Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Now pay attention!

I haven't posted one of my drawings for a little while so I thought I'd post this one today, because it reflects how I'm feeling at the moment. 
Frankly I'm feeling a little authoritative.  Organizing painters, financial institutions, real estate salesmen, doctors, and cranky husband has made me feel a little like a teacher in charge of a 3rd grade class.
As per usual you can view the original at one of my favourite sites,  Note Couture.

Friday, March 25, 2011

What can one say when one is speechless

For a weeks now I've been watching and reading about the terrible happenings in Japan, and I've wanted to somehow express the horror of what I see.
But I have no words.
I see on other blogs and forums grave discussion with lots of people giving their 2 cents about how this has affected them or how they feel for the people there.  I have no words.
In Christchurch I experienced the grace and beauty of the city and it's people, but I've never been to Japan.
And even though, watching the horror unfolding in front of my eyes on television, and feeling I want to somehow reach out to those stricken people, I lack the words to properly express how sad, shocked and sorry I feel.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Scooter? Scrambler? Not exactly Stone.

House painting started finally today so I've taken the next 2 days off to supervise.  I'm feeling quite the foreman..
Saw this cute little - umm - well I don't actually know what you'd call it, but it was very sweet and made the cutest two-stroke lawnmower sound when the owner came to claim it and ?drive ?ride it away - in Newtown recently.
That's it for today.  No stories.  Just wanted to show you this cute photo.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Monday musings - mayo with whimsy

This morning it rained rained RAINED!!!!!  Daughter and I dashed from the car to the school gate as quick as our galoshes would take us.  I didn't feel like tackling the errands I set for myself.  All I wanted was to curl up with a good book, mug of hot chocolate and enjoy the early Autumn weather.  But alas,  this week I have set myself the task of catching up on "jobs".  You know the ones - the little things you never get around to do like pick up your husband's shoes from the cobbler, book daughter in for dentist checkup, sort through all the stuff that's piled up on you desk (again), dust, the list goes on.
So after a couple of hours of just trying to tidy the house post weekend - I'm still going at it as I type - I get despondent and decide to take a break.
So what does one do when she has a head full of whimsy?
Make mayonnaise  of course.
Soft music and mayonnaise.  I'm not even a huge fan of the old mayo.  I just felt like making some.  I guess my inner Nigella was busting to get out as I hadn't cooked anything for a while.
So here's my recipe for beating the housework blues.
You need
2 egg yolks
225ml ground nut or sunflower oil
75ml extra virgin olive oil
Juice of half a lemon.
Start whisking the yolks with a pinch of salt.
Very gradually add the ground nut oil, whisking all the while.
Add the olive oil (still whisking)
Add the lemon juice (keep whisking)
When all mixed add extra lemon juice and some pepper to your taste.

Even if the mayo splits and curdles and is useful only for the garbage bin it doesn't matter.  Just the action of beating the hell out of something for 10 minutes gets rid of any frustration and does wonders for the soul.
Maybe there's a method to my mayo madness after all.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Chimney stacks in the sun.

I took this photo on Saturday, at a park not far from where we dropped off the coffee machine.  For the life of me I can't remember the name of the park - only the nickname we used to have for it (which I won't divulge).  It used to be a waste dump and before that had factory on it - some of the old chimney stacks and furnaces remaining.  I was just playing with my phone and liked the effect I created (by accident) in this photo.
Addit:  just found out this park is called Sydney Park.  I should have guessed that one.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Knitters delight

Saturday we went to St Peters to drop off our ailing coffee machine for repair and service.  Before heading home we decided to stop at Newtown for breakfast.  With daughter and friend in tow, we explored our favourite shops, spent what seemed like hours in the button shop and finally stopped at a cafe I've been dying to try for a while now.   A Coffee And A Yarn is a wonderful place for knitters and stitchers.  The walls are lined with shelves of yarn of all types and colours, books, cute knit-your-own gift boxes, etc.  I loved knitting when I was younger and don't really understand why I stopped.  Life probably. 
There are wooden trays on each table filled with needles and wool and a welcoming sign saying "Have a go knit a row".  So we did.
I taught my daughter to knit a couple of years ago but her friend had never tried it.  She had a fantastic time creating a little piece.  We did a lot of other things that day but they said their favourite bits of the day was scouring through the button shops and knitting while drinking babyccinos.
Today I'm off to buy some needles, yarn and a pattern.

To see some great photos of the shop visit Amy's blog.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Monday Musings - Clear my mind, clean my kitchen.

Last week I had decided the time had finally come to tackle the dreaded kitchen cupboards.  Now with our fabulous new attic storage I have no excuse not to have perfectly organised closets throughout the house.  And of all the rooms, the kitchen's cupboards were the worst.  Closely followed by our wardrobe, but that's another story which will require tea and lots of chocolate cake. 
So I rolled up my sleeves and dived in with relish (which really should have been in the fridge - again another story).  I thought that I would be able to complete it all and have time to spare during my days off.  I thought wrong!  It required all my days off, time after work, and the best part of the weekend.  My problem was, you see, that I am a kitchen utensil hoarder.
I admit it.  When it comes to anything useful, or "may be useful someday", unusual, or downright quirky for the kitchen I am a sucker for it.  The boxes of empty jars were absolutely essential for all that jamming and pickling I will do someday.   No no I simply must keep those dinky little peach juice bottles because they look so sweet with flowers in them - that's right I need all 30 of them!!!!  No I can't throw away that broken candle holder because I'm going to fix it - really.  And I don't actually know what that is for but I'm sure it will come in useful and I love it's cherry red colour.  I came to the conclusion that I really couldn't get rid of any of my kitchen stuff, what I really needed was a bigger kitchen.
Well that just wasn't going to happen.
I had to be brave.
Once I finally sorted my 4 piles (to keep, to store, to donate and to throw) I was able to see a little clearer.  And I discovered some wonderful items I didn't know we had.  The sweetest silver cake servers and some great serving spoons (just needing a little polish)
(I am completely aware that in this photo they resemble something terrifying from a Victorian era doctor's office - but I blame my photography skills or rather a lack of them); gorgeous salad bowls I found at markets and then completely forgot about, cheese cutters, I could go on....................................
I threw out what was broken, donated anything I hadn't used in the last 2 years (with the exception of a few precious finds mentioned above), and stored only the items that I'll never use but for certain reasons I have to keep, e.g. my mother-in-law's ugly gilt coffee service.
With my brand new attitude I rearranged the cupboards and now  have a perfectly organised kitchen with everything I need at hand.  I finished with a satisfied cup of tea from my favourite cup which had been missing for the last 3 months and proceeded to check my favourite blogs and emails. 

Hmmm this study needs organising......................