Monday, February 25, 2013

rhubarb, rhubarb, custard, custard

I just read a providential and rather wonderful blog post on the newly discovered Quince Tree blog.  Which reminded me that I had just yesterday poached some delectably crimson rhubarb and there was also custard in the fridge.  I am not one to ignore messages from the Universe, nor a gift dessert in the mouth. So we each had a plate of this
Which tops off a much happier evening chez us as the weather finally changed and it is cool! I hope to wake up to hear rain on the roof but for the moment coolth, rhubarb and custard will do.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

first catch your balloon

Yesterday the smallest sprog and I tried an experiment: keen to be a Good Mother, I thought some art bonding time might be good. We found a number of tutorials on the intertubes to make string balls using balloons, glue and string, which seemed a simple and fun thing to do with an 8 year old.

Looking back, this was my first mistake. Second mistake was doing it in gazillionty degree heat. After half an hour we were both sticky with equal parts glue and sweat, the balloons were bolshy and the string, or in this case thick silk thread, was reluctant to stick to anything except itself and make a nice tightly knotted lump while it was about it.

Then after a couple of hours drying time (the intertubes said to leave overnight but it was so hot they dried quickly)  Sprog was bitterly disappointed that instead of a nice hard ball he ended up with this - one flaccid balloon firmly stuck to its wrapping.
 I managed to tease the balloon away from the thread but it was still definitely not round.
Mine were more successful - I think because I used more thread.

Here they are with the balloons removed and gently stretched into shape.
  I liked all of them - I think they ended up being much more interesting than string balls. 
I think this technique has lots of potential and I would like to experiment using different types of glues and threads. But perhaps not with a 8 year old and  not on a hot day.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

too damn' hot

I don't know when I'll be in the studio again - it's just too hot and will continue to be hot for at least the next week. For the last few days we have bunkered down in the coolth of the office and only emerged in the evening after sun down when it's safe to open the door again.
So, no creative news to report unless you count finally getting to the ruffle of my Citron shawl - the end is in sight! Then I can start on my raspberry sundae socks made of gorgeous silk and cashmere Sundara yarn.  And in thesis news, drafting is well underway and continues....

The courtyard garden is flourishing in the steady heat and we have a very welcome visitor

Saturday, February 16, 2013

last night

I could complain about the weather, being too hot to sleep, not wanting to leave the house... but from what I see on FB and in blogland we are all getting rather fed up with our particular brand of weather be it blizzards, rain or heat.

So I will share some photos from last night's pre-gloaming - there was an odd coppery tinge to the light, probably from bushfire smoke, the clouds were nimbused and the roses expansive.

Friday, February 15, 2013


This week has been pretty much more of the same, so little to prompt a blog post. A little thesis writing,

 a conference to go to, hot days and warm nights.

 Last weekend we took the smallest sprog to the beach for a late afternoon leap into
 the waves and making of sand balls
 as you can see there was a rather stiff onshore breeze.

We also went out for dinner - this is what the smallest chose to wear
 although he did take it off to eat.

Friday, February 08, 2013

studio day

I took today off and did lots of pottering.

Kind Dog and I went to the nursery after school drop-off this morning and bought lettuces - here they are settled into their new home in our side courtyard
 cosying up to the already successful basil
 and mint
then I had a play in the studio and did some washing machine felting
made some different types of silk paper

and three small pieces which will be available in Incube8r by the end of the month

Thursday, February 07, 2013

this week has been busy - mostly writing my draft thesis chapter as I have my 6 monthly review in March. As a consequence my side of the desk looks like this:
 But I have now written 4500 words - I'm not sure how many of those words are useable but they are there which is the main thing. And will be rewritten and moved around and turned into footnotes and then back into text.....

So I am taking tomorrow off and having a studio day :)

In other news:
  •  young Nero has been fighting some sort of creature and has the fur from his left eyebrow missing and some grazing and missing whiskers on his right side
  • we have a plague of small lizards running amok in the house and shedding tails at whim
  • Mr Pteranodon has come a cropper and lies prone on the floor, very like Richard III in the previous post.
Although i suspect Richard III wasn't pushed off the staircase by a young cat who has form..

Monday, February 04, 2013

this IS Richard III

The skeleton of Richard III.
 How exciting! Breaking news on The Guardian's website is that the skeleton disinterred in Leicester really is Richard III - not looking quite so much like a bottled spider.

Being both a history and a Shakespeare nut I think this is absolutely amazing. And look at that spine - how uncomfortable! And imagine trying to get armour to fit...  Both arms look normal though so not much evidence for the withered hand.

And I love the para further down that reveals that the Richard III Society doesn't have anything to do with the Tudors but do meet the Stuarts from time to time.  Nothing like a 500 year grudge...

This has cheered me up no end - a nice distraction from the election disaster that looms 7 months hence.

2013 intentions

This is rather late, but I did write the original list one sleepless January night in Venice. 

The last couple of years have been full to bursting with Life Events and change and the accompanying stresses and anxieties. So I am looking forward to a year of chugging rather than lurching and trying to minimise the negative, whether it's people who make me feel bad or taking a more positive view of life. 

So here are my 2013 intentions:
  • take control of what I want to have in my life
  • be more organised and balanced in how I use my time 
  • inspired by Jane Davila I will try and blog twice a week
  • minimise commitments to make or exhibit things or do any challenges - I've done challenges for the last 8 years and I think I need a break - 2013 is play time!
  • I'm not going to have anyone in my life who is negative or makes me feel bad - just not going to engage
  • think before I buy more stuff, whether it's supplies, clothes or books (actually maybe not the books - I always need books)
  • not leave so many shoes under the desk...

mr toby cat

You may remember my guardian cat Toby, who went missing for 10 months after we moved house and was miraculously restored to us last April.
He is now a glossy and contented cat with strong views on computers and the way they detract from lap availability.