Friday, December 26, 2008

Some of the things I did

Yesterday I...
Gave two family members unfinished gifts (not the first time that's happened)
Did enough driving around town that I probably could have reached Sydney if I had kept going in just one direction.
Confirmed that yes, an impending house move is stressful
And had a lovely Christmas in spite of myself.

Today I...
Paid the rent for the last time
Mowed the grass in the backyard of the house the bank kindly bought for us
Finished one of those unfinished gifts
Tried a different browser
And went for a bike ride around empty Boxing Day evening streets.

In case you're wondering, at the moment, the piano is still available.
The piano has a new home.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Free to a good home

If you want a piano - oldish, in ok condition - or know anyone in Canberra who might, let me know asap.

It's a Symphony Royal made by C.E. Davies and Sons.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Conversion, transformation ... alchemy?

This is what keeps me coming back to felting again and again.
The transformation of wool yarn into felt.
And the way lots of separate colours become a visual mixture.

Although sometimes a pretty knitted fabric has to be sacrificed. No pain, no gain, right?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Just look away now if you've seen enough pears

blue&purple img_2089
This makes me happy: two friends who are both artists bought a cool dozen pears from me, to give as Christmas presents.
pink purple_img_2046stripe_img_2058redblue img_2050
Mostly, they chose from a bundle I had already made. But they did also ask me if I could make a couple more, including a container pear.
pears still life_img_9203Quite a few people have been drawn to the container version when they see my Minicard with that photo. That big one was my very first pear attempt, and my first lidded container attempt too. Until now I've just thought of it as an imperfect prototype (which my sister loves), and I'd put off trying to make another one.

pink pot_img_9172But I realised that I have made a couple of lidded containers now, and although the first one (pink, above) had a lid that didn't fit perfectly, the next one (pale, below) worked better.
white pot_img_0423

So I was ready to try again.
It's made from Sean Sheep Armytage in Key Lime. I'm almost out of my beloved Armytage, so if you see anyone destashing that lovely stuff, in any colours, please let me know, ok?
container bits_img_2078
I'm pretty pleased with it, although I think it's a bit tall. I think it looks like a small pear sitting on top of a bowl.
its hollow_img_2081
And yes the upper part is hollow too.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Safe within its silent socket - he holds a coloured crayon.

sunnyboy louvre_img_1203
Sunnyboy and the Louvre Pyramid.

Back in September, when I packed a small knitting project* for the Europe trip, I envisaged coming back with a whole series of these photos of my Sunnyboy pouch by Quiltingmick posting in front of various landmarks. The Louvre photo was the one I really wanted - and I wish I had spent more time composing the shot, but I think I was distracted by those cute kids.

Alas, the series didn't come about because the whole two weeks was flat out. Tourist opportunities often came straight after work activities, and I generally didn't carry my knitting around with me.
Sunnyboy pouch takes a train from Lillehammer to Oslo.

Most of the knitting I got done was on three train journeys, two of which were significantly delayed. At least you can see that the Sunnyboy made an excellent travel knitting pouch.

*Did you believe I only packed one project? ha, no, of course there was a backup - in spite of my efforts to pack very light - and it didn't get touched.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Anyone want?

GONE! Full Twin Peaks series on video. I forgot to get out the separate pilot episode for the photo but it's included too. I love, love, love this show. K bought it for me many years ago (a big purchase at the time). I knew about it when it first aired on TV, but I wasn't allowed to stay up late enough to watch it - even though it seemed like everyone at school was watching it. It would have scared me way too much anyway.

I've now replaced it with the DVD edition so can't justify keeping the videos - does anyone local want to take them off my hands? Otherwise they'll go to Lifeline.

And this is another beloved TV series (both seasons) that I've recently replaced with DVDs - Poldark. Ordered in from the UK for me (and a similarly obsessed friend) one video at a time back when K was at Impact Records. If you follow my 'books I've read recently' list in the right-hand sidebar you might have noticed I've been rereading the Winston Graham series lately. He also wrote the book that the Hitchcock movie "Marnie" was based on. Closer to home, my sister was named after one of the characters in Poldark.

Edited to add:
I'm finding more as I go along: there is also:
- the Godfather Box set (3 movies).
- the miniseries of Stephen King's The Stand.
- the movie the Exorcist
- the movie the Abyss
- the movie Lost Highway by David Lynch

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I'm just trying to steer this boat

black cuff_img_2008
This is the knitted man jewellery I was talking about. The pattern is the Herringbone Leather Cuff from Alterknits by Leah Radford. The black one, made for K for his birthday (and completed in one long Friday evening) is knitted from black waxed cotton - a substitute for leather cord. Large quantities of 1mm leather cord are both hard to find, and pretty expensive. I made it slightly narrower than the pattern and added repeats to make it longer as well.
During the Noosa weekend I made another one. The red part is hemp. This time I reduced the width even more to allow for the different gauge. I knew I was a bit short on the hemp and had thought I could try knitting stripes or sections in the black cotton, but the gauge difference spoiled that plan.
Instead I did the crochet edging in the black and used a few extra rows on the ends to make it long enough.
It took a couple of tries to get the crochet looking ok, and it's not perfect but then we know I'm not a perfectionist. I wasn't sure if it was dorky but both K and the recipient's girlfriend approved it before I handed it over.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Koala in the wild

While walking in Noosa National Park we spotted a koala sleeping high in a tree (they're nocturnal). We were surprised to find one so near the path - probably enjoying the ocean breezes.
There is a set of my Noosa photos on Flickr.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

It's the end of the weekend, again

Exquisite is now open at Craft Act and goes until 20 December; above is the lot I have put in the exhibition. A couple of items sold during the opening, which is very encouraging. It really is a lovely and varied show with a lot of affordable pieces for Christmas shopping.
And these special-order bright pears were my best attempt at, as requested, a shifting series of colours and as bright as possible. They are intended for someone who is mostly blind but can sometimes see bright colours on a good day. Of course, they're a tactile pleasure (if you like felt) even in the dark.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

full time flirt

I'm back. Noosa was relaxing and beachy.
The photo below was taken from the balcony of our luxurious apartment close to the beach. Yeah we had a pretty good time!

Friday, November 07, 2008

Stars fading but I linger on dear


No doubt I could have more stories to tell about Paris and other parts of the trip, but September is rapidly receding in the distance. (Except that I have a presentation to do at work towards the end of November, argh!) My Paris set of photos can be seen here.

I may have to stop dwelling on the past here soon. There is an awful lot going on in the moment. Just in the past week or so I have: seen Cirque du Soleil's Dralion; started but not finished my tax return; dropped off a big pile of felted pears and bowls to Craft Act for their Exquisite show, which opens Saturday 15/11; suffered through a house inspection; made a pair of very bright pears for a special order; celebrated K's birthday with friends; worked on arrangements to possibly make the largest purchase of our lives; and tomorrow (starting at a time that I do not consider part of the day) we're heading to Noosa for a few days. Oh, and I made knitted jewellery for a man.

Yes. Knitted. Man. Jewellery.

You'll believe it when you see it.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

We could find that we're all alone in the dream of the proud

Man, so much going on here, I haven't even gotten onto the last and longest part of the trip yet. Paris.
louvre light_img_1241
I hadn't expected to, but I did make it to the Louvre, thanks to a late opening night. I was pretty tired and only had two hours in the massive museum.
So I wandered around, slightly manic and directionless, which actually was not as unpleasant as it sounds. I enjoyed the people-watching as much as anything else. There were the popular greatest hits of course. I sort of glimpsed the Mona Lisa behind a crowd of people. I got a better look at the Venus de Milo.
One exhibit I did enjoy was of artifacts that had been excavated in an architectural dig of the courtyard area in the 1980s when the pyramid and new entrance were constructed.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

We don't do things because they are easy, we do them because they are the right thing.

Elizabeth McClung has asked for help spreading the word about her vocation - the Postcard Project.

In spite of, but also because of, very severe and deteriorating health problems, Elizabeth has embarked on a project to send postcards to absolutely anyone who asks for them. Anyone at all. (Apparently if George Bush actually asked, he'd be in). You just have to ask. She will do her best to find a suitable card for each person, including for children. As she says,

How am I going to convince anyone, much less myself, that they as a human being, regardless of disability, depression, feelings of isolation, political or religious difference, are worthy of everyones complete and equal respect as a human being if I do not start.

I'm on Elizabeth's list and love receiving her beautiful work. I didn't sign up at first, thinking I wasn't a particularly needy recipient, and aware that most of her regular readers and commenters are living with disabilities and I'm not part of that circle . Silly way to think isn't it? Aren't we all different people who make a connection through the words and thoughts shared in a medium, in this case a blog? Finally one of her pleas for people to email her to ask for a postcard convinced me. And then her postcard arrived as a bright spot in the week that Grandma died.

Elizabeth needs more people, not to raise money or raise awareness or do anything really, just to be part of her project, because it makes a difference to people and that knowledge is what she seeks most of all.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Can you tell a green field?

After a night and a day in Amsterdam, I had a wonderful, peaceful two days in London with my great uncle. It's great, each time I see him it seems like we pick up just where we left off. On the Saturday afternoon we went for a short drive in the country to Box Hill. It was a beautiful sunny weekend at the end of the very rainy summer. Everywhere you looked (in the city too) there were people out getting their vitamin D.
Box Hill
On the Sunday we went into town for a walk, taking in the Tate Modern (below), Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, St Paul's Cathedral and a freaky moving statue.
I didn't know it when I took this picture, but I seem to have happened across Scott King's Temporary Eyesore installation as part of the London Festival of Architecture.
St Paul's Cathedral
st pauls_img_0935
On the Sunday evening I flew back to the Netherlands. Monday was a day of meetings in Den Haag and then we hopped on the Thalys fast train bound for Paris.
Unfortuately the fast train didn't seem all that fast overall when we stopped at a station very early in the journey and ended up waiting for over two hours because of an incident further down the line.

Click here to check out a few more of my photos from this short UK side trip.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

We've bred all our kittens white so you can see them in the night

into the night
We arrived in Amsterdam quite late at night, flying from Goteborg and changing flights at Copenhagen. I got an amazing view of Copenhagen as the plane skirted the city before landing, and I now I would love to visit - we didn't leave the airport. It had this incredible, clean, tidy Toytown look about it.
I had been yawning on the train from the airport into Amsterdam, and I thought that the only thing I wanted in the whole world was to get to the hotel and fall into bed. But actually the walk to the hotel - dragging luggage, dodging traffic - woke me up, and suddenly I just had to get out again to take some night time photos.
graffiti and bikes
The rest of the group were going to spend the whole weekend there, but this was going to be my only night before heading to London for the weekend. Luckily I had some companions to walk the red light district, share some chips with mayonnaise (when in Amsterdam, this should always be the first order of business), and drink very unusual beer.
Did you watch the last season of The Amazing Race? I am pretty sure this is that bike storage place.

And the full set of my Amsterdam photos can be found on Flickr.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

All I wanna do is...

Probably more than 75% of my Amsterdam photos have bikes in them.

I've visited the Netherlands twice now and both times I've come home wanting to get myself a bike. They have their serious cyclists, sure (you can spot them by the lycra and because they're the only people who wear helmets) but the majority of the population just ride bikes to get around. They wear their normal daytime clothing and lightly scuffed shoes. I'm pretty sure they don't feel the need to shower and change when they get to work. I think that's the sort of riding for me. Yes I absolutely would wear a helmet - it's the law here and I don't have a problem with it anyway.

And this time I really think I might do it. Any advice where I should start with the bike search? I want something comfortable and cruisy, I don't care to go fast. More for leisurely weekend and fair weather transport than sport or exercise.

Friday, October 10, 2008

No, really, no connection with where Batman lives*

Gothenburg / Göteborg, Sweden
I didn't have nearly enough time to explore the city or even really get my bearings - much the same lament throughout this whirlwhind two-week tour. But I got a good taste of Göteborg.

We had two days there, one of which was spent at Volvo headquarters, where amongst other things, we had a glimpse of the crashlab (no actual crash tests) and were taken on the factory tour! This was very cool, and much more fascinating than I might have expected, seeing all the stages of how cars are made. There were no photos allowed. I understand why, but just wished I could have shared this experience with my dad or my nephew, both of whom would have LOVED it.
Our Ibis 'floating hotel' was actually a boat. That's it in the picture above. I was happy to not feel any movement of the boat while I was there. My room looked out onto the harbour, which was lovely.

We received an excellent tip from a local, to take a walk just a short way upriver from the hotel, into an area with lots of old boats.
Many of them were rusting and crumbling. But there were also many that were being worked on or even lived on. I've been trying to work out what this area is called (if it has a name of its own - it wasn't very large) but my Google-fu has failed me so far. The whole place was so photogenic, I'm surprised I haven't come across a Flickr group or something similar in my searches.
In the city I wandered through a mall that seemed reasonably big. Later research suggests it in fact the biggest in Scandinavia, Nordstan, with 180 shops. No, not huge by Australian standards.

Click here for more of my Göteborg photos on Flickr.

*That would be the fictional Gotham City.