At home on this rainy old day. My little guy has a cough, so we're laying low, drinking herb tea.
Thursday, May 30, 2013
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
It's a lucky thing, I'm thinking, that I both like and own so much red. Wearing red every day, drumming up (some) funds to help Kiss Goodbye to MS, has seen me taking more selfies than I've ever taken before, and getting a weird amount of compliments about how smart I'm looking??!!
Perhaps I should wear red lipstick all the time? It's just so haaaaaarrrrrrrrd. (Boo hoo, all that checking and re-applying is terribly taxing.)
Yes! So far I've managed to raise $135 to go towards this very important cause. I know, to some, it may not seem like much, but if I'm uncomfortably honest with you, my shop has never made that much money in one month before. Nevvvvverrrrrrr. Um, not even close? So I'm wildly pleased! And crazy grateful to each person who made a purchase.
Especially this lady.
Thank you Em, you're the best.
So in amongst all this frantic self-photographing and garland making, I went out to a gig with my best guy and a rowdy bunch of extremely good-looking folk. We hit the Beetle Bar to catch Some Jerks, and as usual they made a lot of noise and forced us to dance with wild abandon. If you ever get a chance to catch these guys live, DO IT. Your ears and brain will thank you.
This track from their self-titled album is called So Long, and right now it's stuck in my head. Enjoy.
Thursday, May 9, 2013
The first 8 days of May!
I'm wearing red every day of May to raise funds and awareness for Kiss Goodbye to MS, and donating 100% of my sales from Miu & Umi to this important cause. If you see something you'd like in the shop, know that with your purchase comes support for amazing research that could see more effective treatments and most importantly, a cure for Multiple Sclerosis.
Last month I was truly saddened by news of the death of Divinyls' lead singer Chrissy Amphlett, who lost her battle with breast cancer and MS. Ms Amphlett lived in our neighbourhood when we were kids, and Kirsty and I would stalk her in the supermarket, starstruck to see her shopping for groceries in her huge black suglasses. Growing up, we both loved her incredible fuck-you aura of rock posturing, appreciating that in Australian rock, chicks like her were supremely rare. She was tough and unapologetic and outrageously sexy, and probably could've taught young musicians a thing or two.
Kirsty's blog post on MS! The Musical talks about Chrissy Amphlett and MS, and affords a glimpse of her daily physical and emotional struggle. But somehow she still manages to be good-looking, hilarious and cool as shit? What's with that? She's pretty much the most mathematical person I know.
So, it's getting cooler and you know what that means... crochet, baby! I'm smashing out a bunch of heart garlands at the moment, and dreaming of big booty blankets and all the other cool stuff that can eventuate when hook meets yarn. If you'd like to order a garland, or have ideas for different colours, lengths, what have you, PLEASE let me know. That would be cool.
In other news - it's my birthday! Yay! Cue trumpets, confetti and balloons! Man, I'm getting so old, but I still feel like a spazzy teenager. What's with that?
I've already shared a giant Hershey Kiss with the kids (actually I nibbled the nub off the top, then the kids put their hands on it, and I know what they do with their little hands, ewwww, so the rest of the chocolate is now theirs. Too much knowledge is a burden.) But the best bit is that Cam gave me a frickin OVERLOCKERRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Words can't express how much I've yearned for this. I'm practically beside myself! Now I have to learn how to make underwear, and t-shirts, and all kinds of crazy stuff. Omigod you guys.
Just awesome. Thank you Chrissy Amphlett.
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Admitting - defeat. Yup. I extended my borrowing time from the library, and even still... In my defense, this is one incredibly dense novel. It deserves my full attention, and that's only gonna happen if I own a copy. David Foster Wallace -1, Me -0.
Rethinking - a project. Do you ever do that thing where something looks amazing in your mind, but the reality is just kind of... meh? I found these brilliant felted alphabet stickers and thought it would be perfect for a bit of wall lyric action. But I got halfway, ran out of A's, and fell hard out of love with the whole idea. These weekly projects are harder than I thought!*
(Dear reader, you may have noticed that I've spaced big-time on the weekly projects. That's because I'm oppositional. Equal parts lazy and stubborn. I hate being told what to do, even if I'm telling myself. I'll get back into it... probably. I've still got a bunch of weeks, right?)
All that being said, I've got some really fun stuff in the works. Stuff I love wildly, that makes me very happy, stuff that gets me out of bed in the morning! So, stay tuned.
Thrumming - in my veins every time I hear this song by Melbourne band Harmony. It's called Cacophonous Vibes, it's loud and strange and full of soundwaves. Enjoy!
Monday, March 11, 2013
I've been a gloomhilda this week. Normally this is when I just put my head down, avoid interaction and try to ride it out. I have nothing to complain about, but we can't be shiny all the time, right?
So I've tried a bunch of things to improve my mood, rather than waiting for it to get better, and in the grand tradition of the internets, I've made a list to share with you.
I call it
My List of Things That By Rights Should Improve My Sooky-La-La Temperament.
1. Trampoline. Jump like a crazy coconut until your PF muscles remind you that you've had two children and neglected your Kegels. (It's good cardio-whatchathingy too, apparently.)
2. Fondle haberdashery. Either this makes perfect sense to you, or you're glazing over. Whatever. I'm hot for fabrics and don't care who knows it.
3. Avoid the internet. If you're in a tetchy kinda mood, maybe the photo-perfect lives and exploits of others isn't what you need.
4. Season 1 of True Blood. Vampire Bill - hello, salty goodness. Am I right?
5. Dancing like a dickhead. This only works if you are a very bad dancer, which luckily I am! Venue? The loungeroom. Visual reference? This piece of gold.
6. Hugs. From the kids, randoms in public, whoever will stand still long enough and not call security.
7. Write that shit down! As horribly honest, mean-tempered and foul-mouthed as you can, write down exactly how you're feeling and then burn it, recreate it as interpretive dance, throw yourself a tickertape parade. It's healthy, and way cheaper than a therapist.
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Encouraging - myself to stick to it. I've mentioned before that I'm really good at starting things, but not quite as ace with the finishing part. Knowing this about myself, I've set a task of writing a 55,000 word novel. I've even given myself permission to be as bland and underwhelming as possible. This will make sense to you if you are a ideas-driven, head-in-the-clouds perfectionist with the attention span of a gnat. I realised that as soon as I gave myself a little permission to fail, all the assumed pressure dropped away. I don't have to write the most perfect and amazing novel in the world, I just have to write something.
Craving - the sun.
Yup. There, I said it. I am 100% certain that this weather system can go suck an egg. Vamoose! Scram! Get the damn hell gone.
Sucking - up the information. Fascinate by Sally Hogshead is a slice of marketing nouse, aimed at people who want to understand what creates and controls that powerful quirk of human behaviour - fascination. This is psychology at its most fickle, really. Half the time what drives us to make our choices is so basic (and base) it's almost embarrassing. Think Salem witches, the first economic bubble caused by the prestige of tulips, and Marx being well off the mark about diamonds.
Fascination reminds me of The Psychopath Test, because of the way it's encouraged analysis of the people around me. I know some very fascinating people, and now I can dissect them to understand why. Yes, dissect them! Cut open their brains! MwahahaHA!
All those awesome children of the MTV era - this is for you. You know who you are. If you don't like this clip of The Cure, singing Fascination Street, I order you to get off my blog right now and never ever come back.
Sunday, March 3, 2013
I stumbled across this clip a little while ago, and everytime I watch it, I fall in love. It seems to catch hold of something lovely and ethereal and bittersweet, and zooms me straight into when I was little and spent a lot of time exploring in the bushland with Kirsty. We made up whole new lands and personas, and it was more real than anything else.
But we never met a stag*. Which is probably a good thing?
*A white stag (!) and a doe sometimes appear at the edge of the heavily treed land behind Kirsty's house. They never stay long enough for me to give them a hug.
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
A week of mending! That was the plan, anyway. But of course, although I've mended boring things like school uniforms and a rashie, there's still a stack of troublesome to-mends waiting impatiently for me.
The most fun mended item was my plaid skirt, which I wore (as usual) despite a raw hem. It looked super cute but I could hear my mother's voice reminding me it was a little shabby. (She's right. No surprise.) So I mended it with bias binding and teeny-tiny stitching. (Well, it was without my glasses)
As a fun addition, I embroidered plus signs in sets of three, and a little heart too. It's the tiny things that make me happy - maybe no-one else will ever notice, but I will know that I took that time and effort to make it different and special.
It also led me to wonder about the underside of my hem. I know it's proper to keep your underside tidy (so to speak) but what do you think?
A little iron-on cutie that found it's way onto a painted board. Should I add this to my hem? Undecided.
My pincushion is in a bad way. It's all out of shape and a little dusty, with random threads just hanging out on it. The most precious part is the knowledge that inside that fat little poodge of pincushion, there are myriad tiny needles just waiting for me to squeeze, agitate or manipulate this thing in any wrong way. I'm not exaggerating.
I need a new one. Stat.
Friday, February 22, 2013
We had so much fun making these cute little bacon and eggs on Wednesday afternoon - don't they look adorable? It's so simple yet effective, and easy to do with the little monkeys (although I do admit I got a little perfectionist mum, saying things like "No no, the M&M is upside down!")
Not proud. Can't help it.
Anyway, the mixture of salty, crunchy pretzels with the sweet white chocolate and M&Ms is tasty delicious and reminds me a little of the salted caramel milkshakes we make at work. Yum!
I wish I could claim the cleverness of this invention, but alas, t'was not I. This was the source.
I think the ratio of yellow to all other colours in the M&M packet was a little skewiff. We ran out of yellow, so we made some green eggs. Now I'm figuring out which lolly could look a bit like ham... any ideas?
Monday, February 18, 2013
Well, maybe not, but I'm trying something new! My plan this week is to try something I've never done before. So here it is, ladies and germs! Gyozaaaaaaa!
I had a sneaky feeling that I'd have a hard time finding the gyoza wrappers, but I shouldn't have doubted Fred at the local Indian/Asian grocery store. (Every time he sees me, he asks me what I'm cooking today, and when it comes to advice on cooking perfect authentic Indian food, he's the best!)
Since it was the first time, I googled around for different takes on making gyoza. This recipe from Steamy Kitchen was the most helpful. I just followed the directions, making the pork and vegetable recipe.
I served up the gyoza with a soy and sesame oil dipping sauce, shiro miso, steaming edamame and sake! Of course we had to do the chanting, just like at Harajuku Gyoza
Dekimasu sake! Kampai!.
So that's Valentine's dinner AND project 6, done and dusted. I wonder what I'll do next.
Saturday, February 16, 2013
Reading - Poetry from Allen Ginsberg. It's wonderful, wonderful writing, it captures the wildness and desperation of such an incredible time in the modern history of America. And the best part is that when I read it, I can hear Ginsberg's voice!
Contemplating - the mood board that has been the same since December. I think I need a little fresh inspiration!
Shifting - chairs and such around the place. Do you get bored with things really quickly? Living in such a tiny house means space is at a premium, and every available corner is filled with things. Sometimes, I just long for a bit of empty space! (You wouldn't believe we contemplated living in a bus to travel around, would you?)
Who's that cutie patootie in the photo? It's me! At the tender age of 19, modelling for my dear friend Alison. Seems like a million years ago, but I can still remember how much fun it was.
Thursday, February 14, 2013
So our present to each other is a record player. YAY!
I started the turntable for the maiden spin with my Alexei Sayle record, CAK! which made the kids laugh their heads off. And all day I've been playing old friends I haven't heard for years, and new (old) ones I've never heard... like the original score from West Side Story.
You know I'm a total dork. Don't act surprised.
And, since it's been quiet in my little shop, I'm having a 20% off sale, and adding little presents for free. If you see something that you'd like, use the code KISSES000 at the checkout.
Monday, February 11, 2013
No, I'm not strung out on lazers and slash-back blazers. I've just got busy with a bunch of old jeans.
It's 501 city in the bedroom now! This west facing window lets in so much unrelenting sun and heat in the afternoons, and after looking at the price of blockout blinds, I knew I had to do something myself. This is the upside of never throwing anything away... four old pairs of dark denim was enough to make this rough-edged curtain.
I just cut off the legs below the crotch, split them lengthways and sewed them together. Adding a generous pocket for the rod to slide through means that I can slide it to one side easily. And call me lazy, but when I hung the curtain to check the hemming length, I decided it looked better unhemmed.
It's kinda random and messy, but then, so am I! Yay!
Project 5, done and dusted. Jean Genie, let yourself go!
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
A collection of dresses
Window sill huddling
Old handmade lace from my mum
$1 cross stitch pillowcase. A bargain, right?
The new globe, in situ. This is the wall where I put all my favourite stuff. Can you tell? I love my collection of original art prints and op-shop stuff.
It's been a very quiet week for me, with a touch of heat exhaustion sitting me firmly on my arse. Wow, I felt bad.
So project 4 is a low-key effort... these photos turned out more dramatic than I expected, and I love them! Our new home-made 'stained glass' windows are really cardboard and cellophane, but they look so cheerful and cast the most amazing light in the afternoon.
It's rare to catch these two in repose, so when I saw the opportunity, I took it.
Mini shopping trolley... the fact these even exist makes me strangely happy. But you know about my obsession with abandoned trolleys, right?
I also have a note from the doctor....
Thursday, January 31, 2013
Well, project number 3 taught me one thing: I may come from a long line of globe-trotters, but I am no good at geography. Or is it cartography? Both?
I'm super pleased with the final result. When the original paper map finally disintegrated and fell off this old family hand-me-down, it was a pity. It's been sitting downstairs, all naked and neglected, for years.
Cue brain wave!
Chalkboard globe! Draw your own planet Earth! Or any planet, I guess...
Look how big Australia is!
Anyhoos, this project was fairly straightforward. Start with redundant globe-type-thing.
You need to have all your equipment ready and at hand. This, I have learned by NOT doing. Realising you don't have mineral turpentine when you're covered in enamel paint is not a good thing.
I was painting inside because of the horrible weather, but I made sure to have ventilation. The fumes from the paint are a little intense.
I roughly masked the areas I didn't want to get paint on, mixed the paint well and got to work! I followed the instructions on the paint tin, and had my fingers crossed the paint wouldn't just bead off the plastic.
Two coats and some horrible weather and flooding later, and it was all ready for chalk! And my dubious efforts at drawing our kooky wide brown land.
Photobomb! My little mate, being super cute and also seeing what was for dinner.
Coming next... Project 4!