Monday, April 28, 2008

Sniffle ....

I have a horrid cold, and an extremely busy week ahead of me so please excuse me if I take a few days' break from blogland.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

This is .... my all-time favourite book

.....oh it's much too hard to decide! Thanks for this week's theme, Daisy in LaLa Land. I don't think I can narrow it down to just one favourite but these special books do spring to mind:

1. Any one of the Ant and Bee books that my sister and I have adored since our childhood in England.

Ant and Bee are the two main characters in a series of childrens books written by Angela Banner. The books were first published in the UK during the 60's and early 70's, but unfortunately most of them are no longer available; I've seen second-hand copies advertised for well over $300 each! (pretty pricey for little hardcover books that measure about 9cm x 11cm). I must admit though, they are real treasures and they make my heart leap whenever I see Ant and Bee (and Kind Dog)!

2. The American Woodland Garden - capturing the spirit of the deciduous forest, by Rick Darke.

This book is very, very special. Despite its title, it offers much more than a discussion of gardens .... it is an exquisite study of nature in all her subtle detail, of time passing, of degeneration and renewal, of developing a sensitivity to the world around us and really learning to see.
This reviewer seems to feel the same.

2. Two of my favourite novels are The Cure for Death by Lightning by Gail Anderson-Dargatz and The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger.

These two books drew me in with their evocative and mysterious descriptive narratives - perfect for curling up with in a cosy room on a cold winter's day!

I have many more that I could count as favourites, and others joining in the Three Buttons 'This is' meme have listed theirs too. What are your favourite books?

Friday, April 25, 2008

April 25th

Today is ANZAC Day in Australia and New Zealand..... a day for remembrance.
So very sad.

The Last Post and Reveille still ring through my soul in the most haunting manner.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

This is .... my latest discovery

Love these cheeky wallpaper products from Behangbeesten in the Netherlands!

We're planning to repaint our house this winter and I'm considering using one (or some?) of Behangbeesten's wallpaper animals, birds, trees or interior pieces to brighten up a wall or two. Or perhaps I'll choose one of the cheerful decal options available at blik and stick meon....

Which do you like best?

Saturday, April 19, 2008

All tucked up in bed (autumn garden diary)

Last weekend I planted lots of vegies in pots - we can't grow leafy greens in the garden itself 'cause we're using grey water to irrigate the beds, but I can still use tank water for my pots and window boxes. So ... all tucked up in pots under the straw are radish seeds, lettuce seedlings, corn salad sprouts, ruby chard and cabbages. Gus has only snuffled and dug in one pot so far.

In the garden I planted out sugar snap peas and some sweet peas (for their fragrance and pretty flowers). I also cleared away some of the tired-looking summer plants, as well as an enormous uninvited (self-seeded) pumpkin plant, which I quite liked for its vigorous growth and dish-like leaves, but which was taking up too much space. Emmerson has had to make a new little hideaway ... she liked sleeping under the pumpkin plant.

We still have a number of self-seeded cucumber plants whose soft round forms contrast nicely with spiky grey artichokes:

Thinking ahead to next summer, to add some colour I planted purple echinacea (coneflower) seedlings, as well as a vibrant blue salvia (I'm not sure which variety).

This weekend I might plant some broad beans, and I hope I'll have enough room to grow sweetcorn in the spring.

Meanwhile, we see that autumn is settling in ....

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Sneak peek

I'm taking part in BigCat's art swap, for which the theme is 'In the Woods'.

Here's a little peep at my starting materials ...

I just hope I can realise the ideas I have in my mind!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Go-go girls, Scopitone style

Who wouldn't enjoy interpretive dance when it's done like this?!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Treats for me

Thank you Mr Postman for bringing me some treats!
I love this pretty and practical car litter bag from Allyson Hill - a great design with replaceable bag inserts (I'm going to use cornstarch bags instead of plastic). Also included in the package were a cute little notebook and fabric-covered button - thank you Allyson, they're lovely!

Yesterday I received these fabulous prints from Juliana Swaney at Oh My Cavalier!. I haven't photographed them clearly here I'm afraid. Check out more luscious designs in her Etsy shop....

And finally ... any ideas on what I could make from this fabric? (found in an op shop in eastern Victoria - it was actually the curtain for the shop's changing room, and when I begged the lady for the fabric, she looked at me very strangely but eventually agreed. Then she was worried that I might find the $2.50 charge a bit steep!). It's about 1m x 2m, with slight discolouration along the edge. I love the colours and the whole retro look.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

This is .... my perfect dinner party guest list

In addition to my beloved husband, in no particular order:

1. Mark Twain - for his razor-sharp wit, countless amusing travel anecdotes and finely-honed insight into the human condition

2. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, President of Liberia (and Africa's first female president) - a very determined and strong woman

3. One of my supervising professors, Dr Ruth Beilin - because she is witty, hugely intellectual and extremely inspiring

4. The very lovely Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement from Flight of the Conchords - they're what I think I might be into (click for musical elaboration). I'm counting them as one guest...

5. Comedian, writer and director Stephen Fry - because I've always loved his quiet, tweedily-intelligent manner and his very english sense of humour (and because he speaks German!)

Finally, I'm going to invite two more people together and pretend I haven't totally exceeded the 6-guest limit:

6. British comedians Noel Fielding and Russell Brand - because they're shambolic, silly, irreverent and very charming!

I think my dinner party will actually have to start before lunch, carry on through the afternoon, roll on to dinner, and wind up in the wee hours of the morning perhaps a couple of days later ..... when we're all delirious from too much wine and food and in desperate need of sleep. What a fabulous party it will be!

For other perfect dinner party guestlists, check out who's playing 'This is....' over at Three Buttons.

P.S.: Apologies to Angela, 'cause I updated my guest list after seeing hers .... I'd been considering inviting the Flight of the Conchords guys, but hadn't included them in my first list (then I just couldn't resist adding them after all - it would be so much fun!).

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Click clack

Time to upload pics of a few op-shop finds that have been tucked in a corner of my study for a while...

Firstly, some very snazzy knitting and crochet patterns which I couldn't resist, despite the fact I can neither crotchet nor knit!

I guess they were going for 'manly glamour' with this selection (in most of the other pictures, the model is wielding a fat cigar in addition to wearing supertight slacks):

mmmmm, sleek

This crocheted vest seems to make him very happy,

and you can understand why when you see it in all its technicolour glory (below - click to enlarge).... Check out the shoes too - no wonder he's walking tall!

Another pattern book offers a group of seriously manly men practicing their best Blue Steel:

...while yet another provides several options for guys who have crochet "team mates", whether that means your best buddy or some neighbour's slightly nervous-looking kid. It's reassuring to know that you can step out together in matching knitwear this summer.

Maybe these models got their start in the knitwear industry years earlier with Patons, the way Garry and Billy did?

Monday, April 07, 2008

A natural obsession?

1. red_shoes_by_UltraViolett Wallpaper, 2. red shoes 13 / red chair encore, 3. red shoes, 4. red shoes, 5. Red shoes, 6. Red Shoes Rani, 7. New Red Shoes!, 8. My Red Shoes, 9. my lovely red shoes, 10. (the angels wanna wear my) red shoes, 11. green shoes, 12. Red shoes, 13. my new red shoes!, 14. Red Shoe, 15. 049.365: Red Shoe Diaries, 16. The red shoes

This is .... my knick-knack/jewellery box

Disorganised as I am, I tend to store my jewellery and trinkets in a range of places (all around the house).
I've had this large carved box since I was 21 and it still contains items that were important to me back then, although for some reason I don't use it for my current treasures:

I keep small pieces easily to hand in this little tin:

... and a drawer in a bookcase in my study provides a home for flower hairclips, scarves, necklaces etc:

Thanks to Anastasia for this week's meme-theme. Check out Three Buttons to see who else is playing 'This is ...'.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Every girl should have some ....

Today I finally collected the cherry red patent leather shoes that I ordered from a shoemaker in Sydney last year. I guess it's no big deal for people who can buy pretty shoes (in their size) from any shoe shop, but my options are limited to drag shops or clumpy non-fashionable footwear most of the time. Hooray for new red shoes!

Godfrey started work on making a hat rack today - we do need a place to store the hat collection that keeps on growing (don't even ask how many woolen caps are also in the drawers .....)

Gus is now supervising as I (belatedly) try and get stuck into my study - I think he's trying to look stern and serious.

Saturday, April 05, 2008


Oh poor little blog, how I've neglected you lately! It's been a very busy month and I just don't know where the time goes.

Oh well, let's try and get back in the swing of things.... Tonight on Kitty's Kaboodle I found these objects of desire:
Italian cars - Bubble and Volpe (swoon!!)

... and a dreamy tree bed by metalworker Shawn Lovell (a four-poster that I actually love, created by a very talented woman)

I also discovered Corrabelle's lovely rubber stamps on her Mayberry Sparrow Etsy shop. Cute stuff!

I love old style stamps.

Finally, I've been tagged by the very creative BigCat, who is hosting an art swap (for which I am working on a few ideas)... Thank you BigCat! I promise I'll respond very soon :-)

... also ...

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