Friday Five

First of all, Clémence Poésy....check her out here on Rue's fashion and Style post. I think she is cool and do not judge me if you start to notice me styling myself to look like her. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be a hot French actress with super cool style.... Even if you are a hairdressing New Zealander that spends her weekends at a building site rather than cool places in Paris or something.
Ok, so...You know those songs I posted last week...well, I hope you liked some of them because I might just keep doing it, if its ok with you? Quite nice to have the odd break from a building post.
The City and Colour song has been an everyday listen for a few months now....I absolutely love it. Oh, and the Crowded House cover that my sister introduced me to. They're all pretty lovely though.
Happy Friday!


Glass all the way

I've long been teased by a certain 'pack' of cousins about my intolerance for plastic drinking bottles. I swear "I CAN taste the plastic!!!!!". It's meant I've always drunk from my antipodes water bottle, they are the perfect water bottle/vase/candlestick and I will always have a few lying around and a compulsive "must buy one" reflex when I see them in a cafe.
But since I've been drinking my morning smoothies enroute to the building site most weekends I've been looking for a glass takeaway option. Well, three cheers to me because I found one!!!!! The Mason Bar Company have a gorgeous range of mason jars with screw tops and BPA free lids and straws.....ummm winning. Not to mention its a good 600mls worth, no more having to fill two glasses on the go.... Foooor goodness sake, would you just look at my pre-masonbarcompany-find self... I don't know what she's smirking for, she looks ridiculous.
Go and have a looksy for yourself HERE


Budget blow out and plans for perusal


So, I mentioned it a few posts back but I said I'd need a wine in my hand to fill you in, instead I have a head cold and Sunday night's leftover apple crumble, it will have to do.


We had a bit of a blowout with our foundations and we ended up needing a lot more concrete than we had allowed for. It wasn't a HUGE blowout, not a 'call in Kevin McCloud' kinda blow out, but it was big enough to make us reassess some major features of the house. It has meant the exterior design of our house is very different to what I showed you all those months ago...this could seem like a real major....and it would be if what we have changed to wasn't actually my first choice... before I met that Nordic Summer house that I decided I wanted to copy.




We have said goodbye to the plan of cladding the entire house in vertical cedar shiplap and in the process of this decision we have saved ourselves almost $10,000, KaaaaChing! (That would be more exciting if it wasnt going directly onto things that we are already over on) I suppose we could have just bitten the bullet and borrowed a little more but I just didn't want to, I don't want to build this dream house that we have "future proofed" with extra space and worked so hard on, only to have to miss out on things in the future because we're scrimping to pay the mortgage.

The thing is, our first home was an 80sqm, 100 year old cottage in Lyttelton and we are building this 250sqm home on 2.5 acres with the same sized mortgage. That's a big achievement for us and we want to stick to it like glue (so we can avoid a Kevin McCloud "how much did you actually spend" kinda moment) The reason we can do it for that price comes down to the fact that we spend every moment of our spare time working there and my Father (ex-builder/superman) spends all of his spare time there as well (sorry, you can't have him). We have also saved wherever possible....Including designing the house ourselves using google sketch up and giving our draughtsman a very good start.


That reminds me, I think it's time to share the plans with you. Like I said, we designed it ourselves and we tried to make it as simple as my design focused mind would allow in order to keep the price down by avoiding engineer costs. By the way, your eyes haven't suddenly detoriated, I just don't know how to get a high res image off of a PDF.

That tiny writing at the top is trying to tell you that the arrow is pointing to a floor to ceiling window at the end of the hallway. When you stand at the entrance (which you'll see below) you'll look straight down and out of that end window, where there will eventually be a view of native bushy garden.
The door that I have pointed out in the fireplace will be hidden and will be the access to the hot water cylinder and wetback, we're also going to use it as a drying room for all of Guy's sports gear (lets be honest, I dont really have any)
This view also shows how far the fireplace pokes out and you can see we have extended the roof out to just past that point. This gives us some good shade in the summer and the fireplace provides sheltered nooks from either easterly or westerly winds.


Sorry the floorplan is probably the worst quality.... You're gonna have to get your squint on. We have high ceilings throughout the front side (fire side) off the house and from the entranceway down to the bathroom. Then they drop down to a normal 2.4 stud along the south side of the house, this was done to keep the south rooms a little warmer seeing as they won't be getting any afternoon sun. We are having polished concrete throughout the entire house, excluding bedroom 2&3 which will be sisal carpet.



That's Guy Smiley standing in the frame of the front can kind of get an idea of the height of the ceilings in that area...and you can see just left of his smiley head where the ceiling drops down to normal height in the hallway.

That's me perched where the dining area will be, it gives you an idea of the ceiling height there as well. In the top right corner of the photo you can just see the ridge beam that will be exposed through the centre of the room.

Now for the changes to the outside....the exterior is going to be stained black shadowclad (a ply board with vertical grooves in it to give it a shiplap look). The fireplace exterior and the entranceway wall that will carry on through to the interior entrance of the house will be horizontal cedar, I found some photos online that will give you an idea of the look of the exterior colour contrast. The first pic is almost spot on with the black shadowclad and natural cedar which we will be giving a light coat of stain with a grey-ish wash.






Congratulations if you got to the end of this ridiculously long post. Hope it gives you all a bit more of a vision when you're looking at our pink frames.




This was a proud moment, it was just Dad and I on site on Thursday morning (we both took time off work) and Dad had a brilliant idea to hoist that beast of a frame up to its rightful place by using an 'endless chain' engine hoist. He climbed up the the existing framework and helped guide it up into the right place while I cranked it up with the chain. We were so proud.....until we realised it was up the wrong way....then we laughed (bitterly) and a neighbour turned up at just the right time to go for round two.

It has been the most exciting 2 weeks to date since we started this build. Paying that little bit extra for pre-nailed frames was well worth it.
The best part about this build is that we are doing it ourselves, every weekend and sometimes late after work, it's a real labour of love and we are so proud of it but it can be sooo freaking tiring. Sometimes you need a bit of a motivation injection and these frames did just that.

We started digging the top soil of the building site at Easter weekend.... There have been so many cold days and nights while we have dealt with the devils work.... Aka, foundations. But all of that is forgotten when you see the frames of your house standing proudly on top of that concrete slab! Happy day!

Ok, by the way I know it's looking massive but I promise we haven't built a mansion. We have built a house with high ceilings though and that is definitely making things look rather large. Once we get our roof on and break up the MASSIVE fireplace wall it will look a little more in proportion!

BIG thanks to the McChurchys, My Uncle John and cousin Richard who came out and gave us a hand last Saturday! You all rule!

Friday five



I really love when I'm looking through blogs and they have a little link list that leads me to things I hadn't heard of or seen before....and if I had heard or seen it before, I liked hearing and seeing it again. Ya know?


Well I love music, all the time, all day long. So today I have five songs to share with you that you might like too...


LAY ME DOWN ---> The Oh Hello's


SELL IT TO YOU ---> Bronze Radio Return


WHISKEY DREAMS ---> Wild Child


CATS AND DOGS ---> The Head And The Heart


ELEGY ---> Hey Marseilles


Happy Friday! Framing day tomorrow.... Wooooop!



Pretty simple title for a post, funny really seeing as this particular task hasn't been. We have a rather large feature fireplace going into the new house....well, it's really a fire surround. We are actually having a gigantic beefy logburner instead of an open fire (energy efficiency and all that jazz) but we'll be giving it the open fire treatment with a full brick chimney....kinda like the phot below...but instead of whole bricks we just need a 'slip' which is 20mm of a brick. So it pretty much becomes a tile.
Seems easy enough, brick isn't exactly hard to get hold of, brick slips on the other hand...not so easy. After calling almost every brick distributor in Christchurch, it was made abundantly clear that cutting brick slips is a reasonably unpopular task, up there with pulling teeth and watching paint dry. It was also looking like a costly road to go down and there is a big 'road closed' sign on that road by the way. But we'll talk about the budget later (when I have a wine in my hand).
After all the research, we've decided to go for second hand bricks and cut them ourselves....and ya know what? I find that waaaaaaaaaaay more exciting and I actually quite like watching paint dry, because I happen to be quite lazy sometimes and I get to just sit there watching. So, that's fine.
It's actually got me rethinking the kitchen backsplash.... I'm thinking I'll use bricks there as well, but left in their natural state. I still HAVE to paint the fireplace white because it's been in my head since before I had an actual floorplan and I'm not giving up on it!
I actually love both white painted brick and old red brick equally so it makes sense that they both get a see in (brick equality). And using the second hand bricks is a step in the right direction for my desire to make our new home look a little less new if ya' know what I mean.
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Pic links were all sourced from Pinterest, if anyone knows if they came from somewhere else originally just let me know, I'm not super Google image savvy.



In case you're not on instagram.....this happened. Dad, Guy and our helpful neighbour Chris, stood up the back half of our house on Monday!!!! Whhhhhaaat! It's all getting very exciting. Bring on this weekend!



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I popped into Freedom today and they have some really gorgeous stuff! These were a few things that caught my eye.... My 3 real faves weren't online, which has made me think I really must go back and buy them immediately so I don't miss out! I love those lightshades, I'm going to do a mix of shades in natural materials and some gorgeous french industrial shades from Ico Traders. Oh, and how good would these things look with my rug I bought back from Ikea in Melbourne! Now that the house is taking shape I'm getting SO excited about doing the interior!
On a side note, some of you may know about my hat addiction. I'm not proud, I would be if I wore them all with great confidence, but instead, it's kind of been a dirty secret, hoarding hats and really only wearing them while working on the section, adventuring in the outdoors, at festivals etc....definitely not while out shopping or doing the groceries and other normal stuff.
I realise this hat wearing anxiety is completely irrational.
Well, the dreaded mop on top of my head was just not working for me this morning, I had no other option than to don one of my neglected friends. I walked into Freedom, my "I'm just a casual, confident hat wearer" unveiling. I said to myself...."seriously, no one is even going to take notice of your hat". I walked in, past the counter and the guy behind it stopped mid conversation with a colleague and actually yelled "I like ya hat!" In my direction, I was mortified, I said "thanks" as politely as I could while I was mentally junk punching him, you weren't supposed to notice my hat! .....I carried on down to the back of the store (as far away from the hat liker as possible) and another Freedom staffer came over to me and asked if I needed any help, when I said I was happy just looking around he said "ok great....I like your hat". I couldn't believe it. 2 people in the first 5 minutes of my first public shopping in a hat experience. Baptism by fire. For someone who likes hat's so much, I really need to work on receiving hat compliments.



Good grey stuff

We poured the slab on Saturday! It was a shaky start with gale force winds, rain AND the wrong concrete mix in the trucks! But we got there, the weather stilled and it became a beautiful day, the concrete trucks returned with the right mix and away they went! The first pumping of concrete happened with a back drop of amazing red and yellow skies, it was dawnaliciois.
What a huge milestone, the next day the boys were already ripping off the boxing and we've had all the concrete cuts done, so now it's time to get the frames up!!! So exciting, let the real fun begin!





I haven't written a post for awhile, not since our concrete dreams were shattered.


Last Saturday morning at 6:30am and a frosty -4°c, we arrived at the section full of adrenaline/excitement/pure joy, we were finally pouring our slab. Seriously, such an amazing feeling to be getting out of the ground and to start building. Foundation work is the Devil. We turned into the driveway to see the pump truck driver had already arrived...early, how good of him.

Well, instead of driving his weighty truck up the gravel driveway, he thought it was a far better idea to veer off and drive through the paddock which had just had 2 weeks of flooding rain on it. A genius with a J.

He got stuck (obviously) so we pulled him out with the tractor and pointed out the route that he should taken.... Which he did with ease. Crisis averted, right? Wrong. He told us it was too late, the job had been called off. Called off before it was even scheduled to begin, by a dude who drove into a wet paddock instead of up a driveway.... I could have cried. Ok, I did cry...just a little one.

Guy cursed, Dad cursed, Dad apologized and reminded me that this was a building site.....clearly forgetting I am his daughter and I am prone to the more than the occasional f-bomb myself. (My Father is not OK with men swearing aggressively in front of Women, just ask the obnoxious drunk fella from the Ikamatua pub in 1975). My Uncle, who was there to help with the concrete, poured himself a stiff drink....Yep, at 7am. My Father in law who had just arrived to help, pointed his car back to Christchurch.


Deflated isn't even the word...


But, you can't change these things, instead we are going for 'take two' this Saturday. With a different pump driver...... Keep your fingers crossed for us.

The silver lining was that we got to have a rare weekend off... We made the most of Waikuku beach....that place is the shiz. Bonus