October 7, 2010

Making up for lost (reading) time...

Image from DiggWhat

Sorting out my enormous bookshelf trying to make room for more, I discovered that I have actually read a heap of books in the last couple of months. Usually the only real reading time I would spend is during the school holidays - first day of the break we would go to the library and stock up on novels for two serious weeks of bookwormyness!

Today for my birthday I recieved an e-reader, so my bookshelf woes are all but over! Peter works at a printers and all his colleagues were horrified that he would buy an e-reader, and put them out of business... I will still buy arty and crafty books, newspapers, read junk mail and so on... What are other people feelings on the matter?

So, on my recently completed pile, are:

The Effects of Light - Miranda Beverly Whittemore

Jasper Jones - Craig Silvey (author of 'Rhubarb'- both HIGHLY recommended!!)

The Messenger - Markus Zusak, one of my favourite authors

Under the Dome - Stephen King (trite... don't bother. What WAS I thinking??? Aaah, yes - airport lounges.))

Book of Lost Threads - Andiee Paviour

Household Guide to Dying - Debra Adelaide (Lovely, consume with tissues)

The No1 Ladies Detective Agency - Alexander McCall Smith

A Spot of Bother - Mark Haddon (Not as good as The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night, but still a decent read!)

I Have a Bed Made of Buttermilk Pancakes - Jaclyn Moriarty (My third reading of this... I love it!)

Currently underway and in the waiting pile, we have:

The Abstinence Teacher - Tom Perrotta

The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini

The Earth Hums in B Flat - Mari Strachan

A Brush with Mondrian - Yvonne Louis

and Sister of My Heart - Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni (I've read this before, too)

Any other recommendations?

October 6, 2010

Aah, holidays!

I love nothing more than being able to sleep in to 7.30, eat breaky outside, running my feet through the new Astro Turf, sit and watch the budgies with their new friends (Fred and Ginger) in their outside home, bake delicious yet healthy cakes, watch whales at Port Elliot, and spend time with my family..... simple pleasures...

Ginger, Monty, Fred and Zeph settle in...

I had five days with my parents in Rochester last week and enjoyed my time with everyone. I visited several dear friends and family members, played a lot of guitar with my folks and even got to join them in a Fig Jammers rehearsal (that's their music group!!). I even even had a chance to teach my sister-in-law, Jess, how to crochet. She was a very quick learner, too! When dinner was ready, myself, Jess and my grandmother had to be levered off the couch away from our handiwork!

My current challenge is to draw up some large silhouettes of the three wise men on camels for the annual Rochester Christmas Exhibition. This is a Christmas Extravagance which my mother is heavily involved with, which sees the little old town hall magically transformed into a wonderland.

September 21, 2010

September 9, 2010

New Adventures in Crochet!

Whipped these up over the weekend... They were surprisingly easy, but it shall remain a teaset for one. Didn't think to make a pattern!

September 3, 2010

Timewasting 101

My latest distraction...

When he was very little, Liam had a fascination with succulents. Not just the prickly kind, but anything plump and juicy. He would secretly snap cuttings off as we walked down the street, and hide them in his pockets to be found in the laundry at a later date. Some got planted, and after many years we still have a small collection, but now we agree that these new ones are the best!

July 27, 2010

Queen of Procrastinate-y Stuff (That's me!)

Yup - the new semester at uni began yesterday. I have had the two chunky readers for my last course for, oooh, maybe a month and finally found time to read a measly 5 pages over the weekend! So much for getting a head start!

I did have a million other things to do though - like spending Friday night at The Gov listening to three brilliant rockabilly bands; hanging out with my sis and crafternooning the day away Saturday; and cheering very loudly for my (losing) roller derby team! So, it's not like I've been lazy!

PLUS, tomorrow afternoon, my yr 11 and 12 students have the opening of their SALA exhibition!!! So I had to bake. Any excuse. So I made cone cakes - we are a bit over cup cakes at our place. The taste-tester assures me they are good!

We have Grace Portolesi, Minister for Youth, opening the show, so the kids are a bit nervy and excited!

I also wanted to demonstrate the amazing cake decorating skills of the young bloke - not bad for a 13 yr old! He is a massive fan of Cake Wrecks, so carefully modelled the cake on all the best elements they like to talk about - crappy spelling (Hapey Brithday) and unidentifiable images, namely! (It is a birthday pony, in case you were unsure!) Both are intentional and were designed over a period of weeks...... Max was dubiously thrilled - after all - cake was involved.......

July 13, 2010

Home from a winter wonderland

sans snow, sadly for the boys! But that's ok... we made up for it with gorgeous blue skies and more birds and mossy things than a stick could be poked at!

We had two days in Hobart, two in Launceston, a night at Cradle Mountain, then back to Hobart for another two. All of our accommodation was terrific - our first place only a five minute walk from Salamanca Place, the city centre and Sandy bay.

We stopped to look at every old bridge and building we passed... we heard from the back seat at one stage, "Pete - do you realise you just drove past an old bridge built by convicts? Just checking..." Too many perhaps?!

June 6, 2010

A Wintery Weekend,

but a productive one!

I spent most of this weekend on my own - one fella had a boys' weekend in Victor, and the little one had a Scout camp. I had a quick visit to Gaganis Bros. on my way home from camp drop-off and picked up a big chunk of haloumi and some of this very cute pasta - the verdict here is that it's like animal pasta for grown-ups! I made a roast pumpkin, cumin and basil sauce for it... a very fancy dinner for one!
The goal this weekend was to finish off the final essay for my current uni topic - I succeeded beyond my wildest expectations!!! So now I am officially 2/3 of the way to being completely done with my course.

I also wanted to share my gorgeous friend with you... This is Ma-mee. My grandma won her in a raffle in 1950, complete with a wardrobe of beautiful, handmade clothes. She had two young sons, so waited for her first grand daughter to bestow the prize upon... I scored!! I've had Ma-mee since I was too young to remember. She once talked when moved, and walked along if you pursuaded her a little. She stand at about mid-thigh height. I love her!

My two sweet budgies found the weather outside very wearing on Saturday... as soon as they came back in they needed a little nanna nap!

May 31, 2010

Something new for the collection?

I think Margaux Lange is my newest hero!! Just look at this amazing Barbie-inspired jewellery!!! Who doesn't love Barbie in pieces!? I guess it's not immediately obvious that I am actually a Barbie fan... This really captures the spirit of Barbie for me - it's all the reasons I collect them. I love the fabulous make-up and the shapes of their faces!! Sadly, it's a little out of my price range.

May 13, 2010

Bought it!

Okay, so I may have only had one guitar lesson EVER, but according to the teacher, I do have some innate ability!! (So what if it was my mum?!)
It has been my goal all year to finish this dumb uni course I started, then next year take up the guitar, become a venturers leader and do a LOT more sewing. So I guess it's all happening sooner rather than later!
Given that mum is interstate, I probably won't get my next proper lesson until December. But she did send me home with a mountain of resources for learning on my own! Thanks, Annie!!

April 26, 2010

Made it.

I finished ANOTHER brooch at Brown Owls last fortnight... It's straight out of the Jan/Feb issue of Sew Hip. A nice quick project to use up scraps!

I really like how the colours look on my (thrifted) burgundy wool jacket - I'm just wishing for some cooler weather so I can wear it, now!

April 25, 2010

New autumn favourites...

Between returning to school and change-of-season coughs and colds, we have been feeling a bit rough this last week. Spending afternoons asleep is a good thing some of the time, but after work it's not such fun waking up as the house grows dark, then realising noboby else has thought about dinner either!

Lucky the weekend arrived when it did! Although I felt guilty getting up late today - we should have been helping the Scouts put out chairs for the ANZAC ceremony at 4.45 this morning., then afterwards serving breakfast to the oldies. L was a bit disappointed I think, but knows how miserable I've been the last few days. They have all suffered ;)

This week the teenager and I have been reading through the Autumn chapters of Maggie's Harvest, and found a delicious spiced treat to make - persimmon bread.

I really enjoy reading Maggie Beer's books - the stories she tells are interesting and personal. I am surprised that L enjoys them too - he is interested in her descriptions of the perfect specimens, and places she has eaten wonderful dishes!! Such an unusual boy!

Today we have roasted chestnuts, made Thai pumpkin and carrot soup and a fetta and leek tart for lunch tomorrow. And as I write, the young man is preparing roast lamb for dinner! Things are looking up!

Earlier in the week, I made a couple of little cuties from the 'More Softies' book. I cut out about 5 of the little elephants before realising just how horribly fiddly they are to make..... more UFOs?!

April 15, 2010

Holiday are almost gone...

But I feel like I've done a little with them. I bought and finished The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak. I think this might be the best book I've read this decade! I highly recommend it.

We had a weekend away ( in Hahndorf) and spent time doing all the touristy things - browsing in over-priced shops, eating at bakeries, cafes and authentically German-style pubs!

It was lots of fun, but best of all was finding skeins of this recycled sari silk at a most reasonable price! I've been looking for something nice to make mum a scarf, but hadn't seen anything interesting in the right colours... This fit the bill!

Mind you, I did start crocheting four different scarves before I realised it just needed to be knit in good old garter stitch - it was way too busy otherwise!

I also made another batch of macarons - in the unlikely combination of peanut butter and lemon. They were something else!

March 2, 2010

Sad Farewells

Last week was mildy devastating for us... well, me at least...
Joe Budgie died unexpectedly.
Maybe attacked by his room mate, Alice (Cooper). Maybe terrorised by the local mynah, Mr Bob Dobalino. Maybe a case of premature old age.

We'll never know - there wasn't a post-mortem.
But it was sad, very sad.
I was appalled, and cried some more when
Pete suggested getting a new budgie.

That lasted 12 hours -

meet Monty Kakoscke. He has eye lashes!!!

To ease the pain, I made these macaroons using Tartelette's recipe. They were pretty spesh, particularly for my first ever go, however they were directly responsible for me having a flat tyre AND a speeding fine all in the same day.

January 5, 2010


Finally, I got the rest of this done.
The tattoo guy asked if he could use my design...
I'm flattered!
He did a much nicer job finishing it than the bloke that did the original bit.

And look what Santa brought me!

Joe the Budgie HATES it. I think he's developing a complex!