Saturday, September 26, 2009

What the heck is with this wind?

I am beginning to wish that our toilet wasn't outside. One of my favourite stories of my grandmother's involves a particularly windy day, and her elderly father having the outside dunny literally blow off him,, ablutions. I'm trying not to think of waterfalls.

My two lovebugs have got the right idea - they've been snuggled up and asleep since 6:30pm (4 hours ago). Leaving me to peruse the Intermanets uninterrupted, a rare bliss indeed. The Explorer socks are out in force, I had oatmeal for dinner, I discovered that B52's tickets are $100 (d'oh) and I've fallen for these two blogs:

The Little House By The Sea

and Thrift Candy.
Oh, to be in a floral dress in a sun-filled, un-windy garden.

Speaking of wind, I just had a thought: I wonder if the French words vent (wind) and ventre (stomach) are etymologically related? Because, the stomach is part of the digestive system, and when one has 'wind'...ah, you know what I'm getting at.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Yet another project to add to my list...

This is Michelle Jank. Sigh. She's just gorgeous, no?

And talented, too. In my quest to find lovely ladies who emulate my idea of 'Art-teacher Chic', she was one of the first few who popped into my head. Yep, sorry guys, but I have a feeling I'm going to go on about this idea (henceforth referred to as ATC) ad nauseum ;-)

Her clothes are lovely (anyone remember this amazing dress?), but it's her own personal style and her amazing jewellery that I adore the most.

I'm going to have a go at making a similar floral neck piece - this pink one is gorgeous, but I'm not a big pink-wearer, so I'm looking for flowers in greens and blues instead.

Isn't this one heavenly?

(First image from here; second two are from the Sart, and the last two from here)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Question: how does one find the time to both maintain a blog while reading the blogs of other people?

I think I've found my answer: by writing about the other blogs! Some days I'll go from blog to blog and end up at a particularly great one, and not remember where I started or know how I got there...

Anyways, here's one I managed to stumble upon: The Catskill Kiwi. I love how she combines gorgeous photos with rad-looking recipes. The Brown Sugar Cookie recipe looks particularly enchanting.

(Image from The Catskill Kiwi)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Art-teacher Chic

Okay, I'm coining it before anyone else does. We've had some verging-on-the-ridiculous prefixes to 'chic' in the past (Recession-chic? Military-chic? Homeless-chic?!), so I'm just throwin' it out there.

What is this 'Art-teacher Chic' I speak of? Well, er, it's what I would use to answer the question, "how would you describe your style?", which, now that I have an answer for it, I doubt I'll ever be asked. But you know what I'm on about, surely - those style-related questionnaires that also ask, "What was your last purchase?" and "If you could take just 3 items of clothing to a deserted island, what would you take?", etc.

(Chances are I wouldn't take bright turquoise tights. Maybe garments made of soy fibre or some such, so I could eat them.)

Invariably, they ask you to describe your own style, and I'm stumped. Bookish-Hammer-pant-wearer? It's-laundry-day-and-all-I-have-is-this-Deniliquin-tshirt? But now I have it. Despite the fact that I'm not an art teacher, or any kind of teacher (yet), I think my bird's-nest topknot, mismatched op-shop booty and penchant for bright Pantone-esque hues would be quite at home in a paint-splattered classroom.

(These shoes are one of about three pairs I've managed to find in an op-shop, like, and which actually fit. They are mens', of course. Damned ogre-feet.)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Soup-y goodness

I've been on a bit of a healthy-eating kick these last few days, and I'm going to credit Chantelle and her Operation: fat mum slim. I've been following her progress in an effort to get motivated on my own undertaking - a bid to stop going to bed so darned late and thus getting more sleep - and it looks like the healthy eating part is rubbing off!

Maybe it's because Baboushka has been settled into a good routine for a while, it could be the warmer weather, or my loathing of pre-packaged goods... or maybe I've just missed spending q-time in the kitchen. Whatever it is, I've been struck by an incurable desire to make food - lots of good, simple food - and as much of it from scratch as possible.

Yesterday evening I whipped up two batches of a long-time favourite, Jamie Oliver's amusingly-named Pukkolla (one for storing in a big ol' jar, one for making up for more immediate consumption). I located a recipe here, and particularly enjoyed getting out my much-loved-but-not-often-enough-used mortar and pestle and giving the almonds a bit of a bash. Waking up this morning to such a ridiculously easy and downright delicious breakfast made me wonder why the hell I haven't been making this stuff more often. Note to self: buy fresh blueberries for tomorrow's bowlful.

Then tonight, I've been making a big potful of vegetable and lentil soup. The balmy, sticky, afternoon storm we've just had doesn't reeeally lend itself to soup... but I eat soup like I drink tea (i.e., any darned time regardless of current meteorological conditions). Here's a not-particularly-precise recipe:

Vegetable & Lentil Soup That Will Make You Feel Like A Skillful Italian Nonna:


olive oil
1 large brown onion, chopped finely
2 carrots, chopped finely
1/2 bunch celery, chopped finely
1 or 2 leeks, sliced (optional)
1 turnip, cubed
1/2 green cabbage, sliced thinly (about 1cm)
2 handfuls red lentils
a slosh of white wine
2L (8 cups) vegetable stock
2L water (approximately - just adjust amount of liquid to get your preferred consistency)
salt, pepper


1) heat oil; make up a soffritto with the onion, carrots and celery, fry until soft;

2) add leeks, if using, and fry for a minute or so; add turnip, cabbage, lentils and wine; bring to boil, then add the vegetable stock and water;

3) let simmer until turnip and cabbage are soft, and the lentils are cooked; season with salt, if necessary, and pepper to taste.

n.b: this would also be good with garlic added to the soffritto, and I like it best served over sourdough that's going a bit stale, kind of like a minestra di pane.

(Image from here)

If I were to go 'holidaying'...

..this would be my wardrobe. Or the wardrobe I would dream of wearing, at least. Lanvin's latest resort collection from genius Alber Elbaz (and I usually don't give too many hoots about who designs what and bla bla bla). Kooky and pretty and a little bit Frida Kahlo.

I adore the jewel-like colours of turquoise and sapphire with not-so-plain black

Acid-green + gym shoes suddenly seem like a good idea

Those prints! My god, those prints...

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Rollip, Rollip!

Thanks to Cristy of in a garden...somewhere, I have now discovered Rollip. I adore the old-school look of Polaroid pictures, and I've always been tempted to buy a Polaroid camera but haven't been able to find the film for it.

So, naturally, as soon as I read Cristy's post, I rushed as fast as my little fingers could type over to Rollip's website and started playing. I predict many, many more hours of Polaroid-ising my photos for fun. I had a go at trying out the different effects using a few of our Brisbane snaps:

And speaking of Cristy, if you haven't already discovered her blog, do yourself a favour and get over there! The segments on her gorgeous girl Lily's lunchboxes are particularly amazing. I wish my lunches were that good ;-)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Rest well

Sorry for the absence, folks.

The weekend before last, Pat's grandmother was in an accident and passed away. I won't go into it except to say that she was one of the loveliest people I've met, and she'll be very much missed. I'm so glad Baboushka was able to meet her. Here's my little tribute, in honour of her prolific patchwork quilting.

(Unfortunately I don't have any photos of her lovely quilts, so this one is pinched from here)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Limoges love

When on an op-shop mish these days, I tend not to look at the clothes much. I used to bring home some real gems, most of which I still wear and some that I will never be able to get rid of despite not being able to fit into them any more. (This is, of course, why I had a daughter - to pass them on to her ;-))

The last few times I've sifted through the nasty, synthetic stuff (why is it all from Millers 'Fashion' Club??), I have only come across more of the same. No hidden gems, nothing I could even be paid to wear. Once upon a time this saddened me, but these days my attentions are drawn elsewhere: to the two long, shining shelves of bric-a-brac (laaaaaaaaaaa!). I've recently had to impose a ban whereby I do not bring home any more cute teacups or Johnson Bros plates.

Here is some of my favourite loot - Limoges-looking plates and saucers in pretty gelato hues:

Oh, and tablecloths! This lovely linen one has been awarded official 'good' status - I'm slightly terrified of using it unless it is a special occasion that does not involve beets or red wine..

Just look at that detail! I cannot believe I was able to buy it for all of $3, when someone has clearly put in many hours of work and a lot of effort.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

I want his hair..

This guy cracks me up. He swoops down when I'm hanging out the washing, and then hangs around quite cheekily until I give him some bread (and then proceeds to eat it from the safety of our flagpole). Which is not really the right thing to do - he is native, and bread is not. However, I do appreciate his visits and my stand-up routine will only keep his attention for so long. Solution: buy native birdseed tomorrow.

Muchas gracias, amigas!

Here is a big umbrella thank you to everyone who commented on my post-before-last :-) And to everyone who has ever commented, in fact. You're all marvellous and your kind thoughts and words were vivid reminder of what is probably the best part of blogging, the feeling of having had the good fortune to join a community of multi-faceted, multi-talented and downright lovely individuals.

Thank you!

PS: I was also very interested (and relieved) to see people's thoughts of the Rachel Cooke article. I'm glad I'm not the only one whose nerves it touched, or who found the idea that new mothers are selfish twits to be an unfair generalisation on her part. Vive les mamans (et les maman-sympathisers)!

Gratuitous cuteness

Here's Baboushka with her new and awesome toy, a giant Chibi totoro! Her dad is a big Miyazaki fan - heck, so am I - and he couldn't resist ;-)

Monday, September 7, 2009


After some deliberation (philosophising is a rare pleasure these days...), I decided that my newly lukewarm attitude to blogging was not, as previously gathered, a result of a lack of inspiration. Not that my life is ragingly interesting, but there is plenty to be grateful for (and a cute baby to photograph).

Nope, it's pure, beige-coloured apathy. I started getting a niggling feeling that posting little segments of my life for public viewing was, well, a wee bit wanky. I felt like maybe I needed more coherence, or a little gimmick, or one of those weekly segments that I enjoy on other blogs (give me segmented anything. Terry's Chocolate Oranges rock my world), to validate any further broadcasts from my neck of the woods. I made the unfortunate discovery that life in the Land of Blog can sometimes get nasty - this one in particular was a bit of a slap in the face - not to mention I was starting to question whether or not I was entirely comfortable having photos of lil' Baboushka floating around on the interweb (other skittish parents not helping).

All of this made me want to pull the covers over my head and put my blog to rest. I thought about going cold-turkey and quitting blogland for good. The computer lay dark and dusty for weeks. (That is a total lie - I verge into OCD territory with my regular Googling of the weather forecast.) But I didn't want to give up reading the wonderful stuff out there that I've so enjoyed over the year.

So I've decided to just dive back in, Acapulco-style, and not give it so much thought in future. To be honest, I don't really give a flip what anyone thinks of my blog. I started it for myself, as a light-hearted, amateur, not-particularly in-depth journalistic exercise in posterity. No reason to change it, really...I'll just try to keep posting as regularly as my almost-mobile offspring allows ;-)