Bedroom Progress

June 14, 2014

Four months and we’re still settling in. We bought some nice wooden side tables from someone off of Gumtree (the Australian equivalent of Craigslist). I’m still looking for lamps as the overhead light is too much for nighttime reading. No bed frame yet either, just the mattress directly on the carpet. I still have that huge blanket I crocheted while living in Baltimore.

 

 

On the weekends we like to wander around the city and find places that are new to us. Usually that includes a local bar with good brews on tap. A few weeks ago while out and about I found some European size pillow shams while checking out a thrift store. So naturally the search was on for some inserts. I finally found some that were on sale for the Queen’s Birthday holiday. They’re goose feather.

 

Didn’t think I would ever buy feather pillows, but they’re supposed to last a lot longer than the poly fill stuff and hold shape better. There’s times I would much rather buy something that’s a bit more expensive and going to last a lot longer than buy something that will go into a landfill in 6 months.

 

These shams were a lucky find. Simple with a nice texture and pattern.

 

 

So far so good. The new pillows add some firmness and are great for reading in bed. I will say that right out of the bag they do have that typical feather smell. (Same smell as a down filled sleeping bag or puffy coats.) It’s just slightly noticeable. This is the first time we’ve used pillows of this size and type so I’ll post an update in a few months about how they’re holding up. If anyone if Australia wants to buy some of these pillow inserts I bought them online here and they’re still on sale as I post this.

Do people in Australia wear down filled puffy coats? I used to own one when we lived in Philadelphia where the winter was cold, snowy and windy.  It was nice and warm until it got ripped apart.  I swear that crochet ripple blanket will last until I’m at least 50 and maybe longer. It’s huge and should fit a king size bed. Took forever to make. Apparently I didn’t blog about it? Anyhow it’s on Ravelry here if you’re interested in seeing my notes on it. 

Doily on display.

July 5, 2014

I’ve got a crochet doily (the blue one) in a museum; the Queensland Art GOMA!

It’s part of the ‘Fallen Fruit of Brisbane: Pineapple Express’ display. (I’m even in the website highlights!)

 

The main exhibit, “Harvest” is up until September 21st. If you’re in the Brisbane area stop by and check it out. This exhibit is free (love me some free!) and there’s also an interesting music exhibit upstairs as well. Make sure you check out the video of people singing and dancing to Thriller.

Nope, not paid for this. Actually I follow QAGOMA on Instagram and saw that they were accepting submissions of pineapple themed stuff from locals. The Petite Pineapple Doily had been in my Ravelry queue for ages and I thought ‘why not?’. Thanks goes out to Priscilla Hewett for permission to submit this design!

Kombucha progress

June 28, 2014

My kombucha has finished its first fermentation. I bottled it up today to start its second round of fermentation.

Nothing added to these bottles. I still found the growing SCOBY interesting to observe. The floating bits are fascinating. Some of them attach to the side of the jar, others just kinda float suspended in the liquid. One day the bits might be on the bottom; the next they’ve risen to the top.

That’s the new baby SCOBY that grew. Looks quite ugly. It went back into the jar once I was finished filling the bottles. It’s funny, I drink tea everyday but have to buy more to make my next batch of kombucha. All my tea is flavored or has additions that render it not suitable for fermenting (currently Earl Grey, Arctic Fire, Hot Chai, and herbal Apple Orchard). Yum, more tea. I’m excited to see where this will lead.

Adventures in Kombucha Brewing

June 20, 2014

 

Anyone else love kombucha? I first had some several years ago while living in Baltimore (found it at Whole Foods) and quickly grew to love the sweet/tart taste. Since then my interest in making some myself has grown. It’s not quite as common in Brisbane as it is in the US however there is a local company (Buchi Kombucha) that makes the tasty drink on a commercial scale and yet still sells at the local farmer markets. I bought my kit last weekend and started my brew on Monday.

In my kit was a glass jar containing some started culture, a SCOBY, which is a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast, sugar, tea, and a cotton cover. By the way, who likes my attempt at adding text to a photo? Need to work on this a bit.

There’s my SCOBY! Looks like a gross gelatinous mass but it’s what causes the goodness to grow. Think of it like sourdough starter or friendship bread; get a little bit from someone else and you can make all you want.

After making what amounts to simple syrup, the tea needed to seep for 10-20 minutes. Clips are so useful in the kitchen. Not just for keeping bags closed, but also for brewing large amounts of tea.

Fill it up to the top! Ok, more like 2 inches/5cm below the top and cover with cloth to keep out dust/fruit flies/whatever.  About water: most instructions say to use spring or purified water since too much chlorine and fluoride might kill the SCOBY. As much as I didn’t want to kill this project I also didn’t want to carry this much water back from the store. A little bit of googling and I found someone that has been using tap water (from Detroit!) and getting good results. I filtered my Brisbane tap water through a Britta filter, boiled it and let it cool. Don’t put hot water on your SCOBY!

Day 1 and it was growing well!

Day 2 and it’s looking stranger and stranger!

Day 3, look at those beautiful bits.

Day 4 and the tentacles are attaching to the side of the jar.

I find myself peering into the jar several times a day; it’s neat that something is alive and growing in there. I’ve got a few more days until the first fermentation is ready to taste. And then maybe a second fermentation to get some bubbly action going on.

Anyone else have experience growing fermented foods? What’s the weirdest fermented thing you’ve ever eaten? Any suggestions for useful photoshop brush presets? Seriously had issues adding it to that photo. It helped once I got off a random adjustment layer and onto a dedicated layer.

Strange Animals (or animals not found in the wilds of North America)

June 5, 2014

A few weeks ago, Mr. EG and I visited the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. Mainly because everyone kept wanting to see pictures of koalas. Turns out it was a nice relaxing afternoon outing.

First the birds…

Tawny Frogmouth

 

Kookaburra

Kookaburra

 

Cassowary

Cassowary

 

Emu

Emu

Now the kangaroo’s…

And everybody’s favorite the Koalas…

Those koalas have very sharp claws! One of my favorite sections was the native birds (the snakes were really cool too). The coloring on the feathers was so beautiful. No good pictures of those as most were moving around or hidden in the shadows. I kept saying that the colors and patterns would provide plenty of inspiration for me if/when I start dying yarn.

So the question is would I go again? If I have visitors, yes. If we have small children, yes as it’s great for families. Otherwise, it was nice to visit once but not sure if we’ll go back without a reason. But keep in mind that we’re not really into the touristy things. We’re more of the hiking/camping type of people. We would rather do something than see something.

Over the Ocean Shawl

May 31, 2014

 

 

 

This shawl has caused me some frustration but it’s finally done and blocked.  And it was finished in time for happy hour drinks on Friday. The pattern is Over the Willamette by Jenn Wolfe Kaiser and I used Superwash Merino Lace by Tess’ Designer Yarns for most of it (I love her colors). A  tiny bit of Cascade Forrest Hills was used just for the last row as I ran out of useable yarn.

Initially there would have been enough yarn to finish this project. However, I had started a different shawl pattern with this yarn and decided I didn’t like the way it was looking and so ripped it out. And I’m sure having this yarn in storage IN A SKEIN for almost 4 years did nothing for it. Not to mention that I had to rip out rows several times because of mistakes (so frustrating when I miss stitches). Needless to say, some yarn didn’t make it. Anyhow, the Cascade blends beautifully and this project is done!

Funny photo cause I can.  This is the first pattern that I’ve actually paid money for. $4.50 USD isn’t much but usually I choose free patterns or borrow books from the library. I bought this because I saw others using multicolored yarn  and getting beautiful results. I’ll be making at least one more. But not yet. I’m done with lace for a few weeks.

 

Lounging around

May 24, 2014

We saw this kangaroo lounging around today. More pictures of weird and cute animals will be forthcoming.

PS. Horay! This is my 50th post on this blog. Took me long enough. ;)

 

 

Friday!

May 16, 2014

South Bank flowers.

It’s Friday and Friday seems to be link round up day if you happen to have a blog. So lets try this out!

Thinking of signing up for this race. I’ve started running again in these “shoes”.

Working on this shawl with some yarn that I’ve had for several years.

Need to find some lamps for the bedroom and really like these, but not sure if I want to pay shipping. Most of our former lamps (all sold when we moved here) were less than $30 so this would be a big step up in spending on lighting for us. Although any decent lamp I’ve seen in Australia starts around AU$80-$100 and may not include a shade. Any clue what’s up with that? Anyone in Australia have store recommendations for home wares?

Looking at soap dish ideas on Etsy. Might make one? Possibly? Haven’t quite found one that I want to buy yet.

I’m a fan of simple earrings and covet these, these, and these on Scoutmob.

I’ve cut my hair before and I’m considering it again. This tutorial is spot on if you’re interesting in trying it yourself.

We’re going to a BBQ tomorrow and might see some koalas on Sunday. Enjoy your weekend!

None of these links are sponsored, it’s just stuff that I use myself or that I think are pretty/cool/useful/interesting.

Tuesday Tour: The Office

May 5, 2014

The day our stuff was delivered there were few things in our office. By office I mean the room formally designated as master bedroom. It has a large window that lets in a ton of bright light in the morning and perfect light in the afternoon. Perfect light for taking photographs. Made more sense to us to use it as an office than a bedroom.

 

As I was unpacking a few things made their way in there.

The next day I used some of the book boxes to “make” storage “shelves”.

Some craft and art supplies were in our shipment and I needed some way to contain it for the time being.

 

 

 

There’s too much cardboard all over the place and too many white walls.

I felt the need for some color on the walls so made some chevrons.

Currently, this is how it looks. Yep, really messy. I didn’t tidy up before shooting these photos. You know, just keeping it real. Eventually, I’d like to get better storage for all the supplies (maybe a few of these?). Or maybe do something better with the boxes. In any case this room is nowhere close to done.

If anyone is wondering, the furniture is all from IKEA. The metal wastebasket (or rubbish bin) was found in the garden section.

It’s like Christmas!

April 28, 2014

Our stuff has arrived! Super happy to have our possessions in our possession again. Yesterday around 12:30 we received 13 boxes of stuff. Actually 1 mattress, and 12 boxes.

There has been one causality so far.

Poor little bowl. We’ll try to glue it back together.

Kitchen stuff and decorative items!

Pretty sure customs checked out out camping and hiking gear. (There’s no way we would have left the bags open.)

This is the frame and artwork box. No glass was harmed in the shipment of this box! Some Most of these frames have been filled with the same photographs since we lived in Philadelphia. I’m already considering which photos to change.

Lately, when people ask me what I do they get the response, “I make messes”. Eventually they get cleaned up. Which is something I’m off to do right now.


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