Keeping It Dry

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Like much of the east coast of Australia the weather has been quite wet here for a couple of days.  While the rain is very welcome, it brings its own set of problems.  Our heads are in the clouds – literally, the humidity is off the scale and everything is damp to touch.

The condensation of the door of the refrigerator has now created a pool of water on the kitchen floor.

The prospect of going to bed and climbing into a bed where the sheets actually feel damp was not at all appealing. So, I have put the portable dehumidifier in our bedroom for a couple of hours before we go to bed.

2011-10-15 01

It is easy to move around and is really efficient.  If you issues with damp rooms or live in an area with high rainfall and humidity I would highly recommend a dehumidifier.  We bought this one from Moisturecure in Port Macquarie.  We had quite a bit of trouble sourcing one about 8 years ago, however, they are much more readily available now.

Do you have a dehumidifier?  Is it worthwhile?

Make & Mend – A New Garden

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Today I made a garden bed, or more accurately refreshed an old one.  Unlike most of my gardening posts this one does not include growing food.

This is an area between the side of the garage and the front steps which originally had a selection of fairly unappealing shrubs and plants.  They had been cleared out some time ago and the space badly needed revitalising.  I did have a before photo, however, it is on the desktop computer which seems to have some issues so I took it to be looked at/repaired today.

Front garden
We bought the plants at a local garden centre on the weekend.  They are Australian natives – low-growing shrubs and ground covers.  The area has quite a considerable slope so I move some more rocks to build up the edges to prevent the mulch washing away in the first heavy shower of rain.  We were lucky to be offered a large pile of mulch by our neighbours who had several large trees lopped and mulched.  We moved 3 loads in the back of the ute last weekend so some of it was used on this garden with several layers of newspaper underneath to help suppress any weeds.

I thought we may have had some rain late this afternoon as the storm clouds were building rapidly and the thunder was rumbling in the distance as I put the finishing touches to my new garden.

Storm clouds

The threatening weather dissipated quickly and we have been left with a warm, humid night.

Make & Mend – Picture Frame


This week I want to share a few of the projects I have been working on recently.

First up is the picture frames.  These are 2 large timber frames which belong to my mother.  They have family photographs in them and usually stand on her sideboard.  The problem is that the stand is actually very heavy cardboard.  After several years of very wet and humid weather the cardboard has absorbed moisture and now has flexed and will not stand and support the frame.

Picture frame with stand
I brought these home with the idea of repairing them and this is what I did.

I made a pattern from the stand on each frame and then marked it out on a sheet of plywood.

The pieces of plywood were cut using a jigsaw.

I then spread the glue (Aquadhere) over the plywood and placed it on the cardboard stand.  I used several clamps to make sure firm contact was maintained between the surfaces.  I left the clamps in place for 24 hours.

There are no photos of the clamps as my camera battery was flat.

Tonight I removed the clamps and the repair has been successful.  Now I need to finish the other frame then return them to my mother.

Tune in again tomorrow for the next project.

What A Difference……..

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…….a week makes!!

We have had a very dry few months and some extremely hot weather .

2013-01-25 01In fact, last Friday night I was contemplating how The Duke and my brother-in-law would manage doing some fencing in the predicted hot weather last weekend.  Tonight it is raining steadily and the rain is predicted to increase in intensity over the next 48 hours as the tropical low moves further south towards us.  We have already received about 150mm (6 inches) of rain in just over 36 hours.

2013-01-25 02The second stage of the fence building may be delayed.

2012-11-18 03The humidity is off the scale, everything is wet to touch, I have washing on the airer indoors and we are running the dehumidifier in the bedroom.  But……the life-giving rain is back to replenish the tanks and gardens and I am so happy.

2012-11-18 02This weekend might be an indoor one but I have plenty to do.  I have more things to unpick for patchwork fabric.  If I can get this done and the fabric sorted and put away ready for use I will be pleased.

Stay safe wherever you are and whatever the weather.  I hope you have a relaxed weekend.

47 & Falling


After weeks of very humid weather we finally have some respite.  We have a hygrometer which sits on the bench between the kitchen and dining room and when I got up this morning it was 47% relative humidity – that is about half what it has been recently.  During the course of the day it fell even more to 33% at one stage.

This may not seem particularly exciting to those of you you are not living in humid, high rainfall areas but believe me, it is exciting when your lounge chairs look like this.

2012-10-03 01The back looked worse – if that is possible.

2012-10-03 02They have been getting worse over about a week or two but it was no point in cleaning them while the weather was so wet.  In fact The Duke could not work out how it go so wet the other night – the rain does not blow in – until I pointed out that both of the chairs were completely wet simply due to the humid conditions.

Today I cleaned both recliner chairs and the 2 seater sofa.  I have a small jar with about 100ml of olive oil and some lemon essential oil.  The lemon oil is because I like the aroma and also it is supposed to be a spider deterrent.  I am not sure how effective that is.  I added 5ml of clove oil to the mix and then with an old t-shirt wiped, rubbed and polished for a couple of hours until I had all of the leather cleaned, free of mould and gleaming.

Here are the ‘after’ photos.

2012-10-03 03And the back.

2012-10-03 04I also keep a spray bottle with 5ml of clove oil diluted in 500ml of water.  Using this and a clean cloth I also cleaned all of the kitchen cupboards and kickboards as well as quite a few of the door frames and skirting boards.  Keeping the mould at bay is a never-ending battle in this climate so I make the clove oil a regular part of my cleaning routine.

If you are interested in more information about reducing the humidity in your home as well as the use of clove oil you can type ‘mould’ into the search button on the right-hand side of the blog and you will find all of my other posts that deal with this issue.

Finally, if you are concerned about humidity in your home I would strongly recommend purchasing a hygrometer.  It is a real eye-opener to actually know what the humidity reading is.