Wednesday, February 28, 2007

No sleep in Canberra (and no cookies in the Library)

No, not my photos, I'm afraid, but lifted from Flickr (the first unattributed but doing the rounds of email and Flickr like you wouldn't believe, the second from Marblegravy who has lots of other great photos of the aftermath here)

All on the second to last night of summer. Urgh! The hail wasn't quite as bad here but enough to make me decide sleeping was just not going to be a happening thing last night (although I obviously managed to do some sleeping as I had a wonderful dream where I discovered David Jones was selling fabric for 500% off (really! It was written plainly on the bolts!) plus all proceeds went to Oxfam.

I wonder - was that the girly equivalent of a wet dream?)

Oh - and to finish off the month and the season, one final silly library video:

(Listening to: New Order, Waiting for the siren's call)

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

So I compromised...

I'm wearing jeans. Neat, tidy jeans with a white T and a black V neck vest over the top, but jeans nonetheless. I feel so decadent.

And I took myself out for lunch, to what I consider is the only place to go on a wet grey Canberra day (OK, I'll ignore the fact that the sun came out as I left the driveway and stayed out until I got home again. Typical!)

I had soup at Tilleys:which worked out to be free because I ducked in next door beforehandwith the two crochet books I picked up for $6 and sold them for $25.

And now I notice that if I'd gone to the Tilleys site before I left home I could have had a free glass of wine as well. Probably just as well I didn't, though, as drinking at lunchtime is a bit much. Even if you are wearing jeans on a grey Canberra day...

(Listening to: Morrissey, Viva hate)

Don't wanna!

It's raining and has been for a few hours. I can hear the swish of cars driving past outside on their way to work. I don't want to go to work. I want to stay in my PJs all day. I want to sit on the sofa. I want to bake. I want to knit. And read. And watch bad chick flicks. Maybe all at the same time. Hell, I'd even prefer to clean the house than go to work.

But I'm (supposedly) a mature adult so Hi Ho Hi Ho it's off to work I go. (If I'm not going on any visits do you think anyone would notice if I at least left my PJs on?)

(Listening to: Moby, Play)

Monday, February 26, 2007

Another Library themed You Tube offering - this one from one of my favorite movies of all time...

(If you like this check out the other Boyzvoice videos - "Cousin" is one of my faves)

And more coupons looking for new homes:

Canberra Restaurants (Northside & Civic)

* Billy Baxter's, Gungahlin & Batemans Bay (25% off the total bill up to $20)

* della Rocca Italian BYO Restaurant, Kaleen (25% off the total bill up to $20)
* Thai Aromas, Kaleen (25% off the total bill up to $20)
* Sue's Kitchen, Scullin (25% off the total bill up to $15)
* Chinese Inn , Holt (25% off the total bill, up to $20)
* Black Pepper cafe bar, Belconnen (25% off the total bill up to $15)
* Lido cafe and bar, Belconnen (buy one main course get one free, up to $16)
* b'nticed, Belconnen (25% off the total bill up to $15)
* cafe bellaccinos, Belconnen (25% off the total bill up to $15)
* Taj Agras Indian restaurant, Belconnen & Weston (25% off the total bill up to $20)

* Sfoglia Cafe & Patisserie, Dickson (25% off the total bill up to $15)
* Two Sisters Lao Thai Cuisine, Dickson (25% off the total bill up to $20)
*The East Kitchen, Dickson (25% off the total bill up to $20)
* Ainslie Football Club (buy one main course get one free, up to $20)

* Godori Korean takeaway, Civic (25% off the total bill up to $15)
* The Yum Yum Tree, Civic (25% off the total bill up to $15)
* Metro Vietnam, Civic (25% off the total bill up to $20)
* Cafe Cactus, Civic (25% off the total bill up to $15)
* Canberra Club Cafe, Civic (buy one main course get one free, up to $25)
* Cafe Exodus, Civic (buy one main course get one free, up to $10)
* Bagels, Civic (25% off the total bill up to $15)
* Cafe Fontaine, Civic (25% off the total bill up to $20)
* Caffe Bolero, Civic (25% off the total bill up to $10)
* Hidden Dragon, Civic (25% off the total bill up to $25)
* Caffe moda, Civic (25% off the total bill up to $20)
* Valentino's cafe, Civic (25% off the total bill up to $30)
* The original Montezuma's, Civic (buy one main course get one free, up to $20)
* Mooseheads, Civic (buy one main course get one free, up to $20)
* ilcovo cafe, Civic (25% off the total bill up to $20)
* Red Belly Black, Civic (25% off the total bill up to $20)
* PJ O'Reilly's, Civic (buy one main course get one free, up to $20)
* Cafe Macchiato, Civic (25% off the total bill up to $20)

(Listening to:George Michael, Older)

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Stitchin', (not much) bitchin' (and a little drinkin')

Ahhh... What a perfect combination. Beer and wool. And on a Sunday afternoon - even better!

Today I went to my first ever Stitch n Bitch, mainly because Ginger_nut, the winner of my blogiversary bag was in town and there was a special SnB arranged for her.I discovered that knitting needles have a second use - stabbing wedges too far away to be picked up manuallyand that hanging out at the pub with a large table of people all knitting is pretty cool. Especially when the aforementioned wedges take so long to arrive we get a free bottle of wine to make up for our patience.

The drunken fuckwit at the next table was not so cool but we coped.

Now you must excuse me. I'm off to watch the Tropfest DVD which came with yesterday's Sydney Morning Herald. What do you mean you don't have one?! It's the best $2.20 you'll spend all year!

(Listening to: Madonna, Like a prayer)

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Second Hand Saturday - Books, I did it again...

My burning question is why are there so many great books turning up at Canberra op shops at the moment? I'm in a state of shock as to what I've managed to pick up this week, especially the three brand new crafting books for $3 each (probably destined to be onsold as I'm not into crochet), and Air Babylon and Hotel Babylon for $3 each as well as a Sophie Kinsella for $1.

Total outlay: $31.25 (the 25 cents was for Richard Scarry's
Busytown Racers which was half price at Narrabundah Vinnies - I can't walk past a Richard Scarry book in an op shop without buying it for one of the small people in my life. (Although I'm so so tempted to cut this up and use it on those little suitcases I bought yesterday...)

And, as promised here's a list of the first lot of discount coupons I have spare. If you could use any of them leave a comment and tell me which you'd like.

Touristy stuff:
* Telstra Tower (Buy one entry get one free)
* CSIRO Discovery (Buy one entry get one free)
* Canberra Space Dome (Buy one entry get one free)
* National Museum of Australia (Buy one guided tour get one free OR 25% off a Friends of the NMA membership)
* National Zoo & Aquarium (Admission for up to 4 people at 25% off the regular price)
* Questacon (Buy one entry get one free)
* Cockington Green Gardens (Buy one entry get one free)
* Australian Reptile Centre (Buy one entry get one free)
* National Dinosaur Museum (Buy one entry get one free)
* Australian Institute of Sport (Buy one entry get one free)
* Kamberra Wines (Buy one wine tour get one free)
* Dawn Drifters (Buy one adult balloon ride gift voucher at 25% off the regular price)

Cultural stuff:
* Australian Chamber Orchestra (Buy one ticket to any performance presented my ACO for the Canberra Concert Seasonat Canberra Ticketing, Civi Square get one free)
* National Capital Orchestra (Buy one ticket get one free)
* Canberra Symphony Orchestra (Buy two tickets to a subscription series concert at 25% off the regular price)
* The Australia Choreographic Centre (Buy one Risky Manouevres Subscrption Season admission, get one free)

Sporty stuff:
* Canberra Gunners (Buy one ticket get one free, regular season only)
* Canberra Knights (Buy one ticket get one free, regular season only)
* TransACT Capitals (25% off the total admission price for up to 5 people, regular season only)

Active stuff:
* Phillip Swimming & Ice Skating Centre (Buy one ice skating admission get one free)
* Canberra Indoor Rock Climbing (Buy one climb get one free)
* Pitch'n'Putt (Buy 18 holes of golf, get another 18 holes free)
* Grand-Prix Karting (Buy a 10 minute kart ride, get one free)
* Adventure Paintball (25% off any group booking)
* Laser Sports (25% off any group booking)
* AMF (Buy two full priced games (including shoe rental) and get two free - three coupons)
* Adrenalin Plus (Buy one day in-line skate or surfboard hire, get one free)
* Adventure Consultants (25% off any adventure activity)
* Canberra Yacht Club (50% off one hour Hobie Cat hire)
* Club Blue (Buy one casual pool admission get one free)
* Woden Squash Centre (50% off squash court hire)
* Murder to Order (25% off the total bill of a party kit)
* Rapid Moves (Buy one funk dance lesson, get one free)
* Taoist Tai Chi Society (Buy one 4 month beginners Tai Chi course, get one free)
* Capital Hill Health Club (25% off the price of a 6 month full off peak membership)

Kiddy stuff:
* The Enchanted Room (25% off the regular price of any school holiday fun session)
* Kids Rampage (Buy one entry get one free)
* The Fun Factory (Buy one entry get one free)

(Listening to Rickie Lee Jones,
Rickie Lee Jones)

Friday, February 23, 2007

Karma Bank payouts

I did my Visa accounts yesterday. Oh hurrah, one of my favourite tasks (NOT!).

But along the way I noticed that my last haircut had been charged to my account at 1/10th of it's price. I had about 10 seconds of "WooHoo!" then picked up the phone, rang the lovely
Boyd and let him know what had happened and said I'd sort it out when I came in tonight.

Obviously The Karma Bank thought this was a good idea. Last night I caught up with
Taph at an industry function and she slipped me a bag containing the following:A copy of The decorated doll's house by Jessica Ridley, Stranded: The Secret History of Australian Independent Music by Clinton Walker (at first I thought they were doing rude things on the cover and rammed it back into the bag super quick - which in retrospect might have seemed a little rude in itself - sorry Taph, if that was the case!) and a lovely set of black knitting needles.

Speaking of knitting, Taph had hers with her (of course!) and took pity on my longing looks and let me knit her latest
Time Thief Watch Cap while she pulled out a matinee jacket from her bag and proceeded to tell me how she bet me to Colleen (The Wool Lady at Vinnies Belconnen) last week and bought the very wool I was knitting with.

Along the way I think I got my knitting mojo back. So thanks doubly, Taph!

Doubling back a bit, the Jessica Ridley book is one of my faves as she has many 20th century projects in her book:a cool Manhattan apartment (I've used the venetian blind instructions
for here and they're great)

A modern kitchen:and, heading back in time a little, the Bloomsbury studio at Charleston:And tonight, when I arrived early for my haircut I popped into Don't tell Phyliss down the road and discovered they were selling off the following for $5 each:The wooden cases are marked down from $16.95 and contain a little packet of (little!) biscuits and some tea. I plan to do rather interesting things with the cases. And the towel chocolate logs were down from $16. I saw these in Chicago and thought they were great but didn't buy them. These are both presents in the making. All up, they'd usually cost $99.80. I bought them for $30. The amount I saved was almost exactly the cost of a haircut. How weird is that?

(Oh - and we're having the second thunderstorm of the day. But at least I saw a double rainbow, heading straight into the DoFA building (no camera, of course). So if you work for DoFA, be very happy!)

(Listening to: Jamiroquai , Emergency on Planet Earth)

Thursday, February 22, 2007

The Frugalling Fairy obviously loves me today!

Rescued from the book shelves of Salvos Mitchell:1 brand new (with gold card still intact) 2006/07 Entertainment Book.

Even with only 15 weeks before it expires, I think it was a major bargain at just 50 cents. Yes, you read that right, 50 cents. Exactly 1% of the original price.

And you get to share in the goodness. I'll be pulling out the coupons I know I'll never use and will make a list of them to post here. You can grab what you think you might use between now and June 1st.

My Theory. By The Shopping Sherpa.

So I went downstairs as what seems, at the moment, like the nightly thunderstorm raged outside. Lightning flashed, thunder roared (sometimes at the same time) and the rain poured down in torrents. It's almost as if God is so pleased that we're getting rain that he has to make a huge song and dance about it. As if we wouldn't notice otherwise. "Hey LOOOK! (*crash*) I sent RAAAAIN! (*flash*)"

I sat on the comfy couch, admired the working CD player, put my feet up on the coffee table laden with goodies not yet read and turned on the fine lamp which spills light onto just the right area for a spot of knitting.

I started at the basket of knitted greenery. It stared balefully back at me and whispered something. I leant forward to hear better.

"You do realise you have a half watched DVD of
Little Britain second series upstairs, don't you?" it said. "Bugger off".

So I did. At the very least I can say the DVD contained something library related:

Oh, and my theory? Thunderstorms and crafting don't mix*

(*Well duh! obviously I don't mean sitting outside in the pouring rain with an umbrella over my head just waiting to be zapped by lightning while trying to knit. Or, God forbid, use the sewing machine.)

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Brain says "No"

I've been in a bit of a crafting slump this past week, unable to rouse myself into any form of enthusiasm for making, well, anything.

Which rather perplexed me until tonight as I drove home from a presentation at The National Library on A day in the life of a virtual librarian (of the non-Avatar sort) by Kate Davis (sorry, can't find any links to it)

You see, in the past week or so I've been out and about a lot for work. Which uses up a fair bit of brain space. The very same brain space, I suspect, which I was using for plotting crafting goodness. It's a good theory. I might test it this evening by going downstairs and sitting on the sofa. After having placed the basket containing E's three-quarter-finished dinosaur hoodie on the other end. And see what happens.

Oh, and the photo at the top of this post? It's craft of a sort - I finally framed the Ted Naos New York Skyline card Princess B bought me at The Guggenheim gift shop back in May last year. I used a box frame from a set of 8 I picked up super cheap at The Warehouse and sandwiched thick mounting squares between each of the three layers of card to give it some dimension.

The only problem is now I'm itching to travel again. Not do craft...

(Listening to: Hird, Moving on)

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

No I do not want to go and buy a new one at Aldi for $30, thank you very much...

So I finally remembered that the place I took my last laptop when the screen broke also seemed to have a suspicious amount of hifi equipment sitting round and rang them this morning. Sure enough, they were happy to take a look at my stuck CD player, which I took in at lunchtime.

The chap behind the counter looked a little surprised. "Oh! That's not what I imagined when you called up!" he says. Now I'm worried. "But you can still fix it, yes?" I implored.

"Well we can have a look at it for you." His brow suddenly wrinkled as he points at some round plug hole thingy in the back I've never noticed before. "Do you use this?"

Oh shit, I think. Obviously it's all my fault that the player jammed - I must have had it hooked up wrong for the past 12 years. "Err, no." I reply, my brow wrinkling in consternation to match his.

"Do you know you could go to Aldi and buy a DVD player for $30, hook it up here, play CDs on it and it would be cheaper than us looking at it for you?"

I sighed. He obviously believed I was slightly nuts (and he'd be right but how he worked it out so quickly is beyond me) "Look, I realise I could buy a Craponya CD player to replace this but I'd prefer to a) keep you lot in business and b) keep my most loved trusty $100 CD player out of the landfill even if it ends up costs me more."

He shrugged ever so slightly, obviously wondering why I would want my clunky old slightly scratched CD player rather than a bright shiny new one. But he took my $66 and said he'd call me when they'd had a chance to have a look at it.

And I walked out of the shop feeling ever so... old fashioned.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

So that was the weekend, then...

Not all good news, I'm afraid.

My bedroom CD player has decided again (it happened around 5 years ago) that it wasn't going to eject CDs anymore. Which is fine and dandy if you fancy listening to Hotel Costes 1 over and over again (hey, I'm feeling lucky - last time it crapped out it held Peter Blakley hostage which was much more embarrasing...)

Last time this happened I pranced down to LE Electronics in Dickson, threw some money at them (not literally, of course, I'm far too polite to do such a thing!) and quick as you can say "Bob's your aunty" we were all sorted and on our way.

5 years later LE Electronics have disappeared and I'm a tad flummoxed. Where am I going to find someone who won't automatically tell me it's cheaper to buy a new one? (And can they fix my car CD player at the same time?)

This, coupled with the fact I stood on a CD case I'd accidentally left on the stairs and thus sliced open my toe, meant it was a very quiet weekend, spent mainly downstairs (where the last working CD player in my life is), sprawled on the sofa, trying to catch up on some reading.

Not all bad, really. But there was nil crafting happening.

(Listening to: Greg Johnson Set, Everyday Distortions)

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Saturday night standoff

Never let it be said that Saturday night in the suburbs of our fine capital is boring. Round here, at least, it's filled with drama, tension and intrigue.

Look what I have crouched above the front door (I'm still trying to work out how it managed to get up there): And sitting ever so patiently below: (And I find myself humming this)

Second Hand Saturday

In the frugalling basket this week:

* 10 books for a total of $21 including a new looking copy of Arthur Ransome's Swallows and Amazons which I was very happy to find as J, M and I had stumbled into a conversation a few weeks ago about how we'd all loved that series of books as kids after having been given copies which we'd initially been reluctant to read.

In fact I can remember reading my copy, which my Grandmother had given me for Christmas, in our old plywood caravan one summer. I think it was raining and I was out of anything else to read. At first I'd been highly suspect about it ("a book about boys and boats - why would I want to read that?") but I went on to devour it and the rest of the series.

The only other book I can remember where I was when I read it was Laura Ingalls Wilder's The Long Winter which I also adored as a child.

But I digress...

* White ceramic owl for my burgeoning bird collection: $1

* Plastic container: 40 cents, 5 black coat hangers: 80 cents and toothbrush: 10 cents

* Wooden Easter bunny figure still in original box: $1 (which is going into the next parcel for Pink Trees). Brand new Alison candle for a friend: $1 and blue vintage pinny: 50 cents. This is looking for a new home to escape being cut up and turned into a bag. So if you'd like it, leave a comment and I'll post it out to you.

(Listening to: Desiree, Supernatural)

Friday, February 16, 2007

Oh Vince, I think you've spent too much time watching Eurovision...

Today I got an email from The Erasure Information Service announcing the first sneak preview of the new Erasure single - I Could Fall In Love With You.

Unfortunately all I could think of on the first listening was that Vince and Andy had written a bad Eurovision song. And, as I listened, in my mind I could see them both dressed in white with the expectation that someone would be whipping off an item of clothing before the song was out.

Not like when the sneak preview of Breathe was released in 2005. I loved it on first listen and found myself playing the same 60 seconds over and over and over until the CD was released.

Check the new single out for yourself:

windows media:

real media:


(If the above links don't work via your email, follow the links from within the news section.
"Ah told zhem ze switch to New Blogger would be seamless..."

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Hear that?

It's the sound of me trying to rebuild my blog template after the switch to New Blogger.

Need I say more?

Spending Valentine's Day evening how it should be spent

After a very early (7:30 am) start this morning at the Library Lovers' Day breakfast (and, yes, I took my bag!) I have a very late finish after spending the evening with one of my favorite boy people around, who even went to the trouble of looking for just the right gift for me:(I shall ignore the fact he sent a valentine to the babe living two doors down from him.)

Yes, I was a lovely friend and sent E's parents off to have a grown up evening alone while I spent quality time trying to work out which shape went where in the Tupperware shape sorter and trying to convince a small person with limited conversation skills that Mummy and Daddy would be coming home soon (promise!)

And if that wasn't enough excitement for one day, I attended a presentation at lunchtime with the intriguing title of Flying Librarians of Oz: What's all the fuss about Second Life and what's it got to do with libraries? (and decided immediately that Second Life is joining The Sims in my list of things I am banned from doing as I know from previous experience* they will suck all my time away from me.)

On top of that *&^@! Blogger finally decided this evening to force me into the new version. I knew it had to happen sometime but had been putting it off until I had no choice.

(*I lost a lot of time to a TinyMUD around 6 years ago)

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

My so called "Evening off"

Today was one of those lovely days which seems to move oh so slowly (in the nicest possible way) with no looming deadlines and time to smell the... err.... whatever's in season at the moment!

And tonight I gave myself the evening off. I could do whatever I wanted. No work. So what did I end up doing? I made a bag! Sheesh!

My excuse is I finally got around to playing with printing using cotton fabric ironed onto freezer paper. I even did a test print which I washed to see what would happen (not a lot, thankfully).

So then I had this cool piece of printed stuff which I wanted to use. Et voilĂ !May I present the prototype knitaholic bag? Designed especially for carrying your knitting with you, I added an outside pocket to tuck a pattern into ("Yay!" I thought. "Perfect size for knit.1 mag". But then I remembered they just made it bigger. Blerk!)and left the bottom of the pen holder on the inside pocket unstitched so it can be used for knitting needle storage instead (brilliant, if I say so myself, especially as it can still be used for pen storage if needed): Now the question is, am I brave enough to take it with me to the Library Lovers' Day Breakfast I'm going to tomorrow? And, more importantly, if I make another, will it sell?

I almost forgot: I found both freezer paper and bleach pen supplies in Australia! USA Foods in Melbourne sell both: bleach pens for AU$6.59 each and freezer paper for AU$9.99 a roll. Plus postage.

(Listening to: Cafe del Mar Vol 13)

Monday, February 12, 2007

Who will buy my bags?

Better late than never I suppose!

If you fancy owning a Shopping Sherpa original Fields of Fire bag mosey on over to
the newly added bag department of my eBay store and bid on one (or all!).

I plan to spend the week with fingers crossed (no knitting then...) as I've decided that if the whole range sells I will be skedaddling off down to the car stereo shop to spend the proceeds on a lovely new car CD player. Before starting work on the next range of bags.

But first there's some major cleaning up needing to be done around here. Sigh.

(Listening to: Buzzin Fly Vol 3)

Sunday, February 11, 2007

And the winner is...


Email me you address here and I'll get your gifty in the mail to you asap.

I've had a crappy, no good, very bad evening,

I have two very fine, handmade bags I'd planned to list on eBay and link to from here.

You know, sort of like "Sorry you didn't win a bag but here's one you can bid on"

But the eBay/ internet fairies are obviously off doing something else and not listening to me tonight.

So I give up.

My new range of bags will be available tomorrow, fingers crossed.

I'm off to bed to sulk now.

Stupid eBay....

(Listening to: Bloc Party, Silent Alarm)

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Second Hand Saturday - storage special

It would appear in retrospect that this week's frugalling theme was storage. Always handy stuff to have around the place, you know.Black three drawer filing cabinet $50 from the ADRA op shop in Braddon. I actually saw it there a while ago and vaguely considered my potential need for a second filing cabinet before deciding I didn't have the spare cash. Then this week I woke up one morning with the blinding certainty that it was mine and it really was about time I went and claimed it.White IKEA bookcase. An eBay special for $23.16 (but the buyer gave me an discount since he didn't have change so it worked out at a round $22)

Two CD storage racks. Salvos Mitchell, $2 each. There were more there but I couldn't justify that much CD storage potential. I can't be bothered photographing them. They're your basic black rectangular jobbies.

I also bought some CDs a stainless steel icebucket and some stuff for swaps.

Don't forget, tomorrow's Sunday which means I'm drawing the winner of my Blogiversary Bag. You still have time to comment
here and be in the running. And if you miss out, don't panic as I'm hoping to have my first range of bags up for sale in my eBay store tomorrow evening. Here's a sneak peek to whet your appetite..(Listening to: Anthems of Trance)

Friday, February 09, 2007

Finish it off Friday: Week 4

I'm feeling pretty happy today.

Looking back at the original Finish it off Friday post I've completed pretty much everything in the picture. What perplexes me, though, is why my pile of Things to be Finished doesn't seem to have got any smaller, just changed?

This week's completions were both started in October last year. I finally turned my bleach pen experiment into a cushion, which worked out very well (and induced all sorts of wild and wonderful ideas for future projects while I sewed it up) and finished sewing together the scooter bib which worked out not quite so well (I had a very shitty time with trying to sew bias binding onto rather tight curves. At first I thought it was a complete disaster, but having put it aside for a while and come back to it I'd now class it as utterly... average. Sigh)I also completed a new project. Friend L will be doing a lot of travelling with her now job and requested some pouches made from a fabric she spotted in my stash:Which brings me to a request. She's going to be in Portland soon - anyone have any input on what she should do/ should avoid? I've already told her about Whole Foods and Trader Joes to keep her well fed and healthy in The States...

Thursday, February 08, 2007

My adult life as defined by a 1970 Magic Roundabout Annual...

Last night, while starting a major clean up of my Hobby Room I rediscovered my 1970 Magic Roundabout Annual. I remember reading and colouring it in on the flight when I moved to Invercargill at four but I didn't realise how much is in there that defines my interests at forty!

For instance:and:

I'm also loving this picture: I feel a slew of crafting projects coming up using these pictures (once the Hobby Room is sorted out!)

(Listening to: Strawpeople, Broadcast)

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

A survey for all you ACT residents

I was forward the following and thought it was worth making sure as many people as possible knew about it:

"Have your say: ACT Public Library hours under review

Dear friends of the ACT Library service

The ACT Government is currently looking to cut back on library times. Having closed Griffith Library, they are now looking to rationalize the opening hours across the remaining libraries.

It would be good if you could complete the online survey. Follow the link from"

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

A busy lunch hour (and more IKEA hacking)

Selection of ingredients to make tomato soup, arranged on a counter.V and E came for lunch today, and since V is another of my gluten-intolerant friends I rustled up some fresh tomato soup from my favorite Alison Holst cookbook with (gluten-free) pesto toast to dunk in it. All quite delishimo and frugal:Large cup of tomato soup and toast on a plate. Underneath is a plastic placement. and served up on an IKEA hack I'd forgotten about until now.

I bought a roll of IKEA Rationell drawer mat a couple of years ago for $9.95 (much prefer the US price!), cut it into placemat-sized pieces and rounded the corners by drawing (and then cutting) round a five-cent piece. Having done that I discovered there was enough mat down the side to make a set of matching coasters:Glass of water on a plastic coaster.Here's a view of the coaster and the edges - all displayed , serendipitously, on my other ancient IKEA hack.

I wanted a coffee table on wheels with a shelf underneath but everything that fitted one or other of those requirements was far too large and/ or far too expensive.

Then I spotted the Eneby TV trolley for $129. Perfect size, had the shelf I needed (and the wheels) but was very.... white. And clinical looking.

I soon fixed that - before I put it together I sent the top and bottom shelves off to the powder coater and $30 later I had possibly the world's only black Eneby TV trolley. Which is still looking great and is going strong 4 years later with only an occasional wipe with a damp cloth.

(Speaking of an occasional wipe with a damp cloth - that's all the placemats need as well. I did originally plan to make some extra sets as presents but then I realised I didn't know too many people who would appreciate a set of 2001: a Space Odyssey placemats!)

And I almost forgot - not only did V & E come for lunch, but the vet turned up in the middle (half an hour early) to de-worm, vacinate and do Nibbs' yearly check up.

Yep, now I'm working at home I don't have to stuff The Fluffmeister into a cat carrier, so we're back to more civilised veterinary house calls. God I love Canberra sometimes...
(Listening to: Sola Rosa, Entrance to skyway)
Featured on IKEA Hackers in March 2007.

See my other IKEA hacks:
Colouring in fabric (December 2006)
Zippered pouch (December 2006)
Shopping tote (January 2007)
Peg frame (May 2007)

Monday, February 05, 2007

The best creative time wasters

Create your own Picasso at Mr Picassohead.

Or your own Pollock here (simply move your cursor around the screen)

Yes, it would seem there is an artist in all of us...

(Listening to Sisters of Mercy, A Slight Case Of Overbombing (Greatest Hits Vol. 1) - found for $3 today at Salvos Weston Creek. How odd. But I'm happy to finally have a copy of Temple of Love on CD, even if it is the awful mutilated 1992 Ofra Haza version. Anyone want a copy of Floodland? It was there too and I'm pretty sure it won't be snapped up in a hurry, more's the pity...)

Sunday, February 04, 2007

It's my Blogiversary (but you get the presents!)

Once upon a time (on the 9th of January 2006, to be precise) I started a Kodak Gallery set called Creating in 2006 and sent invites to a few of my friends saying "Projects I have completed this year. Call back regularly for updates and blast me if there's been nothing new for a couple of weeks. Thanks!"

My first entry:
"OK, this one is sort of cheating as I made it in December to wear in the wedding party for Emma's wedding. A bit freaky (making the skirt, not the wedding - which, in case you were wondering was lovely) as I'd not really sewn for almost a decade... "

(ARGH! Look at the crappy quality of the photo - you can tell it's never been near Photoshop... What a lot I've learnt in the past year)

The skirt was followed soon after by my first piece of knitting in as long:"Jan 2nd: I got the overwhelming urge to knit a black and white Christmas stocking on December 16th. Which is kinda odd as a) I don't "do" Christmas (or so I thought) and b) I haven't knitted full size since I left NZ. After the prerequisite 2 week cool down period I finally took myself off to Spotlight and bought supplies over the New Year's weekend. Of course I completely changed the pattern. As usual. Pity I have to wait almost a year before I can use it.... (And I have a mad scheme to make extras to sell to rabid Collingwood footy supporters and thus keep my eBay habit funded)"

(OK, getting better at the photo taking - but how funny to think that just over 13 months ago I didn't own a single pair of knitting needles. The avalanche started here (look at that little itty bitty embryonic stash!))

On January 16th I noted the arrival of this fabric:which I used part of during my first Use What You Have Month in April. The rest, I decided, would be perfect to make my Blogiversary gift out of (more about that later in the post)

By February 4th 2006 I decided that Kodak Gallery wasn't doing it for me anymore and so The Shopping Sherpa blog was born. Right from the start it's been a mix of creating and frugalling and other stuff that wanders through my world.

I've met some fabulous people through here in the past year (you know who you are!), learnt lots, been more creative than I ever could have imagined, had things happened I never would have expected (getting a link from The National Museum still gives me shivers of excitement) and had a fine old time. And, of course, had some great swaps (and a couple of duds).

So, to celebrate, I invite you to leave me a comment. The names of everyone who comments on this post during the next week will go into a hat and someone (Nibbs?, Trudy Bunny?, My alter ego?, The Knitting Devil?) will pull out a random name.

If you're the lucky winner, I'll send you my latest Screaming Inside bag (especially chosen to be unisex, just in case I have more than one male reader - Hi Dad!):plus a few black and white goodies tucked in it (Alison, you'll pleased to see the addition of a third inside pocket just perfect for iPods after your feedback!)I can't wait to see what the next year brings and I hope you'll join me for the journey...

(Listening to: Eddi Reader, Simple Soul)

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Just one of those days...

Stealing an idea off someone on my Bloglines (who I can't find now, wouldn't you know it?!)


Up obscenely early (I mean obscene - 4:30am ish - how did that happen?!):: Made a list - 9 parts work, 1 part fun:: Breakfast at 5am, back to bed at 6am, woke up again around 9am:: Ran errands:: Packed eBay stuff:: Went to the Library and discovered I had a fine which I tried to get out of on the premise that they hadn't emailed me to tell me the DVDs were coming due (didn't work):: Visited the lovely Lyneham Post Office agency and spent a lot of money:: Ran more errands:: Stood and admired the display of car stereos at JB Hi Fi before running away very fast:: Saw a one legged man riding a bicycle up Northbourne Ave:: Finally went to see Marie Antoinette:: At the new Dendy:: Swear I saw Converse sneakers in the Court of King Louis:: Came home and did two lots of eBay accounts (groan):: Have a secret project that needs to be finished for tomorrow (argh!) which I need to get onto.

Hope your day was less frenetic and more productive!

(Listening to: Various, Once in a Lifetime)

Friday, February 02, 2007

Just got lucky

I had lovely surprises waiting for me at the Post Office this morning thanks to Liana Kabel and Pink Trees:From Liana a package of wonderful knitting and sewing related jewelry as a thank you for a huge pile of knitting needles I sent her (Ulterior motive? Who moi?!)

Here's a gratuitous close up shot:and action shot as I head out the door to a couple of candidate interviews:Go!
Buy! They're brilliant!And hot on the heels of my last wonderful package from Pink Trees is another! I don't know where to start with the bragging - lovely ribbon? Check! Cool stationery? Check! Great sewing supplies? Check! Funky wool? Check! And fabric! How spoilt am I? Have a look at this lot:
I think this is a good time to say one of the things I've appreciated most about the blogging community in the last year is the generosity. (Oh yes, I'm feeling maudlin as I head towards my Blogiversary...)

(Listening to: Nine Inch Nails, Head Like a Hole)