Monday, November 30, 2009

Project 365 Sun 29 Nov 09

I love Sunday stash run by Tamara at quarter of an inch ... and I thought I'd shared my stash of chipboard alphabets.

Just a few of the alphabets.

I love alphabets, especially the unpainted ones. I love uppercase alphabets especially ... ones with square edges in particular.

I use them all the time ... the same sort over and over again, and I don't mind seeing the same alphabet because they always seems to look different once they're painted.

A couple of my layouts using the alphabets.

And a few more layouts.

My absolute favourite is a small uppercase alphabet, by the Perth company Collections ... I wouldn't be without it.

The two boxes with my favourite Collections alphabet.

Project 365 Sat 28 Nov 09

I left the house without my camera today ... I don't know where my head was?

And it was the best day we've had for a long time.

We spent a perfect morning at the Northcote Maker's Market (in Northcote!).

Details of the next market ... all the way in February.

I loved all the handmade goodness there ... the fab brooches by Curlypops, although I didn't get the chance to see her because she was in Daylesford at the market there.

The gorgeous handbags, clothing, hats ... but no photos to share!

But I can share what we bought there which I absolutely loved.

How cute are these? Notepads with the covers made from the illustrations from old books ... what a great use for these. And how jealous are the ladies at the Jane Austen society going to be when I show my new Pride and Prejudice notebook ... cutting up this version definitely isn't desecration of a great novel!

I love the P&P notebook ... so fitting for me.

And what about this wonderful box? I bought

The new box sitting on the shelves next to computer.

Our remotes safely inside ...where we can find them.

I bought it for my sister Debbie for her Kris Kringle but I can't bear to part with it ... now it's sitting on the coffee table between the computer desk and the sofa as the new home for all our remotes. I love it, and I'm just going to have to shop for something else for Debbie ... sorry Debs!

Our next stop was the Hello Sailor secondhand at the Grace Darling Hotel in Smith Street, Collingwood.

But we didn't stay long. There were too many people and too few stalls ... and because Lost and Found was only a few streets away we wandered up there so I could share the best second hand store in Melbourne with Horace.

But no photos!

No photos of how amazing Lost and Found is. No photos of the amazing furniture, the clothing, the records ... and the little blue leather 50s handbag I nearly bought for less than $20.

The postcard I picked up at Lost and Found.

All I have are the bits and pieces of paper I picked up and a link to the last time I went! So not good enough!

And then we spent the rest of the day with Anna and Demos in Abbotsford.

Visiting was a whim really, and the hope they were in ... thankfully they were.

We ate the most wonderful dinner of baked barramundi and chilli mussels. We chatted forever about what we'd been up to, our holiday, their wonderful vegetable garden, caught up with their friends Mary and Con ... and were so glad we hadn't waited ten years before dropping in to see them.

But no photos ....

Friday, November 27, 2009

Project 365 Fri 27 Nov 09

MY PLACE AND YOURS: That's nice, that's different, that's unusual
This week's meme was thought of by Toni over at Little Suitcase who came up with the most amazing idea for this week.

So now I've been wracking my brain trying to come up with something to share because my house isn't quirky ... unless you think a bathroom without a window is quirky and I don't think so.

I don't have anything amazing like Melanie at M+ who has a shower hidden behind a door in her hallway.

Or something astonishing like Kate at Fox's Lane who has a swing in her family room. Wow! I would have loved to live there as a kid.

Our place is an unrenovated 70s built wreck desperately in search of a paintbrush or love (I haven't quite decided which) and I can't think of a single thing about it that's nice, different or unusual. Not even all the amazing ideas from other people's blogs have given me the slightest inkling as to what I can post.

And then it struck me ... our postage stamp garden.

We have no space at all but that doesn't stop us from growing vegetables and herbs ... using planter boxes on metal brackets on our fence!

A view of the fence behind the washing line and a few of the planter boxes.

At times, the fence can be overflowing with planter boxes and plants.

A close up of a couple of the planter boxes ... including the brackets.

And every bit of ground space is covered in pots ... the corner next to the back door is filled with tomatoes, eggplants and zucchini.

A few of our pots of tomatoes, eggplants and zucchini.

I'm looking forward to a good crop in January.

PS If you want to play or check out more places ... and there are some great ones go to Pip's at Meet Me at Mike's for more.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Project 365 Thu 26 Nov 09

I worked really hard over the weekend on my Christmas tags and managed to make about 4 dozen for the various foodie presents for work colleagues and friends.

These were so easy to make ... a couple of sheets of 12x12 cardstock glued together and cut into rectangles. A few Christmas related punches--star, Santa, hearts and Christmas tree--and the paper left over from Wini's gift glued to the rectangles.

Four of my little pretties ... these babies come into their own every Christmas.

Add a hole punched in the corner of each tag using a standard two hole punch and thread household string through the corner.

A selection of the tags hanging from the my bed head ... the best place I could find to display them.

Now they're sitting on my bedside table crammed into a coffee jar until I use them.

The jar of Christmas tags ... I love how the string cascades out of the jar.

I am sitting here rubbing my hands with excitement and glee at the thought of using them! LOL

Project 365 Wed 25 Nov 09

What's Hot and What's Not at Loobylu has rolled around again ... and I've had another another good week.

What's Hot:
The price of international calls. With Wini away we've been making calls galore to stay in contact and it's not breaking the bank. Love that.

Paint. My hands are covered with paint from my recent endeavours ... I thought I'd have a go at "shabby chicing" my wooden tissue box cover and it's looking appropriately distressed. Now to add some blue to my cork board to make a pigeon pair.

This looks better than I thought although I still need to sand back the other sides to reach the same point.

Craft markets. I've been having so much fun staying up to date with all the wonderful markets around Melbourne and working out which ones to go to ... there doesn't seem to be enough days in the weekend to get to all the markets I want to explore.

New train operator. Only a few more days until Connex is banished from our lives and replaced with our new train operator. Could it get any worse? Hope springs eternal. LOL

What's Not:
Melbourne weather. Can this place ever make up its mind? First we've had February's weather in November giving us the warmest November on record, followed by bucketing rain that didn't find its way into the water catchment areas. What we need is rain ... in the water catchment areas!

Insomnia. I'm still finding it hard to get enough sleep but I'm pushing myself to get up earlier and endure the crankiness that comes with it in the hope I'll be so exhausted I'll fall into bed earlier and miracolously emerge with a regular sleeping pattern. (Fingers crossed.)

Difficult complainants. One of my roles at work is to handle the harder or more difficult phone and written complaints. I work with a brilliant bunch of people so this seldom happens but what a pain when it does! The answers are never easy ... and sometimes there isn't an answer at all. And everybody believes their complaint is justified and reasonable!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Project 365 Tue 24 Nov 09

While I was away visiting in Ballarat Clarissa had a car accident ... which is a hard thing at any time but even harder when you're phoned mid vintage clothing inspection and you can't see for yourself things are ok.

The upside, of course, is that Clarissa calling me gives me some comfort and I will never tell her not to call me. At least, I know what's going on, and how much more awful to find out after the event.

So this in not a complaint ... just a recognition of how frustrating it is ... I'm miles away, I can't see what's going on and I can't get there any time soon to satisfy myself.

As for the accident ... a minor one in which neither driver was hurt.

As it turns out, Clarissa and the other driver were both backing out in front of the local chemist, neither saw the other and Clarissa backed into the other driver's car.

The upside for Clarissa is that there was minimal damage to her car; nothing more than a scratch really to her bumper bar.

The tiny little scratch on Clarissa's car ... almost unnoticeable.

But the insurance company told her to bring it in anyway and she'll only be charged the excess to clean up the damage she made to the bumper bar the very first time she drove her car!

The mess on the other side of the car ... made the first time she drove it and fortunately only to the bumper bar and not the car.

A good outcome in my book.

Project 365 Mon 23 Nov 09

Just recently I've been struggling for posts ... which is hardly surprising given a year of posting every day and one less child in the house.

Which brings me to the one less child in the house (Wini), and recent posts by her on Facebook.

My new noticeboard seems to have unwittingly become a shrine to Wini ... and she thinks I never give her a thought.

1. Her status has recently changed, and she's now in a relationship.

There's been considerable excitement regarding who ... and not just from me. Is she in a relationship ... or is it a huge hoax to get a little attention? LOL

And she won't share any of the details ... let alone pictures.


2. Wini's looking for flights to come home.

When, when, when ... I ask?

For Christmas, May next year ... Christmas next year perhaps?

And given there's a new boy on the horizon, it can't be forever? Can it?

Come on Wini, give your mum a break ...

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Project 365 Sun 22 Nov 09

Tamara at quarter of an inch is running Sunday Stash time and I thought I would play each week.

And for my first week my amazing stash of DVDs.

It's a pretty eclectic collection from science fiction to romance.

I know they're not exactly crafty ... but I promise you they are absolutely linked ... because one of these will always be on as I knit, scrapbook or paint.
There are quite a few I've never actually "watched" because my head is always down focussed on whatever I'm doing.

I admit to having a certain fondness for the Hornblower series and I love anything with Audrey Hepburn in it (War and Peace).

What you can see is less than half of them: they're stacked two deep on the bookshelf and on top of each other and there's another huge stash at my mother's waiting for me to pick them up at Christmas.

I'm absolutely no fan of regular programming on TV and we almost never go to the movies ... give me a period drama or science fiction every time: Pride and Prejudice, Underworld, Blade, Sharpe, Vanity Fair, Band of Brothers, Rome, Deadwood, Lorna Doone, Stargate. I don't mind (except for Keira Knightly as Elizabeth in Pride and Prejudice) which version and I don't mind how many times I watch them.

Project 365 Sat 21 Nov 09

On top of the hugest day running around shopping and finishing off some Christmas stuff, I met up with a few friends for dinner at Malaysia Gardens.

The sign as you walk up the stairs to the restaurant.

It's an interesting place in Clayton Rd, Clayton ... and the food is authentic ... not like the Italian or Chinese or whatever restaurant that serves what they think the market wants ... Malaysia Gardens serves what's sold in Malaysia ... and the locals flock there.

A beautiful chilli pi-pi. One of my favourites.

It's always so crowded but I love the view of the Clayton train station and Clayton Rd, and the almost Coles cafeteria atmosphere ... it's all about the food and rightly so.

The best oyster omelet I've ever had ... crispy and beautiful.

One of them, Phil, is a huge traveller and foodie and he not only picks the restaurants but I generally let him pick what I should have.

One of the three national dishes ... Nasi Lemak. This one always looks so pretty.

And Malaysia Gardens last night was no different.

Curried chicken ... with lovely flaky, slightly greasy roti.

How beautiful does the food look?

Salt and pepper squid ... I want some more of this right now! LOL

And cheap ... 6 mains between five people and drinks each for under $100.

This one is Char Kway Teoh.

It doesn't get much better.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Project 365 Fri 20 Nov 09

Emjie over at Emjie'sTreasures had the best idea today for Fridays ... share old examples of past work, photos, art journal notes etc.

I've loved photography for ever and I have some well loved examples of my photography that go back to the 1970s ... and todays is from summer 1990 when my girls were young.

Wini about four wearing the blue trimmed hat, and Clarissa around two years of age..

We used to go to Collingwood Children's Farm a couple of times a year for birthday parties and a Christmas party ... and this one is from one of the Christmas parties.

I always used to dress the girls in pretty dresses and little white socks and hats when we were going out for good ... and they very rarely got dirty. They were those kind of kids. LOL

How wonderful is it have started scanning all my old photos and actually have some to share?

Project 365 Thu 19 Nov 09

Recently my local council spent $250,000 (sound it out; a quarter of a million dollars!) ripping up my street and putting in new drains to 'improve' the area. The views to the north east, and south west towards Safeway post show what the street looks like after they've finished.

Nice and tidy, especially towards the south west where the council added additional car parking spaces.

But a total pain in the arse for us because they narrowed the street and took away our car parking ... and now I park on the nature strip because my daughter parks in our off street parking and we don't think it's safe to park our car on the road so close to a roundabout.

So what's happening now ... without a word of warning workmen turn up and ask us to move our car because four car parking spaces are going in at the front of our property.

The view I was presented with as I walked down the street from the train station.

I'm not complaining about the the parking spaces because it's been a bloody nuisance for us since they altered the road about a year or so ago ... but do you think they could ask before they rip up the road in the first place or even before they decided to tear up the nature strip to add parking?

The gaping hole they made today ... and apparently four car parking spaces are going to take a month to create.

It's our money they're spending after all ... or am I just getting a little bolshie?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Project 365 Wed 18 Nov 09

I feel really dull and blah, with a head full of cotton wool ... roll on the cool change.

But I still wanted to participate in Loobylu's What's Hot and What's Not ... it's so good taking stock once a week to give thanks for what's been good during the week.

What's hot:
Visiting mum and the family. That was really nice. It's the first time I visited since July and we went away so I was well and truly overdue.

Spending time with Tamika. She's such a sweetheart and we won't get to do so much together for much longer ... and then who will I go to the show with?

My little darling in my Mum's yard.

Writing manuals. I've just finished a work manual about using a database we use and I've been working on it almost exclusively for the last six weeks. It's huge (115 pages) and it has not been a labour of love ... but it's finished and I'm free to do other things. Woo hoo! LOL

Getting organised for Christmas. I am so enthused this year, and I'm already planning was home baked goodies I might hand out at work for the work colleages ... I'm thinking ANZACS?

Laughing with Horace. Even after 27 years together we sit together holding hands and laughing ... and this week's be

Blogs. Gosh I love the commitment and energy people put into their blogs ... and I read a lot. Blogs about people living on narrowboats in the UK like NarrowboatsOakfield, women who love to knit (Bellsknits), quilt (MargaretARowe), women who scrapbook (ABitEast), women who love vintage and recycled clothing (BallaratVintageStyle), women who aspire to add creativity to every day (tinniegirl) ... thanks for the inspiration.

What's not:
The heat. Some might like it hot ... but the list doesn't include me. I burn, I don't sleep well and that leaves me cranky. I am so tired as I type this I feel as though my head's stuffed with cotton wool!

No time for knitting. I've tried but between the weather and the cotton wool head I've yanked out every stitch I've done over the last couple of weeks.

On balance things are going better than the fog in my head can comprehend ... it's nice to feel as though I'm getting the balance right.

Project 365 Tue 17 Nov 09


I saw this on somebody's blog (and I can't remember whose so my apologies) who saw it on Kylie's blog ... so I thought I would see how Australian I am!

To be honest I didn't expect to be very Australian ... I was born in the UK, I've lived with a Trini (West Indian from Trinidad for nearly 30 years) and my friends are from all corners of the world.

And because I have to have a photo ... the Australian flag flying from the Collingwood Town Hall. Such a beautiful building.

But my score turned out to be much higher than I expected: 42/60 ... I wonder how Australian that makes me after all?

1. Been dive bombed by a magpie No
2. Have seen a crocodile At the zoo
3. Have seen a snake in the wild Yes
4. Been bitten by a snake or other Aussie wildlife No
5. Patted a koala No
6. Seen a kangaroo in the wild Yes
7. Climbed the Sydney Harbour Bridge Never going to be my thing
8. Climbed the Story Bridge in Brisbane Never heard of it!
9. Visited the Sydney Opera House A couple of times
10. Swum at the beach Yes. I live 10 minutes from the beach
11. Had fish and chips on the beach That was my favourite activity with our kids for Sunday lunch
12. Been stung by a jellyfish No
13. Had sunburn that peeled All the time when I was a kid!
14. Camped under the stars Yes
15. Visited Uluru No
16. Driven the Great Ocean Road in Victoria Several times
17. Seen the penguins on Phillip Island Victoria Yes
18. Had an outdoor BBQ with Friends Yes
19. Played backyard/beach Cricket Yes
20. Watched a real cricket match live Yes
21. Betted on the Melbourne Cup Not for a few years but yes
22. Attended the Melbourne Cup Live from Flemington Once, many years ago
23. Attended a live Aussie Rules or rugby football game Aussie rules in about 1978
24. Ridden a Melbourne Tram Today!
25. Snow Skied in the “high country” of NSW/Vic Definitely yes
26. Visited the Great Barrier Reef No
27. Been to Kakadu No
28. Crossed the Nullabor by road No
29. Gone down the Murray River on a paddle steamer No
30. Survived a cyclone No
31. Survived a bushfire No
32. Experienced a big flood No
33. Know who the Wiggles are Oh dear ... who doesn't?
34. Know who Humphrey the Bear is Most definitely
35. Watched Play School as a kid or mum of a kid Both
36. Watched Skippy the Bush Kangaroo Loved Skippy
37. Own an Australia Flag Yes
38. Know the words to Advance Australia Fair Yes
39. Eat Vegemite All the time
40. Drink Milo Yes
41. Know what lamingtons are Yes
42. Know what Pavlova is My favourite Christmas dessert
43. Know what Tim Tams are My favourite chocolate biscuit
44. Eaten a meat pie Yes
45. Gave or received a “dead arm” Huh?
46. Have owned an Akubra hat No
47. Own/owned an Australia Cattle dog No
48. Been to a B& S ball - or know what one is Yes
49. Drive a ute Not for a very long time
50. Say G’day Yes
51. Can cook damper Yes
52. Can make billy tea Yes
53. Supported a sausage sizzle What would a school be without a sausage sizzle? LOL
54. Own John Williamson CD/Music Not really my thing55. Owned chooks or know what they are A rooster during secondary school
56. Call the toilet “the dunny” No
57. Wear thongs (on your feet…) Yes
58. Support Aussie music Depends
59. Enjoy a beer Not a chance!
60. Swallowed a fly Yes

Project 365 Mon 16 Nov 09

Because my Mum’s on prepaid wireless I didn’t spend much time on the internet over the weekend except for showing her how to do a few things, adding stuff she wanted to keep to her Favourites, and updating her anti-virus and leaving instructions so she can do it herself.

So it was with huge excitement I read that I’ve been awarded the Kreativ blog award by Mel over at MelMakesPretty ... that is so cool.

Now, here's the deal:

* I have to add the Kreative Blog award logo ... done!

* Thank the person who gave me the award (Mel at MelMakesPretty and link to her blog ... done.

* Pass on the award to seven other lucky bloggers, add links and let the lucky 7 know ... done.

1. M*
2. kootoyou
3. Pea Soup
4. Badskirt
5. Starashan
6. emjie
7. Owlet

* Tell you 7 things about myself you don't already know (which is going to be pretty hard since I've posted nearly every day for 18 months and I'm pretty well out of dim dark secrets!) ... Phew, done!

1. I have a sweet tooth but I never drink soft drink.
2. I find myself talking incessantly ... even though I don't mean to.
3. If things aren't perfect I have to tear them apart and start again.
4. My night vision is bad ... so much that I hate driving at night.
5. I had a really bad motor cycle accident at 19 and lost half the tendons on one finger.
6. There are four kids in my family: two born in August and two in December. The two born in August: one's born in summer and the other in winter and the same for my siblings born in December: one is born in winter and the other in summer. Weird huh?
7. I hate swimming ... I never go near the water even though I live ten minutes walk away.

Hope you all enjoy.

Project 365 Sun 15 Nov 09

The amazing thing about Ballarat is what a vibrant recycled clothing, and arts and crafty type scene it has … one that the many blogs out there have recently revealed to me.

So, this weekend I had visions of wandering through quite a few stores including Dear Prudence which opened in Sturt St during the last month and Kittelty’s Auction Rooms in Humffray Street South on Sunday mornings … but the reality, alas, was much less exciting.

The entrance to De's. The cash register is like the one I used to use at Safeway in the mid 70s for my after school job.

All I actually visited was De’s Recycled Fashions at 202 South Street and the big Salvos outlet in Sebastopol … but it was still nice because I got the chance to wander around with Mum and Debbie, and catch up with my other sister Carol and her daughter Vanessa at De’s. We don’t often do that together.

My baby sister Debbie poking through the bags ... I almost bought a gorgeous 1950s black one but the lining was a little torn and I just couldn't do it.

De has some great recycled stuff although I didn’t get the chance to wander through the vintage fashions. I’m definitely going to try harder next time.

Isn't this selection of hats gorgeous ... and so perfect to have the dummy's head poking through.

And the Salvos was great to go poking through … clothes, books, furniture ... you name it.

My mum and sister walking into the Salvos, Sebastopol.

There were also some chairs similar to what I want but these ones needed too much work.

The wall of pictures ... I love frames.

I had a set of these years ago and I absolutely want another set.

I love these.

I have visions of them reupholstered in fabric something plus and elegant like this … in a heavy cream or even red.

A few of the fabrics I really love.

But it was a hot weekend and my Mum didn’t want to do too much during the day and so I had a productive weekend working on my mother’s computer organising my overseas photos and her anti-virus, reading my book, having dinner with the family on Sunday evening and watching Miss Austen Regrets on Sunday night.

Looking along the women's dresses and towards the sheets and blankets.

A nice weekend … and there’s always next time.

Project 365 Sat 14 Nov 09

This year, as is our tradition, my niece Tamika and I went to the Ballarat Show.

Tamika intent on the sideshow. Her mum was working at this concession ... and she won the cutest little teddy bear.

But this year with a difference … we went at night so we could see the fireworks.

Got to love the fireworks ... and these were the best I've seen for a while.

Our view of the rides as the fireworks went off.

It was a nice night: the weather was beautifully cool after a hot day and it wasn’t too crowded.

I love the atmosphere of the Agricultural Shows, and what they meant to me when I was a kid and how much my own kids enjoyed them. They’re part of the rites of passage for Aussie kids.

Of course Tamika loves the rides, although we're not big ride people.

Tamika only went on this ride and the trampoline ... she and her cousin were shaking down to their toes when they got off.

I love the showbags ... and they are so much better than when I was kid.

We only got a couple of bags ... Girlfriend for the grown-up girl, chocolate for her dad and Fruit Tingles for me.

And I can't go without checking out the arts and crafts. My girls always entered in the cookery when they were kids and always won something and I really must remember to enter some of my stuff some year.

Tamika liked this particular piece of art work ... and I couldn't disagree.

How clever is this ... it's made of painted bread bag seals.

The funniest thing at the show ... melted slices.

And last, but not least, something for the quilters.

I savour each year even more as it won’t be long before Tamika will only go to the Show with her friends … next year is probably our last year.