Sunday, September 25, 2011

the early verge gets the worm

The annual socialist redistribution of shite, better known as the verge collection of hard rubbish,  starts in about a week, but the first piles are slowly starting to appear.  We spotted the first one yesterday and gathered a solid vintage crate and some parts of a dismembered lawn mower.  In answer to the unasked question, I don't know yet.

We thought we should make a preliminary reccy today, but the sun and lack of wind obviously had people doing other things than cleaning up their sheds.  As long as we were out that way we checked out the fishing at the King River bridge.    This chap was fishing for Mulloway.  Bream  was being caught on the other side of the road.

In preparation for both the distraction of the forthcoming verge collection and the Xmas Summer Street market - held in November - I've been making jewellery and framing drawings and generally ignoring the housework.  I did get time to plant some english spinach, and basil and have been generally getting organised for the warmer weather.

The weather obviously affected the garage sales, as the only things of interest I picked up were a 1920's PG Wodehouse book in MINT condition for $1 (yippee, I love Wodehouse) and a very sad little table for free.  The St Vincent de Paul depot sale - usually a mecca for treasure was sadly and unusually bereft and I only grabbed a couple of paperbacks. Likewise, the Opshops weren't ringing any special bells on Friday.  The table is sturdy underneath and the top will be easily replaced from stock on hand.

The lawnmower man is missing in action, I was worried I had somehow offended him but I note that his other customers in the street are also going with the kikuyu jungle look (rain and warmer weather = knee deep grass) so I'm guessing holiday. I hope he gets back while the dog can still navigate without a map.

Here are some sort of moody shots of some of the pieces I made this week. There were a lot more than this but loading photos is so slow tonight, I'll save them for a time when things are moving more quickly.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

a modicum of self satisfying sulking....

Some weeks, its all good, even the bad bits.  In this case the bad bit was bad, but not in a serious cataclysmic make-a-documentary-out-of-it kind of way.  More a disappointing, 'bugger' sort of bad.  But when the thing that isn't earth-shatteringly bad happens to something that you've been looking forward to for ages, a modicum of self satisfying sulking seems appropriate. There is a lingering air of feeling hard done by.  I am less than gruntled.

The small god of good things has been mostly smiling this week - and not only on me.  Even some friends were doing the happy dance this morning, for various reasons. The flowering-pink-blossom tree is.  The stuff behind it is blue sky.

Some excellent finds from Vinnies this week (although I am beginning to have second thoughts on the tartan skirt - too school uniformy?) were topped of during our Friday round, when I managed 6 nice wine glasses (nice weight and balance, and as a friend remarked, not too small) for a pittance.  A pile of books - see previous posts on that obsession - including a 1925 Sunday School prize with cute drawings of rats.  Apparently Sunday School was different in 1925.

 Some more picture frames for the little fishes, and one for some vintage postcards.  A positive pile of bits of jewellery, chains, crucifixes, rosaries, beads, and other raw materials.  A wooden shelf thingy.  A hat, amazing in its fabulousness.  Teeny vintage glass bottles for secret project #3275 (still to be unveiled).  The basis of 4 new steampunk starships.  A summer linen shirt, pre-ironed. 

Unfortunately, the garage sales were boring, overpriced and unimaginative.  Oh, well, not much money left anyway.

I spent Sunday re-arranging, sorting, tidying (a bit).  I FINALLY finished a small shelf thingy which was made from a lone drawer from the verge last year, and some 'firewood' from the neighbours, delivered yesterday.  Whatever the firewood used to be, it involved a jarrah fame and some french polished panels.  At least some of it got re-used.  I've kept some of the other polished bits too, just in case.    

And I also finished off something with the coral I mentioned a week or so ago - at least now its  protected a bit.  I couldn't help myself with the 60's tin fish.

Sunday, September 4, 2011


I noticed in passing on Facebook that one of my children's ex-babysitters was celebrating his birthday this week.  Always a chap noted for incisive social commentary, his post accurately observed "Yes, I am birthday."  Which said it all, really.

My children were blessed with a succession of creative and imaginative babysitters, generally the cash-strapped and desperate teenaged offspring of friends. Nowadays those brave souls are (reasonably) respectable members of society in their mid to late twenties, who have no doubt almost outgrown the terrifying flashbacks of the Hitchcock-like horror commencing with the slam of the front door as the parents fled into the night.  The twitching is barely noticeable now.

Birthday boy was famous for a time when my children worshipped his green spiked hair.  Apparently "my babysitter has green spikey hair" was a claim of huge street cred in the primary school playground. There was a clamour from others whose babysitters were considered pale and uninteresting in comparison. Perhaps wisely, he never capitalised on the child care career his notoriety offered and indeed, to this day his name must remain confidential.

I also recall another artistic youth who was so popular (and so obliging) as to agree to look after a positive gaggle of my own and other children at once.  He survived by entertaining them with his lovely drawings, and we had an art show when the Mummies returned  to the homefront.  He had rendered  the characters from Alice in Wonderland, cartoons (various), and a number of toys which were presented for an instant portrait.  The portrait of a reclining nude caused a second glance, to which he said "Barbie" and somewhat desperately - "they made me do it."  Having spent time with those particular little girls - one being mine - I understood his position. Fear is a powerful motivator.

On the occasion of one Mummies' night out, we returned to find that the Daddies had fed the children and decided to relax with a beer before putting the kids to bed.  About 10.30pm the little girls had  taken the executive decision to tape the Daddies' eyes shut. Since they were asleep anyway, you understand, and it wouldn't be fair to wake them. 

I quite miss the thrill of a new toy catalogue, the challenge of finding that exact thing for a birthday - I once called every Toyworld franchise in two states to locate Optimus Prime in his gorilla manifestation. (And I was successful.) Perhaps I verged on the slightly obsessional, but I like to think of it as focus. My skill with Lego was superior.  I still know more about a lot of Transformers, Beastworld, Batman and Barbie than is probably good for me, and I can paint Warhammer with alarming precision.
A good friend recently passed on some beautiful Dungeons and Dragons books to my not-really-a-teenager-anymore son, whose eyes grew wide.  He proclaimed that now he was really going to be able to kick some D&D ass, as he dragged them back to his cave.  It's still exciting to see him find things to play with. Now, if only I could motivate him to get a haircut......