Tuesday, 29 September 2009

A school holiday day out in town

We did one of our favourite things again, took the train into town and strolled around interesting shops. And ate a lot. First stop was donuts and coffee (Jonathan was annoyed that I accidentally got him the chocolate donut without sprinkles. He's an "I want sprinkles" boy.). I gave him a jelly bean from my donut. Then another one.

We saw a cupcake shop (drool) - yes, it was the little camera phone, boy can you tell the difference.

Cool stationery shop with Lego iPod speakers - that was nice.

I saw this pretty sign - it just leads to a driveway now.

There was Lord of the Fries - they are opening a store at Chadstone, and have one already at Northland. I happen to know that I have already recruited at least one (1) new LOTF customer through this blog, so if I keep going, perhaps they'll send me a coupon or something. I had a mini burger. It was yummy - I thought, being mini, it would all be over in two bites, but it was quite a munch for a delicate lady like me. Ahem. Everything they sell is vegetarian. Burgers, nuggets, pies, sausage rolls... but the fries are the main attraction.

We stopped and looked at this TRILLION dollar note from Zimbabwe in a coin shop.

Oh, I'm sorry, that's a HUNDRED TRILLION. Eh.

Then there was the Lindt shop, which we, of course, walked past. I took a photo of the photo of the macaroons. They run chocolate appreciation nights. I don't think I could appreciate it more, but I'd be willing to try.

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Creepy toy of the ... oh, wait...

... no it's not a creepy toy - it's another of Catriona's genius creations. The kitty. The splat kitty. Cute, eh?

See what you can do with a little fur fabric and some stuffing. If she ever has a go at patterns she'll be dangerous!

Hush, now...

...they're reading Shakespeare, don't disturb them...

Thanks Andy Griffiths for writing "Just Macbeth"!

Saturday, 26 September 2009

My Golden Book

I started a new book today. Well, you have to start completely new projects at regular intervals, don't you, otherwise you run out of UFOs.

I borrowed Jenny's cute Owl stamp (not sure of the brand), stamped onto some dictionary page and painted it with Golden paints. Scrummy! Then made a journal page out of it.

Do you get it? They're all saying ... oh, no, I'm sure you get it...

That's the Stampin' Up neutral crayon set, workin' in the shadows. VERY valuable.

All of this was followed up with a well intentioned, but less successful, page featuring a giraffe stamp. Just goes to show, stamp choice is key!

Monday, 21 September 2009

Care Package for the North American traveller

Jeff's overseas right now, wowing the users with his extensive knowledge of {a computer system you won't have heard of} at the User Conference in Colorado. He's following it up with a visit to his brother in Canada.

So what does the Aussie visitor need to take to Canada? They asked for Tim Tams (of course), Twisties (why not?), and Butter Menthols (huh?). We added Cadbury Chocolate (creme brulee flavour - I have a feeling my sister in law will adore it).

The vegemite is for the road - Jeff won't travel without it. Flashback to 2004, in Paris. See? Pain, jambon, fromage, tomate, jus d'Orange, et le Vegemite.

Kids again - having old fashioned fun!

It's hard to believe, but I took the kids to a park - Riversdale Park again - and they actually CLIMBED A TREE!

No, there wasn't any kind of game console at the top.

I was amazed that 21st century kids could be so entertained by something so earthy as finding a tree and getting as high as possible. For the record - Jonathan: very high; Thomas: almost as high; Catriona: wanted to be in it too.

My kids = penguins

Can you tell the difference?

Nope, me neither. Today the weather in Melbourne reached a balmy 19.7 degrees. The sun was out for a few minutes. The kids checked with me if the pool was open - it's "closed" in winter when I do the minimum of maintenance, but yes, technically, it's open now.

So they all jumped in for an extremely brief swim.

I took a hot cup of tea up to the pool to watch them. It was nice!

By the way, the penguins are the TOP photo. The lower one shows Jonathan, Thomas, and Catriona.

Saturday, 19 September 2009

I think it worked...

I think we won! Got to wait until 25 September for the official announcement.

If you helped us out, thanks heaps!

Friday, 18 September 2009

You've gotta vote!

In the Kmart Wishing Tree art competition, that is.

My kids' school has an entry - here's where you go to vote for it.

And voting closes at 5pm tonight!

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Happy Fathers Day!

After all the work of the Fathers Day stall at school, it was nice to have Actual Fathers Day at home.

Both boys made Never Ending Cards - they're a cinch when you get good at them!

I made a funny card with animals - the kids voted on which animals should represent them. Catriona was not home at voting time, so she got to be a pig.

Catriona painted a canvas for Dad - with an owl. Owls are so hot right now! And she loves to paint.

Cheer Me Up

The kids were away for the weekend, on a scout camp. Lots of fun for them, and pretty nice for us too. But what do you do when you are missing your daughter? Why, snack on a gingerbread man she made, of course!

All together now, "Awwwwww!".

PS She was actually only away for the day, so I probably wasn't "missing" her quite that much, but nobody else was getting that gingerbread man!

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Why don't we have a pizza oven?

And when I say "we", I of course mean the local primary school I help out at.

Jeff and I went to the Collingwood College school fete today - it was just about the best school fete you can imagine. This school is home to the first of the Kitchen Gardens (read about Stephanie Alexander's project here), so the food was particularly good. Immediately on entering, there was AWESOME pizza. It had just come out of the oven. That'd be the wood fired oven in the school yard, that the grade 5s made this year! I had pumpkin and rosemary, and Jeff had potato pizza.

Jeff munched on a sausage in bread, and I had a cup of hot chai (oh, yum).

There was trash and treasure (got a Lego base board, a Playmobil person, a Malaysian Airlines keyring, a Chinese dictionary ... you know, stuff you need).

On the way out, we stopped at the cake stall. We got school made dukkha (to go with bread and dips tonight). And also, Honey Wafers with Chocolate and Macadamias.

Now THIS is why we shop at cake stalls - to try somebody else's specialty. And how is it? Droooool! Baker number 19, we salute you!

Good honest dangerous fun!

Just when you thought kids were getting too soft...

We found just ONE playground in Melbourne that still has a genu-ine roundabout! Or whizzy-dizzy. One fine afternoon, all the local kids, including teens, gathered to muck around on the roundabout. Every single kid fell off at least once. Nobody cried or got mad.

It's here. It's on the way home from the Camberwell Market for us (so that's incentive for the kids to come with me when I insist on going to that dull, awful market full of nothing but old stuff.

I'm sure there are other good challenging playgrounds out there (that can tempt older kids off the sofa), and I'm keen to find them!

Saturday, 12 September 2009

Another fête day

It's a Saturday in the fête season, and my first stop is at the local retirement village. We won the hamper there last year, so we owe them one!

-- Post From My iPhone

Monday, 7 September 2009

Fathers Day Treats

Last week I had a fun time getting organised for the Fathers Day Stall at school. An easy fundraiser, we help the kids get a small gift for Dad, at a pocket money price. Obviously, we use every shopping trick we can think of to get value for money. And by buying in bulk, we actually do raise funds for the school too. Nice, eh?

I was wanting to show off our cleverness, but I couldn't show any photos til after the big day - of course!

So this is what 96 Choo-Choo train cards looks like. I stamped them all myself, because I realised that job involved a lot of drying time (I was of course using odd bits of recycled card, so the ink wasn't drying as beautifully as it does on proper stamping cardstock).

My helpers from the P&C came over for an evening, and finished them all off with me. We punched with a square punch and added a square chocolate - which exactly fitted the 1-and-3/8 inch square! Then we clipped on a pen (that's the actual gift), and a quick staple held it shut. Could have been more glamorous, for sure, but we were making 96! So that was our $1 gift.

The chocolates come from Wallies Lollies in Box Hill - they did a great job of getting the right chocolates in for me, so I've got to thank them with a free plug. And at $10 for a kilo - whoa, that's great!

Here's me running my little shop - actually, I had so much help on the day, I just jollied it all along. That's supervising!

And it would be remiss of me not to mention that you can buy these pretty stamps, the inks, and that handy punch, from your local Stampin' Up dealer (who might just be me).

A Big Bowl of Normal

Now wouldn't that be a good name for a novel? Or a movie? Even a blog? But if you work near Smith Street Collingwood, it can be your lunch!

Sorry, no normal for me today, I'm watching my mediocrity.

Saturday, 5 September 2009

It's fete season again!

I love September and October. Sure, spring starts, and all that, but it's also the start of the Fete Season! Every church, primary school, and community group puts on a fundraising fete, and that means I get to buy home made cakes, sift through trash and treasure, peruse old books, and bid on silent auctions!

Today's T&T haul includes some smart things for the home :

There's a willow pattern style cup and saucer made by Crown Lynn, the New Zealand ceramics maker I like to collect. Not the ultra gorgeous shape that is my official collection, but who can pass up such a pretty design?

Then we have a Fire King glass mug, with a cool orange decal on it. These mugs are getting very popular, and they are nice to hold, and nice to drink out of.

Then there's an awesome egg cup, made by Arabia (from Finland!). Would you say this is the prettiest Finnish egg cup you've seen all day?

And finally, I was highly amused by an old (1974) Melways street directory. Here's the map of Chadstone Shopping Centre, biggest in Melbourne. See how nervous the convent and schools are looking!

Book Character Dressups!

Last week was Book Character dressup day at school. It hasn't been held for a few years, due to a change in library staff, but it was all systems go again this year.

Every student, and staff member, dressed up as a book character, and they did bookish activities all day.

Lots of Harry Potters (and friends) all through the school, plenty of Specky Magees (the book that lets you wear your football uniform as a costume), and a full representation of fairy tales in the lower school.

But what do you wear when you're nearly 12, and on the way to High School? No baby books please!

Thomas is The Ring from Lord of the Rings. Notice how it sort of calls to you...

Jonathan is Sauron's Eye, also from Lord of the Rings. Scary, huh?

Here's some of the staff. The big eared gent is the BFG (a Roald Dahl title), and he teaches Thomas! We had a full seven dwarves too.