Friday, August 31, 2007

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Frugalling fun

(Please note: I took the photos before writing the post so some pictures have stuff from more than one place. Argh!)

Taph had a day off work on Wednesday and I was easily persuaded that op shopping could be considered TSS work (as long as I bought at least one piece of manchester that I might, one day before I die, turn into a bag) and so it was that we spent the afternoon catching up with the state of op shops in Canberra and surrounds. It was our first trip out in tandem which could have been scary but it worked out very well.

Our first stop was Kingston YMCA Op Shop. After a frugal coffee from Taph's thermos (which we drank on the brick wall outside the public toilets) we ventured inside and I found One Step Beyond: 45 classic Ska hits on CD - another of life's mysteries. A double CD, marked "normally £18.99, Sale Price £9.99" and I got it for $2.00. On the other side of the world. Hot on the heels of seeing This is England. Do you think the universe is telling me it's time to head back to Motorini and buy another Vespa?
Next stop was Vinnies Queanbeyan where we walked away empty handed (not surprisingly as it's a new style Vinnies. But Taph hadn't been there before so had to experience the full je ne sais quoi of it) Next door at Bargain Hunter we had better luck. I picked up a cotton chambray doona cover for $8.00 (destined for bag stash), a pair of cream knitting needles for $1.00 and two balls of red mohair for 75 cents.

Over the road we headed to Big Salvos where we discovered they've done some major rearranging. Yes it's lighter and airier but after having honed our journey through the store over many visits it's very disconcerting to have to reorient ourselves. I bought another Nokia 3310 car charger for $1.00 as mine was dead. And stopped to chat to my gym instructor who was behind the counter. Gotta love Canberra (and surrounding areas). Do you think the universe is telling me it's time to head back to the gym?

At Little Salvos I found a Holly Hobbie doona cover for $5 and some more cream knitting needles for $2.00. I was happy. Little Salvos remains the same. It's good to see some things haven't changed... At this point we paused for a frugal lunch of egg and parsley wraps and apples, once again courtesy of Taph, who is obviously a much better prepared frugaller than I. I bow to her greater organisational skills (I usually return from a day's frugalling dehydrated, starving (if I've not succumbed to $2 sushi rolls at the mall in Queanbeyan or $2 spinach pasties at Ali Baba) and with hands that feel like they need to be sandblasted to get clean...

Then, much refreshed we headed south to Tuggeranong. At Salvos I found a full length skirt which could be useful for formal nights on my upcoming cruise (since it's a 16 nighter I have 3 formal nights and I've kinda grown out of the other two long skirts I usually use for formal nights, and although I hope to shrink back into them (once I return to the gym) it's good to have a backup. Especially when it cost $3.50 (Taph had a half price card, bless her cotton (probably hand knitted) socks). And Taph found me a red cord jeans jacket which I certainly don't need (let me count the jackets I own, the red jackets I own. And the jeans jackets I own). But it was $12, half price to $6, fitted beautifully, so what the hey...
Lastly, I bought a set of Delicious magazine magnets for $1. Yes, I know they were originally free but if I remove the ones with "DELICIOUS" stamped all over them and repackage the rest I think I have a cool "extra" gift for Princess B's birthday (or Christmas)
The day ended back at Kingston (where I had left Miss Daisy) with more frugal coffee and the decision that we made good frugalling partners.
Total cost: just under $30. Oh, and if you want to know what Taph got, you'll have to ask her :-)

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Meet Prudence Chastity d'sprett

We made her acquaintance today. It seems she's also planning a cruise soon and hopes to catch a good husband (if they don't run too fast!).She believes her well honed flirting skillscoupled with her obvious skills in the gentle arts will lead to a speedy marriage.And her first kiss...

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Whatcha doin' moon?

We're in the middle of a lunar eclipse. I took photos but they're crap so I'm not sharing them. Sorry!

(Updated 30/8/07 with newly forwarded not crap in the slightest photo forwarded to me by Aunty A)
I feel like I should be tucked up in bed re-reading Nightfall to mark the occassion. While eating Blue Moon icecream. Oh, and listening to this


or this!

Bready, steady, go!

Ok, you all know I've been baking bread for a while.

But I've always felt I've been cheating somehow.

You see, there's a long and convoluted history with me and breadmaking.

Many many years ago, in another decade (and another country) I lived with someone who had Fridays off work. And on Fridays he baked bread. And it was good. So good, in fact that it was one of the reasons I lived with him. Along with his excellent taste in music. And stereos. And knives.

Fast forward to 1996 and I moved to Australia. One of the first things I bought was a "bread bowl" in the sense of "anything he can do..."

I never used it. Well, not for it's intended purpose!

Except once when I tried it with my No Knead Bread. But it was too big.

Anyway, for the last few months I've been tinkering with the No Knead Bread recipe. Adding more and more wholegrains and other healthy stuff.

But this weekend I saw Dinner Daily's Feta Bread and decided I just had to try it out. Scary as it was.

And today I baked bread. Fancy pull-apart bread. And it was good. And I was proud. And you know what? I still didn't use the bread bowl. It may end up at Vinnies. (The bowl, not the bread!)

Monday, August 27, 2007

Just as I was feeling glum because Knit 1 Blog 1 finished yesterday

Caffeine Fairy awarded me a Rockin' Girl Blogger award.

I'm so stoked. And I have another bright shiny new button for my sidebar.

Now I have to work out who I can award who hasn't already had the honour...

Place mat = Mini mat

Dinner plate and a fork on a pink woven place mat.Supplies for miniature making are right in front of you if you just think different (to steal a favorite quote).

Need a new rug for your dolls house or room box? The answer is probably staring you in the face three times a day!

Take one woven placemat (either bought especially (new around $5, op shopped around 50 cents or just steal one from your placemat stash...)Sewing machine sewing a line of zigzag stitch on a pink woven place mat.
Using a contrasting pen and ruler to mark out the sized mat you want, then using your sewing machine on a wide zigzag and toning thread, sew around all four sides of the piece you have marked out. (making sure you leave three rows of the mat clear at each end for the fringe).Scissors cutting along a line of zig zag stitch on a pink woven place mat.
Cut close to the zigzag stitching down both sides of your mat, and across the ends, three rows out from the stitching:Piece of pink woven placement, cut along a line of zig zag stitching, and three rows up at the top.Carefully pull the fringing free at each end and neaten if necessary:Modern dolls' house miniature floor rug made out of a pink woven place mat.And it's as easy as that!Modern dolls' house miniature scene with green and cream patterned walls, a pink and white armchair and white side table on a pink woven floor rug.(Wallpaper: Cristina Re DIY stationery $2 per sheet from most newsagents or stationers. Cork flooring: $2 for 2 A4 sheets from a discount store. Pink armchair: Purchased at a New Zealand miniature show in the 1980s. Price and maker long forgotten. Vintage octagonal table: eBay. Price forgotten. Babushka dolls: Approx $20 for the set from Red October gift shop, St Petersburg. Covered books: Made from commercial miniature books, covered with suitable paper cut from magazines (tutorial to follow). Green shot silk cushion: Made by me. Cream candlewick cushion: Mini swap gift. Woven bag with leather handles and flower embroidery: Made by Billie from ACTME club.)
Read my other modern miniature tutorials:

Paint a vase with nail varnish

Turn stickers into modern placemats
Refinish a discount-store side table
Print an iPod, mobile phone or other electronic device
Print on fabric
Make a duck-board bathmat out of tongue depressors.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Markets, Movies, Movenpick, Mending and being Munted

You can always tell when spring approaches in Canberra - life speeds up and the ways to spend your time multiply what seems like exponentially. Not that I'm complaining as life in Canberra is pretty damned fine except for about 8 weeks of the year, now almost passed...After a busy day yesterday a bunch of us went to check out the Night Markets down by the lake and drink mulled wine which was quite quite potent.

Afterwards there was a huge stir fry made from Farmers' Market ingredients (at J & M's - I'd spent my food money for the week on a Chocolate Mousse Martini, three raffle tickets for a bronze pear (which I didn't win) and a poster with a typo at the ANU School of Art plus a mulled wine at the night market) and we watched the short films from the Loop CD I got for my birthday. Or tried. There was too much rain and blood and general depressedness so we gave up.

Today S and I went to see Amazing Grace at:(a belated birthday treat). There were hidey holes for our handbags. Big comfy chairs with foot rests and buttons to make the chairs recline. Drinks and eats that were brought to us (not sure I liked that bit - the first time I wanted to scream "can't you see I'm trying to read the screen?! Just piss off!" but the chap had a glass of wine so I bit my tongue)
And I was quite shocked to discover a) that our food was cooked across the road at Candy Bar

but more importantly b) that they stocked Mövenpick, a favorite ice cream in New Zealand that I'd also stumbled across on my birthday a couple of years ago in Helsinki but had never seen in Australia until now. Oh - and I mended an IKEA Ribba frame that had fallen off the wall years ago, framed my poster with a typo, and hung it in pride of place in the office.
And now I'm feeling quite munted.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Saturday, and the culture continues...

Childers Street in the city was abuzz today from one end to the other.We started sort of in the middle outside The Street Theatre which was hosting State of Belonging as part of the Canberra Living Artists Week. It was described as "Loosely modelled on the Iron Chef television series, teams from the ACT and NSW will spar for the CLAW Trophy (created by glass artist Megan Bottari), with a ‘cast’ of artists, critics, judges, commentators featuring special guest H. G. Nelson from Triple J’s This Sporting Life." We arrived just in time for a parade of recycled fashions, stayed for a while to see what they were buildingthen wandered north and round the corner to The Drill Hall Gallery to see Three Creative Fellows, an exhibition of works by Sidney Nolan, Arthur Boyd and Narritjin Maymuru (who had all been awarded ANU Creative Arts Fellowships in the 1960s and 1970s.I particularly liked Sidney Nolan's 9 panelled Riverbend but also enjoyed sticky beaking at the architecture as I've not been in the Drill Hall before.From the Drill Hall it was back up the street to the ANU School of Art open day where S made a beeline to the glass department where we watched the winning designs from the Design a Goblet competition being made up. Then over to visit Ampersand Duckwhomade mea wanted poster(for incorrigible acts of blogging)

Friday, August 24, 2007

Five picture Friday

1. Let's call it lunch shall we? Koko Black Belgian Chocolate Mousse Martini.2. With the lovely Caffeine Fairy3. Followed by a visit to Civic Library to check out the Words... Pictures... Book! exhibition (which "traces the creation of a picture book from its idea to the published work, using well-known works from Australian authors and illustrators"). I found it fascinating to see how a book gets for initial idea to the final printed version.4. Speaking of children's books, I got good mail today: my Pay it Forward gift from Waldeck Dry Goods arrived today - a very cool set of four cards which are far too good to use so will probably be framed.5. And I went out today without a jumper on and didn't freeze. My trees are blossoming. Maybe just maybe Spring is within sight...

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Dear Frugalling Fairy,

I have no idea what I did to make you so happy with me (but would be very grateful if you could let me know so I can do it again!).I still can't believe I managed to snaffle not only a full set of Venus fridge magnets MIPbut also an original set of Dress me up David (also MIP)PLUS extra MIP clothing sets for both Venus and David (neither of which I have in my collection) for a whopping $10 for the lot.

$10! Are you kidding me?! Let me tell you there was leaping up and down and arm waving and yelping when I spotted them, giving the Vinnies Ladies the best entertainment they've had in a good long while.

(Vinnies Lady after she's opened the cabinet and I've snatched them from the shelf: "Shall I just pop them on the counter for you while you look?"Me (clutching said magnet sets close to my chest in case the Vinnies Lady changes her mind about them being for sale, or some random op shopper leaps across the room to wrestle them from my grasp) "No, no, that's OK. I'll just hold on to them for now...")

Now, of course, the dilemma is To eBay or not to eBay?

Yours happily
The Shopping Sherpa

Ace, ay?

Ixillint news for us Kiwis without cable.

Flight of the Conchords HBO episodes in high quality, free and streaming!

Guess what I'm doing tonight?


Monday, August 20, 2007

Modern miniatures on Monday

Modern dolls' house miniature coffee table, displaying two bowls and a green vase. On the floor next to it is a full-sized bottle of nail varnish. Here's my modern mini tip for the week:

Cheap garish coloured nail varnish from a discount shop is just perfect for painting plain white china to give your mod mini scene that extra pop.

I painted a cheap basic vase bright lime green by upturning it onto a wooden skewer which I then held onto while I painted the vase (and placed in an empty bottle to hold it steady while it dried.)

After a couple of coats I had a one-of-a-kind decorative accent with a wonderful deep glaze effect.

(Cork flooring: $2 for two A4 sheets from the craft aisle of a discount store.
White coffee table: $48.95 (part of Lundby's Stockholm Living Room Set which includes sofa bed with complementing cushions, a throw rug, matching ottoman plus a credenza full of books - all 1/18 scale but some pieces work well in 1/12.)
Turned wooden bowl from a miniature show long long ago: price and maker unfortunately forgotten.
White plastic footed fruit bowl: $2 from a pack of plastic dolls house bits found in a discount store)
Read my other modern miniature tutorials:

Make a floor rug out of a placemat
Turn stickers into modern placemats
Refinish a discount-store side table
Print an iPod, mobile phone or other electronic device
Print on fabric
Make a duck-board bathmat out of tongue depressors.


After a very quiet weekend (just what my grumpy self needed) Sunday was a tizzy of activity with a visit to the National Museum of Australia and The colours of Jenny Kee talk (which I think bookends nicely with my visit to Max Dupain - Modernist when I was in Sydney earlier this month.)

From there I raced into town to meet Aunty A as we planned to go see Boynton Beach Club with my freebie pass. Except it wasn't on when I thought it was so I took the opportunity to go see This is England instead. Good thing our next planned movie is Ratatouille as I think Aunty A needs time to recover after some of the scenes in This is England!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Fab Friday frugalling finds...

* Lovely vintage flowery double sheet: $2.00
* (Insert fanfare here) Maxwell Williams dinner plate: 50 cents. Thus bringing my total up to eight. Now all I need is those last three cereal bowls and my challenge is complete...
* Two chick lit books to read and send on their merry way: $3 each.

Grand total: $8.50.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

A Kiwi quest

I got a call a few days ago from a friend: "We saw Grain Waves within the city limits and thought of you!"Once I got over the shock I asked for details. My brain was awhirl so I only remembered snippets. "...Monkey something.... car park..... Indian shop...."

The hunt was on! Google provided me with the first clue (yeah, shut up about the magnifying glass - don't all good detectives use needlework magnifiers?!) and a map.

The next day I called up my trusty not Kiwi but similarly Grain Wave addicted sidekick and we set out...Hmmm, Monkey Magic, getting close...What's that over there?My Magic Findy Finger is twitching! They're here somewhere!BINGO!Ah, I've missed you sooooooooo much (even if you are the wrong flavour!)Caffeine Fairy, meanwhile, was discovering the other Kiwi "delights" stocked by the shop. A return visit is definately in order.