Thursday, May 31, 2007

Be frugal - eat Lindt chocolate!

For my Aussie readers:

If it isn't enough for you that the Lindt bars are down to $1.99 a block at Woolies this week, we also have the return of the Free Lindt chocolate offer. Come on, what's better in life than free chocolate, especially when it's Lindt?

(Listening to: Angel Beach, The Third Wave)

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Loop de Loop

My birthday present from The Parental Units arrived this morning - Loop Select 8. (*Insert happy dance here*)

I love love LOVE the Loop compilations and consider them the Kinder Surprise of the CD world as they contain:

a CD! (full of excellent Kiwi music)
a DVD! (chockers with interesting Kiwi short films and music videos and stuff)
and (often, but not always) a Book! (bursting with Kiwi art, which I have, on occasion, framed thus stretching the giving power of the package even further)

Even better, this year they've set this year's design theme with me in mind. Bless...

(Listening to: Loop select 8, oddly enough)

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Cheers!

Two swaps and one not...Not is this copy of Get Ready to be Boyzvoiced which Feli sent me along with a bookmark.Swaps (both from Singapore, how weird is that?!) is the April Swap-bot Black, White and one colour Swap I arranged. Loving the black and white checked box and the shark notebook. And the new friends for Trudy...And the very next day I received the May Black and White Swap package! How cool is the pencil case at the bottom right??

(Listening to: Air, 10,000 Hz Legend)

Monday, May 28, 2007

The weekend in pictures

Saturday morning: coffee and errands in Batemans BaySaturday afternoon: walking along LongbeachSunday morning: Kangaroosand a Kookaburra (who shat on M's car seconds after this was taken. We all laughed hysterically and it looked at us as if we were mad)All weekend: Reading and relaxing!

(Listening to: The Killers, Read my Mind (go on, pretend to be surprised!))

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Back (but buggered)

552: Kms driven.
170: Design classics read about (only 693 to go before June 8th, when the books are due back).
152: Photos taken.
59: Number of times Killers' Read my mind Pet Shop Boys mix was played in car (rough estimate only).
45: Minutes stuck in traffic jam in the middle of nowhere on the way home.
11: Cupcakes knitted.
10: Boxes of Happy Feet smarties purchased.
4: Friends hung out with.
2: Op shops visited.
1: Birthday dinners eaten.
1: Birthday cakes presented.
0: Op shop purchases made.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Birthday mail

I've decided it was an excellent idea saving up any birthday mail that arrived over the past week or so and opening it all at once this morning (in bed, natch, with company, double natch - who seems not at all interested in my new goodies!)

Princess B got me a black foldable cutting board, which I already knew but held off opening until today. I'm in the middle of a major workroom overhaul and this will be the perfect finishing touch...

I also knew Kerry had got me a pristine vintage tracing and painting book because I saw it at Camberwell Markets and she bought it for me, making sure I knew it had to stay in it's wrapping until today. I am bursting with crafty ideas for the pictures:Then, in the what's in this package? category was some kiwifruit and pavlova soap (smells very very yummy and I can't wait til it's cured enough to use) and a new CD (See below) from Sis, which will make a nice change from the Pet Shop Boy's remix of The Killers' Read my Mind which I've been rather obsessed by since I heard it on Triple J Tuesday night and which has been on (very very) high rotate since I gave up and went out and bought the CD single yesterday. Such maturity...

And my last parcel for the morning, also from New Zealand, was from the lovely Tracy. Who sent a set of 5 black felt handcrafted cats (yay! now I can be an old spinster with lots of cats, but without the vet bills!), a bag of cream vintage daisy buttons and the most excellent book for reading in bed the morning of your 41st birthday...

I'm feeling terribly spoilt. Thanks girls!

(Listening to: Humphreys & Keen, The Overflow)

To Queen Victoria, Bob Dylan and MEEEEEEE!!!!!

(This super fabbo excellently great card was made for me by my lovely sister. What talent!)

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Birthday tea

This morning I celebrated my birthday in style with the 642.4 Gang by having high tea at The Hyatt (Canberra's "historic hotel", built in 1926).

The food (of course) was delicious:(Unfortunately, by the time we got back to these yummy looking strawberry pastries they'd all gone so we didn't get to try them):They had wonderful looking mini pears which I was told I had to take a photo of:And here are two (of many!) reasons why I love The Hyatt so much:

1. The staff are all dressed in 1920s style uniforms (this is Fred the Doorman)And the Hotel itself is is very Prairie School style which I have a new appreciation of after my trip to Frank Lloyd Wright's buildings in Chicago this time last year....
(Listening to: Salmonella Dub,
One drop east)

Friday, May 18, 2007

Any Canberrans want to declutter and help a new arrival?

Caffeine Faerie has got a place to live - now she needs stuff to live with....

"Anyway, this is a general shout out - we have the essentials - you know - glassware, tea cups and a teapot, a bed, and Magpie's made the arrangements to get a fridge, washing machine and those appliancey sorts of things.

But that is the sub-total of everything we have - so if anybody has anything - bookshelves, desks, chairs, drawers, cutlery, crockery, etc, that you intended to ship off to the Salvos*, we would be more than happy to look after it in the interim while we save up to buy our own furniture and stock. (And we will be happy to sent it on to the Salvos ourselves). *We call them the sallies in NZ, so I'm getting used to this new term. :)

Anything would be appreciated. You can get hold me of either through the notes on my blog, or at arwenamin (at) gmail (dot) com. There will be cake/cookies/yummy stuff of the food variety in repayment. "

I think I'll be attacking my top cupboards this weekend...

Not for my birthday, not for my birthday, not for my birthday!

This vision of black and white loveliness was picked up when I was down in Woden a couple of days ago. The cake cover is utterly unnecessary for two reasons:

1. It's now winter so all the flies have buggered off
2. It'll be a pain to find a space to keep it (although I did toy with the idea that I could use it as a light shade...)

But I had to have it - It's black (never seen a black cake cover before...), it was only $12.95, the last one there and, of course, how could I pass up those daisies?!

And underneath the cake cover? One of 5 pairs of black rubber gloves I picked up at Homebase for a whopping $1.99 a pair. I can now be slightly more coordinated when I do the dishes (the yellow ones I had were bugging me). Now if only I'd bought those white sponges I spied at Crate and Barrel (and talked myself out of) last year in New York, I'd be completely sorted.While I was in Woden I had lunch with the lovely Taph who handed me a bag containing the above while saying "This is NOT a birthday present so you can open it immediately."!

Yay! More Maxwell Williams (I'm feeling quite frustrated at the lack of rimmed bowls and dinner plates I've managed to spot recently so this cheered me up a little) and a 1993 IKEA catalogue to add to my collection. I'm saving it to read on a special occasion...And if I wasn't feeling spoilt enough already, in the mail this morning was this package from Kara who had kindly sent me (all the way from England) the only Sophie Kinsella I've not read yet (hardback, even!) plus a backup supply of Boots toothbrushes. Because a 6 year supply isn't enough, you know...

(Listening to: Afterdark Chicago)

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Eurovision Final 2007

This is the third year I've made the pilgrimage to Melbourne for Eurovision (it would be the fourth but I was, alas, on the other side of the world last year... Hehehe)

The party is always fabulous. Dressing up is optional (I opted out this year and last time I just wore one of my stripy shirts and pretended I was french) but Kerry and Dermuid always outdo themselves:(In case you can't read Kerry's badge, it says "Hello my name is
Nana. Please note Dermuid's fine collection of ABBA bubblegum cards on the fridge, and admire the bottom half of his costume below:) Each year we have to pick a flag at random (this year it was out of a vintage ABBA vinyl case) and there are a couple of traditions involving them. If a song is particularly dire the chant of "burn! burn! burn!" starts around the room. And whoever "owns" the flag of that country has to ceremoniously throw it in the fire.

Two flags were burned this year. Turkey sacrificed itself with no encouragement and Armenia got a lot of encouragement to hit the fire.

There is also voting under topical themes. For instance, this year I got to be Finland and won the Paris Hilton's "Stars are blind" Jail Bird Song Award which meant I was presented with the following classy prizes:I've included a picture of the voting sheet as the voting system was simplified last year. Each person is given a sheet of stickers with one sticker for each category. There is a piece of paper representing each of the countries hung on the wall. You simply stick your stickers onto the country's paper when you decide to vote for them. Result: final counting much simplified! (See action shot below)Oh, you want to know what some of the categories were this year?
* The Turkey-Slap "Nil points" Award for most likely to be booted out (Ireland)
* Anthony Callea's Best Boy Disco Diva Award (Spain)
* Dig me up before you Go-Go...!! Anna Nicole Smith Best Dressed Award (Ukraine)

And speaking of Ukraine, why didn't they win...

instead of K D lang and Sean Lennon's love child with The Madonna Clones? I don't speak Serbian but imagine the poor thing was singing about how she only had white sneakers and everyone else had black high heels and how she wished she could afford black high heels.

Also high on my list (but, alas, it would seem, no one in Europe's) was the UK entry. Which I think Richard Branson should adopt immediately as the Virgin theme song:
And the themes of this year's final? Black (particularly leather). White. And black and white. Pork pie hats. And after Lordi proved heavy could win Eurovision we had a plethora of heavy and gothy entries (including one of the postcards)

Oh yes, the postcards. There was knitting (once) and Libraries (twice!)

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Melbourne Day Three: Monday mooching

Tonight I'd originally planned to do a big Eurovision final post - but forgot that I was a) off to the hairdressers and b) needed to sort stuff out for an early flight to Sydney tomorrow morning.

So the big Eurovision final post will have to wait and instead I'll share with you my photos from Monday.

I had no real plans for the day except lunch with someone I'd known briefly when I lived in Sydney almost 10 years ago and had regained contact with. Oh, and a plane in the afternoon (with a guest pass for the Qantas Club kindly donated by the boys). Kerry was working so I was on my own...

First up I thought I might do
a 2 hour walking tour of The Golden Mile, which started at 10am. But the weather was inclement so I decided not to tempt fate.

Then I decided, since I was down at Federation Square anyway, to go check out the
Focus on Punk season at ACMI. Except they weren't screening anything that day.

So I checked out the three gift shops in the complex (
ACMI, The National Design Centre and The Ian Potter Centre, where I spotted this 1/6 scale Vitra miniature Marc Newson Lockheed Lounge. A snip at $1,200.)
I wandered round the square for a while and took some photos like a good tourist:
And discovered the Optus Message board on the side of the building. SMS your message to 19 SMS FED and it'll display here:I just had to try it - I like the idea of electronic graffiti!Just across the road is one of the standard tourist shots of Melbourne, so I had to take one (whoever gave planning permission for that new building behind Flinders Street Station should be shot, by the way.)And, finally, here are two pictures of some of my favourite Melbourne sculptures down on the corner of Swanston and Bourke Streets:
"Oh! Look! A tram!""Oh! Look! A flying pig!"

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Melbourne Day Two: Failure?

Taph says buying these is not failure in Use What You Have Month as tools (and, she says, patterns) don't count. I'm not so sure.

I was doing pretty well at Camberwell Markets. I'd successfully sidestepped this stall:but was sunk when it came to needles (especially those still in original packaging for $2 a pair).

And it got worse. We went to Chapel Street Bazaar, and my favorite stall: where I bought more needles ($1 a pair. I rest my case)

I had a laugh when I spied this lot for $55:(I bought Pink Trees' set for 50 cents a piece)

And then I saw a smaller version of what Pink Trees bought me, for $45!Kerry and I took a tram back to the boys' placeand discovered the friendliest tram driver in Melbourne, who wanted me to drive the tram and kept suggesting (through the glass) that I ditch Kerry and go home with him. Oddly enough, I didn't show him the bottles of bubbly we had on board for the party that evening...

(Listening to: OneTwo, Item)

A travesty of justice - Eurovision 2007 semi finals


This, in our opinion, was the entry which should have won Eurovision 2007. Instead it didn't even make it through to the final :-(

Luckily, Nick burnt a DVD of it which we played during every commercial break of Sunday's final (another thing I'm not too keen on - it's just wrong for SBS to have commercials in the middle of programmes...)

Here's the other entry I think should have gone through, and not just because of the delicious jackets in the video clip (where the hell is Andorra, anyway?)

And I thought Austria's entry was pretty cool (once I worked out that wasn't a giant vagina but rather a large red AIDs ribbon...)

Melbourne Day One: Flowers, bubbles and (of course!) some architecture

After the exciting flight down from Canberra, I took the bus from Melbourne airport into the now finished Southern Cross Station. Which I like. A lot.(Can I bang on about "the juxtaposition of new and old blah blah blah"?)Then Kerry and I walked up to Bourke Street Mall where I'd planned to buy some Cowshed Cow Pat hand cream at Myer. Until I saw the price and decided that there was no way in hell I was paying $44 for a bottle of hand cream, no matter how pretty the packaging. Especially since I could buy a pair of black and white check PJs from the new Sussan range for the about the same price.

So we headed across the mall to Sussan where I decided that I really didn't like the fabric used, thus saving another $35. I've been in town half an hour and saved $80 already. Excellent!

Alas my visit to Smiggle didn't have the same result and I staggered out laden down with goodies for me and goodies for my Black and White swap partners.

After all that shopping we needed a rest and what better place than here:(Kerry and her birthday bag looking suave while plotting how to get the bench home)Much rested, we headed back down into the centre of town in search of lunch. On the way I spotted these heading up a side alleywhich got us wondering where exactly they lead...

In Block Place I spotted more sunflowersAnd, after lunch (the best ravioli I've ever had and a couple of glasses of bubbles at Alpha Cafe & Deli), we took a tram up to Brunswick Street where we found still more flowers:and stopped for a drink at The Cherry Lounge(yay! red bubbles in piccolos!), were snubbed by a localand so wandered off into the dusk to get ready for that night's Eurovision semi final...