Sunday, April 29, 2012

How to knit a shotgun from a crucifix and other useful skills.

                                A big week, a big weekend and an even bigger weekend next weekend.  I really don't know how I keep up.  The annual mouse cull is proceeding apace - it's them or me, they're really pushy. Luckily, I'm an experienced hunter.

Anzac Day on Wednesday, a day off on Thursday (puppy-sitting) and a day of op shop trawling on Friday.  After 3 op shops I had only a DVD to show - Constantine with Keanu Reeves. I'm not a huge fan of young Keanu,but any comic-based demon hunter who carries a shotgun made from a crucifix is worth a couple of hours of my time, and coming up to winter I can watch it while knitting.  Slightly ironic - knitting and demon hunting.  Who thought those two terms would be used in the same sentence? But I digress...

Things were looking pretty darn grim till, virtually empty handed, we got to the last oppie - where lots of goodies leapt into my $5-a-basket.  A lion's head (I already have a paw, it seemed appropriate), the cutest 50's/60's 'made in Japan' doll, a stack of good books, a Mela Purdie top - gotta love a good sale.


Saturday morning dawned cool and misty.  Well, actually it dawned quite clear but by garage sale time the drizzle had commenced.  That's not a bad thing, as it keeps the crowds down.  

At the first sale of the day I found something I've been looking everywhere for - a metal locker for the back veranda.  And this one is not only in really good condition, someone had already put nice shelves into it.  Those who have visited regularly may know that I am something of a packrat and I need to be able to stash some collections.  To celebrate the incoming, this morning I removed a very tatty old set of shelves, broke them up with the axe, and put them on the firewood pile (see above reference to oncoming winter.)

This a) made space for the locker and
     b) was kind of fun, in a violent recycling sort of way.

We proceeded to a fete at the Lions' Daycare Centre - where instead of designated parking for motor bikes, they have parking for mobility scooters, with the cutest little spray painted icons.

There were some brilliant recycled frames, lots of great books, all sorts of good stuff and the prices were great.  Note to fete goers:  it's NOT good manners to scrabble between other shoppers' feet as they are shopping.  You risk serious injury to your fingers and possible social embarrassment.  Note to fete givers: PLEASE don't put books on the floor, under tables.  People get crazy. 

In between, I've been busy preparing for the Mother's Day market at the Vancouver Arts Centre in Albany next weekend.  I've put jewellery on display boards, priced, packed, and even given some thought to stall setup.  Not many sleeps now.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Dr Who, Mummies and how Lucy took over.

The arrival of little Lucy in our midst has caused all about her to go 'ooooh'.  She's my daughter's first puppy, she has attitude and is very, very cute.  Even Obie seems quite taken with her and is teaching her how to play puppy-style.  Lots of growling and chasing and batting.  Lucy's busy re-arranging everyone around her and will be running things with an iron paw before very long.  We made her new bed from a re-used wrought iron something - it's been here for ages without it's origin being clear.  Now it's a puppy bed.


This weekend I found one of the things I have been looking for forever, just hanging there on a hook at a garage sale.  As someone at the sale said, "Are you my Mummy?"  For non-Dr Who tragics, a vintage gas mask.  I turned it over expecting to see an outrageously high price, and was so excited to find it not only within my price range but an absolute steal.

Some other little treasures, all in a lovely old pine crate.

Some Saturdays it's worth turning up in the cold and the drizzle.

With Mothers' Day coming up I've been finishing off some little projects, and getting ready for the Market at the Vancouver Arts Centre.    As always, more than is needed, I've packed up some more brooches and pins, and I'll do the pendants and necklaces this week.  This Toybox is finally complete.

  And I almost forgot - new power tools, new table.  Once a tatty bit of wood on the verge, now a coffee table with vintage iron legs.

It's been a while since I've had a chance to make it to the local tip shop, and a quick visit this weekend was less than productive.  But a short and unexpected outbreak of sunshine and a spare minute to record the graveyard of gas bottles let me record something I've meant to for ages.  I'll come back to them sometime, I'm sure.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Life is better when you have a unicycle.

This was a topic of much discussion on Saturday.  We saw a unicycle for sale for a paltry $25 at a garage sale.  Good condition, one owner.  After quite a lot of discussion we, as a temporary triumvirate were forced to agree that aged bones break more easily and mend way more slowly than younger ones.  Put that together with the increased awareness of the likelihood of catastrophic gravity pockets in the near vicinity of such machines, and the remembrance of gravel rash past and we moved on, somewhat reluctantly.

Part the wisdom of age, certainly part cowardice.  Definitely the loss of a chance to meet new and interesting people in the ambulance service and Casualty.

I've had houseguests over the Easter break, I had to actually cook meals (no-one died - I'm out of practice but some sort of culinary genetic memory kicked in).  We drank some very nice port and champagne and red wine and watched some very old black and white TV shows.  Books were looked at, knitting done, and card tricks discussed.  Socialising, garage saling, hot cross buns, it's all good. Slow eating with lots of talking.

I've even had time to do some work on the back veranda - well, the pile of treasures on the back veranda.  I'm please to announce that the workbench has been cleared.  I finished a tool cupboard re-using  an old wooden 'inert projectile' case.  Some time ago I used one to make my son a bookcase, this one is outside but stores all the bits and pieces one needs close at hand.  I also converted some wooden crates to shelves and stashed some more stuff neatly.

I've done some work on a lovely old wooden baker's tray, after about 2 years. 

I'm working on making a screen from some fruit drying racks, because the winter sun gets in my eyes when I read in my favourite chair.  I'm hoping to finish a coat-rack, a small table and a couple of other little things.

Of course, any tidying up uncovers more treasures set aside for a specific purpose, which leads in turn to the commencement of more little projects.  It may indeed look like random piles of trash but each pile has a specific purpose, and each is cross-indexed to a picture stapled to a small pinboard in my head.  It's getting crowded in there and I am occasionally  forced to download blueprints via an analogue graphite and wooden transcription device into a faux leather-bound diary.

I found this last week, and it was kindly delivered by a friend this weekend.  It makes me laugh.  You can find them, with lots of other very interesting stuff, at pigeonhole

It's come to my attention that wonderful Melbourne-like shopping has finally arrived in Perth city at 140 William St, with wonderful pop-up shops for pigeonhole, William Topp, and a heap of wonderful other shops including vintage clothes, an artist in residence, and others.  Ooooh, shopping!!!


Sunday, April 1, 2012

Easter, feral bunnies, philosophy and starvation

Is that the sound of an Easter Bunny on the roof?  Or was that reindeer at Xmas?  It's all very confusing.

How does the Easter Bunny keep track of the changing dates of Easter?  Someone, somewhere, says this is the weekend which shall be Easter - do they email this to the Chief Bunny?  Australians don't seem to have fully embraced the bilby as a replacement for the feral Bunny.  It's not really surprising, faltering in the face of the commercial catechisms which include Mother's Day, Father's Day, and Xmas.  Oh, and Australia Day.  But don't get me started on that one.

Far be it from me to cast aspersions on any  festival which venerates chocolate.  As a child, last century ( in fact mid-last-century), the best part of Easter was buying the broken Easter eggs smashed, in bags for GJ Coles and Co - before it was ever a supermarket - afterwards.  I wonder what happens to the excess eggs now?  Put aside for next year?  Snapped up by supermarket employees? I can't believe that  every single egg is sold, even on sale. Where do the eggs go?  There may be a research grant in it.  There was one in working out that people who attach Australian flags to their cars are more jingoistic than those who don't (to quote the philosopher Homer, 'Doh'.)  I said don't get me started on Australia Day.

But these are the bigger questions which must be put aside in the annual panic caused by a temporary closure of supermarkets and shops - seriously, people, you won't starve and you don't have to stock up for the nuclear winter.  And if you choose to go to the supermarket with everyone else, at least have the good grace to be polite.  

I shall use my long, long weekend wisely, as part of my finishing/tidying/sorting/storing regime.  I've been making some new things both inside and out.  So far I've largely excavated the front room, other than the stacks of framed works.  My room is in reasonably good shape, given that when incoming houseguests arrive one tends to stash things in there.  If the weather holds, I'm thinking champagne on the front veranda.  If it doesn't, I've organised and stacked the firewood (in case of emergency) and it will be port and a roast in front of the fire. 

With Easter eggs.  I'm fairly sure we won't starve.
I think I shall call this range 'omnishambles'.