Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Last day of Blogtoberfest - thank goodness

It's the last day of Blogtoberfest and I have to say I'm so glad. The last couple of days were missed (yes I know!) but these things happen.

I think I can reflect about trying to blog every day for a month. I found it hard. Reasons? It's hard to come up with something to talk about each day. Heaps of stuff happen to me but not everything I want to share. There are things I'd love to share, but feel like I can't. I guess the main thing for me is that I'm currently  focused on work, whether it be looking for a permanent role or my next contracting role.

I'd love to talk about my experience in this but don't feel that a public blog is really the forum for it. Most of the things that happen to me on a day-to-day are generally work related. So I find it difficult to find something interesting I can share. Look don't get me wrong. I have a bazillion thoughts, ideas, opinions on stuff that happen to me every day. But the interesting non-work related stuff seem to be a bit few and far between at the moment.

I'm still knitting the same thing, reading the same book, cooking and eating the same few recipes I know how to make and so finding something interesting EVERY DAY is hard.

If I did get to share all my work related stuff (although somewhere blog school 101 tells me to STOP RIGHT NOW before I write anything career damaging), I'd talk about the job interview I went to on Monday, the networking event I went to last night, the different and relatively interesting (and not so interesting) research I'm currently doing and all my thoughts around these things that happen.

I don't start a new craft project everday, finish a WIP every other day, repost links to other people's blog posts/tweets/whatever and even when I was not working, I didn't find the time to instagram everything I did.

So while I thought Blogtoberfest was a great challenge, I'll be happy to go back to my regular (or not so regular) blogging schedule of posting when something happens which I'd like to read about again or when there is something I want to share with my "oh so silent readership" out there. And every so often, I'll post another photo of my Georg Jensen fusion ring so my blog comes up more often when people are searching for images of it.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Loving my library

I'm a qualified Librarian but haven't really worked in a library before. I have always loved libraries but that's not the reason why I studied to be one. I won't go into why I did the course I did, but it wasn't to become a Librarian. I have however, always supported libraries and think that public libraries (some better than others) are doing a great job in reinventing themselves from these old dusty quiet mausoleums to vibrant community hubs.

My local library has recently added online magazines into their collection which patrons can borrow using Zinio. This is so great. I have a magazine addiction and unfortunately, I can't bear to throw them out and I'm fast running out of space.

The library also offers e-books as well but it doesn't support kindle (but then I don't think anything other than Amazon does). I'm actually quite excited about the whole magazine thing and glad that I live near a progressive library.

Anyway, I missed yesterday of Blogtoberfest (seriously, too exhausted). I babysat my nephews with the BFG and they are so cute and so chatty. So this post is a combined one for Saturday and Sunday.

via Frankie
Today I bought the current issue of Frankie (see - magazine junkie). There is a review of Youth Fiction and out of the 6 that were featured, I have read 5 of them. This made me realise that I really did read A LOT when I was at school. I need to find my passion for reading again.

Blogtoberfest - Day 27 and 28

Friday, October 26, 2012

Having faith

I found this recipe for dinner rolls and thought I'd give it a go seeing as it could be made in 30 minutes. I seriously had doubts about it as dough looked nothing like the one in the blog post and I was thinking that maybe I should just throw it out rather than waste more gas baking them. But I think I should have more faith as they turned out ok. They are a little bit on the sweeter side but you can have these baking as you're making dinner.

Blogtoberfest - Day 26

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Just like Melbourne but not

There are quite a few of those small bars near where I work and thought I'd check one of them out today when catching up with a friend.

This is Shirt Bar. Where a bespoke shirt can be found in the food and drinks menu.

Blogtoberfest - Day 25

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

So behind

Are you on Goodreads? I have been for a while and use it quite a bit to read up on reviews before committing to a book (yes I do have commitment issues). I need to research, research, research before I can decide if I want to dedicate the next 12 train trips to work reading a particular book.

Earlier this year, I was totally on track with my reading challenge of 20 books in 12 months. It doesn't seem like a lot so technically I should be able to do it.

But as you can see, I'm currently behind. We're nearing the end of October and unless I dedicate more time to reading, read youth fiction or children's books, I won't make my measly goal.

This Sunday, I'm hosting our next bookclub meeting. I haven't started reading the book yet. Terrible I know.

Blogtoberfest - Day 24

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

How quickly things go backwards

My running has taken a bit of a backseat and I decided that I had better start moving again. It kills me that I can build my fitness to the point where I can run 10km quite comfortably, then I stop for a couple of weeks and it all goes backwards.

My last big run was the City 2 Surf and I surprised myself that I managed to do it. We did do a bit of running while we were on holidays but I kind of felt like I was cheating because Denmark is so flat.

My Runkeeper stats for the 10km
Yesterday, I got up early and went for a run before work. I only managed about 5km and it was hard but I felt good afterwards. I considered bringing my stuff to run at lunch, but I really hate exercising in the sun. It just gets too hot. Early morning or in the evening really is the best time for me.

You can see in my stats below how much slower I am! Argh..
 Blogtoberfest - Day 23

Monday, October 22, 2012

Brush Turkeys

I took the Three Stooges for a walk yesterday evening and on the way home 3 brush turkeys ran across the road. One flew onto our roof, the other two decided our neighbour's roof had a better vantage point.

Then they flew onto one of the trees in the reserve. 

Our view from or backyard. I never get tired of it.

Blogtoberfest - Day 22

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Before and After

I bought the fabric, have great intentions and generally nothing happens. Why is that? I run out of time, lose the mojo or just thought it was a good idea at the time and then it all gets too hard. But this time, I did it!

Took the seat off the frame, painstakingly pulled all the staples and and put on the new cover.

The chairs are still in relatively good condition - so was the original seat cover. It was just boring.

I've still got two more chairs to do (it was originally a set of 4 but one broke).

I watched a couple of youtube videos on how to do this and it's pretty straightforward. Except a few instructions tell you to just staple the new cover over the old one. I think with a black one, it might show through the new fabric. The problem with the chair on the left is that the screws are so stuffed that I can't just unscrew them off. I might have to just bang it out with a hammer and then try to rescrew the whole thing back on.

I thought about painting the chairs too but that got in the way too hard basket (also known as can't be arsed).

We have the matching dining table that came with these chairs which the BFG inherited from some friends of his who upgraded to more adult furniture. I'm using the table as my study/craft table, but it needs to be sanded back. I think it about it heaps, but I think I suffer from overthinking lethargy.

It might be easier to just get a desk from IKEA but I do think we're beyond the IKEA stage of our lives now (well I like to think we are) and get something that isn't coming to us flat packed. Having said that, I still love IKEA except for that ugly cupboard behind the chairs. That's IKEA and came with the house. It's too big and ugly and too useful to get rid of at the moment. Jammed packed full of my crafty stuff, yarn, books, patterns, fabric. It's pretty chockers and getting rid of it will be .... you guessed right... in the too hard basket.

Blogtoberfest - Day 21

Saturday, October 20, 2012

An apple a day

My suburb's claim to fame is that the original granny smith apple was first grown here. So every year, the humble green apple is given it's own festival and like most years, it's the hottest day in Spring. I went for a quick visit this morning and got my usual Thai paw paw salad (I get this every year). Nephew No 1 and No 2 went on a few rides. There are concerts, food stalls, community stalls and a whole bunch of other stalls selling stuff you probably don't need.

Fun all round.

Blogtoberfest - Day 20

Friday, October 19, 2012

City view

I'm currently working on the other side of the city (the non-Harbour bridge side). The new Barangaroo development is happening down the road. When I worked on this side of town four and a half years ago, all the office buildings were quite new and new ones are being constructed at the moment.

I've been quite lucky view-wise in my last couple of jobs. It's always nice to look out the window and enjoy the Sydney view - especially in summer. Kind of makes working in an office bearable.

Blogtoberfest - Day 19

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Beyond Simplicity

Apart from the one Colette pattern (Sencha), all the patterns I have been using have been in the Simplicity Lisette range. They're pretty easy to follow and there seems to be enough people on the internet making them, that if you do have any issues, most likely there is an explanation somewhere to help you sort it out.

So I've been looking out for other patterns to try out and I think this is going to be my next project.

via BurdaStyle
I have some fabric in my slowly growing stash which would be perfect for this and best of all, free pattern! I think one of the annoying things about PDF patterns is having to tape up all the pieces and then cutting them again.

I was also going to try my hand at quilting but at the moment, I'm not really interested in making patchwork so I'm thinking of this strip quilt for something easy to start with.

Blogtoberfest - Day 18

Sweating the small things

I'm having writer's block today. I've been staring at this page since 10.30pm thinking about what to write and now it's tomorrow and I still don't know what I want to say. I have a lot going on in my head but not words to express them.

Hopefully tomorrow/today will be better.

Blogtoberfest - Day 17

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The great escape

We've had to fortify our backyard when the dogs came to stay. Apparently we only did a half arsed job because we've had numerous escapes. Our backyard joins onto a reserve and the 3 Stooges think that the fence doesn't exist and that their territory extends beyond onto the reserve.

After 2 successful attempts this morning with the BFG bringing them back, they made a go at escaping a third time and this was literally 5 minutes before I was about to leave the house. Seriously, I was not amused having to run through the backyard, open the huge gate and run across the reserve to bring them home.

Their cuteness will only save their butt only so many times.

Blogtoberfest - Day 16

Monday, October 15, 2012

Ready for business

My business cards came! Sooo.... around July, my "position was made redundant" - that's what the people at the out-placement service tells us to remind ourselves. Whatever. It sucked to not have a job, but not the end of the world. I got paid out. Not complaining.

But it did mean having to think about looking for a new job, etc. One of the things I decided to go do was get some personal business cards. I used and these are fantastic quality and the price wasn't exorbitant including postage from the UK.

After working in places where business cards were provided, it was much more fun picking out my own design (ok, so I wasn't creative enough to actually design my own, but the moo range have a lot to choose from) and deciding what to have on it.

I'm quite comfortable going to networking events, so looking forward to handing these babies out. Although having attended the out-placement workshop, I can see how people can be quite reluctant to try. It can seem like you're trying to sell Amway. I don't see it like that. I see it as just making conversation with people who are most likely just as passionate about what it is you do.

Anyhoo, I am working now. I got a 2 month contract working ... get this... where the BFG works. When I got a call about it, I couldn't stop laughing because I thought it was so funny that we would be working for the same organisation. It drives him nuts to think we will be catching the train together, going to work together, and perhaps even having lunch together. Fun times ahead.

10% off voucher for here.

Blogtoberfest - Day 15

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Flicking through

I've been taking my mum to our local library as it has a large Chinese language collection. Since I got my Kindle last Christmas, I haven't been going to the library as often as I used to. On a recent visit, I picked up this book:

I've read her other two books where she begins her journey to Italy, first to Rome and then to Naples. I find her so much more enjoyable than Elizabeth Gilbert who wrote "Eat, Pray, Love". Now that was a book that annoyed the hell out of me. Talk about over self indulgent and the "all about me" syndrome. At least this is easy reading to keep my mind off stressful things.

I think the author still has a very rose tinted view of Italy (even after 5 years of being there). Which reminds me of how I am about Denmark. I have a very roses, rainbow and all things beautiful, fairytale images of Denmark. That was until we were leaving and was taking the train from Nyborg. These bogan Danes were already there waiting for the train to get into Copenhagen. At 6.50am, one of them had already gone through 3 cans of a six pack of Tuborg, were loud and rowdy and completely smashed my idyllic view of Danes. Bogans are everywhere.
I also bought a new book. The patterns in this book are a bit meh, but techniques are useful. I'm still struggling with inserting zippers but I'll persist. I haven't made anything recently, but I do have a pattern all printed out which just needs to be cut.

I've decided to stop buying novels - unless they are secondhand or through my kindle. But I'll continue to buy reference books. Nothing beats flicking through a book and keeping the page open to refer to.

Blogtoberfest - Day 14

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Gross but satisfying

This might seem like a plate of innocuous plate of butterflied sardines. But it's not! I cleaned and fileted these little fishies. It must have been about the grossest thing I've had to do in a long time. I've been wanting to make sardines for a while as I've seen heaps of recipes, but it's actually really hard to get hold of sardines that have been pre-cleaned. It's probably because they're just really small.

I had to watch a youtube video on how to do it. This made me realise what a princess I am about cooking fish. I usually only buy fillets or fish that has already been cleaned. I really didn't know how to do it from scratch. Even though we used to go fishing when I was younger (my parents were both keen anglers), I never had to actually clean the fish.

It's not too difficult, just gross. Once you get over the ick factor, it's fine.

Blogtoberfest - Day 13

Bits and pieces

Missed another day - gosh this isn't going so well right? Yesterday was just a day of nothing going right. I don't cope very well with bad news and the next few months are going to be really hard indeed.

Once again, here is my make up post.

I started this Hanne Falkenberg kit for "Bits" a couple of months ago, working on it on and off. The BFG bought this kit for me when we went to a yarn store in Copenhagen (I can't remember the name of it but it was just off Stroget and they are moving to Norrebro).

It's quite a clever pattern as you only work one colour at a time.

I've made a mistake and so have put it to one side until I can bear to pick it up again to give it another go and work out how to proceed.

I decided to start a new project while I think about the other one. This one is Revontuli in Kauni Wool 8/2 Effektgarn which I bought in Svendborg (the same shop we got the last kit).

Blogtoberfest - Day 12

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Cross Stitch Copenhagen

I couldn't get a better photo of this without taking it off the wall. My mother in law was going through her stuff and came across this embroidery that she did years ago when the BFG was really young. It's motifs of Copenhagen in cross stitch. Might be a bit hard to see, but it includes Borsen, Rundetaarn and Rosenborg.

She made this into a cushion but after years of actual use, it's a bit worn on the edges and she was going to throw it out, but I told her I'll take it and frame it for the house.

Blogtoberfest - Day 11

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Sick of sick

I've been spending a lot of time in hospitals, doctor surgeries and being around sick people. Just when I thought there might be a bit of relief from sickness, I get a text telling me my sister is sick with a pain factor of 8. So I go over to drive her to the only late night medical centre I know of.

Here you sit among these - ghastly 90's era columns. If they dimmed the lights and put on some music, it can convert into a nightclub - albeit a rather dated and daggy one.

Boring post, but daily visits to the hospital doesn't really make such great topics.

Blogtoberfest - Day 10

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

My head still hurts

Yep, looks like I've come down with something. My head still hurts and has been spinning like crazy all of today. It didn't help that I needed to get a medical scan done this morning and there was a bit of prodding (and couldn't have a coffee beforehand).

I also had to pick up a parcel for the BFG from the post office. In his haste to get to work early, he didn't sign the slip of paper, so I just forged his crazy - looks nothing like his name - signature. At the post office, a woman charged in front of me, where the Counter Dude just nodded for her to go to his counter (she was only buying a card). So I went up behind her after she paid. Counter Dude practically bit my head off with "next time, you need to stand in line". Seriously, 2 seconds ago, there was no line! I just gave him my spaced out look.

Then he points to the BFG's name and goes "who's this?" By now, my head hurt more and I was thinking, if this guy gave me any more shit, I'm going to pay for my next purchase at Aussie post with 5c coins up to the value of $5 (which is legal tender apparently) and slowly count it in front of him (cause you know, maths was never a strong point for me and I might just have to count it again). I tried to tell him it's going to be a large package but he ignores me, runs out the back and then comes back to tell me it's a large package, looking like he really didn't want to haul the box for me.

Anyway, finally got the box, but reason for my whinging? The box, along with 2 other boxes that came and another box which is on it's way contains a lot of the BFG's toys from when he was younger. Stuff that his parent's have been hauling across several continents each time the family has moved and finally back to Denmark where the BFG has been storing it. We're talking vintage 70's Lego, original Star Wars figurines (that's right), bought at the same time the original movies were made, old children's books, records etc.

So anyway, I'm not allowed to touch the Star Wars stuff. Head spinning, crazy Aussie Post Counter Dude and I'm not allowed to touch the R2D2 and C3PO? So so wrong.

Blogtoberfest - Day 9

Uh oh - missed a day

So early in the game and I missed a day. Terrible, no? Can we do make up posts?

I had a pretty bad headache yesterday and was pretty spaced out all day. So while the sun is out, here are a few gratuitous cute dog photos.

Blogtoberfest - Day 8 (make up post)

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Easy Sunday

I was prepared for a nice easy Sunday. The house was clean (we had visitors yesterday so it was pretty spick) and I had no plans. So I thought I should bake some bread. This recipe is a pretty tried and test one for me and it's practically no knead. I also took out the dusty bread maker and chucked stuff in to make fruit bread.

Then I busted out the Marimekko mug I bought when I was in Sweden and had Scottish Afternoon tea with left over chocolate cake from yesterday.

My sister called and asked me if I wanted to go to Spotlight. So I came home with this fabric which I will use to reupholster these old chairs we have.

While at Spotlight, I got a text message from the BFG saying that the bread machine shorted the power and now the timing is off. I texted back and asked if it had a bake only function as I knew that it had probably done all the proofing it needed. "No idea" was the text back.

I came back and yes there is a "Bake Only" function. Lack of interest can really kill the bread. I'm hoping it can be saved.

Blogtoberfest - Day 7

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Can't believe I forgot to blog about this

I completely forgot to blog about one of the highlights of our recent Europe trip. We went to LEGOLAND!

My in-laws live about an hour and a half drive to Legoland. We didn't go last time we went to Denmark, but this time because our nephews were going to be with us, my in-laws very generously treated us. Because it was the height of summer, Legoland was packed.

Apart from the miniature towns and villages made of Lego, it's also a theme park with rides which was great for the kids. The highlight for me was seeing the canals of Amsterdam reconstructed in Lego.

Blogtoberfest - Day 6

Friday, October 05, 2012


The 3 Stooges (BFG's nickname for them) got haircuts yesterday. The weather in Sydney has been hitting 30 degrees so it was timely that I booked them in.

Snowy [left] & Charlie [right]
These dogs look completely different once all their fur is gone. Charlie looks like Falkor the big flying white dog in "The Never Ending Story". He's very cute, very dopey and constantly hungry. Snowy is super active for a dog who is about 10 years old. He's a bit nuts and sits near the Hills Hoist and starts barking at nothing.


Snowy & Charlie

Charlie & Cherry
Cherry is the mother hen in this little family. She's tiny but can get quite aggro when Charlie tries to eat her food. She's been eating the lucerne mulch under the citrus trees - just plain weird.

We've always had dogs but I've never been that involved with their upkeep (self absorbed angsty teen that I was) and so having these guys come to stay  has been... well an expensive exercise and a lot of work. The BFG has been talking to his colleagues about having them and it appears that EVERYONE has an opinion. Suggestions for premium brand dog food, flea treatment, treats, and now the haircuts are all adding up (their haircuts each cost more than mine - true fact).

But they are cute. That's important.

Blogtoberfest - Day 5

Thursday, October 04, 2012

This time I'm determined

It's Spring! And this time, I'm determined to get some veggies going. I had pretty dismal results last year when I tried to plant seeds in the veggie bed, some didn't germinate and others just didn't thrive. I decided to bypass the seeds and get seedlings. I'm growing the lettuce in pots in the hope that they won't get eaten by bugs and slugs, but I think I may have to move them as they're looking a bit crowded.

Lettuce and spinach

Brocolli, brussel sprouts, leeks, silverbeet

And a tomato plant on the side

The tomatoes seem to be coming out

Last year, I planted some zucchini. There were large healthy looking leaves, bright yellow flowers and then nothing. Not a single edible zucchini in sight. A friend of ours suggested it could be the lack of bees to help with the pollination, so we planted some lavender, hoping to attract some.

This is our fig tree. I was pretty excited when I discovered there was a fruit bearing tree (that wasn't in the citrus family) and was quite protective about not letting the figs get eaten by birds. You can imagine how completely devastated I was when I realised the figs were tasteless. Absolutely not worth the effort I put into protecting the fruit. The birds can have them this year if they were anything like they were last year.

Blogtoberfest - Day 4