Photos mostly from this week….

I don’t often take photos of myself, but I did while I was waiting outside the supermarket while the wonderful Mr Belived did some shopping on Wednesday. (I’d just been to my psychologist appointment and was tired so I didn’t go in).image


Restless flycatcher, spotted on one of Mr Beloved’s walks with Emmalumpdogg.image The double barred finches think clever Mr Beloved’s bird feeder is the best dining spot in town!image image Rescued tortoise… Rainy morning, about 5 am, discovered by Emmalumpdogg. Poor tortoise had its neck stuck through fence but couldn’t walk any further of course, so Mr Beloved improvised rescue tools and released it down in a safe place by the creek.image Emmalumpdogg decided she is a hooman and therefore would like to try drinking out of water glass, thank you!imageMr and Mrs Superb Fairy Wren enjoy breakfast at the birdseed cafe.

Tuesday and Wednesday.

It’s Tuesday lunchtime, and  I’m sitting amongst the undergraduate cacophony in the commons, on a rainy day, in the covered downstairs area where we plug ourselves in at the library.  Little half height carrels of laptop enclosures, where we stare at our screens, absorbed in work or pretending to work… while chatter at our backs and the whirrrrrrrrrr of the espresso machine at the front reminds us that this is a place for socialising as well as study – or perhaps more for socialising than study.

I’ve just had another wasted hour of lecture time, and I am cross. Grumpy. Annoyed.  I am struggling with the real work of the course – what I see as the real work, anyway – while time is being eaten up on the trivia of referencing and “can you do an advanced web search?” ARRRRGH!

One of my dear (online) friends has pointed out that the lecturer is dealing with children with unformed brains, and the only way to get these ideas into their heads is to pound it in over and over again.  Ah.  Right. Yes. I hadn’t considered that.  Interesting to note, however, that attendance at the lecture was about a third of the usual crowd.

And now it’s Wednesday, almost time to start making tea, and I’ve had a lousy day… Mr Beloved was crook the other day and I think I’ve managed to pick up whatever it was he had.  Let’s just note that moving too far away from the loo would not have been a good idea, and move on.

I didn’t go to group today.  I did manage to check over my assignment (and catch a couple of silly mistakes in referencing formatting that would have cost marks – using ‘and’ instead of the ampersand (‘&’) for example when multiple authors are involved.  Oh yes, these things matter.)

I have the red one!

In happier news I am now the proud possessor of  Moleskine LEGO journal! For which I have to thank one of my oldest friends (not in terms of age, but in terms of longevity of friendship – in fact, I think only the girl I went to kindergarten with can claim a longer span.) Thanks, RF, I am only waiting on my new pen with a bigger nib to arrive before I start using it: all my life I have used fine point pens but now my hands are so sore, I’m hoping a larger point will force my writing movements to un-cramp and maybe let me write more than a sentence at a time.

And now it’s tea time.



Unreformed, Unapologetic Hippies


Yep. We dye and wear tie dyes.  PROUDLY!

A length of plain calico (quilter's muslin) now forever hippy-fied

This is probably going to be the new doorway curtain between the lounge and bedroom.

Grooovy, maaaan

Due to excess fabric stash and “not enough bread” we will be making clothes from this book soon.  (Well, the whole sewing room clean up thing has to happen first, and I don’t have the energy for that yet, but we have PLANS.)

And we have mung bean seeds just waiting to be sprouted.  Mmmmmm, mung bean sprouts!  I love them! Not least because they bring back memories of my childhood, when mung beans sprouted in a jar in a cupboard under the sink.  We don’t have a cupboard under the sink so I’ll probably keep them in a dark space in the bathroom.

Today is a good day to dye….

At last!  Mr Beloved and I have been planning this for a couple of weeks now but the weather (and our energy levels!) have been working against us.  Today I managed to get out of bed at a reasonable hour (read: before 10 am!) and we got started:

Getting the dyes mixed....

As you can see, we don’t dye in any sort of precise way – not like the professionals who get results they can predict!  I roughly follow the directions from the dye manufacturer (actually, I can’t remember whose dyes these are – I bought them about 6 years ago, almost certainly from KraftKolour  – the dye powder lasts for ages if you keep it in a dry and dark place) combined with information from the dyeing section of  Robbi Joy Eklow‘s book “Free Expression: The Art and Confessions of a Contemporary Quilter“.

Twisted, tucked, turned...

Here are some of Mr Beloved’s shirts, ready for the dye – he’s tried a few different patterns of resists with rubber bands and string.  Should be interesting!  We need BIG sizes of plain white t shirts with no printing on them – and it’s actually quite difficult to find them.  Whenever we see some at Lowes we grab them.  I’m not a huge fan of the pocket or the high neckline so I might modify mine….

One of Mr Beloved's shirts, dyed

Mr B likes white spaces on his shirts.

My shirts

I like LOTS of colour and not much white.

The shirts are now baking in plastic bags – they need at least 4 hours –  it’s a really good sunny day (currently 26 C) so the chemical reaction should be working beautifully.  These are fibre reactive dyes which bond with the soda ash soaked shirts, and the dyes last FOREVER.   Unfortunately that also means when you have the inevitable leak in your cheap disposable glove and dye your fingers and hands, you have to wait for the dye to WEAR off – it doesn’t wash off!

We have mixed dyes left over so I think we’ll try and find some more shirts this week.

Once the shirts have “batched” (cooked in their plastic bags in the sun) they will be untied and rinsed, then washed to remove excess dye – and with these dyes, there’s always lots of unbonded dye to wash away – that’s just how they are.  We’re supposed to get storms tomorrow so I’m not optimistic about getting them washed and dried in a hurry… but when they are I’ll post photos of the end results.

Must go and shower – the dyeing was a sweaty business – even the poor dog was feeling the heat!

Hot Dog!

(yes, our terribly baked brown yard is NOT attractive… we have bugger all topsoil after the flood, so it’s hard to get anything but weeds to grow…)

I have an appointment to get my hair cut this arvo (just a trim,nothing exciting!)  then tomorrow I’m in group therapy at the hospital from 9 til 2.  Yikes!  I’m a bit nervous about that.  At least they feed you (morning tea and lunch) but still…

2002…Secret Valentine Swap and David Wiesner’s illustrations

It’s amazing what you find when you start to clean up… I knew this envelope had been sitting around for a while with cool stuff in it, and somehow it surfaced last week:

[as always, clicky for biggy]

in 2002, I lived in a PO Box in Canberra..., (not really!)

It was from a secret Valentine Swap in 2002!  COOOL!

Postcards and yarn and things, oh my!

(Including a postcard of the New York skyline back when the twin towers were still there…)

The included card

I have NO IDEA who sent it to me – that info has been lost.  It was someone in the NY/ New Jersey area, though, going by the postcards and little goodies…

Yesterday as I was going through the envelope, I noticed a bookplate:


which I have stuck in the front of one of my current art journals.  And I thought to myself “Hmmm, I recognise that illustration!”  and this made me Very Happy.

Yep, in teeeeeeny little writing on the bookplate is  “Tuesday ©1991 David Wiesner Clarion Books”.  AHA!  It’s from another kid’s book I own – another Caldecott Medal winner , no less.

(In 1992.  He also won the Caldecott in 2007 for Flotsam, which I want to get. He’s the only person to win the Caldecott THREE times!)

And then I looked up David Wiesner’s web site and  YAY he has a new book out!!  It’s called Art and Max and I really really want it *sigh*… maybe when it comes out in paperback.  How could you not love a story about a lizard learning to paint?! Be sure to watch the video (click on the book picture to get the link) where David Wiesner explains the ideas he had in exploring various media to get to the characters – brilliant!

Art and Max

Anyway, if by some remote chance the person who sent me the Secret Valentines Swap in 2002 happens to be reading this – thank you for the goodies and for prompting me to look at David Wiesner’s work again!


Resmed are clever…

Read the *friendly* manual

ResMed, who make my CPAP machine, are a clever mob.  They generally design components so that they can only go together one way (by cutting one corner off a square humidifier and making the insert match, for example.)  I noticed this  glyph on the rear of my brand new S9 series machine and it made me laugh.