Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Craft Class

Well I knew it had been awhile but it seems three months have ticked over since I last wrote. It is only a week or two until our baby arrives and although I have been crafty it is all very domestic and probably not that interesting to read about.
Spring is coming, the vegetable garden is planted out with seeds, the chickens are laying and this Saturday I will be teaching a craft class at Mill and Mia 99 Auburn Road Hawthorn Victoria.
We will be making snow dome aquariums and underwater themed mobiles. It should be a lot of fun. I taught another class a few months ago and we made soft Matrioshka dolls. I forgot my camera which was a shame as the children came up with the sweetest designs, I will take my camera this weekend!

Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Busy times

It’s been a whirlwind of hectic times lately, too much working, not enough sleeping moving house, busy weekends and no craft activities to report. So all quiet on the writing front. In a month things will quieten down again. Last weekend we moved into a beautiful new place with lots of space and three chickens that laid us the best eggs I have had for years for breakfast. There is a big shed to make in to a studio and have some storage space for once, a lovely garden with lots of potential although it’s a bit unloved at the moment, I should take before and after photos. It is going to be just great. Here is what I saw the first morning when I woke up. Quite lovely.

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Reasons to be Cheerful

I bought a new toolbox, well not a new one my first one. I love it. It is red and metal and has concertina hinges that open it out like a butterfly so you can see everything inside. I have a wonderful new job starting on Monday working on a film produced by Guillermo Del Toro who directed Pan’s Labyrinth, I am so excited and so is my toolbox which will come along and is filled with everything I think I will need including mini sachets of miso soup.

I have almost finished a new drawing for my alphabet book and am now up to the letter C for Crab. Still a while to go on that old project but I am loving it even if it is a slow process.

Today I also baked some passion fruit Melting Moment biscuits to take to my friend Dave’s tomorrow to thank him for passing his house on to us when he moves out in a month and we move in. I will have a shed and chickens and the new baby will have a bedroom and not have to live in the nook of the hallway like we were planning if we stayed in this cosy house.
Also my boyfriend gets home from Sydney tonight and he may have only been away one night but I am so glad he is coming home again.
Reasons to be cheerful indeed.

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Jack Frost

Winter has come barrelling into town and it is absolutely freezing. I just can’t get used to it. Already we have pulled out the second duvet and now sleep under so many layers that the weight of feathers and wool presses you down and you can hardly roll over in the night. On the weekend it poured with rain and the wind whipped the drops against the window panes. I got under a blanket with the heater on and did some knitting. It was lovely.

Thursday, 16 April 2009


The Still

The Quince

The Aftermath

We had a lovely Easter at the beach, it was perfect Autumn weather and we planted 1000 daffodils ready for spring and my sisters boyfriend dug up two huge patches in the over grown veggie garden and we planted potatoes, onions, beet root and spinach. We also harvested two washing baskets full of quince from our one fairly small tree. I chopped up lots of them until I got blisters and made quince jelly and stewed quince to last us for the year. On Sunday we went to our friend Chris’ house and put the rest of the quince through a juicer where it will sit for a month fermenting with some champagne yeast. Then we run it through the still and make our first batch of family quince moonshine. Sounds kind of exciting.

Thursday, 2 April 2009

Good Oil

I did a prop making job recently for a Visa commercial which has come up looking pretty good, apparently it won ad of the week somewhere not that that is much credit to my contribution but still. I had to make all their portable pieces of technology like the T.V, Record player and fax bags it was a fun project. You can see the whole ad if you like by clicking here and looking up the director Michael Spiccia and clicking on the Visa Debit link.

Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Good Wives and Warriors

Making web sites has always felt like a process cloaked in magic codes and secrecy to me. I attempted to teach myself how to do it several times only to get tangled at the start and give up again. I thought I should be able to do it, I have a handle on many other computer programs but it wasn’t to be, so lonely and website less I have never had much of an Internet presence… until now!! Last night my dear friend Becky came over and ate won tons with me, and chocolate, and within a couple of hours had laid out all the formulas in such an easy and understandable way that now I think I can do it. Becky and her friend have made their own site for their company Good Wives and Warriors and you can also see their beautiful illustrations and paintings there.
So over the next few weeks I am going to chip away and learn as much as I can and fingers crossed at the end will be a gleaming web site with my name on it. How exciting.

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Making and Doing

I have been doing a bit of sewing and made some little spring chicken toys like the one I made for the bush fire appeal and a bunch more boats in bottles. The Ships are on their way to be sent out as Birthday presents, House warming and Congratulations gifts for all my friends. The boats are a bit difficult to photograph but they look quite lovely in real life

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Sailing away

I have got a little obsessed with making ships in bottles I don't know what the point of it is yet, maybe there is none. I found these beautiful tapered rubber stoppered ones and with a fair bit of finagling I worked out the best way of getting a tiny ship into it. One slipped out of my hand like a banana out of its skin and smashed into a thousand pieces on the kitchen tiles. Damn it! Although I have to say there was something quite poetic about the boat being released from its glass prison. One is for a birthday present. Happy Birthday Tom.

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Rock and Roller

This week I feel like a stage mum as I have been busy sewing costumes for a rock and roll band i=it. They are pretty evil looking but apparently just what they wanted. You can see them in full flight this Friday night. It should be a great show.

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Recipe- Ratatouille Baked Aubergine

All my cooking is done with a use what you have attitude so feel free to substitute any of the ingredients. You can change the recipe as the mood takes you. Use any vegetables you have, corn and carrots or pumpkin would all be good. You could also put in some cooked brown rice with the sauce mixture if you felt like it.

1 Onion
3 Cloves Garlic
3 Aubergine/ Eggplants
1 Red Capsicum
2 Zucchini

:Herbs and Spices:
2 Spring Onions
Sprinkle of Rosemary
Pinch or so of Salt
Pinch or so of Sugar
Pinch of Chilli
Grated cheese - Parmesan or pecorino are fine or sliced mozzarella if you are feeling fancy.

:From the Pantry:
Tin of Tomato
Tin of Red Kidney Beans
Tomato Paste
Salt for preparing the eggplant

500grams or 1 lb mince
I use Kangaroo, its very low in fat, always free range, has low impact on the environment and is very tasty, but beef is fine or leave it out all together and put in an extra can of beans to make up the protein.

  • Cut the eggplant lengthwise into 1cm thick slices.Salt each side well and place in a colander. Leave in the sink as the salt will draw out the bitter juice and drip everywhere.
  • In a large pan with a drop of oil cook the sliced onion and garlic. Add the oregano, rosemary, salt and pepper. Any herbs are fine just use what you have. Cook until the onions are soft then add the mince. Stir and cook until brown.
  • Add the chopped vegetables, tin of tomato, tomato paste, spring onions, chilli, sugar and a cup of water. Cook for half an hour or longer if you have time. If it starts getting too dry add a bit more water.
  • Add the red beans at the end.
  • Wash the eggplant well to remove all the salt.
  • Place a layer of Eggplant in the bottom of a baking dish. Spoon the sauce on top until all are covered then layer more eggplant. Cover with more sauce, sprinkle some cheese on top and bake covered with foil for forty minutes in a 180 C or 350 F oven.
  • Uncover and cook until the cheese is brown.
  • Eat up

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Ship in a Bottle

I have to say I am feeling a little hemmed in at the moment. I wish I had a fancy trip overseas on the horizon but alas there are none coming up this year. I spent the morning in my studio feeling frustrated and not sure what to do, I did some drawing which I didn’t like and cut out some fabric but didn’t feel like doing anything with it and then I started making a tiny ship. I put it in a bottle I have been saving and now it can sit there reminding me of all the potential trips I can take until the next real one comes along.

Monday, 2 March 2009

Band Aid for a Guilty Conscience

I have been having a terrible attack of the guilts and haven’t known how to remedy it until now which is why I have been a bit quiet on the old blogging front. I felt so bad for being excited about the extremely hot day only to find out later just how devastating it was. It made me feel strange about writing anything as my life is very insignificant compared to what else goes on in this world and putting up a recipe or nattering on about nothing seemed very pointless. Anyway after some navel gazing I think I have found a way of making myself feel a little better and hopefully doing a tiny bit to help out too. There is a new site on Etsy called Oz Bushfire Appeal and you can donate things to sell, or buy things to help raise money for the Red Cross. So far they have made over $15 000 which is pretty fantastic. I made a little toy to sell on it and will make some more soon. There is more bad weather predicted tomorrow which strong north winds so hopefully everything is ok. It really has been an unprecedented disaster but now its craft to the rescue.

Friday, 20 February 2009

Small Magazine Give away

The new issue of Small Magazine has just come out and you can be in the chance to win one of my Garlands, just go to the back of the Magazine. It is another great issue filled with beautiful things and worth a good read.

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Post apocalypse

We got in the car and turned on the am radio and realised the real effect of the extreme weather. There were massive fires burning out of control across most of the state yesterday, whole towns have been wiped out. There are deaths and loss of homes and farms it has been terrible. Hopefully the cool weather will help and the rest of the fires can be brought under control. It has been an absolute disaster.

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Hottest day ever… really!

Our Front Lawn

It so the hottest day ever recorded in my town today and its amazing. The wind is whipping down from the north pushing the temperature higher and higher, it topped 45.3 C which is 114 F and may go higher still. The steps burn through the rubber soles of my shoes, the front lawn has thrown its hands in the air, curled up and died. Trees drop their leaves as though Autumn has begun but really they have been cooked. It’s quite exhilarating, almost apocalyptic. So now it’s off to the beach for a swim before a cool change comes sweeping through this evening.

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

"Marta writes" blog give away

A lovely woman called Marta is having a giveaway on her blog of some of my paper-chains which is exciting. Ill look forward to seeing who the winner is over the next few days. You can go to here blog and have a look and maybe you will win!

Friday, 30 January 2009

Gardening is Dangerous

It is still amazingly hot here. All the Indian Minor birds have their beaks wide open panting, while the rest of the birds seem to have hidden silently in the branches, too hot to let out a peep.
We were on the way to the beach yesterday afternoon and I kicked a gardening fork which went 2.5cm into my foot and got stuck, I yanked it out, bleed everywhere got scooped up by my boyfriend who thought I had been bitten by a snake and stitched up at the doctors. Now I am bed bound with my foot on a pillow, resting away while through the blinds the world gets baked. The blinds are very beautiful so it’s not so bad. The good news is I can swim so later I will hobble down and dip in the sea. I am not very good at resting but it hurts too much to get up so that helps to keep me horizontal.

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

100 year heatwave

We are in the middle of what may be the biggest heat wave for 100 years, so it's time to batten the hatches, pull the blinds and drink iced tea. It is also tomato season. The ones in the garden are starting to ripen although I was tricked by the name "tiny toms" and planted them in the front of the bed, they grew to be about six feet high and blocked out all the sun to the things at the back which is a bit annoying but less so now there are delicious tomatoes to eat.We have been enjoying home grown cucumbers and soon out monster corn will be ready. Over the weekend I made a batch of Tomato Sauce from my Mum's recipe, it is amazing how it tastes the same as all those childhood memories.

Friday, 23 January 2009

Friday Round up

Cleaned up Studio
Birthday Snappers
Excellent Novels
Some Drawings

I have had a really great week working away on a whole lot of new projects. I tidied up my studio which is also our only storage space to I have to fight a bit against a tide of boxes, but manages to get a good corner and sat down and have been doing lots of drawing. I have also been loving my new Birthday scissors, or snappers as my niece calls them, that my boyfriend gave me. They are from India and cut beautifully as well as looking very smart. Its a long weekend this week and we are off to the beach to make a batch of tomato sauce and finish reading "Dirt Music" by Tim Winton. His writing has totally swept me away. I read "Breath" his new novel last week and moved straight on to Dirt Music, I really recommend both books.

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Augie March "Lupus"

The video we made at the end of December is all finished so now I can show you. It is for a band called Augie March and the song is titled "Lupus". It is loosely based on Hess' Steppenwolf and I reckon it came together really well.
I worked with my friend Lucy Dyson as Co Directors/Co Producers, and Stefan Duscio as the DOP. We had many helpful hands along the way not the least of which were our great actors. It was edited by Billy Browne who is a gun. We shot the whole thing in one day.