Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Soothing Sights

It's been a long hard Winter and 2/3 of the way into Spring I think I'm still thawing out. Our days are pretty full and this blog is not the only thing that's been neglected.

I was just having a little perusal through some pretty pictures that I've stashed away in the bowels of this computer and while I gather my thoughts in the lead up to a more informative post, here a some of my favourites to share with you. The pictures are totally random and I never labelled them properly. I'm lazy like that. If any of these pics are yours I give you full credit. I have collected them for their inspiration factor and pure viewing pleasure.

The gorgeous Monica Belluci from The Brothers Grimm

Moopy and Me

Neck warmer by Hyena In Petticoats

Elsa Mora papercut. (Isn't she incredibly clever!)


Red Tara

Barcelona apartment

And there's plenty more where that came from. And again, if I've swiped your pics, I apologize. It's just that they're so yummy.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Sushi Sandwiches

Nori rolls are our standard snack food when we're out and about. Our favourite is raw salmon and avocado for a nice hit of omega 3. Yes, even the kiddies dig that raw salmon.

Today I made Aussie style nori rolls with bread, tuna, avocado, grated carrot and light cream cheese.

It went down a treat.

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Op Shop Gods Were Smiling...

...not on me, but on one of my besties who had the good grace and generosity to hand it over! She has sons and they probably wouldn't wear such a pretty frock and jacket so my 4 and a half year old scored! Big time. This is vintage botanical print swingy sun frock with matching bolero jacket!

Divine yes?

I'll probably change the buttons on the dress for something more delicate.

Even better, the 4 year old is prepared to wear it! (I tried to hide my excitement a little in case it put her off). Just not as a model for my little photo shoot today.

But I do have evidence of swing factor from its first spin.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Teaching an old dog new tricks

Current brain research talks about how the brain is actually far more plastic than previously thought and it turns out that when an area of the brain is damaged, other areas come in to play and have the capacity to take over function.

It got me thinking that with my apparently undamaged brain, maybe I should utilise it a little more and begin with learning some simple new skills. Thanks to my good friend youtube I had a couple of free lessons starting with finger knitting. This topic was chosen first as I was knitting (with needles) a tiny dolls blanket on request this morning. When the bigger of the smalls expressed an interest to have a go I thought of finger knitting as an achievable place to start, providing I learn it too.

And I have photographic evidence of our efforts...

Which led me to try a type of plait that I have now come to know as a fishtail braid; a more interesting version of the humble plait.
And apart from the slight porno feel of this clip, I found it to be the most useful tutorial.

Again, our efforts...

I bet all my Steiner educated friends already have these crafty skills and more tucked away in their bags of tricks ready to use. I may have learned to conjugate French verbs during my grammar school education a skill long forgotten anyway, if ever mastered, but knitting and making really would have come in a lot more handy! So it may be after lunchtime and I may not be showered yet but I have 2 new (modest) skills that I did not have when I woke up this morning. See? You can teach an old dog new tricks!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


By the way, please excuse my blog header. It is trying to eat my blog! When I find a few spare hours to fiddle with Html I'll try to cut it back to a more approachable size.

And no sister, you may not have that jug!

And by the way again, this is what my MIL or should I say MOL says I look like.

And this is what I actually look like.

Nuff said. The end.

Dazed and Confused

Alongside the windy, icy, rainy weather I'm having quite an unsettled week. I am still recovering from a wild and uncalled for dummy spit by the mother outlaw who over the years has proven herself to be quite prone to these tanties. She gives the grandchildren a run for their money, that's for sure, and is unrivaled in her need for attention and praise. The baby daddy and I have literally had unsettled stomachs and trouble sleeping ever since the episode and frankly it all feels unresolved and unresolvable. There is no point going into details here but I feel we have reached an impass based on clashing personalities and different ideas on what is acceptable behaviour.

I am questioning how long you must accept a relatives poor or even irritating behaviour before reaching the conclusion to cut your relationship with them. We are talking 15 years of giving it a shot here!

I would value your thoughts here wise ladies. I am keen to get back to bluer skies and clearer days.

Finders Keepers

The independent design and art Finders Keepers Market is coming to Melbourne in October. You have a few months to save your pennies and organize babysitting for one of the two days, or both. So get to it and I'll see you there on the 9th and/or 10th of October, Shed 4 at Docklands!

Monday, July 5, 2010


Yoga has always been a part of my life to a greater or lesser degree and at times I have really enjoyed chanting classes too. There's something soothing and satisfying about singing repetitively in a language you barely understand and often translations would reveal some pretty whacky sanskrit lyrics.

I've already forgotten how I stumbled upon this clip of a Devendra Banhart song (not chanting) but I'm glad I did because the subtitles to the song make me smile and think of the kooky things I've chanted about.

Oh and you might recognize Devendra's gorgeous girlfriend in the clip (and real life).

Thursday, June 17, 2010


I love a good role model for my girls. This one might have a massive head like a vacuous Bratz doll but she's intelligent, kind, promotes environmental consciousness and has way more clues about gardening than I do.

Look out for the chooks rocking out in the clip.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Mountain Missive

It has almost been a year since we moved up to the Dandenongs and I think we're about 90% sure it was the right thing to do. (Leaving a margin for the times particularly during bushfire season where we simply say WTF did we do THAT for?) The spectacular Autumn just passed helped to anchor my deep love for this place and even as the Winter sets in I am making new connections, discovering new places and becoming entrenched in the community that now has my heart.

After doing some extensive research on the local educational facilities I happily enrolled the eldest into the local primary school for next year. (Already?!!! Wasn't she just born?!!) Their Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program and Permaculture garden was a massive drawcard but the educational curriculum, namely the Walker Learning Approach won us over as well. I had a little tour with the school principal and found that each classroom we visited was full of seemingly contented and engaged kids. The teachers were teaching in a relaxed, and engaged way and didn't have to waste their time to stop to 'discipline' kids every 30 seconds. Hopefully their enthusiasm is not just for when visitors walk in...

Random pic of self sown silverbeet that gives me a little thrill everytime
I look out the loungeroom window. I am apparently easily pleased.

Speaking of Permaculture, I have bought a small load of bare rooted heritage fruit trees from Pete the Permie to begin our mini orchard and am seriously considering doing some study in the field...could be a new career direction..

Oh, and look who came to live at our house! These pretty ladies are Belgian Bantams, and the brown blur in the middle is Coco the silkie.

I'm still working on better enclosure and day run. There's just too many predators around to let them free-range so I figure a decent run should keep them safe and happy.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Look What The Cat Dragged In...

Well me actually. We don't have a cat. A dear neighbour adopted him when we moved because we didn't think he'd cope with a big change and I don't believe people should really have pet cats up here so close to the bush (unless they're indoor or aviary pussycats).

Anyway, this ace brazier came from the local hard rubbish collection and I think it's pretty rad. The same day I found it I saw an ad for a glam version called the Brad Pitt brazier. Very chic and only $1100. Mine will do me just fine.

Friday, June 4, 2010

I Love This!

via hula seventy

This clip makes me feel a little hopeful, a bit melancholy, a lot grateful and so aware of the passing of time! I like how it's celebrating the small moments in (a first world, mainly middle class) life and is a reminder to me that each moment, no matter how seemingly mundane, is a valid piece of your life. Life is happening all the time. Not just in the exciting parts or the future bits you have mapped out in your brain.

If you have a spare 4 minutes and 16 seconds check it out. (Look out for the awesome letterbox.)

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Quinoa Epiphany.

Way back in my early Naturopath days I learned about a curious grain called quinoa (pronounced 'keen-wa') which was purported to be a nutrient dense, fibre rich, protein packed alternative to rice. After a half-hearted and poor attempt to cook it I dismissed it as too wholesome even for me.

More recently I have rediscovered the grain and realizing that I must have really been a dodgy and/or lazy cook to stuff it up I am finding it to be a delicious and even preferable alternative to rice and couscous. Abundant availability has aided this epihany and even my local stupormarket stocks the grain in white, red and black!

After a somewhat shaky start, I have discovered quinoa to be a hit with the small folk of the house.
First taste (after removing from own bowl and transferring deftly to plastic lid for consumption). Ech! No thanks Mum!

What is that texture on my tongue? Get it off!

Eh, perhaps I'll try a bit more, just in case...

Actually I'm really in to this, now I'm going to eat yours too!

Quinoa Salad

Cook about 1 part rinsed quinoa in 2 parts rapidly boiling water until softened but not sloppy. (Look for the 'Saturn-ring' that appears when it's ready). I used a mix of white and red quinoa just because) and drain.

Add salady ingredients according to season and what you have already. I used a small tin of tuna, chopped red onion, avocado, left over cooked broccoli, crumbled fetta and chopped herbs. Grated carrot would be a good addition.

Dress with olive oil and sherry vinegar/lemon juice.
Season to taste and bon appetit!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

A Few Words. Many Pictures.

A vividly beautiful Autumn has set in up here in the Dandenongs and as we moved here only last Winter, I am reveling in the spectacular palette of colour it has smattered around us. I have now witnessed almost a complete annual cycle in the garden so I have a good idea of what happens when, and now I can launch into my grand funds allow...

In the garden the Tigerellas continue their bounty.

Autumn seedlings are planted.

There are signs of life in my potted Coral Bark Maple that I thought had dehyrated to death.

And small people honing their gardening skills.

Inside, there are rainbows on my pages.

Hearty cooler weather salads involving couscous or quinoa with roasted pumpkin, herbs and flaked almonds.

And of course an almost constant supply of baked things.

Small people around here are way into that.