10 April 2013
I have recently become obsessed with the idea of weaving after discovering Maryanne Moody and her wonderful creations. Something in my brain just clicked and I knew that this was something I must do, what I'm meant to do. I know that sounds corny as all hell but I've never felt as drawn to a creative outlet before as much as weaving. Who'd have thunk it!
So, I started looking for a loom and a class. I found a lot of simple, inexpensive looms online....so, so many looms to choose from and wouldn't you know it, the one I chose just happened to be the only one I didn't check the measurements for. You can see from the photo above that my loom is tiny. Stupidly tiny. When the parcel arrived I was so disappointed but decided to have a play with it anyway.
Hours of searching the web, looking at different techniques, I stumbled upon a website for Saori weaving and I fell in love. I've signed up for a workshop in June and I am counting down the days until then.
And before you ask, no, I'm definitely not planning to give up the handbags. Plans, plans, so many plans. So inspired. I can't wait to share my creations with you.
7 April 2013
Yesterday I headed to The Finders Keepers market at the glorious Royal Exhibition Building with a couple of friends and it was definitely the best one I've been to. I hope they accept even more applications for the next Melbourne event and fill the entire ground floor space. I'm planning on applying for a stall at the next Brisbane and Melbourne markets *fingers crossed*
There was so much that I loved but the standouts for me were:
OMFG. The coolest portable music player ever. I want one of these for our living room. I must have one.
Able & Game
My friend Anna is the mastermind behind these kooky cards. They are some of the most original cards you'll ever give or receive and cover pretty much every occasion. The card below was actually inspired by a horrible date I went on.
I wish I had bought some of these at FK. I will definitely be buying some soon. Most likely the herbs, mushrooms, garlic and ginger bags. They are gorgeous and functional.
For crying out loud, how beautiful is your work, Abby! I could have spent my monthly salary at her stall, it's all so beautiful. I will be dropping hints come birthday and Christmas time.
Smashing bedlinen that is soft and crisp to the touch....and at very reasonable prices.
Angus & Celeste
I adore their jelly mould planters but I have nowhere to hang them *sigh*. Mind you, their vases are things of beauty.
A Skulk of Foxes
I am kicking myself for not having bought one of their Single Platonic Icosahedron necklaces when I was standing right in front of it. I'll definitely be buying one in the near future, along with the iPhone 5 cover below.
I am not generally a stuffed toy person, even as a kid they never really appealed to me all that much but these are fabulous, quirky works of art that I have fallen in love with.
I have lusted after the Spot Fasett Vessels for a while and finally bought one yesterday, now I want more. The photo below was taken in my living room this morning.
31 March 2013
Autumn. The horrid heat of Summer is behind us, it's now scarf weather and it's now fun to wander around town.....in a scarf....not sweating. This is the first weekend of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival and the city is such a great place to be. So many shows, lots of people wandering around, many of them wearing scarves, with smiles on their faces. Tonight we saw Tom Gleeson and although the show was good, the best moment was when a heckler was heckled and it brought the house down.
17 February 2013
If you're a regular reader of this blog or a friend on Facebook, you know that I recently had natural gas poisoning. When I wrote the blog post, I was still pretty whacked out. In fact, it took several weeks before I was back to my version of normal. I still have a final blood test to go, which I've been avoiding. It's to see how my kidneys are functioning because I had to go on blood pressure medication thanks to the gas making my heart rate all kinds of kooky. I could actually feel my heart beating every minute of every day. That scary-as-hell side effect has disappeared, thankfully.
I'm writing this blog post because this could happen to anyone, without them ever picking it up. I've read some horror stories of families being exposed to slow gas leaks for years and no one believing them. Some people have ended up being referred to psychiatrists because doctors thought they were just plain crazy. I read one story of a kid who had his gallbladder removed because the gas poisoning was screwing up his body so much.
Just to clarify, I am talking about natural gas poisoning, not carbon monoxide poisoning. There is a difference, one being that there are no medical tests for natural gas poisoning, which is why it can go undiagnosed for a very long time. We may not have discovered what the cause of my health issues was had it not been for a comment from a friend who had visited when we first moved in. In fact, the first day we got the keys, I noted a strong smell of gas in the kitchen, which we put in writing on the rental condition report for the real estate agent. But with the madness that is moving house, as well as working a full time job and Andrew preparing for a three week business trip overseas, we just forgot about the gas smell and got used to it.
While Andrew was away, I started feeling very tired but put it down to moving house and working too many hours at the office. Then I fell down some stairs at home and ended up pretty battered and bruised, then I crashed the car into a pole at work, then I started dropping things, then I started forgetting things. By the time Andrew returned, I was feeling very ordinary but we still put it down to overwork and not enough sleep. A week after Andrew got back, he was sleeping up to 18 hours a day. This is a man who can function on four hours a night for several weeks in a row. He became more and more lethargic, we were a couple of zombies.
It then got to the point where I just couldn't go to work, so I finally headed to the doctor. I had many tests but the doctor remain puzzled and I was getting worse, not to mention losing my mind. I couldn't walk straight, I often had the shakes, my speech was slurred and my memory was crap. My daily exercise was a five minute walk across the street to the park, held up by Andrew. I had to sit down every few metres, it was ridiculous. My vision would blur throughout every day, I wasn't allowed to drive, I was scared to use stairs because I had vertigo. I cried. A lot.
Everyone had an opinion on what it might be but they were all wrong. My doctor explored many, many options. Then, one night on Facebook, my good friend Simone who had stayed with us the first week we moved in asked if we had investigated the gas smell. I took that idea to my doctor, who did some investigating and she insisted that we get our gas line checked that day. She was convinced I had gas poisoning. The plumber who turned up thought I was crazy, he actually said, "A gas leak wouldn't hurt you". Ah, dude, people put their heads in ovens to kill themselves, so I beg to differ.
The plumber took about twenty minutes to tell me we did not have a gas leak and I felt my heart sink because we were now back to square one. I was devastated. Then he said he would check the line from next door because it runs through our kitchen. Ten minutes later he said there were two leaks in the line. Our neighbour, who, like Andrew is often away on business, had worked from home in the two weeks leading up that point and he said he wondered why he had been feeling lethargic and generally unwell. He just wrote it off as being overworked. Again, the plumber thought we were nuts and just rolled his eyes as we spoke. If I'd had my wits about me, I would have given him a serve.
My doctor called to find out whether we did have a gas leak or not and was thrilled that we did because she was feeling very frustrated with not being able to offer us any answers up until that point.
In the days after the gas line was fixed, Andrew and I both had the shakes. Our limbs were shaking and jerking constantly. We could feel ourselves coming good, so we were able to laugh about it. A week later, I returned to work on reduced hours. It took about three weeks to feel normal again.
When I walk past a building where there is a smell of gas, I am tempted to go and knock on their door but I wonder if they'll think I'm some alarmist kook. I'm paranoid when using gas now, I check the stove several times to make sure that I've turned it off. In fact, before I go to bed every night, I make sure the stove controls are all definitely switched off. Obsessive much?
On my first visit, my doctor asked me why I didn't come to see her sooner. I said that I was able to write off my symptoms as overwork, not enough sleep, haven't had a holiday in eight years blah blah blah. I am lucky that I have a great doctor, very lucky. If I had a doctor who wasn't quite a good (which is what happened when I was trying to get my lymphoedema diagnosed) and if Simone had stayed in a hotel as she'd originally planned, I'd likely still be dealing with undiagnosed gas poisoning. I'm sure there are plenty of other people who have experienced this or are right now and it will never be diagnosed. I wish I had pushed for the gas smell to be investigated when we moved in but there's no point dwelling on it. I just want others to be aware that this is a very real problem that could happen to anyone. If you suspect a leak, get it checked. It's that simple.
12 January 2013
These vegan rice balls are so damn easy to make and you can add all sorts fillings. This one is just finely chopped mushrooms, a mix of grated carrot, beetroot and broccoli stem (you could use any finely chopped/grated veggies), garlic and soy sauce, all sautéed with sesame seeds added at the end.
The brown rice was cooked in low sodium vegetable stock, then I added a good splash of rice wine vinegar and some sesame seeds (I was out of black sesame seeds, which would have looked better). Then I left it to cool.
To assemble, you can follow the photos in this set. All I did was put a few coriander/cilantro leaves on some cling wrap, then a couple of spoonfuls of rice. You can either press the rice down flat with your hand or lay another piece of wrap on top and use a rolling pin to press it down gently (don't use a rolling motion!). You can keep using that top piece of cling wrap for every ball.
Next, add a small amount of filling, I added a heaped teaspoon. You then shape the ball and once it's round, twist the ends of the cling wrap but don't do it too tight around the ball or the cling wrap will break.
Put the balls on a plate and put in the fridge for at least an hour, then unwrap and scoff!
11 January 2013
Well it's about bloody time, isn't it?! Yes, I know there have been many, many, MANY assurances that I would open my online store again for the last couple of years, so many false starts. What can I say, life got in the way, stuff happened, priorities changed, health declined, blah, blah, blah. I will tell you that I hated having my business closed for as long as it was, it frustrated the hell out of me at times. Being a maker and not making anything for a long time is a form of torture. Yes, there were tears of frustration that I know other creative types will understand.
But all of that is the past and here, today, I am creating once more and my little business is back to humble beginnings. Humble indeed. I am easing into it with the familiar, which is my popular wristlet design. I currently have the 100% cotton wristlets in stock, which will be shortly joined by the leather wristlet range, then some larger bags in cloth and also leather.
You can visit my online store here and my Facebook page here.
To those of you who have followed my journey, thank you for your support. To those just 'meeting' me for the first time, welcome aboard!
1 January 2013
31 December 2012
'Atmosphere' by Inaluxe - I bought this print recently and can't wait to frame it this week.
This year has presented plenty of challenges, sometimes it got really tough but my wish to finish the year on a high note is coming true, so I'm happy and I'm looking forward to seeing what 2013 brings.
Resolutions? I just want to make things happen. What I mean is, there's plenty of stuff I've been wanting to do but have put off for various reasons. I'm banning excuses and will instead look for solutions. I want to study, I want to travel, I want my online business kicking goals, I want more time with family and friends, I want to make a difference. By the end of 2013 I want to be able to say, I am studying, I have travelled, my online business is doing well, I'm spending plenty of time with loved ones and I am making a difference. Oh and health. I am going to look after myself almost obsessively. I never want to go through ill health like I have this year. A chest infection that knocked me out for a month, lymphoedema kicked my arse and then a couple of months being poisoned by natural gas.
Complacency can take a long walk off a short plank, stuff is going to get done, shit is going to happen. It has to, I said it in a blog.
I'm off for that walk now. See you in 2013!
19 December 2012
The plumber pulled the kitchen apart to find the cause of the problem
I'm looking forward to my brain functioning properly again and I'll write something more detailed when I'm well. Right now, I just want to work on getting my health back...and my sanity.
I do have wristlets made and some are photographed, hopefully I can add some to my shop later this week but at the moment, it's too big a task for me to handle. I've been dealing with weeks of dizziness, nausea, disorientation, loss of memory, difficulty engaging in conversation, blurred vision, fatigue and the list goes on. Tomorrow I'm going to the hospital to have tests done, something I am not looking forward to at all.
At least we know what was causing the problem, I'm just going to focus on getting my health back and will hopefully have an illness-free 2013.