Friday, May 28, 2010


So hilarious!

Ahh, Lost.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Goals for the week

I have a lot to do in a week and a half; a ridiculous time frame but not one of my making. So, here are my goals for the week. The photo is where I'd like to be to recover when it is all done and dusted. From here.

1. Marking. I have 9 programs, 27 exams and some other bits and pieces to do. Should take two days if I really get stuck into it. The programs should be done for tomorrow and the exams I technically have until Friday week. Might need that extra time in the end.
2. Thesis proposal. I have all the major bits except the abstract written but there other bits that need to be done too. The due date is Friday but I have a meeting tomorrow to discuss it and it should be pretty much finished for that.
3. Research for exhibition. Yeah, I haven't really done any. It is due on Wednesday week.
4. Exhibition brief. Again, done nothing. Due Wednesday week.

Right, so today is marking. Tonight is thesis proposal.
Tuesday is thesis proposal, meetings and I really want to get to a writers' workshop in the evening.
Wednesday is thesis proposal plus teaching plus uni class plus another evening thing I want to go to (and LOST finale!!!!!!)
Thursday is thesis proposal.
Friday I will send in the thesis proposal and start on the research.
Saturday will be research.
Sunday I will start the exhibition brief.
Monday I'm off to my volunteer job and I'll probably need a recharge in the afternoon and do nothing!
Tuesday will be research and exhibition brief.
Wednesday I teach then will go to my class, hand it all in and then collapse onto the couch.

There are some other little things that need doing, like visiting students who are on prac and actually working on my business, but they'll have to be done around all the other things.

Looking forward to the next ten days been over and done with!!

Have a great week - I hope it is nothing like mine :)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Today I'm....

...waiting for the rain

....watching my fish, Gilli, die

....feeling good about my business

....looking forward to supervising an exam, but only because I'll get some marking done

....feeling tired

....enjoying proper tea

....wanting my thesis proposal to write itself

....wondering how I can have so much work due now for a second semester subject

....wishing I'd organised to go to the farm this weekend

....trying not to clench my teeth so much

....wanting more time in the week

....looking forward to watching the footy tomorrow

how about you?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Lost Thing

A quick drive by....

If you haven't read his books or don't know who Shaun Tan is then you must, I say, MUST, go to a library and find out.

I've just become very excited about the news that his favourite book of mine (one that I've used in my English classes so successfully before), The Lost Thing, has been made into a short animated film and, get this!, it looks just like the book but alive! Love the people at Passion Pictures, love Shaun Tan, can't wait to see the film. Go and see the trailer and more here.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Goddess Within

It is the weekend here and I have lots to do (marking) and lots I'd like to do (footy, sleeping). I'm sure your weekend looks something like that too, perhaps without the marking.

This week I listened to this incredible talk by Naomi Wolf - you know the one - she wrote The Beauty Myth in 1991. I've never read it, but I think I should. Half a dozen times at the start of her talk I almost turned off because I didn't fully agree with her but then, wham! She hit me with her conclusion, which she'd be building all along. It is that if women spend their time thinking about their bodies, their appearance and measuring their desirability against other women they are not using their beautiful, smart and incredibly creative brains to think, solve, create and believe. That the enslavement of our brains to this 'beauty myth' means we are not free and that we cannot become all we could be. Breaking away from this, she argues, is freedom; is happiness.

A big call, yes. I have to admit to spending stupid amounts of time in my day thinking (obsessing) about these things and I think many women do this too. Since I listened to Wolf I've tried consciously to stop those thoughts in their tracks, which has been an interesting exercise. It is about being mindful - using mindfulness to alter habits. Something I've been working on for a while now, but not in this area.

Anyway, well worth a listen if you have some time.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The "Other" Me

To save my readers here, who joined up to a craft blog(!), the tediousness of my history obsession, I've been writing my proper "history" posts in another blog. But, there are those here who might be interested so I direct you to: Historian @ Work for lots of history-goodness. But, I do understand that not everyone loves it as much as me, so please just stick around here for various other bits and pieces instead. I will keep both blogs going.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Morning at the River

I've never really considered rivers as things to be fond of, although I've been aware that others do. I guess I've haven't lived near enough to a significant one to spend time there so that I became fond of it. But, that is what is happening now. The Swan River is a lovely river. It meanders gracefully around the suburbs of Perth and almost everywhere its banks are lined with trees dipping their leaves into the water and wonderfully sandy tiny beaches.
Today Bess (the dog) and I went off in search of a new stretch to explore. We arrived in Bassendean, a suburb that sits in a curve of the river just across from the historic Guildford. We went to Success Hill Park and discovered a wonderful little oasis of bushland and riverbank and had it all to ourselves (granted it was 7am on a Saturday). Besides being beautiful, Success Hill is a bit famous and a bit infamous. Famous because perhaps Stirling (our intrepid first Governor) 'watered his horses here' in about 1830 and infamous (although that is not really the right word) for an Aboriginal massacre that happened there a little later on. The Australian ability to take on this little known information and then continue with a morning's walk amazes me, even though I am also very capable of it too. I found out this information from an interpretation board - one of about eight in the park - and I could write a little essay about the way the information is presented, but I won't here.

So, let's just get onto the photos and let go of that prickly, difficult national issue, shall we?
This walk at the river I did take my camera, although I'm having to relearn my old lens because my newer and better one is, sadly, broken. Not all the photos I took worked out and that hasn't happened to me in a long time!
But, Bess and I had the glorious experience of wandering through bushland together, just like we used to. She with her nose to the ground, tail wagging and me with my camera and wide open eyes. Lovely.

Friday, April 30, 2010

New Book!

What heaven to be in Paris, to be young...everyday after we'd dunked our brioches in our bowls of chocolate, we sallied down to the foyer [...then out ] to explore Paris. It was not spring, the chestnuts up the Champs-Elysees were bare - but it was still the most beautiful and romantic city in the world and has always remained so to me.

So Australian Eugenie Louise McNeil (nee Delaure) wrote in 1902 and so Rosemary Lancaster opens her book Je Suis Australienne: Remarkable Women in France, 1880-1945 and which I will be starting, sinking into, devouring and gloriously enjoying tonight.

Thursday, April 29, 2010


This morning was lovely; I went walking with my puppy dog down to the river and I wished I'd brought my camera but I didn't, so I thought I'd do a post just with words and with my amazing words you'd all know what I saw this morning...

But then!

I watched this video which is all kinds of awesome!

So you should watch that instead and I'll do my little word painting another time.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

My Favourite Thing

My mum bought this small quilt for me from a antique shop in Fremantle last year.

It comes from England and is about seventy years old.

I love it for a number of reasons but not least because when it is over my feet it makes them warm. This seemingly simple thing is actually quite amazing because for years I suffered from frozen feet that won't warm up when I get into bed.

And now it is getting cooler it is back on my bed and I love it all over again.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Louis Vuitton

Love getting to look into other people's houses, especially very famous, very rich people?

Go here and click on Paris then the family house - there is lots more to explore but most of it isn't live yet. Make sure you have your sound on!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Smart Woman

I'm always so excited to hear from very smart women who made it to the top of their field, especially when they defend their way of doing things as different because they are women, instead of insisting that gender has no impact on decisions and ways of working.

Anyway, just let me step off my soapbox for a moment to link to this interview with a very smart Western Australian woman, retiring chief judge of the WA District Court, Antoinette Kennedy, in which she discusses the role of the courts and argues against the media's representation of judges and the judgments they make. She makes so much sense that I wanted to cheer.

If you aren't from Australia this might not be so interesting for you, but she is really so clever that if you have a little time spare and find things about law interesting I would highly recommend listening. Or just save it for one of those times when you look to the Internet for something interesting and engaging and it fails miserably!

Find it here.

Saturday, April 17, 2010


I'm not the hugest fan of little kids but this kid is so cute and so French and, wow, what a great story!!

Friday, April 16, 2010

One door closes and another opens

The thrill of just leaping out into the void and seeing what happens, following a dream or goal, knowing what you want your life to look like and just making it that way, is thrilling.

Yesterday I finished off my first consultant project. I worked at the tail end of a very large project, bring together everything and handing it over as complete as I could make it. I even, in the stresses of the last minutes, started delegating work to the people who'd employed me! Oopsie. They didn't seem to mind though and I brought home made jam cookies to soften them up. :) It was a fascinating project, lots of itty bitty research to do and I now know almost the entire history of a random small town in WA. Just the sort of thing I love taking space up in my brain.

It is a little bit annoying not being able to talk about what I did, but it doesn't matter too much. You just need to know that I throughly enjoyed it and my business earned some money. Win-win!

Look how pretty it is!

WA has just published its first Historical Encyclopedia (well, a proper one anyway) and I bought my copy today. Apparently they are a bit hard to get a hold of (who knew there were so many history geeks in Perth!), but I managed to waltz into a little independent bookshop and buy mine with a business cheque. Hooray! Now it is sitting on my bed, tempting me with its secrets and you'd better believe I'll be reading it cover to cover. Oh, I know, so sad!

The open door then, is a pretty exciting opportunity that I've put my hand up for. Again, I'm not going to tell you much but hopefully I will be able to say more after Tuesday. I don't want to jinx it! It involves a little museum and a fabulous chance at some real experience. More next week.

And now, well...I might just take it easy and do a bit of pottering around. Hopefully manage to drown out the sound of Red Bull Air Race planes that are currently buzzing the city. Did you hear one crashed into the river yesterday? I find that unsurprising.

Saturday, April 10, 2010


Oh I love my footy! Tonight mum and I took ourselves to the sports bar at the casino to watch the game (it was only being played on paytv). Beers and deep fried food and the game on a H-U-G-E screen, so huge in fact that it almost felt like we were sitting at the ground.

And best of all? The boys slaughtered the Tigers. Awesome!

(For those of you slightly perplexed by this post, this footy would be Australian Rules and my team is the Sydney Swans - 'cheer, cheer the red and the white'!)

Friday, April 9, 2010

Julie & Julia

Okay, so it has taken me a long time to getting around to seeing this film. Partly because I don't seem to go to the cinema much anymore, partly because when Mum saw it she said all the food made her feel ill and partly because I wasn't convinced I was going to be able to stand watching Meryl Streep as Julia Child - not because I don't like Meryl but because Julia seemed so...overbearing, effusive, excessively larger than life.

But, I just watched it and I loved it. Really. I loved how it was shot - going back and forth between the two stories, I loved watching someone who had just turned 30 figure out what she wanted to do, I loved seeing the beautiful love stories in the film, especially that of Julia and Paul. Of course I also loved the sets of 1950s Paris and the food! I really haven't eaten enough French food but all the food (contrary to what Mum said) looked amazing. I especially loved the way it was prepared by just getting their hands in there and doing it. I loved the bit with the trussed chicken and the bit with the duck because it required such physical, raw engagement with the food.

It was also really fascinating to watch the beginning of blogging - well, of blogging leading to books and movies and all that. It is so, well, historical (!).

But I've got to say that most of all I loved Julia and the way she was. So generous and thankful for her life and everything that she achieved.

What a lovely, lovely surprise. And exactly what I needed tonight.

Saturday, April 3, 2010


Instructions before reading this post. Click to open this page in another tab/window/whatever but don't look at it yet. Music will start that will set the scene for this post....Go on, I'll wait. You can look at the website (which is beyond awesome) afterwards.

I don't think I've really waxed lyrical about how much I'm in love Paris and how I am actively planning and plotting to get there and stay for three months in September 2011. Well, I am. It is a rock solid goal of mine. I'm going to rent a studio or one bedroom apartment somewhere awesome with a view over the rooftops of Paris. I'm going to eat cheese and bread and drink a lot of wine. I'm going to walk and walk and walk, take photos, breathe and generally experience Paris. I'll probably try to take some "work" to do of some kind. Sewing, writing, photography...I don't really care. I want to be in my apartment as the autumn sunshine lengthens over the chimney pots and be creative.

Does this all sound very romantic? It is supposed to. I have only visited Paris once before and then only for three days. It was the end of my last Europe trip (six years ago now!) and I had just enough money to dash over the channel for a couple of nights. I'd never been to Paris before - I thought, how can it be that amazing? It is just a city, I'm sure I'm not really missing out on anything. Wow, but I've never been so wrong about anything in my life. And it hit me from when I stepped off the train. I really find it difficult to explain why I loved it so but I did. I think about those three days more than all the rest of my trip combined (although the six weeks in Sweden were pretty incredible too). I rode a bike around the city, including around the L'Arch de Triomphe, and if you've seen this you'll know how dangerous that is. I giggled insanely while I did it and felt immune to death or injury. I wandered museums, visited Versailles, ate a market-bought picnic beneath La Tour Eiffel, did a cooking class in a chef's house in suburban Paris and learnt to clean a squid from scratch. I ate at a restaurant where there was no menu, just what the chef had bought at the market that morning and at cafes where the price of a hot chocolate included people watching for hours and at crepe stands where mountains of crepe and fillings cost hardly anything and were delicious. My hotel room had real french doors that led onto a tiny Parisian balcony where I could watch the coming and going from the cafe across the street.

I did have one bad experience there when I saw a fight in the street but even that, which shocked me to the core at the time, has not dampened my love for the city. And I can't wait to get back there.

Okay, now you can go and look at the website...ahhh Paris. See you next year!

Friday, April 2, 2010


I am going to make this:

Thanks to this very talented quilter

Wow, so life really gets in the way of blogging, huh. I know I am constantly saying how busy I am and I guess that's boring, I'm sure if you're following or subscribing you would probably just prefer posts a bit more regularly.

April. The 1st was the official start of my consultancy business and, oops, but that just totally passed me by, except that Katrina and I went out for a all-out dinner last night to celebrate other things so I'm just going to pretend that we also celebrated that. But! I do have my first project going and my business is actually earning money, (and in fact has already made my sales target for this month) which is beyond exciting and I'm probably not really appreciating it enough or taking a bit of time to be amazed and thankful for it. Mostly, I think, that is because I'm trying to focus on lining up my next project, or that's what I'm telling myself anyway. The work is fascinating and I'm really, really enjoying it but the way these things go mean that I can't tell you a lot about it. So, it will just have to be all mysterious. Suffice to say that it is about local WA history and has a research focus, which is the answer I'll almost always give when asked about projects I'm working on. :)

Uni is relentless too just now. I'm finding that the switch from teacher to student I need to do regularly to be rather confusing. I have to keep telling myself that I know a lot of things in one field (Education - where I'm teaching) but not so much in the other field (heritage - where I'm learning) and my poor brain is finding it tough. Plus, assignments are flying at me thick and fast and I am trying to sharpen my thesis topic. So, when I'm not teaching or working I'm doing things like going to museums, reading and meeting my supervisor. All great fun, but exhausting.

Today has been my first day off in quite a few weeks. I slept in (an a futile attempt to sleep through my hangover), Katrina brought tea and toast to me in bed (if you know me you'll know how incredible this is to happen), I read, I watched telly, walked the dog and generally just did NOTHING. How lovely it has been. Tomorrow and Sunday are marking days then, although Monday is a public holiday, I'll be back to work.

I hope everyone has a lovely easter. Tell me you're doing something exciting - camping, perhaps? I'd love to go camping...

Monday, March 22, 2010

Goodness me!

Browsing through my Google reader this morning and finding a few interesting things but nothing to send me off on a 'net adventure' I checked my stats for this blog and my subscriptions have gone up! I haven't even been blogging! Oops!

So, welcome to new readers and hello to old. I'm here with a post and because I don't really have anything particular to say, I'll just do a bit of a round up.

First, I think it is actually going to rain today. This is exciting because it hasn't rained here (Perth) since way, way last year. Some kind of record was broken. I was watching a movie on the weekend where in every melancholy scene it was raining and I really ached for some rain. But it needs to be a bit cooler too, so snuggling under the doona with a book is possible. At the moment, while it might rain, it is still going to be 30degC. I guess you can't have everything. And I am glad not to be in the cold in Victoria anymore.

I'm a tad excited about perhaps finding a bit of a research goldmine, historically speaking. I don't want to say too much and I may be getting a bit ahead of myself - I have to make a few calls today - but it is an exciting prospect. In other history/study news, I have an assignment due on Friday which I haven't started in any meaningful way. Must get onto that today.

I finished my Certificate in Small Business Management (yay!) and am all set to officially start my consultancy business on April 1 (no jokes, thanks!). It is a very arbitrary selection of a date, but I have to start somewhere. So, if you need any historical research or writing done, I'm your gal!

In slightly less happy news, and I don't really want to announce this in a formal way because these things are always in a state of flux, but I've decided that Eight Crows is going to go on the back burner. There are a number of reasons, mostly to do with my existing time and energy and my passion. While I love making things, working creatively is very hard for me, so while I'll still make things I will mostly be making for myself. I'll still take commissions, with conditions, and am still going to Upmarket this coming Sunday (at which most of my stock will be on sale!). I think one of the biggest reasons I've taken this decision is that I can't run this business properly - there is so much I could do to increase sales and the presence of Eight Crows, but I don't have the time or, frankly, the passion to do that in a way that it deserves to be done. Does that make sense? I'm excited that I'll get to make some things for me - up until now it has kind of been difficult to justify not making to sell - and maybe that was one of the problems I was having. Anyway, there you go. If any of you have seen things here that you want to buy but aren't in Perth for the market just let me know.

So, with that in mind, my first project will be a quilt (nope, I don't really do things by half, why do you ask?). I'm very excited about this, but I really have to do my assignment first!

All the photos are ones I took at the Sculpture by the Sea exhibition...

Have a lovely week everyone, hopefully I'll be back later on with something more....

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I'm finding it very difficult to get motivated this week. Some semi-big things have happened that should be exciting and energising but instead have left me without energy or motivation. I have no idea what to do next, even though it is very clearly written out in a to-do list as long as my arm.

It really is ridiculous to be so de-motivated because I've done some lovely things in the past few days too. Last night Katrina and I saw Beneath Hill 60 at a free screening for teachers (officially I'm still a teacher until my financial membership runs out at the end of the month). The film was excellent - a new Gallipoili. I would recommend it if you are interested in Australian or war history. Have a look at the trailer at the link above.

My brother and I also got up early yesterday morning to see the Sculpture by the Sea at Cottesloe. This is the first time I've seen it and I really enjoyed it. I liked almost all the sculptures and it was lovely being on the beach early in the morning with the old people shuffling along their morning run in the sand before a dip in the water. I didn't get a swim, although I wanted one, which was the only pity.

And now, somehow, I need to snap myself out of this funk and get on with things. I really do have so much to do.

At least I've managed to blog, I suppose.

Saturday, March 13, 2010


No fabric for me from here (that's okay :) but oh, the colours and the sheer amount of material. They know all about presentation in northern Africa. This so reminds me of all the wonderful markets in Egypt.

Still working....getting there slowly.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Shower Power

So busy with non-crafty stuff, but hopefully after tomorrow I'll be back in the swing of it in a serious way and with news too!

In the meantime, I want this bathroom!

From one of my fave blogs - The Selby - because it is just like walking along and looking at the outside of houses and wondering what happens inside (which I do everyday) except you get to see inside the houses and wonder what happens (way more exciting). Plus, they are always smarty pants artists and designers and clever creatives. Bonus!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Other Brilliant Brother

My other brother has just returned to London (where he is living) from Morocco. Jealous, much. Anyway, he posted this awesome pic of himself on his blog and I just love it, so had to steal it and put it here.

I love the cheeky look in his eyes and the colour of the...scarf (I'm sure it has another name). Fantastic!

Also, trying not to hyperventilate at the thought of all the fabric he *could* (but probably didn't) buy for me.

Oh, and I miss him being around.

Oh be still my camping heart!

The utter fabulousness of this - I hate to call it a caravan because it is so much more than that - is so beyond gorgeous that I spent the morning leaping about in my chair with happiness at it.

Oh the style, the design, the *white*, the elegance, the shapes. I would sit gazing at it until it got dark and forget to look at the scenery of where I'd travelled to.

It is clever and stylish inside too! Oh, I LOVE it so!

Plus, it is only available in Europe so I'll just have to go a-camping to spiffy places in France and Italy, how utterly perfect!

And then get it shipped home because I couldn't bare to part with it.

This goes firmly at the top of my all-time wish list. If you too are in love (and seriously, why not!?) then you can see more at the Opera website (did I mention the awesome name!) and see a little video of it opening out like a flower. *sigh*

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Lovely Sunday

Today, Mum and I went to Ellis House. It is an old house in Bayswater (just near home) that is now an art gallery/community.

Their art markets were on today where their member artists were painting and selling their wares on the lovely shady verandahs of the house.

They also had tea and cakes available for $5 (bargain!) to eat under the shade of the huge old mulberry and jacaranda trees in the backyard.

While we tea-ed we watched a woman painting

And enjoyed the lovely things found in nature. The Bougainvillea around here is glorious at the moment and I need to get some more shots of it. And a Kookaburra feather lying on the grass. It was such a peaceful way to spend the morning.

But best of all - I spent a bit of time nurturing my creative spirit and hopefully this will allow me to get into the groove this week as I need to get serious in the lead up to market day. 
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Friday, March 5, 2010

What a Week!

At least I'm here to bookend the week that was. So busy and exhausting and totally devoid of creative energy, which is the real reason why I haven't made it here.

And now it is Friday night, so I'm going to crawl into bed with a book and cuddle up to my dog. Tomorrow is a new day.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Autumn? What?

The first of March has arrived and with it, technically, autumn. I should be mourning the last of summer, the end of balmy nights and ocean swimming and looking forward to changing leaves, a renewed vege garden and the AFL.  And of taking photos like these...

I took the above photos in Victoria, where autumn actually exists, But here, in the city of endless summer, it is 36degC and really very warm (last night I don't think it got below 25 until the early hours of the morning). And photos like the one below are still very appropriate!

So, I suppose it isn't all bad!

Edited to add: it has just hit 39degC now, 4pm. It really doesn't have to be this hot, does it!?
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