Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Photo Diary: Day 5



I loved it... okay, so it's totally cheesy, and it's completely unrealistic... but it was cute. I loved the scenery (even if it was introduced post-production), the story was fun (even though very long and disjointed), the boy who played Nulla was amazing, and Hugh Jackman gets my vote anyday.

All in all, I was glad I went - and it was free - so no loss there!

I didn't realise it was a three hour movie, so we didn't actually get any sewing done today. It shall have to wait for next week!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Photo Diary: Day 4

I think it's best to call it a 'diary' rather than a 'challenge', this thing i'm doing. Makes it seem more casual. I'm half wondering whether it's fun or torture... I keep having moments of "Oh yeah need to take a photo of that!"

Anyway, today's photo is demonstrative of my baking prowess (and my free time): Bill Grainger's ricotta and raspberry muffins. Now I just need to find people to eat them.

If I could've taken a photo of Ponting being caught for 99, I would've - it was definitely the climax of my day. I won't see much of tomorrow's innings. I doubt we'll win though, we've not got the momentum.

Feeling a bit flat

I'm on holidays, but I'm feeling a bit flat. I have lots to look forward to (new years on my friend's farm, then a roadtrip on the weekend) but I feel really numb at the moment.

Not sure why, and it's frustrating that I'm not really enjoying the holidays yet. But I feel even worse when I stop and realise I'm feeling flat and what a waste of my holidays that is! ahh silly brain.

Sometimes I want to drill a hole in my head and let the pressure out.

Tomorrow I learn to sew

Here is what I'm making - a bag, called "Charlie", although mine won't have the panel and the embroidery! The pattern is from the site burdastyle, which has some nice, modern and most importantly, FREE patterns on it.

I'm hoping I get it all done tomorrow, but we'll see...

Also tomorrow mum and I are going to Australia. I'm not paying for it (we have free tickets) so I have no vested interest in its quality, except I'd like to be entertained :)

Music in 2008

Pitchfork has released their top 50 albums and top 100 tracks of the year. It's a bit disconcerting going through the list – each year I become more and more removed from what's out there in the music world. This year's list was particularly worrying, until I reached the top 10, and hadn't heard of most of the albums. I was relieved to find Fleet Foxes at number 1 – an album I own and like, and while I too think it's the album of the year, I'm not sure I'd put it way out in front.

What's your album of the year?

Here's my top 4 (can't do a top 5 -I think these may be the only four cds I bought this year!)

Death Cab for Cutie – Narrow Stairs
Fleet Foxes – Fleet Foxes
Liam Finn – I'll be Lightning
Patrick Watson – Close to Paradise

I'd love to put a few Aussie releases in, I could probably find some if I tried, I've heard many a fine track on FBI. I just don’t own any of them.

Photo Challenge: Day 3

I did a tour of duty this afternoon, around my local area. Here are some snaps. I started in my bedroom and then went down to the park.

I did end up getting this book for Christmas

I really like the orchid tiles on these stairs

Boxing Day Test

Being on holidays, I'm really loving watching the cricket - it's been a really exciting contest the last two days. Have you been watching?

It's a little known fact that I played cricket throughout highschool. I even captained the firsts in year 10... mind you, we only had two teams at my school, and girls cricket is really quite different to men's. I remember in Year 7 it was mulligrubber after mulligrubber.

Anyway, it's been good.

I've also enjoyed watching a few movies - Across the Universe, The Black Balloon (on foxtel at mum and dad's) and Jerry Maguire (free to air... i take no responsibility for channel flicking!) I loved all of them. I love movies that make me feel gooey inside...

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Challenge Part 2

This is my Nepalese friend Tanchoma. She had me over for a post-christmas dinner tonight with another friend of hers.

We had 2min noodles (uncooked) with red onion, tomato and mustard oil, followed by bbq pork buns, popcorn and roasted nuts. Eclectic!

She gave me the pink necklace I'm wearing - what a sweetie.

(photo obviously taken on my mobile phone... gotta get better at bringing my camera everywhere I go..)

Photo Challenge: Day 2: Entina

This is Entina. She is a tree, handmade by a friend of Jo's. She sits near our windowsill.

Friday, December 26, 2008


I should add number 11 - spending time with mum and dad!! my bad...

10 best things about being home

I'm too accustomed to living out of home to ever move back for an extended period of time, but visiting my parents can be fun.

If I had to nail down 10 things that I enjoy about being back in the suburbs, they would be:

1. Seeing the dogs (some have rudely called them 'rats' because they are the small, yappy type..not mentioning any names) and having them fall asleep next to you
2. Having dinner cooked for you.
3. Watching Foxtel, specifically the movie and lifestyle channels!
4. Making coffee on mum's machine
5. Lying on the grass reading
6. Seeing lots of trees and open space, and feeling nostalgic about the north shore
7. Hanging sheets on a Hills Hoist and watching them fly in the wind
8. Never opening the fridge only to find its empty
9. Watching the cricket on a big tv screen
10. The smell of christmas tree in the lounge room

Photo challenge: Day 1 success

Mum's vege garden

Our old cubby house, aka "Mambo Creek". How cool it was, to have a sign with the word Mambo in it, back in the 90s... My uncle found it lying on the roadside and gave it to us to put on the cubby house. We loved it.

(ps. I changed computers, and i was able to upload the photos).

Photo Challenge: Day 1

I'm trying to upload some photos I took in my parent's garden, but it's not working. So... you'll have to wait until I get back to my place on Saturday or Sunday.

I forgot to bring my camera to my parent's place, so I took the photos on mum's point and shoot - much harder to produce a good photo! I had to work hard :)

A bit of Christmas Cheer

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas.
If you haven't heard of Sufjan Stevens yet, you should get on your horse... but if you have, you'll understand why I haven't stopped listening to his Christmas CD box set since 1 December. I would give him credit for being the most influential and best singer/songwriter of the 00's. I'd also say his album Illinoise is the most influential of the 00's. Big call, but I'll stick by it.

Over the last few years he has recorded very low-fi christmas albums for his friends, and last year he put them all out as a box set. It is an amazing, charming and suitably cathartic collection of songs. Just perfect with a glass of fizzy red soda on Christmas eve.

Go to you tube and look him up. For some christmas cheer, listen to "Put the Lights on the Tree" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OYQFeZFLyM4), and for a beautiful arrangement, "O Come thou Font of Every Blessing" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b1bSlS6OWTs)
photo: Sufjan promo shot

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Brother Present Dilemma

So I bet you're all wondering what I bought my brother for Christmas?

Well you'll have to wait to the end of this post to find out.

First I want to say... I wish I'd found THIS SHOP earlier!! Called Remo General Store, it basically sells a whole lot of iconic things, based on popular demand. The stuff they sell reminds me of Gowings - all the funny nick nacks. I surely would've found something for my brother there!

If you're still after a last minute present, it looks like they're opening up their warehouse in Surry Hills till 4pm tomorrow arvo. Usually they're just an online store, so I think that makes it pretty special to go inside.

Anyway, as for what I bought my brother... a year ago he bought me a german knife. Someone suggested to me that what people buy is what they would like to receive. Seeing as I'd not really expressed a burning desire for a knife, I reckon it's the case with that present (although it has been helpful, i'm glad he gave it to me!) So, I bought him a special super-sharp swedish knife. Hope he likes it...!

Little Bo-Peep Lollies

Do you guys remember these?

One of my students bought me some things from Darrell Lea to say thanks for meeting up with her this year, and one of them was Bo-Peep lollies.

I love them! I have not had one for at least a decade. I've decided my favourite are the red ones, and the blue stripey ones..

I think they're officially called "satinettes" haha

Mum reckons her dad used to buy them when she or her brother were sick. Cute!

Second-hand goodness

Since we moved apartments, I've needed to be able to fit my desk in my room, because the loungeroom is too small. In some ways that's what we wanted - clearly defined spaces, unlike our old place where everything was in one room.

So, I needed some space efficient furniture... nd I was determined to get what I needed - desk, cd storage and bookshelf for under $100. Hello Ebay!

I'm proud to say I got all those things for $103!

I bought a bookshelf for a dollar on ebay - it's real wood - not even chipboard! And is the perfect size! I gave the people what I had in my wallet on exchange ($3) because I felt stingy... not sure that my final offer really made up for that.

I also bought a 2m tall cd tower for $20, which new at IKEA costs four times that. I picked it up last night, and it's really cool - it fits most of my cds, and because it's tall and slim, uses no space at all.

The biggest expense was a desk, new from IKEA for $80.

But I think I did pretty well!

For all those people who say ebay is scary and evil, i say poo poo. It's actually really good! If you only buy from sellers with 98-100% positive feedback, and bid wisely, it's full of bargains. I've never had a regretful purchase.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Saturday Night

Graffiti in Camperdown Park

I've started early with my photo challenge... I took my camera to Darren Hanlon's Christmas gig at St Stephen's in Newtown. I've never seen him play in a church before, it was pretty nice. You can't see Darren in these photos, I only took them of his support act, but you get the vibe.

Jono, Al (+bubble wrap) and me

Afterwards, we went and had giant hot chocolates on King Street.

Bec, Elaine and Jono re-enacting "We only touched Elbows"

Friday, December 19, 2008

Holiday challenge

I'll be on holidays for a couple of weeks after christmas, and I thought I might set myself the challenge of taking a photo(s) each day and posting it(them) up here.

I love photography, but don't prioritise it. So, here's to some photo fun in coming weeks!
Photo: The Kirk, in Surry Hills.

Easy Christmas Craft

I have been wanting to do some christmas craft, but so much of it is really timeconsuming and involves skills/materials i don't have...

I was so excited to see these two really easy projects on the blog Peapods. Gift tags, and origami stars.

I just made an origami star, and it's pretty cool. After I write this I'm going to find some nicer paper to use :)

I haven't made the tags yet, they look super easy. Just need to find some nice images to cut up.

Muskrat Love?

While we were waiting for the moving van to come last week (we waited 7 hours), Jo and I went a bit crazy, and in between reading and talking, I sang a bit. I had one song in particular stuck in my head - Muskrat Love, by America.

You know, America? They wrote 'Horse with No Name'. I have a best of album, and I just love the 70s jangly harmonies and multiple guitars..

Anyway so I'm singing this song about Muskrat Love and Jo is getting furious telling me to shut up. I started to ponder what the song was about, but by the time the van came I forgot completely about it.

Then, a couple of nights ago we were channel flicking, and we found this documentary called Muskrat Lovely, about a pagaent in Maryland, the National Outdoor Show. Everyone competes to be "Miss Outdoors" and there is a muskrat skinning competition.

I was pretty chuffed that the stars had lined up in such a way that the same week I had been driving jo crazy by singing this song, there had been a whole documentary about muskrat skinning on TV.

At the end of the doco, they played Muskrat Love the song. I wiki'd it and discovered it was originally by Willis Alan Ramsay, and has been covered by America and Captain & Tenille.

It also shed light on the song's meaning: "It is literally a song about muskrats in love." Wow. Deep huh?

Here's a lyrical sample:

"Nibbling on bacon, chewin on cheese

Sammy says to susie honey,

would you please be my missus?

And she say yes

With her kisses"

Come out come out wherever you are!

Ok lurkers, you know who you are - you drop by, read my blog, but don't say helloooooo...

Well, now's your chance! It's Christmas, besides, if you want some of the cds you need to ask for them. So just holler :)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Due to Popular Demand...

Ok, here goes, the list of CDs that i'm willing to give anyone who wants them! A lot of them I received when I was writing for oz music project.

Gaslight Radio - Good Heavens Mean Times
Fourth Floor Collapse - Plans for Dream Homes
Led Zeppelin - III
Yo La Tengo - I am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass
Anthony Atkinson - come home for autumn
Drag - Drag
Gorgeous - Gorgeous
Joy Division - Permanent 1995
Elbow - Asleep in the Back
Muse - Origin of Symmetry
Kid Cornered - Six Sisters
Gaslight Radio - Z-Nation
Gelbison - See the World
Powderfinger - Vulture Street
At Sea - Malfunctioning Teleprompter
The Morning After Girls - The Morning After GIrls
Depeche Mode - A Broken Frame
7 World Collide - Neil Finn and Friends live at the St James
Ben Lee - Awake is the New Sleep
ESN - Stop Motion
End of Fashion - Rough Diamond/Anything Goes EP
78 Saab - Crossed Lines (2 of these)
Cartman - Go!
The Morning Birds - Visiting Skin
1704 - Gelbison
Disaster Plan - Reality Correctors One Through Twelve
Rhubarb - Stop Motion
Wolfmother - Wolfmother EP
Mogwai - Happy Songs for Happy People
Speedstar - Forget the Sun Just Hold On
Alex Lloyd - Black the Sun Ep
Jim O'Rourke - Insignificance
Bunky - Born to be a Motorcycle
Adam Cole and the Pollen Choir -Red Sky Morning
Adam Cole - Like Endora
Kaiser Chiefs - Yours Truly, Angry Mob
Stina Nordenstam - The World is Saved
Fourth Floor Collapse - Made Believe
Jebediah & Jimmy Eat World - Split EP
Gary Jules - Trading Snakeoil for Wolftickets
Rocket Science - Contact High
The Reservations - Last Impressions
The Duke Spirit - Cuts Across the Land
Elbow - Cast of Thousands
I want a Hovercraft - I want a Hovercraft
David Bridie - Hotel Radio
Sleepy Jackson - Lovers
Franz Ferdinand - Franz Ferdinand

What to Sew?

So Mum's agreed to teach me how to sew (yay!) and said I should start thinking about what I want to make. She threw around the suggestion of a jacket - eep! she clearly has unrealistic expectations of my ability!!

I read alot of craft blogs, and they all have lots of cute things on them, but genenrally they're pretty ornamental. I'm thinking I'd like to make something functional, like a skirt, or an apron or something (although I have two aprons already).

Could anyone point me to some cool, free patterns on the net?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

What men want

Help! I need to buy my brother a Christmas present and I'm all out of ideas...

His birthday was late Sept, and I got him a fairtrade soccer ball from Oxfam. That was my last good idea... now? None. Nudda. Nothing. Last Christmas, I think I got him a knockbox for his coffee machine. The one before that, I think some DVDs.

He's 26, lives in a bachelor pad, likes sport, wine, partying and doing boy-things.


What are you getting people for Christmas?

I've bought dad some Blueray Discs, because he got a blue ray machine thingo for his birthday last month. And I'm giving mum some Japanese Sencha Green tea, because she loved it in Japan, but can't find it in the shops (I bought some online) and maybe a babushka doll, because she's started collecting them.

But brothers, eek they're so hard to buy for!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Update on the CD-selling situation

I posted a while back about wanting to sell some CDs and books. On the weekend I walked around Newtown trying to sell my CDs. okay that sounds dramatic... I really just visited two second hand cd shops.

The first was Egg Records. I took in probably around 80 - 100 cds, and he picked 17 of them. I was suprised by his choices, but was quite happy when he offered $65 for them! It came in handy this week with moving/cleaning costs. I thought he would've just said give me the lot and I'll pay you $x, but no, he selected 17 particular cds.. ones with the least amount of scratches and most saleable.

Because he hadn't taken them all, I took them down to Repressed Records which is on King Street, down near the Performing arts high school. They didn't want any of them, so I still have quite a large bunch of cds I'd like to offload. I haven't tried the books yet, but I think i'll put it on my to-do list this weekend.


So we're in - definitely not completely unpacked, but there is at least a little bit of space to function.

It's strange how much moving house changes your routines/habits. I'm feeling all out of whack having spent so much time doing very practical things. On Sunday Jo and I realised we hadn't had any recreation time in about 5 days, which explained our utter exhaustion and short fuses. When we figured that out we just stopped and did nothing for an hour in the afternoon.

The layout too, has me out of whack. Not having my computer in the living room (hence the lack of blogging), and not having all the rooms come off the main living room means I'm still working out where I hang out in my downtime. Our new place is more like a half-house, so it's long, and has separate rooms. I much prefer it, but it's weird!

We're without gas until Wednesday, which means no stovetop or oven to use, which makes it feel like we've been in transit for a week, eating strange microwavable food and carrying boxes like there's no tomorrow.

On the up side, we had our bond inspection today, and finally cleared the last of our stuff from the D.Hizzle (Dulwich Hill) apartment. It was like a monkey off our back when the agent said the place was fine and wouldn't claim on our bond. What a relief.

We're still living in a sea of boxes at the moment, but I'm sure it'll feel like home soon enough.

It was pretty awesome today to walk to the office in less than five minutes. I also had dinner at a friend's house, which was even closer! Sweeeeeet.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

So close..

Only one more day of running up and down stairs with heavy boxes, and then the trucks come to move our furniture...

We met our neighbours today - in one day we spoke with them for longer than we have with any of our current neighbours over the last 12 months. I think living in a small block is going to be great.

I won't be sad to say goodbye to the four flights of stairs at our current place either...

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Church update

Our church is being expanded at the moment to create an auditorium double the size, rooms to hold meetings mid-week and on Sundays that doesn't have splinters and gets to minus five in the winter (like the old hall), and a purpose-built office which isn't filled with religious artefacts and dust (like the old "office"). It's pretty exciting. And lots of it will be glass... purty.

Anyway, Dominic took us on a tour today, so I snapped a couple of shots. Here are two.

This is taken from where the front of the church will be. It will be glass, and you will see into the front room where creche and bible studies and whatever other ministries will take place, plus a kitchen/cafe style. The giant pillars behind are where the auditorium will end, and the morning tea breakout area begins.

This is the interior of the church, and you can see the whole back wall has been demolished! This is where the expansion will take place. In the future, the speaker will stand on the left hand side. Somewhere in there are our purple couches covered in dust.. oops


I really only have one 'thing' on my Christmas list this year, the novel Wanting by Richard Flanagan.

I've developed a bit of a penchant for novels set in the 19th and 20th centuries, particularly for those set in Australia during the early period of colonisation.

From what I've read, Wanting follows the story of a Tasmanian aboriginal girl who is adopted and then abandoned by Sir John Franklin, the famous explorer. It also weaves in the story of Charles Dickens, because he turned the story of Franklin's arctic exploration into a play, called The Frozen Deep.

I think it sounds fascinating.

Other than that all I can hope this Christmas is quality time with family, and a joyful celebration of Jesus humbling himself to walk this earth.


We had a couple of blokes come help us move a lot of our belongings into our new apartment today and we got quite a lot done!

I'll be sad to leave the 'Sham, but really, i'm just moving to another 'Sham down the road. So it's all good.

We put in a few cockroach baits as well, because this new apartment is a lot older, and already we've witnessed a few cockies. shudder! Hopefully the baits keep them at bay for a few months.

Still quite a bit more to move over before the removalists come on friday to get the furniture... then cleaning on saturday, and carpet cleaning on monday. Moving is such a pain! Soon though, it'll all be done.


I've got a couple of weeks off after Christmas, and I've decided I'm going to take the plunge and learn to sew.

So many of the projects I read about on craft blogs involve sewing, even if very simple. While I learned to sew in highschool, I haven't done it in years and have no skills... I figure if I can knit, I can sew!

Any tips?

ps. Image is from Secret Lentil, on Flickr

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Rollercoaster of emotions

What a week. I left last Saturday for a 9-day conference with the students from Christians in the Media, and got back this afternoon. The conference was fantastic, and i'm all fired up, it was so cool to meet students from all over the South Pacific. I really loved the Fijians and their "coconut time"...

But that's not all..

On Wednesday, driving back from Canberra to Sydney for the second leg of the conference, my car broke down on the M5... five hours later the car had been seen by the NRMA, towed to a mechanics and I was at our accomodation. But it was a long five hours. I had needed to go to the toilet when we broke down, and I didn't get to go until I arrived in Arncliffe... what a feat! Amazingly, all that was wrong was a busted hose, which was relatively cheap and easy to fix.

Then on Thursday, our real estate agents called and asked if they could hold and open house inspection at our place on Saturday. My first reaction was NO! Jo and I were both away this week, there were boxes everywhere and dirty dishes etc... but the real estate agent was really horrible and manipulative. She made threats and basically cornered us into saying yes. I have no idea what they thought when they came through a house filled with boxes, but oh well I guess it's not our problem. Still no fun that we're dealing with such mean agents...

We move house this Friday, so this week is packing and more packing. Hoping it's not too painful...