jan's picture

Office wardrobe shelving

The existing wardrobes in the house all have only one high shelf and a clothes hanging rod in them. For the bedrooms that's mostly OK, but it's a problem in my office. I decided to install some custom shelving. Before I started, things looked like this:

Before

 After measuring the cupboard, I pulled out the hanging rail and supports, and sketched out the shelving I wanted to build. Then, everything sat on the floor for weeks until my Christmas present finally arrived, and I could get to work:

Triton workcentre

First, I located the wall studs and marked them with some small pencil marks. There are 2 studs at standard 450mm spacing across the back wall, and the studs at the corners of the frame. Perfect for installing battens

Next, I installed the central vertical partition. It has a notch cut at the bottom to fit around the skirting board, and is attached at top and bottom with some small angle brackets:

Vertical partition

I added the first two large shelves, which rest on battens at the back and left, and are attached on the right to the vertical MDF partition with angle brackets:

left-hand shelving

The lower vertical partition is for installing a small set of drawers:

first 2 drawers Finished drawers

I used a reasonably simple rabbet/dado box design for the drawers, cut with my new router mounted on the Triton workbench. It was a bit awkward to cut the correct depths, and I broke one bit after about the first half dozen cuts. I need more experience with the router to improve my joinery skills clearly. The cheap pine from Bunnings is also a bit warped which doesn't help, and I don't (yet) have a planer to fix that. In the end the drawers worked out OK though:

Drawer closeup Rabbet/dado closeup

Finally, I installed some half-depth shelves on the right hand side. They're supported at the back by a batten. Since there was no convenient stud in the wall to attach to on the right wall, I added a support pole, bracketed to the skirting board at the bottom and to the batten for the original high shelf at the top. There's a notch cut out of the front right corner that fits around that support pole, and attached (again) with some small angle brackets.

I made the right hand shelves half depth because it's a good size for books, and because I'd like to hang some things on the inside of the right door - like my electronic component trays.

"after" picture

Now, to tidy up some of the junk stacked in there :)

 

Corn

This is the first corn cobs I've ever grown.   We microwaved them whole for 5 minutes. you just cut the end off then it all comes out without strings.   They were a little dry and floury, maybe not quite ready?  Anyway there's a fair bit more out there to harvest each day now.  Don't let the perspective fool you, these were large cobs of corn, we had them with some butter and pepper and vege salt!

Fig Jam

It was time to start preserving some figs.  We thought fig jam would be the go.  It was nearly 6kgs of figs I was working with.

I did it up in two batches.  In the second one I added some powdered ginger.

This made 12 bottles of fig jam.   Five this size, in the fowlers jars, and the rest in smaller pop top lid jars that we could trade or give away.  We had some with our dinner too and a little bowl is in the fridge for breakfast.  YUM.

Plum Sauce

I was inspired to pick all the plums around the house, even though they didn't seem very ripe.  BECAUSE I spotted a tree full of fairly ripe plums the other day and walked past and there were none.  Atleast we have a garden full of king parrots and gorgeous rosellas etc.

This is a savoury plum sauce.  Should be enough to do atleast 16 servings of plum pork or chicken or tofu.  Probably more.   Plums, onions and chillis are from our garden.  Garlic is Australian.  I love my label maker, it makes it all very easy.

1980s party

I was born in the 80s, but I decided to have a 1980s party because I had read an article mentioning all the wonderful crazy treats served at parties in the 80s.

My birthday weekend started off with Caitlins 19th.  She had a quiet one at our place, drinking cocktails and watching movies with her friends.  It was pretty chilled and a good way to distract myself before the big event the next day.

The theme of my party was 1980s murder mystery.  We played a murder mystery game set in the 1980s.  All the guests were stars from the 80s and one of them ends up dead.  We had to solve the mystery during the night.

There were also side games.  A 1980s Dance contest, in which Jan did a robot solo.   A 1980s trivia quiz. Celebrity heads.

I planned out lots of cool 80s style food.  Bacon wrapped prunes, cabanossi, cheese and green onions on sticks stuck in an orange, prawn cockails, devilled eggs. Cob loaf dip.

For main course we roasted a ham with pineapple rings and cherries (also a mustard glaze).  For desert Jan baked me a carrot cake with cream cheese icing. Caitlin made the awesome fruit basket out of a water melon.

    

There was enough food for a recovery breakfast and lunch and also to feed us all week!

I had a fun birthday and I was glad I got to celebrate it with friends this year!

January Harvest Totals

 

12.3kgs.  Zucchinis were pretty impressive, we started to get eggs.   Would have way more fruit if we'd netted or whatever.  Grapes were starting.  In desperation to get the numbers up I picked a golden nugget pumpkin, it wasn't quite ripe, we ate it anyway.  The most impressive thing to me, is the variety of herbs and whatnot we get from the garden, I really appreciate the herbs.  I can't wait until I get more established.

Making Grape Cider

I collected a couple of kilos of grapes

I mashed them up with a potato masher

I cooked it a bit then strained the bits and left it over night in the fridge.

Strained it all again the next day, added some sugar syrup and water, poured it into bottles

Added the cider yeast.  Waited 2 days then put in the fridge.  All ready to drink 3 days after that.  We also did a batch of apple juice as well.

Jan in the shed

Jan's been tidying up the workshop shed.   He got his new toy, the Triton workbench which is used with a circular saw or a router or jig saw.  He's been building shelving in his office.

Hopefully Jan will write more about this project soon.

 

Australia day at Lake Hume

We spent Australia Day at Lake Hume.  There is a gorgeous beach area at The Pines and we set up camp there.  We had Triple J blaring with The Hottest 100.  Plenty of delicious things to eat.  Great company.

We even had Honey Joys!

Cats and Travel

We experimented this trip away with having our friend Kieran be our pet sitter rather than taking the cats to the cat hotel

In the past we'd pack the cats up in their carriers and take them to the pet hotel at the local vets.  Fry would cry the whole way, howling pittifully, bender would seem ok but he'd do a big poo on the way there and on the way home.  Usuually only seconds before arriving too.  Poo wee poppets.  This time we had a pet sitter come and feed them and they were able to keep up their usual routine.   The only negative thing I've seen is that Bender got in a fight with something.  Maybe a possum?  He has a big slash across his head.

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