Friday, December 03, 2010

rest in peace

for my grandfather
we will miss you

Thursday, November 25, 2010

miss hazel

i've been sick for the last week, i'm officially over it.
and during a lovely warm spell in melbs too - damn you virus!

daytime tele is so unappealing - who watches this stuff? so in between coughing, sleeping and eating congee, i made this monkey from the mabel pattern in my favourite softies book.

this is for one of the newest little people in the world, welcome hazel.
i left out the fabric button from the tail - it never fails to amaze how little folks like to put everything in their mouths!
congrats dr h and mr p =)

Friday, November 19, 2010


Science and patchwork? I was thrilled to see this cover on the latest issue of scientific journal EMBO.

have a great weekend all!

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

fried green tomato

i super love this glaze ... it's a tomato/red that becomes this gorgeous green colour under oxidation firing - fast becoming my favourite mode of firing.

the first public holiday in six months and i come down with a cold. bah! hope you were lucky with the horses today!

Watching: Project Runway Season 8 Finale, spoiler alert: Mondo was robbed!
Exploring: BBC world service podcasts

Thursday, October 14, 2010

for cindy

another miss polly, this time for cindy (xin yi).

recently, xin yi moved to melbourne from northern china with only a few phrases in english, and now, in only a few months, chatters away about this and that in perfect english.

cindy's favourite colours are pink, light blue and light green (light, not regular ok!).

welcome to melbourne cindy!

PS: the ladybird button is from Adelaide's Button Bar, courtesy of Eky - thanks chick!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Fresh out of the kiln

Slowly, slowly, I am learning how to throw bigger pieces on the wheel and about different glazes and firing methods.

The outside of the first pot has lovely specks of brown throughout that arises from oxidation firing. On the inside, I used a runnier glaze that produces blue and grey flecks.
For the second pot, I used a neutral glaze both inside and out, but using reduction firing that results in a shinier finish.

And since I can't help but be a scientist, here's some fruit in the second bowl for scale purposes.
Elmo immediately deemed them suitable for noodle soups - perfect for the won ton dumplings he made last weekend, yum!

It's so exciting to see the pots when they come out of the kiln; there's plenty of room for improvement, but I'm happy with how these have turned out. So much fun..

Eating: Delicious blood oranges (YUM) and ...won ton noodle soups =)
Watching: Mr Barry Morgan at the Melbourne Fringe Festival - so cheesey!

Thursday, October 07, 2010

good get

our team went to a scientific conference recently - a combined meeting of societies from three different disciplines.

i felt like a science anthropologist: interesting to see the plant/ protein/neuro talks and glimpse into different tribes and dynamics. fascinating!

here's the best get from the trade displays:

it's a usb key and he's awesome!

Friday, September 17, 2010


Ever since I visited Coral Bay in north west Western Australia and then Cape Tribulation in far north Queensland a few years later, I have longed to travel along the very northern coast from east to west (or vice versa, i'm not fussed!).

The Opera Camper, designed by Axel Enthoven, would be perfect! I just love the elegant unfolding roof and the design details in the interior...amazing!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


I have a terrible weakness for paper: was immediately taken with this happy collage by Jared Schorr for the Paperquilt Project.

Monday, September 13, 2010

tokuya goodies

Thanks to a tip off from Kate, we made a bee-line for Tokuya last week.

I grabbed a few sewing bits and pieces, as well as some paper dotted with little colourful squares. How cute are those little pins!

I mentioned Tokuya to workmate S, a fellow stationery freak, who came back from lunch break, excited and wide-eyed, reporting all the amazing paper gifts she had just acquired.

With all the stationery, storage solutions, lunch boxes, cups, more stationery, crockery, origami papers, tee shirts...even gardening supplies (!), S and I enthusiastically agreed that this was indeed heaven on earth, and congratulated each other on managing self-restraint.

Now we just need another excuse to head back into town...

Friday, September 10, 2010

(More) Browsing

I'm enjoying posting these random finds rather than whipping out my credit card - online shopping is just a little bit too easy =)

I love UK artist Gemma Correll's patterns and illustrations, especially the pugs and kitties...
See if you can resist these and other lovelies here.

Correll's Kitties blog is gorgeous too: love the dead pan sensibilities of the conversations...

We're off to celebratory drinks tonight for two brand new phuds - congrats drs j and c =)
Happy weekend guys!

Wednesday, September 08, 2010


As someone who likes to make cards now and then, this envelope template would be so useful...

But! this will be filed in the cute-but-don't actually-need-it category!

Speaking of which, in October, the Salvos are reminding us to practise sustainable consumerism and Buy Nothing New. Elmo and I are going to take up this challenge - please join us!

Sunday, September 05, 2010


Browsing: Mexican artist Gennine's Etsy shop. Aren't these prints gorgeous?

My sis hates birds. She visibly shudders at the mere mention.
Workmate S doesn't like birds: "I don't like their beakiness".

I reckon these delicate illustrations from Gennine would convert even the most ardent bird-hater (sis included! =p).
Listening: Wishing for the summer with the Beach Boys classic "Pet Sounds"

Wednesday, September 01, 2010


For all the booklovers out there, this is a super fun game from Penguin.

Test your literary knowledge - simply find one (or more!) of 75 titles hidden in this section of the image...

I'm ashamed to say it took me a while to find my favourite Penguin paperback, High Fidelity. I kept looking for a cartoon John Cusack or Jack Black!

Watching: Season 8 of Project Runway... claws out...rrr! (oh dear)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

in the sun

when we started learning how to throw clay onto the wheel, our teacher mr j baffingly said to us: You have to stop looking at the clay.

not that any of us beginners have quite got to that stage yet, but slowly, we have come to realise that if your hands are in the right place, applying the right pressure, you could even potentially throw a pot with your eyes closed!

mr j also says: I'm teaching you to make a canvas.

no matter how perfect or "individual" your pot, the choice of glaze or other finish is make or break. we have a wall of beautiful glazes to choose from, but we also had the opportunity to play with Japanese washi paper.

very kool!

Listening: lovely summery 60s pop sounds of "Volume Two" from She & Him and the new Teenage Fanclub album "Shadows", ah!

PS: Don't forget to subscribe to the 3RRR radiothon!

Monday, August 16, 2010

pot luck

Mount Sturgeon

we recently spent a long weekend in the Grampians National Park with ms k and dr jp, the latter now firmly ensconced in adelaide ("ït's ok").

we stayed in dunkeld, a sleepy township not quite half way between adelaide and melbs. we were well chuffed to hear that this is a well beaten path: a local told us that Maggie Beer used to drive down from the Barossa Valley to meet up with Stephanie Alexander, from Melbourne, at the Royal Mail Hotel.

it's a beautiful part of victoria: we were rewarded with clear skies and stunning views on our walks.
On top of Mount Sturgeon

we wandered into local artist Anne Fleming's gallery on the main street and admired many of her beautiful pots and drawings. her work is elegant and simple, beautiful!

it was so inspiring that i've since been taking pottery classes. after a couple of months, a few pots came out of the kiln:
not quite as delicate as fleming's, but a good start and plenty of room for improvement =)

ps: i couldn't resist posting this pic too: you will find this shop on columbia road in london, past the flower market

Sunday, August 15, 2010


yesterday, had a great afternoon catching up w ms j, who has just dropped the ex from ex-pat, returning home with hubby in tow.

everything's good, but we have both been feeling a bit stretched at work. how do we let ourselves burn our time into the 9-5s (or alarmingly, the 8-7s) and then wonder how we don't have time for our passions?

which begs the bigger question, what would we be otherwise doing?

of course, we didn't solve this problem, but plan to do so in future cake sessions =D

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

winter woollies

after the last few sunny days, i've decided that being a winter person is not the go. there are small green buds emerging on the tree outside our bedroom window, even the tree is impatient for spring.

so, as we brace for a week of cold and windy melbs weather, i was dismayed to find moths had chewed on a few of my favourite woolies! eek!

how's this for a potential fix: woolfiller is a dutch company that sells felting kits to mend mothball munched holes in your loved woolies.

and no, i wish this was one of my repaired items, this is an example from the woolfiller website - don't you love the splashes of colour on the grey cardie?

Saturday, July 31, 2010

danger danger


Anthropologie is now shipping to Australia.

last year, in the dreary london drizzle, i dragged poor elmo to anthropologie on regent street during the christmas rush, so he may (or, credit card pending, may not) be pleased that i can browse away to my heart's content online!

Now please excuse me while i have another squiz...

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


we recently escaped to brisbane to visit dr m and mr p in their west end queenslander. anyone else over the frosty melbourne mornings?

let's all imagine that we are basking in the sun (in july!) here:there were even a few people sunning themselves at this fake beach at southbank. we happily warmed ourselves in the glorious sun, celebrating our ingenious escape to the sun with icecream (again, in july!).

we also had the pleasure of being woken up each morning by the lovely, affectionate hamish. who are we to say no to snuggles from such a cutie?

Watching: amazing papercut process from rob ryan and Masterchef final (on the menu: green tea dumplings and chocolate fondants in honour of the finalists - thank god, we'll resume normal life soon!)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

friendly frankie

lucky me, this 'rather desperate housewife' brooch by hungry designs arrived in the post on friday. thank you frankie!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

your adventure is about to begin...

Ah!!! I've been ready to embrace this weekend for a few days...

Moving further into an early nana-hood (!), I had a couple of requests for baby blankets and so, I have been learning how to embroider from this op shop book. This book is fantastic: clear diagrams and simple instructions. I treated this first quilt as a primer of sorts, using chain, laced chain, twisted chain, lazy daisy, feather and sheaf filling stitches around a few animals on a children's textile from Ikea.

I think it's safe to show a small reveal of the rest of the pressie (otherwise, look away sis!).

Petals/leaves ready to be assembled into Autumn bunting...
:: Autumn leaves before ::

...and this perfect papercut card for the new parents: Our Adventure Is About To Begin.

You might recognise papercut artist Rob Ryan's distinctive style; we found this at Ryan's wonderful London shop at the Columbia Road Flower Market and simply couldn't resist!

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Great Ocean Walk

In denial about summer's end, we made a last ditch attempt to capture some of that summertime feeling and went camping on the Great Ocean Walk.

From east to west, the GOW runs alongside the Great Ocean Road, starting at Apollo Bay and heading westward towards The Twelve Apostles. If you are super keen, we reckon the whole walk would take just over a week.
But if you are not that hardcore, you can drop in and out as you wish. Even a small section of the walk will reward you with spectacular coastal views, the beautiful forests further inland in the Cape Otway National Park, and the many lovely bays and inlets. The campsites have rainwater tanks (!) and lovely tent beds - quite posh really. And as much as I enjoy being one with nature and all that, I really do HATE camping food. Instant mash is weird and wrong. Any camping food advice welcome with open arms!!
In fact, the bad food is the one thing that really prevents me from being more enthusiastic about camping....that and the emphysemic toads that lived in the bushes at the Cape Otway campsite.

It's not as ridiculous as it sounds (or maybe it is. elmo had a good laugh at me).

As we were making our instant mash (grrr), we heard a low lying sound from the bushes.
A regular, breathy, deep, ribbit kinda sound [shudder].

I kept expecting a R.O.U.S. to jump out and tussle with us!

We only heard them a few times once we were in the safety of our tent, but due to my overactive imagination, we scoped out other campsites on the way out for next time, emphysemic toads not welcome thanks!

Call Parks Victoria to grab a permit for your campsite, you won't regret it!
Don't you love a long weekend? This Easter holiday: completing sewing projects in between bouts of work-procrasti-nation
atching: The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (Thank you ABC2!)
Listening: Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings new album (Thanks heaps elmo!)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

cherry blossom girl

After collecting these books for a little while, I have finally made my first dress from a Japanese pattern book - hurray! Luckily, the diagrams are clear and numbered (and I did have help in deciphering instructions =) ).

My sis picked this dress and fabric; I quite like how the shoulder straps double as little cap sleeves. I hope she likes it!

Watching: and loving New York shows! Project Runway Season 7 - back in NY after a season in LA, and Bored to Death, an HBO "noir-otic" comedy starring Jason Schwartzman as an unlicensed detective, Zach Galifianakis as his comic book artist best mate and Ted Danson, his editor. Dry humour, silly stories, special guests stars - including Jim Jarmusch and Parker Posey, and awesome soundtrack to boot.