Thursday, June 29, 2006

Hope springs (but Spring doesn't)

The first winter I was in Canberra I got very excited when the blossom came out, believing it marked the beginning of spring.

I then spent a very frustrated (and frozen) few weeks wondering why it still appeared to be definitely winter (except for in the shops which have a seasonal schedule all of there own).

Then I discovered that the trees around my place are a special taunting sort which flower right slap bang in the middle of winter.

So happy Slap Bang in the Middle of Winter all you Australian (and New Zealand) readers. The worst is yet to c-c-c-c-ome (that's me typing with chattering fingers at the thought)

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

I'm just a property magnet...

My 12th house. It took a long time to get this one. I was promised it then it was delayed but finally this past weekend I took ownership.

Pretty typical of most brand new home sales, right?

Above is the living area with all new trendy furniture and very groovy artwork by Scandinavian artist Lisa Rinnevuo.And here's a view of the bedroom through the glass sliding doors from the upstairs terrace. I couldn't resist adding a couple of pieces of furniture I already owned in the corner to make the house my own. Still looking for the perfect art to go in here...

Damned shame the whole house is 47 cm high. I could get over the black and white thing in order to live here.

(In case you're dying of curiosity, this is the soon-to-be-released-in-Australia Lundby Stockholm House which comes with two rooftop terraces plus a patio with built in pool! Leave me a comment if you want more photos or information)

(Listening to:Holly Cole Trio, Blame it on my Youth)

Monday, June 26, 2006

The Frugalling Force is definitely with me

The patron saint of frugalling has been smiling on me recently.

Saturday I drove up to Sydney to pick up two IKEA tables I got on eBay. They came from opposite sides of the city but match perfectly and will fit across one end of my office brilliantly. You'll have to wait til next weekend (once I've set up the office) to see the pictures but in the meantime I have to share how much they cost: 150 x 75 cm table, $31.73. 120 x 75 cm table: $15.50.

While I was in Sydney I had to shoehorn in time to drop past one op shop to stave off withdrawal symptoms. I chose St Vinnies in Epping and came away with some good bargains including this:which, at $5 was a little pricey but cute enough to come home with me.

And this:which was $3 for around 2 metres. Not sure what I'm going to do with it or even if it will stay with me but it was way too cute to pass up.

But these aren't the reasons for my title.

Check out what I found today on my weekly Monday visit to The Brain Injury Foundation op shop:Kartell Anna Castelli 4970 units. Two of them (count: One. Two.) With wheels.

Guess how much they cost? Go on, have a go!

$9. Not each. But for both. I gave them $10 in the end as I couldn't bear to take the $1 change they were offering me.

I carried them (the units, not the old ladies at the op shop, in case you're worried) home on the bus (don't ask how - mind over matter sometimes kicks in just when you need it), unscrewed one set of the wheels and now have this very handy storage unit for the office.... I had other exciting news I'd planned to share today but I think that's more than enough gloating for now. You'll just have to be patient and come back tomorrow.... (Insert maniacal laughter here)

(Listening to: Dave Gahan
Paper Monsters)

Friday, June 23, 2006

Brightening up a gloomy day

There was a beautifully decorated international care parcel waiting for me at the Post Office this morning from my Cuzzie C in Christchurch (who has finally got broadband so can actually read this *waves wildly*). It was filled with interesting things to read. Not one letter. Not two letters. But three letters catching me up with what's happening in her neck of the woods.
And yes, that third one which looks suspiciously like a very long cash register receipt is, in fact, a cash register receipt with possibly the world's longest letter written on the back of it.And under the reading material is snacking material. Including a multi pack of my treasured Grain Waves. Let's see how long they last, shall we?She also sent a pack of Incredibles cards with my fave Edna Mode included. She's my hero (Edna and Cuzzie C)

And if that wasn't enough to brighten a wintery rainy Friday, I found this at the op shop in Braddon: about 4 metres worth for a total cost of $8.Just don't ask what I plan to do with it, OK?

(Listening to: David Bowie, The Singles Collection)

Back on the Train Gang

Once upon a time (ie: last year) I used to visit the Sizzle Bento sushi train at least once a fortnight for lunch. I haven't been since November when I started seriously saving for my trip and have been missing it terribly.

So yesterday, to help me get through a very unmotivated day at work, I wandered over to have lunch. Sat down in my usual seat. Prepared my soy sauce, wasabi and chop sticks. Looked up and caught the eye of the owner who grinned broadly at the sight of me and reached into the fridge under the counter for my usual fruit salad and said "Tofu?" (I used to always special order the fried tofu).

I've not been in there for over 6 months. She remembered. Sometimes I love Canberra.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Corners of my Home: Week 10

My corners are a little fuller than they used to be. Souvenirs, you know... On the corner of the gas heater in the lounge there is now a wire Chrysler Building from New York. I suspect I may have just started a new collection. Damn!

Also a Loewy style toy train from The Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. I had to have it because:
1. I like Loewy's designs (and saw a full sized version of his train at the museum)
2. It fits in with my colour scheme (very important!)
3. On the side is written "New York Central"

And a spinning top which was given to me by the woman at the Eames House and Studio. It was from A Summer of Eames at LACMA 2000 and reads Take your pleasure seriously around the edge. A sentiment I heartily agree with!Upstairs I have a little metal plane I saw in the gift shop at Disney Hall and fell instantly in love with. It is magnetised and is supposed to be a paper clip holder but why mess with perfection?

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

I think I'll turn 40 every year!

Almost a month after the actual day and the present keeps on coming. If this is what happens when I turn 40 I think I'll keep doing it every year from now on... On Monday: V,M and Little E gave me a bar of Bloomsberry emergency Chocolate and a package of funky post it notes which seem to have mysteriously disappeared into one of the tettering piles around here and thus hasn't been photographed.

I need to have a (good) rant here about how utterly fabulous New Zealand chocolate is. Bloomsberry does fantastic packaging (the chocolate's bloody good, too!) but if it's a major chocolate experience you're after Schoc is the place to go. I had some frankincense, myrrh, gold chocolate last year and still get cravings for it. And yes, there are real gold flakes in it...On Tuesday: Y and I caught up for Debacle's Buy One Get One Free Pizza Night and she gave me a set of her handmade earrings and matching necklace. Y does wonderful work and I'm hoping to convince her to sell some of her pieces in my eBay store. So look out for the launch of D'art happening soon.On Wednesday: I arrived home to discover a little package in my letter box from Tracy and Nick in New Zealand. Although the coasters were bought in New York (they were both there a week before I was so we didn't get to meet up alas).

The funny thing is I'd been looking at this set of glass coasters with Eames chair silhouettes in the MoMA gift shop but decided (reluctantly) not to get them. Now I know why!

And the CD!

Trash it is but oh such good trash. I shall be singing "I wanted to tell her but I stuck to my lies" for weeks - if you're a Ministry fan you may not know that before their deep dark industrial phase they released a very synthpoppy album which included this little gem.

Tracy knows the dark underbelly of my taste so well. The only omission I can see is "You think you're a man" by Divine which I always have the urge to play back to back with "Walk like a man"

(Need I tell you what I'm listening to at the moment?)

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Still mad round here

Sorry! Normal transmission will hopefully recommence before you all get bored and wander off.

To try and keep your attention, here's a rather bad joke from the latest issue of
Urbis magazine:

Q: Do androids dream of electric sheep?
A: Only if they're CD-Romneys

OK, maybe it would be better if I just kept quiet...

Monday, June 19, 2006

Quote of the day

Question from a potential buyer of one of the pieces of dolls house furniture I'm selling at the moment:

"i am confused. The sizes of the furniture are so small. Are they for normal daily use?"

(Err, sure, if you happen to be 5 and a half inches tall...)

All quiet on the blogging front...

My other baby (TSS the company as opposed to TSS the blog) was crying out for some attention so I spent yesterday doing very important but pretty boring to blog about stuff with it. Like organising official email addresses and setting up my eBay store in readiness for some exciting stuff that will be happening really soon.

I did take some time out to sort out my craft cupboard which had erupted all over the study floor in the past week so I'm feeling pretty happy and sorted (and so is the cupboard, I'm sure!)

And the pictures? Just a couple of things I picked up on my weekly Monday visit to The Brain Injury Foundation op shop. The tree thingy above is about 27 cm square and was 20 cents.

And for 50 cents I picked up this pillow case for Pink Rocket. It really is more of a salmony colour (bad lighting at night for picture taking) and looks like it really really wants to turn into a bag.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Second Hand Saturday

I had a haircut this morning so frugalling time was somewhat truncated but what treasures I found to make up for it. Shall we say quality, not quantity?

First stop: Salvos in Queanbeyan where I found 20 ounces of double knit wool in a nubbly black/ blue/ green mix for $20 total. Excellent score.

But wait! There's more. Size 6 Mambo shirt for $5 (still not sure if this is going to be for Elijah to wear in, oh, about 5 and 3/4 years or will go out into eBay) and size 3 Pumpkin Patch shirt on the half price rack for $1.25.Across to Vinnies Queanbeyan where I spy this hanging on the wall behind the counter.Skipping Girl bag for $3? I almost vaulted the counter throwing the poor volunteer to the ground in my haste to get it in my hot little hands. But I was restrained and instead casually strolled across to claim it.

Now excuse me. I have a printer to install, a room to sort out, washing to do, a car to clean, a pile of stuff to list on eBay and accounts crying out for attention... Yep, definitely back to real life round here.

(And if anyone can explain how I can convince my sidebar to stop sulking down the bottom of the page I'll be a happy girl indeed)

(Listening to: Deconstruction Presents)

My week in the key of D

There were Deliveries! Yep, the birthday presents are still arriving (and I hear there are at least three more due soon) These fantastically wonderful and oh-so-me glasses were a gifty from JF and K who I visited on Sunday to have dinner and admire their new kitchen.In my mailbox yesterday was a little package from Taphophile who kindly offered to tape Eurovision for me. But what's this wrapped round the videos? Could it be?Yes! New tea towels to add to the ever growing collection. Yippeee!Also arrived this week was a little stash of fabric I bought myself off eBay (I suspect there's another Use What You Have Month in the offing for me)

And on the outward bound list Sis, Cuzzie C and Pink Rocket should all be expecting interesting things to drop into their letter boxes in the near future (Elizabeth, I'll be getting to yours this week)

There was Dancing (not by me unfortunately!):

I bought my ticket to go see
Quantum Leap as I do every year around this time. Quantum Leap are a youth dance group trained at The Choreographic Centre (yep, the same place I love so much for their red bubbles) and tickets are not much more than a movie ticket but so much more inspiring. And because I go alone I always get an excellent seat in the middle down near the front.

J and I went to see
Ballet Russes at Electric Shadows. I wish I'd taken my camera as we were in the blue theatre and a) the next days was Blue Day in blogland and b) with Electric Shadows moving into the new Canberra Centre extention at the end of the year it would have been nice to have some pictures of the rows of grotty old blue seats in the old cinema to remember it by. Maybe next time... (Oh, and the movie was very very interesting if you were wondering!)

Dosh! I got paid for the first time in a month. Even more exciting (now I'm a non-ongoing rather than a temp) I got paid to stay at home on Monday!

Death: Don't panic. It was only my printer. I'm off to buy a whizbang new laser printer this weekend (see above)

Drunkeness and Dagginess: You don't think I could have Eurovision videos in my house and not watch them immediately, did you? And you can't watch it sober so last night I settled onto the sofa with a bottle of plonk, a Turkish pide and two (count em) tapes of Eurovision bliss to get through - the semi finals and the final.

There was the usual passing parade of clothes being ripped off, dodgy singing and far far too much modulation. Just perfect.

My pick for the night? Lithuania had the right attitude. But in the end who could beat the Klingons from Finland? (even without any wind machines or white which seemed to be the themes of choice for Eurovision entries this year)

One of these years I want to go see Eurovision live.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Red Friday

You can never say blog isn't well red.

(Yeah, OK, that was a bit off. But give me a break - it's the end of a long cold week!)
Now this wouldn't be a true blue Aussie blog if I didn't reserve my first photo spot for a box of iconic Redheads matches.And speaking of small and beautifully designed, here are the very first miniature Jacobsen pieces I ever saw: a red swan sofa and blue swan chair which I discovered (with great excitement which caused a frenzy of utter wanting and drooling) at the Restaurant Jacobsen in Klampenborg, Copenhagen.

Suffice to say after an international search involving three languages (one of which I don't speak - well, I call it "dollshouse Swedish" - ie: enough to manage to buy stuff of Swedish eBay) I have my own set of these. And more. If you ask really really nicely I'll post pictures.And speaking of Scandinavian design, you might be shocked to hear I actually own a doona (duvet) cover that is not only not black and white but in fact is very very colourful: my rip off Marimekko Unikko cover. And as an added bonus a picture of Nibbs (who hasn't been spotted on this blog for quite some time) wearing his red collar. And looking cute.(Trying desperately here to find a link between the last picture and this one)

Ummmm...... I took this picture in Talin, Estonia which is sort of next door (geddit?) to Finland, where Marimekko comes from. (Phew!)The locals were very colourfulAs were these other vases I photographed at The Art Gallery of New South Wales. Lovely hot pinks and reds and yellows.And finally (you'll be pleased to hear, I'm sure) here are some hot chillis I found on a fruit and vegetable stall on the road down to Positano on The Amalfi Coast in Italy. At least I think it was Positano...

(Listening suggestions? Some classics:
Red Hot + Blue: A Tribute to Cole Porter, U2's Under a Blood Red Sky or Split Enz's single I See Red)

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Blue Thursday

Blue is... the colour of my extremities if I spend too much time in the kitchen in the morning (with it getting down to -5 degrees celsius (23 degrees farenheit) outside the inside temperature isn't much warmer. I used to have a kitchen clock which told the temperature as well. And it it somehow more depressing to know it is 2 degrees in the kitchen than just generally think "gosh, its a bit nippy this morning." I was very happy when it broke.)Blue is...One of the gargoyles at The Chamber nightclub on board Explorer of the Seas. I love gargoyles. Can't explain why. Have one sitting halfway up my stairs. Not as big as this fella, obviously... Blue is... Joe's T shirt in this photo taken at Pompeii
Blue is... The ice show on the ship. Can I have that top when you don't want it any more?
Blue is... The sky in Atlantic City
Blue is... Very Gehry
Blue is... Sometimes termed "art" (taken at The NSW Art Gallery) Blue is... a striking way to paint a shop on Carnaby Street
And finally blue is... a very nice contrast with white...

(Suggested soundtrack: Oh, the choices! Maybe some Blue Six, anything released by Blue Note Records, Jennifer Warnes' Famous Blue Raincoat, Andy Bell's Electric Blue or, if you're in a silly mood, Blue (Da Ba Dee) by Eiffel 65!)

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Black/ Gray Wednesday

Black and gray.... What can I say? I feel like all I need to do is poke my camera out my bedroom window and the photographic task will be done. But that's pretty boring, right? So instead here're some much more interesting pics:I took this at the Christchurch Art Gallery in New Zealand and then played with it using Ofoto (now Kodak Gallery)'s options. I think it was the first time I'd used them (way before I discovered I somehow had Photoshop Elements on my laptop) and I was so pleased with the result I have a copy of this framed and an my bedroom wall (see bottom picture here). I have no idea who the person in the photo is but I like the way the angle of her leg mimics the angles of the window struts. This was a snap I took of the floor in the attic of Gaudi's Casa Batllo in Barcelona. What I found particularly interesting was this building was built at the turn of last century and yet the tiles are more what we'd consider 1960s or 70s. I doubt very much the tiles are a later addition as they surely would have ripped them out when renovating the attic for display? No matter, I still love them and think they'd look pretty cool in my (imaginary future) kitchen if I ever change my mind about my other two choices: black and white check lino or terrazo.
Here's another picture I ended up framing - a spot of grafitti I stumbled across in Venice, Italy. I think it's hilarious that even the grafitti in Italy is stylish!
More recently, these are the front steps at Mies Van Der Rohe's Crown Hall at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, USAAnd the view from my wine glass!A gift from a colleague at work who visited CanadaAnd finally a close up of the box I use to keep my burner oils and candles in. Note the multitude of mes!

(Best thing to listen to while looking at these? Black's
Wonderful Life, of course!)

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Brown Tuesday

Am I allowed to go with the whole Here's one I prepared earlier route? Excellent!

(OK OK I'm completely ignoring the one photo edict. One?! You've got to be kidding (unless you're on dial up) )Casa Batllo, Barcelona, SpainSt Paul de Vence, FranceFlorence, Italy Pompeii, Italy New York, USA Barcelona, Spain Chifley, ACT, Australia New York, USA Barcelona, Spain

(Listening: I'd love to say Golden Brown by The Strangers cause it would work so well with today's theme but I actually don't own it on CD and besides it's too early in the morning to be playing music)