Friday, September 29, 2006

You Google, I answer

From my bloglog stats today:

Q: Google search: how do sherpa people dress and eat

Shopping Sherpa's A: Very well, thank you!

(Listening to: Fabric 3)

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

I've decided to become a Nigel Sutton groupie

Nigel Sutton as Krispin K
I know I've mentioned Nigel Sutton before but I don't think I raved quite enough about how great I think his work is. The Krispin K Tours at The Powerhouse Museum (part of Sydney Design) in August each year are a highlight of my calendar and are always great fun. Plus you get to learn a lot more about the exhibits than what you usually would.

The reason I mention this now?
The Dora Fay Davenport Show is on again at The National Museum and today S and went along. For our $5 we got some cross dressingsome emotion and drama what looked like an apron hold up (but wasn't) "Don't you dare take my photo!"
Plus lovely aprons and vintage kitchenware to admire.

And I even got my photo taken with the man himself!

(Listening to: Nathan Haines, Squire for hire)

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The curious incident of the bottle of milk on the front porch

When I ventured out this morning to check the mail I found this sitting on the front porch. Very odd. I left it there in the hope the rightful owner would remember they'd somehow left it behind and come back and collect it. But it's still there, curdling gently in the sun. Perhaps it'll be gone again by morning?

Speaking of gone by morning... at the post office I discovered my something chocolate swap package had arrived (even before it's due to be sent out - I feel very bad that mine is still sitting on the kitchen dresser waiting to be posted.)

Look at all these yummy goodies! None of your chainstore chocolate here, No Siree, quality boutique products all the way. I'm one severely spoilt blogger. But will they still be here in the morning???

(Reading the labels on these brings me to something I've been wanting to clarify for a while. They say "a fourth generation candy family" but this is chocolate (well, chocolate covered pretzels, if you want to be a pedant. Which I want to, often).

Here in Australia (and in New Zealand) I believe "candy" is lollies or sweets which include things like jelly beans, licorice allsorts, wine gums, jubes and such. But a snickers bar (for instance) is chocolate.

I'm suspecting that in the USA "candy" is used to cover anything sweet that rots your teeth - so a Hershey's Kiss, for instance, is candy even though it's chocolate. Please help this poor confused Antipodean (and feel free to send a multitude of examples to reinforce your lesson!))

(Listening to: Roddy Frame: The North Star)

Diversion therapy

What I should have been doing last night:

* Business accounts for the taxman.
* Making and writing a Thank You card to my Grandmother who kindly sent me a copy of one of her poetry books when I mentioned I didn't have it.
* Starting my proposal for the CMAG Cabinets of Curiosities exhibition .
* Writing to Cuzzy C (many many months overdue).

What I actually did last night:

* Sewed a set of shoe bags for S, who is heading off to India on Thursday. Another excuse for a Use What You Have Month project, these are made of frugalled denim and some calico scraps I found in a thrift shop in Philadelphia. S said she likes bright colours and blue so I hope this fits the bill. And the new improved version comes with a pouch to keep the bags in.* Framed the three enlargements I bought from Kodak Gallery yonks ago, using $7.99 frames and mats from Go Lo. Not sure where exactly I'm going to be able to shoehorn them onto the walls (would it be terribly naff to put the clothespin photo up in the laundry?) * Ripped apart the seams on a pair of $1 baby jeans I frugalled from Vinnies in Chatswood. I think they're about to morph into cushions. But not for me.*Speaking of not for me, I hatched a plot for a gifty for a blogging buddy. Not sure if it's going to work but here's a sneak peek anyway...

Monday, September 25, 2006

Tour of my freezer

You asked, I provide (and yes, dear sister, there is a system. Even worse, pretty much everything except the leftovers can always be found in my freezer with minor variations on brand of coffee and style of fancy bread (often it's Turkish instead of Italian. And yes, all my containers are either black or white. Who would have guessed?)

From top left(ish) to bottom right(ish):

In the Stuff to keep things cold category:
* Plastic icecubes for when I buy a bottle (or cask!) of wine which is at room temperature. White cubes only. (I bought three packets of the suckers and gave away the blue and purple ones.)
* Two slickers for picnics.
* One new wine chiller thanks to Princess B. Black and white (of course)

In the Stuff to use as a base for a meal category:
* Three lots of "fresh" pasta with ricotta and spinach. I went to buy a two person pack and realised a four person pack was a whopping .30 cents more. So I now have three lots of "fresh" pasta in my freezer. Cost per meal: around $1.50 including sauce.

* (behind the pasta) A single serve of Mexican chilli beans for nachos or beans and rice, a one-meal amount of evaporated milk, a container of frozen wine and lemon zest to use as a base for risotto, a single serve of pasta sauce.
* Individual pizza bases (see
* Frozen fish. In case I feel like Fush und chups.

In the Stuff mainly for breakfast category:
* Burgen
fruit and muesli loaf. For breakfast. Toasted.
* Burgen
soy and linseed bread. Oddly enough, also for breakfast (but also sometimes for lunch)
* Leftover Italian bread from a craft catch up.
* (Not seen) Gluten free Parmesan and Onion bread from
Deeks waiting for Princess B's return.
* Crumpets.... Yummy.... Bought only when on special and then split into zip lock bags in twos ready for breakfast, lunch or sometimes even dinner.

In the Stuff for those times when I can't be shagged cooking but am starving right now category:
* Pasta leftovers. At the moment I have fettucine with mushrooms, blue brie and parley and penne with eggplant and black olives in a tomato sauce.
* Soup. Currently these are full of Alison Holst's Alphabet Soup. 15 minutes to make. I won't give you the recipe. Go buy the cookbook
* Rice (see Mexican chilli beans above, Also handy for making sweet chilli tuna with peas and corn when the cupboards are particularly bare because I've spent the grocery money yet again on gallavanting not groceries.)

* Leftover Pumpkin and Baby Spinach Risotto. Not from here but the same recipe.

Then there's the freezer door:
Top shelf: Stuff to make life taste better
* Butter for baking.
* Frozen grated cheese
* Coffee for those rare occasions when I want to make a pot at home.

Bottom shelf: Stuff to use when I'm out of fresh vegetables
* Frozen peas
* Frozen corn
* Frozen stir fry veges

Hmm... Let me count... Over 20 dinners (or lunches). Not bad for one small freezer.....

(Listening to: Erasure, Chorus)

Sunday, September 24, 2006

So that was Sunday...

Yes, I realise it's only just gone 5pm but I've officially declared the day over and plan to cook dinner then crawl onto the sofa with a bucket of Banrock Station and watch either Kermit's Swamp Years or The Muppets Wizard of Oz. Neither of which I've seen yet. Actually maybe I'll go with the first choice and save The Wizard of Oz for Christmas.

Except I don't plan to be home for Christmas this year for a change. I'll be at the Parental Palace in Petone for the first time in.. oh... (checks fingers, kicks of shoes, counts toes) a very long time. Mum, Raven Haired Sister, Dad? Fancy a little light comedy on Christmas Day??

But I digress. Here it is 5pm and I'm still in my gym clothes. I went to Pump at 11am. I still haven't had a shower. My excuse is I spent the afternoon helping V & M (and little E) do their end-of-lease clean. Remind me never ever ever to move flats - I was gobsmacked at the level of cleanliness that was expected (hello?! Clean the sliding door tracks?)

I did achieve something today. Made serious inroads into a little Christmas gifty for a bloggy friend. No pics, sorry. It's a secret.

And made up a delicious 10 minute lunch:

Fettucine with mushrooms and blue brie (serves one, could serve more if you double, triple or quadruple the recipe!*)

60g dried fettucine
4 mushrooms, cut into quarters then cut again to a total of eight wedges
1 16g wedge of Blue Castello
1 Tbspn fresh parsley, chopped
Olive oil spray
Freshly ground black pepper

1. Cook the fettucine according to packet directions.
2. While this is happening, spray a non stick pan with olive oil spray and fry the mushrooms till they look sort of cooked and smell all yummy and mushroomy (you might need an extra burst of olive oil spray along the way)
3. Add the parsely and black pepper to the mushrooms. Stir. Chop the wedge of blue brie into four. Add to the mushroom mixture, turn off the heat and stir until the cheese is melted.
4. Hopefully by this time the pasta has cooked so drain it and arrange it in a bowl. Add the mushroom mixture to the top of it, skip to the table and eat!

(If you happen to be counting points this will set you back a whopping 3 1/2 points)

(* I usually double the recipe so I can add a serving to the freezer for future "I can't be shagged cooking" evenings... )(Listening to: Sophie Ellis Bextor, Read my lips)

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Ta da!

One finished springtime bag completed just in time to take along tonight to the final performance in my 2006 Canberra Theatre subscription season.

Today was one of those days where time seemed to creep ever so slowly by in a good way. Do you ever have days like that?

By 11:30am I had done three loads of washing, finished my bag, and read the latest AU marie claire from cover to cover.

Which meant I could have a lazy lunch in Manuka with S before we went to an afternoon preview screening of The Devil Wears Prada (loved it, in case you're wondering. But what's not to like? Great clothes, great city and excellent soundtrack) Now I have a couple of hours free before heading into town and I think I hear the latest US Elle calling my name. Tough life all round, really...

How's your Saturday going?

(Listening to : Cowboy Junkies, The Trinity Sessions)

Friday, September 22, 2006

A Work in Progress (finally!) and more bloody books

I'm very pleased to announce that I've finally started that bag I first bought the fabric for in March and contemplated options for in July. Ceases will never wonder! (As they say) It feels good to be back in a space (figuratively) where I feel like crafting again.
Today was the first day of the Lifeline bookfair. So I had to wander over at lunchtime and check things out. I think I was most restrained only taking home this many books out of the 150,000 on sale. Don't you?

And since almost half of them are heading out to other people I don't have to feel at all guilty buying such a pile. Besides, my $50 went to a good cause....

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Practice picnic

Boy oh boy! Today I discovered the Staff Cafeteria does lunchtime picnics which is good because I need to get some practice in for the coming picnic season.

On the menu was my favorite 5 minute Couscous Salad* followed by yoghurt and grapes all washed down with freshly made lime cordial. Very yummy and horribly healthy. I think I need some chocolate for afternoon tea.

(*5 minute Couscous Salad

1. Boil the kettle and measure 1 cup instant couscous into a metal or heatproof bowl. Dribble a small amount of olive oil onto the couscous to stop it sticking.
2. When the kettle is boiled, pour 3/4 cup of boiling water into the bowl, stir and cover with tinfoil. Set aside.
3. While the couscous soaks chop up some feta cheese, some olives and some cherry or grape tomatoes. De-stalk and rinse a couple of handfuls of baby spinach.
4. After the couscous has soaked for about 5 minutes, discard the tinfoil and fluff the couscous with a fork. Add the other ingredients, mix and eat.)

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Signs of spring

Pasty white arms sticking out of short sleeves (a new dress I bought when the spring clothes first hit the shops ages ago and haven't had the chance to wear until today). And the first bottle of lime cordial for the season. Bliss!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

There be treasure in me post box...

Argh me hearties, happy International Talk Like a Pirate Day to yer all. And if yer not talkin' like a Pirate ye'll be walkin' me plank quick smart as yer obviously 'ave no sense of fun.

Ah found treasure in me post box. Above yer can see the sparklin array of readin' material sent by Thrift Shop Project. Shiver me timbers, how lucky am I?But there's more! Land Lubber Laura over at Architectural Tours LA sent this little pile of booty to me. A booklet on Queen Mary's Dolls House and one from The Eames Foundation. Argh! I need to do me some plunderin' to rustle up the readies to get me back there. LA or Windsor? Don't care, either will do...

Monday, September 18, 2006

Beat boy beat boy hit that Eurobeat boy

It was gooood. I laughed. A lot. Even when other people weren't laughing. There was modulation. There was tearing off of costumes. There was lots of white outfits. There were three songs in one. Obviously these people know Eurovision very very well. I was impressed.
Princess B and I sat in the Greece row. Our contestant looked like Nana Mouskouri and Denis Rousos's love child. Liechtenstein won on our night. I hope they make Eurobeat an annual event - in November so we don't have to go more than 6 months without a Euro event. (And if I never make it to a real Eurovision I think I have experienced something close to it anyway.)Oh - and the theatre was architecturally quite quite beautiful. Just in case you were wondering.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

A Saturday in Sydney

The Royal Household awoke early Saturday morning and set out into a wonderful sunny Sydney day. First stop (8am! Before breakfast!) was Orange Grove Markets in Leichhardt to pick up supplies.Then the world was set to rights over breakfast at The Barn in Rozelle(which gets my vote for funkiest toilet in town)giving us the strength and fortitude to deal with the important part of the day: frugalling!Luckily in Rozelle there is a Vinnies and Salvos across the road from each other.Pickings were slim at the Salvos but the Vinnies did me good with 4 books for $14 (two are heading off as gifts) plus a Fat Boy Slim and a Stellar CD for $3 each. Find of the Day was this folding cake stand for Princess B ($3). She's been wanting one for a while so I was pretty happy to find one on the shelf at Vinnies. Pretending it's not Use What you Have Month *ahem* we can now admire the fabric ($2), leather button set ($3), self cover buttons (check out the groovy packaging! $1) and, in second place for Find of the Day, an Opal sock kit which looks complete except for 1 missing stitch marker ($2). Not that I really have any interest in sock knitting so I think this will probably be heading southwards.Oh, did I forget to mention the Rozelle Markets were on a mere block away? Oh dear. We just had to have a wee explore but I was very restrained (over my frugalling budget already) but managed to convince myself that $20 total for this, this, this and this was worth bending the rules for.And it was still before lunch.In the afternoon I finally made it in to Kinokuniya to see what all the fuss about Japanese crafting books was about. Spent a very happy hour browsing through several shelves of them but came away empty handed. For now. Such restraint! Actually I figured I could justify an under $10 frugalling lapse from Use What you Have Month but not a whopping great $100 fall from the wagon. So I went back to Princess B's (she was out attending a 2 year old's birthday party), put my feet up and read one of my towering pile of books-to-be-read.Had to conserve my energy for the big night out....

Friday, September 15, 2006

On the road again...

It would seem I've become incapable of staying in one place very long as here I am in Sydney again for more work stuff followed by a weekend with Princess B. Odd, really, we seem to see each other more often than I see some of my friends who live in the same city as me. Maybe that's because I've hardly been at home over the past few months.

Anyway - greetings from The Medina Crows Nest where I'm propped up in bed wondering how it is that I forgot to pick up any breakfast supplies yesterday. Which means I probably need to get up and venture forth to fossic for breakfast very soon.

I went to the pictures last night to see Unfolding Florence and discovered the most amazing picture theatre - The Hayden Orpheum in Cremorne. Did I take my camera? No. So you'll just have to cope with a link to the beautiful deco style theatre we were in. I now desperately want to go to a Wurlitzer performance there...

And speaking of beautiful theatres that I've never been to, tomorrow night Princess B is taking me to The State Theatre to see Eurobeat: almost Eurovision. How exciting!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Like a lucky dip but I get to keep everything (and not pay a cent!)

There was a package waiting at the post office for me this morning. I didn't recognise the sender which could only mean one thing - it was a swap! So helter skelter back home I went and ripped it open to find this:Which bought back childhood memories of lucky dip stalls at school fetes. Once I'd dug through the packing I unearthed a wonderful range of black and white goodies:
I'm particularly loving the composition books which I've lusted after since I first saw one in Seventeen magazine back in 1979 or thereabouts. Oddly enough I didn't actually remember to buy any when I was in The States in May so these made me very happy.

Other highlights include the penguin mint tin which I shall empty asap and use to keep either sewing stuff or small treasures in.

And I'm not sure if you can see them properly but on the right there (above the lovely smelly candles) is a box of black and white stripy paper clips which I adore so much I might have to revert to childish behaviour and hide under my pillow when I go to bed. (Did anyone else do that when they were young? I remember one occasion when I tried to sleep with a new pair of shoes under my pillow...) There's also a box of zebra patterned bulldog clips. I may never be able to return to plain black stationery again...

So thank you thank you thank you to Coffee Cake (alas, no blog) for a wonderful parcel. I'd be very happy to swap with you any time you like...

(Listening to: Cafe del Mar Vol 1)

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

A little lunchtime frugalling

I couldn't resist popping into Vinnies Dickson on the way past today, especially as there was no time for frugalling this weekend just gone.

And boy was I glad I did! Total price of the stack of books above? $6.10. I almost feel like I've made it to the same book bargain league as Thrift Shop Project.

And the find of the day has to be the Pirate Ship pop-up adventure (50 cents) which, alas, will not reach it's recipient in time for Tuesday's International Talk Like a Pirate Day but I'm sure will be appreciated none the less:(Listening to: Lily Allen, Alright, Still)

Monday, September 11, 2006

The End (almost)

Once upon a time, many months ago there was a fair maiden with a pumpkin patch and a very generous nature.

The bounty from the patch was spread far and wide (well, at the very least across a bit of North Canberra) and came in very handy on a number of occasions.

But tonight, at Monday Night Catch Up, the final pumpkin was cut and the resulting meal (a pumpkin and bean stew served on a bed of couscous with coriander and fresh dates, in case you're interested) was shared with the Catcher Uppers. We even got doggy bags to take home for lunch tomorrow and a final hunk of pumpkin each to remember the *ahem* incredible journey which was the past 7 months.

Of course with all the pumpkin J has been eating this year and all the seeds she's been putting into her compost heap I expect there will be another pumpkin explosion at her house in about 5 months time...

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Big B. Little B. What begins with B?

This weekend I had Princess B of Libraria in town for a royal visit. In her honour today was a day of Bs.

First, and most important word was budget so the day started with breakfast at the Staff Cafeteria (who knew?! It's also open on the weekend!)The special of the day was toasted gluten free chocolate bread (courtesy of Deeks in Pearce, purveyors of gluten and grain-free bread and bakery products with nationwide delivery) with (as it was a royal visit) grilled banana (which cost *ahem* only $2.35 each)

After breakfast we decided to walk along the lake front and admire the blossom.But it was a tad brisk and blustery for the Sydney-based Princess so we sought shelter in The National Portrait Gallery where we admired Headspace 7: Me and my place (Secondary School student portraiture) and Princess B got warm.

Further along the lake (after visiting the gift shop, of course!) we wandered round the National Gallery Sculpture Garden which was full of, well, big art.

By this time we were both feeling a little peckish and, since The Staff Cafeteria did such a good job of breakfast, decided we'd go back for lunch:Gluten free parmesan and onion bread (Deeks again) with hummus, zucchini and carrot fritters (gluten free, with lots of garlic) and a salad. With a glass of wine each. Princess B was most pleased.

The afternoon was filled with a trip to Belconnen Mall (with no buying but some near misses) then Princess B was dropped off for the Royal Coach bus home.

(Listening to (and just a little obsessed by): Starky, Starky)