Thursday, July 31, 2008

More mystery (mini, this time)

I had some more furniture I won off eBay arrive today:I suspected it was probably Hubsch (or maybe Danish) when I bought it.

The seller was also selling the following three lots (which I didn't buy):I have no idea about the fireplace and no interest either. I suspect it's American. The sofa and chair I recognise from the 1974/75 Lisa catalogue (PDF link) hence the possibility that the set I bought was Danish.Though not Lisa.On the other hand, I'm pretty certain this lot is all German and smaller scale German at that (a side note in case you don't know: German furniture tends to come in two scales. More usually 1/10th (where 1 inch equals 10 inches in real life: chosen as Germany is and was a metric society so 1/12th wouldn't make as much sense to them) or 3/4 scale (which is a catchall term used to cover the range 1/15th - 1/18th which is what was considered standard scale for children's dolls houses through the middle of last century)Then there's this bunk set. Which is driving me nuts as I swear I've seen it before. I know similar sets have been produced in 1/10th scale in Germany but this set is definitely 3/4 scale. I spent 24 hours tossing up whether to buy it and finally decided not to. I still wonder if I made the right choice...

The reason I thought my new chairs could be Hubsch (East German) was because of a set of furniture I already own, identified from this photo of a box lid:on page 220 of
this excellent book (one of four titles by Dian Zillner that I couldn't live without as a collector)

And also because the shiny fabric used to upholster them is very reminiscent of the fabric on some miniature German divans I used to have.

But when Mrs Vero kindly lent me one of her Hubsch chairs (on the left) to compare and contrast, you can see that the new chair (on the right) is just ever so slightly bigger (and not quite as well finished): Which leaves me completely perplexed and due to remain that way as, as far as I can see, information on vintage German dolls house furniture (especially East German vintage dolls house furniture) is almost non-existent.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A good sign

and an excellent soundtrack to accompany the task (alas I could only find a link to the 3 min edit, not the full 46:53 min version)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I love a good mystery...

Today's $5 op shop spend netted me the following:Knitting in Vogue (worked out at $1.50 as there was no price on it and I got one of those "Oh... $5 the lot?" replies when I asked how much it was. Love those replies!). Three pairs of torties, two single torties and a set of size 11 pink dpns, still in original wrapping* (50 cents the lot.) And a copy of Chicks with Sticks ($3).

So what's the mystery?

Is it why on earth I'm buying a knitting pattern book when the daisy hoodie is still sitting unsewn up? (Errr..... no. But that's a very good question!)

Is it the fact that I got 8 torties for 50 cents from Salvos when Vinnies charges $5 a pair? (No, but Vinnies pricing is a mystery sometimes)

The mystery was inside the final purchase:

Was the book bought in Auckland? If so was it the "Stock clearance $7.00 (1 @$3.00)" from Whitcoulls on Queen Street purchased at 2:16pm on May 22nd this year? Or the "Ast hot fiction $5.99" from The Warehouse just around the corner almost 24 hours before? Or are these receipts just randomly in the book? Who put the receipts in there? Do they only shop between 2pm and 3pm or was this a random coincidence? Were they just visiting Auckland or do they live there? Does the fact they also bought "Anchor Lite Blue" and "Colgate Tpaste" at the same time give us any clues? Did they buy the toothpaste to feel better for getting "Smarties Milk C"? And how did the book make its way to Salvos Belconnen just over two months later? I suspect we'll never know (unless, by some amazing coincidence, the ex owner reads my blog...)

In other related op shop news which I've been meaning to share for a while:

Salvos Belconnen looks to have finished sorting itself out after its expansion and reshuffle.

Vinnies Belconnen has a good supply of cotton and cotton/acrylic 8 ply yarn for anyone wanting to get a head start on Christmas washcloths. Prices between 50 cents and $1 a ball.

And Ys Buys in Belconnen has everything (except books for some reason) half price for the foreseeable future.

(*Before I redonate does anyone want these?)

Monday, July 28, 2008

Modern Miniatures on Monday: Parade of Houses, Part Six

And, just to confuse issues, there's another Lundby house called Stockholm.

Designed by
Box Design architects Ann Morsing and Behan Nord, it was released to the European market in 2005 but not in Australia until 2007. I got mine in late June 2006. It was free (OK, sometime there are perks involved in selling dolls house furniture on eBay!)

This Stockholm (the first new design for Lundby in 15 years) feels more like a beach house, with only three rooms: lounge/ dining/ kitchen:bathroom, and bedroom:There's outdoor access between them all (including an external staircase) plus three outdoor terraces (including a pull-out swimming pool on the bottom level).

Paintings are by
Lisa Rinnevuo.

My Curator and I are in discussion about added extras needed. The discussion is going something like this:

(Last week)

Her: Can we have a
slide and sunloungers and parasol like in the catalogue?

Me: I'll think about it...

(This week)

Me: I'm thinking of getting the
garden table and benches for the patio as there's not much room to eat inside...

Her: But won't that block the view of the lounge?

Me: And a whacking great slide or parasol won't?!

Her: (After a few moments) Are you planning on getting
the vine for the trellis?

Me: No. It's $30. And I don't like it that much. Unless you have budget for it...
Anyway, that's the end of my collection of Lundby houses. Although it's a little tempting to add the new Gotland cottage when it's released in a couple of months:but I suspect my Curator would have words with me as she's already had to find room for two extra houses in the exhibition space...

But stay tuned! We're not leaving Sweden yet. Next week, it's life Con Brio...

Thursday, July 24, 2008

There's a new man in my life...

Dinner at Taph's last night. She introduced me to Captain Jack Harkness. After a three hour date, I think this might be a long term thing...

I also like his large, hard, thrusting...
fountain and hope to see more of both very very soon.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Krakatoa Cake

Not that it's officially called that but after deciding to try Consumption Rebellion's 5 minute chocolate cake recipe and opening the microwave door to this scene:there was no other name that fitted quite as well.

And, hey, it continues my habit
of naming chocolate cake disasters after natural seismic phenomenon.

(It still tasted fine, btw)

Monday, July 21, 2008

Modern Miniatures on Monday: Parade of Houses, Part Five

Lundby released a new design of house in their 1975 catalogue. Originally called the Super Deluxe (but later known as The Stockholm), the house was quite different to the Gothenburg style house that Lundby had been producing for decades:This photo ("borrowed" from Cameron House Miniatures) shows the optional front and the basement/ stable level which was first shown in the 1979 catalogue.

I finally succumbed to the lure of The Stockholm in September 2005, when I bought one off German eBay. I can't remember how much it cost (and I really don't want to read through my diaries of the time to see if I noted it as September-December 2005 was not a period of my life I'd like to be reminded of) but I guess around $200 including postage, unfurnished (but in the original carton):
It wasn't until after it arrived that I realised, based on some telltale details like the colour of the stairs and the arches, that the house was actually several years newer than I'd hoped. Which was a bit of a problem as I'd decided that I was only collecting up until 1980 (mainly because I don't like a lot of the furniture Lundby was producing in the 80s) and this house was newer than that.

Finally I decided that close enough was good enough and a Stockholm in the hand was worth more than one in the bush. Besides, I was one of very few people that would even notice, let alone care. So my early 80s house is furnished as it would have been in the late 70s.

This house was a bit of an afterthought so has many bits missing from it. I'll try and round some of them up over the next month or so and add them before the opening. Ditto with the lighting. I pretty much used up my supplies on the last two houses and am currently trying to decide if I want to leave it unlit, start the hunt for correct lights, or use
modern versions of classic designs from my eBay store.

I need the Blue Heaven dressing table (the dressing table in the bedroom at present is an imposter):
a sink for the bathroom (I hadn't realised until I was cleaning out that it was missing), and either the white corner cupboard or the Royal sideboard for the dining room...(More photos, as always, here)

Sunday, July 20, 2008

On my desk

* Two eBay Lundby orders paid for overnight which I need to pack and post today (or maybe tomorrow...)
* One Lundby special order which I need to invoice.
* One piece of fabric which a friend asked me to hem so she can use it as a shawl. Plus two stripy tops I think she might like and a wooden hanger I want to use to make a pantihose holder for her.
* Special order Groovy Green Bag which I vow will be finished by the end of the day (assuming no disasters)
* Frames I bought this week for cards from this exhibition I saw in New Zealand back in March and this one I saw in Melbourne in May. Putting the two together shouldn't take much time or effort.
* Business accounts. Which will take substantially more time and effort. I tell myself the quicker I get them finished the sooner I can get my tax return in and see if I have a refund this year.
* Vintage Lundby Stockholm house waiting to be sorted for tomorrow's Parade of Houses post.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Frugalling Fairy has fun (or: Questions in Queanbeyan)

Today was one of those weird and perplexing days that regular op shoppers have occasionally (I assume it's not just me that this happens to?)

Tania, Helen and I decided a full-on frugalling foray was long overdue and so headed out to Queanbeyan. I've not made it out there
since April so was looking forward to seeing what was new and having a good fossick.

First stop was Vinnies. I picked up three cones of green overlocker thread for $1 each and some cool red white and black sailing themed fabric ($3 for 2.5 metres). So far, so good. I'm happy. The day has started well.

Next we headed up the road to The Bargain Hunter where I should have started getting a little suspicious that The Frugalling Fairy was up to something. I got two pairs of cream and black knitting needles for the collection
kinetic sculpture for $1 each. Not anything unusual there (apart from the fact I'm still buying them when I really don't need them.)

A copy of
Overboard: The stories cruise lines don't want told for $3. It's a bit weird finding that on the shelf.

an Ian McCulloch CD single I've been just a little obsessed about since I got a copy of it in a Swap-Bot swap a couple of years ago (I promise you I only looked it up on You Tube and noticed the dolls' house connection in the last couple of months!). This single was released in 1992. Sixteen years ago. And there it was, sitting patiently in The Bargain Hunter for me to arrive and claim it. So I'm starting to feel the inkling of suspicion that this is going to be a very good day indeed.

Across the road, round the corner and into (big) Salvos. I think the whole shop (if not town) heard my scream of delight as I spotted Richard Scarry's
What Do People Do All Day? sitting on the shelf: right next to a copy of The Funniest Picture Book Ever (which I don't believe I've read yet and plan to take to bed tonight, forgoing Prince Caspian at ANU Film Group). I should have suspected Salvos Queabeyan was Richard Scarry Central after I bought a Richard Scarry Busytown doona cover there some months ago. For far too much money. This time though, both books came to a total of $4 so they were snapped up quick smart. Along with a few other kids books.

I'd originally planned to give this to Little E for Christmas. But now I'm not sure I can let it leave the house. Sure, I have my original childhood (unexpurgated) copy tucked safely away. But it would be nice to have a spare, wouldn't it? And Little E can always read it when he's visiting...

From Queanbeyan we headed back across the border to Phillip,
Addicted to Fabric, lunch at Chocolate Olive (where I finally meet Button Beauty, well named as I admired the button necklace she was wearing) then Salvos and Vinnies - where the magic had well and truly worn off. I bought nothing (although tempted by 6 videos of H.R. Pufnstuf)

Thursday, July 17, 2008


Once again ActewAGL decided they had to replace a power pole in the area so the power was off around here today.

This time I'd learnt my lesson and was showered well before the stated cut off time. Alas, my crumpets weren't quite toasted but were quite edible, if slightly on the soft side.

After the drama I had trying to work with no power last month, I decided to give up and take the day as annual leave (although it has since been pointed out to me that if I'd actually been in an office with no power I still would have been paid even if I wasn't able to do anything.)

So there I was this morning with an unexpectedly empty day ahead of me. At first I was tempted to just run away from my cold, dark house and spend the day op shopping but then I decided to stay home and make a game of it.

What could I do without power?

Not the dishes (no hot water)

But I could remove everything from the benches and clean them down properly. And take the packing boxes from the last lot of Lundby stock out to the garage from next to the fridge where they've been for a couple of weeks.

Not the ironing.

But I could fold and put away the clean washing plus some other random items of clothing hanging round (or, more precisely, dumped on the floor or chair)

No sewing.

But I could settle in and finish the belated birthday wristwarmers and have them ready to deliver tonight when I go to dinner at the birthday boy's place.

No baking.

But I could go get the groceries.

And I could also spend some quality time in The Room of Shame sorting and tidying and putting away. There's been a lot of dumping and running of dolls house furniture over the past few weeks so getting them back in their correct boxes was pretty satisfying.

By 11:30am I'd decided I could justify a little op shop foray as I needed to go out to buy lunch anyway. Of the things I picked up this is my favorite:
A $5 top. Not to wear (it's a size 8) but because the fabricis identical to my favourite very expensive Swanky Hanky that I bought last year.

I think it's time I learnt to sew a rolled hem and turn this top into some very cheap not swanky hankies!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Tuesday, and life returns to something approaching normality around here... (another random post in bullet points)

* I think I've kicked this lurg. Almost. Fingers crossed that one more day will have me leaping round like a well thing.

* My
Swap-bot July black and white swap closes soon. Tomorrow, I think (my time converter brain is still on the blink). There's still time to go sign up and join in the fun.

* Mucho excitement around here with the news that
Tivo is launching in Australia on July 17th. I've wanted one for years (especially after having the opportunity to play with Nancy's when I was in The States a couple of years ago). But $699? I think I'll wait awhile...

* Oh, yeah. I won the Caroline's Home house on eBay last night. That brings the house tally to fourteen. Now I'm in that state of "will they get back to me, will they pack it properly, will it actually arrive?" Yep, that's the part of the eBay experience I prefer to forget.

* If you're a bit desperate to own a Kaleidoscope house, there are a couple up on eBay at the moment.
This one is MIP, with furniture, will ship worldwide and has a starting bid of US $999.00. Or, if you're lucky enough to live in the USA, this one (also with furniture but with a couple of faults) is currently sitting on US $255.00.

* Tonight's plans involve some wristwarmer knitting for a birthday 3 weeks past, sewing of a special order groovy green bag (also very overdue) and the start of the big scary pile of TSS accounts I need to sort out before I can submit my tax return.

* And since there have been a few too many photoless posts here recently, here's a photo of our stall at The Old Bus Depot Markets on Sunday:more photos from Happy Spider can be found
here and Olivia, here.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Modern Miniatures on Monday: Parade of Houses, Part Four (1975-78 Lundby)

And this is where my collection of 3/4" scale houses started, with my 1975-78* Lundby house.

It was late morning Saturday 29th March 2003 (if you want to be precise) when I bought my first Lundby house from the ACT Miniature Enthusiasts show. A friend told me later that I'd bought it off collector Wendy Benson (who had been part of the Dolls' Houses in Australia exhibition at Elizabeth Bay House in Sydney back in 1999/ 2000) but I was too excited at the time ensuring the $85 treasure was mine to notice who sold it to me.

Vintage mid-1970s Lundby dolls' house.This photo was taken once I got it home and arranged the furniture that came with it, plus added the very few pieces I had that might work (mainly childhood treasures: the blue and pink kitchenware you can see on the kitchen table, the rug in the dining room and the childhood embroidered picture propped under the stairs.)

Since then it's grown like topsy and now looks like this, complete with the extensions that were available at the time the house was designed:Vintage mid-1970s Lundby dolls' house with two floor extensions, pool and fence.(I've let the ragtag bunch of dolls that came with the house stay on, even if they're missing various limbs or look like they're got some nasty disease. I did, at one stage, banish them to the car when it arrived in the hope they'd drive off into the sunset but felt bad so let them come back inside. Where they seem very happy.)

The house itself may have come from just across town, but the two extension levels came from the USA (via eBay. At, embarrassingly, more per level than the house itself cost...) They both have this sticker attached the the front right corner:Close up of the frame of a vintage mid-1970s Lundby dolls' house, showing a sticker saying 'Lundby of Sweden dist. by Block House Inc.' Designwise, not terribly much has changed since 1973/74. As you can see the edging is now brown plastic. The colour scheme is more 'together'. There's a clip-on balcony. And there is carpet on the top level floors and plastic window inserts (you can see in the photo below how they are designed with slots to clip the curtains into)Vintage Lundby dolls' house window and chair.This photo, to me, encapsulates what this house is all about. The chair came with the house and so (with as many of the other original pieces as possible) stays. And the cushion was one I made when I was around 11 to 13 years old for my first dolls' house. It's survived the years, and my moving house (and country!), and it seemed fitting that it live in this house.

In this house I've been less worried about having the 'correct' furniture than in my later purchases. Probably because at the time I bought it I thought it was going to be my only house in this scale (!), so decided to furnish it with pieces I like rather than be a pedant.

So the lounge furniture is Tomy Smaller Homes (American)Vintage Lundby dolls' house lounge.the kitchen is Caroline's Home (English)Vintage Lundby dolls' house kitchen.and the dining room (which you've seen before) is Jean of West Germany.Vintage Lundby dolls' house dining room.My favourite parts of this house?

The 'big eye' pictures on the lounge wall I got off eBay with a lot of German furniture:Two vintage doll's house big eye' pictures on a lounge wall.The craft area in the basement, complete with desk, sewing machine and picture of knitting and weaving:Vintage Lundby dolls' house desk with sewing machine on top.And the fact that I got given the pool (read the full story here) which had been bought at Salvos!

And now excuse me while I show some night pictures. As much as I may curse about rewiring lights I still find it a thrill to flick the switch to turn the lights on in a pitch black room...Vintage Lundby dolls' house study, lit up at night.Vintage mid-seventies Lundby dolls' house, lit up at night.(* Catalogues across these three years remain fairly standard with this house shown in each)


Sunday, July 13, 2008

On my desk

Well, worktable to be more precise. Clockwise from bottom right:

* The To Do list (very important thing to have. Extra points for managing to mark something off it!)
* Draft flier for my CMAG floortalks: to be proof read. Plus flier and pamphlet for the current exhibition to compare it with. I really want to spend some time today working on the essay I need to provide for my pamphlet in readiness for the Senior Curator's visit tomorrow. We'll see...
* Old paintbrush for dusting out this week's dolls' house.

* Catalogue printout for this week's dolls' house for reference.
* This week's dolls' house. Empty and ready for a clean.
* Half finished bags that should be at the markets and might possibly be by the end of the day if things go according to plan.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Checking in

* Woke up at a decent hour? Check
* Got out of PJs? Check
* Had a shower? Check
* Got dressed? Check
* Felt like having music on? Check
* Did housework? Check (1 load dishes, 3 loads washing)
* Cooked breakfast and lunch rather than dive into the freezer for a quick microwavable fix? Check
* Did some sewing? Check
* Delivered stuff to Happy Spider for tomorrow's stall? Check

I must be feeling better then...

* Went op shopping? Nup.
* Cooked dinner? Nup - Noodle Choice takeout on the way home.
* Planning to stay up past 8pm? Nup

OK, so not 100% yet..

Friday, July 11, 2008

'Snot fair!

13 hours "sleep" (and I use that term most loosely) and the first thought I had when I woke up this morning was "Someone shoot me, please..."

I'm as sick as a dead dog.

I've just given the girls a heads up that I probably won't be at the markets on Sunday. They, bless their hearts, have told me I have to stay home if I'm not feeling 100% but that my bags and cupcakes are most welcome to come along and hang round the stall to keep their stuff company.

We'll see if a miraculous recovery takes place in the next 48 hours. Good thing I have a few more lemons left to make hot lemon honey and ginger drinks with. And a lovely bed which is calling me back as I type. I don't even fancy propping up and watching Flight of the Conchords on my laptop, I'm that flattened :-(

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Frugalled by a friend, plasitc as yet unfound, feeling feverish and foiled plans

This little lot landed on my desk yesterday:frugalled by a friend on my behalf at the markets on Sunday while I was tucked up in bed sound asleep!

And, weirdly, I actually have three canisters from this set (Flour, Tea and Rice) which I picked up at Camberwell markets in Melbourne for $5 the lot. These ones are in much better nick, even without having had a wash.

They all bring back childhood memories of how the labels on our kitchen canisters seldom matched their contents (Dad: "Where's the milo?" Us:"In the tea container. I think...") Maybe I should consider a similar approach: "Now where is that very important bit of plastic? Oh, that's right, in the Flour canister..."

Yes, The Room of Shame has yet to cough up my missing dolls' house bits. I may have resort to creating replacements out of wood after trying the "stand at the door and glare menacingly" approach...

And I have another cold. Yay to working in air conditioned offices with a "share and share alike" approach. Not. There'll be no sewing for me this evening as I head to bed very very early.

Finally, I heard today that the opening of my exhibition has to be moved to October 11th, one week later that originally planned. Damn and blast. Hope The Parental Units can move their tickets...

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

An exciting invitation, a dolls' house sighting and the (frustrating) hunt for small bits of plastic

'Tis only just after 7am and I have news for the day already!

1. My
Spoonflower invite came through while I was fast asleep. Weehee! Damned shame I'm so flat out I don't have time to go play this week. Hopefully next week things will quieten down and I can do some creating.

2. I've spotted
the Caroline's Home house I need to finish my collection on eBay. The poor seller gave me a postage quote which I declared was far too low so he's off to talk to Royal Mail and send me a much higher (but more realistic) one. Unless I've scared him off and he's running for the hills screaming as I type...

3. I pulled the next Lundby house off the shelf to start dusting and sorting it out so I can pack it for the exhibition. Decided to see what it would look like with the extra extension level I have. But do you think I can find the extension feet (brown plastic bits, about 23 cm long which sit between the levels so the edges don't get damaged)? Not on your nelly! I know I put them somewhere special. But I suspect that place has changed several times with a couple of cleanouts and room rearrangements over the past year or so. Do I have time to rifle through every box and cupboard right now? Nup.

4. And that's because I agreed to get to work early today to buy supplies for a function we're having tonight. So not only am I starting work at sparrow's fart, I won't be leaving work until around 7pm. Then I have a dinner engagement so when I get home tonight I'll be feeding the cat, filling the hottie and stumbling into bed.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Modern Miniatures on Monday: Parade of Houses, Part Three (1973-1974 Lundby)

Vintage Lundby dolls' house, circa 1973-74.Vintage Lundby House 1973-1974. (I dated this house as straddling two years as it still has the attachments on the base for the legs (see my 1967 vintage Lundby house), which were discontinued in 1973. But it also has the 'new' plastic stair rails and stairs which first appeared in the 1974 catalogue.

This is my least favorite house. There. I've said it. And it feels good to acknowledge it out loud.

At first I thought it might have been the dark, dirty looking green wallpaper that covers the back wall. Or the fact that, of all my houses, this is the one that survived the trip here least well and so it has splits where it shouldn't have and bits glued back on that show it. Badly. Plus marks from a previous owner to top it all off.

But, as I spent time with it over the past week cleaning and mending it best I could, I realised what the problem really is. This is the surly, gangly teenager of my dolls' house collection.

You can still see traces of the house it used to be in the late 60s:

* The front edging is still white wood, same as my 1967 house.
* The chimney remains the same as previous models (see below)

* The internal doors are wood, with handles on one side only:Wooden door in a vintage Lundby dolls' house.
* The windows remain crude. Oddly enough, separate plastic window inserts were available in the 1970 catalogue but disappeared the following year.

You can also see the beginnings of what The Lundby Style was to become:

* The external bricks are now white:Back of a vintage Lundby dolls' house.
* And there is now a hole in the back of the house, under the stairs, to store the transformer.
* The stairs, banister and railings at the top are now plastic and will remain this style up until the present day:Vintage Lundby dolls' house stair case with white plastic rails.White plastic rails at the top of the stairs in a vintage Lundby dolls' house.* The bathroom windows have disappeared and there is now a wall and door between the dining room and bathroom. This will also remain part of the Lundby house design up until the present day.
* Interestingly enough, this appears to be the first model where they use custom designed miniature wallpaper rather than full sized offcuts.

My favourite pieces of furniture in this house are:

The groovy bed set with swirly fabric cover and stool (Lundby 9721 New Scandinavia: listed as new in the 1974 catalogue but with a different style stool. I have both stools but prefer this one with legs)Vintage Lundby dolls' house 1970s-style bedroom.The matching swivel chair and footstool in the study area (Lundby 5450 Snurrefatolj and Lundby 5451 Snurrepall)Vintage Lundby dolls' house study area with red piano, swivel chair and foot stool. I also think the Pippi Longstocking TV is pretty cool and brings back childhood memories. Pity I don't have one complete with a base... Vintage Lundby dolls' house living room. (For the sharp eyed amongst you you'll notice the kitchen chairs remain the same as the ones in the 1957 and 1967 house, except this time they're yellow. And two interesting bits of trivia: the kitchen table is a real Formica pattern called Virrvarr, designed in 1958 by Sigvard Bernadotte. And the painting above the swivel chair is The Reader painted by Jean-Honore Fragonard between 1770 and 1772 The original hangs in The National Gallery of Art in Washington DC)

(This house was purchased, unfurnished, off German eBay in June 2004).


Monday, July 07, 2008

Flat batteries

My batteries have died. So have my camera's.

The latter is pretty easy to fix. The former not so.

Saturday I had the opportunity to do some overtime and help out a friend. By the time I got home I was stuffed and so plans to go see 2 Days in Paris went out the window.

Sunday, plans to do anything went out the window as I slept late, woke up and decided going back to sleep was a very fine idea indeed. Repeat for the rest of the day and suddenly I have a missing weekend, a mountain of washing and a rather grotty house.

And no impetus to do anything about it. Especially as today was grey and wet and cold and not conductive to doing, well, anything. Which is one of the reasons this week's dolls' house post has been put off til tomorrow.

I know I should be all cheery and chirpy. Afterall, I did get a visit from Taph on Saturday afternoon. A visit and a gift from Janet on Sunday evening. And a package from New Zealand this morning which contained (amongst other things) Snow Toffee Pops (Not happy that those packets are getting smaller every year!) and the latest Moby CD.

Miss Daisy spent today at Braddon Smash Repairs and is a new woman car. Tonight I plan to finally bake Comfy & Cosy's creamy lemon slice before the lemons rot completely in the fruit bowl (and to make up for the fact I didn't make it to dinner at J&M's last night with her Mum and Dad and her Mum's lemon slice)

I might even do some dishes. Or I might retire early to my nicely turned, freshly made bed and hope my batteries have recharged by morning...

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Dear Frugalling Fairy...

I guess you missed me last month, huh?

It's the only explanation I can find for the fact that the very first op shop I set foot inside after a one month break had a handful of dolls house books in the craft section.

Dolls house books! In an op shop!

After I got over my shock I had a closer look and picked out a copy of
Making Miniature Gardens by Freida Gray. It was a whole $5. I also scooped up a copy each of Dollhouse Miniatures, Dolls House World and International Dolls House World: $2.50 for all three. Then I rang a couple of people to let them know the rest of the books were there. Because I'm nice like that.

So, dear Frugalling Fairy, thank you. Now I just have to decide if I'm adding the book to my collection or sharing the joy by offering it to a mini friend...

Yours (as always)
The Shopping Sherpa

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

The monthly round up: June/ July


In June fifteen junk books made it out of the my bookcase, were read, and are now waiting for a trip to the second hand bookshop/ Lifeline drop box. That's an average of one every two days (which meant utter candyfloss for the brain overload), and a lot of extra space made. V v happy!

July's reading theme is journeys so I plan to make my way through some of the backlog of travel and travel-related books I have.


I saw one movie this month at ANU Film Group:
Romulus my Father. I didn't make it to see The Other Boleyn Girl (as I ended moving my ticket for Mathinna to the same night) or The Home Song Stories (as no one else in the group wanted to stay on to see it and I didn't have my car with me.) My cost per view at ANU Film Group is down to $5.00 (not counting the guests I've taken on my card) and we're only halfway through the year. Excellent!

In July I plan to see
2 Days in Paris, Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian and Hey Hey it's Esther Blueburger.


I attended two Canberra Theatre subscriptions in June. There's nothing in July, alas, but I do plan to go see Quantum Leap's
My Brother my Sister at the end of the month and also visit National Archives to see their exhibition Strike a Pose with Lee Lin Chin ("a vibrant photographic exhibition showcasing the Australian fashion scene of the 1960s and 1970s celebrities, trends and influences. Co-curatored by Lee Lin Chin, SBS World News Presenter and host of Fashionista, the exhibition explores the key defining influences that shaped our Australian style and the colourful events that are fixtures on the fashion follower's social calendar. Posed fashion shoots are juxtaposed with images of exuberant street culture." No link on the NAA site that I can see. Which is rather weird)

Other stuff:

* July means another of my quarterly black and white swaps over at Swap-Bot... Come over and join the fun!

* We're having another stall at Old Bus Depot Market for Fibre Day on Sunday July 13th. Sp the next two weeks will be a frenzy of bag making.
* Four more dolls houses will be cleaned, fixed, photographed, packed and highlighted on my Parade of Houses posts on Mondays. And I really really should get cracking on finding a printer for the cards, bookmarks and notebooks I want to produce to sell as part of the exhibition. If you have a tame, local, good value printer I'd love to hear from you...
* And I promise to get my daisy hoodie sewn up now I can buy a zip for it!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Fiscal Fast Day Thirty: All over for another year

Day Thirty:

Breakfast: Tea. Wholemeal toast with ginger, lemon and lime marmalade. Plain yoghurt.

Morning Tea: Crispbreads and cheese.

Lunch: Lentil and vegetable curry from the freezer with rice, poppadoms and yoghurt.

Afternoon tea: Wholemeal toast with butter and honey.

Dinner: Leftover pumpkin and spinach risotto from the freezer.

Finished today:
* Poppadoms (but who cares?!)

Total spent since June 1: $156.59 (plus $116.84 on a dolls house.)

Well, not really. I did spend on other things that weren't counted on a day-to-day level.

Here's the final tally for June 2008 (excluding rent and car loan payments):

Transport: $42.50 ($40 petrol, $2.50 parking)
Car insurance: $61.53
Food: $150.89 (the daily tally above included parking and the domes for Princess B's stole, which I removed for final accounting. I spent an average of $5.02 per day on food. A whole 1 cent more per day than last month. Which is quite surprising as I've been buying cat food this year instead of having a stash to work with. And then there was the matter of the cheese, which I thought would blow the budget... Then again, I did get given a lot of food (most of which I haven't actually touched yet!))
Books & stationery: $18.00 (automatic quarterly payment for my Marie Claire subscription)
Gifts: $3.20 (Princess B's domes)
Entertainment: $159.10 (dolls house and internet for the month)
Utilities: $27.74 (phone bill)
Other: $179.25 (an ouchy amount which includes annual credit card fees and interest charges. I'm working hard on getting rid of both very very soon)

Total: $642.21 (Last year's total: $579.88)

Day Thirty One:

Spent today:
* Smoked salmon, crumpets, milk and cat biscuits (a celebrationary breakfast for me and him): $19.75

* Book (for exhibition): $14.66 including postage
* Return bus fare to Sydney for Modern Times symposium and first weekend of Sydney Design (including Krispin K tour) in August: $30.00
* Thai Garden lunch box: $8.50 (eaten sharing the dining table with a little something that arrived in this morning's post...)
* A month's worth of magazines picked up from the newsagents: $48.44
* Long overdue haircut (with latte, chocolate and a read of July 2008's Australian Vogue included): $78.00

Total: $199.34

Good thing I got paid today, isn't it?