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Visiting Canberra

03/02/2015 03:34:14 AM

We made a quick trip to Canberra, Australia's capital city, over the Christmas and New Year period. If you like your fix of mid-century modern then Canberra should certainly be on your list of destinations to visit.Our short holiday mainly centred ...

Flokati rug is in the mid-mod house

02/03/2015 04:59:28 AM

I've been suffering writer's block and Jason hung up his tool belt semi-permanently over the holidays. We'd never make it in those reality TV renovating shows...given our slackness...Ha!Anyhow, just before Christmas we acquired a new (which ...

McIntosh sideboard

12/08/2014 02:20:51 AM

Over the past few months we have acquired a few new (actually old) furniture pieces to reside in our mid-century home. You know how it is when you move have to tweak your furniture to suit the space...Ha! That's the excuse I'm running ...

I'm back! And window frames...

12/01/2014 04:48:22 AM

I'm back after having a month off from Fun and VJs - my long service leave, so to speak...Really, there hasn't been a great deal going on around here during my little break. The weather has been either crazy hot or crazy stormy. Needless to ...

Meeting the architects

10/28/2014 07:30:27 AM

One of the most pleasant outcomes of participating in Brisbane Open House was how it led to a wonderful meeting with the architects who designed our home. Apparently, the newspaper publicity about the A.F Dawson Residence earlier this month ...

Repairing the plywood ceiling

10/15/2014 22:30:38 PM

The joys of aged maple plywood ceilings end when the reality of repairing them slaps you in the face!The hole left behind when we removed the wood heaterAs many of you would know, we recently removed a wood heater from the main living area. ...

A.F Dawson Residence at Brisbane Open House

10/13/2014 19:20:39 PM

Well what a busy couple of weeks we've had in the lead up to Brisbane Open House which was held last weekend.It's all done and dusted and we were so pleased to be involved in the event as part of the residential homes component. For those who ...

The blue room - painting the mid-century master bedroom

09/29/2014 01:10:40 AM

Painting, painting and painting. It's all we ever really do around here...actually, I lie. We've had a few jobs completed, so I will get you all up to speed with our goings-on over the next few blog posts. But firstly, today is all about our ...

Painting the mid-century laundry

09/09/2014 21:54:05 PM

The one-wall-a-weekend painting program has been quickly stepped up to one-room-a-weekend now we are unlocking our doors to be part of Brisbane Open House 2014! Nothing like a deadline to get things moving.Last weekend we attacked the laundry ...

Removing the unwanted wood heater

09/08/2014 06:14:25 AM

Vale wood heater. It was nice knowing you, even though we never used you during winter. You were like the elephant in the room...taking up too much valuable space. We never took any photographs of you when you became ours because we never thought ...

Brisbane Open House 2014

09/02/2014 22:33:32 PM

Attention all archi-tourists: it's that time again when we have to plan our itineraries for Brisbane Open House

Throne for the WC

08/21/2014 20:38:32 PM

It was a big day yesterday. A new toilet was installed in our mid mod house - a new throne for the royal ablutions.Hmm...the joys of an older home...our throne is slightly elevated sitting on a concrete plinth of sorts...As much as we like to ...

The mid-century modern hallway

08/19/2014 21:27:51 PM

We had a productive week last week with the hallway receiving some much-needed attention. The fun you can have with a dark hallway, tin of paint and a few rolls of painter's tape! A mid-century modern hallway of dreams...Hallway: taken from ...

Blue door hell:part 3

08/10/2014 22:27:26 PM

If you told me that time had stood still over the past five weekends, I would probably believe you...given we are still painting the front door...It's like we are stuck in some cruel time warp, where we are in some kind of blue door painting ...

Five years of Fun and VJs

08/03/2014 21:51:06 PM

Who knew five years ago when we wrote our first blog post on Fun and VJs we would still be plugging away today, even after a house move? Ha! Clearly I need another hobby...and Jason needs a DIY break!Cheers to five years of blogging! Martinis ...

Blue door blues part 2: using oil paint

07/22/2014 20:24:29 PM

The new glossy blue door which we painted with oil-based enamel paintYou wouldn't think painting a blue door would give us so much grief... In the quest for the perfectly painted door we realised the water-based enamel paint was not going to ...

The spare Danish dining chair

07/17/2014 21:09:31 PM

It didn't take long for me to find that

Hot Modernism

07/12/2014 02:04:30 AM

Queensland's modernist architecture from 1945 to 1975

Blue door blues

07/06/2014 19:58:40 PM

As part of the restoration of our modernist home, we intend to retain some of the original colours (or as close as possible) used in the home when it was first built in 1963.We're using an old photograph and also taking DNA colour scrapings ...

Torbreck Home Units

07/01/2014 07:38:37 AM

I ticked another thing off from my bucket list...visiting the landmark Torbreck building in Highgate Hill. Torbreck is one of the first highrise mixed-use (though the proposed restaurant and shop never eventuated) residential towers in Brisbane, ...

Palazzo Terrazzo

06/27/2014 20:21:30 PM

We love terrazzo floors, which is fortunate given it is used extensively in our modernist Brisbane home!Terrazzo is a composite material which basically consists of marble chips set in concrete. It is quite durable and our home is testament ...

House finance experiences

06/18/2014 18:32:48 PM

brought to you by Loan MarketWe’ve been in our mid-century home for about three months now. How time flies when you’re having fun! However, the process of buying a house and moving is not something you can call fun... It’s a pretty stressful ...

One wall a weekend painting

06/12/2014 23:03:56 PM

The long weekend provided us the right impetus to clear out some of the overgrown garden and to continue painting the living/dining room. Three whole days in a row is such a decadent luxury in DIY land and we didn't want to waste it.One wall ...

Happenings and a house profile

06/05/2014 18:39:33 PM

Not a huge amount has been happening around here, and is the main reason for the very quiet blog...can you hear the crickets?Plans are underway though to tackle a few jobs this coming Queen's Birthday long weekend. A skip bin is being delivered ...

1960s bathroom fittings: an update

05/27/2014 23:00:36 PM

Remember how we were searching high and low for that elusive towel rail bracket for our bathroom? You can read here if you missed it.Well, we found it. Actually, we didn't find it...a blog reader did! Thanks so much Alex!close up of our mid-century ...

The paint brushes are out...

05/15/2014 02:07:13 AM

We've picked up the paint brushes again...I am using the royal 'we', of course, as it is Jason who is the Master Painter around here.Taping around the doors and ceiling, ready for some paint.It is a gentle start to restore and freshen up this ...

A new mid-century dining suite

05/09/2014 00:50:20 AM

We had no particular desire to change our dining table when we moved to our mid-mod house...but when one of your mates rings up out of the blue and says they have a 1960s DQF dining table and chairs for sale, you can hardly say no? Surely?DQF ...

Vertical blinds

04/28/2014 19:33:26 PM

On the weekend we removed two sets of vertical blinds from our living room sliding doors.The vertical blinds in the living room just before we moved in.I posted a photograph of the vertical blinds on Instagram while we were taking them down...from ...

Finding 1960s bathroom fittings

04/14/2014 04:50:43 AM

I am trying to find a simple little towel rail bracket for our bathroom. The original bracket has corroded and fallen off - it was only sitting in place with the help of soap scum I suspect!1960s chrome towel rail in square profile and bracket.I've ...

Low cost home improvements

04/07/2014 06:14:43 AM

As is the case with most people who have moved house, funds become severely depleted and the life focus is generally trying to get settled into the new place and bring the

'Uncaging' the patio

04/02/2014 06:53:02 AM

One of the nicest parts of our new house is the patio. It's a lovely L-shaped terrazzo outdoor space which forms the front of the house and flows to the side where the living room is located. It presides over a nice green leafy outlook of the ...

Buying a modernist house in Brisbane

04/01/2014 02:55:55 AM

If you had said to me on New Year's Day that by April we would be living in a modernist home in Brisbane, I would've said you were crazy. Moving out of the Sow's Ear was really not on our list of things to do in 2014...especially as we were ...

We're in the new house

03/20/2014 06:45:56 AM

You just have to wonder why we do it to ourselves when we pack up our entire life to fit into one large moving truck?We've just done it and to be honest I don't think we'll be rushing to move again for a very long, long time. It's confronting ...

Full circle, a new beginning

03/03/2014 04:35:58 AM

I've been deliberating for a few weeks on how I would write this blog post...Firstly, let me share with you the very long awaited photograph I received through the distant relatives of the original owners of the Sow's Ear...Yes, that's the Sow's ...

Top 3 makeover inspiration sources

02/25/2014 17:44:38 PM

Blog post brought to you by CordellOnline information is my preferred source of design and room makeover inspiration while we have been renovating the Sow’s Ear these past four or so years.

Brisbane House History: more about the Stables family

02/18/2014 21:32:13 PM

Things have been a bit hectic at the Sow's Ear and it is the reason I've been absent here for the past fortnight. There's lots happening which I will be able to tell you about next week. It's huge and I can't wait to share my news with you...Anyway, ...

Found! The Stables family

02/04/2014 05:45:12 AM

Never in a million years did I think we would ever find photographs of the Stables family who were the original owners of the Sow's Ear. If you are new to Fun and VJs, part of our renovation journey also involves researching the history of our ...

Sneak peek inside 1943 Queensland cottage

02/02/2014 06:01:04 AM

It's fascinating to visit other people's homes, particularly homes which are as well-loved such as the one I visited a little while ago.The house is a circa 1943 timber and tin weatherboard cottage which is set high upon a hill in Brisbane's ...


01/27/2014 06:42:24 AM

Last week we said farewell to Jason's grandad who died at the age of 87. It is never easy to say good-bye.Jason wrote a loving tribute to his grandad that he read out to family and friends at the funeral - it was on behalf of the 17 grandchildren ...

Attack of the Mangoes

01/20/2014 04:58:14 AM

This is only a light bombardmentWe've been bombarded by the neighbour's mango tree.Every couple of hours we hear the cacophony of mangoes pummelling the corrugated tin roof of the shed. The evenings are punctuated by the screeching and scurrying ...

Fiddle leaf fig tree club

01/15/2014 05:52:21 AM

I'm always late to join the club...fortunately this is a club which is worth waiting for: the fiddle leaf fig tree owner's society.image source hereActually there is no such club. I just made that up... but I did receive a fiddle leaf fig tree ...

Marché Moderne vintage and homewares store

01/13/2014 05:13:24 AM

I've started a little online store called

Birthdays are fun

01/10/2014 05:50:07 AM

It's been a bit quiet around here on the blog because I've had a fun week celebrating my birthday...yay!The boys thoroughly spoiled me and I've been in heaven with a new Bose music system which replaces an old CD/radio/tape deck I bought when ...

Mid-century Robin Spencer house

01/06/2014 15:35:56 PM

One of my friends is house-sitting for her brother who owns the most delicious piece of Brisbane modernist architecture hidden in the suburbs. She invited us over for morning tea one day while she was looking after this special home. The home ...

Vintage concrete planter and a pencil thin moustache

01/02/2014 05:19:30 AM

I received a small concrete planter from my Mum. It's very cute and I placed it at the foot of our entry stairs.vintage concrete planterThe plan was to paint it but after I posted a picture of it on Instagram there was a public outcry to leave ...

Deck maintenance and welcome 2014

01/01/2014 04:59:46 AM

And so another year rolls on by...I hope everyone had a terrific New Years' and the coming year brings you much good health and happiness.Lots of faffing around with the outdoor furniture placement since we refurbished the deck. I also refurbished ...

O'Reilly's Bonded Stores: is it worth saving if it's old?

12/28/2013 21:17:58 PM

There is a derelict early 20th century building which is set to be demolished on Margaret Street in the Brisbane CBD. It is O'Reilly's Bonded Stores (old warehouse space) which was built around 100 years ago.The building is not heritage listed ...

Christmas 2013

12/24/2013 15:41:57 PM

I'm just stealing a couple of moments today to wish you all a Merry Christmas.I hope it is a day full of love, laughter and calm.

Hula hooping through Christmas

12/22/2013 18:56:55 PM

We've downed tools for the past couple of weeks - we're planning our next lot of projects for the Sow's Ear in 2014 and we hope to let you know what we have planned in the New Year. It's been rather nice not to feel pressure to do anything on ...

Kitchen pendant lights

12/18/2013 16:31:06 PM

As some of you may already know, we are on the hunt for some new kitchen lights to replace some rather impractical ones we installed when we first renovated the kitchen. Read about it here.The brief for the lights is: it must not harbour any ...

Last minute Christmas gifts

12/18/2013 05:49:03 AM

I really ought to be whipping around the shops buying all those last minute Christmas gifts...but I'm not. We've just been lolling around home chilling, making shortbread, eating shortbread and more chilling. It will be Christmas Eve soon and ...