Thursday, July 26, 2007
There were half hour demonstrations of lots of products and techniques, and there were so many products, I was astounded. My favorite was specially treated fabric with paper backing in A4 size which can be put in an ordinary inkjet printer. Photos, graphics, text etc can be printed onto fabric and then sewn into a project. Most people there would have been thinking "quilts", but I was thinking "fabric covered books". There was something for everyone and I'll certainly be going to more of these crafty events.
*Jeff's Shed is Melbourne's Exhibition Centre, nicknamed after the 1990s premier of Victoria, Jeff Kennett. The shed is an important place in the life of the Australian male, where he can retreat to, to tinker with bits of wood, metal and the like. It is a tragedy for the Man Who Cooks that there is no shed in our garden. He has to make do with part of the rumpus room.
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Go to ImageShack® to Create your own Slideshow
Friday, July 20, 2007
Now I know that shared blog lists are the obvious way of bringing bloggers together, but what strikes me is that there seems to be a defined community of us, a tiny part of that huge world of blog communities 'out there'. We are finding each other amongst millions of blogs, and pretty much sticking together and that this community is not expanding that fast, considering all that's 'out there'. Is it just me, or does anyone else find this an interesting phenomenon, am I stating the obvious, totally out of it? Hello, are you still there?
We will not be here for the weekend, leaving tonight for the country and staying in our favorite Castlemaine accommodation, the Campbell St Lodge, for two nights. We've booked one of the two rooms on the upper floor, views over the town. Bliss!
Saturday morning will see us do our ritual visit to the library, then the art gallery, and Sunday will be taken up with a long hike in the Wombat Forest with the Great Dividing Trail Association group, which we've just joined. Will catch up with your blogs Sunday evening.
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
- sit at home in front of the TV?
- crank the heating up and get out extra blankets?
- put on extra layers of clothing?
- get stuck into the whiskey?
- all of the above?
- none of the above?
The tours are being conducted on Tuesday evenings while the current exhibition of Spooks: Stories of Haunted Melbourne is on at Melbourne's City Museum. I am a great fan of this museum, which is in the lovely Treasury Building (designed by a 19-year-old in the 19th century) to store the gold from the gold rush. Melburnians and visitors to our city would do well to spend some time in this museum, looking at the various exhibitions, the gold vaults, continuously running video of old trams (a Val favorite), and much more. Oh, and the Treasury Building is haunted too...
*a wonderful Aussie word meaning "a long time"; usage also indicates laziness at looking up the exact length of time elapsed since it was this cold
Monday, July 16, 2007
The Man Who Cooks inspecting our new addition to the family. The lower pipe is for the overflow when the tank reaches capacity. It's an optical illusion that makes it seem that the pipe is going uphill...
We park the cars in front of the moveable fence which is on castors.
Saturday, July 14, 2007
Since the return of Techie Son in June I've had to move all my craft stuff back into my study. This room had been well set up for when I was working when I needed a desk. But as a craft room it was useless. So I moved my desk out to the kitchen/family room area, and replaced it with a table with adjustable height and a stool, so I can work standing or sitting. It is working very well for me.
Beyond the chair on the floor is my tool box, and above that are two trays that are designed to fix onto the table legs and rotate out of the way and for easy access when you need stuff. Table, chair and trays were bought at Ikea which I braved for the first time for this project.
This is a small room (just over 3 x 2 metres = 10 x 6.5 feet) but has a built in wardrobe with 4 large drawers. One of the drawers is used for storing SOME of the paper I have, and I'm using all the area above the drawers and on the upper shelf for my craft things.
My craft room is the mirror image of the Man Who Cooks' study on the other side of the wall with the wardrobe in it, and was designed by the original owners to allow the wall to be removed to make one larger room. However, dear readers, I am now reluctant to even entertain such an idea, as I'm SO happy with this room.
This is a new acquisition, a trimmer I got on sale this week. Not only does it cut in a straight line, but also a wavy line and does perforations. I've always wanted to be able to do that so I can make notebooks with pages that can easily be removed. It also has a scoring wheel to make crisp folds. It's brilliant! But can anyone tell me what those arcs are for? I'm sure they're meant to do something useful.
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
How do you take your coffee/tea?
This is from Stu out in Western Australia. I have strong feelings about my coffee, so this meme is ideal for me.
Whether you're a coffee or tea drinker, you too might have fun answering the questions and posting a photo of your favorite coffee cup or mug.
What's your preference - coffee or tea?
Mine is definitely coffee. "Regular" tea makes me cough (something to do with the tannin?), but I do like peppermint tea.
Instant or Brewed?
Instant coffee is a contradiction in terms for us. And it has to be filter coffee, none of this new fangled plunger stuff for us. When we go on holiday, we make sure beforehand what the coffee making facilities there are like, and if necessary bring our own filter and other equipment, even on the train to Adelaide.
How do you take it?
Black. The Man Who Cooks weaned me off the tiny splash of milk I used to put in it, and now HE drinks lattes! (but only when he goes to a cafe).
For coffee we use the cups and saucers that go with our every day dinner set. I use a couple of mugs for my afternoon tea, both from my library days.
How many will you enjoy during a normal day?
I used to drink a lot more, especially when I was living in Germany years ago - they used to call me the Kaffee-Tante (coffee aunt). But now I have my two strong cups in the morning and will rarely have coffee after that.
Does it matter if you don't start the day with a coffee/tea?
Absolutely!! I do not venture outside the house without first having my morning coffee. This has two implications:
- I am not a candidate for going out for breakfast. This fits well with my preference for having my breakfast while still in pajamas.
- When I have to fast before having a cholesterol check, I am an absolute wreck until I get the all clear to have breakfast and coffee. Just don't get in my way on those mornings.
Monday, July 09, 2007
In the meantime I guess I had better try to upload some photos I took in the Barossa Valley. I hope Blogger is co-operating tonight.
In the last post I mentioned that the Barossa Valley was settled by Germans in the 19th century. When we were last here in 1990, evidence of German heritage was still quite strong. However, that seems to have diminished in the intervening years. German restaurants and bakeries are rare now, and there are only 2 butchers left producing the traditional German sausages and other smallgoods. We did manage to find a bakery that made those beautiful large soft pretzels with the large salt grains on them. I could eat them daily. Here we are at a lookout above the valley, brandishing our pretzels. MIL really got into the spirit of things.
It was a bit too breezy for our picnic though, so we retreated to the hoon-mobile we hired. What a lurid color! But it seemed to be quite a popular car color around Adelaide, we saw it frequently. You might just be able to see the MWC and MIL sitting in the back seat getting ready to eat lunch. We had a panoramic view of the Barossa Valley from here.
This church and cemetery has a very German look to it, and there are churches everywhere. Very picturesque.
We also saw a number of thatched roof buildings.
One memory I had of our previous trip to Adelaide and the Barossa was of our young sons' joy in visiting Gumeracha, home of the largest rocking horse in the southern hemisphere and where you could climb to the top. There is a toy factory and shop next to it which specialises in wooden toys. It was also where I finally relented and bought them old fashioned wooden pop guns. (I had never let them have toy guns before). I'll never forget their happy little faces. For nostalgia's sake, I bought them each a pop gun and I think they were both tickled by that. Occasionally I hear the gentle pop of a pop gun coming from their bedrooms. Remember, they're 20 and 22 years old!
The Barossa is famous for its wines, and vineyards fill a lot of the landscape. We did a tour of the Seppelts winery, founded by a Prussian. There are thousands of date palms throughout the property. The Seppelts developed a scheme for their employees to plant the palms during the Depression, so they could remain employed. Unfortunately the business is no longer in family ownership.
An unexpected highlight for me of our trip to the Barossa was practically right across the street from where we were staying. The owner of a craft shop was retiring and selling all her stock at great discounts. I bought stamps, embossing powders, stickers, paper, glitter and a craft punch at a fraction of what it would normally cost. I was a happy camper.
Sunday, July 01, 2007
Inside the conservatory, filled with palmsBicentenary conservatory, containing a whole rainforest
Inside the conservatory. These were aerial roots that seemed to be translucent.
We visited the excellent art gallery (current exhibition is the Egyptian collection from the Louvre). Next door was the museum which had an exhibition on the Middle Eastern cameleers who came to Australia in the 19th century when camels were used to cross the vast inland deserts on explorations. And next door to that was the South Australian State Library, both new and old buildings. I preferred the oldest building, although I wish they didn't have that flag hanging in the middle. Still, I think you get the idea. Now THAT was a library building.
We hired a car and drove up to the Barossa Valley. But that's for another day.