15 December, 2010

The mau5 is back in the hau5

It's no secret that I am a big fan of Deadmau5. The Canadian purveyor of bleepy goodness has been on high rotation in my musical bag of tricks for a long time - in fact, his previous release For Lack of a Better Name is my go-to running soundtrack and "I need some stomping good amp up" music - more than a year after it was originally released.

With that in mind, it's probably fair to say that I had incredibly high standards set when I purchased a copy of his latest release 4x4=12. It was a bit of a fluke actually - I hadn't heard anything about the new release, but happened to spy it on a rack in a record store while wandering past, as luck would have it only the day after release.

Unable to wait I threw this on in the car on the way home, expecting to be utterly blown away in the manner of For Lack of a Better Name. I was initially disappointed, but persisted the next morning with a re-listen to the album (again in the car) on the way to work.

4x4=12 doesn't carry the same initial punch and grab of For Lack of a Better Name - it has a totally different mood and the tracks carry off in a totally new direction and style. This is not actually a bad thing, as it's a very solid release and once I'd given it a couple of listens it started to grow on me a lot. It just took me a little bit of time to accept that it was not a second For Lack of a Better Name.

mau5 is known for taking his listeners on a musical journey, and in that respect this album definitely does it's job while managing to be a little less progressive than the last. Some of the track layout isn't as smooth as it could be, but it's the price you pay for getting a wider variety in the music. It's a lot easier to glean the mau5's influences on this album, picking elements from various electronica legends through the ages. The most notable of this is Cthulhu Sleeps (one of my favourite tracks on the album) which is ten whole minutes of whumm-whumm awesomesauce, a la Timo Maas and Azzido da Bass circa 2000.

My picks on the album are Sofi Needs a Ladder, Cthulhu Sleeps, Raise Your Weapon (the first single) and A City in Florida. While there aren't any tracks I feel that I have to skip, One Trick Pony is easily my least favourite - interesting since it also features Sofi who appears on the earlier Sofi Needs a Ladder.

Overall after a few listens this album has come into it's own right for me and I'm enjoying it on high rotation. I'm yet to test it out for it's run-ability but as it's a mixed album it should fare very well. Another solid performance from the mau5 - not at epic as the last one but still a lot of fun.

And for a little bonus - here's Deadmau5's personal highlights of his Aussie tour in November/December last year. The opening animation sequence is what introduced him onstage, and see if you can spot me in the middle of the crush when he kicks the inflatable roo off the stage. It was absolutely crazy in there.

29 November, 2010

Today, I Ran

You know when you're in trouble when you track a run with RunKeeper and you immediately get a personal milestone email saying you beat last week's distance... and it's your first run of the week.

It was actually the first run I'd posted in a little over a month, but unlike the last time I tried to get back into the swing of training, this run felt good. I decided to run after cruising my way through a fairly easy boxing class - we only had four people today, and I was paired with the only other girl. We're not a good match (I'm twice her size), so I was taking it fairly easy. I didn't feel like I'd had a proper workout at the end.

And so, onto the run. 4.28 km, 0:30:30. In my run intervals I was holding sub-7 minute average pace. Overall my pace was 7:08 - which is pretty respectable for a first run in a while. Despite that, I can't help but feel a little disappointed with it, because I know what I'm capable of. If anything, it's good motivation to keep myself in regular training again.

On another note, it's only a few weeks until Christmas. Eek.

10 October, 2010

Yes, me. Camping.

It would appear that I have a reputation as a high maintenance girl. A high maintenance girl who likes the good things in life.

While that's not a false statement in the least - I do like the good things in life. Amongst those things is spending time with good friends, having a good time. It was at the suggestion of one such friend that I decided to brave camping again.

The last time I went camping I was eleven-ish, with a scout group. I ended up in hospital because the camp leaders thought I had measles, when in fact I was just being devoured alive by mosquitoes. It seems that I'm a walking cocktail for the blighters, missing only a fetching paper umbrella if I'm not carrying my parasol, but I digress. As you can see, this past experience left me a little apprehensive about camping and other outdoorsy activities.

if anyone is now hoping for more camping horror stories and amusing anecdotes about how I'm never going to do that again, I'm sorry to disappoint you. I loved it. I still have amusing stories though.

On the Saturday of the long weekend I woke up at an ungodly hour (I believe it's called stupid o'clock), packed the car up and started to drive down to Wee Jasper.

I was lucky enough to drive through Yass, and thus see the famous Maccas sign. From Yass you then take the one (!!) road that winds it's way down to Wee Jasper village. I would love to post pictures of the drive as there were some beautiful sights, however as I was only one in the car I felt staying on the road was a higher priority. Arriving in one piece and all that.

Arriving at Wee Jasper meant one thing: a break from technology. There is no phone reception there, which means no checking the phone, no 3G, no Twitter, no internet, no SMS. Nothing. Bliss.

After setting up camp (and helping a friend put up her Taj Mahal of a tent, I swear it would have fit in at the Quidditch World Cup), a couple of the girls and I headed into the village to check out the general store and make some calls on the public phone (just to let people know we'd arrived safely etc). While up there, I spotted some flowers and took a few shots.


We also spotted a marquee on a nearby property. It looked like a wedding being set up.

That done, a night of relaxing around the campfire was in order. Wee Jasper is one of the few places where you can still have a campfire, so burn baby, burn.


I had also brought along some glow sticks (for safety, I promise you!) Give a kid a couple of glowsticks on string, and you'll keep them amused for hours!


And so to bed. I was looking forward to enjoying a good night's sleep. Maybe. I was thinking that I might have to deal with the odd wombat wombling past, or perhaps a koala or something. I didn't expect Daft Punk.

Yes, Daft Punk. That marquee I mentioned earlier? Not a wedding. Someone was holding a rave/dance party thing on their property... and the music was echoing into the valley where we were camped. Nature, isn't it fab? The music continued through the night until 9am the next morning. Well done kiddies, you went hard! It was actually quite funny - I'd wake up through the night, not because of the music but because I was in unusual surroundings, and each time I'd think either "Oh, that's a great track" or "I HATE THIS SONG MAKEITSTOP!" before falling asleep again.

Sunday saw us at the Wee Jasper markets, were I ate my bodyweight in (well, half a dozen) dutch donuts.

Dutch Donuts

These things were amazing - like a piece of deep fried raisin toast. I might have to try and crack the recipe for them! Another thing of note at the markets were some alpacas!

Llama Llama... no, wait.

They were babies, just seven months old. Their coats were so unbelievably soft. I was devastated to hear that their soft fluffy coats were to be discarded after they were shorn - but they were so dirty and full of grassy bits that it's just not feasible to try and spin them up.

Back at camp, I amazed myself at remembering how to cast a fishing line. We were camped right near a river (no pics, I was too busy skipping stones), so some of the kids got a chance to try and catch some trout.

And then...

Carey's Cave - 1

Into the darkness! Carey's Cave was only a few kilometres from our campsite. I was quite surprised by the tour - the tour guide was extremely knowledgable (and very talkative), but there were also elements to the tour that you just don't get at other cave sites. Like the bit where the guide demonstrates how the cave would look by candlelight...

Carey's Cave - 3

Candle smoke is actually quite bad for the cave (as is the mere presence of humans) so most other cave sites just won't allow it. It was amazing to see how the cave would have looked to those who first explored it. The cave is a set of large chambers, so it's easy to navigate and has some really beautiful features. We were also lucky enough to see it after some recent rain - so there was water around!

Carey's Cave - 2

Carey's Cave - 4

The cave tired us all out, but of course next on the agenda was the NRL Grand Final. I have to say, watching this at our (unpowered) camp site was an experience. We had a McGyvered solution: Satellite dish -> TV running off a Land Rover Defender. It was most amusing and it attracted quite a crowd. Good times, and an amazing piece of work by one of the guys!

It was quite a shame to come back to reality on Monday.

Things I learnt from this trip...

* I don't need that much food
* I don't need that many clothes
* I need a bigger tent
* I was serious about the food

Anyone up for a camping trip?

17 September, 2010

Baaaa! Murder in the Dark/February/Time at the Sydney Fringe Festival

It's been too long in between theatre visits for me, so on Friday night I braved the cold and visited the New Theatre for a Sydney Fringe triple bill...

Murder in the Dark
The world's fascination with whodunnits and crime shows is indicative of one thing: A killer's mind is a fascinating and terrible thing. It's a point of view so different to the norm, so twisted out of the usual day to day grind that it makes people want to know why and how it happens.

This stage adaptation of Margaret Atwood's Murder in the Dark is a view into one such mind. Through a series of small snippets we are drawn into the life of a killer, never quite sure of what is going to happen next.

While occasionally this production feels a little disjointed, over the course of the piece it becomes apparent how it all fits in together. The cast (Richard Drysdale, Samantha Neaves and Scott Clare) do an amazing job, moving seamlessly through the harshly cut scenes. Awkward silences, the addition of well chosen music and crafty use of lighting only adds to the eerie atmosphere, helping to make sure the audience isn't feeling at ease. Overall a very solid piece.

February is the shortest piece of the triple bill, but as a child of Sydney suburbia it's one that spoke volumes to me. Two girls, both trapped in the suburb of their childhood but for very different reasons, are reliving the past and recounting the events that have brought them to where they are today.

The emotion in this piece was absolutely incredible - I was actually blinking back tears at times. Madeleine Jones (Clare) and Felicity Keep (Frankie) really manage to capture the spirit of their characters and they work so well together - there's one particular scene where they are both fighting for your attention and I can tell you, it's not easy to choose either.

This particular piece could easily have been sustained for longer, as there's so much more that could be explored and brought out. As it is, I was left wanting to know more, yet at the same time I had so much to think about from the complexity and twists in the plot. One thing I was definitely left with was how some things just don't change, even though the times apparently have.

After dealing with the heavy issues of Murder in the Dark and February, Time is a little bit of comic relief of the black variety. A successful single woman, an uninvited guest and a few surprise discoveries all add up to an entertaining show.

The story is a well worn idea that has been done many, many times (fans of Terry Pratchett and Monty Python will recognise it for what it is pretty quickly), but the cast and the script really it carry it through and give it a breath of life. Shannon Rae Kappes (Samantha) and Christopher Sellers (the Guest) have an incredible rapport on stage, bringing a sense of the normal to something that is anything but.

I found this production a little predictable (I'm blaming that on my love for all things Pratchett) but that's no bad thing, especially with this piece's place in the repertory. It also doesn't hold back with making the audience question their very existence - there's something about the way Samantha learns how to live for the moment that really gives you a jolt.

I really enjoyed the entire repertory - each of the pieces has their own mark and left you thinking about something different, yet they fit in very well together. I also found that the themes of the Sydney Fringe were very well represented. Spot the black sheep...

Murder in the Dark/February/Time is on at the New Theatre as part of the Sydney Fringe Festival. $24/$20 concession.

06 September, 2010

Melbourne, part two.

I promised more about Melbourne. Perhaps the most important thing I discovered when I was there was this: I am hopeless at taking pictures and documenting a trip. Why? As soon as the camera comes out I'm constantly stopping to take pictures and I'm not shy about trying to get a different angle of the world. This of course means it takes me about half an hour to get one hundred metres down the road.

As such, on a trip with limited time and a long list of things I want to do, photos tend to take a backseat. It's my own fault I was perpetually in a rush during my stay... but luckily I plan to go back soon. Next time the trip will be more leisurely. I hope.

On Saturday night I caught up with some friends. The original plan was to eat and drink at Borsch, Vodka and Tears in Windsor, but the place was far too busy for us to get a table. We ended up at TGI Fridays. I actually found this tremendously exciting as we don't have one in Sydney. To celebrate, I ordered something I had not had in years. A Long Island Iced Tea.

It's from Long Island

It was as delicious and potent as I remembered. It also had the side effect I seem to have erased from my memories of previous experiences... and that's the side effect of it making me think that a Pina Colada is a BRILLIANT idea, because I want the tiny plastic cocktail-toothpick pirate sword that holds the garnish together.

I'm told that there is a picture of me brandishing said pirate sword cocktail stick, but I haven't seen it yet.

After feasting on deep-fried macaroni cheese and burgers, we wandered back down Chapel St and managed to get a table at Borsch Vodka and Tears, where we proceeded to drink our way through as many different Polish vodkas as possible. I personally had Żubrówka (one of my favourites) on the rocks, Wódka Żołądkowa Gorzka straight up (delicious!) and an Apple Pie - Spiced vodka, apple juice and cinnamon.

Apple Pie

Much more civilised, don't you think?

I will definitely be revisiting BV&T on my next trip to Melbourne.

Another thing that absolutely knocked my socks off in Melbourne was the Tim Burton exhibition at ACMI. If you get the chance, go! There are no cameras allowed in there so I don't have any exciting photos... but the view into Burton's head is weird, wonderful and at times a little disturbing. There's drawings, sculpture, video and movie props and it was far bigger than I thought it was going to be. When I walked out I was reeling from the sheer volume of amazing that was in there!

A shoutout also to Mr Johan Vonshag who sent me to the best coffee in Melbourne. You rock, sir.

03 September, 2010

I am a bad blogger

But then, you all already knew that.

I think it stems from having so many ideas and so many things I want to say. I sit down to post... and stuff comes out. Just a jumble of words that really, really don't reflect the fact that I am actually capable of stringing a sentence together. There's no coherent idea or structure that comes through.

While this is probably caused by my not actually sitting myself down and writing enough (thereby causing a metric shit-tonne bucketload of ideas trying to fight their way out every time I do), I'm choosing to blame the internet. Purely because the internet must be to blame. MUST. It's certainly to blame for the fact that every time I have an idea I start wondering if I could fit it into a 140-character space, therefore it is at fault for my inability to write longer pieces. It's also to blame for several pairs of shoes, countless books, lots of clothes and various other things that I don't quite need but that's not for here.

So, where was I?

Ah yes. Melbourne! I took the time to visit the place recently after a hiatus of several years. Joss Whedon was coming to town and a fellow geeky friend stood over me telling me I should go until I bought a ticket gently reminded me that it would be a great idea. He was right! Joss was funny, interesting and inspiring. It was an opportunity I am glad I didn't pass up.

I was (recites alphabet in head while counting) ten rows back and mere metres away from one of the audience question mics, so I managed to snap this pic (as usual, all pics in this post are enabled for clicky-embiggen):

Joss, chargin' his lasers

I know he looks demonic, but I think that adds to the Buffy-esque charm.

Other than a wonderful evening with Joss, I also spent some time enjoying a plush hotel room (where's the fun if you don't splash out a little every now and then?), shopping (but of course! pictures to come at a later date), catching up with some friends and wandering through Fitzroy Gardens.

Fitzroy Gardens is probably one of my favourite places in Melbourne. I love walking through the gardens from the East, feeling like you're so far away from everything... only to emerge in the CBD. The times I've spent in the gardens it's usually been quite quiet as well, which only helps the illusion.

Stairway to...

Reflections of a path


(Notice the balloon stuck in the tree?)

More Melbourne to come...

17 August, 2010

I have new shoes

But no time to take pictures yet.

Such is life. I have a week off work next week (and a trip to Melbourne on the cards), so stay tuned.

10 August, 2010

iPod Lotto, the second.

Here we go again - a short iPod Lotto played on the way home last night.

Lady Gaga - Just Dance
Aerials.Spans.Earth - Mr Kessler (Links to a free, legal MP3. This track was a triplej unearthed winner back in 2000.)
Metric - Satellite Mind
The White Stripes - My Doorbell
Tom Tom Club - Wordy Rappinghood
Lily Allen - Friend of Mine
Simian Mobile Disco - It's the Beat
Itch-e & Scratch-e - Imperial Rockets
The Beatles - Ballad of John and Yoko
Dutch ft Crystal Waters - My Time
Urthboy - Hellsong
Basement Jaxx - Where's Your Head At?

26 July, 2010

Would you work for free?

...Or why it's important to read Ts and Cs.

I'm sure that most, if not all, people would agree that volunteering for a worthy or charitable cause is rewarding and a jolly good thing to do.

But what about essentially volunteering your time and writing for a large corporation... who will be using said work to promote their brand (and sell more product)? What about even paying for the privilege of doing this?

No, not so great.

A person I follow on Twitter shared a link posted by the Sportsgirl Twitter account today. It's a competition to win a trip around the world (and a new wardrobe) and blog as a roving global blogger for the Sportsgirl brand.

It sounded like a lot of fun and I considered entering - so I decided to read the terms and conditions to see what they said about the blogging side of things. I wanted to know what would be expected of the winner in terms of posts and content.

What I found was not what I expected.

7. The Prize. The winning eligible entry will win 2 STA Travel Round the World airfares as part of the competition entry. The prize is for 2 people only. The prize value includes airfare costs and applicable airline taxes only. The prize does NOT include accommodation or additional costs as stated below.
8. Spending money, meals, travel insurance, passports, visas, transport to and from departure point and all other ancillary costs, as well as obtaining any of these, are the responsibility of the winner.

The prize, as per the Ts and Cs, is two plane tickets. That's it. If I were to win this competition, I'd have to organise and pay for my own accommodation in the four cities allowed on the flights. I'd have to organise all of my own transfers, my own meals and spending money. I'm essentially left with the bulk of the cost of the trip... and a deadline in which to find the money and do it in, as understandably there is a deadline on the travel time allowed.

So, the winner gets to pay for most of the trip AND spend time writing a blog for Sportsgirl while they're on it! Interestingly, neither the blog or the new wardrobe are mentioned in the terms and conditions. There's no mention of what kind of writing exposure the winner can hope to receive.

Personally, all this has turned me off entering as I am not interested in paying for the privilege of helping a company expand and promote their brand - using my image and words. I'm glad I clicked through and read the Terms and Conditions. I wish any entrants good luck and hope that they also read the Ts and Cs before entering - just so that they know what's expected of them should they win.

Today's irony: I've just given the brand a free plug by posting this. Huzzah!

Today's most awesome moment: realising that my tweet response to Sportsgirl is the first tweet on their live tweet app on the competition homepage! (Ok, that's a little petty... but hopefully it makes entrants read the Ts and Cs before they decide if they want to enter this competition.)

Nothing to see here... really

Feel free to comment - am I too cynical and have I got this wrong? Is it just an amazing chance or are Sportsgirl trying to get some serious marketing mileage for not that much money?

25 July, 2010

Pumpkin Soup

An experiment.

I love pumpkin soup but wanted to try making it with tofu rather than cream - to get that added creaminess without adding dairy and also because I'm a sucker for experimentation with food.

I wasn't sure what I was going to end up with, but the result was delicious. Time to scribble down the recipe I used so I can recreate this later!

Winter warmth

Easy Pumpkin Soup
Makes about 2.5L of delicious goodness

1/2 butternut pumpkin, diced
2 carrots, sliced
2 russet potatoes, diced
300g silken tofu, diced
1/2 medium onion, finely diced
1 1/2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 reduced salt vegetable stock cube - or other stock of your choice. See note.
olive oil

Sweat the onions and garlic with a little olive oil in pot with at least 3.5L capacity. Once the onions have softened, add approximately 1.5-2L water (see note), the rest of the vegetables and the stock cube. Stir well, bring to the boil and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Once all vegetables are cooked, add the tofu. Return to the boil and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Allow to cool, then blend the soup using a blender or food processor until smooth.

Eat when you need something delicious.


I use a single stock cube that is meant to make 500mL of stock to 1.5L water in this recipe.

Gauge the amount of water depending on how thick you like your soup. Remember you can always add more water if the end result is too thick.

19 July, 2010

Ice cream of the amazing kind.

My friend Kris shared an amazing post on google reader.

The world's easiest ice cream recipe. No small claim!

I just have to say that I am sitting here eating a bowl of this ice cream and loving it. Delicious, easy and healthy. Sorry I can't say more, I have to go continue eating this stuff. Lucky there's a container full in the freezer.

15 July, 2010


I was going to write a very long post about Crustgate, but Warlach pretty much read my mind and posted what I was thinking. You can read Warlach's post here.

I was among the first responders to Crust's original tweet, a fact that got me quoted on mUmbrella - something I was quite surprised to see! (By the way, does that make me some sort of celebrity who is going to get free champagne and designer clothes? No? Ok then.)

I wasn't particularly offended by the tweet, but I was disappointed. The video had absolutely no link to their product. It was poorly made (were some of those so-called female drivers even women? You couldn't see) and there was no witty, thought provoking message. I honestly thought that as a brand, Crust was better than that.

In advertising - and these days that means any forum in which you are participating in using your company's name - you need to think your message through. It's obvious that in this instance it wasn't. It went from a promotional tweet to something totally inappropriate for the company's image.

Crust is to be commended on their swift handling and apology - it's the one part of this storm in a teacup that they handled really well. I'm still waiting on the call they promised that the PR company would give me though.

07 July, 2010

iPod Lotto: The First

I often get comments on the interesting mishmash of music I have on my iPod. To be perfectly honest, I listen to a wide variety of music and I like to have a variety available to me. This can lead to interesting (and sometimes downright weird) results when I play iPod Lotto.

What is iPod Lotto? It's my term for shuffle - I feel it describes the results I get more accurately.

I had monster drive home tonight - 1.5 hours thanks to traffic chaos. What's a girl to do? Crank up the music and indulge in a little iPod lotto. I hit the Gaga Jackpot tonight with three Gaga tracks in the mix and found what I got was great for keeping me (relatively) happy on the way home.

Here's what my iPod felt like playing tonight, in order:

Chicken Payback - The Bees
Hand that Feeds - Nine Inch Nails
Nine in the Afternoon - Panic! At the Disco
Root Down - The Beastie Boys
Unsent Letter - Machine Gun Fellatio
Ride On Time - Black Box
The Others - TV Rock vs Dukes of Windsor
Soup Kitchen - Eva Trout
Let It Be - The Beatles
Take Me Away - Lash
Teeth - Lady Gaga
Crazy Little Thing Called Love - Queen
Holy Groove - Yolanda Be Cool
Walking Away (Tocadisco remix) - The Egg
Hustler - Simian Mobile Disco
Intergalactic - The Beastie Boys
Reptiles - Them Crooked Vultures
Sly PI - Fatt Dex
Happy Up Here - Röyksopp
Get Down - Groove Armada
Selfless, Cold and Composed - Ben Folds Five
I Want I Want - Digitalism
Speechless - Lady Gaga
Again Again - Lady Gaga
Pure Massacre - silverchair
Semi Charmed Life - Third Eye Blind
Toxic - Mark Ronson feat. Tiggers

24 June, 2010


Wow... what a week so far!

I've been sick and stuck at home, so World Cup replays and watching drama unfold have been the order of the day week.

The Socceroos got knocked out of the World Cup - however they left with their heads held high, having defeated Serbia in their last game. Well done boys.

France was also knocked out, much to my Francophile chagrin.

We have a new Prime Minister! It started last night as a whisper on Twitter, ended up with an announcement of a ballot this morning and then... bam! Julia Gillard, Australia's first female PM. History was made today as she was sworn in by the country's first female Governer-General.

I have to say, I teared up at Rudd's exit speech, was wowed by Julia's first address and nearly dissolved again when she was sworn in.

A truly momentous day.

As a side note... (it adds to the action-packed theme but is hardly on par with any of the above), this blog has been renamed and had a bit of a redesign. Welcome to <ikepela_is_redambition> aka - what this blog is now called!

19 June, 2010

Trouble brewing

I always know that I'm going through a tricky patch in life when the activities and things I love don't feel like fun anymore and inspiration is lacking. It's at times like these I feel like I'm stuck in a rut - but it's a comfortable rut, and one that I don't want to leave.

There's nothing wrong with having times where things just don't go to plan - it happens to everyone and it's part of life. The problem arises when it seems like to much effort to get out of the rut and get things going again.

I've been in a such a rut for a while now in my creative outlets. I've shunned all the creative projects I've taken on this year, preferring instead to sit in front of the computer or television for long stretches of time. Brain-numbing? Yes. Productive and happiness-inducing? Not so much.

The important thing for me is to realise that I'm in such a rut (which can be hard - it's so easy to make excuses about it) and then making a conscious effort to change the thought patterns and behaviours that keep me there. So help me, I'm going to get working on some creative outlet activity every day. You're looking at the first effort.

On a totally unrelated note: GO SOCCEROOs! I can't wait to see the match tonight! I was planning to go into the FIFA FanFest in Darling Harbour with a few friends to watch the game, but my head cold has turned into a chesty cough and a nasty headache, so I'm being sensible and staying home, out of the cold. Not as much fun, but eminently warmer.

10 June, 2010

WWKIP Day - Sydney NSW


World Wide Knit In Public day is drawing near: this Saturday, in fact!

Are you going to an event? I'll be at the Sydney one, organised by the fabulous PomPom.


Abraham Mott Hall, Argyle Place, Millers Point. 1.30-5.00pm.

There are lots of prizes (including an awesome basket from Mosman Needlecraft), competitions and fun to be had, so please come along! There is no food available at the venue, but beverages will be available for gold coin donations.

See here for the full details.

See you there!

01 May, 2010

Going Gaga

This was too good not to share...

Soldiers in Afghanistan. Doing Gaga.

03 April, 2010

Autumn Catch Up

I'm finding it hard to admit to myself that we are already well into Autumn. The weather here has been so warm and inviting, and seeing everyone walking around in summer clothing means that the reality of the season doesn't really set in.

Sure, I've been getting up in the dark - luckily that will stop when daylight savings stops - and there's been an undeniable chill in the air every morning. it's just easy to fool yourself when the rest of the day is glorious and you're still getting sunburnt if you spend too long in the sun!

With autumn comes change. It seems that when the seasons change I go mad, wanting to shop til I drop and refresh my wardrobe. I also get castonitis as all the new, delicious knitting patterns come out. More about that later.

It's been a tumultuous time for me. (when isn't it really?) The start of the year was paved with good intentions, but sadly not everything has turned out the way I planned. I guess after so long of having the quiet life, having activities, things to go to and commitments has really gotten to me. Throw in some unexpected events, and here we are.

I'm behind on a lot of things I planned for this year: My photography project, my knitting (but the socks are ahead of schedule!), my sewing... need I go on? Regardless, I'm happy with things the way they are, so it's not a huge issue.

I'm house-sitting for a friend this weekend. i had such grand plans for this time, but again I'm not achieving what i wanted. Work ended up really crazy at the end of March, so after a few nights of midnight finishes I was too exhausted to do much yesterday. I had a long nap and then stared at code for a while. Yes, HTML code. Crazy? Maybe. That project is nearly done, something I am very happy about. The skills I have learnt on it will mean that I can do a revamp on this blog too.

So much to do, where do I find the time to do it all?

05 January, 2010

Another thing to add to the list

Those of you who have seen the odd post with photos would assume that I own a digital camera.

That would be inaccurate. I actually own two digital cameras - one was won in an AFL tipping competition last year, and it is in it's box, totally unused.

The digital camera I have unpacked tends to sit around, not really being used unless I decide to pull it out for a special occasion or take a bunch of knitting pictures. When I purchased it, I specifically selected it for it's myriad features, the great optical zoom and the ability to control pretty much everything on it manually, even though it's technically a point and shoot.

I see so many amazing and interesting things nearly every day. I take photos of so few of these things because I only have a phone camera. Granted, some of the time I wouldn't be able to get a real camera out, that's what my phone camera is for, but sometimes I would like to take a "proper" picture.

I don't hold any grand aspirations. I don't wish to become a master photographer... but I can't expect to develop any skills without some work on my part. I also want to expand my use of Photoshop - and again I can't expect my skills to develop on their own. While it's not totally necessary to be taking photos myself in order to play around in Photoshop, it's certainly a lot harder to come by a range of images to play with.

With all of that in mind, I found myself signing up for the OTF 2010 Photo Project. (OTF is a forum I frequent). Seeing as one of my goals is to take photos and use flickr this year, I found this challenge to be ideal. One photo a week, with a theme decided upon randomly each week. hardly taxing, but enough to make me keep thinking about taking pictures, and enough fodder for some Photoshop play.

Week one (this week) was floating. I came up with this:


But before I got there I also took these:


Shining Light

(The oil burner photo was as a result of me trying to get an oil floating on water picture, but I used the wrong essential oil and the lighting was terrible for that kind of shot. It didn't work so I took some pics of the burner itself instead).

Not a bad start... but I have to keep it up!