29 July 2008

kitty chaos

Introducing Tifa, the silver tabby. My brother Ramon and his girlfriend Aya have gone to Japan for at least a year teaching English and have asked us to take in their little kitty. There was a lot of 'um-ing' and 'ah-ing' but we gave in and said yes.

She's very cute but extremely shy, and quite put out about being in a strange house with strange people. But then, wouldn't we all? I think the biggest problem is that this house belongs to another cat, who has been making her presence felt. Not in a bad way though, well, there hasn't been a proper cat fight yet.....

It's been interesting to watch Gracie's reaction. Normally she sleeps on the lounge room couch, but now it's our bed, sorry, her bed with her staff. Although apart from this she's behaving rather normal. :) very proud of my little girl!

Tifa has been set up in the spare bedroom with all her mod-cons - kitty carrier (shown above), bed, litter box and food, except that she's chosen to hide/sleep in the cooler bag that sits on top of the wardrobe and after Sunday night, rarely leaves the room. At least she's not trying to escape and run away.

I think our Miss Lucy has been feeling left out, which is absolute tosh as she gets walked every day and receives plenty of attention. Anyway, it's probably because she's been told she's not allowed in the spare room. So yesterday while I was at work our neighbour had to call the council to come around and cut her free from the iron fence at the side of the house, where she got her head wedged and made a loud fuss. Silly girl, she's done this before but always managed to extract her head but takes her collar off in the process. For some reason she thinks she can squeeze underneath, but that concrete in the ground ain't moving for no one! I've cable tied some strong steel mesh there now, hopefully this has solved the problem. I also let her inside the spare room this morning while Tifa was oblivious in the cooler bag, this seemed to cheer up Lucy a lot. We can only hope......

25 July 2008

friday fluff

Originally uploaded by Flexiblelove.

This was one of the things that impressed us at Furnitex. Made of cardboard in a honeycomb weave, it has 2 wooden ends and can be flexed into many shapes. It neatly squashes up to be about 22cm (8.5") wide for easy storage.

Naturally you wouldn't want to leave it outside in the rain, unless you want papier mache, and we noticed that the cardboard collapses a little on the top from where people have sat on it. We did try it out and was surprised at how supportive it is.

Mind you, I'm not prepared to cough up $699 (Australian) for it!

23 July 2008

catching up

We've been back from Melbourne for 2 days, and as much as I love going away I just feel exhausted right now. Catching up with washing (4 loads!), catching up with ironing, catching up with groceries, catching up with emails and catching up with blogland. I'll just tear away the slaving housewife persona now and take a few more sips of this lovely shiraz beside me......
How's that for a ceiling? It's the auditorium of the National Gallery of Victoria. Countless school trips and personal excursions later, I still find this place wonderful - a great collection of artwork has been amassed and, like any good gallery, displays them at their best.

The main reason we went was for the special exhibition commemorating the Art Deco era. Well, what can I say - how many adjectives do you want to hear? Awed, enchanted, inspired and pure pleasure at what I saw. The exhibition really showcased the extravagances of the era, yet simple lines and fine details were all that was needed. You could really see how they rebelled against the cluttered Victorianisms of furnishing and fashion.
Cloche hat (c. 1925) by Kilpin Ltd London. Straw, felt and velvet applique.
This hat was one of many clothing items I drooled over, and yes - gives me some inspiration too.

And this fabric!

Furnishing fabric, linen (c. 1920) by Raoul Dufy. Manufactured by Fianchini-Ferier, Lyon, France.
What a boon! I actually sketched (thanks for the idea Alice!) the blue leaf in the centre, then fortunately came across these postcards in the giftshop afterwards. Even one of the dress fabrics had been reproduced and you could buy scraves (oops! scarves), bags and ..... um, something else - beautiful but too expensive for tight arse me.

But wait, there's more! Thursday was pretty much Furnitex and meetings with Ant's suppliers. I did come away from there with a couple of inspirations, I'll share these later.

Friday Ant went back to Furnitex and I did my own thing. Trundling along Brunswick Street Fitzroy I soon came to Meet Me at Mikes, unfortunately Pip was away but I had a lovely chat with her other half, and he pointed out some other places to go. I explored Brunswick Street a bit more before jumping on a tram and heading to North Melbourne and Kids in Berlin, but more importantly - the Thread Den, man I love this place!! How cool is it to have a shop that sells original (hand made) clothes, vintage clothes, fabric and patterns, PLUS has it's own sewing lounge! I could have done some real damage to the credit card, but was a good girl and only came away with some vintage tweed fabric - one light brown and the other grey with a blue fleck, as well as a vintage pattern and buttons. Mmmmm, yummy......

Saturday morning Ant and I 'regrouped' to check out the Rose Street Market in Fitzroy, full of lovely hand made stuff. I saw some great Matt bags, and came across Anna Laura's stall, but didn't have time to chat. *sigh*

So Saturday arvo saw us heading to Geelong to visit family for a catch up, and back to Melbourne on Sunday night. Monday morning was the Art Deco exhibition and the afternoon was spent in Bridge Road Richmond - where a lot of the factory outlets are. We're pretty tame as far as clothes shopping goes, but we always manage to find nice pieces that last, plus the odd bit of cheap tat that you wouldn't want to last for more than a season anyway.

So yeah, we had a great time and very productive to boot. Next time I'm in Melbourne I hope Lara, Bianca and Tegan's new enterprise is up and running, how exciting is that!


16 July 2008

I'm leaving on a jet plane .....

We're off to Melbourne tomorrow for 5 whole days, it's going to be ace.
It's partly for business too. Ant's work is sending him to the Furnitex trade fair, but I like checking it out too - a good place to gather inspiration and ideas. I'm also hoping to finally meet Mike!

14 July 2008

farewell to a faithful friend

The dear old cream Brumby has hauled it's last load of oysters up from the shore.

The photo above was taken about 18 months ago, during it's better days - rust and all. These little utes (pronounced 'yute' - short for utility vehicle, 'pickup truck' to the rest of the world) are so incredibly good for the terrain they have to traverse just to get from the shore to the campsite where we grade our stock and prepare our harvest. Back and forth they trundle, easily slipping into 4WD as required despite growing rust and wear.

However, on Saturday the cream one died. Well, got stuck in second gear, has supports in the rear axle rusted through as well along the exhaust so it sounded like an eighteen wheeler truck. Unfortunately the white one, seen in the background of the top photo, is not too good either. It doesn't have as much rust (yet) but has lost it's front wheel drive. Therefore it has to be driven in four wheel drive which really only means rear wheel drive, make sense? Thought so....
Now these cars are known as Brats to the rest of the world. They're called Brumbies here after the wild mountain horses found in the Victorian and New South Wales highlands, I've found a bit of a history lesson here for those wanting to know more. I love the fact that Subaru gave it a name that appealed to a sense of Australianism.

So you may be thinking "why be so sentimental about a crappy old ute?". My answer is that you won't know until you've used one. Ant's had them on and off since he was about 22 (I think), as each one becomes un-roadworthy they are 'retired' to the oyster lease, and for our method of farming you couldn't ask for a better vehicle.

We still have the red Brumby, hopefully it will be a long time before it becomes a 'lease vehicle'.

11 July 2008

friday fluff

On my mantel -

There's a few bloggers out there who do 'on my desk'. My desk isn't interesting enough so we're looking at my lounge room mantel instead.

Tara and her partner Rainier are currently travelling around France. She's a prolific postcard writer and these are the 3 I've received so far, love the one of the old lady with the cat on her back. Tara said it reminded her of me - ha ha haaaaar....

The tractor is one of Ant's prized posessions, a proper Tonka tractor with a trailer (just out of frame). Even as a boy Ant knew this little tractor was worth preserving so it's in excellent condition. It is a shame that these days the Tonka toys are plastic - just not the same.

So, this weekend we're off to Bruny for the first time in a while. We don't get down there much during winter as there's no tides low enough during the day for us to access the stock, it is nice to have this break as once spring begins we're back into it almost every weekend - harvesting right up to Christmas.

Hopefully on Sunday we'll have time for some scallop diving as well. Yum.

08 July 2008

more Pippijoe love

A couple more bags for Cocoon. I'm so loving the nest fabric, which is available at Etsy along with other goodies. I've also done a wee handbag, the long strap attached to the back of the bag slips through a d-ring on the front. Not sure how this one will go but it's worth a try.
And for something a little different, the lovely Marlene is having a giveaway. I could be cheeky and not tell anyone so there'd be more chances for me to win, but in the end I like healthy competition. Knowing my luck though, Cathy will probably win this one as well! :o)

Oh and before I forget again, the bike's name is Charlotte.

04 July 2008

friday fluff

You're The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe!

by C.S. Lewis

You were just looking for some decent clothes when everything changed quite dramatically. For the better or for the worse, it is still hard to tell. Now it seems like winter will never end and you feel cursed. Soon there will be an epic struggle between two forces in your life and you are very concerned about a betrayal that could turn the balance. If this makes it sound like you're re-enacting Christian theological events, that may or may not be coincidence. When in doubt, put your trust in zoo animals.

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

My sister Shannon had this one on her blog. Most of us who did the quiz didn't really agree with our answers, but I told Shannon that is was a nice bit of Friday Fluff. Hence the idea. Now the challenge is on to come up with a bit of fluff each Friday, should be good for a laugh.

So which book are you?

02 July 2008

a nice diversion

Here's the new addition to the Brock stables, isn't she pretty?! Only picked up today, she's a Giant Cypress City. I chose her because of the mud guards and chain guard, and the fact that she's a cross between a mountain bike and city bike. She wasn't cheap and she wasn't expensive either, but this didn't stop me from feeling guilty after I got home. So much money!!! So I scrubbed the bathroom and vacuumed the floors as some sort of atonement, never stopping to think of all the money a bike saves on fuel and how good it is for my health etc etc etc.

I did have to get a mens version (19"), as the ladies only went to a 17". Bit silly really as I'm only slightly taller than average (5'8" or 174cm - I think), so does this mean that Giant think only short-arse women ride bikes? Anyway, this baby is definitely a girl. I'm just having a hard time coming up with a name ....... because she has to have a name.

Whenever I've adopted an animal they've never had a name, or a name that never made it to the pound. So they've quite happily told me what it should be. Rufus was the most amazing, it wasn't a name I had even considered but when I was getting to know him as a contender for adoption I asked him what his name was - and he told me. It couldn't be anything but Rufus.

However this girlie aludes me and I'm asking for help. Got any suggestions? I was even allowed to name the Mini Moke - Morton. This is the thing, the name usually jumps at me. I'm glad Anthony hasn't suggested any, he usually comes up with silly ones like naming the boat Candace. No offence my love.