taste of ash

We’ve really enjoyed having Oma and Opa with us for the past six weeks, but no matter how much we will miss them and they us, I think we were all looking forward to the end of their visit on Sunday. They would like to be back in their own home after so long with people-who-do-things-strangely and we are looking forward to pottering around in our own space again.

So the news that their return trip may be jeopardised because of a volcanic eruption is a little unsettling. Not to mention dramatic. I mean really; a volcano? A baggage handler’s strike wouldn’t have sufficed?

Oma, opa and the Flipster

I loved Iceland when we were there but this is the second time the country has messed with me and my plans. The Dutchman and I set up an education fund for the Flipster when he was born and had been pouring money into it regularly. It was done via a Dutch bank (many of whom invested heavily in Iceland) when we were living in Amsterdam although we continued our contributions after moving back to Australia. It took a while for us to realise that the fund basically went south with the Icelandic economy when the country was declared bankrupt. I’d successfully managed to forget about this and ‘move on’ but this volcano has thrown up more than just ash, some small traces of bitterness and regret are hovering in the atmosphere too.

Here’s hoping that there’s enough of a breeze over Europe for flights to have resumed by Sunday. Lord knows, it was always windy enough in the Netherlands when I was there. And with the upcoming elections you’d think there’d be enough hot air rising to move a bit of ash! 😉

take a seat.

This chair was passed onto me by family and I’ve been waiting for Oma and Opa’s visit to get it mended. Opa trained as an upholsterer in his youth. It was simply a question of finding the perfect fabric.
The before shot
I had a vague idea I’d seen the perfect fabric but checking in the most likely places it didn’t turn up. And I just couldn’t bring myself to buy anything else. Then one night, in the middle of the night, it struck me. Ink & Sprindle. It was a design I’d seen while browsing their website after twittering with Teegan. And here it is!

Blue Wrens In Snow by Teegan Rose at InkandSpindle.com
Blue Wrens In Snow by Teegan Rose at InkandSpindle.com

Luckily the Dutchman agrees! We’re off to their studio today to purchase our fabric and search out the other bits and pieces Opa needs to finish the job. Its very exciting!

While browsing Ink and Spindle‘s website we also spotted this fabric which is perfect for a pair of chairs I found on the footpath last year.

Rooftops in Deep Red by Lara Cameron at InkandSpindle.com
Rooftops in Deep Red by Lara Cameron at InkandSpindle.com

Originally I had planned to just go with the sixties vinyl thing for these and replace the existing upholstery with something similar. Of course that would have been too easy!

Now that I’ve seen the Rooftops design they can’t possibly be anything else. I’ve always thought these chairs are a nice little size for the Flipster’s room, not actually kid’s chairs (which he has grown out of) but small enough to be comfortable for six year olds and their skinny asses. This design is great as it is something I like but that will pass the friends-test for the Flipster. The inner-urban living and bicycles also rings our bells. (so to speak…. )

The next challenge with these chairs is that only one of them actually has a seat and I need to find someone who can use the existing seat as a template to cut two new ones.

The challenge is that the seat is slightly bowed or saucer-shaped. I’m pretty sure there must be some little factory in Brunswick or Coburg that can still do this, maybe Richmond? Its just a question of finding it before Opa goes back to the Netherlands taking his handy upholstery skills with him! If you have any ideas then please leave a comment or email me. I have removed the seat from the chair and will be trolling the backstreets of the inner-north with it for days!

Another nice feature of these two little chairs is the piece of paper that was glued to the bottom of the seat. It detailed where the chairs had been made, in Richmond, but in contrast to the usual Australian Made it proudly boasts All European Labour.

messing about

Sunday was Uncle Benny’s birthday and so a birthday picnic was enjoyed with extended family from both sides of the globe down by the river. After some nifty elbow work by the Dutch that would have done the Kalverstraat proud we finally secured a teensy share of the communal BBQ, enough to cook lunch anyway. After lunch there was messing about in boats which The Flipster loved. I’m not sure the Dutchman enjoyed it quite so much, but then he was rowing.

Me, I was busy being Cleopatra.

Our voyage up and down the river was punctuated with the Flipster demanding in bemused tones: But why aren’t we going faster? Yeah, papa, why?
why aren't we going faster?

Meanwhile, up in the NT, a friend, Jules, was also messing about in boats. Both of us are able to report sightings of crocs although all of ours were the sort attached to people’s feet. Quite frankly, I’m not sure which are scarier?