Saturday, October 31, 2009

Sketch Saturday

Phew, it's been a busy week. Dinner with the Girls, Tuesday, involving a horrifying incident of meat in a supposed vegetarian dish. Many find this rather amusing!
Wednesday night was all about the Microbrewery showcase at Fed Square. New beers were tasted, we rather enjoyed the Hawthorn Pale Ale. Helped by the fact that the boys behind the stand looked after us.
And Thursday night saw my little theatre group attend When the Rain Stops Falling at the MTC which wasn't a particularly uplifting way to end the week.

All this left no time to attend botanical illustration class. I did however have plenty of time last weekend to work on something. It feels more finished than my tomato, I'm happy with the colour, but I still feel it lacks depth or the correct shading to really define its form. Baby steps. Oh, it's a pear, but hopefully you can tell.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Double the weekend

It is a super long weekend for some. Tuesday is Cup Day which is a public holiday for those in Melbourne. Mr T and I have both taken Monday off too. The plan is to do some house stuff (maybe a revamp of our nature strip if weather permits) and some shopping over the weekend, then we'll head down to the beach for Cup Eve festivities. The margaritas are ready to go!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

This week in the garden

I'm spraying my plants with a homemade aphid spray mix.

I wanted to make a natural recipe and used this:
Add 1/2 tblsp pure soap flakes or grated sunlight soap to 1/2 cup boiling water and dissolve.
Stir in 1/2 tblsp of white oil. Dilute in 1L water and spray as required.

You'll need two spray bottles for this quantity.

White oil
1 tbs vegetable oil mixed with 1/4 teaspoon washing detergent. Only use half.

So far so good. It does require frequent spraying in the late evening so as not to burn the plants foliage.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Purple at sunset

Thoroughly enjoying more light in the evening. These were captured last Friday night as we took the pappies for their pre-dinner stroll. Daylight savings has them well and truly tricked. They now cry for dinner at 6:00pm instead of 5:00pm.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


While driving along a quiet beach backstreet, we spotted this guy with his snout in the ground eating ants. He's an Echidna. I can't say I've seen many in the wild, so it was a bit of a treat.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Change of scenery

Don't get me wrong, I love Melbourne, but sometimes it's just so nice to escape for a little bit. I'll be sharing a few photos from out of town over the week.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Slow Sunday

Slow is probably an understatement. A weekend away was just what I needed. In fact my body could probably do with a whole week. I feel as though I'm on the brink of illness. Bleh.

Still I was well enough to partake in some shopping. On the way home we made a stop in at a huge shed with all sorts of second hand goodness. I was in heaven and restrained myself to the tin box the Babushka doll brooch (later purchased uptown) sits on. I think I'll use the box to cart around my painting stuff. You can't quite see in the photo, but it once was painted a soft aqua colour.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Sketch Saturday

So not exactly a sketch, but something on paper. This week in class we worked wet. So before starting the landscape we painted the paper with water and then gradually added colour washes. Patience is the key. Unless you have a hairdryer on hand.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Mini break

This weekend is all about getting out of town and unwinding. I've packed my new book Middlesex having finished Jane Eyre earlier in the week. My first foray into the classics left me a little underwhelmed, I did struggle with ye old English, but more so there seemed to be a lot of waffle inbetween and the religious themes towards the end started to grate at me. That said, the next Friday night I opt out of dinner & drinks in the city, I'll be watching this because there were many elements of the book I enjoyed. I really did like her strong character.

Also packed is the crochet yarn, my paints and of course a bottle of wine or two. Whether I touch any of those things remains to be seen.

Have a fabulous weekend, whatever you get up to.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

My creative space

So along with many others, I've decided to partake in Softies for Mirabel.

I'm not the worlds greatest sewer, but I hope the recipient can tell it was made with love, even if there was some swearing involved. I haven't followed a pattern (hence the swearing), I got my inspiration from the Brown Owls badge because I thought it was kinda cute. I've opted to make do with the fabric scraps I have on hand rather than buy in new stuff, because I have too much stuff. Now I can't decide if he needs a beak or a mustache. Or perhaps a beak and a mustache. I have mustaches let over from my party you see. Decisions!

Lots of other creative spaces here.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

When friends give you lemons...

Make lemon muffins! Though next time I'd use more zest, more lemon juice and closer to 3/4 cup of sugar.

Given the abundance I'll also be making a lemon tart and some more margaritas for the Cup Eve party we've been invited to.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

In the garden

It's a pleasure to see a ladybird in my garden, because I'm having some aphid problems. Turns out ladybirds are the aphids natural predator. I just need it to recruit all its relatives & friends.

The parsley's been going to seed for weeks now, the first time I cut all the heads away, but now I'm just letting nature run its course.


Monday, October 19, 2009

Something blue

Hair appointments running behind schedule conspired with heavy traffic to see us running very very late on Saturday afternoon. But we made it to the Chapel on time, just, to see our dear friends tie the knot. While it could have been a touch warmer, the day could not have gone better for the happy couple. It was such a pleasure to celebrate with them.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Sketch Saturday

I am thoroughly enjoying botanical illustration class. This week I present my rendering of a tomato, in case you couldn't tell. It's unfinished at this stage but well on its way.

Had a perfect start to the weekend, a bit of window shopping after work last night, a couple of drinks - and I mean only a couple - my new self imposed limit after last weekend and then a meal at the Grossi Cellar bar. My second meal there and just as fabulous as the first. The service is cheeky and the place is alive.

This afternoon we're off to the beach for a wedding. Another one of the McCrae crew down. Not many to go now. Should be a fabulous afternoon that rolls long into the evening. Rest assured I'm keeping myself nice.

Have a great weekend!

Friday, October 16, 2009

More Sydney

We spent the last morning in Sydney hanging out in Hyde Park. I had my first decent coffee in 3 days and tasted my first white Tim Tam. Tasty! But my expectations were low, given my 'tour guide' thought they were going to be awesome and was disappointed.

I've digressed, we checked out the Sydney Life photographic exhibition as part of Art & About the contrast of huge vibrant prints against the green of the trees was striking. Sadly we didn't have time to check out the trees with jumpers in Kings Cross. Had I have known that was on, I would have been on a mission!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Seen in Sydney

I've just returned home from a couple of days in Sydney. The weather was a welcome change from to the return to winter Melbourne appears to be experiencing. We spent a warm afternoon at Palm Beach. Which just happens to be the Home & Away location. We happened to drive by Axel Whitehead and Jodi Gordon filming a scene with a used car salesman. What always astounds me is the number of film crew required for less than a minute of TV. The rest of our afternoon was spent reading and lounging in the glorious sunshine.

The whole purpose of my visit was to see A Streetcar Named Desire. Cate Blanchett was truly amazing. We had seats 4 rows from the front, so to see the actors up close was a pleasure. And having not seen the play (or movie) it was thoroughly entertaining.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


I love the simplicity of brown paper wrapping and dressing it up with a little something. I have a whole lot of circle scraps left over from the paper flags as you can imagine, so I sewed some of them together to create a mini garland. Trialled it on the Golden child's present and now I figure I have my Christmas wrapping sorted.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Little cupcakes

While running an errand for work last week, I took the opportunity to pick up a little something sweet for my afternoon tea in Degraves St. A mini carrot cupcake from Little Cupcakes. This is the third flavour I've tried and so far it's my favourite. Worth a look just for the display cabinet.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Tulip Festival Part II

Tulip Festival Part I

I'm sure I would have enjoyed the Tulip Festival far more, if I didn't have a raging hangover. Still after being revived by a frozen orange juice icy pole it really was rather lovely meandering through the flower fields.

Friday, October 9, 2009

The weekend's here

Both Mum and I had a Fridays we'd rather forget, earlier though we'd booked tickets to see Julie & Julia. So glad we kept our movie date, even if it did meaning going back to work afterwards. Gah. For a couple of hours there I forgot about deadlines and was enchanted by the thought of living in Paris and/or mastering French cooking. A thoroughly enjoyable screening.

This weekend I'm looking forward to flipping through the magazines that arrived this week, a hens lunch with tapas and plenty of wine, packing for Sydney and hopefully a little road trip come tomorrow. It's our first weekend in ages where we don't have a long list of chores to do. Woo hoo. We can make the most of the spring weather!

As for sketch Saturday, well I think it might be back. I started Botanical Illustration during the week and I'm pretty excited. Still life got a good working out this week. I'm no artist, but it's good to be back.

A week of Fiesta - Day 05

Lastly there were decorations. Hand cut & sewn paper flags (as per this creative space), fresh flowers, fake mustaches and of course paper lanterns & fairy lights. BYO sombrero was encouraged to get into the spirit.

While pulling it all together I was inspired by Party Perfect, Snippet & Ink (really about weddings, but there's some great ideas amongst the white dresses) and Apple Cyder. Love the internets!

All in all a fun way to celebrate my first annual 30th.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

A week of Fiesta - Day 04

As far as I'm concerned it ain't a party til there's cake.
We had fruit skewers with a sugared lime zest. The addition of salt is tasty. Try it for a really simple dessert.

The white chocolate mint mousse was a disaster in preparation. For some reason it separated on us. We heated it gently, let it rest overnight and then folded more whipped cream through it. Turned out a treat.

Then there were the coconut cupcakes which I'd baked two weeks ago and frozen. I took them out of the freezer Saturday morning and iced them Saturday afternoon with the dulce de leche buttercream. Hands down the best buttercream recipe I've ever used. And was very happy with the result. Yes, they were exceedingly sweet, but they were only small.

Steps: 13,028