Saturday, 31 October 2009

No axolotls allowed

I went to a garage sale this morning, and did not buy an axolotl. A young man showed me his axolotls for sale, and I had to say, I was very impressed. Apparently this parents bought him one as a pet, and he saved up for another one. They, ahem, got married, and had 200 babies. Then there were about 13 left. Didn't ask how that bit happened, but I'm guessing it wasn't pretty.

Check the web site though. It's a dot org, which I like. Apparently axolotls are an organisation. Thought so.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Not only that ... but also Choo Choo Bars!

In addition to the excellence of Barney Banana ice creams, we've also discovered that Choo Choo bars are back!

This business
will sell you two as a taster on eBay, but really you will be wanting a boxful.

I've asked my regular lolly pusher, Wallie's Lollies, if they can get them, so we'll see.

For the uninitiated, these are extremely chewy liquorice toffee bars. They can take ages to eat. They taste exactly like 50c Saturday movie matinees at the Capri cinema where they show an Elvis movie (usually Clambake) and then an Abbott and Costello one.

It's him! It's Barney!

Also at a church fete on the weekend (you know, church fetes have come a long way, they can be a fabulous family outing) we had the pleasure of meeting an old friend.

It's Barney Banana, that delicious banana flavoured ice cream on a stick, that actually tastes of bananas. Made with a big 7% real banana (I didn't check the label for other ingredients, so quite possibly some aromatic esters in there), it tastes yummy, and just like sticky, summer childhood.

Naturally the kids chose chocolate Billabongs. Heathens!

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Old dictionary part 2

Cathy asked if "Locomotive" was listed. Here's what a proper train looks like :

"Postage stamp" is listed, but that dates it to after 1840. Not that helpful.

Any more?

Help me date this very old dictionary!

I bought a very old dictionary at a church fete yesterday. It's gorgeous! It's missing the front cover and first few pages - the definitions start at "abroad", page 3.

I'm wondering just how old it is. We tried looking up various words to give us a hint.

"Cinema" : not listed.

"Automobile" : not listed

"Motor Car" : not listed, but then "Motor" is not listed.

"Refrigerator" : a box for keeping things cool by means of ice

Here's some other clues - it's a Websters Condensed Dictionary. The bottom of the spine shows "...ith 1... ...ustra...", so at first I thought it was an Australian edition. But of course, it's the number of illustrations. And here's a nice one - the edges are marbled!

Here's one of my favourite pages - the kangaroo. I think the artist's mind was untainted by having seen any actual kangaroos.

And Jeff's favourite page - "Buttock - see under BUTT".

Then John suggested some words "Dreadnought" is not there, but a "dreadnaught" is someone who doesn't fear the cold, or a thick cloth that keeps out the cold. And "Submarine" is NOT a boat - the definition is "Being, acting or growning under water in the sea". He says the boat meaning arrived in 1899.

What else can I look up to date it?

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Now don't you be copying my pants...

I bought a new pair of pants the other day. The fibre they are made of is bamboo, which I think is fantastic. They are comfy to wear and quite resistant to crumpling. And I've had hardly any pandas nibbling at my ankles.

I gave them their first wash today, so of course I checked the labels - and found this!

I know designs are the bread and butter of fashion companies, and they hate getting ripped off as much as anyone - but it feels odd that my pants have IP right.

By the way, TS14+ is a company that specialises in (ahem) larger size fashion. I love shopping with them, 'cos I take a small. Sometimes an extra small. If you see me flouncing around in a fancy black and white jacket, that's one of theirs.

Ducks in the pool

I got home today to find two very excited boys - they'd beaten me home by a few minutes. They discovered there were some DUCKS in the pool, and Thomas decided to take photos. Jonathan found the camera and got some excellent snaps.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

The whole world's going mad for KIMMIES!

Wow, I've finally done it - I've invented a new movement in stamping! It's going to be a craze, I just know it. It's the (wait for it) Kimmie!

A kimmie, for the uninitiated, is a piece of 2-dimensional artwork. Any medium is allowed. The only real restriction is the size - one square centimeter! Yup, that 1cm by 1cm. Pretty darn'd small. But it can be done. Wanna see?

As you can see, here I've prepared a cardstock base by adhering an old dictionary page (I know, I know, I always do that ... well what's wrong with that?). I painted it white, then with some colours (greens and bronzes today).

I inked up just part of a stamp with a marker, and stamped it. The clever bit though - I used a waterproof marker - the permanent kind that dries very fast. You can get an excellent stamped image from them, but only if your stamp is VERY SMALL, because you must work quickly. So this technique requires that you make kimmies!

Why a waterproof marker? So I can paint over it in the next step! More paint added (very much thinned with glazing medium) to colour the wings. Not really to colour, just to tone - I was being subtle.

Then I added - hah! You thought I was going to say "a word snipped out of my favourite dictionary" didn't you! But I wasn't! Then I added a word snipped out of a very tattered POCKET dictionary. They are smaller, you see.

Bit more glazey paint; then some almost black paint on the edges, and you're done. Now wasn't that easy?

To give you an idea of the scale, here's my batch of kimmies, with an Australian 5c piece, and a US penny (one of our family just got back from the US).

But what was the stamp? It's clever! The answer is on my other blog (and that's a hint).

Thanks to Anne and Petrina for setting me on this foolish path!

A puzzle for you

Q: How many cars can you see in this picture?

Sorry, no clever answer for you, I just enjoy working across the road from a crash repairer.

Sunday, 18 October 2009

The coffee fix

This is what happens when you book a catered function and don't offer coffee. The event was Stampin' Up regionals in Melbourne yesterday. SU don't do coffee, but most of their demonstrators do. The foyer coffee shop probably sold about 100 coffees (so they were punching the air). But if each of us spent a few minutes in line, that's hours of stamping time lost!

D'ya think I'm analysing this too much? Probably, but I do like a nice coffee around 10.30 every day.

Anyway, that was the only grumble, and there's pretty pictures on my Altered Penguin blog if you want to have a look.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

I love it when stuff I like goes out of fashion...

... cos it turns up in the clearance outlets. Crocs in the Mary Jane style, all in pretty colours, all cheap from Dimmeys. That's a peacock blue, and a ruby red - the photo is not near as cool as the real colours.

It feels like summer already!

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Ah, back to work, and on Pizza day too!

Back to work properly, now that the school holidays are over. Working from home is NOT the ideal for mothers, you know! It's shockin' actually. Both work and home suffer. So I'm glad to be back in the office.

And I picked a good day too. A Good Thing had just happened in the business, and the boss was celebrating by shouting all the Melbourne staff pizza for lunch. The scrummy kind from the gourmet place! Pete brought in some home brewed beer as a treat for those who liked the look of it (see Jeff and Chris here tucking in here); and Umit topped it all off by bringing in a whole tray of Kadayif. Which is Turkish for AWESOME!

I've hunted down a photo that looks just like what we ate. I borrowed it from here. It's a cool blog with tons of Turkish recipes that would be fabulous to make, if one spoke Turkish (which one doesn't, I'm afraid). So, until I can corner Mrs Umit and get all her secrets, better just keep being charming to her husband.

By the way, beer at work is very much the exception, not the rule. Felt I had to add that.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

New word for you - a seasonal one!

Asparaginous : resembling asparagus.

Another new word from my old dictionary. Now, why did I not know this one before?

A good one for this time of year - the spring asparagus is just coming in. Buy it by the kilo, you can get just the amount you want - "bunches" are all different sizes. I like it stir fried, but nothing beats asparagus in melted butter... except perhaps a cheese sauce.