Monday, August 31, 2009

Fear is a Forest

I got the idea for this little piece as I was driving home from art class a few weeks ago. I heard an interview on the radio where the musician (I thought it was Sarah Blasko, but it might have been Jen Cloher) mentioned 'fear is like a forest', I can't remember the exact context I think she may have seen a painting with that title. Whatever the case, it stuck with me for some reason, probably because I was (still am?) struggling with the fear of a blank canvas.

And I finally I put it in a frame, now I'm just playing with where to put it.

Oh and there's another thing I get to cross off my list of '9 things in 09'. I went to the dentist today, for the first time in years. It wasn't that bad and now my teeth look so much better. And now I'm going to share the keyword of the day. Floss. Your teeth will thank you.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Slow Sunday

Yesterday was an incredibly difficult day on the bike, we battled hills, wind and rain. I'm not sure it could have been more unpleasant. As the Golden child said, it's one of those days that makes you want to ride more to get that much fitter and yet at the same time makes you never want to ride again. I have no doubt I will get on the bike again, it just might be after this windy weather subsides. At this stage there seems to be no end of it.

Today was far more low key. A slow start including coffee, breakfast and papers in bed. This afternoon there were patches of sunshine that meant some time could be spent in the garden. I planted some more rocket, basil (though I'm sure it's still too cold), coriander, mini beetroot and baby carrots. I also harvested the first of our tiny potatoes.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Heading into the weekend

I bought this material the other day to fill in time after missing my train. Having a fabric store so close to the station is often dangerous. For me, anyway. Hopefully this weekend I'll have some time to do something with it. Seems unlikely at this stage.

Tomorrow the Golden Child and I are riding in the Whittlesea Challenge. 108kms of it. I might need a nap after that. Then I'll frock up and accompany Mr T to the Melbourne Awards Ceremony at the Town Hall. Sunday involves football and hopefully some much needed down time.

Enjoy whatever it is you're up to this weekend!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

VCA Student Gallery

I work in Southbank which I see as both a blessing and a curse. A curse because it's not quite in the city and much like the Docklands, because of the high rises it's a major wind tunnel. That said it is close to the city and is known as the Melbourne arts precinct that incorporates many a gallery and performance space. All within walking distance.

So at lunchtime I decided to break free of the screen and headed to the VCA gallery at gate 4 to check out Now or Never, a painting exhibition curated by Dawn Tan who has a lovely blog Handmade Love and was recently featured on The Design Files. There were some great works, but no information about any of the artists. You could pick Dawn's work though - a long bag of marshmallows. It made for a nice change of scenery.

The student gallery changes almost weekly showcasing different disciplines, so I'll be dropping in again no doubt.

The postman's been

Our bedroom is a simply adorned room, the view over the rooftops is almost enough, but I felt as though needed something. I love the simplicity, but also the texture of the feathers in the Sharon Montrose Love geese print. The turtle shell is Sharon's business/thank you card. Sweet. I just have to sort out the right sized mat to frame the photo.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

This week in the garden

There's some early spring colour. The tulips are starting to flower.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Under clear instruction

Thank goodness for ridiculously detailed instructions on the overlocker. Changing the black thread over to white was relatively pain free.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Mondayitis postponed

I was a little bit grisly this morning. Far too late to bed last night. I could have happily stayed at home hung out in my slippers, drunk hot chocolate with homemade marshmallows and watched the rain.

In the end today wasn't too bad. I'm one step closer to getting my passport renewed, my tax return came through so I can now pay for trip we've booked to Singapore, Vietnam & Japan and we received an invitation to a much anticipated wedding. Not bad for a Monday.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Say goodbye to Sunday

And there goes the weekend. Had the most fabulous night full of laughter with the girls on Friday night. Saturday was spent on the bike (battling the wind) and visiting the most recent addition to the Beach crew, baby number one. While Sunday was about the market and shopping for soft furnishings - finally we have cushions for our couch, and then there was tidying. My sewing/drawing room particularly. I can see the floor now. And there's nothing on the spare bed. Woo hoo.

I found the pieces of European pillow case covers I started back in 06, maybe earlier. Time to finish them, they'll make a fine addition to the room. Toying with the idea of bleaching them slightly to wash the them out a little. Will see how I go.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Sketch Saturday

Art class this week involved life drawing. It was liberating from a drawing perspective! We did a series of 1-2 min warm ups and then got into some longer held poses. I'm used to working quite small so it was refreshing to work almost life size. I surprised myself by actually enjoying the use of charcoal.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Sweet Sake

Last night the Rosie family + partners went to Ichi Ni Izakaya to catch up with Dad before he heads OS for business. The place will be packed out come summer, the food is good and there's a lot of outdoor seating where you could watch the sun set over the bay and happily put away a few Asahi's or in my case Mango Shu. Flavoured Japanese sake. Sure it was sweet, but even sweeter was the little glass it comes in! Once the label is off, it'll make a great little vase.

Once we were home I couldn't help but fold some paper cranes. I'm hoping they'll be incorporated into a little art project I'm working on for our walls.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

DIY: Door

I try to keep things aesthetically pleasing on here, really I do. But sometimes Mr T's house gets the better of me. Do not get me wrong, I love living with Mr T, it's a little embarrassing that the two of us have so much space in a house that's close to the city, but perhaps on the wrong side of the bridge. I am ever grateful that he was able to dedicate a whole room to my sewing and drawing pursuits. My tiny apartment would not have allowed that. It's absolutely awesome. But sometimes I feel as though were living in an Italian version of a Swedish sauna room. There's that much (dark) wood.

Slowly slowly it's getting lighter. And now we have a new door and new glass that prevents us from seeing straight into our Neighbour's bedroom. And it's white and lighter and lovely. Good job, Mr T.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

More moo

I didn't get a chance last year to throw myself a 30th. So this year it's all about Mexican and Margaritas. I'm having my first annual 30th, after finals football. I got the postcard invites printed by Moo and again I'm happy with the results - just not with a small typo on the back! Eh, what can you do? Check and double check people!

I used the code 8HURKZ and got free shipping. You can use it too (providing you're a new customer) if you want, at least until August 31.

Monday, August 17, 2009

More from the market

Stewed rhubarb with a hint of sugar and plenty of vanilla bean. A great accompaniment to my morning muesli.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Something to brighten the day

When you endure a Sunday as horrible as Melbourne had today, fresh flowers from the market are a must.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Slowing down

I did my best Punky Brewster imitation for a jaunt on Mr T's heavy but steady mountain bike. My usual ride involves lycra and is light and fast, but I'm increasingly leaning towards getting a 'townie' for commuting. Something less full on so I can cruise to the shops and to work (saving the need for a full wardrobe change). The whole style over speed is most appealling. I wanted to see if I'd enjoy the lack of pace so I choose today to ride to the footy. About 12kms each way. I loved it even though it was windy. I'm wholly convinced that I will adore riding my new slow bike!

Turns out this round is 'green' week for the AFL. The City of Melbourne had organised free valet bike parking at the ground and were giving away a bell. Score.

Talking of scores, I won't mention Richmond's dismal effort. We were playing for percentage after the first quarter.

Yesterday's food

George Calombaris taught me how to make risotto. All thanks to the Master class that aired months ago. And now I find it difficult to make, let alone want another one. It's all in the agitation, not the stirring.

This is how I make my vegetarian version of Risotto with Pumpkin

Pumpkin Puree ingredients: • 300g Pumpkin •100g butter (or a whole lot less!)
Grate pumpkin, cook in covered small pot for 15min stirring occasionally, blend till smooth.

Risotto Ingredients:
• 1 Cup Arborio Rice • knob butter• Rosemary sprig • Hot Vege Stock ~ 2 cups worth (you can use chicken stock) • 1/2 cup white wine • 1/4 onion diced • 1/2 clove garlic crushed • 100g grated Parmesan (or a small handful)

To cook the Risotto
1. Melt the knob of butter in a large fry pan
2. Add onion and garlic and cook just to translucent
3. Add a cup of rice - and coat the rice in the butter
4. Add rosemary whole (for flavour)
5. Deglaze pan with wine and agitate
6. Gently add hot enough stock to cover the rice
7. Every few minutes agitate and let it gently bubble
8. Test every few minutes till al-dente
9. When nearly ready take out rosemary sprig, add little bit more butter (if you're that way inclined) and grated parmesan
10. Fold in puree and gently heat through

I serve with natural/greek yoghurt & lots of cracked pepper and sometimes some chopped rosemary.

George served his with a splash of olive oil, baby basil leaves & goats cheese. But eh, I can't tolerate the stuff.

The cheesecake brownie was somewhat of an experiment. I didn't quite have all the ingredients I needed but it still tastes pretty good. It's the texture that needs some work. Less egg me thinks. At the very least Dad & I have afternoon tea for the footy.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Judging a book by it's cover

For good reason Tabitha King won an Australian Publishers Association (APA) Book Design Award in 2008 for Best Designed General Fiction Book for The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society. I love the typography and the use of simple, elegant illustrations. The book is a pleasure to read and design certainly adds to the appeal.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Stamp those thoughts out

I had a chat with my art teacher on Monday night about the fear. The fear of putting something down on paper and it not being perfect. But then I supposed that I didn't run the marathon without running 3-4 times a week for a good 20 weeks. Surely art, like fitness, evolves and develops and takes time and practice and it's best I get something on paper, even if it isn't perfect.

Getting even coverage of the ink wasn't something I mastered, but I like the results all the same.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The beginning of the end

Crocheting the first two pieces together took me longer than I'd anticipated. It was like learning to crochet all over again, I had to unpick it several times. Thankfully I was able to join the next two pieces quickly. And I'm weaving in the ends as I go.

It looks neat on the right side and there's a slight ridge on the wrong side. Thanks Mr T for being my hand model.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I bet you can guess what comes next

Mr. T's old ironing board cover was a disaster. No sooner had you put the item of clothing you needed to iron on the board and it had slipped off. Drove me nuts. So for Christmas I gave him the material (from Ikea - appealing to my love of black and white and his of crazy patterns), promising to recover his board. As is my way (and something I'm hoping to change) it took me forever to get around to doing. But once I'd started it didn't take long to finish. Finally a functional ironing board!

I'm so happy with the finished result that I'm thinking of recovering my ironing board. Yes, we are a two ironing board household.

Monday, August 10, 2009

To done!

I had an urge to make a succulent wreath, but finding the circular form was proving to be difficult. While left to my own devices at Bunnings I found the metal forms in the first photo. Some ingenious use of gladwrap and I was able to stuff the form with peat & sphagnum moss and some cactus potting mix. Then I cut holes in the gladwrap and 'planted' my succulents and their cuttings. They're going to take a little while to develop roots, so this is most definitely a work in progress.

In other news, I'm a sqaure and a half away from being ready to sew my blanket together. And my tax is done!

Sunday, August 9, 2009


I had the most perfect Saturday. It started with an early rise to get a little crafty before heading into the city. I met the Parentals for a peruse of Ghostpatrol's open studio. We actually ran into him as he was carrying a massive pile of trash down the stairs and creating quite a trail. There were a couple of people there when we arrived and the studio was pretty much full when we left. The workspace itself is decked out with photos and illustrations and found objects. There's a huge table/work bench. I'm kicking myself I didn't take a closer look at the bookshelf though.

The work itself I liked, but nothing totally grabbed me like I was hoping, so I left empty handed and we went to Brother Baba Budan for a coffee and catch up. The flowers above were on our table. Good coffee indeed.

I then got on the bike and had two glorious hours in the sunshine. Flew down Beach Rd, but coming back into a headwind was tough. Thankfully I had some company at that stage and we worked together to get back into the city. I'm a touch unfit and need to reverse that as The Golden Child (my brother) and I have signed up for a 110km (somewhat hilly) ride at the end of this month.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

A hint of Friday night and Sketch Saturday

A nourishing bowl of miso soup with added extras.
A home for thread. These guys were everywhere, no wonder I had trouble finding anything.
A start on a tonal drawing.

Off to the Ghostpatrol open studio and then the plan is to spend some quality time on the bike.

Friday, August 7, 2009

A long to do list

I am looking forward to this weekend because we have nothing on, which means we might get plenty done! Mr T plans to finish the door/entrance way he started three weeks ago. I am hoping I can get my succulents planted. I have a bag beside me full of cuttings collected by friends. I'd like to spend some time on the bike, some time drawing, some time crocheting, get to the Ghostpatrol open studio, sit down and have a look at my tax, book our upcoming holiday to Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam and Japan. Yay! And show the house some love. Exciting times indeed.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Open Studio

This is what I'll be doing on Saturday.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

This week in the garden

On Sunday night Mr T and I lay there hoping the roof wasn't going to blow off, such was the ferocity of wind and rain. I was relieved to see we still had a garden come Monday morning.
Apparently pak choi is best picked just before flowering, so I harvested some leaves for inclusion into a miso based soup. The red pak choi has a little way to go yet, but I'm looking forward to tasting it.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The postman's been

After lusting over the food in the autumn edition I decided to reinstate my subscription to Donna Hay. It arrived in time for afternoon tea yesterday. Even if most of the dishes contain too many meats, the styling and photography are so very pleasing to my eye.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

A very Melbourne weekend

The weekend flew by. It was all about old world glamour at the Rialto on Friday night, with the help of a borrowed dress. Bike riding, breakfast and football took care of Saturday. While Sunday involved more breakfast, Avenue Q (most entertaining) and finally a visit to the Supper Inn a Melbourne institution. We queued at the door at 5:30pm for a table with many others such is the popularity of this place. And deservedly so, while the decor is nothing to write about, the service was swift and efficient given the number of people and the food was rather delicious, entrees particularly.