Friday, July 31, 2009

I heart Vinnies

Just a short un, but I scored these treasures at my local Vinnie's today for 50 cents each! Joy!!!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

jetsam and flotsam

I came home the other day and almost exploded. As some of you know, my living sitch right now is far from ideal. I am with Miss NitaJane half the time, and at the folks for the other bits. In theory it's great, but in reality, it means, never anywhere long enough to do, say, laundry. Or take op-shop goodies out of their bags, wash, dry and carefully place them. And so as I entered my space a couple of days ago, I could no longer cope. I locked the doors, turned the record player up loud, cranked out some classics (think Sea Shanties, Cabaret Soundtrack, and Celtic/Australian Folk) and started about organising, sorting, cleaning, and finding homes for things.

And so The Great Rearrange began.

I'll admit it's something I'm known for. When I was teaching, the room layout and displays would change radically at least once a month. Something about continually being in the same surrounds makes me feel static and stale. If a change is as good as a holiday, then I am on an almost fortnightly vacay.

For the most part, it's productive. A good opportunity to clear out, to organise, to find that project that you've been meaning to get back too (yes, I mean you, Gary Mk II!), but for me, the absolute best thing about it, is the freshness. I always get the best night's sleep after The Great Rearrange. Sure, moving heavy furniture alone, spending a solid four hours working hard, and the inevitable clean sheets are a contributing factor, but when you get a solid week of decent sleep, there's something to be said for it.

And so, here I sit in my newly arranged, cleaned, tidied, organised, sorted space. And you know what. It's nice.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

:: I'm Coveting ::

Was over here and thought Pip was onto something, so here goes...

My Tuesday covets are:

One of these.
Some of these empty cases to put my own things in. Like a cowboy.
One of these guys. My grandma has one, and I saw one at Coburg Trash & Treasure on the weekend, but he was a bit out of my price range.
Space. Wide Open Space. With good storage for my pretty goodies.

Lucky Last, one of these little adorable creatures...

What do you covet? Feel free to share (unless it's your neighbour's wife, in which case, might be best to keep it to yourself....)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Feathers For My Nest

There are plans afoot for cohabitation. I am terribly excited, and full of fantastical plans, visuals, and thoughts of games of Rummikub, pots of tea, colourful cushions and a multitude of knick-knacks dance through my head. My favourite game of the moment is When we are living together... Much time is spent carefully grouping and placing a combination of our collected goodies according to size, colour and era. The frequent That IS going in your room, isn't it and the Your (insert cool object here) will look really cool next to my (other cool object) all contributes to the ever-increasing ball of positive energy that is going and will go into building our home.

The older I get, the more time I spend reflecting on the things that make 
me happy. There is a picture of my (maternal) grandparents from when they were very young, sitting together on a moon. I later found out that it was at Luna Park. [Incidentally, the moon set is now at Melbourne Museum. When I took my grade there last year, I got a photo on it!]

There is also a photo of my (paternal) grandparents from when they were young, riding bicycles beside each other through the streets of Utrecht, in the Netherlands. 

I really wanted to have these photos in my house. I lost both of my grandfathers last year, and with them went alot of oral history that can never be retrieved. I went on the hunt for copies of these photos, and in a box of stuff from Pop and Nana's, found photos dated 1931! It was amazing, and moving, to explore these photos of their life before me, before my dad. To find photos of my great-grandparents, but to not know their names and stories. It's made me even more determined to preserve family images and stories for my own children.

Admittedly, I take alot of my 'style-tips' from my grandparents, but am also spending more time exploring alot of crafty-money saving ways. I like re-using. I like sustainability. I like not feeling bad about the amount I consume and contribute to the pollution of our planet. And it's a great way to justify the expenditure at markets and op shops. 

I am currently collecting old sheets. I have long been an exponent of op-shop sheets. They are soft, smooth, well worn, and often have a faint smell of moth-balls. We had alot that we used for camping. On the same bent, I have an ever-growing collection of old white pillow-cases. Each one that I have got has beautiful embroidery on it. It's fabulous, cause they all look gorgeous, though they don't match.

Records. I have rediscovered records. In such a big way. I pulled out Dad's Sergeant Pepper's album during the week, and a wave of comfort and familiarity fell over me as I listened to the gentle crackle under the music. And the obscure Sea Shanties, Hammond Organ, Broadway Musicals and Australian Folk records are all added bonuses!

My fabulous new cookie jar. I am getting together a nice new collection of odd bits and pieces, all of which are full of character. I do think this guy needs a name though...

There are so many things that Feather My Nest. All of them full of character and heart, and expressions of me. I am so looking forward to building a home that expresses me, her and us. 

And having it photographed for a home magazine, a la Pip Lincolne...

What feathers do you need in your nest???
Leave a comment and let me know!!

In the mix...

Life has been busy! And good!

I haven't blogged in a bit, but for good reason. A number of things and treasures have been keeping me busy of late...

jobs: of which I have acquired two! I am working as a teacher's aide in junior grades in Thornbury. Oh how nice it is to come home from work and report play-dough making as the highlight of my day! I am thoroughly enjoying not being in charge, and rediscovering the pleasure of teaching. I even think the pay cut is worth it! I also got a job working at Coles, though I am yet to start.

evieandmabel: though I've not been blogging, I have been busy like a bee, slowly getting organised with an etsy shop, some branding, and most importantly LOTS of ideas for crafting goodness, and hopefully, financial benefit!

screen printing: that's right, I've been exploring instructables again and have turned my hand to screen printing. Toying around with the branding for evieandmabel. I took lots of pics, but of course, have left my camera at the folks' house, so they will be up soon. It was kinda fun too!

Op-shopping and marketing: now if you know me at all, you will know how integral this is to my life! Lots of records coming home with me at the moment, of note: Sea Shanties and Hammond-a-go-go. I saw a fantastic bar today, black vinyl on the front, fluro light under neath to light up the glasses on the mirrored shelf. Alas, my soon-to-be-housemate was uncontactable, so approval could not be sought. Luckily, I found this little fellow to cheer me up.

For the fantastic price of $1.oo!!! And of course I had to go and buy a packet of Kingstons to pop into him. SO adorable.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Redscale Film.. More DIY photography

Those who either follow this blog or know me, know that I have had some spare time on my hands of late. It is also likely that you know I have been playing around on the web looking for cool things to do with my cameras.

It was on a blog where someone had posted instructions for redscale film. I have seen it before on the Lomography website, which you can check out here in your own time. When you venture across their shop, you will find redscale film, at quite an expensive price!!!

In my surfing of the web I also found a few other fun facts:

ff #1: PhotoColor in Heidelberg has a "Film Amnesty" where film processing, printing and scanning is uber-cheap till the end of July.

ff #2: South Preston Safeway has 4-pack rolls of Fuji Film for $5.40

ff #3 flickr is an awesome source of ideas to steal, errr, to take inspiration from when you are stuck for ideas of what you should go out and shoot.

So I have stocked up on film, have scoured flickr for some cool redscale inspiration, and set about making some film.

I used these instructions. I have neither a darkbag or a darkroom, but found that a room with the curtains drawn, and respooling under 2 doonas sufficed. And there is only one step where you need to be in complete darkness, and it's really quite easy.

So I made three rolls of redscale, sacrificing one for the initial spool to use, as per the instructions. I went into the city and shot off two rolls in my lomo and loaded one into my old SLR. 

I have been waiting oh so patiently to get the film back, and I did today (excluding the one which they accidentally gave to someone else, but they are subsequently doing for free and posting to me). I am absolutely going to make at least 4 more rolls of this and get out there again!! I am SO thrilled with the results!

And of course, the brag shots. Please, please, please respect that my photography is my art and do not steal and/or reproduce these photos. Thanks!

Hope you give it a try!!!

An itchy-bomb tree with awesome sky background.

Powerlines and cool clouds.

Flinders Street Station around dusk.

Federation Square lights around dusk.

For the photonerds:
The Fed Sq and Flinders st are both exposed at 400 speed, as per the film. They are really underexposed, which is why the reds have come out so deeply. The others were exposed at 200 speed though the film was 400, letting in a bit more light, and changing the tones to softer reds and oranges, but giving more detail.

Anyone keen to come out shooting, let me know, we can make some redscale and go nuts!! Especially before the end of the month so it's cheap to develop!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Oh so succulent...

My grandparents used to have an old chookshed, that was covered, every surface in plants, many of them succulents, all of them planted in anything and everything. Old jam tins, broken mugs, teapots and even old bottles.

I have been collecting cuttings (or pullings-offings) of succulents over the last little while and creating little portable gardens as I live between a number of houses...

Incidentally, the "I Love Grandma" mug, on the right, is one that I bought my Grandma, The Chief* (my grandpa got an "I love Grandpa" one) when I was about 8. I remember going into Myer in the city and on the rooftop they had this Christmas Wonderland. They had a shop for kids, where you entered through a kid-sized door and no adults could go in. I chose these ones especially for my grandparents. I haven't ever seen them anywhere since. This actual one was found at an op shop about 3 weeks ago. I took this one over to The Chief yesterday as a gift, and she was drinking her cup of tea out of the 'Grandpa' one as hers broke years ago and she no longer has it! Pretty cool I reckon!

They look cute.

* My grandma is known as The Chief. Always has been. In my memory, that is the only thing I have called her. And everyone else. Even my grandpa! So you know. The Chief rocks.

DIY Macro Shenanigans!

So in my endless free time (and it's oh so carefree!) I have been exploring instructables. I heart instructables. I have also rediscovered a bunch of old cameras. I have also bought a bunch of old op shop cameras for dismantling/Macgyvering purposes.

[I love the look of 'hacked' things. Lots of hot glue, duct tape and other similar attaching methods make me happy. Such the sense of achievement in making your own cool stuff!!]

I found an instructable for a macro lens which is nicely called "Ghetto Macro". Please understand that I felt it appropriate to substitute the RedBull can for a V can. RedBull gives me palpitations. And not in that happy way.

As you can see, the examples of the resulting photos on the website look fabulous. So I though, hey, I could do that! It took a good hour or so, but lets see what happened....

Using the V can, sharp scissors and a 'hacked' lens of an op shop camera I bought for 50c, I started to assemble my lens. I'm not going to give instructions. Go to instructables, it's someone else's baby!

I used my dad's soldering iron to melt through the camera body cover. Rolled some black cover paper for inside the can, and slid it on in there.

Note to self: talking on the phone while trying to use a very sharp knife to remove the semi melted edges of the camera body cover was not a good idea. Hot glue gunning the CBC and the can together. And hot glue gunning the inside of the lens cover. (which is then attached to the end of the black cover paper tube inside the can.

The finished product. The absolute beauty of this new lens is that my film SLR (I know, I am *so* oldschool, and my DSLR are compatible, so it is interchangeable!
I think you'll agree it looks pretty cool, and I can't wait to take this camera out with this lens attached...

I guess the only problem is...


and so, bearing the scars of my Macgvering (yes. it really is a verb. like versing.) and still without a macro lens, I have learned some good lessons, and am still keeping my eyes peeled for a different lens to use at the end, that might work just as well..

It also led to another idea.. Kaleido-vision. I bought a kaleidoscope, and am currently developing a way to attache it as a lens to my camera... Photos will come. You know they will!!!