Friday, July 31, 2009

Hellenic Republic



A booking had been secured for 6:30pm on the proviso that we were out by 8:30pm. Not a problem we thought, until Melbourne's traffic conspired against us the four of us. Who would have thought it was going to take an hour to get through the city?

We took our seats at the head of the blue & white tiled communal table at 7:00pm, with the knowledge that we had to get cracking. I was happy to see a Sauv Blanc from the Yarra Yalley on the wine list and thus was able to Put Victoria on My Table. Our waiter, while new, was informative. He helped us devise a menu that incorporated the pescetarian who wanted to leave enough room for dessert - me.

We started with pita and eggplant dip that had a lovely smokiness to it. A cannelini bean salad, roasted beetroot with yoghurt & cumin, stuffed vine leaves with yoghurt and saganaki served with peppered figs. Bigger dishes included grilled calamari and lamb off the spit, along side a Greek salad. Dessert was a plate of baklava and a bowl - a bowl! - of Greek doughnuts. Everything hit the spot, it was all full of flavour. We had almost the perfect amount of food, a touch too much, which was why I walked away with a piece of baklava to be consumed with my coffee at morning tea.

The dining room is interesting in that there's plenty to look at, be the kitchen or the furnishings. It's noisy and you do sit rather close to one another. We noticed that some people struggled to hear each other over the communal table. We thought at 8:00pm as the next sitting arrived that we were going to be hurried out, alas not and we were able to take our time over dessert. The whole experience thoroughly enjoyable.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Holding off for Greek

I'm looking forward to planting this little guy for good. He's been in his plastic pot far too long. I'm hoping this weekend will be the time. Can't do it tonight, off to George Calombaris' Hellenic Republic. Catching up with the 'Campers' proved to be the right occasion. It's been on my 'go to' list since the start of the year.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Momentarily stalled

So, the fake pockets are in my pants. I couldn't help but re-do one because it wasn't quite perfect. Now I'm happy with the symmetry of them. The pants fit perfectly around the waist and my derriere. The issue is that the leg appears to be a touch wide for my liking from the hip down. I haven't managed to take them in with any success yet. Patience is the key I imagine, and indeed a virtue I lack on occasion. Given that we missed out on Avenue Q tickets for tonight (thankfully secured them for Sunday afternoon) I might string together an hour or two to work this out.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

No production house here

Late nights watching le tour was fabulous for the progression of my blanket, but sadly the three weeks went all too quickly and I'm back to regular sleep and less productive crocheting. Honestly I try not to make tv watching a habit (though we rather like Grand Designs) however I am looking forward to checking out United States of Tara tomorrow night at 9:30 on ABC1. Yay, Toni Collette. Yay, no ads! Yay, crochet.

Monday, July 27, 2009

My bowl of happiness

This is my go to recipe when I'm time poor, like right before Art class. It's based on L'uccellino's broccoli pizza.
• 70-100g dry pasta per person (depending on your hunger!) • half a head broccoli per person • fresh red chilli - deseeded • lemon zest & juice • salt & pepper • olive oil • Parmesan cheese

Bring water to boil & cook pasta. When just about done, add broccoli to the water and cook until bright green - maybe 30-40 seconds. Drain water. Drizzle with a touch of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice. Add salt, pepper, chilli & Parmesan to taste. Eat & enjoy.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

In search of fresh tracks

Fingers crossed we return sans dislocated elbow. Mr T isn't allowed on the jumps this year. At least not on the second run of the day.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Sketch Saturday

Monday's lesson was all about seeing negative space. I found this exercise slightly easier than last, though it requires a touch more concentration. I was happy with my rendition of the scissors and spanner, but the clamp I just couldn't get right.

Friday, July 24, 2009

A week of Special Stuff - Day 05

That uniformed young man looking out is my late grandfather, George. The photo was taken in Hong Kong while he was serving on HMAS Arawa (an armed merchant cruiser) in 1939. It's sitting atop his ammunition box along with the now vintage becks beer glasses. I like the reminders of him.

Dad's Canon AE-1 SLR is also there. I toyed with it while I was still at school and my results were pretty hit and miss. It was only really in 2000 that I started to get ISO/ASA, aperture, shutter speed and their relationship. Turns out there's some film in there... maybe it's time to revisit the old technology? Or maybe Dad wants his camera back.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

A week of Special Stuff - Day 04

This is Imelda, the white dog. She lives with the Parentals. You can see Miles in the background, but this post isn't about wholly evil pappies. It's about 'Mimi', the grumpy pappy. She doesn't like you, or you, or you or anyone. Maybe if you're male or a small child or if you fail to notice how pretty she is then you might get some attention. Until then there's only so much patting that she'll tolerate. She's a cat stuck in a dogs body. Except she does like water, filthy is good. And possums, she likes them and lizards. Though the less said about that episode the better.

But for all her snitchiness, she's mine and I love her to bits. And sometimes I'm pretty sure she likes me back. Particularly if I have the Parmesan cheese in my hand.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A week of Special Stuff - Day 03

The photo on the left was taken for a folio piece back in the day. The model was my brother and it was taken in the bathroom with the best available light using B&W film. Developed and printed myself. Sadly if you put me near an enlarger now I'd struggle.

The piece in the middle is (and here I reveal my lack of art processes) looks to be an ink drawing. It's the first of eight in the series and was given to my for my 13th birthday by the Mum of my best friend at the time. It sat in the back of my closet for a good few years. I didn't like the thought of an unhappy puffer fish staring out at me, but he's proved to be good company. And I have quite an affinity for him.

The third and slightly hard to see, admittedly, is a friend's wedding invitation. There are two birds that have been pressed into the paper, you might just be able to make out their outline. It's subtle and multipurpose. Good design I'd say.

The porcelain crane (from Have You Met Miss Jones) is a far more recent addition and one of two frivolous presents to myself from the collection after finally righting my wrongs all in the name of credit card debt. My classmates and I folded many a paper crane in middle school and I have a love for the Japanese culture that hopefully will see me returning to Japan (for the third time!) at the beginning of next year.

These all sit atop a wooden chest of drawers that I inherited from my Mum. Special to you? Not so much. Special to me? Oh yeah!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A week of Special Stuff - Day 02

It came very late in life to me that people choose their own football team. By football I do mean AFL. My brother and I were born into it. I remember Mum picking me up from Victoria Park at half time because my concentration span was too short. I remember the bitterly cold days out at Waverley where it would inevitably be 5C colder than anywhere else in Melbourne. I will never live down the fact that I missed our last premiership win at the 1990 Grand Final because of Amanda T's ice skating & pancake parlour party.

I go to see what other people are having for lunch. I go to see what Mum has packed us for lunch. I go to see if we're the 3 in the attendance figures. I go to see my favourite score (15.10.100 for the record) I go for that rare time the Pies play precision football. I go for the "Dad time" and to catch up with my bro. It's not a bad way to spend part of a winter weekend.

Monday, July 20, 2009

A week of Special Stuff - Day 01



I thought I'd join in for a Week of Special Stuff started off by Pip over at Meet me at Mikes!
Today I'm starting with a couple of my 21st presents. Coming up to 10 years old, yeesh! The pearls were a gift from the parentals, while many of my friends put their hard earned in for the diamonds. Absolute treasures to me. Both a pleasure to wear.
Not inspired by Prince so much.

Weekend recap


MC Chair. Image: Yellow Diva


Bubbles on a String Necklace. Image: Layla Starr

Phew. What a weekend. It all started on Friday night with an impromptu visit to Cumulus Inc. I have been wanting to visit for months. Everything we ordered hit the spot and I would happily go back in a heartbeat.

Saturday night was fun at the engagement and Sunday was a long day. We managed to get to one Melbourne Open house scoring some great views of Melboune as well as This is Not a Design Market (first image above) showcasing local fashion, products, paper, furniture, lighting art and people.

Then Design:Made:Trade, highlights for me were the two items above. I would love a statement chair, and the MC from Yellow Diva totally fits the bill. Plus it was comfy. I could happily spend an afternoon reading my book in it.

The bubbles on a string necklace by sisters Kate and Jessica Hart of Lalya Starr totally captured my imagination. The necklace looked incredibly delicate, but I was assured of their strength when I was told the girls accidentally dropped a box nearly watching their livelihood smash to bits. Thankfully they bounced and can now assure customers of their strength!

Unfortunately both a touch out of my price range at this stage. But one can dream.

Friday, July 17, 2009

This weekend

Screen grab from http://www.stateofdesign.com.au

Ah! There's so much happening in Melbourne this weekend, my head is spinning. Much to do with the State of Design festival currently running.

I was lucky enough to win a giveaway to Design:Made:Trade from the lovely Lucy over at The Design Files I was always going to head along, it's a bonus I scored a free ticket! Mr T and I are also keen to check out some of the buildings that involved with Melbourne Open House.

There's also pants to finish sewing, gardening (or should that be weeding?), people to catch up with, you know, the usual. Plus a very special occasion, the celebration of Erin (Pink Peony) and her fiance's engagement. Congratulations you two!

Getting visual




On Monday night I started another item from my '9 Things in 09' list - Art class. I had three requirements. I wanted it to be local - check. I wanted the teacher's work to resonate with me - check. I want to be introduced to a wide range of mediums & techniques - promised.

I managed to produce some rather average drawings. To be expected, really. Fingers crossed I can unlock some hidden talent. I suggest you don't hold your breath.

Thankfully I can wield a glue stick and maintain a visual diary.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Sharing is caring



The peeps at Moo sent me an email offering new customers free shipping until 31st August 2009. It's a pretty sweet deal. So if you're thinking about Moo cards the time is soon! At the end of your order just put the code: 8HURKZ.

I also got free shipping and the cards cost me ~AU$38.00 with the exchange rate.

To be completely transparent, the deal is, if three people use this code, I can win a free set of mini cards. That said, more than three people can use the code. Everyone's a winner!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

250mL of goodness



The keep cup has to be one of my favourite recent purchases. The two bakeries on the way to the station sell their coffee in polystyrene cups. Gah! I couldn't bring myself to buy coffee from either of them. And the paper cups favoured by most other coffee vendors are currently not able to be recycled because the paper is coated. So take away coffee has kind of been a no win for the environment. Until now. The keep cup combines my love of coffee and the environment in one handy 25oml package. And I think it's cute.

Moo



Much excitements! The Moo cards I ordered two weeks ago arrived today. So very happy with the results.

Monday, July 13, 2009

More wip


Ahh, what a fabulous weekend. Breakfast in bed, some thrifty finds at Bunnings (more on that later), Christmas in July festivities, Flight of the Conchords, a market run, homemade pizza and a sewing project.

I've probably had the fabric for about a year, it had been washed and dried and it was ready to go. I knew I wanted to make a pair of pants, but I wasn't too sure what pattern to use. Probably because I hate patterns and tend to make it up as I go, which usually ends in disaster, or unfinished business. I've taken sewing lessons before and I remember my teacher encouraging us to take apart a favourite skirt/shirt/pants once they'd had their final wear. So that's what I did. I pulled apart my favourite pair of pants. At close to five years old they'd certainly gone the distance. They were well made too - it took me forever to unpick them!

I am close to finishing. It took me a while to work out how to do the fake pockets, but they're done and in. Pointless, sure, but a good exercise nevertheless. I've joined the legs together and just need to sew the waistband together and attached that. And then hem, which would have to be my nemisis in this whole process. Fingers crossed I can get it right. If all goes well, I will be tempted to make a pair in every colour!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

WIP

I know Saturday is meant to be a showcase of sketches. And I have no doubt in time it will. Just not this week, or last. I did put pen to paper a few times, but nothing came of it. Hopefully the Foundation Art Class that I've signed up for, which starts on Monday night will help. I'm very excited about the whole concept of being in a creative environment again. Anyway I thought I'd leave you with a wip, something I've been working on when I can. I'm not sure I'll be happy with the final result, but I'm happy enough to learn from the process.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Yellow and grey

Yay for Friday. My short working week has felt looong. As the weekend stretches out before me, there's a sense of relief that I don't have to watch the weather forecast to work out when I'm going to get a 2+ hour run in. Mr T has already booked a sleep-in for tomorrow, even though I am notoriously bad at sleeping past 7:30am. I love being up early, I love that it gives you a chance to fit that much more in your day. There's so much to do.

After almost a year of sitting on bean bags, Mr T's new couches arrived about a month ago. They're sorely in need of some decorative cushions, and perhaps a throw for the cold winter nights. The couch is a cream leather and under our current lighting looks to have yellow undertones. As a result I can't get the combination of yellow and grey out of my mind. So this weekend may well involve sourcing material so I can make some cushions. Here's hoping.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Tasty

Admittedly, I wear far too much black. Most Melburnians do. I love that this brooch by elk accessories* makes things a little less boring. And I love that it's a gift from Mr T.

* I do find the website to be rather irritating, there's far too much backwards and forwards going on for my liking; you've been warned.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Home before dark


Last night was productive, indeed. Finally nailed a muffin recipe that isn't too sweet for Mr T but sweet enough for me. Was able to use up the baby pak choy in this recipe. Crocheted another square, gosh it's slow progress on that one and spent some quality time on an arty project. Ahh the joys of finishing work on time.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Night / morning



We got to the Gold Coast late on Friday night, I didn't capture the shimmering lights particularly well! But it was quite a nice view riverside from our hotel room. Surfers Paradise held little attraction for us, but strolling to Broadbeach and basking in gloriously mild weather was enough. The marathon was a success, in that I finished, and enjoyed the experience so much that I've entertained thoughts of doing another one. That said, I'm excited to be back and looking forward to spending some quality time in my sewing/drawing room, amongst other things.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Cross that off the list

There are nine things on my list of 'Things to do in 09'. Running a stand alone marathon is one of them. That's happening this weekend. I'm dragging Mr T to the Gold Coast and running 42km on Sunday. Racing means a fairly quiet weekend taking it very easy. I've done my research and found all the decent cafes that serve good coffee within walking distance from our hotel, so that should keep the boy happy.

This has been a tough event to train for, particularly these last few weeks as the weather has become colder, wetter and windier. Running and I have a love/hate relationship. I hate that it hangs over my head when it's a training day, it's frustrating that I am not a natural born runner but I love being outside in glorious sunshine and I relish the satisfaction of completing a long run. And who could forget the endorphins!

Back in 04, I started training for my first ever triathlon. Four years later I completed Ironman (3.8km swim, 180km ride, 42km run). It's an incredibly selfish sport, sometimes all consuming, but gives you an incredible sense of achievement. It requires dedication, determination, self belief and toughness - mainly mental, but also physical. Sunday marks the end of this craziness for now. I believe exercise is a really important part of my life. But I'd like to see more balance in my time between the active and the creative. I look forward to getting back on my bike that's been sorely neglected these past few months, visiting the yoga shed just up the road from home more often and having more time during the week and on weekends to take up creative pursuits. This is why I started this blog to document the transition and following results.

Enjoy your weekend whatever you're pursuing.
And viva le tour!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

With jam and cream


My Mum is also quite taken with Masterchef. She whipped up a batch of date & lemon scones as demonstrated by Gary on Friday night's episode. I was only too happy to oblige. Indeed they were delicious. Definitely assisting in the carbo loading before this weekend's marathon!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Longing for summer

It's grey and dreary in Melbourne town today. The antithesis of this photo.

I cannot wait until it's warm enough to wear the shoes my Dad bought back as a gift from his trip to India.