12/09/2013 01:30:35 AM
We've certainly become tourists in Brisbane over this past year. There are so many great spots and fun things to do in our home town. The Brisbane City Council has recently started free walking tours to view inside the pylons of the Walter Taylor Bri
12/07/2013 04:47:29 AM
Thanks so much to everyone who entered our competition for the new Australian Modern Design book.
12/05/2013 02:11:09 AM
When one thinks of subtropical Brisbane architecture, the furtherest image from my mind is the Tudor revival style of architecture. It's odd to think at some point in time, in our notoriously hot and humid climate, these homes would've been even cons
12/03/2013 02:08:05 AM
We had the best time on the weekend, in between the blocked sewage drain fiasco at the Sow's Ear...We went for a family ride on a steam train.The trip was mainly for the children's benefit but I have to say Jason and I enjoyed it just as much as they
12/02/2013 06:52:41 AM
I only wish it was a blocked nose...or being blocked from Facebook...alas it was a blocked toilet. On the weekend one of my dreaded fears became a reality: our sewerage pipe became blocked and we had a bit of an effluent episode...Thankfully the over
12/01/2013 04:43:38 AM
Fashionisto Jason bought some new shoes the other day and expressed an interest in storage for his growing shoe care accoutrements... Did you know that storage for the tins of nugget and kiwi polish, shoe brushes and polishing cloths is called a shoe
11/29/2013 16:03:13 PM
in partnership with QuicksalesWe are very big advocates of sourcing and using salvaged building materials in our renovations. It is the ultimate in recycling in an industry which is notorious for its high level of waste.Most of our casement windows a
11/28/2013 02:48:48 AM
We have a great new Australian design book to give away on Fun and VJs.Australian Modern Design: Mid 20th Century Architecture & Design
11/27/2013 13:42:15 PM
For those of you who don't know, we live next to an old abandoned cottage. I wrote about it here back in 2009 when we first moved to the Sow's Ear.I really haven't found much more information about the house since 2009... The owner comes around perio
11/25/2013 04:18:29 AM
The op-shop gods have been kind...I've been on a bit of an op-shop roll at the moment. It's a dreadful affliction - this need to scour charity shops for bits of pretty mid-century glass or homewares...Finel coffee potHowever, never did I think I woul
11/23/2013 23:18:47 PM
Sponsored by RedBalloon*
For some people it is almost sacrilege to even start Christmas preparations, despite the retail stores already decking the halls with boughs of holly.
But not for me and especially not after I received a RedBalloon MarketPl
11/22/2013 23:44:42 PM
The last few days have been kind of fun. Yesterday I was given a Featherston chair...!! But only as a temporary loan. Ha! I didn't knock it back though.My mates Chris and Susan who are publishers of the new book Australian Modern Design have an exces
11/19/2013 21:00:22 PM
One of the light fitting on our rangehood is busted. We were trying to change the light bulb and in the process we broke the actual light fitting (I'm using the royal we, and it wasn't me for a change..!).
Jason inadvertently took out the whole fitt
11/18/2013 00:09:53 AM
Looking at our garden bed in the backyard you would be forgiven if you thought there was a lion sleeping there tonight. Wimoweh...wimoweh...overgrown side garden bedI'm not joking: sometime in the past two years we've just let this part of the garden
11/14/2013 03:58:25 AM
Our coffee machine is kaput. We've been resorting to our old stove-top coffee maker or moka pot for the past few weeks. It's been a nice change brewing coffee the old school way: the way we used to when we were younger and couldn't afford the more el
11/12/2013 13:19:10 PM
This post is brought to you by Bookworld
Books: they are one of my go-to gift choices during the silly season because the love of
reading and an appreciation of the written word should always be encouraged.
11/11/2013 01:33:42 AM
Heigh-ho the derry-o, a-mulching we will go.
Jason sporting a new look this summer - the akubra is his chapeau of choice this season...
11/08/2013 05:37:49 AM
The Studio K Planet lamp is a highly desirable piece of Australian industrial design. Its simplistic shape and bold colours captured the imagination of post-war Australia and it is still being produced (although in limited quantities) today by Planet
11/05/2013 20:27:37 PM
I've been gallivanting around the countryside flirting with mid-century modern design and architecture and sadly neglecting core business which is the Sow's Ear and renovating this old Queenslander. Ha! Talk about sidetracked!
I guess after four yea
11/04/2013 21:37:45 PM
A very cool new design exhibition has hit Brisbane - California Design Living in a Modern Way 1930 to 1965.
I attended the launch (thanks to the lovely Elizabeth from Walk Among the Homes
10/31/2013 07:25:56 AM
You gotta love a modest mid-century project home. I know I do, especially after visiting one of the most famous of project homes - Beachcomber House -
10/30/2013 06:59:21 AM
I had the absolute privilege of visiting Jack House nestled in the leafy suburb of Wahroonga in Sydney during my trip down south. Jack house is the 1957 Sulman Award winning home designed by Russell and Pamela Jack and now in the loving custodianship
10/28/2013 06:30:17 AM
My whirlwind tour of Sydney was a blast! Or should I say, blast from the past given the amount of mid-century house tours we squeezed into the weekend.
I've sneakily composed this photograph to edit out the scaffolding that was on the front of the
10/24/2013 07:35:40 AM
This weekend I am heading down to Sydney. I haven't been to Sydney since 2001, in my life before children.
10/22/2013 20:41:51 PM
Sponsored by Masters
Our front garden spring makeover has great promise!
A before and after of the garden is a bit premature since weve only just planted the garden. It needs time to grow. You can however see some before shots HERE.
It might no
10/21/2013 00:05:50 AM
Well, the vintage Featherston chair has finally made it home to the Sow's Ear. Cue the cheers and hoorays!
The amount of faffing about that one chair creates is huge. I've had to do a lot of reorganising to accommodate the new resident...perhaps mor
10/15/2013 18:23:48 PM
'It won't happen overnight but it will happen' is the breathy catch-cry around here at the Sow's Ear.
10/13/2013 05:52:47 AM
The concept of Brisbane Open House is a winner for all those interested in architecture, history and culture. This years' BOH was a lot of fun and I was able to satisfy my inner-house voyeurism, yet again.
And there is nothing better than being a to
10/09/2013 17:06:32 PM
Sponsored by Masters
Spring has a certain irresistibility, drawing you outdoors to
spruce up patches of garden that have been dormant over winter. Well, it has for
Now that we have had some of the dead and scraggly trees removed
from the fr
10/08/2013 06:24:47 AM
For a design to succeed, it must be functional and suited to our lifestyles. And sometimes overseas designer items do not translate well in an Australian context, particularly in a sub-tropical Queensland context.
10/05/2013 20:00:00 PM
I can't help myself when I'm scouring the real estate sites. Look what I found! It's a 1968 architect designed home in Upper Mount Gravatt which is about 10 km from the CBD.
So, this is kind of like a public service announcement for those looking fo
10/03/2013 16:09:59 PM
I love this quote
by Finnish architect, Eliel Saarinen (father of Eero):
10/02/2013 02:07:05 AM
A little modernist birdie told me that Tim Ross' Man About the House stand-up show is coming to Brisbane. He is performing two shows at Eisenmenger House in Carina on Saturday 2 November. For one night only, people!
Tim Ross is a comedian, broadcast
10/01/2013 05:44:51 AM
I was having a good old recline one evening on our leather lounge chair
09/30/2013 04:35:28 AM
We had a few old trees lopped today by old Bob the tree lopper. I actually just rang for a quote and Bob turned up within the hour of my first call. He gave a me a quote which seemed okay and then said he could do it straight away as he had a free mo
09/27/2013 21:55:17 PM
It's a funny old thing the world of renovating and home improvements, which is largely a sexist industry from my personal experience. Case in point: this morning, I received a telephone call from a solar power supplier confirming an appointment I had
09/26/2013 06:20:25 AM
As a house voyeur, I'm very excited about Brisbane Open House which is an annual event which allows the general public access to some of Brisbane's historic and more interesting buildings.
It will be held over the weekend of 12/13 October with th
09/24/2013 05:39:45 AM
The other day we all trekked to the city centre to visit the newly refurbished Brisbane City Hall. It was such a fantastic morning out and makes a great school holiday destination for those, like us, staying close to home for the September break.
09/22/2013 05:25:58 AM
Real craftsmen/women please don't judge us.
Remember, last week when Jason was figuring out how to re-mould the decorative top for the batwing lattice door? Read here to refresh your memory.
Well, he's done it. Have a look in the photograph below a
09/20/2013 03:19:31 AM
Brisbane Arcade is playing host to a number of events during the lead-up to its 90th anniversary. They are currently displaying the design of mid-century Brisbane couturier Harvey Graham who had a shop in the arcade during the 1960s.
Recently a bo
09/18/2013 05:46:30 AM
Very few people bat an eyelid when post-war homes are demolished in Brisbane.
Call me sentimental but I always shed a silent tear for the mid-century homes destroyed, especially when they are replaced with McMansion style homes. It seems an absolute
09/15/2013 21:29:27 PM
For a few years, Jason has been driven mad by the fact that our external lattice batwing doors on the back deck were slightly mismatched.
It's not hugely noticeable (most people have never noticed it) but for OCD Jason it is like staring at a huge p
09/13/2013 02:54:33 AM
Over the past few weeks I've kept my eyes peeled for a slightly larger coffee table for the living room. I've looked everywhere for a nice mid-century style one...
I was completely thrilled when I stumbled upon a round mid-century table in my trav
09/11/2013 06:48:33 AM
Since the weekend I've had a particular little ditty in my head. It's from a 1967 film called Les Demoiselles de Rochefort which is a Jacques Demy film that is basically an hommage to the Hollywood musical...but with a French new wave twist.
09/09/2013 22:25:20 PM
Jason recovered sufficiently from his bout of man-flu to finish the valance painting. It looks fantastic and it is another job we can tick off the list.
Timber battens or valance around the deck
Jason hard at work, painting under the back sta
09/04/2013 03:51:16 AM
Looks like we're about to get a new Prime Minister next Saturday if all the newspapers and polling results are to be believed. That'll be three different Prime Ministers since I first started this blog and it's only just clocked up four years! Who ca
09/01/2013 23:35:39 PM
If you had told me that at the start of the weekend that I would graffiti our side fence, I would've responded BS!
For some inexplicable reason, I was compelled to go through our stockpile of spray paints and began vandalising our old fence like a
08/30/2013 19:12:14 PM
Heaven help us! Jason's got man-flu.
Looks like the plan for painting this weekend is on hold. There were grand ideas about Jason painting shirtless for everyone's viewing pleasure but that shall have to wait until he's recovered sufficiently to mov
08/28/2013 00:00:04 AM
Every year our mates Chris and Susan, who are the publishers of Australian Modern, organise a community garage sale as part of their Neighbourhood Watch activities. And they know how to host an event!
This year it will be held on election day. If yo
08/27/2013 03:38:11 AM
Remember that Triple Gable Queenslander that was up for sale and which I blogged about in May? If you missed it, you can read about it here and see some internal shots when I went to the inspection.
It was eventually sold and it seems that the house
08/25/2013 23:20:53 PM
Spring is on its way. I know because I have a strong compulsion to wander around the Sow's Ear's gardens...not that they are really worthy of being classified as gardens with the amount of weeds entwined through the plants!
On the weekend Jason spen
08/22/2013 01:23:47 AM
There's a line of thought in the hoarding world that you need to own three objects (of the same genre/maker/artist) before you can call it a 'collection'.
I own two pieces of Israeli ceramics, which I've found quite recently, so my little pots are o
08/19/2013 15:00:34 PM
With the advent of technology, it has become a lot easier to find information online, from the comfort of home. For those who have been following our home renovation story, a small part of the saga relates to the original owners of the Sow's Ear - th
08/18/2013 02:21:30 AM
You can tell we have too much time on our hands when we've dubbed the new valance around the deck Holly. Get it? Holly Valance? (Australian TV actress from the early noughties for those not in the know)
So, Holly has come along quite well under Jaso
08/15/2013 02:29:07 AM
I visited a very retro house for sale the other day which I just have to share with you. It's located on Brisbane's southside and was almost a perfect time capsule of the late 1970s. Think Saturday Night Fever and Charlie's Angels era and you get the
08/14/2013 00:44:19 AM
frogs, pumpkin coaches and hot men in tights are my first thoughts when I think
of the fairy tales I read as a child... Ha! Imagine what the fanciful minds of
Brisbane's artistic community will come up with in the latest art exhibition to
08/12/2013 20:14:58 PM
08/11/2013 20:00:56 PM
The work on the valance has begun. Bright and early on Saturday morning, it was a hive of activity at the Sow's Ear.
Mr D, our builder, is also back. Jason was so happy to get the extra assistance, company and use of
08/08/2013 01:40:27 AM
After 15 years of marriage, it has finally dawned on me that Jason is not one to enjoy idleness. The man needs a reno project. Thank goodness we own the Sow's Ear.
For the last few months Jason hasn't sunk his teeth into any major project, and he's
08/05/2013 19:23:24 PM
Sponsored by Sika Australia
One of the unhappy delights of owning a Queenslander house is
the almost continual maintenance that these timber and tin beauties require.
Last year, we removed the asbestos cladding from underneath
the Sows Ear a
08/04/2013 02:34:14 AM
We like a good faff on the weekend at the Sow's Ear, where we just potter about without too many pressures. We spent some of our time rearranging the art work.
Earlier in the week I made the annual pilgrimage to Ipswich to visit Jo from Desire to In
07/29/2013 20:16:38 PM
Im quite embarrassed to say that I wasnt aware of The QueenslandPlan to create a 30 year vision for the state until I was approached towrite this post
Clearly Im a part of the Queensland population who generally tunes
07/29/2013 01:53:43 AM
Overjoyed is the only word I can use to describe today's delivery. We finally bought a new sofa for the lounge-room and it is just fabulous. I kind of feel like we don't deserve to have such a lovely piece!
It is a 1957 Hans Wegner oak daybed from t
07/26/2013 02:34:35 AM
Sponsored by Reckitts Benckiser
A few months ago I asked Son #1 to put some dirty plates in
07/24/2013 21:43:49 PM
I have to say that when I go out and about fossicking for mid-century goodies (iittala or Scandinavian crystal is my poison) you really don't find much. I always have my eyes peeled for furniture too...just in case I stumble upon something....
07/23/2013 01:50:58 AM
To say I'm not a huge fan of tinned soup would be an incredible understatement...but it didn't stop me from adding four Campbell's limited edition tomato soup tins to my grocery trolley the other week.
So, I'm a sucker for Warhol and retro packaging
07/20/2013 05:40:08 AM
It was swaddled in butcher's paper and placed gently into my arms to take home...like a newborn. I carefully strapped it into the booster seat in the car to make sure it was safe on the journey home. It didn't even cry.
Yes, we have a new addition
07/17/2013 06:30:54 AM
Good news. Jason's sporty little French car is ready to be picked up from the mechanic. What a relief! Life is always a bit glum when Jason has car problems...
On Bastille Day, I prepared some French inspired dishes to cheer up a disillusioned Jason
07/15/2013 20:53:35 PM
Sponsored by Air Wick Australia
The Sows Ear has a distinctly musty boy smell to it... that
would be because five of its occupants (thats including the budgie) are male.
Being an 85 year old house with dust floating from the
07/13/2013 05:44:05 AM
With Bastille Day tomorrow, all the Francophiles of Australia will be out en force nibbling their croissants and madly waving the tricolore.
image from here
Jason would naturally be hooning it up in his sporty little Peugeot too...were it not for th
07/09/2013 20:59:25 PM
by Reckitts Benckiser
07/08/2013 06:39:20 AM
I've got my ranty pants on this evening. The demise of basic common courtesy is my general bug bear at the moment. Why are people so inconsiderate, everywhere you go? From shops to queues to restaurants to school pick-up zones. Everywhere! And it got
07/05/2013 01:23:25 AM
We have new bull nose and scotia moulding for around the entry windows.
I probably wouldn't have bothered myself, but Jason is one for finishing things off. A details man, if you like. The fact that the entry was decorated with D mould rather than
07/03/2013 03:10:45 AM
For a renovating blog there's not a lot of renovating happening around here at the moment. Jason's been tackling a few smaller projects this winter. They're not major things but the cumulative effect of these jobs finish off the Sow's Ear nicely.
07/02/2013 03:46:24 AM
Another MAD house tour is done and dusted.
This year the Australian Modern publishers, Chris and Susan, outdid themselves with a record number of 70 people joining in on all the modernist fun. The tour concentrated on four homes located in the West
07/01/2013 04:22:58 AM
How do you describe a group of caravans? Is it a troop of caravans? A fleet of caravans? An armada of caravans? A caravan of caravans?
Well, whatever it is I saw a lot of caravans in the middle of suburbia on Saturday night for the Modernist Archite
06/28/2013 01:30:54 AM
Love them or hate them...it seems like the concrete planter is having a renaissance of sorts with happy homemaking gardeners.
This pair was a roadside find last Christmas. The faux barrel shape design is kind of quaint but you should've seen Jason's
06/26/2013 20:27:12 PM
You could be forgiven for thinking that you were in a coma for the past three years, after hearing about the resurrection of Kevin Rudd to the position of Australian Prime Minister. Yesterday saw yet another Labor leadership spill which saw the depos
06/25/2013 06:01:09 AM
This afternoon I ventured into Dansk Vintage's
06/23/2013 18:09:40 PM
It's been slim pickings on the old op-shop scouring treadmill...but I have managed to find a few things which I thought were very cool and worthy of bringing into the Sow's Ear.
Like this 1960s Ellis Ceramics dish which for all the world looks like
06/21/2013 04:56:38 AM
It's been about eight months since we renovated the boys' bedroom (read here) and I thought it was timely to revisit what we did and show you how the room has fared with its two energetic occupants.
Too often one just reads the before and afters in
06/18/2013 23:25:25 PM
It is a little known fact that most Australian home owners do not possess a will.
Apparently there's a whopping 36 per cent of first home-owners who are walking around without a will. Yikes!
Considering our homes are one of our biggest assets, it s
06/17/2013 22:02:20 PM
That dinky little window in the bathroom is now finished. I probably shouldn't keep calling it that, because it doesn't look dinky at all now it has been primed and has a couple of coats of gloss white.
Single-pane casement window with chrome case
06/12/2013 21:43:28 PM
It's mid-year sale time in Australia and I've finally bought the Florence Broadhurst bed linen I have always admired. As my regular readers know, it is my mission in life to never pay full retail and also to not enter a big shopping mall (they depres
06/11/2013 03:54:18 AM
What a wet horrible long weekend we had!
Fortunately for us, it was mostly spent indoors listening to ABC Classic FM's countdown of the top 100 movie scores. Ha! Yes, we are super-geeky.
The boys were listening with us when it came to the last
06/06/2013 05:43:19 AM
Today, I picked up the new window that we had made. As it was being loaded into the boot of my car, the man from the joinery place said it was a dinky little thing. I chirped up and said of course it was dinky, "It's for a dinky little hole in the wa
06/03/2013 07:51:14 AM
I now own a Propert Swift Whip rotary beater.
06/02/2013 05:11:03 AM
Over the past few weekends, we've been working on our front yard...nothing too drastic, just weeding and clearing out garden beds. It is a low-cost project as we hunker down for a Brisbane winter.
When we first moved into the Sow's Ear we planted qu
05/29/2013 01:36:31 AM
I've just ordered a new window to be made up for the bathroom.
We decided against another coloured window, as we thought it would compete with the amber/yellow glass that is already in the bathroom. And as much as we like green glass, the mix of gre
05/27/2013 02:00:04 AM
A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of visiting a very original Queenslander porch and gable home nestled in the western suburb of Ashgrove. The current owners acquired the property last year and are the third owners of the three bedroom home since it
05/24/2013 04:00:01 AM
I've escaped for a few day with some girlfriends for a bit of R&R. It's part of my festival of forty that I've been celebrating this year. Yay!
Jason's been holding the fort with the boys. He's a good man.
I'll be having a cocktail for each and
05/22/2013 02:30:03 AM
A few weeks ago, I mentioned here that we were planning on re-upholstering our lounge room setting...
We chose a great fabric but after some reflection, we've changed our mind and would like to buy an entirely new (or old) suite. Re-upholstering is
05/21/2013 03:00:02 AM
The other day I inspected a house for sale with a friend who is searching for new digs. When she told me which house she was visiting, I instantly invited myself along for the ride...house voyeurism is what I do best.
It is an interwar Queensland
05/20/2013 01:31:15 AM
As I said last week, it certainly sucks when you have to repair something that was damaged accidentally...
Thank goodness Jason is handy because it would've been a pain (as well as embarrassing) to have someone else repair my dreadful mistake.
05/17/2013 04:20:34 AM
The retrolicious girls from Lucy Violet Vintage and Hung up on Retro are hosting a link up where you show off a retro or vintage corner of your home. How could I not participate? Retro is my middle name. Ms Bris Retro Mod.
I have lots of retro corne
05/16/2013 05:46:05 AM
That made you look!
I know it's not the cover of Inside Out or Vogue Living however one has to start somewhere..The cover of the kids' school recipe book seems like a respectable start.
05/14/2013 08:30:33 AM
You know that opening scene from Four Weddings and a Funeral where the first words uttered were different intonations of the F word? Well that kind of describes my weekend.
Saturday morning was going to be a busy chock-a-block day. I had lots of j
05/13/2013 03:21:07 AM
Fours years ago we became the fourth owners of the Sow's Ear, since it was built in 1928. In some ways it only seems like yesterday when we first moved in, and in other ways it seems like we've been here forever.
Most readers don't know that I was r
05/12/2013 04:52:09 AM
Happy Mother's Day to all the Mums out there!
I just wanted to give a shout-out to our brand new sponsor Thea &
05/10/2013 19:25:51 PM
Well it's nearly that time of the year again when all design addicts can soak up a whole weekend of great architecture and culture in the middle of Brisbane suburbia. That's right Modernist Architecture and Design (M.A.D) is on again!
The people beh