Friday, December 22, 2006
Lovely (cold-ridden) Raven Haired Sis picked me up from the airport and drove me straight to a 24 hour supermarket (she knows me well) where I oohhed and aahhed, and bought far too much junk food for the trip.
And now it's morning. I'm still waiting for my brain to realise I'm here. Once it arrives we'll be into the car and off to pick up Travelling Matt before heading off to Mount Maunganui.
There are currently intense discussions going on as to if we can justify swinging past Thames on the way - Raven Haired Sis wants to visit a Buddhist shop there which apparently also happens to sell second hand stuff and she reliably informs me that there is a large and excellent Salvos nearby. Decisions decisions...
(Listening to: bFM)
Thursday, December 21, 2006
Wiggly red line, courtesy of my as yet not perfect handle on the intricacies of Photoshop. But you get the idea...
Two girls, one gay friend (for the trip down), one car, eleven nights, six cities, one Christmas Day and one New Years Day.
I'm leaving this afternoon.
I don't think I'll find much to blog about, do you?
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Follow this link to cast your vote! (Fingers crossed that this works)Speaking of frugal, I made this up for The Lovely L after our adventures earlier in the month:
The Frugaller’s Emergency Kit
01. Bubble wrap (for wrapping precious finds)
02. Scissors (to cut bubble wrap, and other things)
03. Packing tape (for holding the bubble wrap or other things together)
04. Ziplock bag (so lose little things don’t go walkies all over the car)
05. Tape measure (for measuring, of course!)
06. Torch (for peering into those dark corners)
07. Notebook (to write down measurements, reminders, draw pictures, leave
your details with kind ladies in op shops)
08. Pen (see above)
09. Baby wipes (to get rid of that icky dusty feeling from your hands)
10. CD (to play at full volume in the car en route to interstate op shops)
And now I must away and pack. Again.
(Listening to: Alphaville, Prostitute)
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
(Listening to: Zero 7: Simple things)
Monday, December 18, 2006
Yes, you spy black and white candy canes! The wonderful Princess B managed to track them down where I failed miserably. She also gave me Myer card promotional black chocolate beans and, most excitingly a copy of a black book by John Gale entitled (hang on, need to take a deep breath to get through this one) Canberra history of and legends relating to the Federal Capital Territory of the Commonwealth of Australia together with pen pictures of some of its beauty spots; its flora, fauna, mineral and other resources. With illustrations, maps and prefactory matter (no idea what that last bit is but it sounds painful!)It was originally published in 1927 (I have a limited edition 1977 reprint) and the language is just wonderful (you've got to read this aloud in a plummy accent): "The consensus of public opinion unquestionably is, that hithero whatever has been published purporting to be a history of the Federal Capital Territory of the Commonwealth of Australia has fallen short of what a subject of such paramount importance - to the present and future generations of Australians and the civilised world at large - demands of a historian..." and so on.
The poor civilised world at large, not having a decent history of Canberra. Maybe that was really the cause of World War One and the depression?
Anyway, back to my goodies. Mondo and I had a drink and catch up after I got back last night and she presented me with an Electric Shadows goodie bag (which was another black and white bag to add to my collection) which included a mug commemorating the end of an era. *sniff*
Need I tell you that everything else I unwrapped this past weekend was either black and white or black or white? No, didn't think so....(Listening to: Paul Weller, Heliocentric)
Sunday, December 17, 2006
At lunchtime Friday I visited a newly discovered op shop (Salvos at Chatswood) and hit the jackpot at Vinnies Orchard Arcade when I found twelve 50g balls of black Nundle Collection 8 ply for 50 cents a ball.
Friday night Princess B and I exchanged presents (more on that soon) then Saturday she threw a traditional Christmas lunch for eight complete with turkey, baked vegetables, creme brulee and more champagne than was good for us all.
Saturday night five of us went to see the Australian Ballet perform Raymonda at The Sydney Opera House with drinks before hand at The Opera Bar overlooking the harbour bridge (and, of course, I left my camera at home. Bah!)And today we went to IKEA (arrived 9am, were gone with goodies by 9:15am...), then had breakfast at Bondi beach before checking out the Bondi Markets and Bondi Junction Westfield. I even managed to fit in a "Boxing Day" nap before I headed to the airport and home to drinks with Mondo.
Here's a heads up if you're in (or passing through) Sydney and are after cheap designer stuff - Live to Play is moving from the domestic to the international terminal and is having a pretty serious sale before they go - I saw Tord Boontje Until Dawn curtains marked down from $169 to $75 and his puddles down to (I think) $25.
But I was strong and only ended up buying a set of French Bull Jackie Shapiro containers in the Vine pattern marked down from $49.95 to $34.95 and two Kikki K white perspex pencil holders down from $29.95 to $2 (!) each.
(Listening to: Jimmy Somerville, Manage the damage)
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Sometimes this year I've felt incredibly focused (eg: in making the birthday trip to the USA happen) and sometimes (like in the past 24 hours) I feel like I'm focused, but on completely the wrong thing, things, latest obsession, whatever.
A very good example. See above. Doll arrived in the mail yesterday morning. Last night I decided it was imperative that I make not only a summer dress (as she only had winter clothes) but also a black hoodie. Even though it was late as I'd caught up with J & M (and J's brother) over dinner at Mecca Bah in Manuka.
So I was up 'til after midnight knitting. I can sort of justify it by saying I haven't had much "me" time this past week. As I find knitting meditative it was probably a good choice of time out activity. Plus it was fun to make something silly and quick that's not on one of the To Do lists that have been running my life for the last couple of weeks.And hell, I'm pretty chuffed to see I haven't lost the long unused ability to sew and knit dolls (and, I suppose, bear) clothes without a pattern. If you look closely you can even see the hoodie has cords. (Details: knitted with the 5 ply and needles I bought on Saturday. Dress beneath is a simple shift made with stash fabric)(Is it just me or does she bear a striking resemblance to Keisha Castle-Hughes from Whale Rider?)
Anyway, I must away and (ahem) focus on ironing and packing for tomorrow's trip to Sydney plus finishing the last remaining present on my list for this weekend...
(Listening to: Wallpaper* Mach 1.5)
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
First up was a (black and white, of course!) shoebox from Sew Thrifty full of wonderful goodies: the official TSS Doll, a crochet pattern book which has a daisy rug pattern in it, tea towels for my collection, very funky pantihose with daisies on and some vintage black and white circle fabric which someone has carefully zigzagged around the circles at the bottom.
Here's a closer view, with the last item from the goodie box, a miniature black bowl:And speaking of closer views, here's the official TSS doll once she'd settled in and taken her coat off. I actually think it's quite a good likeness. Notice the large crochet bag for all the frugalled finds!Oh yes, I mentioned presents for myself.
I know, I know, I already bought myself a great Christmas present but (digging quickly for justifications) I'm a Gemini so I needed TWO presents (phew!): It would seem the miniature chair people snuck out another volume in their range when I wasn't looking, so I have another seven design classic chairs and sofas to add to my collection.
(Listening to: Jane Siberry, Maria)
Monday, December 11, 2006
to the other...
(Oh yes, doesn't my Brio house make a great project -in-progress holder?)
I suppose it's my own fault for deciding to embrace the whole Christmas thing this year.
So my excuses are:
1. It's too hot to race round cleaning and mowing the lawns. I'd give myself heat stress. And asthma with all the haze from the Victorian fires.
2. I have deadlines piling on top of deadlines and am away four days this week then away again from next Thursday. Tidying up isn't a pressing deadline right now especially as if I get a bad report they'll just tell me to fix whatever it is and reinspect. IN THE NEW YEAR which is a much more sensible time to do a flat inspection anyway (I mean what sort of utter sadist thought doing flat inspections mid December was a jolly good idea?)
3. I'd rather be crafting anyway. Maybe the inspector will be a fellow crafter and get so tied up talking about craft that she'll forget to notice the mess?
Keep watching this space. There's probably be a 1 hour frenzy tomorrow morning resulting in a house that looks quite, quite normal.
Sunday, December 10, 2006
Plus a wee side trip to the now-open-on-Sundays Queanbeyan Vinnies. As if I didn't get enough op shopping yesterday...
Back home for a frenzy of packing, of both the parcel kind and this kind:followed by a a trip to the (thankfully open on Sunday) Lyneham Post Office and then next door to Tilleys for coffee with S.
Home again via V, M and E's for a long-overdue catch up and then dinner followed by the creation of this: Oh, baby, I'm on a roll! I took the $2.50 frugalled skirt from yesterday plus 2 frugalled buttons (20 cents each) and whipped up the cover.The inner is made from a piece 10 year old cotton sheet which I threw in the crafting pile when it grew a hole in the middle and the stuffing from one of the spare bed pillows which now lives under the stairs. As I no longer have a spare bed, I figure I can safely cannibalise two of the four pillows under there and still have enough for passing guests!
(Listening to: The Style Council, Our favourite shop)
Saturday, December 09, 2006
This is the first time we've been frugalling together so it was interesting to see if our styles meshed, and, luckily I think we've ascertained that we are a great frugalling team. Hurrah!
All up we managed to cover 3 garage sales, 5 op shops and 1 second hand shop in 2 States over the course of 6 hours. When we arrived back at my place Lauren demanded a picture of me on the front porch surrounded by my haul: (I bought all that?!)
The budget, needless to say was blow severely but I'm pretty stoked with what I managed to round up:
- Knitting tin, 50 cents (this is a gifty)
- Bag of cupcake icing coloured wool, $2.50
- Pink fluffy mohair and black wool, price unclear as they were part of a large lot I got quoted one price for (see below)
- 3 x 25g balls of green wool, 25 cents each (this now holds the record for cheapest wool I've purchased)
- 2 pairs of knitting needles. 1 pair was $1.00, the other pair I'm not actually sure as I got a discounted price for everything in my basket at that particular shop. Original price marked: $2.50 but I can assure you I spent nothing like that!Fabric fabric fabric! (from left top)
- Black and white gingham, 2 orange floral plus orange cord: part of the basket full mentioned above (plus a pile of red and white buttons not pictured here): $6.00 the lot.
- Black and white check fabric, actually a shirt which was free as Lauren was told she could fill a bag with clothes for 50 cents and it just went in with the rest of her stuff.
- Large piece green felt, 50 cents at the Goulburn garage sale.
- Denim with flower applique, $2.50. This is actually a brand new (with tag still attached) skirt. I hope to morph it into cushions in the next week.
- Animal print bedspread, price? Err, dunno. This was part of a large lot of stuff I got at Father Riley's Op Shop where the very helpful woman behind the counter kept assuring us everything was half price and we could expect bargains and she wanted to take us out to the back room to see the rest of the stuff so by the time I got to the counter she just quoted me $25 for the large pile I had which seemed reasonable enough so I just took it all.Included in the pile were three bags which I think she said were 50 cents each. The one on the left is a gift, the other two I plan to salvage the handles from for other bag projects.Also in the same pile was a vintage bicycle bell and front basket for my vintage bike,plus a copy of Newnes Home Management Volume 2 (hysterically funny), a set of four Winnie the Pooh books and a wooden puzzle (destined for E), two white plastic pamphlet boxes, a round Tupperware container and a white snail (I think that was 50 cents). Oh and a pile of buttons which I forgot to photograph.
- 2 Muppet videos, $2 each from the garage sale down the road,
- 3 small glass bottles, 20 cents each
- Rule Britannia CD full of funky tunes, 50 cents.
All up I bought four jam jars, two piles and four cards of buttons and forgot to photograph them except for these which are actually the backs but I think would look great on a
- Funky brown flowery tablecloth, $3. Destined for bag land I suspect.
- Denim jacket, $10.00
- White cotton cot sheet, $2.00
- Knitting needles, $1.00
- Ball of wool, 50 cents
- Two china shells, 50 cents each. It's official then. I have a collection.
- Qantas dermalogica travel bag, $1.50.
I'm tired now...
(Listening to: Radio Groove Volume Two: French Revolution)
Friday, December 08, 2006
If anyone would like seats, they will be available for $20 each (including cushions): you just need to let us know ASAP and then come and collect them from the cinema on Saturday morning 16 December. Other collection times are available by appointment only.
To stake your claim contact Craig McConnell at the Ronin office on 6248 0851, or email Craig at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Be warned, however, the seats do not stand on their own: they are bolted onto a single upright pedestal that is embedded in the concrete floor of the cinema. We are not removing the pedestal, so you will need to make your own arrangements to mount the seats in some way to make them useable: a good challenge for the handyman or woman.
If you are interested in souveniring the cushions but don't want to buy a whole seat, we are happy to sell the vinyl seat cushions separately at $5 each. Again, place your order with Craig McConnell (details above). You will need to collect them on Saturday morning, 16 December.
Being vinyl covered, the cushions could be very useful for picnics, the garden or other outdoor use!"
(Listening to: The Other Ones, The Other Ones)
Thursday, December 07, 2006
Today I picked up this year's present to myself, which I've had on layby out at The Canberra Antique Centre for a few weeks since I spotted it while wandering past in search of cream plastic number 10 needles: a vintage Sylko thread display box.
I felt it was a fitting gift to end a year where I rediscovered crafting. A year where I bought my first knitting needles in over a decade, started using my sewing machine again after about as long and just generally started being creative. Which was actually one of my theme words for this year.
Back on New Years Eve 2005 I chose four words which I felt encapsulated what I wanted this year to be all about for me. Creative was the first one and I think I can safely give myself a big A+ grade there.
There are three more theme words which I'll share with you as the time feels right between now and the end of the year. I might even get your input on grading how I did!
(Listening to: Moby,18)
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
Which isn't as fun as it sounds (no matter how lovely your bed is) when your brain is trying to explode and your stomach can't decide if it's feeling like a boiling mud pool because it wants to hurl or because it wants to eat something for the first time in more hours than you care to count (and the thought of making it downstairs and finding food is just too too difficult to contemplate)
I much prefer the sort of sick day in bed where you watch a little crap TV, catch up on your magazine reading and are actually well enough to sort of enjoy the experience in a somewhat guilty fashion even though you're too sick to work.
Anyhow, today I had that typical post-migraine day of feeling like your brain has been scrubbed out with a wire brush and a can of Ajax. And I made the fatal mistake of having two lattes on top of not very much food over the last 48 hours which lead to total braindead hyperactivity all round. Just great, especially when I have a pile of things to catch up on.
So where was I? Ah yes, making a belated thank you to Pink Trees who sent me my lovely new header, and Rooruu who mentioned me again on Whip up causing a mini stampede on my stats counter (along with a link from the Bedford van message board - cheers, chaps!)
No crafting to report, I'm afraid but I have achieved something in the last 48 hours:I dug up a list of Vinnies shops in New Zealand. Now if I can just surreptitiously sprinkle a few through the plans we have for our Christmas road trip...
(Listening to: Massive Attack, Blue lines)
Monday, December 04, 2006
I'm not sure about the pom pom on the top. I perched it there for the photo. I either have to go buy a bag of the bigger ones (damn! That would entail another trip to Hot Dollar...), make one, or remove it altogether. I mean cupcakes are supposed to have delicate icing sugar flowers balanced on top not red pretend cherries. Right?!
The nitty gritty: knitted using frugalled Patons crafty (yes, I succumbed to Acrylic this once) and the children's cupcake hat pattern from chile con yarne with a few changes. The split for the handle and spout being the most noticeable, but I also replace the nubbles with an idea I'd picked up from this pattern for using an increase row to mimic the overflow of icing.
Still not sure about the top though. Far too puffy for my liking. Maybe I need to attack it with the steam iron?
(Listening to: New Order, Get Ready)
Sunday, December 03, 2006
After a three day cooldown period I woke up this morning and decided I could justify a trip down to the Canberra Centre to have a look at glue guns as I also needed a couple of other crafty things for the stuff I'm working on for Christmas.
And there, at Hot Dollar was a white glue gun which was just perfect (we'll ignore the fact I could have got a blue one for $2 less, shall we?) I'm feeling fulfilled. If only it was that easy all the time.
I've had a very full-on crafty weekend all round really. Sent a list of what I managed to do yesterday to Raven-haired Sis and she replied:
"You are a busy bee!
I hope you have a good day today. Remember to breathe..... ;)
I would suggest a walk in the park to decraft for a bit, but knowing you it may go like this: ........ you'll find some interesting leaves....oh that could look good laminated.....oh ....in a picture frame....um with....oh ,twigs inside....oh....and some of that autumn mohair from that op shop in it...yes yes , brilliant!!!!
Oh look... pine cones!.....hey a christmas tree made soley of pine cones painted black and white, great!! But first I need to get to a craft shop and buy that laminater and spray paint.........
Hee hee, I know you so well - LOL!"
Gulp! She does indeed, and here I was thinking that it sounded like a good idea. A little stroll through Glebe Park to calm me after the horror of the mall in December.
But I went to the mall early, parked on the street (where most people seem to forget you can park on Sundays) and was in and out of Hot Dollar with nary a hair out of place and a sizable bag of craft supplies for $30 (including the object of my affection pictured above)
So what have I been producing? Some things I can't show you for obvious Christmassy reasons but I can show you the following (in order of creation):
Thanks to Twelve22 I seem to have (almost) mastered the zippered pouch:Now I'm wondering if I should colour in some more fabric and make a matching bag to make the gift more substantial...
Speaking of bags, remember this? Today I made a big sister for it which, unfortunately, won't be staying here but will be heading to Brisbane in time for Christmas. I get to share the photo as the lovely Karla knows she's getting it.
I decided on a larger version as the little one, though cute, is rather impractical for anything other than the standard wallet/ keys/ hanky/ phone/ makeup. And I made the straps longer so it can be worn over the shoulder if necessary.On a creative rolls, I moved on to the button wreath (I wouldn't let myself play with the glue gun til I'd finished the bag which has been on my To Do list for weeks. And weeks. And... you get the idea!)I can see things I would have done better now I've had some experience but it's definitely good enough to hang on the front door.Finally I made up some stitch markers from some bits and bobs I picked up at Hot Dollar. These are a gift but I think I'll be making plenty more of them as they are easy peasy lemon squeezy to put together.And then I collapsed. And realised what an utter shambles the house is after a frenzied weekend of crafting. And how empty my tummy is after being so wrapped up in the creative process that I forgot to eat lunch or dinner. And, pleasingly, how much shorter my Christmas present To Do list is.
In fact I now have all my overseas gifts packed and/ or posted and should have the Australian ones I need to post sorted by the end of this week. I think a glass of wine is in order.
(Listening to: Loop Select 005)
Saturday, December 02, 2006
The third and fourth fabrics from the left are actually both sides of a Sheridan Contempo cotton European pillowcase which will be reborn as something else. And the two fabrics on the far right are just begging to be made into some of Little Bird's soft trees. To give away, of course.
And here's a better view of the fabric on the left, marked Design "Sweden" on the selvage. I suspect this is about to be added to the ever-growing list of Things to make Christmas presents out of. And, finally, I bought a pair of black patent leather shoes (for me) for $4 and an apron (not for me) for $1.50.The shoes (and that red tweedy wool in the first picture) came from an op shop I only just discovered. It's called Retro Rack and is tucked away upstairs in Coleman Court, Weston Creek.
(*Stash Enhancing Exercise)
(Listening to: Luke Hurley, High Risk)
Friday, December 01, 2006
I have a bit of an attachment to my watch. I bought it at Kmart Plaza in Porirua for $NZ35 back in 1989 (when Kmart was still new and exciting in New Zealand) and spent another $20 getting the original computer geek watch strap replaced with a more discreet version. It's done me well. I never wanted it to die. Because that would mean having to find another one.
You see, I've only ever owned four watches in my life up until today.1. The one my mother gave to me when I was about 8 which had been hers when she was young. (I can't remember now if it was a graduation or a 21st present for her)
(Woohoo, how 70s is this picture? How pissed off do I look to have those glasses recorded for posterity?)
Which stood me in good stead for many years until my late teens when it finally died and was replaced with a cheap blue plastic Swatch rip-off ( another gift, I think) which didn't last long at all.3. I bought a Mickey Mouse watch with half the $100 my Gran gave me for my 21st birthday. The other half of the money was used for a wooden step stool that I still use regularly. And I always think of Gran when I do.
(Picture taken at Library school in 1987, the year I bought the watch. Check out that hairdo! I had a hairdresser apprentice friend who used to experiment on me. And look! A walkman! What a poseur!)
Two years later I was in a role where I was the manager of my Library even though I was significantly younger than the other library staff and I started finding it a little embarrassing turning up to Section Heads meetings with my Mickey Mouse watch peeking out of my suit sleeve. And so I bought old faithful, pictured here in May 1997 on my first trip to Australia. (What is this? The "Dodgy haircuts I have known" parade?!)
So, anyway, after much panicking and eBay crawling and visiting shops I've never actually been to (jewellers, that is) and thinking I'd never find a comparable watch I finally bought this today:Ironically, I bought it at Kmart, and it was marked down to $35. I then spent another $10 getting it taken in to fit me.
No, it's not identical. Yes, it makes me want to cry every time I look at it because it's an interloper (I'm sure this feeling will settle down in, oh, about 5 years). But at least it's not a $160 interloper and I can feel happy with the knowledge that I shouldn't have to go through this partiuclar angst again until around 2023...(Listening to: The Grey Lynn Park Festival Compilation)