Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Merry Merry from LA

Feliz Navidad from the land of snow and ice. Luckily California has only seen some rain and cooler days, could be a Hobart Christmas really. There is a big parade that goes right passed the house tonight, so the carolling and festivities are not over yet. But, I hope you have warmer weather and a fun holiday.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

California uberalis

A few snaps from the travels so far. We have been enjoying the holidays American-style, lots of lights, cookies and shopping, so far.

ps.There were actually two dogs in that pram, and the flamingos were at the LA Zoo.

pps. I am in love with the squirrels, which I think are less loved here, but they are such a novelty to me and so cute and fluffy.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Movember - still time to donate

Movember - Sponsor Me

I have been noticing a lot of dodgy looking mo's lately, so it means only one thing...its Movember. I love to have a laugh to myself at the extra facial hair. But it is also a good reminder that men's health is not talked about often.

All donations to Movember go towards Prostate Cancer and Beyond Blue. So, if you know anyone participating please think about donating. If don't know anyone growing a Mo and would still like to donate, the widget above links to my brother-in-law's MoSpace so feel free to donate on behalf of his middle-aged, bike riding, mustachioed ass.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Disappearing Mountain

Oooooh the water is falling and the air is warm. Spring Rains again today.
I met up with a long time friend today for a frolic at the Botanical Gardens with her uber-cute 4 year old twins... Fortunately we ended our morning with icy poles at the Lily Pond just as the rain began to gently drop from on high. Ten minutes later it was close to torrential and the afternoon lengthened into foggy or green.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Happy 40th Harriet

So now I have outed my sister for turning the big 4 Oh! I can show you the gift I made for her. It is a cosy quilt filled with alpaca batting, for placing over her lap for nights in front of the telly. Because there will be no more boozy nights out with friends now you are officially over the hill!

The top of the quilt is a cheater-print from Denyse Schmidt called Patchwork Promenade, which I can highly recommend if you want to whip something up quickly (having said that it still took a few weeks to get together and to quilt). The border is a thick strip of orange velvet that my grandmother had in her stash and I inherited, there was just enough to go around, and I really love that there is a little bit of her in there as well.

The bottom is a well a patchwork of pieces from the stash, they include some Heather Bailey, Anna Maria Horner, Kaffe Fasset and some Alexander Henry pieces.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Reverse Graffiti

I have been very absent lately, but I thought to share these amazing pixs of graffiti etched into the grime.
If I had two brain cells I could rub together I would have some comment on the irony and beauty of this art. But I don't and I just googled 'Reverse Graffiti' and there are plenty more pictures and websites around.
I just wish some one with some talent could make some art on my floors, so I would have a more legitimate excuse for not washing them.

Saturday, October 25, 2008


The tranquility is alarming. We shipped the kids off for a sleep over at Gramma's house. I find it the weirdest paradox that I can spend months dreaming of off-loadin the kids for a little time to be myself and then the minute they are gone... the house feels empty (although it feels like their ghosts are still here), the car ride to the restaurant too quiet and I feel like I am on another planet.

Still that was mostly last night. This morning is bliss. All to myself, bliss.

The last few months have been less than smooth. I have been really driven to try and help the little two with their skin. They have had really bad excema for a long time now and the conventional treatment of steroid creams just do not work. Their sleep has been affected and I think their view of their world has been altered. It has been an all together irritating ailment.

I could carry on about all the advice from $200 per minute specialists I have received, but I won't because it was crap. But, the good news is, I have changed everyone's diet and the excema is fading away, nearly all healed and calm is coming our way.

This last week I have been spending more time in the garden planting seeds, mostly greens for salads, and watching the brussels turn into sprouts (note to anyone: you have to let them flower so they can form the sprouts - too bad I pulled out all but one plant because I thought they 'were going to seed' - mostly I think it is me going to seed)

I am also day dreaming about California. Lift-off is still 6 weeks away, but I am thinking about packing bags, the flight over and back with Mr 2 on my lap, treats to take, cookies to make (Inghy and Espy have signed me up for a cookie-swap), things to buy, op-shopping in LA, fabric shopping, drafting patterns, maybe making some clothes, eating lots of Mexican food, watching american telly, excess baggage. It has been 7 years since I left the country, so I am geting pretty excited.

The other consuming passion of late around Chez Snore, it Mr Barack Obama. We love him, we really want him to win, I do not want contemplate life if the other guy gets in. Luka even had a dream the other night that he got to meet Obama and ride in his limo and talk about his maths with the guy. So cute for a 7 year old. Note to self: they are sponges...

Friday, September 19, 2008

Domestic Life in a Hurricane

"I mean, what is electricity? How does it work? What’s the grid, anyway? It’s all a profound mystery to me, but I do know going without it is like getting a quickie divorce from time. Days don’t seem short and staccato anymore; they turn into interminable drifts of daylight and darkness. In the hot standstill of Louisiana in late summer, you have time on your hands, so you play cards with your child, sit on the stoop and watch the light change. You pull the ice chest outside and talk to whoever’s around, a maintenance man who stayed behind or a policeman passing slowly in a squad car. You spread out board games, check on the old people. In return for staying, you get one of the strangest adventure vacations on earth: you time-travel backward.

This is a great story about a living with the wind.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

blog day morning

It has been a long time... it is never planned that way, but turns out that other things get a chance first, including
- a seven years old birthday party with a very fast boat and 18 kids.
- cooking birthday cake, cupcakes and jelly (not really cooking, but negotiating space in the fridge = work)
- lots of gardening... planted seeds of mitsuba, rocket, parsley, mustard and lettuce, planted some artichokes and dug a fire pit, weeded and mulched.
- 317 baskets of washing
- worked, went to Launceston, worked
- finished 3/4 of order for Michelle, still have 80 purses to make (procrastinating big time)
- designing some new notepads and a range of screenprinted fabrics
- got itineraries (thnx Inghy) we are going to California for Christmas
- school holidays
- worked, big meeting, worked
- thinking about everything that needs to happen between now and December
- slept, got sick, got depressed, slept
- removed sugar from my diet (mostly, no more choc, sugar in coffee, cakes etc)
- ate more salads
- finished a book!
- started teaching my 86yo Dad how to use a computer.


Friday, August 15, 2008

Trip to the Midlands

I love winter time in the country. Yesterday, I took a quick trip to my favourite country town in Tas, Oatlands.
Yes, it is a controversial choice. Most would pass it by, it is not the prettiest, not the most spruced up. But, that is part of the love. It is has not been gentrified too much and is on that wonderfully bleak wind swept plain that makes it feel like a destination outside the comfort zone.

Having said that the two middle photos are of Dysart House in Kempton the country pile of Leo the Big. I must say, he seems to be giving it a nice monied sheen, at least from the outside looking in.

But, give a thought to the locals who are doing it tough because of the drought. I caught wind that one of the best customers at the supermarket is the Salvation Army, there are a lot of people needing help and support, and not just financially. It is only an hour from Hobart, perfect for a country drive and if you have some spare, think about spending some money in the local stores. I bought some beautiful Oatlands grown and handspun merino wool, a huge wicker basket and a few other treasures.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Bill Oddie with Chickens

Its not really Bill Oddie, it's Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall. But he reminds me of Bill in that hairy Englishman kind of way. Anyway a friend put me onto Hugh's show on English telly called River Cottage Spring which you can download and watch. It is centered around growing your own food, eating and cooking well and generally being more sustainable. It is quite addictive and has been reassuringly simple in its approach to planting artichokes (don't ask, why I feel reassured about planting artichokes, I just do) and asparagus et al.

Along the same lines I have recently discovered another gloggy blog based in Queensland called Down to Earth, she has some cute chickens, lots of good advice and a good quick home made soap recipe using lux soap flakes. And some great green cleaning recipes including laundry soap, which I haven't tried yet, but might sometime soon.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Panda Progress

Last week I had the luxury of a day at home alone. This doesn't happen very often as His Lordship was away for the week and the kids were safely ensconsed in school/day care, and I am usually at work. It was a little quiet for a time, but I got used to it pretty quickly and started working on some more toys for Michelle. This little pile is some flat pandas, so sad and without breath, is now full of stuffing and happy.

Glog Update:
I am trying shallots, I bought some from the supermarket and planted them in front of the Artichokes. Later I am heading over to my sisters to raid her rhubarb patch (thanks for the suggestion Dora).

I also grabbed a bag of horse manure from my mother's place yesterday, which I am going to dig through the spot for the potatoes.

Egg head of Alfred Hitchcock?

Alone at breakfast... I may be grasping a little, but could it be that I had a vision of Alfred? If so, what the hell does that mean?

Nevertheless its a flippin cute egg head, no?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Glog - a - long

I am pretty excited that some of you are going to glog along with me. I have been trialling the production of actually growing things and then eating them for a few months. We started last year with a lot of enthusiasm and have had more failures than success, but I am still keen to make it work.

So focusing on what did work -

Lettuce! Yes, lettuce I was amazed how easy it is to grow and how delicious it is to eat fresh and not from some days old plastic bag. Easy and delicious - it is apparently able to be grown year round including the frosty bits, I must get some more and plant it. (I didn't have much luck with planting seeds but seedlings worked really well)

Basil and coriander in pots. This only worked when I put the seeds in planters and put them on the kitchen window sill. Something about seeing them everyday and so close to the tap, they got regular watering and they grew and grew.

Cherry tomatoes, it is still too early to put them in here in Tassie but they were also good.

The failures included the apparently super easy peasy zucchini, the tres facile pumpkin vine, broccoli (apparently wrong season), bok choi and strawberries plus many more I am too embarrased to list.

But my sister lent me this book and it is easy to follow and a comprehensive section on each type of vegetable. Next, I am planting Asparagus...

Friday, July 11, 2008

Learning Gardening

I started writing a GLOG last year when the kids and I wanted to grow some veggies. It seemed like a good idea to note down what we planted, when we planted and what happened. Looking back it seems we were a little ambitious and most things didn't really grow, survive or thrive. We did manage to get some tomatoes to grow, but almost every thing I planted from seed failed (except some radishes). It has been quite a useful thing to do and I now know I am not very good at watering.

So this is a new year and I thought I might take the GLOG global and post a few things here as we start planting and thinking about growing this year.

These are the Principles of our GLOG ...

"This is our garden's logbook, or glog. We want to keep a record of our garden as it grows (or not) so we can learn from our success's and failures.
The aims of our gardening adventure are to:
- grow nutritious food
- watch the cycles of life
- harvest water
- teach ourselves through action
- eat well and exercise
We would like to grow herbs, fruit and vegetables to eat and flowers to use around the house.
We hope to work organically, reduce our shopping list, reuse materials and equipment and recycle."

Or put simply by a 5 year old - Learning Gardening.

Monday, July 07, 2008

This is... My most treasured childhood possesion

When I was 6, my sisters and I were taken to a toy store in England and told we could choose whatever we wanted. This is it. He is lovely painted porcelain and when you wind him up he turns around to a tinkling tune.

I also have a very gorgeous stuffed Winnie-the-pooh which I love, but, the kids are allowed to play with him, so I guess he is a little less precious.

Which also reminds me of my favourite all time joke... ready ...

Q. What do Winnie-the-Pooh and Jack-the-Ripper have in common?

This is part of Angela's "This is" meme, of which I contribute very badly, but this week on time (nearly)

A. The same middle name! (tee hee)

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Winter time

1. Sunday Morning, 2. Snowy Mount Wellington, 3. Miellerie Tasmanian Honey, 4. Winter Shadows

I have been thinking about a post for a few days, and finally after getting a nudge from my far away friend (how was the sunset set ems?), here is something.

Winter in Hobart can be a little unpredictable, usually we have some cold weather, but it never seems to stay consistent for months on end. We are lucky, I guess to not be blanketed under snow for months on end (I am thinking Fargo or similar), but living on an little island surrounded by the southern oceans can result in a lot of conversations about the weather!

It is not that I think talking about the weather is boring, au contraire, in actual fact I think it gives more ability for us to connect with each other as a community.
And so when I read that Harriet and her tribe at Dick and Dora are cold, I can relate. And when Rita recommends a perfect winter pie at the Red Velvet Lounge, I am trying to think of a way to get there.
And when on the other side of the world Amanda from Soulemama starts her Days of Summer posting as a reflection of the passing seasons, I think, yeh I can do that and then I remember that posting a picture a day reflecting on days of winter is unlikely to occur. So instead I will offer a couple of pictures of the snowy mountain from our windows, the winter shadows and some wonderful Miellerie honey* that I finally found at Merediths** (get there immediately and buy some).

* Some of you might have seen this wonderful French Aparist on SBS last week, he lives in Tassie and makes to most delicious organically produced, cold extracted, unheated, unprocessed, pure raw honey (I am copying this from the jar, not reciting it from my heart). I am feeding the kids a teaspoon a day for its medicinal properties. Yum, 1 for them, 2 for me.
ps. this jar of Honey is from the nectar of the Prickly Box, but there was also Leatherwood and Tea Tree. I couldn't decide so I decide to get the jar with the most intriguing name.
** Merediths is on the main road just outside of Margate, heading towards Snug.

Monday, June 09, 2008

This is ... my favourite travel memory

My favourite travel memory (thanks to Hila for trip down memory lane and for the theme for this weeks This is theme), is living in this beautiful valley in Northen India.

It is Parvati Valley and we rented a one room wooden house with no water or power and lived there for about a month. We lived a days walk up the valley from Manikaran amongst the pine forest, the valley was surrounded by the highest snow top peaks, it was summertime but still a little chilly in the mornings. The hut was warmed by two cows that lived underneath us in the stable, we nicknamed them Freedom.

In those days there was only access by foot along a windy track, but our peaceful sabbatical was often interupted by the sound of explosions in the distance. They were building a dam on the other side of the valley.

I learned how to cook on a wood fire and drank chai and make chapatis. The water in the nearby stream was freezing, so washing was a very quick affair. Towards the end of the stay we walked another half day further up the valley to bathe in the hot springs at Khirganga which was the place Shiva was supposed to have meditated for 3,000 years. It was bliss, I think I soaked in the hot hot water for what must have been an hour. The women's bathhouse was empty so I had the spring all to myself.

When we finally left the valley we walked back to the main town and rode on the roof of the bus through the winding roads and green forests back to civilisation. I remember feeling totally free, it was an amazing feeling and a wonderful month in the valley of the gods. I was 22.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

The Mosaic Me

Ok, so I am always ready to jump on the bandwagon and these mosaics seem to be the latest meme on the super highway. I used Jillian Beans suggested search terms, where basically you ask yourself a bunch of questions about yourself, put the answers into the Flickr search box and choose a picture from the first page of search results. So here is a pictorial representation of me (at least one version of millions of iterations), but I like it so I thought I'd share. It is fun so you should give it a go, JBeans has all the details on her blog.

1. Edwina Ashley before her marriage to Mountbatten, 1919, 2. Ginza Crossing, 3. Feasts of Our Lady Throughout the Year , 4. Our Christmas tree this year!, 5. Gael Garcia Bernal, 6. Good morning Mountain, 7. In the Neighborhood, 8. one.dress.finished, 9. chasing crows, 10. Caught in the Snow, 11. Little Snoring, 12. street style blogs | London Street Fashion

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Market Day

Ok so here are some snaps from the Night Market, which is a Hobart Fringe Festival institution. It was a lot of fun and I got to sell a bunch of stuff, catch up with some old friends and chat to some new ones. The definate highlight was selling one of my bears to a good-looking 30-something guy who had no kids and no reason to buy a bear other than he had to have it. The two girls he was hanging with were kinda surprised, I think the bear was giving him the stare and he fell for it.

To my Tasmanian friends who kindly said they would look at for 'Little Snoring' at Salamanca I just wanted to give you the heads up on the stall. It is actually my friend Michelle's stall and it is always opposite the Vietnemese Kitchen. If you see Michelle please say hi, but it probably won't be me, so she may seem a little confused if you tell her you have been reading her blog. . .

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Mi Madre and my toys

So I am late again for the 'This is' entry, but these remind me of my mother, well, becuase it actually is my mother. I just love these old photos, they are such a lost place in time. I think it is the fact they are black and white that really kills me.

I am using them as part of the packaging for my toys. It has taken a very long time for me to get it together and it is still in its infancy, but, ta da.... I have started selling my softies. I have also launched a website. I designed it myself so its a little limited, but please go over and have a look

Sunday, April 27, 2008

This is what I have discovered lately...


Just when I thought I was going to post a 'This is...' on time, I realise I am in fact one whole week late... whatever, nevermind.

Here it is .... Steampunk, and as usual I am a little late off the mark, it seems like it has been around for ages, but there is something quite inventive and cool about merging the modern with the mechanical (in a Victorian way)

Here is a Steampunk Tree House at last years Burning Man, from here

Steampunk specs, more here

And of course Steampunk Workshop
and, some very cool steam punk toys

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

6 degrees of separation

I was thinking the other day about my circle of friends and their friends and the lives of people and the circles of their lives and the circle of my life and how they intersect. Which got me onto 6 degrees of separation which I know was a movie but I think the general gist is that you can connect with people through other people or something.

And I, in my housewife-state, was pondering the meaning of life as I folded laundry or washed the dishes it occurred to me that in our house we are connected directly or through friends with .... the future queen of Denmark and the voice of Optimus Prime

Which at the end of the day makes no difference to the pile of laundry or the state of the kitchen, just thought it might make an interesting dinner party...

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Week of Cute - Day 3

Ok, I am finding the week of Cute a little problematic. I mean take this print for example I bought a copy from here. But would you call it 'cute' I don't know. I remember when I was a teenager I was talking to a very cute boy, and he was quite offended at being called cute, I guess he really saw himself as slightly more manly. Now, I see his point. Cute can be a difficult thing to be.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

This is ... demon, not so demonic but merely a lustful addiction...

I love interior design magazines and blogs. I can drool and imagine and want and desire everything fabulous in these imaginary houses. The problem is there is so much gorgeousness (read desire) and my means just do not match.
Deep down I think it is really a over blown love of styling, because really, my stuff would look just as lovely, if some amazingly talented stylist popped by and fixed up my things and just well lit them properly and cleaned up a little. Made it shiny. Maybe?

ps. all these images are from Design Sponge..

Thursday, March 20, 2008

This is...

My creation, better late than never... for the meme started by Three Buttons. He is a Waldorf inspired needle felted Gnome. You can't really see in the photo his coat is undyed black wool from our Bear.
My Steiner teacher buddy came over with her two girls for a craft morning and we made wee little gnomes. She also let me take a peek in this book for further wool created inspiration.

I especially love the trees....

p.s. You can get the book here.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Autumn Beach Day

Me in a bathing suit it not my ideal outfit. (Fortunately no pictures)

Made especially worse when I ran into 5 people I know. Really, you should be able to wobbly around in a half clothed state with a little more privacy. But, 38 degrees (100F) in Autumn in Hobart is a very unusual and I guess it was on everyone's mind to hit the sand with the kidlets.

I even swam.! (which if you know how cold the water is here even on a hot hot day you would appreciate my efforts)
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