I haven’t posted much about our new place mostly because I’m still working on it. The garden has come a pretty long way since we moved in and I may as well show you the progress!
Our courtyard garden as it was when we moved in. A small paved area bordered by a low hedge with taller plants behind.
Collage of the courtyard during process of ripping out the garden and pavers. (Also Miffy enjoying the new turf!)
We don’t have a large yard, and we weren’t fond of having the small space made even smaller by claustrophobic hedging. Miffy needed a place to go to the toilet and sun herself too! The whole yard was ripped out (mostly by Nick!) but we did keep the lovely pink camellia tree on the left hand side. The garden beds were pushed back a little on each side to allow for more grassed area.
The backyard blitz was done on the cheap: we pulled out plants on the weekends (a good thing to do because some were damaging our front fence!), recycled the tiles and sleepers into garden edging, and housewarming gifts bought our turf. We had (and still have) a heap of dirt which has been great for potting up cuttings from my mum and Nick’s mum. Sharing cuttings is FANTASTIC for getting a garden started! I never knew you didn’t really need to buy plants! (It sounds so basic, right? But I never knew!)
I have plans to put lattice up on the big fence (on the right side) and train vines up it, and to hang small pots of colour and herbs on it as well. The right side fence extends down the length of our property and could do with some softening! I hope to scour junk yards for cheap lattice – I checked on pricing at Bunnings the other weekend and discovered it’d cost $25 a piece of lattice and we can’t afford that!
I took a video this morning as I did my regular garden check up and prepared to plant seedlings given to me by my gorgeous friend Erin. I thought I’d share it here so you can see what I’ve been working on. Gardening is something I’ve wanted to do, but never had the chance; any pot plants I’d ever had died rapidly in my care so I was really nervous in the beginning. It’s nice to have things to take care of, that you can watch growing. It all seems very magical to me!
* For non-Australians, my punny title refers to Burke’s Backyard – a long running gardening show on the teev that starred Don Burke.
A black and white photo of Poly Styrene holding a microphone. She has dark short ringleted hair with a bow in it, braces on her teeth and is singing with big lovely wide-eyed intensity.
Today I heard that Poly Styrene of X-Ray Spex and general badassery fame had passed away. I immediately went to You Tube and played X-Ray Spex songs for an hour while drinking tea and chair dancing. Poly was an awesome person and music maker, and I think it’s an awesome legacy to leave if you inspire people to dance and sing. When I die I’d like to leave that kind of feeling with the people who loved me.
So here’s a video of me chair dancing to I’m a Cliche. I got a stitch from dancing so much but I couldn’t stop. Bonus: tea drinking, hairy armpits and no make up.
If you’ve never heard any X-Ray Spex songs, here’s a few to dance to.
A photo of Nick and I dancing at our wedding reception. I'm wearing a red silk dress with bronze pleated organza and beaded flowers around my neckline and Nick wears a cream vest, red tie and white shirt.
Happy third wedding anniversary to my lovely Schmicko! I still can’t believe it’s been three years since that gorgeous night we got married with our friends and family around us. I was the sort of woman who didn’t think she’d get married. It just wasn’t on my radar. Even though Nick and I had been going out for years and were living together at the time it was the hugest surprise when he asked me and I said yes, in tears!
Thanks for being a wonderful friend and partner, I really didn’t think I’d ever manage to pair up with someone so fabulous and when we did I initially couldn’t believe it. Now it’s easier to believe but I still have moments when I pinch myself!
Well, well, well…isn’t this interesting…
Bri from Fat Lot of Good links to a letter in the Journal of the American Medical Association written by Professor Paul O’Brien, gastric banding advocate, in which he admits his failure to report financial disclosure in his study of gastric banding in adolescents. Professor O’Brien receives significant financial compensation from Allergan, the manufacturer of the gastric band. NOW TELL ME THAT THIS DUDE IS IN IT FOR PEOPLE’S HEALTH! What kind of doctor tells people that teenagers should undergo a hugely invasive procedure that will have negative impact on their lifelong health and lies about receiving funding from the manufacturer of the product he installs in people? A doctor who has questionable ethics, and a doctor who will never be charged with the care of my health.
The Secret Life of Burnout
I seem to burn myself out frequently, so I really REALLY appreciate this post on The Fluent Self. It’s funny how working so hard that you end up burning out is seen as this noble thing, and it’s NOT healthy at all. We should be recognising our limits, not shoe-horning things into our schedules until we reach breaking point. As a self-employed creative I feel like I have something to prove so I often take on more than I can handle… and it’s got to stop. I’ve got to start managing my workload in a way that doesn’t lead to feeling like I’m going to crumble under the weight of it all. If you’re a boss of people, I hope you read this and shift your expectations of your staff.
The politics of the pocket
When I talk to women who don’t believe feminism is necessary I am fairly aghast because symptoms of oppression and the gender binary are as apparent as the clothes we are wearing.
Bras: Expensive, hard to find, hard to fit.
AND ANOTHER THING! Bras. The bane of my existence. Bras make me cry: shopping for them, paying for them, wearing them. Being fat and having a large cup size means that I pay at least 5 times as much for a bra than a straight sized person, because I can’t just go and get my size from Target and pay $15 for it. Oh no. World, are you hearing me? You force me to wear one of these painful contraptions and I have to pay a bollocks load for the displeasure. >:(
Slam poet Katie Makkai and her powerful piece “Pretty”.
Print & Pattern
This book has been curated by Bowie Style, the author of the Print & Pattern blog which was one of the first blogs I ever subscribed to via RSS!
Past & Present: Paisley on Design*Sponge
If you’re interested in the history of the paisley motif and issues of cultural appropriation, you should check this out for starters. You might get an insight into why I find paisley so fascinating!
Tibetan sky burial photographs
A huge warning here – these photos depict death and gore, do not click if you prefer not to see photos of that nature. I’m fascinated with death and ritual, and how different people have developed their traditions in line with their worldview and environmental considerations. This Buddhist burial ritual is shocking to me as a white person in a first world country, whose only dealings with death have been quite sanitary and polite, however I can also see the beauty in the sky burial. I don’t believe in resurrection or an afterlife or reincarnation, but I do believe that we are all returned to the earth and this tradition is very much in line with my worldview.
I love Jessica’s work and her sense of humour. I wish I’d been at Sydney’s Semi-Permanent conference, the line up was fantastic!
Unretouched Photos: Empowering or Just More ‘Empower-tainment’?
A really interesting commentary from the Ms. Magazine blog on the slew of unretouched photos and plus size models seen in mainstream magazines recently. I haven’t said much on the issue because I’m curious to see what happens next, but for a lot of media observers it has just been a bunch of “empower-tainment” porn rather than meaningful progression and discussion about body image.
Also Roseanne. Just because I felt like it! How amazing was she? Wait, don’t answer that, just repeat after me: VERY.
The Alot is Better Than You at Everything
Let Hyperbole and a Half help you with your pesky Alot problems! I get so many chortles out of this blog – if you’re not subscribed, what the hell are you still doing reading my blog?
I’m joining in on the Five Faves bandwagon, as started by the lovely Pip at Meet Me At Mikes. I am tardy, as per usual because I am busy and important (tongue firmly planted in cheek, watch it sprout!)
1. Lady Gaga! She’s challenging and presents thoughtful art to the world. I just like her, is all.
3. Watch the baby piglet bliss out in his little spa. Truly adorable!
4. Space. I wanted to be an astronaut as a kid, but in high school I was dissuaded from pursing science and physics. In the last few years I’ve caught up a little and renewed my love for physics and cosmology. Nick and I watched the launch of the Discovery the other night and it was breathtaking (literally). I can’t believe there are only three more missions before the NASA space programme is put on hold. I hope they move on to even more exciting things and that this isn’t the end of space exploration and research.
5. Shoes! I only wish I could wear high heels without feeling like my arches are going to implode! I may just be able to wear these Evans heels, as they’re more than wide enough for my foot, but I’m too nervous to buy them and find out. So I’ll just pine after them for five minutes and move on!
Join the shenanigans here!
(You’ll see I entered the url for my post in all arse-about-face, oops.)
The other day when I was getting ready to go out I thought I’d record my ritual. This is my “bare minimum” face for being presentable outside my house and I’ve done it since I was in my teens. I have acne that is impervious to over the counter treatments (believe me, I’ve wasted so much money!) so make up has always been my mask. I feel very self conscious if I am without foundation and in a way, it is quite limiting having this anxiety about showing my real face. I guess this video is about unveiling my mask and my ritual, more than anything.
The song “Marie-Claire” is by Elfes, and the lyrics are in French but when I passed them through Google Translate (I hope that link works!) they spoke about body image anxiety – so I thought it was rather appropriate!
@thedesignfilesposted a link to one of Jon Rawlinson’s short films, Kuroshio Sea (which is also awesome, check it out) and being the curious cat that I am I clicked onto the next video which posed the question, “What makes you happy?”
A few years ago now, I used to have a VW Beetle, and I would ponder the question of happiness a lot as I drove late at night. Back then, my list of things that made me happy included:
A full tank of petrol
A full packet of ciggies (sigh, oh the past!)
Driving home after a lovely night with my friends
Singing songs really loud (my Beetle didn’t have a radio!)
Driving the bug
Right now, I have a very bland sort of car and while it’s very reliable and doesn’t strand me on scary motorways in the middle of the night (with no mobile phone credit, I had to flag down a stranger!) it doesn’t really give me any happiness. I absolutely hated breaking down all the time in Poberty Jane (my bug) but driving it was thrilling and engaging. In a new car there doesn’t seem to be any kind of engagement or thrill (unless you buy something really fast, fancy and expensive!)
So, the things that make me happy must surely have shifted. I met and married Nick since those times, and I have embarked on a career as a graphic artist and designer. So let’s revisit the happy list, yeah?
Things that make me happy, 2009
Solving a design problem
Laughing with my family and friends
Emptying my pencil sharpener
Seeing new places and exploring them by foot (like waterfalls!)
Writing something that reflects how I feel as accurately and succinctly as possible
Learning new things
Collaborating with people
Making beautiful food
Expressing myself through personal styling (I hate to use the term “fashion” since styling one’s identity extends beyond that!)
Meeting people I connect with
Cracking jokes that people laugh at
I guess I could go on and on… and I feel pretty grateful for that! What makes you happy?
I just realised I forgot to update y’all with my Bridge to Brisbane debriefing! You can watch the end of this video to see my footage, as well as things that fill my heart with glee.
You can see that I was true to my word, and wore a tutu! Nick and I are totally going to participate in more fun runs from now on but I think I enjoyed it a little more than him. He brought up the rear, finishing a whole 4 or so seconds after me! I would like to step up my pace next time – a few of the #btub crew participated in the B2B so it was more of a social dawdle.
If you want to support my fundraising for JDRF, you’ve only got a couple of weeks to donate before they close my page. Go here now to donate! I’ve raised over $100 so far which is more than I’ve ever raised for anything in my life, but considering that my target was $1000 it seems kind of paltry!
Last week was insanely busy, and one of the highlights (of my LIFE) was seeing Aimee Mann at the Powerhouse! I never thought I’d get the chance to see her come to Australia, but I’m glad to be proven wrong! She was fantastic! If you haven’t heard her music, go out and buy all her albums. Her music has pretty much been the soundtrack to the last decade of my life :D
I'm a fat, crafty lady who lives just outside Brisbane, Australia with my husband and my one-eyed dog. I'm an avid pen collector who holds funerals for them when they die. I've been wearing clothes since 1980 and sewing them since 1995.
I make jewellery and other trinkets and sell it all on Fancy Lady Industries.