Saturday, 22 June 2013

How to make a Judge's Wig

Thomas is studying Law. Just at high school, that is, but it seems the teacher is keeping it pretty interesting. They are finishing the term with a mock trial, and Thomas gets to be the judge! So, with a couple of days notice, we needed to come up with a judges wig.

Obviously, a simple costume is just fine for cases like this, and I never feel we should get too stressed about the things, we should focus on the experience. But then again, a chance to try making something you've never made is an experience too. So Thomas and I agreed to make a wig.

First, we do a little research. The University of Tasmania provides us with this, a very clear photo of what a real wig looks like. Thanks, UTas!

The Department of Justice of Queensland provide us with this cardboard cutout, so if it all goes to pieces, there's our fallback. Thanks, DoJ!

Rosie at Pondicherry Cottage has made some cool wigs, and shown them on her blog. Her material of choice was quilt batting - now, that sounds good!

Squidoo has step by step directions to create a similar wig. We are well on the way.

We bought a piece of cheap quilt batting - at our local Spotlight, $7.99 got us 1m x 1.22m, which was more than we needed. We also found a knitted beanie nobody was wearing.

Here is the shape we cut out. The height of the batting shape is enough to fold down over the beanie and touch the bottom edge. The "tails" will droop over the judge's shoulders.

I sewed the batting to the edge of the beanie, trying to tuck the rounded shape around the beanie - it was rather gathered at the back.

Here we are with the beanie fully sewn. That's the end of the sewing! Good thing too. I freely admit, my workmanship is not that great here.

Here's what we are going to use instead of sewing from here on. Split pins, available from the stationery shop. These are quite big - you could manage with slightly smaller ones, but not with tiny ones.

Get to cutting some rectangles. About 14cm long, and the width to match the width of the "tails" on your wig. How many? Depends on how long the tails are.

Now, we attach rolls to the tails. Roll up one of your rectangles (letting the start and end overlap). Hold the overlapped part of the little cylinder against the bottom edge of one tail of the wig. Wiggle a split pin into the middle of the roll, about two centimeters from the outer edge, and push its legs out through all three layers of batting.

Open out the legs of the split pin. Repeat with a second split pin at the other end of this roll.

By the way, we tried using a hole cutter to make holes, but it turned out unnecessary for this material.

And repeat all the way up the tail of the wig, until it looks like enough!

This is the inside view of one of the tails.

Justice Thomas will hear your case now.

This project took about an hour from getting home from Spotlight, to posing for photos, so I think we can say it was a success.

And it turns out, in the mock trial, the defendant was found guilty of manslaughter. The judge was reasonably tough in his sentencing decision. But I think we were expecting that.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

The Dragons of Collingwood

Ever wondered how they demolish huge buildings? Well, now we know - with DRAGONS!

The car park we used to use every day suddenly closed, and we had to make other arrangements. Turns out, the historic brewery on that site is being restored and turned into accommodation. That involves demolishing the old silos (I asked, they are in poor condition and had to go).

So, each day when we go by, we are getting to see the demolition progress. Today we discovered just how they are taking down those huge, reinforced silos. With a dragon!

Have a look and see for yourself. The white crane is holding up a screen that stops any rubble from falling in the street (it's still open, after all). The yellow machine is clearly a dragon.

See what I'm saying? That dragon is eating the concrete day by day!

Here's another look at that powerful dragon!

Here's to the Red Sofa of Robert St

Until recently, we used to park in a car park near work. It was a vacant lot, turned into a car park, because in a crowded area like Collingwood, that's a thing to do.

It has graffiti - a lot of it! And a sofa. I took some photos on various days, of the various layers of graffiti.

Here's the majestic red sofa, ruling all it surveys.

Here's the sofa having a bit of a lie down.

And here it is going for a walk!

And here's some of the quality graffiti on the silos.

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Lime Macarons - that's tangy!

Pete at work brought in a bag of small limes - apparently a friend had been pruning some trees and had an oversupply. Well, I prepared a year ago by telling Pete that I love limes, so he gave a lot of them to me.

Here's what I made - Lime Macarons. There's zest in the shells, and lime juice and zest in the white chocolate ganache filling. Very tasty indeed.

By the way, I think I've solved the problem of air pockets in the macarons. See this post where I grumble about it.

I am using the same recipe as ever (that's the one that uses Italian meringue), but now I add about half a teaspoon of powdered egg white. That goes into the egg whites just before the syrup. That idea came from Adriano Zumbo, in his cookbook Zumbarons. Seems to make all the difference - the biscuit part of the macaron is soft bikkie all the way through now, not a thin layer of bikkie, then a bubble, then a shell.

Now just need to get the colour right. As a person who owns plenty of paint (not quite game to say "artist") I can't help noticing this green is not the right one at all. But I only have a few food colourings, so I'm using this closest. Do I want as many food colourings as I have paints? Probably not!

Monday, 10 June 2013

Our Drinks Cabinet

We went to the Good Food and Wine Show yesterday. Had great fun, and did a tasting with Riedel (the people that make the very posh wine glasses). As part of the tasting, we got to take home three super posh glasses, each of which is suitable for specific types of wine.

Not wanting to mix them up, I've labelled the shelves of the drinks cabinet now.

By the way, we had to drink up a lot of miniatures to make room for these new glasses!

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Happy mothers day!

Yes, it's still Mothers Day here in Melbourne. As long as you haven't used up all your gifts and goodwill, you can still call it our special day. My cool gift was a chocolate morning tea at the Lindt cafe (delivered in voucher form), which Jeff and I went and used today. We're sharing that platter, obviously.