Saturday, February 27, 2010

Sketch Saturday

It's kind of fun to put one's artwork behind glass, even if one is not sure it belongs there. A somewhat finished piece (of two baby eggplants in a ceramic saucer) produced over two classes. It seems to take me forever to build up colour, it's all light wash after light wash after light wash. But that's my style and I'm sticking with it, for the moment.

Friday, February 26, 2010

This week in the garden


The eucalyptus are coming into bloom. This pretty specimen is on our neighbour's lawn.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

My Creative Space

A whole lot of hole punching. For little gift tags. To be included in a give away so very soon!

Check out many more spaces at Kootoyoo.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Red


Monday, February 22, 2010

Monday night meal



It feels like a long time between drinks here. Maybe because I went a whole weekend without snapping away on the digital camera. I resorted to film which calls for a little more discretion.

With CF card located and back safely where it belongs, it times to share tonight's meal. I was not so disappointed to find out Mr T was off to conference dinner and didn't require a date. Beetroot time! I like mine roasted, in a salad with a sharp vinaigrette, salty feta and candied walnuts. You can make friends with this salad for sure.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Quality time

I'll be spending some quality time with 'Pearl' this weekend. We're going to ride to the beach. It's not just down the road, more like 90km down the road. I'll definitely be up for some rest and relaxation after the effort.

Thankfully I've just finished One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez and now I'm onto The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith making for some slighter easier reading on the sand.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Green tea 'ice cream'


You know what they say '...when in Rome'. So while I was in Japan I did my best to savour many green tea flavoured food stuffs. On our last night in Tokyo I finally got my hands on a bowl of ice cream. Sure it was a little too cold for ice cream, but the taste was sensational. Green tea is slightly bitter and I like that with sweet.

I was looking for an easy mid-week ice cream recipe and came across this:
300mL cream
1 tbs matcha (green tea) powder
100mL sweetened condensed milk (I used the low fat stuff)
1 tsp vanilla essence

Whip cream and matcha together until you have soft peaks, then fold in essence and sweetened condensed milk.

Add to ice cream machine as per manufacturers instructions. I think I churned for about 8 hours.

The flavour is really good, but I'd love to try making ice cream proper...

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Tasty treats





1. Green tea custard in profiteroles. 2. Hot cocoa in a can, from a vending machine. Doubling as a hand warmer. 3. Salmon roe on rice with a fresh green salad. 4. Cold bento for the Shinkansen. Mmm onigiri! Hmm pickled vegetables.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Oh deer!



They were cute, if not a little pushy if they knew you had (or saw you buy) deer crackers. As visited on our way to Todai-ji Temple in Nara, the old capital of Japan. Incidentally this year Nara is celebrating its 1300th anniversary as the previous capital of Japan! It's hard to fathom a history like that when you live in a country so young.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Year of the Tiger



Yesterday the weather played nice, so we headed into the city for Year of the Tiger celebrations. So did many others. The city was alive with drumming and the sound of fire crackers going off. We celebrated with plates of dumplings in China town.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Light hearted

This was an interactive art installation in Tokyo - possibly Shinjuku, maybe Shibuya. Fitting you know, because there are hearts. And it's Valentines day. And there might be a card (or two) passed over but really, it's not something we get into. Like pretty much everyone else. I might cook something nice though, more so because it's Sunday and I'll have time.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Sketch Saturday



Making a return for the 'new' year. Botanical Illustration class starts this week and with a new purchase of the Moleskin mini watercolour pad I was keen to make my maiden mark in it. This being our first weekend in Melbourne since retuning from OS, I also had time to transfer my painting equipment to my new box easel received at Christmas. Of course there was also time for afternoon tea.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Kyoto



Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed Vietnam, but oh I loved Japan. My third visit and I left wanting to relocate there more than ever. Visiting in Winter was cold, but it meant a lot of the time we had the streets to ourselves. So very peaceful. I can't begin to imagine how beautiful these streets would be in cherry blossom season. Next time perhaps?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Abundance



I enjoyed walking through the markets in Vietnam. Everywhere we went the produce looked fresh and vibrant. This translated into the food we ate throughout the trip.

The two standout eateries that we visited were Light Candle in Hoi An. Here we were served wonderfully home cooked food by the most affable Vietnamese women, the passion she has for food and people was compelling. I've never experienced anything quite like it. We enjoyed the place so much we went back a second time, admittedly for breakfast.

The second place was in Hanoi (though there's also a place in Saigon). The premise is to take the best street food vendors and have them all in one place. The choice of tasty morsels was overwhelming, but once we'd chosen, with help from other travelers at our communal table, we weren't disappointed. I would happily have gone back to sample the rest of the menu! You'll find Quan An Ngon, in the French Quarter.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Yesterday


..was just one of those magic days on the beach- crystal clear waters, warm sun and a gentle breeze. Spent the morning windsurfing (felt definite improvement from last week - but still a way to go) and the afternoon hanging out with the crew, swimming and lazing about.

A perfect Sunday? Pretty close, just a long bike ride missing from the equation, thanks to my haphazard packing and forgetting a vital piece of clothing.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Withdrawals

I am having serious withdrawals from Vietnamese coffee. Outrageously strong/bitter coffee tempered with sweetened condensed milk to create an almost chocolate-y caffeine hit. Happy times (or heart palpitations) after one of these.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

The weekend

Japan
---
Vietnam

Whether you're getting out and about, or staying in, may your weekend be a satisfying one.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Joyeux Anniversaire - Part deux


I mentioned yesterday, Mum's 59th, next year to celebrate her 60th (and my 10 years long service leave) the Rosies will be in Paris! Well almost. We might be a month late...

Hence learning French being on the list of things to do this year. I've been listening to the Coffee Break French series at work and on the train, but I need to step it up a notch. I loved speaking Japanese (albeit poorly) in Japan and know that learning French will enhance the travel experience.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Joyeux Anniversaire - Part un



We awoke to one hell of a sky this morning. A little bit ominous for my Mum's 59th - Happy birthday! So far so good.

She's been a bit of an inspiration in the last couple of months, she's taken up road cycling, sustained some falls, but still gets back on, and is in the midst of sussing out a little business venture. Go Mum.

Thanks to Lance for the bike quote on the present envelope, it's exactly how I feel. Though I imagine winning le tour 7 times would feel pretty freakin' awesome too.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Village life




One of my favourite places to explore in Vietnam was the fishing village of Mui Ne. Possibly because it was such a contrast to the resort Mui Ne we'd stayed in for the previous two days. This, to me, felt like "real" Vietnam, untouched by the tourist dollar, locals living everyday life.

Mr T got a kick out of it too. Our taxi driver abandoned us and the only way back was by motorbike. My aim of the trip was to avoid them at all costs. Obviously I lived to tell the tale, but I'm sure the driver still has my fingertip impressions in his flank because I was absolutely petrified.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

10 things in 2010

It's starting to feel like 2010. I only just got a diary today. At lunchtime. I tell you, celebrating the new year in a different country has thrown me. Ending our holiday in the cold that was Japan I feel as though our Summer hasn't begun and it's nearly over! We're one month into 2010 and it time to get down some aspirations for the year. 10 things in 2010, to follow on from the 9 things in 2009. Which worked for me better than resolutions. Last year the focus was on the marathon and living a more creative life. This year I'd like the two to play nicely throughout the year. I want to be able to focus on fitness & creativity all at once. It's going to take some fine tuning, but I think I can do it.

On the list:
1. Take French language lessons
2. Read 12 books
3. Climb the 1000 steps (left over from '09)
4. Run something with the word marathon in the title (half or full - I haven't decided)
5. Finish the large cotton crochet blanket started last year
6. Rack up 10 hours of windsurfing - I'm still learning to pull the sail up!
7. Engage a personal trainer/run coach or join a running group
8. Continue Botanical Illustration classes
9. >Insert Financial goal here< Savings. Lots of them. I can smell the next OS venture already.
10. Master 5 fish dishes - including a whole fish.