Monday, December 28, 2009

Happy Happy Joy Joy

In that strange dreamy limbo between Christmas and New Year it is time to take stock of the year that has been and gird ourselves for the year to come. My buddy Andrew keeps telling me it it a fantastic time to be alive right now, and you know what he might just be right.

Here are some of the things about this year that make life worth living:

The Boys
Scott & GIR & Corto make every day a joy. I could complain about the the endless fur, dribble & scratching (that would be GIR & Corto not Scott), but really nothing beats dog love at the end of a crap day. Except of course Scott TLC which is always in abundance whenever I am sick or just feeling sorry for myself.

Star Trek Movie
I must confess I am a total geek for original Trek, not the movies or the beige spinoffs but the campy Shantnerific TV series. I really thought the movie captured the essence of classic Trek - funny, campy, grandiose without being pompous, and full of optimism for the future.

Un Lun Dun by China Melville
The best book I have read for ages, Melville manages to combine influences from a lot of my favourite authors without reading like a pastiche of other peoples ideas which is very rare these days. Plus his heroine is fantastic, a brilliant antidote to the hysterical vapid vampire fixated females you find elsewhere in fiction.

Team Winchester
I know they are pouty slashies with psycho fans but I have a soft spot for Sam & Dean ... well mostly Dean. Season five of Supernatural has been whizz bang, the best so far, introducing those bastard angels really got things going.

This cafe in Sassafras does the best vegetarian platters ever - shots of fabulous soup, quiche, frittata, & salads in ever changing combinations. They also do a mean iced chocolate.

The Fall
A truly amazing visual experience and a beautiful heartbreaking story. See on the big screen if you can - maybe The Astor will play it one day, otherwise Bluray on a good size TV. I will not even try to describe it, words will never do justice just see the movie guys.

Monster Magnet
A favourite band for a long time we finally got to see them in concert at the beginning of the year. Sleazy stoner metal at its best.

Uncharted: Among Thieves
This game was so much fun to play, funny and exciting like watching a movie. In fact I played it all the way through on easy for my friend Wendy cos she got so sucked into the story.

Sherlock Holmes
This one just managed to sneak into 2009, a great way to see the year out. Interestingly enough it remains true to cannon while dialling up the action and excitement to 11.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Sunday Allergy Frenzy

I have a good excuse for being late this week, on Sunday night I had a super duper anaphylactic allergic reaction - very scary. Looks like my occasional attack of hives from eating prawns has turned into a full on extreme allergy, puts a bit of a damper on Yum Cha. I now have take super strong steroids with me everywhere just in case it happens again. I am on my second day home from work and my eyes are finally almost unpuffed.

Aside from all that drama I had quite a productive weekend, I made two batches of cherry jam and we have now finished all the presents and cards for Christmas - yay.

The Sunekosuri family continues to expand, here are photos of the last two from the first batch:

Tippy Toes

Two Head 2

Two Head 1

These are the ones that I made last week, travel time on the train can be very productive:

Baobab 1

Stripey Mouth 1


Stripey Knees 1

I will be at the Kallista Market again on Saturday.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Sunday Catch Up Frenzy

I had such grand plan to post a Sunday Frenzy every weekend but I got too distracted by everything going on and now I need to catch up.

Did my first Kallista Market a month ago and sold one Sunekosuri oddly enough it was the slightly lamish duck who cannot stand up on its own. I did not think it would sell, but goes to show what I know. Here it is in all it purple glory.

Lamish Duck

Although I only sold one thing I had a fabulous day, the weather was wonderful and I met some great people including the gorgeous Vicky from Nolly Posh who makes the most adorable dolls and is an all round sparkly person.

This weekend was my second market, on my own this time as poor Karen had the dreaded lurgy. It was a cold slow start to the morning and I was feeling a little disheartened but it picked up and I sold a grand total of five Sunekosuri and lots of people stopped by for a look and a chat. I have to say a big thank you to my neighbouring stall holders who kept an eye on things so I could go to the loo and helped me out with change when I ran out.

The most elaborate Sunekosuri to date who I've been calling Huff went to a new home, I hope he behaves himself.


The slight down side to selling things is now I only have two weeks to make more as they sneak in a extra market before Christmas so looks like I will be even busier over the next two weeks.

I did finish the cardigan for my mum and will post some pictures soon, had a text from Rome the other day she and the cardigan are having a good time.

I also did a class on making Temari Balls which are a kind of Japanese embroidery on, you guessed it - a ball. When I finish one I will post some pictures.

I guess it is just the time of year when things get a bit frantic but we are close to having this year's Christmas card finished Scott has done a fabulous design (once again based on something idiotic I said). I have figured out what to make for gifts (just have to actually make it) and most of the shopping is done.

Scott's 40th birthday in January has been giving me a whole lot of ponderation and I had come up with a crazily elaborate plan (involving 40 gifts over 40 days, kind of like Lent except with presents and no deprivations and a big party at the end) but a minor miracle this morning has seen a decision made and a whole lot of potential stress evaporate.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Sunday UFO Frenzy

What a crazy three days it has been, Scott and I have been helping out at the Burrinja Community Arts Centre. Part of the building is going to be demolished to make way for a new auditorium and in celebration of the old space and the new they held an intergalactic extravaganza.

The fabulous Emma Johnson ( organised an amazing event, we spent three days creating all things space and aliens and at 15.10 on Sunday we demolished it all.

Friday was schools day and I took it off work as a community day, spent a surprisingly exhausting day teaching 8 year olds how to make origami stars.


On Saturday more origami teaching and I helped Scott with a large monster sculpture by making a maw.


Later in the afternoon I added to the mural with a happily demented tentacle thing.


Sunday was more origami and the giant smushing of all we had made. We filled the origami stars with glitter to make glitter bombs which was spectacular but I think I have glitter poisoning I just keep finding more and more of the stuff on me.

All in all it was an incredible weekend, very cathartic, I tend to be a bit control freaky about my creative process and it was great to just spontaneously create and then destroy.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Sunday Marmalade Frenzy


I am running a day late because I crashed out on the couch last night after making Seville orange marmalade. Not our own oranges unfortunately, they are probably still a couple of years away - although our little tree does have flowers on it at the moment.

I had a bit of a panic initially because it came out very dark, but Scott assures me it tastes just like the Maggie Beer one he likes. Plus I did a bit of research and it looks like the darkness is a product of melting the sugar before I added it to the fruit - kind of creates a toffee like effect. I couldn't find any other recipes that recommended you do that (other than the Maggie Beer one I used) but a lot of people seemed to be having trouble getting their marmalade really dark - so if you ever come across this the secret is to cook the fruit until the rind is tender then melt the sugar over a low heat before you add it (be careful though, it really goes whoosh when you tip the molten sugar in).

I also made tags for the Sunekosuri I plan to sell at the Kallista Markets in a couple of weeks. It is the sort of thing that I usually procrastinate for ever, I waste more energy fussing around the process of selling things than I do making them. Thus I never really get around to selling them and save myself the separation anxiety of letting them go. Thanks to Scott for goading me about it, if not for him I would still be fussing.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sunday Garden Frenzy

It is Sunday and we have been to a big wholesale nursery, we get an invite every 6 months via my work to go for one day and get plants at wholesale prices. Last time we got a lime, a Seville orange, a fig, and an olive tree; and since we have actually managed to keep them all alive for 6 months we thought we would try our luck with a few more.

When we moved in there were well established grapefruit and lemon trees on one of the steep banks, and seeing as they did well we thought it would be safe to add more and put in the Seville orange and lime. The new trees have taken off, so this time we added a mandarin and a blood orange - we are working on our own little citrus grove.

Citrus Grove

Our new blood orange.


We have also added a dwarf apple (you can see the olive tree in the background).

Apple Tree

We bought a male and female kiwi fruit which have to stay in their pots for another month or so (according to the tag) hopefully they will grow over that somewhat ramshackle trellis.

Kiwi Fruit

Scott bought this amazing pink flowering plant (not even sure what it is) he had a a vision of planting it near an old ceramic buddha head we had lying around. It looks gorgeous, if he continues with these flashes of inspiration our garden is going to be incredible (one day).

Buddha 2

I have also started a little purple patch on the overgrown bank closest to the house, lots of nice smelling things like lavender.

Purple Patch 3

Plus I finally got a pot for the beautiful succulent that Greg bought us as a house warming present over a year and a half ago. It kept getting blown over in the wind, but I think it will be fine now. I also got a pot for the companion succulent that Mum bought us on her recent visit (so the other one wouldn't be lonely). We also got a big rosemary bush and a pot for it too, the first thing we planted when we moved in was rosemary but it has been growing very slowly and we thought we might do better on the front veranda with more sun.


Of course none of this would have been possible without furry assistance and oversight, special thanks to Nami, Gir, and of course Corto who tried to eat he flower pots so we wouldn't have to carry them down to the recycle bin.

Corto Helping

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Here's Another One

Sunekosuri - Kittypus 3

Here is the next Sunekosuri, not quite an octopus - it only has 7 legs (I like prime numbers). This is the first creature that has felt combined into its structure, for the underside of the tentacles. I did it largely because I was working with an ankle sock which really limited the available fabric. I had been trying to limit each monster to just one sock and use a much of that sock as possible, it creates interesting design restrictions and gives the process a real problem solving focus. I still try and stick to the one sock rule but since then I have been using felt a lot more and the Sunekosuri have been getting odder.

It has been a busy week this week, my Mum is visiting and I have had a couple of days off work to hang out which has been great (no work on the monsters though). I have also started knitting an entrelac cardigan for her, I have had the pattern and the wool for a while but it was going to be too small for me and the pattern was a bit too tricky to adjust. So now I get the challenge of the knit and I have a recipient for the finished product - for some reason it seems to be easier to finish big projects when I am knitting them for someone close to me. I will make sure I post a picture when it is done.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Sunekosuri Are Taking Over

I am finally going to do a market stall, my friend Karen (you may recall her from the Hillside Creeper post) is running a stall at the Kallista Market on the first Sunday of each month and I am going to join her for the first time in November.

My main product will be Sunekosuri - little monsters made from socks and felt and buttons. The name Suneskosuri means shin rubber in Japanese and they are a type of Yokai. Yokai are Japanese folk creatures similar to goblins or fairies. Given they are made primarily from socks I thought shin rubber was a good name (thank you Scott for the suggestion).

The first batch are based on the same pattern and are fairly normal by later standards but they are good base stock.

Sunekosuri - Star Belly-0

They all seem to come out looking different even though the basic pattern is the same.

Sunekosuri - Star Belly-5

Sunekosuri - Star Belly-3

Sunekosuri - Star Belly-10

There are more weird and wonderful creations to come once I get the photos taken. So keep checking back here (it won't be two weeks between posts this time I promise).

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Back At Last


I have been very slack on the whole Blog thing but also very busy with everything else. I am attempting a resolution to post at least one a week - but we will see how it goes.

I finally finished my rainbow socks made from Noro sock yarn and plain purple Morris & Sons merino. I love the colour transitions, particularly in the orange to aqua on the right one - it has this whole oxidisation thing going on.

These were knitted simultaneously on a circular needle thanks to this fabulous tutorial:

Although there are lots of warnings it is not as scary as it sounds - I went and did my first pair with stripes which doubled the strands of wool to get tangled and it was not too bad.

And a special thank you to Scott for contributing his exceptional foot modelling skills.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Hillside Creepers

Today was the second monthly meeting of the Hillside Creepers at the Bell Tavern.
Our attempts to start a crafting and Zine group in the area are progressing although after the drama of a near brawl with some drunken idiots we have decided to move the less central but more salubrious Burrinja Arts Centre.

Today apart from Scott and myself there was Tonia (our friend from Brisbane who is visiting at the moment), Meng, Paula, and Karen.

This is Paula doing some needle felting on a jumper.

Karen was cutting out skulls and crossbones for later applique.

I worked on Sije Sophie's birthday present which I have now finished.  This is a crappy picture but it is late and I cannot be bothered fighting with the lighting, it is a hand quilted silk scabbard for her butterfly swords.

Hopefully we will have enough stuff to get an edition of the Hillside Creeper zine out soon.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Book Launch

This was always intended to be a crafty kind of blog but to be honest I have not managed to finish anything from my long list of projects since I started it.

As a slight excuse I am late home tonight because I just got back from the launch of the Meet Me At Mike's book where I met its author the fabulous Pip for the first time.

If you have not read her blog you should have a look  - Pip has boundless energy and a fantastic sense of community.  Her book is full of cute projects and lots of sage advice.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Small Things

True happiness comes in the smallest of increments, like the bliss of a dog allowed up on the couch, or the smell of rain.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Story of Lucy Bad Dog

Although this is intended to be primarily a craft focused blog I thought I would start with the story of its namesake.

Lucy was of indeterminate breed, her mother was ostensibly a ridgeback and her father was also a dog. We got her from the pound at six months and she was with us for another thirteen years. During that time she never slowed down - not even for a day.

We used to joke that she thought her name was Lucy Bad Dog because she was always being told off. She was crazy dominant and used to cock her leg on things when she went for a walk. She also had a mania about little dogs, she would pounce on them and pin them down without the least provocation. She never bit or even growled at them but she would not let them go no matter how much they or their owners freaked out, as a result she did not get to go off lead at the park very often. Lucy was often her own worst enemy, she wanted to be the alpha female in our house so every time I was too nice to her she would start peeing in the lounge.

All this makes her sound like a pain but she was such a sweetheart. Anything little and fluffy she loved to death, she used to lick our bunny until he was soggy and very pissed off. She adored the rats and was more upset than we were when they died. Once she found a sick bird in the yard and gently carried in to us in her mouth. Whenever you were sick in bed she would snuggle up tight and never leave your side. She was never aggressive to anyone and she had the most beautiful golden eyes like a lion.

We miss you Lucy.