Sunday, January 31, 2010

Been busy...

Work on Friday. A last minute dinner party at my place on Friday night (where it ended up that my lovely friends bought most of the ingredients so all I had to do was whip up a pot of chickpea, tomato, spinach and potato curry , make rice and set the table. Which was pretty much all was capable after my day at work.)

Work on Saturday. A quick dash home to shower and change then I was off out to a 21st birthday dinner. During which my table mate and I compared ways of folding nappies using our napkins. All in the name of design: we were discussing the best folds to use on a baby shower invitation she's working on which she wants to wrap in a piece of fabric so it looks like a nappy.

And today she and I had our first Play Date. An
idea we came up with over coffee at The National Portrait Gallery a couple of weeks ago: we wanted the chance to experiment and learn and, well, play with art supplies and ideas.

She was particularly keen to have a go at foam printing like I did at last year's CMAG class so that's where we started. First I showed her the basics I learnt in the class:(and discovered that: 1. A glass chopping board makes a good inking plate at a pinch. 2. A plastic one doesn't. 3. Especially when you're trying to use acrylic paint from the op shop instead of a second colour ink as you're too cheap to buy the real thing. 4. Speaking of too cheap, it doesn't pay buy the cheaper ink either,even if the girl in the shop says it works fine: it won't work like the good stuff does)

We sketched some ideas:and tried out various combinations. Reminding ourselves constantly that we were playing. It didn't matter if things didn't work according to plan as that was all part of the fun. And that we weren't setting out to create masterpieces.We learnt that my coffee cup mug rack makes a great drying rack in a pinch:and that sometimes you can take something just a bit too far and ruin it...Next time we're playing with collage.

Friday, January 29, 2010

A sisterly suggestion

I got an email from my sister while we were discussing the contents of an 80s/ 90s compilation CD she'd asked me to put together for her:

"You will be dismayed to know I can now sing and play
New Order's "Blue Monday" Go-Betweens' "Love goes on" and Buzzcocks' "What do I get" on my ukelele :-o

Scary - poor poor neighbours :-]

Have you ever thought of tinkering on a ukelele - very easy - very fun."

Dear Sis

No. Oddly enough I haven't ever thought of taking up the ukelele. Maybe it's a New Zealand thing?

You may be pleased to hear, however, that I am able to play Depeche Mode's "Just can't get enough" on my recorder...

Thinking. And knitting. And feeling like I'm sinking.

Thinking: Still percolating ideas for the gallery space. The latest thought is to have studio spaces in the top display cabinet and only have a few people working. Which means I could just have a corridor with closed doors and name tags (and possibly notice boards with images of the artist's work) and a couple of doors open showing the studio interiors. Clever, huh?

Knitting: A present for a 21st birthday party this Saturday. Which is tomorrow. I'm doing the last minute dash to get it finished in time as usual. Good thing I'm not working late tonight and have no other plans...

That sinking feeling: Nothing major, just your usual learning curve in a new job. Even if the "job" is a voluntary one running an ezine and site it's still a lot to pick up in a short period of space. I'm paddling like mad and bailing like the blazes and I think it'll all work out just fine. It's only been three days, after all!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


I'm pondering how to deal with 16 foot* ceilings in my gallery space

Two floors at 8 feet within each level each seems somehow mean for a space designed for display but two levels of 16 feet each will need some major thought to make sense.

I have to decide if the space is a reused industrial building which would make such high ceilings work, particularly if I insert beams across the ceiling space. Or if the space is a new build where the bottom level uses interesting changes of floor and ceiling height and
inserts to carve the space up. And the top level could be divided into two levels of 8 feet each and include offices and studio spaces: and a lot more work to create...

At the same time I'm considering options for flooring (a slightly easier thing to think about). I could go polished concrete (or the contact paper approximation of it). Recycled floorboards. Cork.

After taking this photo on my cutting board (which reminded me of the last photo in this post) I found myself idly wondering if I could use a cutting mat as flooring....

And then I saw this photo of Dusk Bar in Melbourne in an old magazine I was trawling for inspiration:
And I suddenly started thinking about playing with scale within the gallery. Including real sized objects to add a playful touch. Remember The Borrowers?
Wendy suggests that using old wooden cotton reels for seating in the cafe area might solve the problem of finding (or, more to the point, buying or creating) large numbers of identical seats. (Instructions for the tin are here, if you're interested)

In related news, I had lunch with Ampersand Duck yesterday and she told me about what she's working on for her submission to the gallery. Very exciting. She also agreed that I could visit later and do an In the studio post to share her work in progress!

(*Miniaturists using 1/12th scale (1 inch = 1 foot) tend to talk in feet when they're really measuring in inches, if that makes sense. The display cabinets are 16 inches high, not 16 feet!)

Back to the start

In the last ten days I've worked in 5 different places.

On Monday, my commute was 42 minutes each way.

Today I return to the branch where I was trained. And the 42 second commute.

Which is handy as J & M need to borrow Miss Daisy for the next few days while their car is in the shop.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


...with ideas for the mini craft gallery(because every craft gallery needs a shop, right?)

... with a wholemeal version of my bread, since I'm out of plain flour(I'm pleased to report it's delicious. Especially with home made jam)

... with the back end of Dolls Houses Past & Present. Lots to learn!

... with photographing the images I see through my kaleidoscope

(just because I needed a break from tidying up) ... with the idea of an afternoon nap(since I have a clean, fresh, newly made bed enticing me. And you know how much I love fresh cotton sheets. Especially frugally fashioned one of a kind ones...)

Monday, January 25, 2010

And then life got a whole lot better...

I received a call from Taph to tell me the ANU Film Group draft programme for Semester One is up.

I guess they've fixed the other projector as it's a very exciting lineup. Whip it! Mao's Last Dancer! Ponyo! The September Issue! Julie & Julia! Where the Wild Things Are! The Lovely Bones! An Education! Fantastic Mr Fox!

And I've only perused the offerings through to March...

I have a date (sort of). And am simultaneously dumped.

News from The Collectors: they've tentatively scheduled the dolls houses for 4th April. And have decided they don't want me to sit on The Big Red Couch. So I guess that means there's not an op shopping junket to Tasmania in my future after all :-(

Actually, if that does turn out to be the final airing date it works out rather well, as that's Easter Sunday. And I've already promised that weekend to the Community Arts team at The National Folk Festival. In fact there's a rather good chance I might have to get someone to record the segment for me* to watch later, especially as I've just noticed Eddi Reader is returning to The Festival and will surely be playing Sunday night...

(*Oh hell, I'll just vodcast my segment to my ipod in true 21st century style!)

Sunday, January 24, 2010


Well, most of the house is* (we'll ignore the Room of Shame for now, shall we? There's always tomorrow, after all...)
My office was looking particularly empty and organised(Note the use of the past tense: I decided the only thing to do was start a new project with all that lovely space.)I've started building a cardboard mock-up of the Crucible spaces at Craft ACT so I can get a feeling for how to best use them for the mini craft gallery I'm building for the Call of the Small exhibition.

But I ran out of card after creating the back wall. A bad bad sign.
Wendy has popped upstairs from The Kaleidoscope House to help me train my 1/12th scale eye in the space. Which is much bigger than I had imagined: I'm a little freaked out right now as to the enormity of what I've set myself up for.Good thing I have almost 6 months before the real thing has to be finished...

(*And I'm happy to report I found not one but two cupcake recipes and my brayer!)

More animals knitting

From the excellent Have you seen my potty? by Mary McQuillan.

Saturday, January 23, 2010


By this time in January, 2010 seems to be grinding into gear. Some interesting opportunities have been rearing their heads causing some pondering at Chateau TSS.

Pondering #1: Why did I agree to have a journalist and photographer from The Canberra Times visit on Australia Day to photograph my house for their Sunday Relax magazine insert? This means I get to spend my day off tomorrow reprising the magic that was wrought for The Collectors last year rather than vegging out and finding the mental space to sort out how to match the changes I made to the back of my V neck vest so the front bit works properly.

Speaking of which...

Pondering #2: When exactly are The Collectors planning to show my segment? If I make other plans this year will that be when they want me to fly to Tasmania? Is it rude to email and ask? And where can I find a (free) venue with a large screen TV that I can arrange a gathering at for the official viewing?

Pondering #3: Should I take over stewardship of the Dolls Houses Past and Present website and ezine? And if I do, how much change can I make before members start beating me up?

Pondering #4: Why did I spend $800 (plus $100 for a portfolio didn't use) that I didn't have on a course I didn't finish when it could have been used on any number of other courses popping up at the moment? (OK, don't answer that one...)

Pondering #5: Where the hell is my cupcake recipe, my brayer and my stringybark fabric?!

(*Did anyone else start humming a song by The Fixx when they read that?)

Friday, January 22, 2010

This book jumped to the top of my favorite list the moment my friend showed me it...

At the National Portrait Gallery store, naturally.

The Rabbit Problem. By Emily Gravett. A madly insanely wonderfully fun and crazy book. I just found Emily's website: the front page of which is a library. With Shhhing noises! Kind of fitting as the copy I scanned is from the library.

Of course, I think the best spread is February:

Rabbits and knitting. (Now where have I seen that before?)
And a pattern for a hooded top: Repeat until you have a beautiful hooded top, or until you decide that rabbits and knitting really don't go together...

Thursday, January 21, 2010

A day off! (sort of*)

and I have many many boring but worthwhile things to get done. But it's too early to start the washing so I'll just hang out online for a while...

Oh look! A miniature vintage caravan! (1973 Kovap Retro
toy Caravan with opening door (16cm x 7cm x 6cm))

And the neighbours probably won't be too happy if I mow the lawns at eight o'clock in the morning so I'll just hang out online for a while longer...

Oh look! I could build my own 1/12th scale caravan if I hadn't spent all my money on a course I dropped out of:

(Greenleaf Miniature Travel Trailer Kit (1/12th scale))

High on my list of things to get done today is clear all the Lundby stock from the garage (now I've closed my eBay store) and return it to the distributor. But first I should have a shower and get dressed. Before that, though, I'll hang out online a few more minutes...

And drool at
this miniature caravan which was "presented to Prince Charles and Princess Anne by the Caravan Club. It was built by Rollalong Ltd., and is equipeed (sic) with a desk, bunks, sink and taps. This is one of the vehicles on display at the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu, Hampshire, England"

While I'm in my PJs I could go downstairs and do the dishes. After I've hung out online just a moment longer...

(Did you know if you search for miniature and caravan you will come across
this blog post about the doll’s house displayed at Caravan during The London Design Festival with photos from Elle Decoration by Debi Treloar?) When I first heard about this exhibition last week I ran over to the newsagents to get a copy of the January 2010 edition of Elle Decoration, only to discover they don't stock it anymore. And so I had been planning to drop into Borders when I'd been paid. Now I don't need to...

But I do need to log off, make breakfast and get the day started.

(*I start work at 4pm today)


If books + caravan = goodThen dolls house + caravan = brilliant

(Photo from the Modern Miniatures Flickr pool, courtesy of Oese)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Spotted this morning over at Poetic Home:

It's a vintage Airstream caravan! Full of books!It's beautiful. I want one!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A closed shop

Back at Craft ACT today.
With both the gallery and the shop closed until the end of the month, I got to do beginning of year archiving and filing and sorting (my favorite things). And I updated the spreadsheet of invitees for Call of the Small to show I have three affirmative replies already. Yay!

Since it was quiet I got to come home early. I was going to mow the lawns but I accidentally made chocolate cake instead...

Monday, January 18, 2010

I said I was going to do some printing yesterday

didn't I?

I would have. Except my brayer seems to have disappeared into the black hole that ate my stringy bark dyed fabric and my cupcake recipe.

*sigh* I hate it when I tidy up...

On a more positive crafting note I finally bought the card to start making mock-ups of the miniature craft gallery for August's Craft ACT exhibition.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

A Sunday afternoon stroll

A while back I noticed plaques had popped up in front of the various Northbourne Flat groupings. I've always loved the flats so going to see what the plaques were all about was high on my list of cultural things to do this year. Alas, I'm usually barrelling past them at a rate of knots in either a bus or a car but today I made the time to wander down Northbourne Ave and check them out.

Plaque number one is outside the bedsitter flats:Plaque number two is supposedly across the road outside the paired housing but there was no sign of it that I could find.

(Although plaque number three, further down the road outside the flats looked suspiciously like it is actually plaque number two, in the wrong place...)And back across the road by the maisonettes is plaque number 4:There's no sign of anything back where the courtyard housing is (my favorites)
The Northbourne housing precinct is apparently the only example of Bauhaus architecture in Canberra. I think would they would be fabulous recreated in miniature, especially as they would have been when they were built in 1962. They were regarded as luxury flats back then and were photographed by Max Dupain...

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Back in black

I just realised it's Saturday night.

And here I am posting pictures of knitting, a book, and my cat. Rock and Roll (not)

(At least I found a use for all that leftover stringy bark...)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

It's quiet all white

Working. Sweating. Knitting. Reading. That pretty much sums up my week so far.

I rediscovered the pigtail which certainly helped with the second issue:I finished these booties and hat just in time: the baby was born this morning:I've been knitting in my breaks at this week's new-to-me library. Today I found a colleague knitting in the kitchen at lunchtime. --Insert evil laugh here--

Reading which arrived for me today:
after doing the happy dance I tried the *cough cough* I'm terribly sick and must go home immediately trick which didn't wash, mainly because my boss had seen both the happy dance and the fact I was clutching said book tightly to my chest.

Oh well, guess I know what I'll be doing on Sunday then...

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Tiny things Tuesday (aka: miniature armchair travelling)

Thanks to Lucy Hammonds, Curator of Design Collections at Hawke's Bay Museum and Art Gallery, my urge to visit Napier in the next few months has eased. Slightly.

Lucy responded to my enquiry by saying "The Miniatures is an exhibition that draws on a collection of miniatures from the Robert Bren Collection, which numbers around 2000 miniature items c1930-40s donated to us in 1958 (although we have not got the entire collection on display). The exhibition itself is part of an ongoing programme working with New Zealand writers – in this case we invited a writer named Stephanie Johnson to research the Bren Collection and then write a short children’s story the included aspects of the collection. This story was then illustrated in the exhibition using the items from the collection, housed in custom-made display cases set into large book pages. I am attaching an image for you information. There is also a small catalogue of the story illustrated with photographs of some of the miniatures."

She kindly let me reproduce the following photos of the exhibition: (photo: David Frost, Hawke’s Bay Museum and Art Gallery, Napier)
(photo: David Frost, Hawke’s Bay Museum and Art Gallery, Napier)

(photo: David Frost, Hawke’s Bay Museum and Art Gallery, Napier)

On a similar theme, have you seen Amy's Miniatures and Smalls blog which "chronicles The Life and Times on Lundby Lane... It is a continuing saga of the events & goings on of the little people (peeps) and their amazing adventures"