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.
December 9, 2014
I’m 33 today. Never imagined I would be living in Australia and be warm enough to wear a skirt on my birthday. Usually I’m bundled up in at least 3 layers. I’m enjoying the hot weather (Summer for XMas!) and the lightening show tonight.
December 1, 2014
Today is the “official” first day of Summer here in Australia. (No, not the solstice. That’s later in the month.) To celebrate I woke up around 5am this morning. By celebrate I mean woke up and couldn’t get back to sleep. The sun rises around 4:45am this time of year and certain crazy people are up and being productive at that ungodly hour. 6am when the coffee shops open there’s usually at least one or two bicyclists waiting in their spandex. Me? Well, I usually sleep a few hours later and do brunch. I’ve never been a morning person.
One thing I like to do at any time of day is gaze at the sky and watch the clouds go by. There’s been times I’ve been on a run or just out and about and needed to stop and admire the beautiful sunset or a rainbow. And perhaps point it out to people with their heads down speeding busily on their way. Yes, it’s a need. Complete with ooooh’s and aaaaahhh’s.
Summer, my favorite season, welcome.
September 1, 2014
I went to a yin yoga class this morning. On the sign in sheet was written “First Day of Spring“. I didn’t think it was the equinox yet so I asked one of the instructors about it (she didn’t know what an equinox was). Apparently Australia starts the seasons on the first day of the month instead of the celestial first day of the season. In other news; Happy Labor Day to those back in the US.
Anyone get the photo???
July 25, 2014
Flowers along South Bank, Brisbane, QLD.
I got sucked into the rabbit hole that is the internet. You know how it is. You start on a blog that you read every day. They have a link to an awesome blog post by someone else that they like and they have a link…. Anyhow, this is some of the awesome stuff that I want to share.
1. Empowering music video about women/girls/makeup/no makeup/beauty/self image. I may be living under a rock, I’ve never heard of this person before. I found this by following a link from #2 on my list.
2. Creating a capsule wardrobe. This is sounding like something I might actually do. I don’t own too many clothes but would like to refine my style a bit. I will need to buy a few things (I need some shoes and a nice jacket, like reeealy need a jacket!) but that can wait until I evaluate what I currently own (and articulate what I actually like to wear/what fits/is not worn out). My pickiness will be a big help here.
3. Reading this blog. Especially her creative coaching posts in the archives. Love, love, love her advice.
Yesterday I had one of the best yoga classes I’ve ever been to. The playlist was eccentric and amazing and is what made the class. Here’s three of the songs that I actually know (links to the videos):
Song 1 – (Not lyrics you would expect to hear in a yoga class but the overall sound fits.)
Song 2 – (Reminded me of my 2nd grade holiday show. I wore a white skirt, shoes, and top and “danced” to this song. Also reminded me to be happy and smile more. )
Song 3 – (We were in sphinx pose when this came on and I just busted up laughing when I heard it. Tears were running down my face.)
Best. Class. Ever. I had a smile on my face the rest of the day and I’m still smiling when I think of it.
I’m off to a BBQ tonight and another get together tomorrow. Who liked the songs/videos I linked to? Song three also brought back memories of childhood. Is that just an American cultural thing or do any Aussies remember that show? Any link love you want to share?
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!
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.