Sunday, October 31, 2010

blogtober day 31 - the finish line

Just a quick note to say goodbye to Blogtober - it's been a challenge for me, though I think I did better than I expected (having just missed 1 day - in the final week!).

I've enjoyed writing posts about things I hadn't written about before, and learning new things (I'm really enjoying making animations now!). It's been nice to discover some new favourite blogs - and to meet a few lovely blog friends in real life too!

Right now, though, I think I'll be slowing down again for a little while, and enjoying the chance to blog when I have an idea, rather than being driven to find one - though I think I really benefited from that motivation too!

I've got a busy work month ahead - including presenting a paper at a conference, for the first time in years, so if I go missing for a while, don't worry - I'll probably just be using the dreaded Powerpoint instead of Blogger.

Best wishes, stay warm (or cool, depending on where you live!) and see you soon!

flea market finds

Last Sunday was Flea Market Find of the Year day... I showed my favourites, but these would have been up there if my family had a say...

Find one - daughter's choice...

there was a linen sale last week at one of our local op shops (her favourite, the one near the bakery...) and they had a collection of aprons for sale for 50c. She chose this one, and wore it, as a dress over her clothes, out of the shop and for most of the day. She loved announcing that she only cost 50c, and would only answer to the name "Absolute Bargain" when wearing it.

Find two - husband's choice...

we went to a market last weekend and left husband / dad at home for a break. On the way home, we found a second hand book sale and picked this up for him - it was given to us for free with the other books we got, because it was "a bit old"...

he loves it - Star Wars and Graphic Novel is a winning combination for him - and it might actually be worth a bit of money, if ebay is any guide...

I'll be back later to celebrate the end of Blogtober (and to get my post count for the month up to 31 since I missed a day earlier this week... obsessive? me?)

Saturday, October 30, 2010

reverse finds (and giveaway winners)

So as to distract you from the mess that is to follow, I drew the winners from my giveaway... they are Gill, The Clip Cafe, and Alison... the only problem is, they all want the red set... so there will be some emails and negotiations to try and make sure everyone is happy!

In other news... this is what our couch looked like the other day. Caused by a mixture of falling way behind in the laundry due to work / illness / disinterest, and of not actually having space in wardrobes and cupboards to fit everything.

So, with the somewhat better drying weather (some days, anyway), I've been working my way through the cleaning - but pausing at the putting away stage to see if I can part with anything. I've managed to send one big bag off to the oppie so far.

Any decluttering / clearing out / giving away going on at your place? Join in with your own reverse finds link below - open all week.

Friday, October 29, 2010

animation friday - I made a skirt!

animated gif maker
Animated gif maker

It turned out I did get to make a skirt yesterday after all. Not out of sheets - they were needed for other pursuits - but from a top that had been travelling between my sisters, trying to find a body it fitted (it didn't). It got rescued from the op shop bag and, with just a bit of cutting, and a few minutes of sewing (and a few more minutes of unpicking - first to remove the zip, then to fix my first attempt at the casing), it became a skirt - hooray!

For more Animation Friday, see My Poppet.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

my creative space

I gathered up a few sheets today, with plans to cut out and make a skirt or two.

She had other ideas...

Oh well, if you can't beat 'em , join 'em - anyone for vegemite hearts?

Pop over to Kootoyoo for more creative spaces.

PS: missed a post yesterday - sleeping when I should have been blogging... (think I made the right choice in the end!)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

4 things... thanks Cath!

4 things I (almost) always carry
  1. lip balm
  2. eye drops
  3. a "miniscule muesli bar"
  4. a pencil - of the ikea kind

4 things that are in my bedroom
  1. a growing stack of vintage sheets (want to win a bit? see here...)
  2. unpainted walls (we got as far as stripping off the falling-apart wallpaper...)
  3. my sewing machine - on top of a tall cupboard
  4. a torch

4 things that I would like to do but haven't done yet
  1. go to Egypt
  2. get all the laundry done (OK, I know I must have done this at some stage in the past, but it seems a long time ago!)
  3. make pasta from scratch (idea from Megan, thank you!)
  4. paint our bedroom walls

4 things you don't know about me
  1. my dad is a Nobel Peace Prize winner (OK, slight overstatement - he's a member of an organisation - International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War - that received the prize in the 1980's)
  2. I was once crowned (or "sashed" actually) Miss Junior Showgirl at our local agricultural show - the only time I went home from the show with more money than when I arrived...
  3. I was once hit in the eye(sorry Cath!) with a rubber band... at an Occupational Health and Safety Meeting... yes, I can see the funny side now!
  4. I love it when I get to take public transport (which is not every day, otherwise I'm sure my attitude would be different!). I love being able to read /think / relax and get somewhere at the same time!
4 things I often wonder

  1. what would be better - a bigger house, or less stuff? Currently trying for less stuff, which is proving to be hard work!
  2. whether my incredibly long winded - but generally accurate - answers to my daughter's questions about how things work are better or worse than one line explanations.
  3. how I got to the end of October without doing my tax - normally I have it done by the end of July...
  4. what's for dinner?
Thanks Cath for a fun meme, and a fun way to help us through the last few days of Blogtober...

Monday, October 25, 2010

much love monday

By happy accident, I made heart shaped sultana pancakes with cinnamon sugar yesterday, so I have the perfect excuse to join in Much Love Monday...

celebrating a happy weekend of finding time for myself, giving my husband some time to himself, and enjoying some really nice all together time too...

Sunday, October 24, 2010

flea market finds

Sophie has made today Flea Market Find of the Year day!

I've cheated a bit, with more than one item - but Sophie showed a collection of her favourites, so I've decided that it must be OK!

I chose two things that go together, that in some ways represent how I've changed during the nearly six months since I started blogging - first, a sewing machine table I found a couple of months ago (that needs a little fixing). Soon it will be part of a dedicated sewing space to help me make making a regular part of life...

Next, a vintage quilt cover and sheet set I found this week. I never would have thought a year ago that I would find pleasure in packing up old plain sheets to donate to the op shop, and coming home with vintage floral sheets... or that I'd be willing to be photographed "wearing" a floral quilt cover and posting it on the internet...

I'm looking forward to seeing everyone's favourite finds over at Her Library Adventures...

Saturday, October 23, 2010

to market, to market...

I took a break from my usual reverse finding today (but if you're still keen, the linky - and giveaway - from last week are still open until next Friday...), to have some market going fun... on my own... for a good few hours.... bliss!

I can't show you what I bought, as I mainly gathered up presents for Christmas, but I did get to visit some stalls by a few amazing bloggers: Jess of Teddy Bears Wednesday, Cathie (m.e.), Buttons by Lou Lou, Little Cooties, and Emily Green, whose works I'd never seen before.

Oh, and this pig is wrapped up in the tape that Jess used to wrap up my little purchases from her stall... my girl thinks that I was out for most of the day, and all I came home with was this tape, and some sweet and lovely treats from the sweet and lovely Cathie... and she doesn't mind at all!

I'm hoping to hit another market tomorrow - this time with my family. Hope you're having a fun weekend too!

Friday, October 22, 2010

animation friday (kiva)

Kiva - loans that change lives

OK, so this is really cheating - it's an animation, but I didn't make it.

I found out about Kiva through Cath of chunkychooky - and after a month or so of thinking about it, I've joined in, and made my first Kiva loan.

Want to learn about Kiva? Read about it here, or see Cath's post about it for a good summary. It's basically an online platform to support microlending to people in (mainly) developing countries - helping people to start or build their businesses to help themselves, their families and their communities. All it takes is $25US (which right now is basically $25AUD!) to become a lender. You can decide where to send your money (and can read about the field partners who administer the loan to ensure you're happy with their credentials too). Once the loan is repaid, you can decide whether to withdraw your money or re-loan it to someone else.

Want to join up? Why not join Cath's team - Crafty Bloggers. I have! Hooray!

Just send her an email... and Cath reminded me to tell you, you don't even have to make a loan straight away when you join the team - you can join up, and find out how things work first.

Playing along with Animation Friday (sorry, Cintia, I cheated!).

Thursday, October 21, 2010

my creative space

Once again, I am claiming the work of another artist ("no, mum, my name is 'Miss Artist' today") for my creative space. Hopefully some grown up creating will happen some day soon...

Creative space heaven over here...

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

wordless wednesday

more wordless wednesday here...

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

because we like dinosaurs...

because we really like dinosaurs, we really liked these two discoveries in blogland...

first, this song about paleontologists from They Might Be Giants, thanks to Hazelnuts... we've enjoyed discovering lots of their other songs too!

then, this post from Buttons by Lou Lou about dinosaur craft (not that we've done any yet:))

thank you!

Monday, October 18, 2010

ordinary superpowers - blogtober day 18

Lately we've been spending a bit of time at our house with squares of fabric tied around our necks - yes, we are now a family of superheroes! When I say, "eat up your food, you need lots of energy", she says "yes, I need lots of power," and when something is hot, she uses her "super strong breath" to cool it down.

This got me thinking - what are my superpowers? What are the things I am good at?

This is not something I think about a lot... I could easily give you a list of things I am NOT great at...

so here goes - some of my ordinary superpowers...

the power to use imagination and stories to (sometimes) convince this girl of ours to eat something, wear something or do something she doesn't want to do (drawing on her great love of being characters from stories)...

the power to come up with something to eat using only random stuff in our house (partly because sometimes I just don't want to go to the shops!)

the power to be thinking superhero thoughts on the same day as Ms Superpops herself (check out her post for today!).

So, what's your ordinary superpower?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

flea market finds

In the interests of blog honesty, I went op-shopping last weekend - when I was supposed to be staying away... woolf - you noticed my admission last week, so here are some (yes, some - I forgot to photograph a couple of things) of the things that came home.

True story... when I saw this toy iron, and said "Oh look, it's an iron," my daughter loudly asked "Mum, what's an iron?" in front of a number of amused women... luckily one kind older woman turned to me and said "don't worry, nobody irons much these days..."

Once again the button drawers were opened (by the daughter who loves op shops as much as me) and these treasures were found - do you love the man with an eye patch too (you can click on the photo for a better look at him)?

More treasures to be uncovered at Sophie's.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

reverse finds - a giveaway

I've hit a bit of a reverse finds wall - feeling indecisive, and lacking confidence to follow through on my plans and ideas. A prime example is my vintage sheet and fabric collection. I have enough to call a "stash" now, with some special bits and some not so special... but I find I can't bear to cut into them to start using them up.

So I'd like your help. How about I hold a giveaway, and give you some fat quarters of fabric / sheets, to get me on the "cut it up and use it up" wagon?

I'll admit, these are from the "not especially special" pile, because I have to start somewhere. They are all used (oh, except for the 2 bits that are fabric and not sheets), and some have fade marks and small stains - but I will do my best to cut around these or give you more fabric to compensate.

I have 3 "sets" to giveaway - a fat quarter of each fabric shown in the set (with possibly a bit more fabric if you have a special favourite that I can manage to part with!)...

the red set (apple sheet - which has some misprints throughout, bear sheet, and a Christmas "panel" - the panel is a rather wonky 40ish x 60ish cm)

the blue set ("japanese" style sheet with coordinating small floral print [trust me, it's there, even though you can't see it!], and bunny / mouse sheet - which has some noticeable fade marks)

the stripe set (rainbow stripe sheet, the other 2 fabrics are, well, fabrics!)

(sorry about the photos - if you live in Melbourne, you'll understand why!)

To enter, leave a comment telling me which is your favourite. While you're there, I'd love some ideas for using up the old bits of sheets that aren't worth sewing with! I'll draw the first 3 winners, and if necessary, email to negotiate who gets what if your preferences don't automatically work out.

You can get bonus entries by being a "follower"(a term that still makes me laugh!), and / or entering your own reverse finds link below (1 entry for each). Reverse finds is a loose concept - basically anything that reduces the clutter in your place really - even by a tiny amount! My old posts are here if you want to see what I mean!

Entries and links are open until Friday 29 October at midnight Australian daylight saving time - I'm going to have a day off next Saturday! I'll announce the winners on Saturday Oct 30.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

animation friday - because it's hard to sleep with a round bottom

Thanks to Cintia's easy instructions, I've made my first animation! Yippee!

I also found a solution to our dolls' "falling out of bed" problem... also handy when camping out (maybe they need a tent?!).

Looking forward to playing along with Animation Friday at My Poppet...

my creative space

my creative space is a work in progress... I was starting to upload my photos, then realised they'd make a fun animation for Animation Friday... so I'm off to learn something new... come back tomorrow to see if it works!

there's always something new to learn at Kirsty's - see you there!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

self portrait

I am exhausted after a crazy few days of my paid work, and was nearly ready to give up on Blogtober... thank you, Tinniegirl, for making today's post a bit easier (even if it did involve taking a picture of my exhausted, but happy-to-be-home self...).

Heaps of self portraits over at the home of Blogtober...

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

in case of emergency...

remove lid.

Making collages with our glue sticks has become one of my favourite "emergency parenting" techniques - the things I can do when everything is going pear-shaped, that (mostly) result in a happier girl (and a happier me).

What are your "emergency parenting" techniques?

Monday, October 11, 2010

a new camera - blogtober day 11

in case you're wondering ... it's not my camera...

it belongs to this very happy photographer

(for $20, I think it's worth it - our "real" camera stays safe, and I get to watch a happy little girl see the world in another way, and make the funniest "photographer faces"...)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

flea market finds

I'm still going through and posting "old" finds I never got around to showing before... in an (unsuccessful) attempt to stay away from the op shops for a little while...

Here are some sheets / pillowcases I found a while ago, and rather like... hopefully I will soon work up the courage to cut up and use them (or maybe to use them just the way they are). Not sure I will be able to convince my husband to use a floral quilt cover though!

Sophie's is the place to link up for more lovely finds...

Saturday, October 9, 2010

reverse finds

I'm late again with reverse finds - sorry (spent a bit too long waiting in the doctors surgery this morning...)!

My contribution to reverse finds is pretty small - after realising yesterday just how many copies of the same book I have, I decided I should try and rationalise a little. After reading Make Mine Mid-Century's lovely comment on my post, I knew where my spare copy should go... I'll send you an email to get your address, MMMC!

(and in case you're wondering how I've decided I only have one spare: one was given to my husband by old workmates, with a special message inside, one was bought by me 2 hours before finding out I was pregnant, and one is in Italian!)

Luckily my husband's done a bit better, with a big box of books to rehome. The question now is sell or donate? We'll be doing some research first to decide if selling's worth our while, I think.

Do you have some reverse finds to show? Join the link below, if you like - you can join up any time during the week.

Friday, October 8, 2010

blogtober day 8 - the book post

I was thinking yesterday, about why I liked using words like "ephemeral", and I started wondering when I first learned and used the word (yeah, I really like words, always have, and I'm not even a teacher / writer / journalist / librarian). I'm not completely sure, but it could be because of this book.

I got this book from my Grade 5 teacher - see, he even wrote me a message. He was one of my favourite teachers - for that year of school, I felt that being one of the "smart ones" was a good thing, and not something to hide. He showed us that there were different ways of doing things - we went on school camp in the city (we lived in a country town, and normally went on camp in other country areas), and met dancers from the Australian Dance Theatre, had break dancing lessons, and visited art galleries.

Anyway, back to the book. This is not an easy book to summarise (if you want to learn about it, try here), but it is a sweet, slightly sad book that for me is about seeing the world through a different perspective - a more child like perspective.

The little prince learns the word "ephemeral" when meets a geographer, and tells him about the rose who lives on his planet. He is told the rose is not important, because it is ephemeral - "in danger of speedy disappearance."He then comes across a garden full of roses, and feels embarrassed that he thought his rose was unique and special. Near the end of his journey on earth, he learns that his rose is unique and important.

"In herself alone she is more important than all the hundreds of you other roses: because it is she that I have watered; because it is she that I have put under the glass globe; because it is she that I have sheltered under the screen; because it is for her that I have killed the caterpillars (except the two or three that we saved to become butterflies); because it is she that I have listened to, when she grumbled, or boasted, or even sometimes when she said nothing. Because she is my rose."

My original copy is well loved, with many a page falling out, so along the way, I've gained some replacements - I just didn't know how many until today's photo shoot! Interestingly, they are all different translations (it was originally written in French). My original copy is the original English translation from the 1940s. The other, more recent translations have apparently "fixed" the mistakes in the original, but I struggle to read them, only wanting to read what I think the words should be from my memory... like my daughter when I accidently miss or substitute a word in a favourite story book.

Maybe I'll need to learn French at more than a "please" and "thank you" level so I can read the original and decide for myself!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

my creative space - the ephemeral dollhouse

I've gone on and on about this dollhouse, haven't I? Not to mention spent much time thinking about decorating options, even wishing I had more hoarded papers to choose from (I know, really...).

Then, I came to a realisation - this is a cardboard dollhouse.

It is, ultimately, designed to be short lived, even disposable. It is also a dollhouse for a small child - a small child who sees "bananas" and "boats" in scraps of fabric or cardboard. It does not have to be perfect, or even finished, to be loved.

So here it is: the ephemeral, happily unfinished dollhouse.

The art room - filled with happy music, loads of natural light from a lovely big window, and inspiration from Leunig and Van Gogh...

The (unchanged) dining room (a buffet might be nice in here)...

The extra - bright kitchen, with wonky stove, wonky lino, and an empty fridge - not for long...

The floral bedroom - with just one bed for 7 dolls...

I wonder what will happen to this house next? The one thing I know is, I won't be the one making the decisions... and it will probably never be "finished".

More creative spaces here.