Thursday, January 31, 2008

My friends are all celebrity. My friends are all in magazines.

Have I ever introduced you to my fabulous, talented friend Jejune???

Jejune is our resident artist and designer (crosswords/puzzles and knitting - or both in one!) chez Canberra SnB - check out her gorgeous Knitting Art water colours.

Well, we're not the only ones who recognise her talents, as some time ago she was approached by Vogue Knitting (!!!!!), who wanted to include a short article in their latest issue about her work.
(I can't wait to get my hands on an issue - as soon as I see it somewhere other than Borderrs, where its air-freight price!!)

To celebrate, a couple of weeks ago Jejune had an 'OMFG I'm in Vogue Knitting' contest and (hurrah) I was one of the ten lucky winners!

Early this week my 'loot' arrived!
Have a lookie at this!

There are cards featuring some of the Knitting Art prints, a Shiraz Socks fridge magnet and matching bookmark, and mmmmmmm chocolate....

I know you're jealous - but your can get your own at the Knitting Art shop.
These are mine, all mine!

Thanks Jejune - and a zillion congratulations
(we're all so proud of our famous friend!!)


Sunday, January 27, 2008

Cupcakes are like bad medicine

I've been sitting here for a little while now figuring out how to say this, and, the thing is, I can't think of any other way.
On past visits to Sydney (CBD) I have tended to find it to be a miserable and souless city.
There, said it.

You see, everytime I'm in Sydney it rains (like you wouldn't believe) and its so sticky everywhere - outside you get drenched, inside you can't breathe and can barely move through the air.

And I'm used to Melbourne, where you duck off the main street and suddenly you're in a vibrant buzzing arcade of cafes and espressi.

Now, I have always thought that Sydney couldn't really be souless, right?

I mean, I'm the first to admit that I don't know Sydney at all well - I just don't know the places to go.

This visit I was determined to find the heart of the Sydney CBD.

It really didn't start out that well - anyone I know who lives in Sydney had any idea of anywhere to go for the kind of hygge I was looking for, and (of course) it was raining - a lot.

One of my first ports of call is always Darling Harbour - there are so many cafes there, and its so nice around the water, that I always expect it to be full of tourists breakfasting.

I was surprised to see that many of the cafes weren't even opened yet, and any breakfasting was happening in the food court.

(Although, I was excited to see that there's now a Lindt cafe at Cockle Bay Wharf - that's on list for next time!)

Once I dumped the Darling Harbour breakfast idea things improved.
I headed back towards The Galeries Victoria and, on the advice of a number of you guys, spent over an hour browsing at Kinokuniya.

Ooooh, so much to look at!!!!

I was impressed just with the range of regular books they had, before I even discovered all the japanese magazines and books around the corner!!!

I bought the latest Fruits magazine and a completely incomprehensible (to me, anyway) japanese amigurumi mag.

At the absolute top of my list of places to visit on this trip was Cupcakes on Pitt.
I was interested to see what 'professional' cupcakes look like, and (even more so) how they tasted (compared to mine! hehe).

As you may have guessed from the photos (and there are a couple more shots at my flickr account), between Maria (vanilla, cookies&cream), myself (strawberry, choc brownie, strawberries&cream) and the Boy (I brought home a six pack on the bus - vanilla, dark choc, passion fruit, cookies&cream, jaffa, peppermint) we tasted a fair selection of the menu.

The cupcakes were all presented beautifully, and their mini-size and reasonable price ($2 each) appears to have made them really popular with the surrounding offices - there were 'suits' in and out the whole time we were there.

As far as taste, the non-chocolate flavours were far superior to the chocolate (which were a bit dry and packet-mixy tasting) - I think the strawberries & cream was my favourite (although I bet the vanilla sundae - like the top-most photo, but with vanilla cake instead of choc - would also be absolutely delish!)

I still don't quite 'get' the Sydney vibe, but spending more time there and hunting out places I like sure helps.

And, between all those books, the cupcakes and the occasional break in the weather, as we get to know each other better with each visit, it looks more like Sydney might show me her soul after all =)

besos =)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Shot through the heart

Ok, brace yourself for some gushy goodness....

The concert was sooooooooo excellent!!!
Jon Bon Jovi is HOT!!! Seriously, that man is ageing super well!
He was absolutely eighties-tastic, with that hair and the vest, and oooh those cheekbones and the dreamy smile!!!
We were totally shot through the heart - and Jon Bon Jovi's to blame!

Ritchie Sambora was amazing on the guitar - it never really occured to me how amazing a job he does, but when you actually see him play it is incredible!
They came across as having really great chemistry too.

The show itself was full of surprises - both in what was in the set and what was left out - and so I don't want to ruin the surprise for anone else who might be going, but I will say that I loved the bits where they did covers.
There was a great mix of old and new stuff, although I have to say I think the crowd totally got more into the old stuff - it's more dramatic, too, I think.

Oooh, and did I mention that Jon is hot??

If you're interested, you can checkout what others had to say here and here (and, in my opinion, completely ignore anything the smh has to say about it...ETA, ok, to be fair I've linked the smh article, really I mostly object to the part about Leonard Cohen - like I said I thought the coverey bits were excellent - a surprise and fun =))

btw, the set was over 2.5 hours long - so, rest assured, I've got plenty more Bon Jovi titles up my bloggy sleeve =)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Hey, man, I'm alive

And, yes - you guessed it, takin' each day a night at a time.

No time to blog since I got home yesterday, on account of being busy cleaning bees in preparation for an inspection by the rental people tomorrow.

For now I'm just gonna say Bon Jovi was *great*, and I'll be back with photos and gushing soon =)

besos =)

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Some day I'll be Saturday night

In just a couple of hours I'm on the bus on my way to Sydney!
I've got my book, a project (or two) - and a spare - and, baby, I'm ready to go. =)

Thanks for the advice on where to go - I'll for sure be checking out Kinokunya books, and I'll be back on Tuesday with all the news on the concert, the shopping, and a new addition to the family.

besos!!! =D

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Cool pics?

You know, about a month or two ago my camera bit it big time.
I was advised that it wasn't really worth geting fixed, since that would cost just as much as buying a new one ith similar features.
So I bought the new one.
The thing is, I'm not so sure I like it...
I just think the photos are all so grainy, and the colours so muted, and I wish I had my old one back, or that I had gone for the same (supposedly inferior) brand as the old one =(

Unfortunately being less than pleased with the camera (along with the fact that I haven't been able to get the camera to talk to my computer, and I have to download them to the Boy's computer then move them across) means I have been taking less photos, which is really a pity since I was looking forward to practising and improving my food/footy/yarny stuff photography skills.

I wonder whether I would have any luck trading it in now, given that I've been so disatisfied, or whether there's just something I'm doing wrong?

In any case, I finally took some photos of a couple of projects I've been working on.

First there's the dreamcatcher crochet block, January's square for the "12" block-a-month CAL I've joined on Ravelry.
I'm pretty happy with it, although I've seen some much nicer ones in the group...

Because the squares are so big just making the 12 would make a reasonable size lap rug, but some people are either knitting 2 of each block, or knitting 'filler blocks.'
I haven't decided yet, but I have a couple of granny-squarish projects on the go so I may be better to just do the 12 squares...

Then there's the red and black "Little Dude Mittens".
These don't have an intended recipient yet - but Spongebob and Patrick look pretty excited about them! =) (ooh I love Spongebob!)

I'm thinking about trying to get a bunch of kid sized mittens knitted up to donate for local kids who might need some extra warmth before the Canberra weather turns cold.

These are knitted from the 'Blue Mittens' pattern (sorry non-ravelers, I couldn't find any other links) in the Lincraft Baby Book, which you can buy at Lincraft or you get one free with any $20 purchase of Lincraft yarn.

There are a couple of cuteish patterns in there, but maybe not anything you won't find anywhere else...

In other exciting news, I'm off to Sydney on the weekend.
So, I'll have a bit of time to spend in the CBD on Monday/Tuesday.
Currently I'm planning of visiting Tapestry Craft, and (assuming they're open) cupcake shops on Pitt and George strees.
But, you know, I don't know the city very well - any suggestions of stuff you love that I should checkout in or very close around the CBD are welcome and appreciated!

besos =)

Friday, January 11, 2008

Shopping gold

Ok, while my shopping excitement this evening can't even nearly compare with what a certain someone has been up to this week, it was pretty good =)

I got the newly released Hairspray dvd (special features include step-by-step dance instuctions!) at 20% off, then I found Crazy Aunt Purl's book at Borders - for $15! (althoug it was marked higher)
There were a couple more copies there, just so you know ;)

For now though, I've got some moves to learn!!

besos =)

Monday, January 07, 2008

You guys complete me*

Over the past week I've read lots of posts on resolutions/aims/dreams for the coming year.

As I've read these posts, more often than not, I've found myself agreeing with so many of the of the goals/aims/dreams of my blogging friends.

In fact, if I made a list it would look almost exactly like Georgie's List (with the exception of the baby growing, of course =)!), and Dood's actions towards "Living the life she wants" have really motivated and inspired me in my decision to make this the year of Getting It Together.

Its like we're all made up many of the same tiny bits. (aah)

But, along with the similarities in what we all want out of the new year, what has really struck me is the way that when we see our friends' lists we recognise that you'd have to be superhuman to achive all of the things - the very same things we continue to beat ourselves up for not getting done.

We're stressing ourselves out trying to do everything, when we can see in others that it just isn't possible - we need to make this the year of recognising that we can't do it all, and take it easy on ourselves, guys =)

*Now, if only someone would complete those gifty mitts for me!

besos =)

Friday, January 04, 2008

Would someone please get me out of here?!

I can appreciate the benefit of Summernats on the local economy.
And, yes, it was kind of cool to see Decepticon Barricade in Braddon on Thursday night.
But, next year, could someone please remind me that this whole scary people in shiny cars thing is always worse than I remember?

Last night I was required to produce identification in order to get into my own home.
Whilst I understand the requirement for some kind of security (its not like I'm inviting guys to come and do burnouts on the tennis courts!), I maintain that it is unreasonable to assume that residents will carry their parking permit (hello, I wasn't driving - why would I have the parking permit on me?) or proof of residence on them at all times, with-out notification that it would be required!!

This morning we awoke to the sounds of cheering crowds and burning rubber, then the bus stopped short of its usual route (changed traffic conditions, poorly publicised changes to buses) and the Boy had to meet me at the gate to prevent having my comings and goings recorded by those fascists with clipboards. (Since the parking permit was in the car, not in my handbag on the bus!) Incidentally, the Boy - a law talking guy - tells me it's illegal for them to demand identification like that.

So please, in the middle of December, when I'm insisting that "Summernats isn't so bad", please point me in the direction of this post. Permission to slap if necessary.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

2008 - official year of getting it together

If you were around here this time last year you may have witnessed me going on (and on) about New Year and being anti-resolutions.

However, this doesn't mean that I don't think that hanging up the new calendar isn't a good chance to think about where you're at and where you want to be.

I think it's fair to say the Boy and I have been through a couple of crazy, up and down years - in the past two years or so we've moved out into our place for the first time, transitioned from 'studenthood' to the 'real' workforce, and lost his mum late in 2006 - which sent shock waves well into 2007.

I'm hoping for a more settled 2008 - a chance to sit back and put things in order, combat some of the chaos that has taken over - my goal is to make 2008 "the year of getting it together."

My first step? Chucking stuff out!
As a result of a couple of 'quick and dirty' house moves we have and overwhelming amount of stuff.

Stuff in boxes, stuff in bags, stuff we don't use, stuff that we don't even know we have.

We're both on leave from work until the 7th (work - ugh) and, let me tell you, it's 'stuff wars' chez kuka this week.

Those magazines there - all of them went yesterday (some of them were nearly 3 years old!! That means they've moved house with me 3 times!!) and the Boy reduced 'unpacked boxes' in the living room from about 10 to 4.

The wardrobe in the spare room is next - most of what is in there hasn't been worn for at least a year (or 4) and is on its way to Vinnies.

Yesterday was pretty warm work - the perfect opportunity to give the new blender (ooh more Christmassy goodness) a test run...

Who knew chucking stuff out could be so refreshing?

besos =)

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

...and a happy New Year!

Wishing everyone a safe, happy and fab 2008!

oooh new cupcake tree - Christmassy goodness!

And thanks for reading, guys =)

besos xo

ps that's stunt champagne eek so yellow! teehee