Saturday, February 27, 2010

Note to self:

It's been pretty quiet round here lately. I know you've been busy learning new website back ends and new jobs but, surely, you've been doing something even vaguely interesting apart from working?

Note from self: Well I was supposed to go see Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs this evening but came home instead to watch Sesame Street Old School

which I just happened to discover on the shelving cart at work yesterday.

That lead me down the road of childhood TV I haven't seen in years: The Bugaloos haven't survived the passing of time but Vision On seems to still be holding it:

(and I may have just worked out where my slight obsession with sign language came from...)

And now, as Zebedee says, it's probably time for bed!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Let's play spot the miniature piece

Another artisan working in miniature who I just discovered this morning:Tada*s Revolution (via See Hear Say)

The Time Traveler's Wife: the perfect movie?

Taph and I went to see The Time Traveler's Wife last night at ANU Film Group. I'd already seen most of it on my flight back from New Zealand but it's not the same on the small screen.

And how did we love it? Let me count the ways:

* It's based on a book (always a good start)
* The main character is a Librarian
* A hot Librarian who gets naked in the stacks.
* There's knitting (points off for the fact it pretty much looked like commercially made knitting and for not having anyone actually knitting during the movie. Except Taph, in the seat next to me, that is...)
* And op/ thrift shopping: but alas, only implied (a Salvation Army van is seen delivering some furniture to their apartment)

But that made us think: we have the Yarn-o-meter rating system for films. But what about adding a Thrift-o-meter?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Not feeling very bright eyed and bushy tailed right now

First morning at my new job = lots to learn and retain = sore head.

On top of a couple of weeks full-on learning the back end of the site I just took over stewardship of, and a few issues that popped up. (Yes, that's why it's been a bit quiet round here lately).

And the sort of sleep where you spend the night dreaming of such big things that you wake up exhausted.

To add the cherry on the cake, I took the opportunity to visit the optometrist this afternoon for the first eye test I've had in almost 20 years. There was much peering through little holes with different lenses on deciding if the left or the right looked brighter or the horizontal or vertical lines were clearer. Which left me with a sore head AND tired eyes.

The good news is that I'm only 2.5% under normal vision, even with my dodgy eye so glasses not required yet:

(but maybe, just maybe, I should consider turning the light on if I'm trying to read 4 point text on the back of my CDs in dim conditions...)

Is it terribly bad to be seriously considering being in bed by 6pm tonight?

What's my secret?

for light, fluffy gluten-free baking (without being ripped off by expensive packet mixes)? This.

Really: take any recipe that calls for normal flour (the cupcakes above were a random recipe ripped from an old issue of Madison magazine), use White Wings gluten-free flour instead of normal flour and make as usual. Just be aware the final product won't be quite as browned as normal flour so use the skewer test not the colour test for doneness.

Or just visit Deeks.

(If you use soy milk and margarine instead of butter the end result will also be dairy free.)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Baking: real and virtual

Tomorrow is one of the Craft ACT crew's birthdays so this morning there was a flurry of baking in my kitchen before I headed in which produced these:Crafty gluten free cupcakes with buttony tops. Because cupcakes are a bit of a tradition for Craft ACT celebrations and I'm very late with the end of the year ones I promised...

Then tonight, when I got home I found this in my inbox thanks to a designer friend:

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Small (spielen*) stuff on Sunday

In August 2008 I stumbled across this on eBay:but didn't manage to win it.

This morning I stumbled across this on FLICKR.

Man I love the internet sometimes...

(*German for play)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Testing times

It's been an interesting couple of days and I've very happy to have a 2 day weekend to recover. After spending all day today doing domestics and worrying that there was no sign of any creative stirring, I suddenly had the urge to take this, add a bit of this using this, shake it together and see what happened.

This happened:Now I'm dying to repeat the experiment with some other miniatures from my collection, photographing them on an A4 sheet of paper to get the scale correct. Fingers crossed for good light tomorrow...

Friday, February 19, 2010

And the apron goes to...

Emma: your pleas to the random number generator thingy obviously worked. Email me your address and I'll get it in the mail to you next week...

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Bren book draw

M1K1, the Bren exhibition catalogue is heading your way. (Hope you can wait til I get paid next Friday...)

If you missed out, remember you can
Email the HBMAG shop manager and arrange to buy your own copy ($NZ 8 + postage) and/ or the fridge magnet set ($NZ22 + postage)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A day in the life of an Intern

(Two days late. Which may feel a little like a Hot or Not post. One day early...)

I can tell daylight saving is drawing to a close as the leaf blower at Dickson shops didn't wake me this morning until 6:30am : half an hour later than I'm used to. No worries, though, it's a Tuesday and I'm not due at
Craft ACT until 10am.

Which gives me time to put the bread I mixed last night on to bake, drop Miss Daisy off for her service then walk home to do some dishes and clean some toilets.

I need to return a call from Canberra Theatre at 9am, which causes me to head into Civic early and results in this:
Man, I'm such a Civic Square slut. But the promise of free shows is too good to pass up...

On to
Craft ACT where I get sent to deliver some stuff to the ANU School of Art Gallery. Updating our Facebook page and printing contracts for Call of the Small* takes me until lunch while I cover both our shop and gallery.

Lunch is, as usual, at CMAG
Members' Lounge, where I finish adding the ANU Film Group dates to my diary: I went last night, saw New Moon (for free, thank goodness!), and joined for the year...

The afternoon involved a trip to the Post Office (I love the Post Office...) to send off my contracts, after a stop to visit Al:Afternoon tea involved colour coordinated fruity things (because your snack, shirt and shop should always match!) Then, after some more Facebooking and Excel spreadsheeting it was time to go pick Miss Daisy up from the mechanics.(After walking past a typically Canberran sign on the way there from the bus stop)

She cost significantly less than I expected (especially after
this time last year) At this rate I may just be able to spring for a bath for her. Anyone have a spare Entertainment book voucher for Waves Car Wash in Gungahlin I can steal?

(*Thanks, as always for the real Call of the Small's permission to use her blog title for the duration...)

Monday, February 15, 2010

-insert witty pun using the words tea and draw here-

And the winner of the strawberry tea cosy is...MTB girl (or her Mum, to be more precise!). Email me your address and I'll get it off to you in the next day or so.

I started knitting a pear tea cosy last night, using leftovers from my nest and loosely based on the strawberry design. But I ran out of wool. So it's hitting the frog pond :(

Of mice ant (wo)men

(Two terrible frights by Jim Aylesworth. Illustration by Eileen Chrstelow)

(Antics by Cathi Hepworth)

(Mary had a little lamb by Sarah Josepha Hale and Salley Mavor: who has a blog which I've now subscribed to)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Blogiversary giveaway #4

Four years, four giveaways. Sounds fair, doesn't it?

The final giveaway is this cute vintage handbag mirror:
Leave a comment on this post and I'll draw a winner next Sunday morning (21 Feb). As usual, I'll post anywhere in the world...

Man, sheep in picture books are clever!

Not only can they knit while on the potty, they can also answer telephones:(Hello, is this Grandma? by Ian Whybrow)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Been gone too long...

(Reprinted from I op therefore I am - ACT)

It's been a hard year so far, op-shopping wise. According to my accounts I spent nothing op shopping in January and, until this week, $4 in February (a copy of the classic Enchanted Broccoli Forest from Vinnies Phillip)

But the combination of pay and an area rich with independent op shops had me off exploring during lunchtime in the last day or two. And this is what I scored (for a total of $17):
* Very large button jar: $2 (Another Chance, Scullin: if you're out that way and see a metal daisy on the path, it's Miss Daisy's much missed key ring thingy...)

* Alison Holst's Meals without Meat: $2 (Hand to Hand, Kippax) My #1 cookbook: whenever I find a copy second hand, I buy it as it always finds a new home pretty quickly. I think this is the ninth copy I've bought...

*Lovely coloured vintage Patonyle: $1.50 for 3x25g balls (Re Runs op shop, Charnwood). Much as I'd love to keep this, it's heading

It came in a very cute plastic bag:
Not sure if I'm nice enough to pass it on or not...

* Two Tupperware plates: $1 each (Another Chance, Scullin). Another

* 4 balls "New" Caressa: $5 total (Hand to Hand, Kippax) I have a friend who deserves a pair of
lounge socks and likes purple...
* Vintage Queen sized cotton sheet: $2 (Hand to Hand, Kippax). This find made me very very happy.

* And, finally, bag of vintage ric rac: $2.50 (Hand to Hand, Kippax).
This is the smallest ric rac I've ever seen. I suspect it will end up living elsewhere...

Friday, February 12, 2010

Blogiversary giveaway #3

About a year ago I tried giving this apron away:
I was successful (sort of). And then, not.

So it's still banging round The Room of Shame somewhere (I hope, otherwise this could get embarrassing...)

If you want to (finally) give it a home, leave a comment on this post and I'll draw a winner next Friday morning (19 Feb). As usual, I'll post anywhere in the world...

But wait!

There's more!

I emailed HBMAG to let them know to expect an influx of orders for their catalogue from all corners of the world and received an email informing me

There is also an A4 sheet of cut out fridge magnets from that show too. It's 275 x 225mm and all comes apart except for the 3 little books. Retail for $(NZ) 22.00.

They sent a scan (the weird bits are reflections off the cellophane wrapping): If you'd like a set for yourself email the HBMAG shop with your details.

(Now why didn't I think of doing something like that?!)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Flat (ered)

On the way from work to the Craft ACT opening tonight I got my first flat tyre in Miss Daisy (much harder to spot than a flat tyre on a scooter, let me tell you!)

Being an utter girl, I pulled out my phone and my wallet and called

While I waited for rescue, I pulled the spare tyre out from under the pile of stuff waiting for an empty op shop bin in the boot. And started reading
the latest children's book I'd borrowed from the library:
I was pleasantly surprised by the number of cars which stopped to see if I needed help. "This is how to meet men in Canberra. What a lovely city." I idly thought as I waited for the NRMA van.

Once the van arrived, I shared my joy at the goodwill of Canberra drivers with the NRMA chap while he changed my tyre. He shared the knowledge that Limestone Liz used to also hang out on Southern Cross Drive (where I was) when she wasn't at the base of Mount Ainslie...


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

What I spent last week's grocery money on

(aka: Giveaway #2)

Remember how
I wanted to go to Napier to see the miniature exhibition on at The Hawkes Bay Museum and Gallery?

And remember how they kindly sent me
pictures of the exhibition to share with you?

Well, there's more. I ordered the catalogue with some of last week's grocery money. And ordered an extra one for my blogiverary giveaway.

It's intricateand beautifuland fabulously designed.The story starts:

Just before dawn on Christmas Eve, 1940, while he lay on a rug on the library floor, Kevin found he could bend his tiny corded arms. Very shortly after that he discovered he could move his head, so that the view he had hitherto had up his sister's skirt to her maker's mark - MADE IN GERMANY - was eclipsed.

If you want to know the rest you have three options:

1. Visit
HBMAG in person and read it yourself.

Email the HBMAG shop manager and arrange to buy your own copy ($NZ 8 + postage)

3. Leave a comment on this post and be in the running to win this copy. Entries close Wednesday morning next week (17 Feb) and, as usual, I'll post anywhere in the world.

What’s Hot + What’s Not Wednesday

What's hot:

* Book recommendations by favourite authors. Maggie Alderson recommended Fay Weldon's book Chalcot Crescent on her blog and I was immediately consumed by the need to read*:

"What if we all suddenly lost interest in the consumerist way of life that actually entirely underpins capitalism?

In her parallel universe people have suddenly and collectively realised that constantly acquiring more ‘stuff’ is not the route to happiness. No shopping means no ‘growth’ means no economy…

As a result, houses are worthless, credit doesn’t exist, the EU falls to bits, it’s every country for themselves, food is the most valuable commodity and after a couple of hung parliaments an unelected government takes control."

* Finding said book sitting on the shelf at the library I was working at that day so being able to start reading it straight away.

* Speaking of books, I have another book/paper artist for Call of the Small: after chatting at a CMAG opening declared he'd always wanted to try working in miniature. And we're also joined by a jeweller who uses op shopped treasures in her work.

* Ian Mowbray's miniature glass works, discovered while googling "miniature glass Canberra" in the hope I'd turn up a previously unknown to me artisan. I did indeed find what I was looking for but not, alas, based in Canberra.

* A job interview for a (casual) role in the performing arts area. Fingers crossed...

* New to me (and very funny) blogs: Unhappy Hipsters (thanks Kerry!) and A Librarian's Guide to Etiquette (via Taph)

* Also new to me (discovered this morning through a comment on my blog): Circles of Rain. Who wrote about the latest Rachel Whiteread exhibition:
(remember I blogged about her dolls house furniture chess set back in October 2007? No, I didn't either until today...)

And I thought I had a problem with dolls house storage. Although reading the article it looks like she got funding to buy them. Now why didn't I think of that?

What's not:

* Not finishing the ant fabric in time to enter the Spoonflower contest. I spent the evening visiting an 18 day old instead. I see Allsorts has also decided to also give Spoonflower a go. And actually finished her bug fabric...

* Discovering two of my favorite inner city houses have "I'm about to be turned into apartments" fences around them.
Hardly surprising as, in the 11 years I've been in Canberra, I haven't seen anyone living in 63 B...
* Feeling broke. Living on homemade bread and hummus, and cheap tinned tomatoes, tuna, beans and 50 cent bags of pasta from the store cupboard is starting to lose its appeal. Even when it's mixed with the cheering thought that I've been living a cash-only existence since I got back from Sturt (and do have an emergency fund I could plunder if necessary). I think I need to make some cinnamon pinwheel scones or chocolate fudge this evening and focus on the fact that it's only two days until I get paid again...

(*I've always had a thing for speculative fiction like The Postman)

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Behind the scenes Two

(See One here)

It's changeover time in the
Craft ACT gallery. Our next opening is Thursday night but for now the gallery is quiet and empty.
(Well, almost empty...)
Out in the back room it's a different story. This morning we received delivery of 21 cartons of glass from Jonathan Baskett for his exhibition, Stack:Di and Simon have to open every cartoninspect every piece
and document any breakagesbefore setting up the exhibition.

Meanwhile, back in the shop,
this week I try not to be transfixed by the view of CMAG's new cafe from the back window...

Monday, February 08, 2010

I'm feeling much better now...

I was a bit grumpy when The Canberra Times article came out as I'd specifically requested that, if they took a photo of the dolls houses in the Room of Shame, they didn't include the boxes that I hadn't got around to shifting out of the room for their visit. I'd even mentioned that they were welcome to lift any photos they wanted from my blog (this one, perhaps?)Until this afternoon, that is. I was draped over my bed reading the latest (fabulous) issue of Home New Zealand and spotted this photo: Laughing uproariously, I imagined the owners of this 2007 Home of the Year: "Sure you can take photos of our garden for your feature on its Landscape Designer. Just no pictures of the inside, OK? We haven't had a chance to tidy up recently."

Either that or they were burgled just before the shoot...

The knitty gifty

There was a lot of knitting during my unexpected blogging break.

Some of what I made was also unexpected. This Strawberry Tea Cosy, for instance:I found the pattern in
a book I was shelving on Friday. Had no intention of making it any time soon (if I was going to knit another tea cosy it was going to be the teabag shaped tea cosy I'd promised the team at Craft ACT for Christmas. After I'd designed the pattern for it, that is...)

But somehow I found myself justing: just checking the stash to see if I had the right coloured wool from my op shopped collection (I did). Just casting on to see how it knitted (fast). Just starting the other side as the first side was finished so quickly. Just knitting the leaves since I was so close to being finished. Then staying up just a little bit longer to sew it all together.

And guess what? I have absolutely no need for a 4-6 pot Strawberry Tea Cosy. If you do, leave a comment on this post and I'll draw a winner next Monday morning. As usual, I'll post anywhere in the world...

You don't get a chance to get your mitts on these though: Knitted from frugalled vintage Caressa for a friend's 21st (I have fond memories of this style ball band from my teenage knitting days)I had enough yardage to knit not only my usual lounge socks but also matching wrist warmers. (The planned a photo shoot involving wearing of the socks and wrist warmers, all artfully set up against a rug, reading a book, didn't happen light's crap today and it all seemed too hard.)

Finally, knitty gifties for me:
The biggest black knitting needles I've ever seen. Frugalled by proxy for my kinetic sculpture by the ever generous and thoughtful Taph.