Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Driving Lesson No.3

Stand back everyone. Last night was my 3rd driving lesson and for the first time I went faster that 45kms. Whaaoooo. No stopping me now.

My instructor continues to look relaxed (on the outside) and so far, he hasn't stomped his foot on his personal set of brakes, so I'm thinking it's a win/win. Mind you, if I don't go faster than 45ks, chances are he'll never get to use the brakes...

My confidence is building and I feel really good about getting behind the wheel. I haven't actually done any driving with Bear2 yet...but my instructor says that in about two more lessons, I'll be ready drive without him and his set of brakes. This news made me feel much less confident, but it has to be done eventually. I'm buying shiny new L PLATES tonight, just to get me in the mood.

I think it's intentional but my instructor talks - a lot, so it still feels strange trying to concentrate and listen to him at the same time and when he's not giving me instructions like "turn left here" he's talking about his kids, dog, hobbies, news etc which is all very interesting and pleasant but sometimes I just feel like I can't stay on the road and laugh about Waggs (his dog) doing back flips.

I suspect, however - that there will come a time when I'll A/ drive faster than 45km and B/laugh and drive at the same time. One day.

Cupcake Crazy

Epicure has a big piece on cupcakes today. Good read with lots of links and info. Makes me want to rush home and start baking! Really want to track this book down, too. You can read it here.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Craft Cupboard

Very recently I wrote a post about having/buying too much stuff and mentioned I was going to a Clearance Sale in my town ... just to have a look. Well. I did look and then I started bidding ... this is what I got for $5. Exhibit 1. My new craft cuboard. How did it happend. One minute the auctioneer was waving his hand in the air, next thing I know, time slows down and I see his mouth form the word S O L D only he's looking right at me and yes, my hand is the air. Bear Two was less pleased when the autioneer's assistant smiled broadly and said "Gee, I hope you have trailer!''. We didn't. Bear Two, always so supportive, drove down to the local garage and hired one for about five times the price of my craft cupboard. Ahem.

My next Clearance Sale purchase - Exhibit 2. Didn't know what I would find when I opened this up but look!! Vintage, gorgeous, knitting needles - heaps of them. Mine for the princely sum of $1. Gotta love that.

I Will Drive

So heartened by looybylu's wonderful post (past and present) about driving! My second lesson is tonight and I'm actually looking forward to it.

Love Cats

I've gone slighly crazy making these Denyse Schmidt cats. Still don't have a sewing machine, but these are so easy to do by hand - I can't stop.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Tiger, Be My Friend

I was at Readings Bookstore last night - completing my perfect evening trifecta: movies, dinner, books/music/magazines. Tim Burton's The Corpse Bride was so much fun - very sweet and funny. He really creates a world you can tip into.

Later, when we were mooching around the bookshop I was distracted by the cd they had playing in the store. I kept stopping and listening. In the end, I bought it - despite the fact I'd only hearda bout 2 minutes of it.

It's called Tiger, Be My Friend by UK duo, Psapp. I can't explain why I love this cd so much - I'm not usually into music but it's so unusual, gentle and trippy. I'm not doing a good job of describing it but imagine if a group of incredibily sophiscated toddlers formed a band - with the help of a squeaky toy and a music box. Anyway, thought I'd mention it because there's something special about them.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend. I'm going to craft my head off.x

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Dark and Cold

Warm and sunny outside but off to see this tonight. I love Burton and can't wait to see his stop-motion animation feast. It got a good review here....

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Lesson One.

Driving Lesson went really well. My instructor Daniel, is very calm and patient. He didn't have to make too much use of his pedals ... although he did mutter something like ''perhaps tap the brake a little earlier next corner''.

I'm driving around a smallish country town but even so, there were lots of kids on bikes, a small dog, one pram and a massive truck to negotiate. Overall, it was a good experience and I'm ready (or not) to make myself acquire this particular skill. I was tempted to ask him how many lessons he thinks I'll need to past the test, but I was worried he'd say 87, so I refrained.

Speaking of perfecting a skill. I have now made five Denyse Schmidt Cats. Don't have the book here, but they are very simple and fun. Plan to do a Kitty Photo Shoot tonight.

Still toying with Needle Felting with varying degrees of success. Fine on the flat - not so great on three dimensional things - they end up looking like something a Denyse Schmidt Cat coughed up.

I'm also starting Evil Plan No. 1 - my attempt at turning the Spare Bedroom into my own World Domination Craft Den (insert evil cackle here). I have a craft cupboard - now I just have to make the double bed disappear - along with photo albums, extra linen and a 1000 other objects I can live without. I've spotted a Queen Size blow up bed that inflates in something like 40 seconds. Supposed to be very, very comfortable, too. That just might solve my problem. When friends come to stay I can say ''...and look, you guys get to sleep in this!''. What's not to love?

PS: Many thanks for the words of support, too.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Toot Toot

Well. Tonight is my first driving lesson (in a long time). I've had my Learner Permit for ages but never got around to the hard part! I'm feeling quite nervous but I really want to learn to drive. I'm fine with an instructor, but driving around with Bear 2 scares the hell out of me. Must have something to do with being older? I kind of feel as if suddenly the world isn't very safe when I behind the wheel. I know it's not rational but I picture a toddler running onto the road or a dog or an entire family of ducks...all the worst scenarios, basically. Must stay calm and just try and enjoy it. Another adventure begins!

Lots of friends and family tell me that one day, driving will be second nature to me - hard to believe. Wish me luck.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Gone Fishin.

Up early this morning - 5.30am. Sipping coffee and looking out the window at the early morning sky. Two Bears and Toby are taking off for the weekend with my Dad and Sister to visit my Uncle and Aunty who live in a little town called Port Albert.

I haven't been there for years. Leaving work at lunch-time to get a jump on the day. Looking forward to long walks on the beach and catching up on family news. Suspect it's going to be a quiet night but apparently a mega scrabble game is part of the plan. Things could get crazy.

Taking just a tiny bit of craft...needle felting. I can't say I've had made anything wonderful - just a few wonky birds, oh and one very good bee (in my opinion!).

Hope everyone has a great weekend.

PS: Port Albert is supposed to have a brilliant Fish n Chip shop - hmmmmm.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Book Candy

In the middle of a very frustrating day - then this arrived! So lovely. The illustrations are quite beautiful.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

A (craft) Room Of One's Own...

Because I was inspired by Soul Mama and because I'm on the verge of planning my own craft room...

A playful extract from A Room Of One's Own by Virginia Woolf.

''But, you may say, we asked you to speak about women and CRAFT - what has that got to do with a room of one's own? I will try to explain. When you asked me to speak about women and CRAFT I sat down on the banks of a river and began to wonder what the words meant. They might mean simply a few remarks about Fanny Burney (WHO KNITS); a few more about Jane Austen (EMBROIDERY); a tribute to the Brontes (CROCHET, PAINTING, SEWING) and a sketch of Haworth Parsonage under snow; some witticisms if possible about Miss Mitford (HARD CORE CROSS STITCHER); a respectful allusion to George Eliot (CALLIGRAPHY); a reference to Mrs. Gaskell (LACE MAKER) and one would have done''.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Catholics Guide To Decorating.

Maybe it's the change of season but all of a sudden I feel a tad burdened by all the "stuff" we have (or right b1...I have).
The world is made up of two groups - Group One can walk past a pretty, shiny thing and think, ''That's lovely!' and move on. Group Two walks past and thinks, 'that's lovely. I must have it now or my world is not and will never be complete''. I am the leader of Group Two.

I've always loved things. My mum loved things, so did her mother. I can only assume I've inherited the trait or it's some last-child-of-seven throw back thing. After spending a little time thinking about what I collect, I was a bit alarmed at the list:

Snuff Bottles...started after a holiday in Beijing/Shanghai.

Enamel Kitchenware

Bees - a life long interest
Books (in general) and on Bees...

Buffy - complete season.

Beautiful fabric, paper, ribbons, sewing baskets, pearly pins, pretty plates, cups and spoons, vintage table-clothes, aprons, pre-loved toys, buttons, bits and bobs.

Upshot is we're having a MONSTER garage sale in the next few weeks and I am determined to cast off a lot of stuff. I'll keep what I love but for some reason I've ended up with quite a bit of stuff that I feel very ambivalent about and that's the stuff that can go.

I'm also going to try a little experiment next time I come across something I "have to have''. I'm going to ask myself the following:

Do I REALLY want/need it?
Do I want it BECAUSE it's a bargain?

I won't have long before I can put myself to the test. This Sunday a Clearance Sale is happening at our local hall. Usually these sales are deceased estates, so great places for bargains.

More to the point ... why isn't one enough? Why four owls and not one? I'm beginning to wonder if my catholic upbringing doesn't have a part to play because when I look around our house, just like the book title, there are little alters everywhere. I mean I have clusters or corners dedicated to certain objects: feathers and stones, coffee table books about the sea, photographs - everything is kind of grouped.

I also have a lot of stuff from when I was a child - which is lovely, but do I really need to hang onto it all? I've given heaps away to my nieces and nephews, but I still have a lot.

On the whole, everything works well together but when I catch sight of rooms with space and order - usually Swedish and white...I can't help but think how nice it would be to let the eye rest upon a void, now and again.

Some Books I've Really Enjoyed

  • Apples For Jam by Tessa Kiros
  • Saturday by Ian McEwan
  • Philip Larkin: A Writer's Life by Andrew Motion
  • The Bell Jar by Syliva Plath
  • Ex Libris by Anne Fadiman
  • Stasiland by Anna Funder

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Living, reading, crafting, taking photos, writing.