Saturday, August 30, 2008

Second Hand Saturday

A few days ago I was on the phone with Taph and happened to mention that I'd noticed Poirot was on TV on Friday night and how I was thinking of watching as I used to really enjoy it years ago when I saw it (probably more for the interior design and architecture than anything!) I also mentioned I was considering checking out some Miss Marples as I'd just read that she knitted.

"Odd you should say that" replied Taph. She just happened to have a pile of Miss Marples she was about to release on Bookcrossing and promised to bring them round when she picked me up this morning before the YMCA Garage Sale.Also in the bag was a lovely vintage tin, full of treasure:I really don't understand how she could bear to part with it but am very glad she did!

Speaking of treasure, I found a bit of it at the garage sale. This little pile came to $5 in total: I'm not sure which is my favorite: the giant reel of cotton? The vintage dolls house rug? The black and white row counter? (a bit hard to see at the top there) Or the black and white daisy ribbon?

Back outside, I picked up 4 black rubber place mats and matching coasters for $2 (the lot):and a pile of books for me and for friends for $8 total.How wonderful are these illustrations from Nothing at all rhymes?(Yep, that is a purple bagpipe holding while violin playing dancing cat you see before you...)
And Taph pointed out that this picture from a Lucie Attwell annual would make a perfect Seven Things button:

Friday, August 29, 2008

Feeling sick now

Friday night. Plans for drinks with colleagues have fallen through and as my cubicle mate described how he planned to spend his evening ("wine, pizza and Steven Segal movie, probably in bed") my thoughts turn in a similar direction (sans Steven Segal)

And when my mind turns to pizza there's only one place to go:
Turk Oz for a small takeaway Super Sebzeli (vegetarian) pide.

I trot happily home from Turk Oz, crawl into my PJs, open the box and start stuffing my face eating.

And, as I hit the first slice in the second half I have a very rude awakening. Because, suddenly, this doesn't taste like a Super Sebzeli. It tastes... awful. There's brown minced up stuff in it. It slowly dawns on me: somehow they've made half my pide with MEAT.

I run to the toilet to spit it out. But it's too late. I ate meat. For the first time in... ummmm... 15 years? I feel sick. The house smells funny.

I can't go back over to sort it out because once the PJs are on they stay on. In their defence (Turk Oz's, not my PJs'), when I call and ask to speak to the Manager (and after being passed on to someone with much giggling and "They want to speak to the MANAGER!" comments in the background) whoever it is does apologise, say the order must have got mixed up and offers me a free large pide next time I come in.

But that doesn't really help the fact I feel sick. And ate MEAT!

Oh well, the Pollyanna in me says it's a test of faith. I could have eaten it and said "Oh yummy! This is delish, must have more! Thank goodness there was a mixup in my order so I could realise I'm no longer a non-meat eater." But no it was definitely a "What the hell is this disgusting stuff and where's my pide?" reaction.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

On my desk(s)

Today I looked to my left and I saw this:which pretty much encapsulates my week.

Dolls' House book for research purposes? Check.

Random piece of dolls' house furniture? Check.

Slightly ratty discarded wristwarmer not needed as we're having have False Spring at the moment? Check.

CIT Design brochure in readiness for the Open Day this weekend? Check.

Cafe Del Mar CD to remind me what I have and what I need to find? Check.

And, more excitingly, across the room on the worktable:

New woven TSS labels so I no longer have to wrestle with twill tape and the printer? CHECK!

I'm feeling like my ducks are not only in a row, they're giving me a tap dancing recital in full costume...

Happiness is...

...time for a little creativity. It was a friend's birthday on Monday. I planned to make her a zipped pouch out of some fabric I picked up on the weekend but when I dove into the Stash Mountain to look for lining I found this rubber-backed curtaining which begged to be made into an apron:She loved, especially as she's returning to the States soon.

... getting my tax in and ordering next year's diary insert.

... a three hour work lunch where I caught up with some lovely people I've not seen in years. And ate far too much Turkish food.

... a hair cut, the latest Belle and a piccolo of pink bubbles after work.

... driving home at 6:30 pm in shirtsleeves with the window down and Evermore blaring on the CD player bringing back good memories of the 2007 Big Day Out:

... starting some long-overdue phone catch-ups with friends.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

School night? Midnight!

I can't blame Taph as I was very happy to hear from her that Helvetica was on SBS last night at 10:05pm. I'd been scanning the movie listings in Panorama for months (and occasionally the DVD listings on eBay) wondering if somehow I'd missed its release. Taph knows my (lack of) mainstream media habits so made sure I heard it was going to be on.

I can't blame J&M, who gave me my beautiful "new" TV which, even without the digital set top box set up, has a much better picture than my old TV.

Can I blame the TV which, even though when it was delivered quite happily managed to speak to my very ancient video player, last night decided it didn't exist?

Rats! Any thoughts I had of taping the documentary and going to bed at a normal time flew out the window.

But, as I was trying to understand the manual, I noticed the start of
a rather interesting looking programme. Which I settled in to watch while I ate dinner.

Then I watched Helvetica.

And, just as I was heading to the TV to turn it off, some rather intriguing programme titles came up. Which turned into a fabulous programme called Great Expectations: A Journey Through the History of Visionary Architecture. I stood prevaricating in front of the heater for at least the first five minutes before settling back onto the sofa with a sigh of contented bliss:

And finally made it to bed at midnight. Evil TV. Evil SBS. Happy (but tired) me.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Modern Miniatures on (ahem) Tuesday: Parade of Houses, Part Ten

Remember a couple of weeks ago I talked about some mystery furniture I bought off eBay? On the box lid for the furniture pictured in Dian Zillner's book was this house (well, not this exact house but the same model):The caption in the book reads:

German house that is exactly like the one pictured on the cover of the "HUBSCH" furniture box. It is marked "Vero/ Made in Germany." It was evidently made in East Germany since that is where the boxed furniture was produced. The house has an outside stairway and four large rooms. It looks very similar to other houses from the period that were made in West Germany, as well as the Lundby houses from Sweden.

The only other information I have on Vero is from an email I sent in September 2005 to another Australian I heard of who had a similar house. In it I said "I'm hoping you might have some info on the houses apart from the fact the company was originally Gottschalk" (a connection I'm trying now to find the reference for)

From the front the Vero house may look similar to the rest of the houses I've featured here but the left side is quite different, with floor to a ceiling window on the top level giving it a light and airy feel and a beautiful stone wall below:The plants along the window ledge are original to the house and firmly glued in place.The other end of the house is all hunkering and blank in contrast: Inside Mr and Mrs Vero have the neighbourhood children visiting. They own the first TV in the neighbourhood so have invited them over to watch it.
(As usual, more photos over at FLICKR. Oh - and if you happen to know anything more about Vero please get in touch!)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

What I've been watching:

Philippe Gentry's Lands End, last night at The Playhouse:

If you don't blink at around 1:29 of this promo:

you'll see the bit I called Dance of the disappearing dolls houses. There was dancing. There was a whole village of white model buildings. Which, towards the end, wandered their way across the stage in a single line and then Poof! disappeared (as things were wont to do through the whole production.

I was the one in the audience cackling "Come to me my pretties" the whole time...

And this morning I watched this at
Manic Thrift Store Shopper and cackled in a whole different way... - Watch more free videos

Saturday, August 23, 2008

8, 7, 6...

This morning started with an early breakfast with fellow frugaller Tania at Black Pepper Cafe down by the lake at Belconnen. I ordered their two course $17.50 Champagne Breakfast (the coffee was extra) which sounded intriguing...Our table number was quite apt as I definitely 8 too much. But it was good and I was well fortified for the next part of the morning.

Which involved 7 op and second hand shops.

One: Salvos Belconnen

They've finished the expansion and rearrangement under the direction of Kylie who worked similar miracles out at the Queanbeyan store (and was also one of my favorite gym instructors when I used to make it to Bodypump at the gym)
I picked up a copy of New Order's Republic on CD for $2.

Two: Vinnies Belconnen

Who have rearranged a bit as well and are currently looking rather empty. Apparently they were thinking of renovating but it doesn't look like it's happening afterall. The wool bin was looking particularly sad this morning.

I bought some fabric for a gift and summer trouser making, some knitting needles and a copy of Minefields and miniskirts: Australian Women and the Vietnam War. Total cost: $10.50.

Three: Y's Buys Belconnen

Which I realise I've never shown on the blog.Here's the famous Craft Room (note small person peeping out from behind the spinning wheel):Everything except books is still half price. Which meant I got this massive piece of fabric for $4 (it's about three times as long as you can see here. Note clodhopper for scale)and four cones of pink overlocker thread for $2 total. Plus a cruise book as a gift for Tania.

Four: Salvos Mitchell

Tania's first visit and pretty much the reason for the morning's foray. We had fun. We bought lots. I was intrigued by a video called Hamilton Mattress which is "from the producer of The Wrong Trousers". A good enough reason for me to plonk down $2.

Five: Aussie Junk Mitchell

Tania did better than I did but I did manage to snaffle a couple of vintage children's books for $1 each mainly for the illustrations.(I might just have to have a Christmas party this year so I can use that last illustration for the invites...)

Six: Vinnies Gungahlin

Another first time visit for Tania, and not much further up the road from Aussie Junk which made it worth popping out to. They had all winter clothes at 50% off and a remarkably good range of books. With, unfortunately, prices to match.

I left with a copy of Translatic ("In Transatlantic, the experience of crossing the Atlantic is re-created in stunning detail from the varied perspectives of first class, steerage, officers, and crew. The dynamic evolution of the Atlantic steamer is traced from Brunel's Great Western of 1838 to Cunard's Mauretania of 1907, the greatest steamship ever built.") which I thought was worth the $7 they were asking plus a copy of When London Calls: The Expatriation of Australian Creative Artists to Britain for $6 (and not just because it had a picture of a ship on the cover as well!)

On a side note: have I mentioned that Vinnies Gungahlin is one of only three op shops in Canberra open on a Sunday?

Seven: Vinnies Dickson

Where we discovered the motherload of vintage dresses. $7 each.
If you're around a size 10-12 and love the vintage vibe, I'd head down there 9am Monday...Speaking of vintage vibe, Tania's is much different to mine but very fine indeed. Here's a peek at some of the treasures she picked up this morning: Lampshade: $1, vintage single eiderdown: $5 (Salvos Mitchell)
Vintage wicker basket: $5 (Aussie Junk Mitchell)
1930s edition of The Oxford Book of English Verse: $5 (Vinnies Gungahlin)

And the 6 in the title? The total cost of my morning (including breakfast) was 6 (ty) dollars.

Where did my week go?

Oh hang on, it's starting to come back to me...

On Monday my new bed was delivered and my Curator, her lovely assistant and I packed another dolls house. Plus I started trying to play catch up after two weekends away in a row.

On Tuesday I went to see the fascinating In the Shadow of the Moon at ANU Film Group and decided, if I needed another crush, Mike Collins might just be it based on his commentary of the Apollo 11 mission.

Wednesday evening was spent devouring Jezzeblog's book of comic strips, I don't like chocolate. Brilliant!

Thursday early morning, while I was fast asleep in my new bed, I won this little beauty on eBay:According to the listing it's a Triang "V" house from 1962. Which is rather odd as this houseis listed on page 194 of Dian Zillner's International Dollhouses & Accessories 1880s to 1980s as a "Tri-ang "U" house dating from 1964."

I'm thinking one or other of the dates has to be out as no one in their right mind would name houses backwards alphabetically, and the V is obviously the larger version of the U (which I've been lusting after since I first spotted its picture in March 2004)

Perhaps an email to Triang guru Marion Osbourne is in order to see if she can shed any light on the matter...

Thursday turned out to be dolls house day as in the evening I finished That Damned Essay.

And last night I got a last minute invite to join The Stalled Sock Knitter S for a free performance of Much Ado About Nothing put on my Papermoon Productions over at the ANU. With red bubbles at Teatro Vivaldi beforehand (I'd link to their website as it's a fabulous place for a drink but the site is visually awful AND has blaring sound which you can't turn off. Which I hate almost as much as tags that people leave tacked to their coat sleeves)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

They may think it's a fish tank...

but all I can see is a fabulous modern roombox (see DESIGNSPOTTER)

And in slightly related late breaking news I just received word from my Sydney correspondent, Princess B telling me that 2009's IKEA catalogue has been spotted and captured. Now I just need one for me...

Monday, August 18, 2008

Modern Miniatures on Monday: Parade of Houses, Part Nine

At around the same time as Lundby was doing well in Sweden, a Danish company called Lisa was also building dolls houses and furniture in the same scale.

My Lisa house arrived June 2004 with (fortunately) a number of Lisa pieces (all in the wrong rooms):
plus some very clunky, out-of scale German pieces which were soon resold on eBay.There isn't very much known about Lisa houses and furniture. Apparently some people get them mixed up with Lundby houses but they're easy to tell apart (even if you don't have a whacking great "Lisa of Denmark" sticker on the front to guide you).The "step down" is on the left of the house whereas the Lundby "step down" is always on the right. The Lisa house has a terrace area on the left and the outside is papered with red and white brick, not Lundby's white and brown/ fawn.The only catalogues in existence are dated 1974/75, 1979 and 1981, and, according to The Lundby Letter Lisa was bought out by Lundby in late 1982. Before 1974 is all rather hazy at this stage...Many items of Lundby and Lisa furniture are similar. One of the easiest ways to tell the difference is check the "handles" on the furniture. Lisa tends to use circular indents as "handles" (see the centre section of this Lisa wall unit:and the drawers on this bedhead:)I'm very glad the house came with the bathroom pieces - one of my favorite parts of the house is the shower screen, complete with inbuilt water droplets...Longtime readers will remember the dining room from here. It's furnished with a Hanse (another Danish company) desk, stool and divan, and Brio Arne Jacobsen Series 7 chairs. Which are leftover from when I displayed my Brio furniture in my Lisa house before I got Brio houses. Oddly enough, based on this photo from a 1970s Käpphästen cataloguethere appears to be a strong link between Lisa and Brio. Which makes my use of Brio chairs in my Lisa house quite unremarkable.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Cue applause card!

Friday night saw an exodus down the highway to the Bundanoon YHA. (You can clap here if you want to because it's a mega awesome YHA, formerly an Edwardian Guest House. But make sure you save some steam if you chose to clap)

It was M's first visit to a YHA. As you can see we're definitely slumming it:

And if you were to look straight up from where we were sitting you'd see this: Is Bundanoon YHA the only hostel in the world with a chandelier?

And how beautiful is
this picture of the hostel?

We all arrived with different agendas. Well, OK , I lie slightly because eating great food and drinking wine was high on all our agendas. We whipped up an eggplant, zucchini, red pepper, brocollini and tomato stew with couscous for Friday dinner after a selection of delectable snacks to give us strength.

Saturday morning, after porridge and fruit, crumpets and lemon ginger lime marmalade (and a whistle stop tour of three local op shops) I waved everyone off on their 4 hour trek
and I settled in to finish this:(you can applaud now!)

Yes, 2007's winter jumper is complete! It only took putting myself under house arrest in The Southern Highlands to do so. (If anyone's interested, 40 of us can go under house arrest here for a weekend. Cost: a mere $22 a night. And they can feed us for an extra charge)

The timing was spot on, too as I got a text saying the rest of the gang were out of the National Park and heading for the pub if I wanted to walk into town to join them. Which I did, sporting my fab new hoodie.

By the time I reached town (with a detour through a fascinating secondhand shop) they had decamped from the pub (long and boring story) to the local cafewhere I spotted the perfect frugalling bike:Saturday finished with some wine and a delicious dinner at the Sutton Forest Inn followed by ginger kisses, strawberries and cream and grated chocolate back in front of the fire.

This morning breakfast got even better: leftover cream from last night and brown sugar donated by a fellow hosteller joined our porridge and fruit and we had toasted Italian bread with butter and honey to finish.

Which gave us the strength we needed to not only wander round the local markets but also to do a (comparatively) easy walk to the site of the old Erith coal mine and back.After which it was declared I simply HAD to see the view of the escarpment: After another stop at the cafe, an excellent lunch (we highly recommend the spicy vegetable rissoles with salad, hummus and sweet chili sauce), a bit of watching the Olympics (2008 style):a pit stop and a stop to admire the daffodilswe were on the road home (with a teensy weensy little detour through Collector to pick up more jam provisions for the next couple of months)