Monday, December 20, 2010

the holidays are here

Despite the fact that the weather is very much Winter-like in Melbourne today, the holidays are officially here!  I am very excited!  I am not very excited about our 15 hr drive home though.

But I have now finished every Christmas present!  Hooray!  They are all wrapped and ready to go.  I'll share some pictures of the finished products a bit later, but for today I just want to show you (finally) the finished quilt. How relieving it was to sew the last few stitches last night and know that it was finally done.  I just hope that my parents like it!

quilt for mum and dad

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

the power of the consumer

Green Power
By Ole Houen

I have been thinking alot lately about the power that we have as consumers (thanks mostly to an amazing talk by Tim Costello from World Vision at Fair @ Square this past weekend).  Power that we mostly take for granted, and probably don't give too much thought to.  I've recently started paying closer to attention to the things that I buy - reading the labels of food products, thinking about organic produce, wondering where and how those clothes that are on sale are made.  I'm not being crazy about it, just curious.  And since I have started doing that I have discovered so many new things - good and bad.  I've found out that lots of organisations (particularly those big multi billion dollar producers) hide lots of things from us.  They can because we don't really think to go looking for who uses child labour or genetically modified food or underpay their staff.  It's really quite scary.

I've started to realise that I may just be one person, but that I can make a difference in this world just by choosing which company, which brand, which business gets MY business.

I don't want to get all preachy, but I do think that it's something we should all be thinking about.  Especially during this crazy season of gift buying.  We have immense power and we should use it.

If you're interested in more info, check out the Ethical Consumer Guide

Friday, December 10, 2010

music is good for the soul

Last night (for the first time in a long time) I went and saw some amazing live music.  We headed to the Northcote Social Club (on a school night no less) to see two of my all time favourite musicians - Carus and Loren.  Carus has spent most of the year overseas so it was the first time we'd seen him play for a while!  I have been following this guy around the country (not in a stalkerish way, just because we've moved alot!) for almost 10 years now.  Can you believe that?  I first came across him when he supported the John Butler Trio all those years ago.  We've seen him play in bars with only a few of us actually paying attention to now packing out the Northcote Social Club where everyone seems to know all the lyrics to all the songs.  I couldn't even guess at how many times I've seen him play.  LOTS!  It's been great watching the transition!

Going to a Carus gig is one of my most favourite things to do (and you can tell because I couldn't stop smiling all night, and because today I am bouncing around like a giddy schoolgirl).  We danced, we drank, we sung - we just generally had a good time!  It also brings back a lot of happy memories of doing just that over the years with my friends and my husband.  Such good memories!

Last night, we were doubly blessed to also have Loren playing as well.  This guy is also amazing and well worth a look!  This song is my favourite Loren song :)

It's funny how I had temporarily forgotten how much I love music, and how I didn't realise just how much I missed live music until I was there again.

Live music is definitely therapeutic and you should seek some out this weekend.   If you can't, then watch these great video clips and dance around in your living room :)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

the envelope project

Do you remember the Meet Me at Mike's envelope project?  I had lots of fun putting together an envelope full of cute things and sending them off to Pip, and encouraged my little sisters to join in the fun too.

My little sister Libby (15) was one of the lucky winners (yay for Libby!) who received a big parcel full of those cute and lovely things.  She was so excited about winning.  This last weekend was the first weekend I had been back to my hometown this year so I finally got to check out Libby's stash.  And it is amazing!  I was just totally blown away by how generous people had been with their items, and also how incredibly creative people can be with items small enough to fit inside an envelope!  My sister and I had such fun looking through all of the things together and saying nothing but, "this is so cute" and "look how great this is!" and "oh I love this!" all afternoon.  We had a great idea to make up a bit of inspiration/mood board with the items and this is how it turned out:

We had so much fun doing this!  It looks so great that Libby is going to make another couple of boards to display around her room (yes, there was that much stuff!).  She's also busy making christmas cards and gift tags with some of the items too.

So I just wanted to say a big thank you to Pip for organising such a fun project and also a big thank you to all of the people who contributed such creative, inspiring, thoughtful and generous items.  You guys are awesome!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

my creative space

I am in the final throes of Christmas present making and keeping my fingers well and truly crossed that I have left myself enough time.  Why did I choose projects that require so much hand sewing?!  Why?!

This is the almost completed table runner  and you can see my almost completed quilt in the background there too.  At the moment I am handstitching the binding on both projects. I tell you what, I am a slip stitching queen!  I still need to make the making napkins and then I believe I am done.  Phew!

my creative space

I can't wait to start making some things for me again!

Happy Christmas crafting everyone, and be sure to visit kootoyoo for plenty of creative inspiration!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

let's all be merry and bright

I have one of those weeks that doesn't need to be spoken about.  Ever.  Again.

So...let's talk about happy things, shall we?

After a week long wait I finally received my TOMS order and am so so happy with them.  Check out my black sparkles which have already become one of my favourite pairs of shoes:


Aren't they lovely?  They are comfy too!  If you haven't heard about TOMS and the amazing work they do, I strongly urge you to visit their website and check out their awesome range of shoes.  Their one for one philosophy surely makes for guilt-free shoe purchasing! I think a voucher would make a lovely Christmas present too, don't you think?

Tonight I am going to wave goodbye to this crappy week by putting up our Christmas tree and decorations. A little bit of Christmas spirit has to be good for the soul!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

my creative space

My creative space this week is all about trying not to over-extend myself.

After the elation that came from finally completing a skirt that fits me, all I want to do is make another skirt.  Or shirt.  Or dress.  Or pants.  But...I am still plodding along with the Christmas presents and I MUST finish them first.  Right?  Right?!

Yes I must.  I will be sensible and not start anything new until they are done.  Or almost done at the very least.  Now I just need to try and stay away from Spotlight!

Check out some cool creative spaces here

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

i can make stuff!

Check it out!  It's my completely completed skirt that almost didn't make it (Butterick B5285).  Hooray!  I am beyond excited!

You can't tell in these pictures but it has a zip and everything.  It is most certainly a personal sewing triumph.  My very first completed skirt.  Finally!

my skirt

I would, however, like to complain about the sizing chart on this pattern.  I made the size it suggested based on my measurements and it was way too big!  Not just a little bit big, but frickin' huge!  I should've made at least 2 sizes smaller.  So what's with that?  Who makes these sizing charts anyway?!

P.S  My skirt, whilst fantastic, is not really appropriate for wearing on windy Melbourne days.  Apologies to anyone driving on Ferrars St today who caught a nice flash of my undies.  Oops!

Friday, November 19, 2010

my creative space

I attempted making a skirt this week but it is not yet finished.  Mainly due to the fact that it is too big even though I made the appropriate size for my measurements AND was extra extra careful with seam allowances and the beautifully accurate pleats.  Grrr!

Still going on the quilt and the cross-stitch.  Should both be finished well before Christmas - fingers crossed!

Check out some more creative spaces here

Monday, November 15, 2010

2 days is hardly enough

I can't believe that the weekend is over already!  How fast those 2 glorious days go by!

This weekend I did a some Christmas shopping and am very happy to say (and gloat, if I may) that I have pretty much finished it all.  How fantastic is that?  Now I can happily avoid all shopping facilities until the post-Christmas sales.

I also did a bunch of sewing, but am still a fair way off finishing my Christmas presents.  I started sewing  attempting to sew a skirt for myself too.  I had a massive sewing FAIL (too embarrassing to share here) so wasted a couple of valuable sewing hours correcting that (i.e. starting again).  I'm really happy with how it is turning out now - pleats and all.  Fingers crossed it keeps going that way!

Jasper decided to 'help me' cut out my fabric of course.  If he wasn't so darn cute he would be annoying!

Happy Monday folks.  Or happy thoughts at least!

Friday, November 12, 2010

a little bit of tuscany

tuscany collection

Seeing as it is Friday and all I can think about at the moment is not being at work, I thought I might share a bit about my recent trip to Italy.  It's nice to think about being somewhere beautiful and relaxing on a Friday afternoon, I think.

So Tuscany is amazing.  A-MA-ZING!  We spent 6 days in Radda in Chianti and totally fell in love with the place.  How could you not though?  Everywhere we turned was stunning view after stunning view.  It's such a cute little place with a small group of shops and a few lovely restaurants and eateries too.

And then there's the Chianti!  I'm telling you now that if you have had Chianti before and thought, "hmmm, that's a bit ordinary" it is because you are drinking cheap Chianti made only to import to us daft foreigners that don't know any better.  I was one of those people too!  Keep your eye out for Chianti Classico because we can get it here in Australia (and I'm presuming in other countries too - it will have a small sticker with a black rooster on it) and it is delicious.  We spent one day driving around to different places and tasting wine - mostly Chianti Classico and Chianti Classio Riserva given the region.  It was fantastic! One thing we had learnt pretty early on about Italy is that they don't particularly like signage.  Including road signs, signs to direct you to the toilets, or signs to let you know that an establishment is in fact a winery and does welcome people in for wine tasting.  If not for the help of some very lovely locals we would never have found any of the wineries that offered tastings.  Lucky for us we did because it was such a memorable experience.

I could talk about Tuscany forever but I won't.  Except I have to tell you that Tuscany was also the place that I had the best pasta dish of my life - spinach ravioli with a white truffle sauce.  It was so so so good!  Washed down with a bottle of Chianti Classico, of course!

Now I would like to buy a farmhouse in Radda in Chianti, set up my sewing machine near a giant window and do nothing but sew, listen to music, and look out at the magnificant views forever.  Oh, and maybe eat some pasta and drink some wine too.  You're all welcome to come and visit of course!

Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

my creative space

Image via The Purl Bee

This week I have been playing crafting catch-up.  

I am currently (and will be for some time) finishing the binding on my quilt.

I am (still) finishing off that cross-stitch.

I am getting some fabric ready to make the table runner and matching napkins in the picture above.  I'm really hoping that mine look just as lovely as the ones in the picture.

I'm hoping to have another attempt at making a skirt on the weekend.  I have some pretty (and cheap) fabric and an "easy" pattern.  Fingers crossed.

Check out what everyone else is up to over at kootoyoo  

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

christmas wishlist

Dear Santa Claus

Picture by rkeohane

I've got so many things going on at the moment that I feel a bit like a scatterbrain.  Do you know the feeling?  I have committed myself to sewing quite a few Christmas presents, plus I really want to attempt to make myself a skirt...and that's just the crafty stuff!

Did you know that there's only just over 6 weeks until Christmas (and, more importantly, my birthday!)?  And did you know that this year my present wishlist is actually a list?  Normally I'm saying, "I don't need anything" and "there's nothing in particular that I want" but this year my wishlist is CRAZY long.  I'm not sure why.  Perhaps I am reverting to childhood.  Perhaps I am just greedy.  I'm considering actually writing a list and giving it to my husband for discreet passing on.  Is that wrong?  Will that make me look totally greedy and controlling?  It's just that I don't want things that I don't need, you know?  I don't need more Myer vouchers or random books to fill my already full house.

I wish I was a kid again so I could spend days putting together a lovely visual Christmas wish list (with the aid of advertising material from toy shops and glitter glue, of course).  Then I could stick in right in the middle of the fridge so that Santa could find it.  He never seemed to mind.  He used to find that list mighty helpful!

So, what's on your Christmas wishlist?

P.S  The Christmas wishlist above is not actually mine.  Just a cute one I found on flickr

Monday, November 8, 2010

wonderful things

Hepburn Springs Bathhouse
By simonhn

The Hepburn Bathhouse is wonderful.  Especially when you spend hours there bathing and getting massaged and talking with a very good friend whom you haven't seen in a while.

The whole area of Daylesford is wonderful.  Especially when you go there with your very good friends from Brisbane who you don't get to see very often and miss alot.  It was only the 2nd time we had visited Daylesford but I just love it.  It has lots of wonderful things and shops like Lark.  The food is pretty good too (except for the maggot-infested ham I was served at a very well-known local eatery that I won't name).

Speaking of food...Mamasita (which is not in Daylesford but in Melbourne) is also wonderful.  You should definitely go there if you like Mexican-y goodness like this:


Now that the fun of having visitors is over, the countdown to Christmas is well and truly on.

I have so much sewing to do!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

my creative space

Binding Ready!
By oversewn

I am finally up to the binding stage on my quilt - hooray!  Let the hand-stitching begin!

Once the quilting was done I noticed how incredibly unstraight some of my lines are.  I was tempted to unpick it and redo it but then realised that the lines are actually quite straight - it's the squares on the quilt-top that are not straight.  I used them as my guide and thus ended up with some wonky looking quilting.  I have decided to leave it be instead of ripping up ALL of the quilting lines and starting again.  It is handmade so surely they've gotta be some little idiosyncrices?  Or am I am being totally lazy?  I'm not sure.  When I handover the quilt I will say that it is handmade and I am still learning and it still serves it's purpose even though it is far from being totally perfect and just don't look at it too closely.

Check out some more professional creative spaces over here

Monday, November 1, 2010

not quite Venice


How was your weekend?  What did you get up to?  Did you enjoy a gondola ride through the canals of Venice?  No, I didn't either.  I did have the pleasure of doing so just a couple of weeks ago though and it was totally amazing.  I know that the cheese-factor is incredibly high on this but I can't even describe to you how wonderful it was.  It was peaceful and relaxing and the most amazing way to see one of the most beautiful cities in the world.  I highly recommend it!

Oh, and at night the gondola men even serenade their lucky guests.  We could hear their amazing voices (and guitar and accordion) from our hotel room!  It was truly magical!

So in light of that, our weekend was pretty boring!  But it was magical in it's own kind of way.  There's nothing better than relaxing at home after travelling for weeks.  I got to do some sewing and watch some tv and sleep in and go to yoga and go out for breakfast.  There's some of my favourite things right there!

We did attend the inaugural Men of Letters event in Thornbury, and that was pretty inspiring.  We saw the likes of Paul Kelly (oh, I love him so much!), John Safran, Tim Rogers, Bob Ellis, Alan Brough and Matt Preston read out letters "to the woman that changed my life".  Then we got to write and post our own letters on these super cute aerogrammes in the break.  It was a lovely way to spend an afternoon.  If you're in Melbourne, keep an eye out for upcoming Women of Letters.

Hope your weekend was ab fab!

Friday, October 29, 2010

here comes the sun

A vegetable patch and garden at a winery in Chianti we visited

It is GLORIOUSLY sunny in Melbourne today and it is making me feel very happy (even though I am stuck indoors and cannot fully enjoy it).  I love the sun.  I have missed the sun!  It is the promise of Summer to come.  It makes me think about the beach, the smell of sunscreen, naked legs, fresh salads, iced tea and Christmas!  Yes, Christmas is coming!  It makes me happy to know that soon enough I will be relaxing with my family and swimming and exchanging presents and singing carols.  Doesn't that make you happy too?

I'm just going to pretend that this glorious Melbourne weather is going to continue all weekend long (and not turn to torrential rain and cold temperatures as has been forecast).  The weatherman can be wrong, right?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

my creative space back!

After a 3 week break I am back to crafting - hooray!  I've only been back for 2 days and I have made some good progress on my quilt.  I've *almost* finished the quilting, leaving only the delightful (read: painful) binding to go.  Christmas is creeping up on us!  Double hooray!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I'm back!


After 3 glorious weeks in Italy and London, we are back home again.  There is much to tell and many photos to share (and washing to do).  For now, here's a photo of one of my favourite moments from our trip - on a gondola in Venice.  Cliche?  Yes!  Touristy and ridiculously over-priced?  Most definitely!  But it was simply wonderful and I'm so glad we did it.  Something to remember for many years to come.

Hope everyone is doing wonderfully well.  I have 3 weeks worth of Google Reading to do!

Monday, October 4, 2010

i am on holidays

Ciao Bella
By Quasimondo

I am currently holidaying in Italy and London.  
I will return to dazzle you with travel stories and photos sometime after October 26.  Please stop by then.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

my creative space

I finished the quilt top!  Hooray!

finished quilt top

Now to baste and quilt and bind...oh my!

Check out some other creative spaces here

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

busy busy busy

bees in the botancial gardens, melbourne

...and yet not at all.

Do you know that feeling?  The feeling of doing a million things, thinking a million things and running around like crazy...only to have the days slowly drag by?  All I have been thinking today is, we fly out on Friday night and it is only Tuesday.

I shouldn't be wishing away time like this!

Quick!  Distract me!

Monday, September 27, 2010

when the sun comes marching in

jasper in the sun

This weekend Melbourne produced an entire day of sunshine.  Can you believe it?!  So I, of course, spent a bit of time soaking it up.  It was glorious.  Today it is raining.  Thanks so much Melbourne!

This weekend was also the much celebrated AFL grand final (Australian Football).  Everyone in Melbourne goes a bit crazy for the grand final, and what would you know?  It ended up being a draw!  This means that the teams have to play again next week.  Eek!  I will be on a plane though so I won't get to watch it.

This weeks brings lots of packing, organising, google mapping, stressing and hoping that everything works out somewhat according to plan.  I just want to get there safe, happy-ish and relatively on time.  That is all.  Fingers crossed.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

my creative space

my creative space

Still finishing off that quilt top (only a few rows to go!)

Still cross-stitching a Christmas present

Thinking about getting starting on some other Christmas presents

Organising the last few things for our trip to Italy

Thinking about making a dress


Monday, September 20, 2010

playing tourist

shrine of remembrance melbourne

The weekend is over yet again!  It's hard to believe how quickly it goes.

We spent Saturday playing tourist in Melbourne and practicing taking shots with our new camera (my fave is above).  We spent our time wandering around the Shrine of Remembrance and the Royal Botanic Gardens.  We definitely learnt alot about the camera and got to experiment with all of its wonderful settings.  It was obvious right from the start that it takes great shots - even on the automatic function.  Plus having such a great camera does encourage us to be a bit more creative with our shots, which is always fun.

We finished up our day with a bit of shopping at Tokuya (fab!), some bubbles at Chloe's Bar and dinner at Pacific House.  I really started to feel like I was on holidays!

Anyway, I am quite confident that the camera will fulfill its travelling duty.  I really can't wait to snap around Italy with it.

Hope your weekend was splendid, and your week is even more so.

Friday, September 17, 2010

some things i love

Today I thought I might share a couple of eco products that I absolutely adore.  I have become incredibly passionate about finding sustainable and environmentally friendly options for my life.  Sometimes this is very difficult.  Sometimes (as is the case with these two products) I just happen upon them. *insert joy here*

image from Burt's Bees

First up is this gorgeous lip shimmer by Burt's Bees.  I must admit to not being a very big fan of the Bees Wax lip balm, but the lip shimmer is AWESOME!  There is a whole range of shades to choose from, it is very moisturising, it is not at all sticky and it tastes a little minty.  It gives your lips a lovely lipstick shade without having to apply lipstick and then a lip balm as well.  Plus the tubes are quite thin and small so they easily fit into pocket/purse/handbag for easy use.  I adore adore adore these!  I have 2 different shades on the go at the moment.  And, for the record, my favourite shade is peony :) Get them here.

image from Keep Cup

Next is the super awesome Keep Cup.  I have had my cup for a few years now but it's nice to see the concept is catching on.  If you're like me and have a take away coffee every day, you really do need one of these beauties.  They come in an amazing range of colours and come in universally accepted standard sizes - so they won't upset your barista  :)  They are a great way to replace disposable cups and are really nice to drink out of.  Get one here.  

Do you have some favourite eco products too?  Please share them with me.

A very happy weekend to you all!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

my creative space

This week I got myself a new baby.  One of these:

My New Toy - Canon EOS 500D
By amanda.taylor_us via Flickr

Isn't she lovely?

I am very much looking forward to taking her for a spin er click on the weekend.  There's only so many pictures I can take of my cats before I am commonly referred to as the cat lady.

Other than that...I have almost finished my cross-stitched Christmas present.  I should be able to finish off my quilt top in the near future.  I am hoping to have some serious sewing machine time on the weekend.

What about you?  What have you been up to?  I'm heading over to kootoyoo to find out!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Simon's Cat

I have just discovered Simon's Cat cartoons this week, and I love them!  They are very clever and funny, and very very true to life.  This one reminds me a lot of Jasper who has a real penchant for fly catching.

In between watching these videos (and working of course), I haven't been doing much at all this week.  And that makes me sad :(  I am still recovering from a head cold that is steadily approaching it's 2nd week of life.  My doctor delightfully informed me to expect 10 days from this little beauty.  And whilst its symptoms are not so terrible, they are just plain annoying.  And energy sapping.  I miss my energy, dammit!

So please enjoy this video whilst I continue to take it easy and (hopefully) recover.

Hope you're all well and happy and bouncing off the walls.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

i have a new camera

A glamour shot of Alex

On the weekend I finally got myself a DLSR and it is wonderful!  I ended up with a Canon EOS 500D and I am nowhere near knowing how to use it properly yet.  However, even with my limited knowledge it has already proven that it takes amazing photos (mostly of my cats so far).

I cannot wait to give it a real go when we get to Italy in a few weeks time.

Jasper eating cat grass

No more flash-induced red-eye pictures for me!

No more blurry low-light shots!


Friday, September 10, 2010

finals fever


The AFL finals are here!  How fast the season goes!

Now I'm not generally a big sports fan but I do very much like AFL, and the Sydney Swans in particular.  After a season of ups and downs, my beloved team is taking on the Western Bulldogs in the semi-finals this weekend.

We will be there.  Draped from head to foot in red and white.

I will be the one biting my nails and hiding behind my scarf (and blowing my nose and struggling to hear - but that's because I have a cold, ick!)

My husband will be the one yelling.  A lot.

Do you like AFL too?  Which team do you follow?  If your team hasn't made it to the finals this year, would you mind cheering on the Swans for me?  I would do it for you :)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

my creative space

I'm finally making some progress with my quilt - yay!  It's looking pretty good so far.  Hopefully I'l have the top done soon.

I spent a big chuck of time making these shirts for my Dad's birthday last week.  They went down a treat and Dad had an excellent time, so it was all worth it.

dads bday shirts

Now it's time to start thinking about Christmas presents I think.  Eeek!

Check out some more creative spaces over with Kootoyoo

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

the weekend that was


We had the most wonderful long weekend (and then some) in sunny Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast with our friends and family.  It was so great to see the amazing Brisbane crew again, and to see some sun!  I swear I looked like a drunk person for the first few days as I happily lapped up the sun and exclaimed, "look, I'm not wearing a jacket!" at every chance I got.  It was glorious!  

After our short stint in Brisvegas we headed up to the coast to spend a long weekend with my whole family to celebrate my Dad's birthday.  We stayed in a stunning house and had an incredible time.  The weekend was filled with swimming, drinking, eating, laughing, card games, golf and happiness.  Dad definitely had a great birthday, and we all enjoyed getting to celebrate it with him.

So now we're back in Melbourne town.  Back to work.  Back to the not-so-warm days.  The countdown for Italy now begins in earnest.

Friday, September 3, 2010

happy birthday dad

dads bday design final

Happy birthday Dad!

I hope you're having the most amazing day (and weekend) imaginable.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

we are family

Meerkat Family
By Burrard-Lucas Wildlife Photography via Flickr

Friends and family are so important aren't they?  I mean, obviously they are important but I mean they are really super important, right?  Well that becomes more and more obvious when you live so far away from them!

As you are reading this, I will be soaking up some sun in Brisbane.  I will be hanging out with my wonderful friends and getting ready for a long weekend with my family on the coast.  That on it's own is probably not that great of a deal to most people but to me, it is like heaven!  A rare opportunity to be surrounded by the people that mean the most to me in this world.

My very good friends (including my best friend of some 20 odd years) live in Brisbane and we only get to see them a couple of times a year since we moved down to Melbourne.  I miss them alot.  

My whole immediate family (just my sisters and their partners and our parents) haven't all been together since Todd and I's wedding about 18 months ago.  I miss them too.  

So (sun aside) this week is really important to me and I am sure to be soaking up every last bit of it.  Do you get to see your friends and family all of the time, or just occasionally like me?  Who do you miss right now? 

Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, I hope you are getting some quality time with your loved ones too!

Monday, August 30, 2010

my place and yours

my place and yours - our place

This weeks theme is: why do you live where you do?  What a great idea!  I'm looking forward to reading everyones stories over at helloowl You should come and play along too!

We currently rent a 3 bedroom townhouse in Melbourne where we have been living there for almost a year.  We live here because of my husbands work.  He was offered a promotion and we decided to make the big move (for the 2nd time!) from Brisbane down to Melbourne.  It was a tough choice, but we decided we would make the most out of this opportunity.  We do love Melbourne and it's coffee and shopping and AFL and excellent public transport!

Having said that, Brisbane has very much become our spiritual home.  We lived there for about 4 years and have the most amazingly wonderful friends there.  We also have a lovely little house with a big backyard and a vegetable garden that I miss very much!  I also miss the weather.  I miss the consistency of the weather mostly.  I got used to not having to think about what I was going to wear, or whether I needed to take an umbrella or jacket out.

Anyway, we will definitely end up back in Brisbane someone soon.  Our little house is being rented out and we will get to see it again!  For the time being, we'll soak up all the Melbourne we can.  

Friday, August 27, 2010

my creative space (better late than never)

my creative space

This week I have been continuing on with my cross-stitching and enjoying the whole process.  It's really taking shape now and I'll be sad when it's finished.  It's such a great TV watching activity and (unlike quilting) is not very messy, and doesn't take up a lot of space.

I have alsp started sewing together my quilt top finally, only to discover that I had put a piece in the wrong way around!  Grrr!  So I've unpicked it all and now get to start again.  Ah, the joys of sewing!

Otherwise I'm busy getting organised for my Dad's birthday weekend, and have lots of printing and ironing to do this weekend to get these shirts ready!  Phew!

Check out some more creative spaces here

Thursday, August 26, 2010

tomorrow when the war began movie - my review

Last night I joined a throng of teenagers to enjoy a free preview screening of the tomorrow when the war began movie (thanks to myspace and black curtain screening).  Having imagined this book turned into a film for many many years, I had high hopes.  I grew up on this series and am a very big John Marsden fan.  I seriously doubted that the movie could ever be as good as the book but I was excited to see it come to life none the less.

The good bits

  • It was fast-paced - lots of action and it flowed really well
  • There some great snippets of humour courtesy of Homer and stoner Chris - very much geared at the teenage set and judging by the cinema I was sitting in, it certainly hit the mark!
  • I was very pleasantly suprised by the soundtrack - some great Aussie songs were thrown in that reminded me of being a teenager too 
  • I think the casting was pretty good (if not perfect).  Ashleigh Cummings (aka Robyn) was brilliant and sat really well with the way I imagined that character.  
  • The scenery was great.  Hell looked as I imagined it.  It was shot near where I grew up so it felt really familiar to me, the way the books do.
  • The inclusion of mobile phones and laptops were a nice way to make it applicable to teens today
The not so good bits
  • I am still not 100% convinced that Cailtin Stasey was the best choice to play Ellie.  She had a real tendency to overact in Neighbours, and she did a little in this movie too.  Having said that, I'm not sure if I could ever be happy with the casting of a character that is so vividly alive in my imagination.  She certainly had big shoes to fill, and I didn't hate her performance.    
  • As is always the case when books become movies, some really good bits were left out and some strange bits were put in
  • What was with the guns?  They started toting guns before the war even started in this movie!  And they they then suddenly have machine guns, and a rocket launcher even makes a sneaky appearance at the end.  What?!
  • I really don't like the way they changed the Herron Bridge scene, although I understand for the most part why they did it.  What I really took objection to was the change it made to Robyn's character.  Not sure how they're going to deal with that in the next movies.
  • What was with that last cliff-gazing scene?  I believe we could've done without that.
So, there you have it.  I was actually pleasantly suprised by this movie and I throughly enjoyed watching it, even though it is very much a teen movie.  I really hope this brings a new generation to John Marsden and this brilliant series of books.  It deserves a million times the adoration of the Twilight series, that's for sure!

So go and see it!  Just take your teenage goggles with you :)

Monday, August 23, 2010

sakura season


This weekend I noticed something new about Melbourne - cherry blossoms!  Lovely beautiful Sakura have been surprising me on every other corner.  This is only our 2nd ever almost-Spring in Melbourne, and you certainly don't find cherry blossoms in Queensland!   I don't know if I would have really paid much attention to the cherry blossoms here if it weren't for our trip to Japan in March - in which we caught the very beginning of cherry blossom season.  Over there they go absolutely crazy for cherry blossoms!  You can get Sakura perfume and body wash, eat Sakura jelly, drink Sakura Steamers from Starbucks...the list goes on!  Of course we went crazy for it too! I have more photos than I care to count of the tiny flowers from our two week trip (case in point above).  But they are just so beautiful aren't they?  And they smell amazing too!

I'm really loving seeing these flowering trees around Melbourne.  They make me remember our wonderful trip to Japan, and also give me hope that perhaps Winter is nearing its end.

Friday, August 20, 2010

election craziness

I'm not normally one to get political, so I apologise in advance for this post.

But this whole election business has been driving me crazy.  For the first time in my voting life, I feel incredible dislike for one of the candidates - can you guess who?  No prizes for guessing that it is Tony Abbott of course! It's not just his smug looking face.  It's his policies, his racist remarks about refugees and his 1950s view of women.  I just can't even think about what this country would be like with him leading it.

Not that Julia Gillard is much better, mind you.

I won't go on anymore than that.  But do watch this great video from Getup! Australia which busts some myths about a very topical election issue.

P.S  If you don't hear from me on Monday it's because I've had to relocate to New Zealand :)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

my creative space

quilt a long

The cutting out is done!  Sound the trumpets!  Hooray! (That's just the last of the pile in that picture, there's plenty more pieces where they came from)

You see what a little blogging promise can do to my motivation levels?  I wanted to make sure I had something to write about today too, haha!

So now it's time to start sewing this quilt together which, quite frankly, I'm a little scared about.  There's so many pieces I'm not sure how I'm going to be able to keep it all straight and beautiful.  Oh well.  At least I am about four billion weeks behind everyone else so I can read ahead.

I'm also about to have my first ever sewing encounter with stretch fabric (I'm obviously having a very ambitious week).  Who knows how that will turn out?  Any tips?

Now I'm headed over to kootoyoo to be inspired by what everyone else is doing

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

like a headless chicken

I have so many things on my 'to do' list at the moment.  I have fabric and other notions covering every spare space of my house.  Plus I am in the midst of organising our trip to Italy AND my Dad's birthday weekend in September.  Oh, and then there's all that boring housework stuff.  Sheesh!

But at the end of an office-bound day, I just don't have any energy to do anything.  I hate it.  Why is it that sitting still and staring at a computer is so exhausting?  All it makes me want to do is sit in front of the TV all night.  It's a never ending cycle of laziness.

But...I'm determined to get my craft on over the next few days, and sew my way through the weekend!  It's my mid week resolution (inspired by a lunch time trip to Spotlight - oops!)

P.S  If you're feeling extra nice today, please vote for me (and my kitties) over here.  Thank you! :)

Monday, August 16, 2010

my place and yours

This weeks theme is: what's the last thing your brought for yourself?

This weekend my best friend was visiting from sunny Queensland, and we had a fantastic time.  We crocheted, drank, ate, watched classic 90s movies, went shopping, talked and laughed.  

We also ventured into a Japanese style photo booth and laughed like school kids as we had these photos taken.  So much fun!

jodie and liss

See what everyone else has been spending their money on over at hellowl

Friday, August 13, 2010

my creative space

Guess what I've been doing this week?  Cross stitching!  Can you believe it?  I can barely believe it!  But a lunch time wandering at Spotlight revealed a cross stitch kit that I just had to buy and make for my friend.  I'm really enjoying it so far too.  It's a great TV watching activity, cat snuggling kinda project.

crocheting with jasper

That's about all the crafting I've been doing this week.  I've had a few failed crocheting projects, but I have pulled them apart so nothing to show there.

Now I'm off to see what everyone else has been doing this week at kootoyoo.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

pets on quilts show

alex and jasper

I just couldn't resist entering this cute pets on quilts show.  I have only one quilt to my name so far, but my cats Alex and Jasper have given it their approval.  They of course, assisted with the making process as only cats can.  They helped me pin everything together and carefully observed the binding process.  Yep.  Very helpful.

Alex is about 3 years old now and was rescued from an RSPCA shelter.  He's an interesting creature.  Think Garfield, and you're pretty much spot on.  He has little interest in being held or patted most of the time.  But he does like to follow me around the house and observe from a close distance.  And he will purr madly away when he's being brushed.

Jasper, on the other hand, is your typical younger brother.  He is a Tonkinese and was bought from a breeder about 2 years ago.  He must be the centre of attention at all times and is very good at stealing things from Alex - namely food and toys.  He loves a good pat and loves to sleep under things - blankets, beds, furniture...whatever is on offer.  He certainly keeps Alex on his toes!

Despite their differences, on top of (or under) this quilt is their favourite place to sleep.  It is a nice lap quilt and has become a necessary addition to TV watching in this cold Melbourne weather.  As soon as it comes out the cats emerge from whatever place they had been sleeping in to take up new residence on top of the quilt (and us).  It always makes us laugh.  They seem to have no interest in us sometimes, until the quilt comes out!  I'm not sure why they love it so much, but they do.

I must say, I'm pretty proud of it too :)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Monday, August 9, 2010

cats and lamingtons

This weekend we bought some new toys for the kitties, and then got to spend plenty of time watching them play.  The new toys entertained them for a little while until they lost one underneath the TV cabinet.  Todd rescued it, along with an old toy that had been lost under there for a while.  So, who cares about new toys now?  Apparently not our cats!  They are far too enthralled by the old toy they had forgotten.  Cats, eh?  Anyway, there's something so mesmerizing about watching cats play.  They're so energetic and crazy and uncoordinated.  It makes me smile.

Also this weekend I shared this giant lamington with my husband.  This picture doesn't quite do it justice, but rest assured it was GIANT.  If you want one too (and I think you do!), go to Cooper and Milla's.

giant lamington

Now, apparently it's Monday again.  Why does it seem like there are more Mondays than any other days?

Friday, August 6, 2010

lost in translation

I thought I would create a bit of an ode to things that get lost in translation today.  It is Friday after all!

Fittingly I will be aided by some photographs from our trip to Japan in March.  I loved Japan so much.  It's beautiful and crazy and cute and amazing.  The frequent errors in translation only made the place so much more endearing.

This is my absolute favourite and it was a gigantic billboard in Osaka.  It makes me smile everytime...

pachinko sign

You can read about Pachinko here but all I can tell you is that it is WEIRD.  The parlors have to the weirdest and loudest kinda place you could go.  I'm sure the game itself makes sense to Japanese people, but we just couldn't figure it out.  Even after instruction!  

Here's a couple of menus we came across.  Both of these were found at 'international' hotel chains as well...

Awesome hotel menu

Grass of wine anyone?

And finally, this one that was spotted in a department store.  It's not so much a mistranslation as an interesting choice of words.  Wrong on so many levels!

I almost bought some of these jeans...

If you have any photos or stories about errors in translation, please share.  For some reason I find it incredibly amusing!

Happy weekend to you all.
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