Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Bits, pieces and bits

I mentioned last week that my darling friend Kate gave me some fabric that was her grandmother's. I thought I'd post a couple of pics:

This is Horatio, an elephant I made out of a pillow case patterned with elephants. I got the pattern from Craftster but came out with the felt feeet and blanket stitches. He has everything but eyes-I'll be doing those when I get home from work I got the original idea of reusing a pillowcase from Meet Me At Mike's week of pillowcase recrafting done by the wonderful Kootoyoo.

I've also made some tea cup candles as part of 'no spend craft month'. I made a few different ones with retro teacups and saucers over the years, and thought they might sell, but no joy. I do enjoy having them round luckily :-)

I've been trying to organise my crafty materials and here's one that confounds me:

How do others keep their embroidery thread tidy? I'm not worried about numerical order as it's used for bits and pieces, not cross stitch, but I'm wondering if I should be winding around cardboard or is there a better way? I have some time at work so thought I'd get stuck into it.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

What I've been up to (not too crafty)...

I realised I haven't written anything for a little while, just posted lots of pictures, so I will attempt to account for my movements over the last few days and hopefully say something vaguely interesting.

Last monday I went to a talk on Affordable Housing and Community Land Trusts by Earthsharing Victoria.
It was very interesting and it really made me think about how home ownership is not an option for so many (including me) people who work hard and do ordinary jobs like teaching and retail and service work. Thus everyone rents. Where I work its got to the point where students are so pushed out of the rental market (since there are so many who can't afford to buy) that they are sharing not only rooms but now beds. It's terrifying to think that there simply isn't enough housing. Chris and i always thought we could move before we get married so we could make a 'fresh start' so to speak, but rental accomodation in Brunswick is so precarious that it's barely even an option.

On tuesday night Chris took me out for a yummy dinner followed by a performance of The 39 Steps. You can read a review hereby someone who knows far more about theatre than I. It was enjoyable but a little hard to follow at times as I am not familiar with the film or book. The backdrop and props were wonderfully executed and very amusing.

On Friday Chris and I got up at 4.30am to go to the Dawn Service for Anzac Day. I've never actually been before, as I've always thought of it as glorifying war, but I found it alot more about commemorating lives and the humanitarian work Australian military has done in South East Asia and surrounding areas. I think this is more about appeasing the changing nature of people who attend rather than to delineate the fact that we have still involved ourselves inappropriately in other nation's battles. It's nmot like I'm a fan of war. The evening was topped off by going to see Oasis, Oasis, a play written by a Ballarat University graduate. It was quite well written and featured two female protagonists as the cast. However it smacked of student theatre, even though I quite liked the characters, and the delving into magic realism was a little indulgent.

Saturday was rather crazy. I went to the optometrist and found that my glasses prescription hasn't changed too much but the keratoconnus has gotten worse. The only real options at the moment are magnifying bifocals which will make things bigger but not clear(no thanks) or hard contact lenses (even worse). I find it frustrating as I am struggling with things like threading a needle and getting alot of eye strain which makes me tired alot. A woman at work gave me some info on a woman who teaches eye exercises so I might give it a go. There's no cure but anything that helps is good. I ended up with a mega migraine afterwards and crawled to Bunnings to buy plants (no other time to do it) went home, was sick and had to go to bed. Luckily later I was ok so I went to Afterdark with Chris and saw some good bands then onto IDGAFF for Gareth's farewell. Hard to believe he'll be going back to england on wednesday night! It was fun as I caught up with some people that I like alot that i haven't seen for a while.

Sunday Chris, Casey and I went to see some gallery exhibitions including a gallery of black fashion

How awesome are these shoes!

We also saw an exhibition by Otto Dixon war drawings which was incredibly powerful. Besides the content of the pictures i really liked the craft of using etching. It's not something I know much about and i'd definitely like to learn more. I also did some gardening so I'll post some photos in the next couple of days.

Craft wise I've made a soft toy elephant out of an elephant printed pillow case (pic to follow), some cassette wallets and comic purses. I'm planning on getting cracking on some embroidered gloves tonight and bits and pieces. I'm also quite proud that I did some mending I've been putting off for ages....

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Pics I Love

Cute piglets who have been fingerpainting-Need a better reason to not eat bacon?!

French retro wedding design :-)

Ceramics from here

Gorgeous kitchen from Apartment Therapy

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Good Weekend

I had a lovely weekend despite the depression and worked at relaxing and looking after myself. It takes effort with depression, but if you think it do it, it certainly helps. Friday night I ate junk food and watched some dvds I'd been wanting to see and went to bed early. Saturday I went and looked at a new Ecological shop and borrowed some books at the library, then spent the afternoon drinking wine, cooking pasta and reading. Very relaxing!

Sunday Chris, Marni, Kate and I went to Herring Island for a picnic and then to the Royal Botanical Gardens for coffee. Taking the ferry to the island must be the shortest boat trip in history! . I made a yummy Waldolf salad and some pumpkin scones (the pumpkin was from an awesome friend's veggie patch! We took the ferry over to the island and had a lovely time. Here's some pics:

The island....

Me and my bridesmaids...not that I'm sure I will actually have any....


Beautiful palm trees, but strangely incongruous with Australian natives and sky scrapers....

Chris looking strangely dignified drinking coffee!

Kate gave me this beautiful set! They are from Finland and have been passed down through her family so I am extremely honoured. She also gave me some wonderful fabric of her grandmother's which I may make into a quilt.

Monday, April 21, 2008

A Week in the Life (Day 7-Friday)

Chris in the morning (i look worse I assure you!)

Chris' normal morning face!

Pretty shrub on the way to work

I bought some Cosmos seeds

Beds at Franco Cozzo-it's a furniture store in Brunswick that has the most revolting heavy italian furniture. Most people walk past, point and laugh!

Thankyou all for looking at my photo week as No Spend Craft Month, it has been a lot of fun!

Friday, April 18, 2008

A Week In The Life (Day6-Thursday)

Looking at the fridge, trying to decide what to have for breakfast (the food is inside, Cate)

My beloved bunny shower curtain which may soon be replaced by a shower curtain 'map of the world'-bit pointless for two short sighted people who can't see a thing without their glasses.

Pillow case I am refashioning into a elephant softie!
Bored picture at work of the slinky I keep on my office.

Making hair clips for Polka Dot Rabbit.

Chris' guitar seems to have taken up residence in the living room.

Making Little Birdie Brooches

The finished products! (I should've taken a better photo but was too tired and a bit depressed to find a plain white piece of paper)...

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

A Week In The life (day 5-Tuesday)

Rain in the morning! A wonderful novelty when you are in the midst of drought!

City architecture, old and new.

Decor at Lucky Coq where i enjoy$4 pizza for lunch

Gorgeous fabric at Chapel st Bazaar at $150 a metre

I made frittata for work lunches.

Skeletal models I bought in England. Couldn't quite work out the instructions so Chris made them for us.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

A Week In the Life (Day 4-Monday)

Coffee cups in the morning....

Little birdie brooch chosen to adorn my jumper today

I see this every morning going to the train platform-I hate to think how tall you would be to hit your head on it.

Ginger nut biscuits for morning tea

Soup after yoga class (I go once a week)

Watching Ramero's vampire flick 'Vincent' at Bar Open. I heartily recommend it!

Monday, April 14, 2008

A Week in the Life-Day 3 (Sunday)

I'm a big fan of reading in bed-currently reading Ian Rankin's The Naming of the Dead.

Various bits and pieces on my bed including the ill-fated coasters. They are now being used to lift my desk a bit higher but I intend to make some more :-)

Yesterday was Cyclovia an annual day where most of Sydney road is closed to all traffic except trams and bicycles. It was wonderful and surreal!

A hairdressing salon in Sydney Road....

I had french toast with maple syrup and bacon for breakfast-a bit sickly if the truth be told...

Waiting for the tram with Chris...

Flowers from the front garden...

After a mountain of weeding, I planted some chillies.

Cutting from the garden: Hydrangeas, iceberg roses and geraniums.

This is the sight behind our house: I think the neighbours must've cut down a hunk of their palm tree as a result of the huge storms a couple of weeks ago.

Comic book purses being made for Polka Dot Rabbit
I actually need to upload a heap more items for the shop now I think of it....