Monday, July 31, 2006

New acquisition and a question

This arrived in the post this morning from all the way across town with the following written on the accompanying card:

"This fabric was meant for you.

I first saw it on Saturday morning as it sailed away from my outstretched hand to the protective (possessive) bosom of the woman staffing the op shop.

I am certain she saw me head for the fabric and wool section and broke all known landspeed records to snatch it before I could answer it's pleas to be rescued and given to The Shopping Sherpa, who loves paisley, polka dots and black and white fabric prints. I could hear it tell me these things, I swear.

The woman assured me that she was going to make a summer top from it and we discussed (through gritted teeth), the options for a reasonably sized woman and two metres of fabric.

I assured her that the fabric is lovely and that I would have bought it had she not claimed (rudely snatched ) it first.

It had returned to the sale table by yesterday at lunchtime, so now it is yours."

What fantastic fabric and all the more special because of the rollocking yarn on how it came to be in my possession.

Taph, you know me well - a thousand thanks and may I return the favour the next time I spy a wool winder, loom and knitting machine in my travels...

Now Dear Readers, I need your input. I'm wanting to make this bag (with shorter handles) but can't decide between these four options:Please leave me a comment and tell me which version you like best (there was supposed to be a whiz-bang poll with voting buttons here but I can't get it to work...)

(Listening to: Deconstruction Presents compilation)

Sunday, July 30, 2006

... and fun and games in Canberra.

Oh there were many things I should have done today (get dressed, for instance) but in a wonderful show of diversion tactics it became imperative that my blog template got changed. So here you are, a makeover! Please let me know if you find anything broken...

In other news (said in best TV announcers voice)
lookie what the fabulous Pink Trees just finished making for me! Is this not the most perfectly fantabulous bag?! Aren't I the luckiest person?! I can't wait til it arrives so I can parade it round Canberra (and maybe even Sydney if it arrives before I head up to Sydney Design next month)

And I've been busy listing on eBay. Come check out my 1/12th scale magazine auctions
here (end of shameless plug)

(Listening to: Ben Watt, Buzzin Fly Vol 3)

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Fun and games in Auckland!

As part of Sis's birthday present I sent her a copy of Bizzy Buzzy Bumbles, a game she originally bought me for my birthday around 15 years ago. I sold my copy in one of the garage sales I had when I left New Zealand and kicked myself for many years for getting rid of it.

Then last year I tracked down a copy on eBay UK and last month spotted another copy in an op shop in Epping and snapped it up to send to her.

Here's a couple of pictures she sent me this afternoon of a friend playing it with her. A success, by the sounds of it!

Second Hand Saturday

Yes folks, it's that time of the week again and after a week off I was raring to go see what was new in my favorite frugaling haunts.Leaf plate: $2 at Salvos in Belconnen. I'm thinking Craft Catch Up snacks with some Pacifica napkins I have which will go beautifully.Entertainment: three videos I've not seen (I swear I'm the only person in the universe who hasn't read or seen Harry Potter) and one I have: $11 total. 4 books: $6 total. And look at this one!Speaking of books I picked this up at Vinnies Dickson for 50 cents:Not sure what I'm going to do with it but the illustrations tickled my fancy and for 50 cents I just couldn't leave it there...I picked up a few more tapes for Miss Daisy for 50 cents each and even ventured out of the 80s. And for other people I got:10 white cardboard magazine boxes for E at work who was saying she wanted to sort out her magazine collection: 50 cents each.Joss Stone CD for $4 which is for Sis unless she already has it (or for some strange reason hates Joss Stone.)And this apron. $4 at Vinnies Belconnen.

If you love it to death and can't live without it leave me a comment. If you're the only comment by this time tomorrow it's yours. If there is more than one comment I'll have a draw to see who'll have it turn up in their mail box!

(Listening to: Royksopp, The Understanding)

Friday, July 28, 2006

Things I've learnt today...

A new word: Mizzle (a mix of mist and drizzle). Something we've had a lot of over the past week.

Interesting facts: Started researching the architect Hundertwasser in (very early) readiness for my planned 2008 trip from Amsterdam through Vienna and discovered not only that he designed a public toilet in New Zealand but also the Koro flag and "always considered New Zealand as his official home, and no matter where he went in the world, his watch was always set to New Zealand time"

Well! What do you know! I think I have to do some more research here....

Very very funky idea seen in the latest UK Vogue: Can I knit Miss Daisy one of these?

Thursday, July 27, 2006

A story of lost and found

Once upon a time many years ago (which is how all the best stories begin, right?) there was a Kiwi girl who liked to knit. (Cue 1979 music - oh let's just go with some ABBA, shall we?) She had a best friend who only ate tomato soup and spicy fruit buns for lunch but that's a whole other story for another time.

Many many miles away (on the other side of the world almost) was a German boy whose interests included judo, playing the guitar, Scotland, crime novels and writing letters: And since the Kiwi girl was learning German at school and her teacher, Mrs Kano, knew a teacher in Germany, they became penfriends.

The years passed. The letters, photos, postcards and (on at least one occasion) tapes flew back and forth. There was even an "International co-production" where the Kiwi girl wrote a typically angst-ridden teenage poem which the German boy put to music and recorded as a Christmas gift.

In 1985 the German boy's Oma arranged for them to do a Pacific tour which included two days and one night in Auckland, New Zealand. The Kiwi girl traveled up to meet the German boy (change background music here to "Don't you forget about me" by Simple Minds) and they spent a night and a day together before he and his Oma had to leave to continue their tour.The world was a very much larger place in those days. Life continued on for both the Kiwi girl and the German boy on (almost) opposite sides of the world.

In 1989 The German boy married his sweetheart and her son. In 1990 he became the father of twins. The letters between the Kiwi girl and the German boy got much less frequent as busy lives took hold. By 1992 the letters had petered out.

But the Kiwi girl occasionally thought of the German boy. And finally, in 2006, thanks to the wonders of Google images, the Kiwi (but-now-also-an-Aussie) no-longer-a-Girl and the German-no-longer-a-Boy reconnected and are busy catching up on 16 lost years thanks to the wonders of MSN and email.

The German boy (who is no longer a boy) and his wife now have children aged 22 and 16 - older than the German boy and the Kiwi girl were when they first started writing to each other all those years ago...

More goodies in the mail

My Use What You Have Month Black White and Red All Over Swap package from Lori arrived in the mail yesterday morning filled with all sorts of goodies to spark the imagination.

Thanks Lori!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

A failure at felting

Before: (Round 1 - in my washing machine with a couple of buckets of hot water and the contents of a boiled kettle as I have no hot tap in the laundry. Round 2 - at KD's place in a very hot wash with a warm rinse)

After: Yeah. Nothing happened. Bloody bag. Bloody felting. Bloody hell.

Maybe I should try the yarn they specify. And throw my verison in the bin. At least I'm not the only one with this problem...

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Second Hand...errr... Monday

Brain Injury Foundation op shop did me good again. The above kitchen cannister set (soon to be heading to Auckland, NZ to live with Sis): $6.

Also captured (but not pictured):

For V, baby and toddler menu planner book ($2) and set of baby safety bits (plug covers, corner pads, knob covers etc etc) also $2.

And for me (well, actually for Miss Daisy who doesn't have a CD player in her) a cassette of INXS's Shabooh Shoobah for a whopping 50 cents. (Have I mentioned that since we're playing tapes we only play retro tapes? She's a very 80s car)Is it just me that finds it funny that these are the two books I'm reading at the moment? Life according to Charles and Ray Eames and Kermit the Frog....

Monday, July 24, 2006

Got some culture in me

After being banned from my office by a certain Loopy Lapin I managed to sort pretty much all of my To Do list out (except Finish trip diary which is a rather large task I plan to get started on at Craft Catch Up tonight and paint toenails which I'm sure will get done one night this week.) Of course I now have a brand spanking new To Do list to start working through!

So to celebrate that acheivement (and my return to the gym) I finally went to see the Clarice Cliff exhibition at Canberra Museum and Gallery, dragging V, M and Little E along as well (4 months old is a good time to start appreciating the finer things in life, surely?) And since I saw no signs banning me from taking pictures you get to share what I saw. This set here would be perfect for Sew Thrifty:
and I can imagine Posie taking tea with this set (don't you love the jaunty looking teapot?):
These are quite quite modern looking and not at all as busy as some of Clarice's other work:
And here's the miniature Clarice Cliff crocus tea set I have in my own collection (bought from the Dorking Dolls House Fair):
And, finally, a picture of the gallery where the exhibition was held.

CMAG have been running a series of exhibtions called Cabinets of Curiosities over the past few years which showcases collections of people that live here. I've seen a room full of snow globes and, on another occassion, shoes.

I have plans to see a room full of contemporary dolls houses and furniture from 1947-2007 here. Once I get my exhibition proposal in to them. Which has only been sitting round for about 18 months now waiting to be filled out...

Friday, July 21, 2006

I've banned her

Hello Dear Readers

Yes I know, I know, long time no chat but do you think I've been able to get near the computer recently? Oh dear me no!

That Shopping Sherpa girl has been hunched over it pretty much the whole time she's been home recently. But at least she's got a nice new office and me sitting in the corner to keep her company. Pity about the lack of stereo though - when I suggested buying a nice iPod and speakers she glared at me and muttered something about not liking to listen to music when she works anyway. Shame, it would at least keep me amused - staring at the back of her head does get quite boring you know.

So you're wondering how I managed to wrestle time on the laptop? Simple. I've banned her until she's finished the stuff that's on her three week old To Do list.AND NO FRUGALLING TIL IT'S DONE! And just to make sure I have a back up... So I'm guessing by the time she's sorted out her list she may be able to make it to CMAG to see the
Clarice Cliff exhibition before she heads out to dinner then on to Underland at Canberra Theatre. So you might hear from her sometime on Sunday. Unless I get to the computer first!

Love and carrots

Gratuitous dolls house furniture pictures!

Brio Brio Brio, I'm obsessed by Brio at the moment. So here are some more pictures of the wonderful dolls house sized Arne Jacobsen series 7 chairs I own.

And it would seem my red obsession continues. Maybe it's my subconscious telling me to go buy some red wine for Friday night? I could drink it while watching DVD 3 of my Eames boxed set and have a truly well designed evening.

And for those of you who a) don't believe the chairs are dolls house sized or b) are getting worried about the bursts of colour happening round here:

Thursday, July 20, 2006

I love those red and white stripy cards...

You know, the ones that pop up in your post (or mail) box telling you there's a parcel TOO BIG TO FIT IN YOUR BOX! Of course I don't have a photo as I swap them ASAP.

In the old days (like last month before the wonderful Kevin at my local Post Office retired) I could go ring the buzzer on the Post Office back door anytime between 5am and 8:30am and I'd be able to swap my card for a box of goodies (if I was lucky) or a rather large edition of one of the magazines I subscribe to (if I was less lucky). Hell, Kevin even occasionally offered to carry my parcel home for me if it was very large (and dollshouse looking). Not that I ever needed to take him up on the offer.

But now, alas, I have to wait for the Post Office itself to open at 8:30 am and collect my bounty over the counter.

Which is a bit of an issue when my bus leaves at 8:39 am. And has meant many mornings when I've had to dump a very interesting looking parcel on my staircase and spend the day at work looking like I have ants in my pants because I want to go home and rip into it. (
Example here)

But I seem to have my timing down to the split second now and this morning the trip to the Post Office, the sighting of The Card, the swapping of said card for parcel, the trip home, ripping it open, getting excited, photographing the contents and getting on the bus all happened pretty seamlessly. (Yeah, OK, the bus was three minutes late...)
Today the stripy card turned into a goodie parcel from the very busy Sew Thrifty. A bit birthday, a bit stuff I was expecting and a lot wonderful!

Let me explain. First pic includes lovely scarves (the middle one is now tied round my handbag handle in the vain hope no one will notice it broke and I had to glue it back together), some funky buttons which are a welcome addition to Use What You Have Month (not that I'm managing to do much using), a handbag card containing earrings (not photographed, alas) and a very very cool Vespa model to add to my scooter toy collection (which I'm not sure I've mentioned round here...) These were all sort of unofficial vintage swap meets birthday.Then there was the Arne Jacobsen Brio dolls house kitchen. I have an eBay "super search" which hasn't been used in a while but when I had the money to check it every day I'd find gems like this collection of Jacobsen Brio furniture not identified as such.

In this instance I knew Sew Thrifty was after some pieces and so was I so I contacted her and suggested we combine resources just in case the bidding went too high. And then I accidentally mentioned the score we'd found to a fellow Lundbyite and the bidding went up $100 in the last 30 seconds care of you-know-who. I'm kicking myself to this day about me and my big mouth. But we won, the items were shipped to ST and the results were delivered this morning. I'm loving the stool with the wire legs and the kitchen study area (which also works really well in the actual study). I also got my first taste of the Irwin Interior Decorator Set threesome that Sew Thrifty, Elisabeth and I took part in. We each had incomplete sets so bought another set between us, had it delivered to Sew Thrifty's and took it in turns to chose what we wanted. Here are some of the accessories I chose. To help you with scale, the bowl in the front right is 3 cm (1 1/4 inches) long.

I'm planning to show you some more of this set over the coming weekend, assuming the light here is good enough to take decent pictures...

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Under the covers

I forgot to mention that while I was moaning last night I was making. So there was craft after all!

These are the covers for my Under the Covers CD swap. If only the actual CDs were working out so well - I'm having issues with them not playing on my stereo so am going with a friend's suggestion that I have stereos too old to deal with such new technology as burned CDs and they'll work just fine on other people's stereos.

I hope so, otherwise I'll have three pretty pissed off swap partners with CDs that don't work. (Did I mention this year seems to be full of learning experiences too?)

Like trying to stuff a large octopus into a match box

That's what my life feels like at the moment with the squirming, slime laden octopus being what I want to do and the match box being the time I have available.

I know that it'll all settle down in the fullness of time as I learn to deal with shoehorning new priorities into my life (and can I just say as an aside that since the beginning of the month I have gained more and more respect for anyone who has children? My latest mantra is that starting a new business is like having a baby - it needs piles of attention and the more attention you give it the bigger it gets and the more attention it needs. But at least TSS sleeps through the night and doesn't throw up all over itself...)

At Craft Catch Up last night (where J did her ironing and K did her mending as catching up on other things took precedence over craft) I was having a wee moan about how, although I'm very lucky how life has turned out right now, the amount of change over the past year has been very very wearing and I just want it all to stop for a little while so I can catch my breath and get my bearings.

Oh - and I also wish David Jones would start stocking their homebrand socks again and Freedom would bring back their perfect black plastic coat hangers, both of which, silly me, I thought would be around for ever.On a brighter note, this arrived at work yesterday. Those of you who have been readers since the early days might remember when I found a length of black and white striped interlock for $2 and T at work offered to sew it into a top for me. And here it is. Notice cool hood - I can justify an extra black and white striped top by telling myself I don't have a striped hoodie!

Monday, July 17, 2006

Was that another weekend that just disappeared?

Gargh! And here it is Monday again. How did that happen?

And craft night is at my place tonight. Which means when I get home from work (of the paid variety, not the TSS variety) I need to clean the house so it looks like someone civilised lives here and work out what I'm cooking for dinner. The fridge is rather bare right now so I'm guessing it'll be a clever amalgamation of broccoli, mushrooms, parmesan and pasta of some sort. All of which I actually have on hand.

And since The Kittyville Hat is now complete I'll have to find something else to make tonight. Even though the knitting needles are looking so hopeful above it may well be my trip diary that will be pulled out and worked on. Or maybe the others can craft and I can flop limply on the sofa and do this thing I've heard about: relaxing. Interesting concept...

Saturday, July 15, 2006

A soggy Saturday

Not that I'm complaining - soggy is good for our drought-laden city!

And I actually really enjoy a wet and cold midwinter weekend, especially when I have a ton of stuff that I can happily stay inside and catch up on.

I did go out this morning to run a few errands and pop into a couple of Op shops. But the pickings were slim (oh, apart from craft stuff which I gritted my teeth and ignored. But if you're not on Use What You Have Month, live in Canberra, and feel the need to own a tabletop loom, a "Sweater machine" (a small knitting machine) or a yarn winder get ye to Belconnnen Vinnies quick smart!)White plastic lunch container: $1.

Picture frame (which I'll buy a mat for and use to frame one of the blow up photos from my trip pics): $4.

Book to add to a certain parcel going out next week: 50 cents.

Clip on wire bookends which I'm going to use on the shelf in my wardrobe to keep my bags from falling over: $1.

Speaking of parcels going out next week, I spent some time this morning catching up on various things long overdue for the mail. Sis's birthday present, for instance, now 10 days overdue. A little parcel for Tracy in New Zealand. Pink Tree's parcel of fabric and bits and bobs, long promised. And (actually on time!) my Black and White and Red all Over swap parcel.

Here it is all wrapped up and ready to go...and here's a little sneak peek of the contents...
And now it's back to work for an hour or so and then I think I need to bake a little something to heat up the house and cheer up my tummy. And catch up on my overdue letters and phone calls.

(Listening to: Say Cheese, Ultimate One Hit Wonders)

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Box with spots!

Look what turned up in the mail today!
A BIG spotty box from Pink Trees!
She'd said she had some goodies for my office and this is what I pulled out of the box. Loving it already...
Peered inside and found matching storage boxes,
severely funky scooter stationery (which almost makes me what to get another Vespa)
And these great vintage 1950s napkins which Pink Trees had explained the provenance of for me. Oh - and she sent me some travel sized toothpastes which I won't share photos of with you!
And the storage crates are just perfect for my eBay shelves! Thank you Pink Trees - you sure know how to spoil me!