Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Up on the catwalk

I will be there...
(along with a few other people)
seeing the things you don't see when you go to the theatre for the night:Being amazed at what goes into putting a performance together:Seeing things from a whole new angle: And (of course) taking hundreds of photos...(And that was just in The Playhouse!)
About now I had a Noel Streatfeild moment...

And under the stage...

Last night there was a behind the scenes tour for staff of The Canberra Theatre Centre. I thought you'd like to come along with me.

Our first stop was under the stage in The Playhouse where we learnt how the lighting works.These are drawers where the lighting gels are kept. I can't remember the exact numbers but there are hundreds of different gel colours manufactured by nine different companies and the touring shows will specify a certain number colour by a certain manufacturer for their performance. We had a demonstration. This is a ladder and is used in the wings to create light across the stage:Our tour guide demonstrated how shutters at the side of the lights are used to intensify the beam:Then they got tricky and added a second colour
and turned the lights in the room off so we could see what happens when you mix the coloured lights:See that door the lights are shining on? It leads to The Playhouse orchestra pit. Which we got to see the underneath of:Apparently the only time The Playhouse orhestra pit has been used was when it first opened.

The Shopping Sherpa live on stage!

For one night only at the Playhouse:and The Canberra Theatre:
(Shame about the complete lack of audience...)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

To market to market

A Sunday working at Belconnen Library meant a trip to Trash and Treasure early this morning.

Where I picked up a set of vintage file dividers for $3. The usual A-Z were included but there were a couple of hand written tags, including this one:Which I first read as plans and dogs...

Saturday, March 27, 2010

When Wendy went shopping

Wendy has finally decided to bow to peer pressure and try knitting. Today she picked up a couple of boxes of wool from the ACTME Show (from new local traders MEM Miniatures: $4 a box)She also bought a collection of coloured "glass" bowls. At $2.50 each she felt quite entitled to say the famous "I'll take one in each colour" to Ann Dowdall, who made them.

They're already on display in the dining room where they pick up the colours of the lampshade rather well...

and weird things are happening...

Remember I said that The Collectors had provisionally scheduled me for Easter Sunday?

Well, they're now back to screening on Fridays.

And the schedule for next week is up.

With no mention of my segment.

Am I on the cutting room floor? Have they got the funding to fly me to Tassie after all?

Stay tuned. I'm sure we'll find out eventually...

And suddenly, it's tomorrow.

Yesterday was a little packed to the rafters.

Work. Back at the library. After two weeks of sitting on my tush elsewhere I was worried I'd gone soft, but so far I'm OK.

I booked my freebie birthday trip to Melbourne at lunchtime.

Spotted sock knitting in the afternoon, and remembered to pull out my camera to record the event:(Here are some she prepared earlier...)

After work I changed my shirt and skedaddled across town to meet a friend who invited me to opening night at the Antiques and Collectibles Fair at Albert Hall:This was my first time there and I was almost swept away with the excitement of the night (and a couple of glasses of free wine) and found myself eyeing up a beautiful silver box before mentally slapping myself upside the head and reminding myself that if I happened to have $125 to spend it probably wouldn't be spent on a silver box, however beautiful. Ah, but dreams are free...

As was the next part of the evening (no, not finished yet!)

ANU Film Group. 8pm: The Lovely Bones. A movie unique in the fact that...

a) there were dolls houses as a main part of the plot. Note the plural. Unfortunately the situation was somewhat ruined by the fact the maker of said dolls houses was the person who murdered the main character and that I knew that the kits and components shown didn't exist in the very early 70s, when the movie was set...

b) there was knitting. No actual knitting in progress was sighted but the mother said she knitted and presented her (soon to be dead) daughter with a hand knitted hat which became integral to the plot.

c) they included one of my favourite songs in the soundtrack. A lovely surprise:

d) I spotted the name of an old lover in the credits. Always nice.

ANU Film Group. 10:20pm: An Education. One handknitted cable jumper. No dolls houses or op shops (or ex-lovers) but lots of very lovely early 1960s fashion which I wanted to steal and run away with.

At 12:15am it was off to find Miss Daisy, drive home and wash my shirt for a shift which starts at 8:15am this morning. In about 7 hours.

And I seem to have forgotten to mention I received an email from someone claiming to be from The New York Times wanting to do a phone interview about modern miniatures in the next day or so. Quite when, I'm not sure...

Friday, March 26, 2010

Because I left my camera at home yesterday...

You're not going to see a photo of the Canberra Theatre's House Manager wheeling an ironing board across the foyer.

Or a photo of him returning to show us a whiz-bag supersonic iron unit with attached steam generator, steam wand and lint roller. Which I instantly coveted.

You're also not going to see the beautiful retro neck tie someone tied around Al's neck.

Sorry.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I had yesterday morning off

Which meant catching up on some reading in bed (and some knitting of the 2010 winter jumper) (Don't you love how well the colours work together?)

We've got blog is more interesting than I original thought: published in 2002 it's basically blogging ancient history but some things are still very relevant and the others are a wonderfully intriguing view on how and when the blogging movement started...

And I was very happy to see the arrival of
Uppercase issue 4 in the mail this week (preview the entire issue here)

But a morning off and
a little spare cash in my wallet meant I had the pressing need to leave my bed, get dressed and head off to a couple of op shops.

My haul for the morning:
The The Soul Mining: $3 at Salvos Mitchell (I have it on vinyl, not CD)
Latch hook tool: $4 at Vinnies Belconnen (to go with the carton of vintage rug kits and backings I was given by a colleague a couple of months ago)
Vintage suitcase and Basement Jaxx The Singles: $5 and $1 at Y's Buys Belconnen.

I know I said "no more suitcases" a while back but look!For $5, how could I leave it there?

Especially when this was on the side:I was home, feeling satisfied, by noon. Just in time to meet Nibbs, who was being dropped off by the Vet, who had taken him overnight for a major tooth cleaning exercise under anesthetic.

Poor Nibbs wasn't feeling at all well. I tried not to laugh as he wobbled across the kitchen like a newborn foal, but it was very very hard. As was leaving the poor beasty to catch the bus to work. I spent the afternoon picturing him drowned in his water bowl or sprawled at the bottom of the stairs after losing balance on the way up to bed.

Luckily, J was able to pop in to see how he was on her way home from work at 3:30pm and report back that he was still groggy but looking perkier.

Which meant I felt a lot less guilty heading to Canberra Museum and Gallery after my shift to see their International Women's Day screening of the excellent
For Love or Money (tracing the history of women's work in Australia from the 1700s to 1980), drinking their bubbles and eating their blue cheese and grapes...

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A budget booster

Free groceries courtesy of Roy Morgan research, thanks to a $20 gift card they sent me for doing a survey recently: I, of course, spent it on the usual array of basics that I only ever buy when they're on special (and they were): bog roll, tuna and crumpets. So I actually saved another $12 on the $20 I didn't spend. If that makes sense.

And I notice there's a competition on the side of the tuna. I intend to enter of course: how ironically cool would it be if I won a trip for 10 to a private island resort for a week from a free tin of tuna?!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

It's not rocket science...

I pulled out of volunteering in the Community Arts team for The National Folk Festival today.

It's a long story and this is a small town so I won't go into detail here but suffice to say the lack of communication has been driving this little Gemini insane.

It all came to a head this morning when I received an offer of work this Sunday (supposedly the National Folk Festival Volunteer Orientation Day, although I hadn't heard anything further at that stage).

An offer which would:

* Mean the cost of a season pass to the Folk Festival would pretty much be covered.
* Leave me time to visit the ACTME Miniature Show on Sunday morning.
* Suddenly clear out a four day stretch of work from my life next week. Which is rather a relief as I was looking at heading into 16 days straight (whether paid or unpaid)

I'm sad that I'm not getting the chance to gain experience in community arts, something I've been looking forward to for almost a year, but the general feeling is a relief. I hadn't realised how stressing three months of not knowing and not hearing was.

And besides, I can now attend the workshops and hopefully learn some new creative skills, plus go to every performance I want to without worrying about my roster...

Free fizz, food and a french movie with a friend

That pretty much sums up my Monday.

The free fizz? The link bar at Canberra Theatre is considering stocking a new sparking wine and decided to use the staff as guinea pigs. So we were presented with a glass of it for afternoon tea to gauge our reactions. Alas I doubt this is a regular occurrence...

The food wasn't quite so exciting but still much appreciated:
Ampersand Duck and I shared some of her sushi before going to see the preview of Micmacs*:

which was completely crazy in a fabulously quirky way (but with a real and serious comment on the arms industry** included).


I knew I'd enjoy it as Amelie is one of my fave films, but I didn't expect to love the sets quite so much. In fact there were times that I was so mesmerised by something I saw in the background that I completely forgot to read the captions...

And the family's headquarters, hidden under a pile of rubbish, brought back a rush of memories of reading Alfred Hitchcock's Three Investigators books when I was young (and the yearning to find the money to head out on an op shopping and market hunting bender some time very very soon!)

(*Thanks to Taph, who won free tickets but was out of town on a fibre frenzy)
(** Yes, the rocket theme continues, just not the sort I'd originally imagined...)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

A blast* from the past

Leonard Cohen didn't last long. While I was on You Tube harvesting links for my last post I stumbled across this:

Erasure singing Solsbury Hill live. After a couple of seconds I thought:

That date seems really familiar.

So I checked my stash of trip diaries. And sure enough I was in the audience in London that very night.


My very first night on the other side of the world and I decided the only thing to do was work out how the Tube system worked and get me to an Erasure concert. As you do. I think the owner of the B&B I was staying at was more freaked out by the whole thing than I was.

Then next morning I flew to Glasgow to visit the Glasgow School of Art. But that's another story entirely...

(*Blast. Rocket. Geddit?)

Playing with myself

I had a very long list of essential but boring things to do today: my only day off in 23 (assuming The National Folk Festival gets back to me about volunteering over Easter. If not my schedule looks much less scary)

The good news is I got some of them done. The bad news is I somehow decided experimenting with new art supplies was a little more important (the lawns can wait a few more days, right?)

Rocket #2:
Using fine liners and taking inspiration from the rocket in Toy Symphony last night.

Rocket #3 somehow morphed into a bird: I suspect the bird planes from Emily Valentine's exhibition are to blame...

Rocket #4 was created while testing some op shop markers to see if they still worked:
The answer: no, once I actually drew more than two lines with each one. Parents: listen to Soule Mama and buy your kids decent art supplies. These were from one of those "spend $15 and get a kazillion markers, pens and pencils" sets. None of which work for more than 2 seconds...

Rocket #5:Playing with the brush pens.

There was more playing and experimenting (as the dishes lay unwashed):
And now it's too late to mow the lawns so I'll settle in for a Leonard Cohen CD festival courtesy of my pile of new CDs. Oddly enough I've missed knowing too much about his work, except for covers by people like Jennifer Warnes and Ian McCulloch so it's a bit weird listening to the originals...

I'm on a rocket to the moon and it feels like this...

Lately I've been surrounded by rockets.

Emily Valentine's work at Craft ACT: And tonight at Toy Symphony there was a large and very cool rocket that was blown up.

I've always considered rockets the domain of my Talented Sister (Except for this from last year)

And then, this evening, I came home from the theatre and drew this to christen one of the many notebooks I've been bequeathed:No idea what it might lead, but it was fun...

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Muppets, miniatures and the Mother of all Round Things

Did I say The Time Traveler's Wife was the perfect movie?

Silly me.

Where the Wild Things Are has all of the above, plus an aran jumper in the final scenes. I think that beats a naked Librarian in the stacks any day, don't you?

Friday, March 19, 2010

Friday frugal and free (aka: Why it's been a bit quiet around here lately)

I've been inundated with free entertainment options this week, and have made the most of the opportunities (plus made sure to spread the love amongst the people I know!)

Tuesday morning: I was given a free UK Elle magazine (which I haven't bought for ages) and one of those new fangled retractable highlighters, courtesy of the local newsagents, to prove how fabulous they are (the highlighters, not the newsagents, although they're pretty fabulous, too...)

Tuesday evening: Saw The Boys Are Back at ANU Film Group (with free chocolate courtesy of J.)

Wednesday evening: I finally used my free tickets to see Tom Ford's A Single Man at Dendy (courtesy of Canberra's Got Style). I took a friend who bought ice creams for us before and coffee for us afterwards.

Thursday morning: I received a supply of ever so slightly out of date (but still delicious) Whittakers chocolate slabs. Which I was good enough to take to work to share rather than hoard to scoff all by myself...

Thursday evening: Was spent at the theatre, after being offered last minute free tickets to see Candy Man. The friend I took bought us dinner before hand and drinks at the theatre.

Tonight: I'm off to see Where the Wild Things Are at ANU Film Group. And have just received confirmation of free house seats to Toy Symphony at Canberra Theatre tomorrow night.

On Sunday I have a night off to recover before another freebie movie on Monday night. I'm tired. I'm feeling a little overwhelmed with input. And very very lucky...

Monday, March 15, 2010

The 2010 jumper

So, with the influx of art supplies you'd think I'd be busy utilising the wealth of my benefactor's generosity, right?

Wrong.

Today's output was this sketch, drawn on a work Post It:
Yes, it's time to start thinking about the Winter 2010's jumper and trawling Ravelry for (free) patterns.

Alas, it appears that the last jumper that actually made it to completion is the
2007 model. I have no idea what happened to the 2008 version but I know 2009's made it to the end of the back rib section and petered out...

Pre-dawn pocrastination

I woke up early this morning, which is just as well because I have a job application due in today.

Which I'd originally planned to write yesterday afternoon before
I got distracted.

I abhor addressing selection criteria (a problem, when you live in a government town) so was easily distracted by
this stop-motion animation which I discovered via Tiny Happy:

(And, of course, blogging about it!)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

I now live in an art supply store...

I spent the afternoon opening boxes and sorting their contents. And I'd say, if there's an art supply I need, I probably now own it.Canvases, sketch pads and notebooks? I have 'em. All different sorts, too.
Print making supplies? Check.
Inks and mediums and glues and tools and stationery? Yep.
Clipboards and large pads? You betcha!Paper craft supplies...and stuff to draw with?I'm your girl.It reminded me of my fifth Christmas, where all I got was craft stuff. Except this was a thousand times better (sorry Mum...)I'm now completely overwhelmed and freaked out. In the best possible way.

And I didn't even tell you about the boxes of CDs that arrived at the same time...