Thursday, April 30, 2009

Back to class...

Week 10: Cardboard chair brief

"Design and produce a working chair made from cardboard and adhesive only. Consider the following aspects:
* Structural strength
* Quantity of materials used
* Comfort/ ergonomics
* Style
* Target audience"

The class (of course) isn't really about the chair at all but the problem solving strategy a designer needs to use to arrive at the finished design: recognition of the problem, spontaneous trials, research, clarification and resolution.

We undertook steps one top three last night, culminating in the creation of a maquettes (I get to make dolls house furniture for class? Cool!)

My brainstorming (aka "spontaneous trials") page:
And my maquette, the "First date (confessional) seat":Which came from the idea of creating private spaces in a public area.

The high back came from a combination of some chairs made by my hairdresser back in New Zealand (don't ask!) and Charles Rennie Macintosh's use of height in his tea room chairs to provide a sense of privacy.

At first I left it at that but then started playing with the concept of love seats being used for courting couples. I wanted to repeat the triangular form of the chair in the back and once I hit on the idea of making them cutouts it all fell into place.

I was thinking about the non-traditional speed dating techniques that have arisen over the past few years and how they play with your perception of the other person: dates where you can only write, not speak and dinner in the dark etc, plus how internet dating has meant you often get to learn the intimate details of someone's mind without having seen them face to face.

So to create a setting where you don't see the whole person you're talking with but just snippets, with a design that alludes to the Catholic confessional intrigued me.

I added the zigzag to the top at the last minute but would like to experiment with other finishes as I find it too busy...

New PJ stuff ups: 1

Forget double checking. When sewing pants it's wise to triple check that you're sewing the correct bit to the correct bit. Especially if you're in a hurry.

Otherwise you might just end up with one giant leg and a split bum bit. And a lot of unpicking in your future...

(I really should have know better.)

Monday, April 27, 2009

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Hey pesto!

Tonight's frugal dinner:Free homemade pesto served with "fresh" pasta from the freezer (bought when a large pack was on special for $5 and split into 5 servings), cooked with frozen peas.

For afters: leftover apple and walnut loaf from Cycling S's visit this afternoon.

Sunday dinner for around $1.00? It's a tough life...

Adrift on a sea of tea

This is how I feel after a day of visitors and visiting:My first cup of tea was my usual first thing in the morning mug.

My second cup of tea was with J, M and M's Mum from NZ who dropped in on their way to Sydney with the last of their basil and tomatoes and the proposal that if I were to make pesto and green tomato chutney for them (as they couldn't) I could keep half.

My third cup of tea was 10 minutes later after Cycling S called from the shops and duly arrived with a bakery treat which just had to be washed down with tea.

My fourth cup of tea was at JMcK Crafts' place an hour later while finally turning this into these: (From left: piddly little $12.95 Swanky Hanky, humongous $4 TSS snot rag, humongous $4 TSS snot rag)

Now excuse me: I'm off to do some cooking...

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Seven ways to pass the time of day...*

There's only one thing to do when you wake up on a Saturday morning, still feeling under the weather after a 13 hour sleep, and look out the window and see this:Which is decide that the cat has the right ideaand return to bed after refilling the hottie, making a cup of coffee (as there's no milk left in the house for tea)and pulling a pile of reading material off the bedside table:Stay in bed til after lunch...when you're finally roused by a knock on the door.

Go downstairs to find J (and her Snot Monster) have popped in to visit and pop straight out again to get milk for tea and junk food to go with it.(from the servo as the supermarket is still closed for Anzac Day. Aren't friends great?!)

After J leaves head back to bed (and the reading pile)...Surfacing, finally, to whip up a batch of the most fabulously yummy zucchini cakes in the universe for early dinnerand to watch the full set of Eurovision preview videos. Before heading back to bed by 6:30pm...

(*with apologies to Fred Smith)

While I'm otherwise occupied sleeping my life away

You might like to entertain yourselves by heading over to the official Eurovision site and checking out the Eurovision Song Contest - Moscow 2009 Preview Player. After all, there are only 17 sleeps to go til the first semi final...

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

... but Boo!

As I'm told that my hours at job number 2 (the paying the rent and maybe the food and yay I still have at least one job job) are to be halved at the end of May.

Seven and a half hours a week is not going to keep me in any manner at all.

At least I have some casual work for the next few weeks to supplement the bank account, which is looking rather like Canberra Dam levels after almost 6 months of working 2 days a week and topping up my living expenses from the FO money.

I probably need to make some decisions sometime soon. No surprise really, as my horoscope for May says:

"The biggest news for you this month is the New Moon in your sign on May 24*. Make that your restart day - try to identify anything you want to change in your life by then. Make a list and leave it where you can see it..."

(*My birthday. I'll be sitting in a Youth Hostel in Noumea. Contemplating my navel, so it seems, and plotting ways to make enough money to live on. Hopefully while quaffing cheap French wine)


My Ruddy money turned up this morning!

It would be more exciting if I hadn't already spent it...

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

... and sick

So far this week has involves drugging the Snot Monster up (he turned up on his yearly visit like clockwork) , going to work, getting lots of exercise there (both physical and mental) which wears us both out, after which we stagger home and collapse into bed as soon as is decently possible. Rinse and repeat.

Just in case you're wondering where I am...

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Furry tired...

Coming soon!

Here's a sneak peek of some of the new Lundby Småland pieces being released mid year:Two new kitchen sets (loving the butler's sink!)and a revamped children's room set and toy set with mini versions of the full-sized Micki table set and pram (and a rather funky rug)

While we're on the subject of Lundby dolls house furniture, you might want to rummage round in my store as I have a few pieces deeply discounted (50% off!) of the next week...

Friday, April 17, 2009


The things you do for friends.

Below you'll find a sample piece I knitted up for the aforementioned possum/ kangaroo/ wombat/ echidna/ koala costume bonnets for a friend so we could see if they'd work.Luckily, another friend had a stash of ack which she was happy to donate to the cause. And yet another friend showed up at the door with the full set of Torchwood series 2 for me to watch while knitting this horrible stuff. I gave him half a wine box of grapes in return (donated by yet another friend). I think we were both very happy with the outcome of the swap...

Monday, April 13, 2009

Spat back out into the cold and grey real world...

Where, after a twelve hour sleep and a long shower I feel much more human. I could go back to the final day of the festival today but I think I've done everything I wanted to and so will try and ease myself back into normal life.

If you want a bit of a virtual folk festival you could watch fabulous local boy Fred Smith:

(listen to more here and buy his CDs here)

The Spooky Men's Chorale:

(listen to more music and buy CDs here)

And finally, and most importantly (and not just because he gave me a free CD and so I promised him lots of publicity!) the wonderfully talented Boo Hewerdine.

I first met Boo's music (not that I realised it at the time) when I worked in student radio in the late 80s and used to play a lot of tracks of a record called Walking the ghost back home by a band called The Bible (which has to be one of the worst band names in the universe to google along with The Christians):

Years later I was introduced to the music of Eddi Reader, which I loved, without realising that some of my favorite songs of hers were written by the very same person who wrote those Bible songs:

(Listen to and download more Boo Hewerdine here and buy CDs here)

Sunday snaps

(More photos on FLICKR)

Sunday's highlight

Urban sea shanties with Fred Smith, The Spooky Men's Chorale and The Fuelers. Here's a wee taste of the madness for you:

Now don't you wish you were there for the whole thing?

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Saturday at The National Folk Festival...

A talking treea Pan pipe invasionjust before the second Frencham Smith performance in 24 hours(and I'm not counting the fabulous Fred Smith Party Band which marked the end of last night) with much needed rain starting up while we were listening...(the above photo is in colour, believe it or not)Sloshing back to the car after Boo Hewerdine...
Highlights for me so far:

* Boo Hewerdine (more about that later)
* Frencham Smith (of course)