AutomataCon Returned to the Morris Museum

Various automata sculptures by artist Jim Casey at AutomataCon 2018. Photo by Andrew Terranova. This past May 18th to 20th, AutomataCon returned to the Morris Museum in Morristown New Jersey, drawing automata artists, historians and enthusiasts from around the globe, from Kalamazoo to South Korea. If you are not familiar with the term, an automaton (the singular of automata) is a mechanical device, often imitating the movement of living people or animals. The history of automata goes back to ancient times, and stretches through the Middle Ages to the Renaissance, and into modern times. Famous historic examples of automata include a mechanical duck created by Jacques de Vaucanson in 1737, and Henri Maillardet’s human automata, which could draw four different pictures and write poems in French and English. Maillardet’s automaton has been restored to working condition, and can be seen at the Franklin Institute. AutomataCon may be the largest gathering of its kind. This is the second iteration of the event, which the organizer, Brett King, plans to run every 2 years. I had a chance to speak with Mr. King, and he shared some of his thoughts on the event. AutomataCon 2018 was a great success. When we held the first convention in 2016, we were hoping to build a community of automata enthusiasts, which had only existed online to that point. For our second event in 2018, we saw many of the same people returning, from all over the world, so I’m really pleased in that regard. This event is the only place some of our attendees meet in-person, even though they may have worked together or...
IKEA kitchen hack: be inspired by this before & after!

IKEA kitchen hack: be inspired by this before & after!

Grab yourself a cuppa, as we’re sharing a fantastic IKEA hack kitchen by Front Porch Properties in these videos today! AFTER: Clever carpentry has made this flatpack kitchen look more custom These videos are absolutely loaded with tips and tricks for little things you can do to make a flatpack kitchen look more expensive and unique. As a flatpack kitchen owner myself (take the tour), I always love seeing how other people personalise and give character to theirs! If you ever thought an IKEA kitchen wouldn’t suit an older home, you really need to check this out for inspiration! I particularly love all the clever uses of space and the way they’ve used the old kitchen cabinetry in the new laundry. THE BEFORE Rachael Turner of Front Porch Properties This clever ‘island’, at the same height as the surrounding  benches, doubles as a dining table because the house doesn’t have a dining room Now watch the videos as Rachael takes you through what she did and why PART ONE PART TWO (almost finished!) We hope you’re feeling inspired for your next reno! Our interview with Front Porch Properties’ Rachael Turner on being a woman in the male-dominated construction industry. More Kitchens & Bathrooms | More on Renovating   The post IKEA kitchen hack: be inspired by this before & after! appeared first on The Interiors...
Toilet installation made easy with Bunnings & hipages

Toilet installation made easy with Bunnings & hipages

It’s a simple job but one that can easily get put off if you don’t know a plumber: replacing an old toilet. Bunnings has teamed up with hipages, the online platform to find and hire trusted local tradies, to offer customers a complete and affordable solution for installing a toilet suite at a fixed price. Making access to qualified, licensed tradies, easier than ever before, customers can add a fixed-price installation fee when purchasing a toilet suite from Bunnings.“This is an exciting offer for Bunnings customers and local tradies across Australia, making it easier and more affordable for customers to update their bathroom and connect with local tradies to assist with those jobs that require a licensed tradesperson,” said Michael Schneider, Bunnings managing director. This service is now available at all Bunnings stores across Australia, following a successful four-week trial in 15 Bunnings stores across Newcastle and the Central Coast, earlier in the year. David Vitek, co-founder, CEO & executive director, hipages, said “We’re thrilled to partner with Bunnings, to help more Australians experience the benefit and ease of being able to instantly book a qualified, local tradie online. Bunnings customers simply purchase the installation in-store with their toilet suite, then follow a simple process to connect with a hipages tradie.” hipages collaborates with over 4,000 plumbers nationwide. These professionals go through a vetting process on signup, which includes license and ABN checks. Installation of a Bunnings toilet will cost $275 (plus cost of toilet suite) with full disposal of the old unit. It is available across the complete range of back to wall and close coupled toilets in the Bunnings range. How...
Real home: Tricky Perth block inspires unique build

Real home: Tricky Perth block inspires unique build

When owner builder Pat Gaffney noticed the empty block next to his federation home was going for a song, he snapped it up with a view to planting a lush urban garden, thinking a home was out of the question due to site constraints. “Pat came to us and asked us if it would be at all possible to build something on what he described as a weird site with a giant sewerage line underneath,” says the home’s architect Dimitri Kapetas of EHDO Architecture. “The site has a four metre wide sewer easement running diagonally through it. The first thing we did was find out what the restrictions were before designing the home around them,” says Dimitri of the house that is located in the breezy Perth coastal suburb of South Fremantle. Kitchen & dining The home is comprised of two trapezoidal buildings that are joined together with a removable link, should the sewer inspection point at the back of the block require access. “The front door is a four metre wide, folding polycarbonate door that can let light through and a truck too should the situation arise! We designed it as a necessity and it ended up being a real feature. It links the two sides and Pat hangs out there all the time. You can look straight through the building and let the breeze through too,” says Dimitri. The four metre wide removable front door Home to Pat, his wife Sonia and their adult children, the three bedroom, two bathroom home took 2.5 years to build as Pat worked on much of it himself – the home’s...
The unisex nursery: A practical and timeless choice

The unisex nursery: A practical and timeless choice

I’ve always admired people who could wait to find out the gender of their baby. I’ve had three children and have found out every time – delayed gratification is certainly not my strong point. The nursery design prospects are just too alluring for me, however you can always eschew colour and embrace a neutral palette like this Melbourne family did before they knew they were having a baby boy – their first child, Harvey. Harvey’s gender neutral nursery “My clients didn’t know if they were having a boy or girl so we designed the room to be gender neutral, with boy or girl elements that could be added later. The clients wanted a very classic, elegant and serene space. It’s a tiny room so we needed to be clever with fitting everything in without making it look too small,” says interior designer Belinda Nihill, creative director of Nest Design Studio. The gorgeous details Working with a Boori cot and change table that the clients had already purchased, Belinda was tasked with selecting all the other items to complement. A tonal mix of cream, grey and white, the space is an elegant and tranquil one. Belinda’s clients had already purchased the Boori change table and cot “I think neutral nurseries are, in general, very elegant. They can be timeless and are a great option for parents who aren’t finding out which sex they are having. To have a room that is beautiful as is, and then being able to add some simple boy or girl touches once baby arrives to add some additional design elements to the room is ideal,” says...
‘Stealth House’ hides ultra-modern extension behind

‘Stealth House’ hides ultra-modern extension behind

Appropriately titled ‘Stealth House,’ this post-war weatherboard Melbourne home was expanded recently with the addition of an ultra-modern extension at the rear, that cannot be seen from the street. “Like its aeronautical namesake, the form of the house is memorable, yet when it needs to be, is invisible,” says the home’s architect Mark Lam. The home’s new highly-angular timber-clad rear extension evokes a Stealth bomber “The extension to the rear of the house is invisible from the front other than the timber laundry ‘box.’ Although it looks dark from the outside the interior is bright and spacious and is connected to the garden via large windows and glazed doors,” says Mark. The front of the home Home to a family of five, the owners of the West Footscray home wanted to maintain the heritage focus at the front but demolish the run-down extension at the rear. “The brief was to keep the original front of the house so that the character of the street is maintained. The dilapidated back of the house was to be updated with an open plan living area with plenty of wall space for the owners’ art collection,” says Mark. The lounge room features some of the owners’ art collection Timber is undoubtedly the star of this home, which is unsurprising when you consider that the owner is a highly skilled carpenter and joiner. “He did most of the work himself,” says Mark says that the timber details are one of his favourite things about the home. Dining “The simple yet effective form of the roof and the timber work at the rear of the house...
Gavels ‘n’ Paddles: Beaded hide war shirt, $55,200, Cowan’s Auctions

Gavels ‘n’ Paddles: Beaded hide war shirt, $55,200, Cowan’s Auctions

Gavels ‘n’ Paddles: Beaded hide war shirt, $55,200, Cowan’s Auctions Results of Recent Auctions From Near and Farby Ken Hall An A’aninin (Gros Ventre) beaded hide war shirt sold for $55,200 at an American Indian & Western Art Auction held April 6th by Cowan’s Auctions in Cincinnati, Oh. Also, a Sioux child’s beaded hide shirt realized $28,800; an identified Ponca beaded hide war shirt with leggings brought $45,600; a pair of slate fantail birdstones fetched $49,200 and $45,000; a late classic Navajo child serape made $24,000; and a Sioux painted ghost dance shirt commanded $26,400. Prices are inclusive of the buyer’s premium. Gavels ‘n’ Paddles: Beaded hide war shirt, $55,200, Cowan’s Auctions Share this: A’Aninin, American Indian, American Indian & Western Art Auction, Art, beaded, beaded hide, birdstones, cowan’s auctions, Gros Ventre, Hide Shirt, leggings, Navajo, Painted, Ponca, serape, Sioux, war shirt, Western Art Let’s block ads!...
Real reno: Blockheads Kyal & Kara’s beachside sanctuary

Real reno: Blockheads Kyal & Kara’s beachside sanctuary

Located on the NSW central coast, it’s hard to believe that this four-bedroom, three-bathroom coastal dream of a home was once a simple fibro cottage.  “Our goal was to create a light-filled sanctuary that felt comfortable and inviting. It’s a real sanctuary but with plenty of space for entertaining,” says expert renovator and former Blockhead Kara Demmrich who tackled this project with her husband Kyal after purchasing the original home for $710,000 in early 2017. Kitchen and dining Originally intending to carry out a single-level extension, the house was completely gutted and little of the original house remains. Aside from the four bedrooms, three bathrooms and large open plan living spaces, the home also has an outdoor kitchen and plunge pool – all of which resulted in the home being purchased at auction for $1.59 million upon completion. That’s quite some increase in value! Lounge Drawing on a mix of inspiration, the original Canary Date palm tree at the front of the house and the Desert Modernism movement that came out of Mid-Century Palm Springs homes, were two key references. The front of the home “Although the palm tree inspired our design theme, we wanted to create a classic coastal look for the facade using some of our favourite materials – white weatherboards, timber and limestone. We’re so happy with how it’s all come together and we believe we’ve created the perfect facade,” says Kyal of the front of the home that features blackbutt timber decking, hand-laid limestone walls and white weatherboard cladding. Master bedroom “The original home was a small weatherboard cottage with lots of tack-ons, such as...
Foodie Friday: Lemon and thyme bars

Foodie Friday: Lemon and thyme bars

This week’s recipe comes from our friends at Maxwell & Williams. Serves: 12 | Prep: 20mins | Cook: 60mins Ingredients For the crust: • 225g unsalted butter, room temperature • 1⁄2 cup caster sugar • 2 cups plain flour • 2 tbsp fresh thyme, finely chopped • 1⁄4 tsp salt For the lemon layer: • 7 large eggs • 2 1⁄2 cups sugar • 3 tbsp lemon zest, grated • 1 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed • 1 cup plain flour For the lemon glaze: • 2 cups icing sugar • 1⁄4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, apx. 2 lemons • Fresh thyme sprigs to garnish Method Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced) To make the crust, cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer until light. Reduce mixer speed to low and add flour, thyme and salt, mixing until just combined into a rough dough. With floured hands, gather the dough into a ball and place in the baking tray. Flatten and press into a greased 20 x 30cm baking pan to create a base. Chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes. Remove from refrigerator and bake the crust for 15 to 20 minutes, until very lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack, leaving the oven on. To make the lemon layer, whisk together eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and flour. Pour over the cooled crust and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the filling is set. Cool to room temperature. To make the lemon glaze, whisk together icing sugar and lemon juice. Add more or less sugar and/or juice for desired...

Making A Mid Century Modern Dog Bowl Stand

[embedded content] I’ve really been wanting to learn to make nice furniture for a while. This year I’ve been dipping my toes in a bit. I experimented with it when I made my CNC midcentury modern writing desk, but I felt like I wanted to learn more woodworking skills. Taking cues from Shaun Boyd Made This and Four Eyes Furniture, I jumped and and made this fancy little dog bowl holder for Finley, my dog. [embedded content] Even though I didn’t use this at all, I really like these little clamps that Shaun Boyd uses for putting odd angles together. I should probably make some of those if I plan to keep experimenting in this direction. [embedded content] Chris Salomone’s video on how to create those non 90 degree angles is really the bulk of what this project included. I had two acute angles and two obtuse angles and to get the 42.5 degrees needed for that acute angle, I had to follow Chris’s tutorial and cut the wood vertically (my table saw only goes to 45 degrees). I learned a ton of lessons from actually trying to build something. Things that wouldn’t have immediately popped into my mind when just thinking about it. For example, I thought cutting a very nice round circle wouldn’t be that tough with a jig saw. I was wrong. Also, cheap plywood (very few layers with a thin veneer) chips and tears out very easily. #gallery-2 { margin: auto; } #gallery-2 .gallery-item { float: left; margin-top: 10px; text-align: center; width: 50%; } #gallery-2 img { border: 2px solid #cfcfcf; } #gallery-2 .gallery-caption {...