Friday, 26 October 2012

Bookmark Sorting - Saving Seeds.

Last year I did some internet searches for tips on how to save your own tomato seeds. Not only did I bookmark a few links to help me on my way but I also actually tried it out. (I often just bookmark then forget.)

Here are a couple of the links I found helpful. 
This Spring I popped some of my saved seeds in a pot and some of them are actually growing! Is this the ultimate form of recycling? Well, probably not but I'm enjoying the process. If they actually grow edible fruit I will be very pleased. I can't even remember what sort of tomatoes they were, (cherry I think.)

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Trash & Treasure

When I was in my twenties I used to visit at least one op-shop (thrift store) a week. I'd buy all  sorts of rubbish, useful stuff, stuff. I had a number of different collections on the go and wasn't afraid of starting a new one if I saw something I liked. I've collected anodised aluminium cups and ice buckets (and anything else), vintage drinking glasses, 80s toys or stationery, novelty and childrens' mugs, snow domes, records, anything Muppet's or Sesame Street, 'Big Eye' pictures and so on and so on. Usually each collection reaches a point where I feel like enough is enough and I stop. Sometimes I even cull to refine what I have.

My anodised aluminium collection as it was approximately 10 years ago...
... and my Muppet collection as it was about 10 years ago.

After a few years of 'collecting', moving house at least twice made me realise that maybe, I had too much stuff and maybe, if faced with a major trauma in my life, I could possibly turn into a full blown hoarder. I had to think carefully about what I really wanted to keep and which collections really made me happy. I stopped going to the op-shops as often and slowly stopped acquiring things... well, I've never completely stopped but I've cut back a lot.

This weekend I gave myself a rare 'thrifting' treat. Our neighbouring suburb had a 'Spring Fair'. I dragged my little family along and spent a total of $4.50 on four different items at the Trash & Treasure stall and I even have plans for each of those items. Somehow I've changed my thinking... (and my husband might have helped me along with the occasional raised eyebrow or rolling eyes). Anyway, here are my purchases.

Purchase 1 - Another tapestry to hopefully become part of my tapestry floor rug, after I take it out of the frame of course.

Purchase 2 - A Barbie wardrobe just like the one (I still have) from my childhood. This one will probably go on to another home but I couldn't leave it behind because on the back of one of the closed doors are some '80s 'Bobby and Kate' stickers. '80s stationery is quite sought after in some circles and I am pretty sentimental about it myself. I always keep my eyes open for bits and pieces but don't have a lot of luck.

Bobby & Kate  stickers inside the wardrobe.

Purchases 3 & 4 -  A couple of little ceramic items destined to become planters for my kitchen windowsill. I particularly like the simple floral design on the bowl.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

The spring clean continues - or, a relatively fun project for a rainy day.

It really is that time of year - it's such a cliche, but I seriously cannot stop going through my life and throwing things out. Mostly objects and clothes, but hey, there's probably some bad habits that I could get rid of as ching.

My most recent spring clean venture was more like two projects in one. I was standing in front of my wardrobe the other day, trying to decide what to wear to work, and having one of those classic and ridiculous "I have nothing to wear! Nothing!" moments. I was laughing at myself at the same time of course, as it is patently untrue.

So I decided to do something about it. I would enlist the help of my old friend "Nudey Judy" and hold a little self-styling session, cleaning my wardrobe out at the same time. The idea was to take photos of all my workplace-appropriate ensemble options and store them on my laptop, to prevent the aforementioned "what the hell am I going to wear" moments from reoccurring. Also, this is the kind of thing I find quite fun. What can I say?

Meet Nudey Judy! I can't take credit for the name sadly, she belongs to Georgia.

What you'll need:

1. An empty afternoon
2. Some tunes. (I decided Taylor Swift was the most appropriate music to listen to for this project. I know, right? Incredibly surprising. You're shocked, I can tell.) 
3. A spirit of ruthlessness and absolute honesty.
4. I highly recommend getting your hands on some kind of mannequin or dressmakers dummy if possible. 
5. Pegs - it helps to make the clothes fit the dummy as well as possible, so they don't fall off mid-photo.

I started with dresses, then moved onto blouses and skirts, and I think my system worked out pretty well. I'd dress Nudey Judy in a blouse and then put together as many ensembles as I could think of with that blouse. I'm not going to lie, by the time I'd been styling for a couple of  hours I was pretty over it and I got less and less creative towards the end. Here's a couple of examples of my afternoon's work...

The photos are kind of crappy, but that wasn't really the point. All in all I feel like it was a worthwhile endeavour.  I got rid of a whole pile of clothes that I know I'm never going to wear, but I'd been hanging on to them for too long because I'd forgotten they didn't quite fit, or were uncomfortable, or just don't suit me. Clothes that I had been conveniently ignoring that I don't like wearing, and kidding myself I'd drag out of the back of the wardrobe someday. The great thing is, it's made me far more aware of what clothes I own that I DO like wearing, and that can be worn to work. According to my wardrobe I have a penchant for clothing that is slightly 1940s-ish or makes me look like an art teacher circa 1974. But a cool art teacher, I hope. I'm also pretty crap at accessorising. I'm lazy - mostly I just can't be bothered, and doing this little project made me actually think and put energy into dressing for work more creatively. Well, a little bit anyway.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Curly clouds.

Spotted this Dr Seuss-style curly wisp at the end of this cloud last weekend.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Hoop hoop hooray!

I hate sports and sports hate me. Exercise and I aren't great friends either. I go for a walk with the pram... sporadically... and in the past I did enjoy a bit of yoga but I'm yet to find a physical activity that I really enjoy and want to do regularly.

When I was a kid I had a hula hoop. It was scented, like a lot of toys were back in the '80s... bubblegum, or some kind of lolly... and I liked it. I was recently reminded that hooping is something that grown-ups can do too and so after a little internet searching I've ordered this Hoopnotica DVD and travel hoop and also another weighted hoop. Hopefully this won't end up in the cupboard under the stairs with 'The Firm' DVD and hand weights.

I'll let you know if I use it more than once!


Wednesday, 3 October 2012

A Bookmark a Day - Ha!

Personal Library Kit on Plasticland.
More like a bookmark a month!

I love the idea of this little Personal  Library Book Lending Kit. I've seen it on a number of sites over the years but this time it is on Plasticland.

I can imagine that if I had this kit when I was a kid I would have filled out the cards and stamped the date even when it was just myself reading the book. When I was young I thought I wanted to be a librarian when I grew up and was even a library 'monitor' in primary school for a while.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Gigs, gigs, gigs.

One of my big themes for 2012 has been concert-going. At the start of the year I said that I was going to take a break from attending gigs for financial and energy reasons, so of course, every band that I have ever loved ever decided to come to Australia. Clearly the universe had other - better - plans for me.

Last weekend I went to the UNSW Roundhouse to see one of my all time favourite bands, rock/punk/pop outfit from Florida, Yellowcard. It was one of those nights that felt like it was over in a flash because I was having so much fun and was so caught up in every song they played - including the most heartfelt singalong to "Empty Apartment" I have witnessed. Especially when this was the fifth time I've seen the band live - and of course I'm not even counting all the car-aoke sessions that this song has featured in. And especially when this was an all-standing event, and I am somewhat vertically challenged with bad posture. But I didn't notice my back hurting once. 

I've been thinking a lot recently about how as humans, we have a need to feel like we are part of something bigger than ourselves, and how this manifests itself in so many different ways. Sport, religion, music, political activity, workaholic-ism...I'm sure I could think of a bunch more if I put some time into it.

For me, there is nothing better than the energy you can feel at a gig, where the love is flowing freely between the audience and the performer. This was my fifth time with Yellowcard, and they never fail to deliver. It has nothing to do with the size of the audience, the level of fame the band has, or how good the venue is. I felt it with twenty thousand other people watching Prince earlier this year. I felt it years ago watching a little known band called Limbeck play at The Annandale Hotel - not the Annandale, but the smaller hotel further up Paramatta Road. There would have been 100 people in that room - maybe - and it was pretty much the happiest place on earth that night. 

Over the next few months I'm looking forward to Lady Antebellum (this week! It's a little bit country and a little bit...well, country), Radiohead, Weezer, Band of Horses and hopefully Ben Harper if I can track down some tickets. I can't wait...