Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Absolute Brilliance

I just spotted this picture of actress Dorothy Flood on Vintage Photographs and in truth, it took my breath away. The person who posted it is Russian, and didn't caption it with the photographer as far as I can tell.

I tell you one thing, if I could meet the photographer I would shake their hand and buy him/her a drink. Maybe you just see a nice picture, but the artistry in this blows me away. Look how gorgeously that photo is conceived and shot! The tones, the complimentary colours, the feather in the hat picking up the arrows detail, the swirls in the scarf complimenting the curves of the bullseye backdrop, the perfect focus and depth of field that has her foreground hand and face in focus (and starts to drop away at about the depth of the tip of the feather in her hat), the classical Mannerist posing of the fingers...


No matter how crappy I feel, truly beautiful and accomplished art always lifts my spirits!

Wednesday Is Made Of Fail

I figured I would put that right out there in the header, so you could swing by this entry if you wish. I haven't had a great day today. I shall therefore vent.

I called in dead to work today, which normally would make for an ok (at least) day. However, then I decided that since I finished the first round of antibiotics and after leaving this chesty cough to do its own thing for a number of weeks now, and discovering that 'its own thing' is apparently not getting any better, I should visit my doctor. My doctor who you normally you have to plan to be sick like 3 weeks in advance, in order to get an appointment to see her.

Anyhoo, my BFF the receptionist (who sometimes 'forgets' to charge me, bless her) squeezed me in where my doctor's lunch break would normally be. Now, my doc often runs over schedule. She never rushes, never has one eye on the clock, and takes as long as she needs with you. However it can mean that by 12.20 she was already running over an hour behind schedule. Mmmm, irritating but I had a book and some 3 month old issues of Time magazine (Obama!) to see me through, and frankly I was just glad to get an appointment. So examination finally had, diagnosis made (chest still congested + a cracker of a sinus infection), scrips handed over and I finally got out of there mid afternoon.

I decided to go into the city and claim the money I paid for my sleep meds, so I went into the private health insurance office, took my ticket, waited in line and saw a perfectly lovely woman about my meds. I'm not covered. Because the pharmacist substituted a brand new generic for the name brand I had previously, it wasn't covered at all. The generic is so new that it wasn't on the approved list for the month of April, it may be in May, but not yet. So I saved $34 dollars on the generic, $100 instead of $134, but I don't get to claim the $45 rebate I normally recoup. Yup, $11 more for the generic in effect. Fabulous!

And then, I made the mistake of going into the new Lincraft store in the city. Lincraft is a chain of fabric and craft stores, once glorious... and now owned by a chain that specialises in what we call $2 Shops. Out went the knowledgeable staff (in fact almost all the staff), the high end fabrics, most of the 'middle' fabrics even, and in came the budget fake furs, the synthetic satins and the junk. Novelty tealight holders. Cheap scratchy towels. HUGE bins of acrylic 'novelty' yarns.

They closed the once fantastic big city store and have just reopened in what seems a temporary site, in the basement of a budget womenswear store. OMG. Cramped and disorganised is an understatement. It took me almost 20 minutes of searching to find the sewing threads, and only because I didn't let the locked door and the sign saying "Beware Of The Leopard" deter me. By the time I went to the check out I was ready to kill, or at least maim.

Of course I jest, but I did almost vault over the register desk when the girl behind the counter overcharged me by $20...

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Shrove Tuesday, Of A Sort

I've never been a tall and physically imposing person, but to confuse reality with metaphor, right now I'm flat as a pancake. Run through the mangle. Micron thin. It's only Tuesday and I feel as tired and jaded as if I've worked a few weeks without a break. All it has taken has been a couple of nights of broken sleep, some Wintery weather, a chesty cough (still) that just will not go... and... well that's probably enough. Work isn't even particularly stressfull at the moment, that mayhem happens in the first half of every month. (So next week, yay.)

On the upside I had a lovely phone call with Tall & Handsome, another call from my friend Stephen in Queensland, and now I'm watching the Indian episode of my favourite new program, the visually stunning Around The World In 80 Gardens. Let me tell you if there's one thing those Mughals knew how to do, that was gardens and stately pleasure domes decree.

And so to bed for an early night.

Oh but before I go, here's an interesting factoid. If you've read this blog for a while you might be familiar with the fact that I was put on a drug a while back to cure my restless leg related sleep problems. A very special drug that comes in a mink lined rosewood box, each tablet gold leafed by hand and inset with a semi-precious stone. Or at least, they should be given that they cost me $134 for a month's supply. Anyhoo, there's a new generic version on the market! Now they come in a silver gilt version in a lovely cedar box, with velvet lining for the princely sum of $100. So there's a saving right there. I'd rather they cost me $34 and I saved the $100, but you can't have everything right? So, my point (I do have one) is that the new tablets are a very curious shape. They're small, pink 10 sided polyhedrals.

Yes gamer nerds, every night now I take one small pink d10 with water before retiring.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

5 Things About This Lovely Weekend: Lemony Fresh Edition

  • Seeing a woman, probably about 45 or so as far as I could tell, wearing a white leather coat and riding a candy pink coloured Vespa scooter. There's a woman dancing to her own beat I thought.
  • While I was in my favourite botanicals shop in Newtown I picked up a tester of an essential oil of litsea cubeba (aka May Chang). I must have accidentally touched it to the tip of my nose, and for the next half hour everything was overlaid with a lovely citrus lemon smell.
  • A fantastic (late!) night of dancing and socialising with my friend Christopher. I ran into a couple of old friends, chatted to some very pleasant strangers, had a few drinks, danced and danced some more. Fun!
  • Knitting! I recently picked up a previously hibernating project, while I was away in the bush in fact, and after 2 knitting group get-togethers this weekend I've almost finished Sock The First. Plus yesterday's knitting meet-up had 4 newbies, one of whom came along today to knit with us at The Courthouse Hotel. We love new people!
  • Pizza. I hadn't ordered in a pizza for ages and it's a cool, windy, Wintery night in Sydney tonight, just perfect for a night of sofa, the finale of "So You Think You Can Dance" and a pizza before calling it an early night... at least that's the plan. Plus, cute pizza delivery boy whose thick accent made "pizza" sound like "peach-ah". Bless.


The video cavalcade continues! So you know, sorry if I'm like crashing your browser or whatever with all these clips (and dial-up people, really, broadband... think about it), but colour and movement! I am all about the colour and movement.

I have a new love. Aussie songbird Sia. Watch this clip of her on Letterman late last year for starters (and then listen to Letterman and Paul gush):

And the sign language and painted hands thing is something she does a lot of the time. Aside from the fact that I love her voice and her songwriting skills (she recently wrote and worked with Lady GaGa, apparently) I'm really impressed with her decision to sign in many of her clips. I'd like her even without it, but I just think it's a very cool thing for her to do.

I also wrote about the adorable Captain|Over who creates youtube clips of him signing pop songs. There is a common thread, I've been thinking of learning to sign for a while now. Aside from wanting to be able to communicate with deaf and hearing impaired people, I'm a big believer in life long learning. Auslan is actually a whole language, not just a way of translating English. I know I'm only in my 40s, but I think everyone should mentally stimulate themselves with learning new languages, and it's proved to be a way of staying mentally agile as you age.

Anyhoo, Sia. Check out this amazing clip of her song "Buttons" on "Live With Jools Holland", using the ultraviolet light concept which she would then re-create on our local show "Rove Live":

I love this song!

I just saw a brief interview with her on one of our morning music video shows, and she comes across as really sweet, funny and articulate. Ok, I'm gushing. Stopping now! Go check out her website and search for her other clips on youtube. As one of our tv presenters here in OZ used to always say, do yourself a favour.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Parody Is Easy When The Targets Are Dumb People

I've heard lots of comment on the interwebs about the National Organisation for Marriage (NOM) ad against gay marriage, but until I saw the Colbert Report clip below I hadn't actually seen the original. OMG, it's almost a parody of itself it's so dumb. In my book they should have worked in a twister and Dorothy Gale's house into the storm mix... the gays' love of Judy and vintage musicals can cause twisters!

Cautionary tale! Anyhoo watch the Colbert clip below for a snippet of the original and a very funny parody of it.

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
The Colbert Coalition's Anti-Gay Marriage Ad
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorGay Marriage Commercial

Jane Lynch (love her!) and the good folks at Funny or Die have made their own satirical version too, with the help of some familiar faces:

Meanwhile, does anyone have an umbrella?

There Is An Epidemic Of Boy on Boy Kissing In The Music Industry!

Ok, not quite an epidemic, but here's a few.

Belgian singer (and serious mustache owner) Tom Helsen wants you to not worry about Every Little Thing. So don't, m'kay! Cute song, Tom's a bit of a dish, and stick with the clip until the denouement. Awww.

[Via The Gays of Daytime blog.]

Meanwhile super dishy Matt Alber thinks it's The End Of The World, so you might as well look your best with a new haircut... if you're going to face the music and dance that is.

I've posted this clip before... but some things bare repeating. Boys dancing! Fedoras! A barbershop without the quartet!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

5 Fun Things About Attending Wednesday Night All Male Jelly Wrestling With James

  • Mostly naked and slimed up rugby boys from The Sydney Convicts!
  • Discovering that the 'jelly' was described not so much as jelly but as an organic compound (I'm guessing it's agar or some sort of industrial gelatin). Judging by the contestants' reactions it was not exactly nom nom.
  • At the end of the night it has to be melted into liquid form and disposed of. I daren't ask how, but they did serve jelly shots...
  • Answering the call for a $5 dollar donation, only to discover that the $5 had be rolled into a tube by me and inserted into the back of one of the jelly wrestler's swimming trunks. As it turns out it was in preparation for a game called "Jelly ATM" where, and this is where it gets complicated, each wrestler makes a 'withdrawal' from the other's trunks.
  • The friendly crowd at Manacle. Seriously, a leather bar may not be everyone's cup of tea but I've found it to be one of the few bars in Sydney where it's easy to chat to people.

[Are you more of a 'visual' person? Unsure what a couple of boys rolling around in jelly (jell-o) looks like? Then click here for some moderately NSFW pics.]

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Pamela Dale's "Twofold World"

I'm still catching up with all the emails and blog comments that arrived while I had gone bush over Easter, and so it wasn't until tonight that I noticed a blog comment Pamela Dale very kindly left on an entry I wrote about her and her stunning ink on paper and collage artworks. Sadly I won't be able to get to Melbourne while it is on, but Pamela informs me she is having an exhibition Twofold World at the Jenny Port Gallery in Melbourne until 2nd May.

Rue Charlot Champagne Shoe by Pamela Dale

If any of you are in Melbourne please drop by and check it out, so I can live vicariously!

The Art Of The Thinly Disguised Metaphor

Sabrina is busting to show you her ample racks and racks of slides. With Bell & Howell she keeps abreast of the latest in audio visual equipment.

Plus, she has amazing tits.

[Via Vintage Ads.]

Monday, April 20, 2009

Weekend Recap!

It used to be part of my Monday ritual to do a weekend recap. When did that fall by the wayside?! I've kept most of my other Monday rituals; hangovers, an industrial strength coffee pick-up, crying bitter tears all the way into the office... So I say, revisit the recap!

What's more relaxing after a frenetic stressfull week at work than a weekend that cracks along at a breakneck pace? When all you can do is hang on and hope for the best. T&H was here all weekend, and we kicked off Saturday morning with breakfast together at my favourite cafe Barmuda. Then God help him T&H got to see the anxiety-fest that is me shopping for a gift at the last minute. Given the time, inspiration and money I love gift buying, but deciding to buy a wedding present on the morning of the wedding is a recipe for exasperated sighs and string lips.

After all the shopping and apologising for being a strung out asshat it was time to get changed for the wedding and sample almost every form of Sydney public transport (ok, 2 trains and a taxi... so we did skip buses and ferries) getting to the venue. And what a lovely venue! Adding to the strung out asshatness of the day were nerves you see, because I was shooting the pics for my friends Shawn & Megz' wedding! So I ran around with the camera all afternoon, whilst socialising, and here's a tiny teasel:

Could they be more adorable? And don't they look fab in their Victorian outfits? (Once they're back from their honeymoon, and with their permission, I'll post some more pics because they looked thoroughly smashing.) Then we retired to the nightclub style cellar of Curzon Hall for the most fun wedding reception I have ever been to! I ate, I drank, I smooched T&H and hung out with my lovely friends. Shawn and Megz, if there are no useful pics from the end of the reception... blame the Champagne not the photographer. (I kid! I'm still working my way through the hundreds of pics I took. Fingers crossed!)

T&H and I stayed back to help tidy up like model citizens, and see if any of the gifts were worth stealing, before realising we had a) left ourselves a bit too late to get numerous forms of public transport home and b) failed to score a space in a car going back to the city. There could have been a more fun way of ending the evening than walking weary and a bit drunk (in the rain) to find a cab, but it was a small price to pay for a wonderful evening. (And hopefully the cost of the cab ride will help the driver put his kids through private school. All of them.)

Sunday! My friend Judy recently upgraded her sofa, and as her second son has just returned to the roost with furniture of his own, kindly donated her still-in-great-condition old sofa. So, long story short. I had some rearranging of the living room to do in order to make space in my tiny house for a second (soon to be only) sofa. Cue opportunity for more anxious asshat behaviour! Sigh. The sofa arrived with two big strong boys in tow (one of whom was startlingly handsome), was quickly and deftly deposited, whilst I parted with a reasonable amount of cold hard cash.

Once that was dealt with, T&H and I headed off to my regular Sunday afternoon knitting at the Courthouse Hotel. We had a lovely afternoon of knitting before heading home to meet up with our friend Christopher who, as soon as we knew Peter would be in Sydney last weekend, we had arranged to go to the leather bar Manacle with. (PS. sorry Speedy, we organised it even before we got your party invite.) One extremely enjoyable evening later... and suddenly I find myself back at a Monday morning hangover.

So now T&H is back home on the other side of the country, I'm sitting here looking at my new(ish) sofa and seriously contemplating an early night. Next weekend I'm thinking... not so many plans.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Lost In Translation

Sometimes you need to re-frame things in terms people can relate to.

Last weekend, whilst having gone bush, one semi-drunken conversation lead to another and the topic found itself lurching around to dogging. Now you have to factor in that dogging is not a widely known term (or activity) in Australia, and the woman trying to explain the phenomenon was a) tipsy and b) almost incomprehensibly Irish. The conversation turned to the complicated system of car headlight codes that mean you can watch, you can join in, or you can feck off you ugly bastard. (As she put it.) One of the members of the university faculty (and fellow homosexualist) was struggling to get a grip on the concept.

Until I turned to him and said "It's a beat (cottage/tearoom)... for straight people."


The Virtues of Easy Virtue

T&H and I had a bit of an old school date night last night, dinner and a movie. I've been having a hellacious week this week at work, even though it's only a 4 day one. On the upside, 4 days of torture are better than 5, right? It's Monthly Management Meeting time, a particular time of the month that combines all the panic of Henny Penny with the psychotic frustrated rage of Michael Douglas's William 'D-Fens' Foster in Falling Down. The best one can do is put one's head and down and try like hell to stay employed.

So, in attempted antidote we had an absolutely fantastic early dinner before heading to the flicks. Bellies full of Vietnamese caramelised pork (ZOMG!) we headed to my favourite Cinema For Grown-Ups*, the Dendy, to see Easy Virtue. [Official website, with sound.]

I was clearly born fortymumblethirtymumble years too late because I wanted to be in this movie. Even as a non-smoker I was craving swanning around the crumbling Drawing Room of the Whittaker Estate, turkish fag in one hand and script of Noel Coward lines in the other. Not unlike the way I wanted to be one of the stately homos of England only 5 or 6 months ago.

If I got to marry Ben "Prince Caspian" Barnes in the process, then so be it. *sigh* Dressing for dinner never looked so good.

The women steal the movie, hands down. Modern meets old world. Brash meets reserved. American meets terribly, terribly British. Acid jibes are parried and cheap shots are fired across the bows. Apparently the original Noel Coward play was very cutting, one of his most vicious, and Stephan Elliott (Aussie director of "Priscilla Queen Of The Desert") and co-screenwriter Sheridan Jobbins have toned down the bile whilst keeping most of the acid.

ZOMG, Jen from the The I.T. Crowd! [/end geek moment]

So, as you might be able to tell, I loved it. The music is used to great effect. The costumes (oh the costumes!) are fabulous. The crumbling manse used as the setting is gorgeous, and lends an authenticity that sets never could. Dishy boys abound. Coward's dialogue is fab, and handled gently by Elliott and Jobbins. Biel is glamorous, smart, funny, strong and fragile in good order. Kristin Scott Thomas is brilliant, and formidable.

It's been out for a while now, but if you get a chance I'd recommend seeing it. The DVD was released recently and I think it's making it's way to my Wish List.

* Sure it has interesting films (subtitled and non), but more importantly a wide range of gourmet choc-tops and an even wider range of wines by the glass and beers. Wine in the cinema! Noel Coward and a lightly acid Sauv Blanc are a good mix.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Chicken Soup For The Soul

On a whim last night I decided to stop by the supermarket after work and [vegetarians look away, look away!] grab the fixings to make chicken soup. From scratch. No bouillon cubes. No packet this, no sachet that. Just an organic free range chicken, water, carrots, onions, celery, a bay leaf (thanks Speedy!) and some peppercorns.

A couple of hours and a house full of nummy aroma later and I had a big pot o' chicken and delicately flavoured stock. Most was placed in a container in the 'fridge to allow the fat to solidify and then be disposed of, and some was placed in a small pan to be simmered with risoni, salt & pepper, some of the veggies from the stock, lashings of shredded chicken and some parsley. A small squeeze of lemon would have been good too, but I forget to get any lemons at the supermarket. When life doesn't give you lemons, make... do without them.

It was rewarding and relaxing. It felt nice to be making something from scratch, and putting aside something for future meals. In this case containers of stock in the freezer for cold winter soup nights, or risotto maybe. Most nights I only have the enthusiasm to spend 10 minutes throwing together some pasta or something easy, but given the lightning strike of time and energy there was real enjoyment in checking the pot, skimming, smelling and waiting.

And then today found me looking up small sized slow cookers online. I mean, a casserole all ready for me when I get home on a winter work night? With portions boxed up in the freezer for later?... Nom nom.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Back From The Bush

The weary traveller returns! I had the best time. I spent some of the time wandering the bush with students and lecturers, learning, observing, listening, photographing, and the rest of the time socialising, having quiet time alone, knitting, napping and just enjoying the surrounds. Tall & Handsome was often off with students, but some of the time I tagged along and the rest of the time we got a rare opportunity to hang out together.

The scribbles on the bark are the tracks of burrowing insects, which burrow around under the bark before it's shed by the tree.

Leaf Galls
Leaf galls on a eucalypt leaf.

The permanent university field station we were based at had very comfortable accommodation, without being so plush that you felt like you were at a resort rather than a teaching field station. I was initially a little worried about feeling like a tag-along, but all the teaching staff and students made me feel very much a participant rather than an observer. The students were such a lovely bunch of kids, all 30 of them 3rd year university students in their very early 20s. Faith in The Young People Of Today restored!

I shot this leech shortly after it was taken off my leg. On one hand fascinating (those orange markings, the way they fling themselves with uncanny accuracy up your trouser leg), on the other hand... ewww.

The shoreline of Smiths Lake, on the edge of the field station grounds.

I took lots of pics. In such amazing surroundings it was all I could do to put down my camera at times! I've added around 50 of the highlights to Flickr in this set, but I'm still tagging the pics and adding descriptions. It's a long slow progress!

Banksia Spinulosa
Banksia spinulosa growing in the bush.

There were lots of highlights; watching Tall & Handsome with his students, going for an impromptu late afternoon swim in the sea at Seal Rocks while dark rain clouds rolled in, a (surprisingly) exhilarating late night hunt for frogs in a pitch dark forest in the rain, relaxing with good food and a glass of wine in the company of an interesting and enthusiastic group of people...

Early morning checking of the trap lines. Each night 25 small traps were set along several trap lines, and then in the morning the animals were recorded, weighed, sexed, marked (with a tiny dab of pink nail polish!) and released unharmed. In fact they got a free feed, and a snug predator free night's sleep in the bargain.

Antechinus Stuartii
An antechinus stuartii, a small roughly mouse sized marsupial and so very, very cute. We caught a lot of these little guys who have a unique life cycle, they mate for extended periods of time (like 13 hours at a stretch!), with various partners, and then sadly the 1 year old males all die from the stress of the process. The females can live a little longer, sometimes for a couple of years, but those are the exception more than the rule.

Litoria Revelata
A litoria revelata (or Whirring Tree Frog), a tiny tree frog with a distinctive whirring sort of call. These guys are teeny tiny, that's a medium sized grass blade he's clinging to. We managed to capture and release three different types of frogs (and one intermediate stage froglet), but the night was alive with the calls of many more.

It's nice to be home (where thankfully one doesn't have to be diligent about ticks and leeches) but I miss waking up to the dawn chorus of bird calls, or the late night chittering of the bats and eccentric frog calls. Tall & Handsome is wrapping up the course tomorrow, while I came home early to go back to work today (blech), and then he's hanging out with me until after next weekend. I only got home late last night, so tonight I've pottered around a bit, done a small load of washing, made some chicken soup, puts some pics up on Flickr... and now it's already past the time I was going to go to bed. Without any bat calls tonight...

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Happy Easter!

Just popping in to wish everyone a Happy Easter.

As I mentioned yesterday I'm heading 'off the grid' until Tuesday, going bush with the botanist. Yikes, no Internets for 5 days! (Xtube's traffic stats will be down, and that's no joke.)

Have a fun Easter, see you on Tuesday!

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Going Bush

Yay for Easter, and yay for short weeks! I'm so looking forward to this weekend being a 4 day break, bookended on either side by blissfully short weeks. A 4 day working week sounds just about right, don't you think? Symmetrical. And in the process effectively doing away completely with the need for the Hump Day. Imagine every Tuesday night shutting the door to the office and thinking well, that's the week half done.

I think I'm on to something, frankly.

Anyhoo. Tall & Handsome, the Big Botanist, the Titan Taxonomist, arrives in town tomorrow night in a flurry of tall beardedness, and a trail of plant samples and knitting needles. Thursday morning he heads off about 5 hours north of Sydney (ish) to set up for a course he's teaching... and Thursday night I head off to join him! Yup, I'm going bush.

4 days of hanging out, spending bits of time with Tall & Handsome, grabbing my camera and going on some of the field trips, helping out around the camp and probably copious amounts of knitting/napping/reading. His fellow lecturers have made me feel most welcome, and I'm even getting a lift with one of them after work on Thursday evening. Aside from hanging out with T&H, something we have really had very little chance to do (given the distance that separates us), I'm also exciting about the potential photo op it presents. I won't have an internet connection, but I'm figuring I'll take the laptop along just in case, so I can download pics off the camera as I go.

And given that the week is half done (see how good that is?) I'm now really starting to get excited.

Monday, April 06, 2009

The Madness Of King George

Always fond of a blouse, or two.

[Photos by Joanna Kustra, via FotoDecadent]

Now Wait...

I think, no, I'm certain I had a child with me when I set out this morning...

Renew | Re-use | Recycle


After a really fun session of knitting at the pub yesterday afternoon, and between making a light supper (toast, because a) I had a huge late lunch at the pub and b) couldn't be arsed, frankly) and watching So You Think You Can Dance (Final 6!) last night, I decided to repair a bunch of clothes that have been in need of it for ages. In the word's of Kim from Kath & Kim (the funny Aussie one, not that other one ) I am loving myself sick right now!

I have vanquished. Things have been put right, and order restored. Importantly, no money was spent. We love that! (Unless we're in the mood for Retail Therapy that is, then OMG we can't spend it fast enough.)

Jeans were made hobbit leg length, and hemmed. Buttons were replaced on a couple of shirts. A pocket fixed. Shorts that had lost a waistband button (thread can only take so much strain) and had torn through under the crotch (fabric can only take so much strain, ha!) were repaired.

It feels good to have extended the life of some otherwise perfectly good clothes. Made them useful and wearable again, and in the 'grander' philosophical scheme of things to have done some recycling, reduced my expenditure and use of resources a teensy bit.

Oh, and I learned how to use the free motion darning function on my sewing machine! That's a bonus for sure, I mean, who knows how many fabric strained crotches are in my future?

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Fabric Mayhem!

I have fat quarters.

If someone had said that about me only a few months ago I would have assumed they were talking about my ass, but no. No! God help me but I have started buying quilting fabric. Frankly I need another craft in my life like the world economy needs another bank closure, but The Lure Of The Fabric has suckered me in.

One way they sell quilting fabric is in roughly 50cm x 50cm cut pieces that are called Fat Quarters. My favourite fabric store was having a 25% off sale yesterday, so I swung by just for a look. (The way crack addicts seek out dealers, just to keep abreast of current pricing.) At $3.75 a piece after discount, the pretty pretty fabrics had me.

I'm thinking that I might combine the blues and greens together, with lots of white in between to break it up, into one quilt. I like modern styles of quilts like this one, this one, this one, this one and pretty much every design this woman comes up with.

And I loved these charcoal and pale grey squares! I'm thinking of doing something along the lines of a freeform 'log cabin' style quilt with lots of white, some rich greys, a touch of black, and maybe a couple of spots of bright colour like an orange, a red, or maybe a fresh spring green.

See, bitten by the bug.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Talk To Me Some Crafts!

Let's Craft Talk! Let's Craft Talk!

"You make stuff that I desire. All I want to do is acquire!"

God I love Leslie Hall.

"What I Did On My Blog Holiday" by The Other Andrew, Age 44 & 1/2

Hey ho everybody. Well that wasn't long! Is it a bit naff to dramatically announce a break (back of hand to brow) and then come back after only a week? I suspect it is a bit, but if this wasn't attention seeking then it wouldn't be blogging, right?

In reality I feel a little better, especially in the past day or so. Even as recently as Thursday I still felt congested, but yesterday and today I feel much better. Still hacking enough to get a free seat (and an exclusion zone) on the bus... but if that's what it takes to get a seat, so be it. Chalk that up to a bonus. 5 weeks in and I am ready for this to be done with, so cross everything that it's really going this time!

I got a little cabin crazy. Aside from going to work, and going to dinner a few nights ago, I've hardly left the house. My couch has a deeper ass shaped dent in it now than it ever had, and given that I'm a comfort eater (sigh) it's a marginally bigger dent too!

Anyhoo, that past week in a nutshell. A week in which I...

  • A power blackout. Thankfully it was the night after Earth Hour, so you know, thanks to lacksadaisical housekeeping the candles weren't even put away yet! Score.
  • A burnt thumb (damn your eyes homemade pizza!).
  • That cranky, irritable time of the month we in the accounting trade refer to as 'month end'.

  • Recovery.
  • This song full of dancing Harajuku-jin. The higher the hair, the closer to Elvis!
  • Actually, maybe it's a hair thing, because I'm digging this song by La Roux... and one thing she has got is a fab head of hair.
  • A foray into steampunk fiction (although I do agree with this reviewer that the characterisations are somewhat thin).
  • A fantastic night out with James, Tom, Colin and Judy at a special "Colonial Gastronomy: Spice" dinner at Elizabeth Bay House. 19th c dishes in one of Sydney's best preserved colonial homes, with a fantastic demonstration and talk about the colonial spice trade, good company and lashings of wine. Because in this life my motto* is "pics, or it didn't happen" of course there are photos (and as always, click them to enbiggen):

The Dining Room The Drawing Room
Centrepiece Sitar Player
First Course Purdy
Spice Lecture Taste Test

Did not enjoy:
  • Not blogging! Oh sure it was nice to not feel the pressure to come up with blog posts, but the flip side is that I'd find myself thinking I'm SO blogging this!... oh, crap.

(* Or one of them. Along with "never eat anything bigger than your head", "it's not cruel if it's funny", etc.)