Thursday, 26 February 2009

Your creepy toy for today

The thing I like about blogging is that the categories just emerge over time. I find out what I am really interested in. Who knew there would be so many food entries? I guess food really is a hobby of mine. And the creepy toys - didn't see that one coming. In fact, I'm adding a label, so you can browse all the creepy toys together.

Today's installment is a creepy little rabbit. His feet are strung up like a marionette, except that you have to work them from the front. I really don't get that. Head - fairly creepy. Soft fur - ah, that's nice. Except that I do believe the pretty soft fur is made of - um - rabbit skin!

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Making ATCs at Stamp Club

Last month at stamp club (that's South Eastern Rubber Stampers) I made some ATCs. Because I was at stamp club, I had to make things with what I had brought. As usual, that means a fairly eccentric mix. There was some plain card and a cutter; a dictionary (my nice old one that I tear up); watercolour crayon; various punches; and just a few stamps. And black ink. Oh, and a Cropadile.

This one is "Squashiness" - I just love the cartoon look of the hearts. Sponging the edge of the punched heart just accentuates that.

Then there's "Paper Hedonism", done with a cool swirly shape punch, that I really haven't considered before. Also some silver tape - a very nice material I got at Reverse Art Truck. I don't know what its real use is.

Then there's "Heaven", using that swirl punch, and a flower one too. And a tiny flower, which is a teensy part of the bird punch. The groovy square stamp is from My Stamps, Cathy's business. Go on, buy something there, she'll love it!

Friday, 20 February 2009

Latest banana news

And on a lighter note, here's my twins wrestling over the last banana.

Relax boys, there's plenty to go around. It's a twin banana!

Ah, amusing fruit, I could write about it all day.

Sunday, 15 February 2009

GPP Crusade 28 - Portion Control

The latest "Crusade" at Green Pepper Press is to use "portion control". That means - umm - well, you should go to the GPP site to understand what that's all about. This is my response. I stamped a paisley stamp and cut it out to make a stencil. I sponged bright paint colours through the stencil, onto a background of dictionary page (what else?) that had been gessoed. Then I stamped the actual stamp on some tracing paper, coloured bits of it from the back in Sharpie pens, and assembled this.

I finished it in the usual style - flipped open my "cutting up" dictionary and let my eyes fall on a good word. Oooh, "Plashy", that's a nice one.

I got to use the Cropadile too - those silver 'eyelets' are some odd kind of thingy I got in an op shop - they are much shallower than a usual eyelet, and just make a decorative ring. One day I'll find out what they are for really.

I ended up with scraps on the table, and made this too:

Happy Birthday Great Bob

Here's a recently made card. Yep, I've scored another PSX botanical stamp, sooooo happy with that! This one I decided to stamp in Adirondack Lettuce. That's a water-based ink, which will run when it's wet. I love to use that aspect of it, and started to "colour" it with just water. Then I added some yellow (some Inktense pencil, it's very bright, so you can add a tiny bit). It's on watercolour paper, which makes all the difference. Kind of messy, and I really enjoyed doing it.

So when Great Bob's birthday came around (that's Great Uncle Robert, Jeff's uncle) I turned the picture into a card. I cropadiled on some eyelets - these are vintage eyelets in an unusual colour.

Saturday, 14 February 2009

Smoke over Melbourne

We've been having the worst bushfires Victoria's ever seen. Overseas relatives have been asking if we're alright. Yes, we are, we live well into the suburbs and away from the fire, but that doesn't mean we aren't affected.

This was the view out my front door yesterday late afternoon. A red sunset from all the smoke.

There's smoke haze in the air all the time now - I don't want to go walking outside, because I don't want to breath it. The extreme heat has killed lots of the plants in the garden - everything is looking brown. Leaves have fallen off trees everywhere, even though it's still summer.

And everyone's collecting for bushfire relief. We've contributed through the kids' schools; we shopped at the supermarket that was donating their profits yesterday; we're extra motivated to save water.

And tomorrow I'm off to a stamping fundraiser. Gail is running a "Stamp-a-Stack" - a stamping class where everyone makes lots of cards to take home - and she's donating all the proceeds. She's running several of them over the next week or so - look at her blog and book in for one! She's hoping to donate hundreds of dollars, so I'm happy to support her.

Friday, 13 February 2009

Mystery Picture revealed...

Before I forget it ...

The Mystery Picture is ...

A Dalek in a happy face mask!

Repeats of Doctor Who are on Tuesday nights at 8.30 - get your full share of David Tennant goodness as we wait for the new season.

The Dalek must be happy about the new Doctor, just announced in January!

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Mixed Media Monday - Romance

This week's topic on Mixed Media Monday is Romance. This time, I'm posting my made thing only one day after the start, not seven. Yay for me!

Slightly happier with this little canvas than with last week's fruit piece. But not much. No worries though, it's all about the making, getting your hands working (and painty) so they'll be ready for you next time you need 'em.

If you follow the link back to MMM, you'll get to see dozens of other people's takes on the topic. How good is that?

Monday, 9 February 2009

Mixed Media Monday - Fruit

Well, Michelle put me onto the idea of entering "challenges" as a way of keeping the creative muscles flexed. I elected to start with Mixed Media Monday's "Fruit" theme. Here 'tis. Not happy with it. But I did promise myself I'd do it. Think I'm technically too late, but hey. I did one.

Still, I DID use that fabbo PSX peach stamp, and any day you do that is a good day.

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Help! A man came and took my toilet away!

Yikes, it's gone - what shall we do?

Quick, there's the guy, after him!

Oh, wait, he seems to be a plumber. Here's what he replaced it with :

It's a Caroma Profile 5, for those who love good loos. Uses heaps less water than the old one (of course) and has a handbasin built in. The best bit is ... the tap actually fills the cistern. So when you wash your hands, you aren't pouring any nice fresh water down the drain - it goes to the next flush. Mr Old Toilet was running pretty badly, and had already had one plumber visit. It was time for him to be retired.

Now we need to fix the paint on the back wall, and get that silly sticker off. But that's no trouble, because we have a marvellous toilet!

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Frying an egg on the pavement? Nope, in the garden.

Hot day in Melbourne. So hot, the newspaper headline is just a number. 46, it's reading now.

So, we wonder, is it hot enough to fry an egg on the ground?

Well, obviously the only way to answer it is to try it. Can't go teaching the kids to reason it out, or do research.


Here is Mr Egg, basking in the nice warm weather:

Here is the frying pan, preheating outside:

Here's the temperature in the pan, reading well over 50 degrees Celsius :

Here's Mr Egg again :

Here's the butter melting rapidly in the pan :

Here's Jonathan, my helper:

Here's Mr Egg being cracked into the pan (we put a lid on him - it's very windy and dusty today too):

And here's Mr Egg again, 16 minutes later :

A warm egg, drying up at the edges, but no real sign of cooking. Wah! I was looking forward to tucking into a nice hot snack.

We'll leave Mr Egg out in the garden for now, and see what happens later. But that's mostly because the pan is too hot to pick up!

They just updated the newspaper headline to 46.4. Bleah.

New Sharpie Colours!

Love Sharpies? Yes, they are nice. Permanent pens, in great colours (although I think we all like plain old black best - use 'em to label the lunch boxes, it's cheaper than any other label). Don't be fooled by fake Sharpies - the real ones are made by Sanford.

Well, I got some new colours. "Cafe Colours" (wow, they saw ME coming!). There's Earl Grey, Blueberry, Hibiscus Tea, Mocha and Pomegranate - I love 'em!

Did you know there are Sharpie art sites out there? You can Google that, but first have a look at this guy's basement.

So NOW do you want to buy some Sharpies?

Whom shall I tag?

Umm, I'm thinking the tag gets passed on to :

and how about Annette

Off you go ladies. This is what you have to do.

Oh, and this photo is another candidate for "sixth" photo. Nice, hey? All cobbled together from garage sale finds.

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

My mystery picture...

I was just looking at an old blog of mine (a Melbourne based blog site, that seems to have curled up at the corners a bit). Here's a photo from there that was too good to lose.

So ... what is it? Your suggestions please. Thomas drew it. That's not a hint though.

The answer will come in a few days

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Well, apparently I've been TAGGED!

Barb tells me I've been tagged, and have to fulfil some silly and arbitrary requirements. Sigh. Ah well, no rest for the wicked.

Seems the task is to display for the amusement of all, the SIXTH photo in the SIXTH folder of my Pictures file. Of course, because of my stubbornness to use my OWN filing system, I don't actually have anything in "Pictures". So, that opens up a whole field of debate on just which folder I should consider to be sixth. After all, you can sort 'em how you like 'em.

Here's a candidate :
Ah, lovely, innit? That's our flowering peach, in blossom, as it is for only a few weeks each year. This was back in 2004, when I was housebound for six weeks or so (an earlier bout of the heart problem that came back, and got fixed, last year). Since I was stuck inside, Nature decided to put on a splendid show right outside the window for me.

Of course, I had to juggle a bit to call that the "sixth" folder - depends if you call the folder of Paris photos I had selected to take for printing as a "folder" in its own right. If you don't (and I'd be with you on that) then THIS is the special tag photo:

This would be (give me a moment) Jonathan, on his 7th birthday, receiving a nice, well thought out gift from his loving parents. In his jammies. He turns 11 in a few days.

I'll pass the tag on next!

Sunday, 1 February 2009

I meet a hot tiger!

At Dreamworld on our recent Gold Coast holiday, I had to take a break under an umbrella. Some of the kids were on a scary roller coaster, and the last one had discovered the "Vortex", a completely old-fashioned fairground ride, which he was going on over and over. I was quietly doing a puzzle on my iPod, when what should wander by but a young TIGER!

The resident tigers get taken for strictly controlled strolls around the park from time to time, and when they are tired or hot, the keepers let them stop. And this is what happened. Right next to me.

This is the "Vortex" - all three kids spent the rest of the day on it:

Awesome Fish Sculptures

Ballina has a row of excellent fish sculptures, by local artist Joe Stark. Sooooo cool! They turn in the wind too!

Shop Signs up North

Well, first there's this one ....
An emporium that specialises in baked goods - and photographing stuff. Makes sense to me; it describes half my life anyway.

But then there's this one ...
"Food in Bucket", a fast food outlet near the Carrara Markets. This fine restaurant offers food, and it's - well - in a bucket. It would appear. We didn't stop. I like the fact that the illustrated food appears to be about to eat itself.

This one's for Cathy

At stamp club yesterday, Cathy announced that you can make a nice Frangipani flower from balloon punches. Well, we had a balloon punch on hand, and what's stamp club for other than making frangipanis? We were hampered only with not knowing how they actually look.

This one is growing in the garden when Mum lives.

Best Maze Ever!

I wasn't kidding when I said the maze in Alstonville is the best maze in Australia. Well, we thought so. It's called "Amaze 'n' Place". Just the sort of touristy destination we'd head for. Maze, coffee shop, puzzles to do. That ticks all the boxes!

Well, it was totally charming! The maze is constructed of a lattice of trees, tied so that they grow together (Jeff asked what the process was called, but he forgot - it was something complicated - let's call is supercocoafluorochlorination). Anyway, the process of supercocoafluorochlorination allowed them to build a delicate but sturdy maze, which, although it can be seen through, is tricky to traverse. Being seasoned maze goers, we put our left hands on the wall and walked. That's a mathematically safe method of traversing a maze and not getting lost. Umm, we got back to the entrance, but hadn't visited the tower. So, it's a method of getting out, but not of visiting all the interesting points. We had to wing it. There are no dead ends, no cross overs, and tons of cute sculptures tucked into interesting corners.

AND - a treasure hunt for kids. Actually several. The kids went back several times for more quiz sheets, which the owner studiously "marked" for them afterwards.

AND - the coffee shop was deeeelightful. Puzzles to take to your table and do, and yummy things to eat. And a well stocked puzzle shop - Jeff bought two.

AND - to add to the experience, a freshly shorn alpaca was also provided. Betcha didn't see that one coming.

Ballina - Little Things and Big Things

Whew, back to Melbourne, back to the blog! From now on we'll have text, pictures, the whole thing.

On our 11 day trip away we stayed in Ballina for four days. That's where Mum and Peter have retired to. Ballina is home to the Big Prawn. There's a gym under the Prawn now. That's where I'd work out!

On a day trip in Poppy's (that's Peter's) car, we opened the door to find a little stowaway! The little frog had travelled with us from Ballina to Evans Head, and it was time for him to get off now. We took turns looking at him, and Gran (that's Mum) had a go at holding him. I shrieked when he jumped onto my pants! He left a little froggy mark too. Frog juice.