Monday, January 31, 2011

Too hot. Can't sleep.

So really, there's only one thing to do. Climb out of bed and make a scene...

(Credits: Bed: Vintage Brio Mobilia. Bench: Lundby. Candles and potted plant: 2010 Advent calendar swap. Vase: Dolls House Emporium. Screen: Ello. Phone: Legacy Miniatures. Not in the mood: made by me. Other wall pieces: various vintage game pieces and a fridge magnet. Lighting: IKEA Kallt.)

An internal dialogue

Me: (In a false, jolly voice) "Look! It's almost 7pm and the light's going to start fading soon, so you'd better get your inchie made. Have you been thinking about today's theme?"

Me two: (sounding a bit like Eeyore) "Well, I've been trying. I worked a long day today so maybe something about work. A play on "9 to 5" as I was there 9 hours and finished at 5? I used Dreamweaver for the first time which was pretty exciting, and have this song stuck in my head (which isn't) but can't think of how to incorporate it. Actually I can't think of anything really as I used up all my creative energy making Plum Something labels..."

Me: (Worriedly) "But you can't run out of steam now! It's only the end of the first month and you used a placeholder inchie just three days ago! You have to think of something!"

Me two: "Look, I'm just not in the moo... Hang on! That's it!"Me and Me two, together: "Phew..."(And thus endeth the first month of the challenge)

Because it really is too hot to mow the lawn...

I decided to spend time when I got home in my even-hotter-than-the-back-yard studio, creating labels for my Plum Something:It's a tradition, after all.

And, in an unexpected case of reverse psychology, I now feel the urge to go outside and mow the lawn to cool off.

It's either that or head across to the supermarket and get the necessary ingredients before starting a batch of Plum Something Else.

Decisions, decisions...

Sunday, January 30, 2011

What's on my camera?

Somehow I ended up taking some photos of corners of my studio during the course of the day...

A jam packed day

The morning was spent doing updates on Dolls Houses Past and Present.

I started boiling the plum and sugar mixture I made last night at 10:30 am. "25 minutes" Stephanie Alexander said. There was an added, hand written, notation "Timing seems out - more like 1 1/2 hrs to reach setting time"

I had a couple of visitors. Did a couple of loads of washing.

Tested the setting point every half hour.

By 1:30pm, I was out of time. There was a movie I wanted to see at The National Gallery at 2pm. So the plum mixture went into the waiting jars and I headed to the car.

I returned home to 10 jars of plum.... something. Could be jam. Might be sauce. Likely to taste fine either way.

Now I just need to work out what to do with the other half of the bucket of plums sitting on my kitchen floor. And how to clean my very sticky kitchen.

The lawns? I think they'll wait another day...

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Plum lucky

I went to collect plums.

I left with not only a bucket of them, but a copy of "the best plum jam recipe", setting agent and lemons to help things along, jars to put the finished product in and a new black and white hand towel to place the finished jars on afterwards.
And the dawning memory of just how much work making jam can be...

Friday, January 28, 2011

Late. Pass.

I met friends after work for a little late night shopping (except we all seemed to have forgotten how to do it), followed by drinks and then dinner.

By the time I got home the thought of creating an original inchie was just too much.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Good mail. terrible traffic

An early start and the need to pick up a couple of parcels from the post office at lunch time (across town from where I'm working at the moment) meant I got to try driving to work.

The trip there was quite good: 20 minutes (instead of 50 on the bus), as was the trip to and from the post office at lunchtime.

Tonight was a completely different kettle of fish. At first I thought it was just the normal peak hour traffic causing back ups. Then (after taking half an hour to do a trip that was 5 minutes long earlier in the day) I realised that the whole city was cordoned off to traffic from the other side of the lake*.

Phew. Tomorrow's commute home (another early start: my flex is looking very healthy for someone who's been in the job for 2 weeks) should be much shorter. Fingers crossed.

(*Twitter tells me a truck fell on a car.)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Australia Day: chop chop

There was a plan for my first paid public holiday in at least two years.

I was going to spend it in bed.

But, somehow, I found myself upright and out of bed by 8am. Showered and dressed by 9am. Breakfasted and in the studio by 9:30am.

Where I spent the whole day chopping up bits of paper. Printing bits of paper. Then chopping them up again. Chucking stuff through
Indesign (after teaching myself the basics of how to do what I needed to do.) Chucking stuff through Photoshop.

More printing. More cutting.

And, finally, deciding I could justify spending some of my
Uppercase money on a guillotine that could cut more than one sheet at once. My Fiskars paper cutter has done me good, but I think I've outgrown it... Today's inchie is a bit different from previous ones. I created the original (15 cm square) by cutting into offcuts from today's projects. Scanned it, photoshopped the heck out of it, resized it to fit, printed it then added the words.

Want to see the original?

So much for having a laid back lazy day in bed, being paid to do nothing...

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

One day. One inch (square)

Actually, I think I did pretty well encapsulating my day in a one inch square space.

There's reference to my current bus reading (on the
De Stijl movement: and since this morning, when I discovered our French speaking chaps on the number 2 bus are actually from Belgium, I understand their weird looks when they first saw me reading it the other day. Or maybe they were just in awe that I can read on the bus and not want to throw up... Life on the number 2 is a whole other post for another day)

In the top left corner, a picture from the lid of the stamp tin from the very gorgeous (and rather cheap) vintage stamp set I treated myself to from eBay after I got paid for my Uppercase article. Which arrived this morning (the stamp set, not the magazine).

I had to add a trial print from said stamp set.

And the flag? That's for the
Australia Day Achievement Awards presentation I went to at work this morning. Which was followed by a truly Aussie morning tea which included scones with jam and cream, lamingtons and sausage rolls. (Because, as we all know, it's a long way to the shop if you want a sausage roll...)

Monday, January 24, 2011

So very tired...

A rather apt inchie for a tired Librarian:I came home, had a wee nap on the sofa, made dinner, ate dinner, made an inchie and now I'm off for an early night...

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Today I put together my pinhole camera

(Which I bought last week)
I can't wait til I have money for film and can have a play with it!

Today I also made some more Christmas calendars, some clean washing and dishes,some
hummus, falafel and a pan of peach danish.

What I haven't (yet) made is a short lawn, the contents of my January mini swap, week two and three's Inchie books, an empty ironing pile and time for an afternoon nap...

There's always next weekend, right?

If you were to define the phrase

"something very close to it" I'm guessing it wouldn't include a day in which I spent four hours updating Dolls Houses Past and Present, half an hour on the sewing machine finishing well overdue napkins for a friend, lunch with said friend, an errand that took me (fruitlessly, it turned out) across town, an afternoon producing overdue Christmas calendars (and inchie bookmarks), followed by dinner with other friends then, finally, creating the day's Inchie at ten pm before collapsing into bed.

Which might explain why I don't like yesterday's inchie very much.Oh well...

Friday, January 21, 2011

The weekend

Take one new job. At the highest level I've worked in a long time.

Add a longer commute and the 2 and a half hours flex I've built up in my first week.

Multiply by the fact the I'm doing stuff I haven't done in five years so am mining the depths of my memory banks to get up to speed as soon as possible.

The solution is this:
(Or something very close to it...)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

When there isn't an Inchie...

there's one of these: If you can suggest a suitable inchie covering "brain dead", "beyond tired", "flex" "chicken suit*" and "talking to random strangers on the bus about cruising" I'd love to see it....

(*I know you're going to ask: it was announced that today was "Mufti Day" at work (how that works when they don't wear uniforms is beyond me, but I'm new). I would have hired a chicken suit for the occasion but a) I have no money and b) they didn't give me enough notice to make it to the costume hire shop...)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Advent Calendar Swap round-up

(Because what else is there to do when you're feeling completely brain dead and should be sorting the flat out for tomorrow's flat inspect than make a movie?)

My Miniature Advent Calendar swap partner emailed me to say she'd finished opening my parcels to her. Which meant I could finally share the contents with you:

You'll probably recognise rather a lot of it: as I shared it I hoped it wasn't obvious what it was for...

Information overload

(I think I have things cut out neatly. Then I blow my pictures up by silly amounts and what do I find? A mess...

Don't care. Am brain dead from second-day-at-new-job-itis. Be happy you even got an Inchie!)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Modern miniatures on Monday

Two bits of news this week:

Div's Rose Seidler House model was featured in the latest edition of Sohi magazine:
2. There's a new blog on the modern mini block. Tiny Handmade is written by Claire of Needle Book and will document the construction of her first dolls house, The Glencroft, which she tells me will be decorated in her usual modern style.Pop over and say "Hi"!

New starter

The first thought I had when I was handed my induction sheet this morning?
"Well there's today's inchie sorted"
(Perhaps I should have finished reading the back before I cut it up, though... )

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Stripy shirts sorted on Sunday

Because what else would I be marking today?

Although it worries me that this is the second time in 4 days that I've cut into a piece of my clothing* in the name of art...

(*Don't worry, this one was heading for the rag bag anyway)

High five!

A trip to Trash and Treasure didn't net much (brand new pinhole camera, still in shrinkwrap for $5 and this cute cardboard domino set for $1: bought from a woman who was sewing a zombie stuffie) but the decision to pop past Kmart on the way home to peruse their calculator selection (my old one died) did. Black and white stripy T shirts! On sale! For $5 each!

I bought all five they had in stock to replace my very old, very tired and very past it motley collection (which really should have been turned into rags years ago)

Now the question is: do I do the hike to the Tuggeranong store to empty out their stock for my top cupboard?

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The best laid plans...

For some time I've been planning a trip to Melbourne: friends were driving down today and back on Wednesday and I was cadging a free lift and staying with a friend.

And then a job landed in my lap. And I decided Melbourne could wait.

One for Ruth

To mark the posting of the Sketchbook Project sketchbooks yesterday.

The problem with working so small is I don't notice some of my dodgy cutting out until I look at the enlarged photo, and by then it's too late to do anything about it as it's all firmly stuck down...
And thus endeth week 2 of the 2011 Inch by inch challenge. Which means I have books to make today*.

Last week I was toying with the idea of increasing the edition each week: seven limited editions at the end of week one, fourteen this week and so on. And then I realised that would mean I'd be making 182 books at six month mark, and 365 in the last week. A very silly idea indeed.

(*I'm hoping to manage it in InDesign, thanks to a friend who gave me some basic instructions this week)

Friday, January 14, 2011

What's on my camera?

It's been a busy day. I started rearranging the drawers under my desk, which means I now have a couple of empty drawers and a number of piles of stuff all over the floor. And one plastic skeleton leg. No idea where the rest of it is.(Probably in the same place as my stringy bark dyed fabric from 2009... )

A sneaky ghosty street art photo snapped at a red light in Braddon on my way into town this morning:
An appallingly bad Photoshop disaster spotted in a magazine I was perusing while waiting for my lunch:Working on the calendars I'm making for Christmas presents. 2010 Christmas. (Oops)This afternoon the ceremonial sending off of the sketchbooks for the Sketchbook Project started with coffee and a final peruse,some frenzied last minute sketching when an empty page was discovered:
And then they were gone...

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Who would have thought?

When I copied this from The Canberra Times on December 23rd, slipped it into my Filofax (and declared 2011 would be the year I found a job where I had a drawer (and, maybe, a whole desk) to myself, two days off every week, the ability to stay in bed for up to 28 days a year and be paid for it*, wear something different every day (if I wanted to) and eat hot food at my desk with a fork if I felt the whim) I really didn't consider it might just come true.

An unexpected phone message from a stranger on Tuesday this week meant a quick decision yesterday, an orientation this morning and a Monday start in a 3 month contract that has all the above plus a long enough bus commute not to be a pain (but long enough to settle into a book or some knitting.)

And enough money to take my friends out to dinner to say thanks for their support over the past few months.

Plus provide the inspiration for today's inchie:(*and not be a prostitute!)

Books in the bath

Our first play date of 2011. And we felt like naughty girls indeed as we threw a selection of books INTO THE BATH!Why? Because my friend sent me this link and wondered how it was done. The artist's statement mentioned bath soaking (but not much more) so we had to have a play.

We were flying a bit blind but experimented with curly pagescrumpled pages and cut pages
Then I got carried away with the cutting(My inner Librarian was horrified at this point)I made a door and some windows.
And, finally, some flowers with the scraps...They dried quickly.

The books are safely tucked into my friend's garage drying out. She'll send updates of their status to me over the next few days.