Thursday, December 31, 2009

Suddenly, I have the urge to visit Napier in the next couple of months...

Is it for the fabulous art deco architecture?

No. Already done that: The world class
wine and food?


The possibility of bumping into
my hero Douglas Lloyd Jenkins?

Getting closer.

It's because I just read about an exhibition being held at Hawkes Bay Museum and Art Gallery (which Douglas Lloyd Jenkins happens to manage) called The Miniatures - An adventure in the Bren collection.
"More than 2000 miniatures collected in London in the 1930s and 1940s"? I've so got to be there! Damned shame Craft ACT don't pay me as then I could maybe claim the whole thing as research for next year's Call of the Small* exhibition.

(*Thanks, as always to the real Call of the Small for letting me borrow her name.)

2009: the year that was

And what a year it was!

The highlights of January were a road trip to Bendigo and the end of my exhibition Playing House: Contemporary Dolls' Houses 1957-2007 at Canberra Museum and Gallery.

In February I was interviewed by ABC 666 (and blogged from the beer fridge!) then started studying for the first time in 20 years.

March saw the end of the Seven Things challenge
, the arrival of my Wreck this Journal (still, alas, unfinished). I went to Melbourne, and started designing a possum costume upon my return.

I attended my first National Folk Festival in April. I also started working at the ACT Library Service, which was just as well as my permanent job's hours were halved down to one day a week. Work on the possum costume continued

May was busy. My dolls houses were featured in an Israeli magazine
, I was offered a one year volunteer internship at Craft ACT, because the proud owner of an iMac and spent my 43rd birthday in Noumea.

Life settled down a bit in June and July, with the only highlights being the purchase of the Daisy Doll collection of my childhood dreams and the inclusion of my work in the Knitta Please exhibition at The National Gallery of Australia.

In August I quit my permanent job and the Possum costume was completed.

I managed to get my work hung inside The National Gallery of Australia in September.

The Collectors came to call in October, the same month I became the proud owner of an iPod.

N is for November but also for New Zealand, where I ran away to that month. N is also for needless worry (or nincompoop): I earned a High Distinction in my course.

And the highlight of December? Being given a Gocco.

I wonder what excitement 2010 has in store?

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Queens of the op shops

Today was another of those rare times when Taph and I were both off work on the same day and the op shops (except for Vinnies) were open. Plus we had Salvos cards that are due to expire on Thursday.

So there was only one thing to do: chose the car with the most spare space in it and do the rounds.

(Big) Salvos in Queanbeyan I picked up this shirt for $3.50 (as part of our use of the first card):Yes, I'm well aware it's not black and white but for I figured if I don't wear it it would make great a) hankies or b) dolls house bedding. Besides, when I tried it on it reminded me of my days in student radio back in the 80s. Or Adrian off The Collectors (not that I've watched a complete episode as yet). Enough reason to drop $3.50, I figured...

At Salvos Fyshwick I remembered I was in need of a punk costume. And I spotted this tail coat:
Home made. Green tagged (so $3 instead of the marked $15) and reminiscent of a tail coat I used to wear in the late 80s (see above).

Then there was this vintage Simona tartan shift dress: $4.50 with card:I pulled it out. We (Taph, two lovely op shoppers who we'd been bumping into at every shop we visited (as you do) and the chap working at the shop) agreed it would be perfect under the tails at a punk party. But I put it back. The party is in mid summer. This reminds me more of winter.

Taph rescued it and made me see sense.

Then the chap that worked there came up with this which he said would work perfectly with the tails:Homemade, fits perfectly, would be great for openings and $3.50 with card. Sold!

I was on a roll! Spotty vintage Equipment shirt (I swear I had the matching short sleeved shirt many years ago) $3.50 with card:(I'm starting to feel the need to pull out my turntable and play
Hüsker Dü)

But wait! There's more!

While waiting for the fitting rooms I perused the green rack (all items originally marked under $6 for $1, over $6: $3) and pulled out these for $1 each:
Brand new daisy T (I plan to remove the pocket)

And Target Veronicas T shirt which, with a little tweaking , might just work under the tails with skinny jeans. And maybe my bowler hat. For $1 it's worth taking the chance...

But we're not over yet. Salvos Jamison Centre has all short sleeved summer tops at $2. This is a little more scoop necked than I'm used to but for $2, worth trying out. Besides, it has spots:
Finally, Taph points out a full wool felted regimental dress uniform:We laugh a bit. We admire it. She asks me to try it on. There's more giggling. Until I try the trousers and discover they fit perfectly. As in the length's spot on. So's the waist. Wool trousers (with a groovy red stripe up the leg) for $30? Sold to the mad woman in the fitting room!

Highlight of the day? The discovery that the larger Salvos stores now have itty bitty carts to fit their shopping baskets: So friends can op shop with a basket each, space on the handle to hang coat hangers, and two free hands to explore the racks. Big thumbs up to Salvos!

Now, as seems a fitting end to a day like this, I'm off to watch Mary, Queen of Charity Shops. (While washing my work shirt for tomorrow, of course!)

Monday, December 28, 2009

And then the sewing machine needle fairy* visited while I was at work...

and left her offering in my letter box.

Alas I had visited my Handmade Nation pusher on the way home so was too distracted to actually unwrap them this evening.

And hopefully you'll be distracted enough not to notice I'm finally finishing something I showed you 9 months ago...

(* Thanks Cycling S with the dishwasher hands!)

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Needleless delays

What I forgot to mention yesterday was that I broke my last sewing machine needle around 1pm: leaving me not quite enough time for a mad dash to the nearest Lincraft (Hobbysew was closed, or at least not answering their phone when I called) to pick up more before my guests arrived. And by the time they'd helpfully done my dishes for me it was too late to get there before they closed.

Today I started work an hour before the shops opened and was working at a location where the local mall doesn't have a sewing craft shop (and my 30 minute lunch break didn't give me time to drive anywhere else).

Tomorrow is another start-work-before-the-shops-open-half-hour-lunch day. There is a very vague chance I could make it to Lincraft in that time but since it's my first day of the contract I don't want to tempt fate.

But Tuesday I have off. Top of my list is buy sewing machine needles*. Especially as I have to make a punk costume before my end of school party next week...

(*Including a spare packet!)

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Mending my ways

It's been the best Christmas ever in Canberra, with grey skies, low temperatures and rain since yesterday morning.

The perfect weather for a little end-of-year cleaning under things (like the bed and the sofa) then lazing on things (like the bed and the sofa) and finally FINALLY catching up with the backlog of magazine reading that's crept up on me over the past few months. While nibbling chocolates. And cherries. And stuffed red pepper. And sipping champagne.Today I felt the urge to explore my towering mending pile. During which I unearthed this which I wore the rest of the day. Wearing your PJ top while having a late lunch (originally planned to be a picnic) with friends? What could be better on a lazy grey day...

Friday, December 25, 2009

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

What’s Hot + What’s Not Wednesday

What's hot:

* The new Kingston library, full of brand new stock which is currently invisible on the ACT Library Service catalogue. I
was tempted to take home all their new knitting books but resisted as I knew they would just stress me out with all their beautiful new project ideas. I did succumb to these, however.

* My new Martha Stewart button punch. My button obsession has just hit an all time high(especially if you include the purchase of Donna Hay's fondant buttons from DJs, which were supposed to top end of year cupcakes for Craft ACT: except I seem to have misplaced my cupcake recipe...)

* Finding Dave Gahan's latest solo release in the 3-for-$5 bin. And finding two other CDs to round the trio out.

* Receiving a copy of my Grandmother's latest book of poetry in the mail and discovering the author
shot was one I took:
* Realising that my new file drawers are the perfect fit for my DVD collection.

* Notification that I've been accepted into the Community Arts volunteer team for the 2010 National Folk Festival.

What's not:

* Stupid Converse who appear to allow shipping outside of the USA but won't accept credit cards from outside of the USA. So my cunning buy three pairs and send to friend to repost to me thus getting round the silly international postage prices and get 20% discount to boot plan has come to naught.

* Opening the beautiful (cheap) shrinkwrapped hardcover A5 notebooks I bought as directed for Summer School, only to discover they're lined. There was no mention of that on the packaging!

* The letter telling me my flat inspection is booked in for January 6th.

(More at Loobylu)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

With bells on

Al gets into the Christmas spirit. Not sure how that happened...

If only I lived in America...

Herman Miller Nelson Library Index Card File Cabinet. On eBay.

Then again, with a BIN price of US $1,295.00, it's probably just as well I don't live in America...

Your input is needed!

I received this email a couple of days ago:

"I currently have an opportunity to move to Canberra as a student. However, given all the negative reviews about Canberra as a "boring" city, I am really contemplating about the move. I chanced upon your blog awhile ago, and am quite curious to know more about the city through your perspective."

(I've decided the "your" should be read as a collective one)

Here's my list off the top of my head (and in no particular order):

* Festivals. From September to April* there always seems to be something happening in Canberra. Sometimes too much "something" and I end up feeling overwhelmed and just stay home.
* Music. (See also Festivals) Lots of acts stop off in Canberra between Sydney and Melbourne so we get to see them in a more intimate venue.
* Restaurants. We have more restaurants and cafes per head of population because of the politicians and business people who use them. So generally there's no need to book. And parking is usually pretty close by.
* Entertainment: National institutions, local art centres and galleries, theatre, dance, live music, markets, movies and Festivals (see above)
* Getting away. The coast is a couple of hours in one direction. The snow a couple of hours in the other direction. If you're into bushwalking and stuff, there are heaps of options very close by. Sydney is $15 away on a pre-booked Murrays bus ticket. And the rest of the country is fairly cheap to fly to (see Restaurants above regarding politicians and business people causing a glut)

What should I add to the list?

(*Should that be August with The Fireside Festival?)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

I've decided. Days off are dangerous.

Especially when they involve trips to Trash and Treasure before breakfast with an out of town blog buddy, a visit to one of the two op shops open on a Sunday in Canberra, a wander through the National Portrait Gallery (and their very dangerous shop: I have a $20 gift voucher burning a hole in my wallet) followed by a visit to The Old Bus Depot Markets.

(Today's top finds: another Hornsea piece for the
almost-collection: 50 cents, Y's Buys Belconnen. Letters from a vintage Milleranagrams game: $2.00, Y's Buys Belconnen (so much nicer than Scrabble tiles, don't you think?). Wooden file drawers: $45, Rose Cottage Antiques. The closest thing I think I'll get to Library card catalogue drawers)

Rooruu mentioned I had my first airing on The Collectors recently: if you're interested enough to want to see it
watch here (at around 26:32 for about a blink and a half)

Friday, December 18, 2009

Flying the nest

(A pop-up exhibition of my final assessment work for CIT’s Certificate III in Design Fundamentals )Friday 18th December 2009 – Sunday 10th January 2010

ACT Heritage Library, Level 1, Woden Library, Corner Corinna & Furzer Streets, Phillip

Mon: 8.30am-5.30pm

Tues: 10am-7pm
Wed: 8.30am-7pm
Thurs, Fri: 10am-7pm
Sat: 9am-4pm
Sun: 10am-5pm

(Closed: Fri 25 Dec and Sat 26 Dec, Mon 28 and Tues 29 Dec, Thurs 31 Dec 2009 and Fri 1 Jan 2010)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

My creative space

looks like a bomb went off in it. (In the nicest possible way, of course...) If you look closely you can see the remnants of last week's stuff, layered with this week's creativity:

* Woolly biscuit tin from Trash and Treasure ($2).

This year's Judy Horacek Avant card waiting to go into my visual diary.

* Completed
baby hat waiting for pressing.

* Beads, wool and needles left over from
the bracelet experiment.

Vintage patterns that I've started playing with.

* My trip diary
from Noumea. Which I've finally started printing photos for.

* Booties waiting for me to have the patience to practice my kitchener stitch.

* Map so I can find
Sturt Summer School. I didn't mention that, did I? I'm off to learn how to draw next month.

* Cupcake hat pattern which I used to make
the cupcake tea cosy with. And since I appear to have promised a cupcake tea cozy to Craft ACT for Christmas, I thought I should dig it out.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

What’s Hot + What’s Not Wednesday

What's hot:

* Successful experiments with leftover wool and free beads:
* Free music 1: I finally got my World Sweet World Summer Mixed Tape downloaded. Yay!

* Free music 2: Lots of lovely new music borrowed from the Library.

* (Almost) Free music 3: $1 CDs from Cash em In CDs.

* Whittaker's dark ginger chocolate.

* UHU tac white. (Blutac is so not me.)

* extra curricular zine.

* A one day only 20% off sale at Converse just when I was contemplating finally buying new stocks of One Stars after hearing from a friend in The States that she's happy for them to be bounced through her.

* (Finally) getting an email saying I can pick my final assessment work up today.

What's not:

* My favorite sushi place being closed for renovations until the New Year.

* The suspicion that the USB port on my computer is dead.

* The death of another sheet in the wash. But since I bought it in the Boxing Day sales before I moved from Sydney (almost 11 years ago) I guess that's OK...

(See more at Loobylu)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The oddest thing

I just saw a saxophone playing Christmas tree.

On roller skates.

I think I need a drink...

Friday, December 11, 2009

Just one of those days...

I'm sure you know the sort. I knew it was going to be bad when I woke up feeling not quite right. If I had the choice I would have stayed in bed, pulled the covers over my head and hidden. But that wasn't an option.

I was late for work. My underwear spent the day attacking me. I felt like my brain was wading through treacle. I kept dropping things. I'm sure half the time I was talking to people I was making no sense. I couldn't decide what to have for lunch so ended up with something forgettable followed by (in one of two high points to the day) a Jazz Apple Cafe cupcake and coffee. Which momentarily cheered me up.

And now I'm home and I think it's time to go back to bed in the hope that tomorrow will be much improved on today. At the very least I'll make sure to wear a different bra and knickers...

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Creative cow pats

After a day off work (and spent at home!) yesterday I took a photo of my creative space:* Vintage Noddy eggcup, Florence map and star from a box of treasures I picked up at Trash and Treasure on Sunday.

* Sketch of the Noddy eggcup and date stamp to date it with.

* Newly created collage in my latest visual diary.

* Typewriter.

Which was out to type these:But that wasn't the only creative cow pat in the house. Next door on the bed was this:baby knitting and the latest Uppercase (which gave me the idea for the typed labels)

And downstairs, on the kitchen workbench was a pile of newly mended books and a brooch: (The Richard Scarry books were part of a set of 4. Scooped up at Trash and Treasure for $3 the lot.)

Finally, I found this on the coffee table in the lounge:A paper bag from last week's trip to Berkelouw and beads from Janet, which are waiting to head upstairs.

(More creative spaces here)

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

What’s Hot + What’s Not Wednesday

What's hot:

* A day off. At home.

* This video (from New Zealand via Uppercase Journal)

* The Mitchell Library Alphabet.

* Quiddity (a newly discovered word via Jane Brocket)

* Funemployed (another newly discovered word via World Sweet World's newsletter)

* A free mix tape.

* Finding time to get my inbox back under 100.

* And play with some new crafting ideas.

* And knit.

* Rekindled obsessions with library card catalogue drawers. And vintage caravans.

* This new-to-me (and local) blog.

What's not:

* The state of my flat. Again. Still.

* Slooooow internet at the end of the billing month. (*insert sound of drumming fingers*)

* Not being able to download my free mix tape. (see above)

* Disagreements with eBay sellers which turn nasty.

* Ripping my only work skirt. Only a month after buying it.

* (Almost forgot) still no sign of my work back from CIT...

Monday, December 07, 2009

Dear Karma Bank

Was it the $2 I gave to someone Friday morning so he could get to work on the bus? The woman who was heading to the camping ground in EPIC on the bus Friday evening who looked worried so I told she could relax until I got off, then count three sets of lights before she arrived? The many people I help everyday as part of my job? Or something I did that I didn't even notice?

Whatever it was, thank you. I've been given many lovely things recently. I thought the free microwave to replace my dead one was pretty impressive. But this morning you outdid yourself in both speed and fabulousness.

I emailed someone this morning to arrange return of fabric she'd offered me for possum costume construction. Almost immediately I got an email back saying (in part) "Well actually - I also have a certain box in my place, that it seems I will never use and it has the letters G O C C O on it. Are you interested?"

Let's just say I was washed, dressed and at her front door within the half an hour. Good thing I didn't start work this morning until 10:30, isn't it?(Now I just have to check that it works...)(Thank you Janet!)

Sunday, December 06, 2009

If I went to Trash and Treasure on the way to work it must be Sunday,,,

Which means I'm overdue announcing winners of the Sohi magazines. And the good news is I have enough for everyone who commented!

Taph, M1K1 and Michelle: I have your details already (unless you fancy dropping into Craft ACT, Michelle?). Li: can you email me your details?

Here's a little something I picked up from Trash and Treasure this morning:because it's the only sort of caravan I'll probably ever get to own...

Friday, December 04, 2009

My creative space

Is now cleaned out of the bits I was using for my final assessment, and contains a stack of new arrivals for summer crafty play: A toy screen printing set, picked up at Father Riley's in Bowral for $2. That'll fend off my Gocco cravings for a while!

A knitting needle case ($1 from Y's Buys Belconnen) which I'm planning to re purpose as I like the daisy fabric.

A stack of 9 vintage Golden Books for an experiment I plan to do very soon. Vinnies Moss Vale (or was it Mittagong?) 20 cents each.

The Crafty Minx book, newly arrived at the ACT Library Service. I love it when I'm the first person to get my mitts on a new library book, don't you?

Fabric paint for the screen printer. Bought new and retail (but cheaply)

Vintage covered button sets (50 cents each at the other Vinnies to the one above) to start rebuilding my stash of covered buttons. I lent my original stash to a colleague at an old job and it doesn't look like I'm getting them back...

Bracelet ($2, Vinnies Bowral) and set of three egg poachers (50 cents the lot, one of the "M" Vinnies): destined to be turned into crafty bracelets. Soon.

(Not seen) postcards and catalogue from the opening of the CIT Advanced Diploma of Visual Art and Design Practice Graduation Show at ANCA last night

And, finally, a ball of wool given to me by the knitting circle that was meeting in the library I was working in yesterday. I don't know if it was a gift to say thank you for telling them about Ravelry and Knitty or they recognised that slightly yearning look in my eye when I was admiring their knitting. I kept it in my pocket all afternoon like a pet.

(I'm late to the party. See here for other creative spaces)

Thursday, December 03, 2009

A little something from the Southern Highlands for you...

One of the reasons I headed to Bowral for 21 hours was to track down a copy of this wonderful looking publication (which, in true blogland style, I first heard about from the other side of the world):Sohi magazine didn't disappoint (well only in so far as this is edition 2 and I'm now dead keen to track down a copy of issue 1). Yummy articles, eye candy galore and it even smells and feels fabulous.

I picked up some extra copies. If you'd like to be in the draw to get one, leave a comment before Saturday noon
my time.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Midweek meanderings, Mettoy (and Movenpick!)

In a (rather less extravagant) reprise to my earlier jaunt, I got given a day off and took 162 km. Well, it had been over a year since I last visited Chelsea Park. We squeezed 7 op shops into today (as usual). Plus my first visit to Berkelouw books in Berrima (although I think that large STOP sign should be on the main road, not the driveway)
What we didn't squeeze in was a visit to the bottom of the garden. I got terribly excited when I recognised this in the guest lounge. And then Diva said she had a better one, with furniture, in the workshop. It's nice to know that both versions of the Mettoy house I've lusted after stayed "in the family", even if I didn't manage to visit them both this time.

Why didn't we manage to squeeze it in? Because I was due back in Canberra for our class end of year dinner. At Hog's Breath Cafe, a place I've managed not to visit in Canberra until now.
The video player seemed to be firmly stuck in the late 80s which made for a slightly surreal evening (especially when I spotted some Frank Lloyd Wright concrete blocks in the background of an old INXS clip). But the discovery that they served my most favourite icecream flavour in the world made me a happy person indeed and nicely capped off a pretty great day...

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Tuesday's tasks

1. Load cheesy Christmas music onto the Craft ACT shop computer for yuletide playing.

2. Add my Craft ACT Christmas wish list to the Craft ACT Facebook page.

3. Print and mail the invites to participate in Call of the Small.

4. Eat cake and drink tea.

5. Start working on a flier/ button to advertise the exhibition: