go back another day for some more photos and hopefully find the other one. On 29th September there will be a display of vintage Holdens, organized by the Holden Car Club of Perth, as a combined birthday finale to the Kings Park festival.

Again beautiful views over the river and that giant Boab tree

The Foundation stone was Yarn bombed

Also for the first time, the Foundation Stone that commemorates the opening of Kings Park Botanic garden, was covered in yarn squares knitted by a group of Yarn Bombers.
It certainly was a very bright and popular spot and I had to wait a while to get a photo with no one around!
A few other things were covered in yarn, like a couple of the lamp posts nearby, and apparently there is even a little buggy (small open car) covered in yarn, what a pity I didn't spot it, it must be quite cute!

Pioneer Women's Memorial - a lovely lake with water fountains and a statue of a woman and child

DNA tower
The DNA tower, is 15 metres high and has 101 steps, and was inspired by the double staircase in the Chateau de Blois in France. I have not climbed it, but I believe the views over the park and surrounding areas are fantastic. I think I will have to take their word for it, as the stairs are a bit bare for me to climb...

More wildflowers - these look like paper
Aspects of Kings Park - gallery and gift shop - surrounded by native plants

Green and Black and plain Black Kangaroo Paws - aren't they so exotic?

I loved these pink "bell" flowers

Every Sunday during the month of September there are live music concerts, art exhibitions, family fun days, etc. Most events are free. You can also learn about native plants and gardening, or take guided walks around the park, at 10am, 12 and 2pm every day.

Why not take a picnic basket and enjoy the sunshine surrounded by wildflowers and birds?

Just check the Flower Festival calender for the September events -