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gossip lobster

July 21, 2010

The cold weather has forced all my creative pursuits into hibernation. My most recent attempts are a few Gocco prints of this lobster drawing that I found while trawling Creative Commons. (I have a slightly bizarre obsession with close-up life drawings of animals and insects that look like they belong in a nineteenth century biology text). I added the “xoxo” and dubbed her Gossip Lobster.

I thought it might make some interesting stationery, so I’m going to print on some matching cards and envelopes (eventually). I love the texture and handmade feel of Gocco prints, but I’m still working on getting sharp, clean images.

be still my addled brain

March 17, 2010
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In other news I am back at university after a year-long break. A brief summary of the past twelve months: an unbearably dull office job; adventures in Spain, Morocco and Egypt; drinking beer, playing board games and being a Gleek; Etsy addiction, television and unemployment benefits. Now I’m studying a Master of Information Management in order to become a real-life, pencil-skirted, plaid-wearing, cat-eye-bespectacled, bun-sporting librarian.

The cloud is that much of my free time and energy must now be devoted to studying. The sparkly silvery lining is that I have a wonderful excuse to wear cute things like this:

I found this and more bookish paraphernalia in an awesome esty store called bookity.

#chillinwithmyroyalposse

March 16, 2010
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I love this painting.

It is called La Familia de Felipe IV, or Las Meninas, and was painted by a famous Spanish señor by the name of Velázquez. It’s from the Baroque period, apparently, but don’t ask me anything else as I am a philistine when it comes to art. I stumbled across Las Meninas while wandering in overwhelmed awe through the Museo del Prado in Madrid on an autumn afternoon. (Can one really “stumble across” a world famous work of seventeenth century art?). Even as someone who doesn’t know her impressionist from her surrealists, I was enchanted by the gorgeous quirkiness (yes, that is a technical term) of this painting. I bought a print and lovingly carried it with me for three months through three countries.

Now, La Infanta Margarita chills with her royal posse and eyes me cheekily from inside an Ikea frame.

knitting at a rate of knots

February 23, 2010

I’ve got the knits.

Which is quite odd, considering that the weather here is consistently in the mid-thirties.

I found a bumper pack of lovely chunky yarn in a delicious green colour (on sale for $10, basement bargain!!). I’ve had a few false starts with scarves in the past; I am an unabashed Pottergeek, and even my attempt at a Gryffindor scarf fell to the wayside after a few days. But this time I’ve got such a serious case of the knits, that at this rate I’ll be finished inside of a week. My knitting is rather unskilled and a little wonky in places, but *shrug*. I can’t wait for the weather to turn to I can catwalk it about town. If there’s enough leftover yarn, I might try making a matching hat.

My camera gave up the ghost last week, which is unfortunate, as I’ve just become familiar with all of its features and idiosyncrasies. Anyway, I managed to weedle some decent photos out of my mother’s camera:

You might notice a glimpse of my skirt in the middle-right picture – sort of made by me, with a generous amount of assistance from (and finished by) my mother. She also fixes my knitting when it goes awry! You can see her amazing craftwork here.

gimme gocco

February 23, 2010

The Museum of Me has made an exciting new acquisition: a Print Gocco machine.

For the unenlightened – the Print Gocco is a nifty Japanese invention; essentially a compact table-top printing machine. Apparently around one third of all Japanese households own a Print Gocco, but they’ve only recently become popular outside Japan. Sadly, due to declining sales, production of the Print Gocco has been discontinued. I can’t believe I hadn’t heard about these little beauties until now! Trust me to be the last to hop onto a worthwhile bandwagon. I managed to finagle a machine and some supplies on Etsy.

Being a rank amateur in the field of Gocco printing, I won’t even attempt to give a tutorial on the subject. In brief: once you create your artwork (no larger than B5 size), you transfer it onto a screen. Part of the Gocco system is a housing for a couple of old-school flash bulbs, that are used to transfer your artwork to a mesh screen through the process of exposure. Once this is complete, you use RISO inks (they are the consistency of acrylic paint and come in squeezy tubes) to “ink up” the screen. Finally, you use the Gocco as a printing press, by placing paper/card/fabric (you need special fabric inks for this) inside the machine and applying pressure. Hey presto, you have a print! Ergh, not the best explanation! There are many useful blogs, websites and tutorials to be googled in internetland if you are interested. People make some truly gorgeous things using the Gocco; Save Gocco showcases some lovely work.

My first attempt at using the Gocco proved to be educational, although the finished product was a bit dodgy. I found this drawing of a boy teaching a pig to jump over a piece of string in the Wikimedia Commons. I used Photoshop to resize it and sharpen the image. It’s quite intricate though, so probably a bit ambitious for a first try! Here is the process in pictures:

And the finished product (with more than a few imperfections but possessing a wonky, rustic sort of charm):

My next Gocco endeavour will be making bookplates for my humble home library. I’ve ordered a whole bunch of library cards and pockets (remember, back in the day before barcodes and electronic circulation systems? When you borrowed a book, your name and the date would be written on a card that sat in a little pocket, stuck inside the front cover of the book). They’re very cute and suitably bookish. All I need now is a design…

sushi go go

February 15, 2010

i haven’t posted anything for a while so i though i’d better. not that i have a loyal following waiting for my next update with bated breath…

in celebration of valentine’s day, i made The Boyf’s favourite food – sushi. we have a mad contraption called a sushezi that takes all the heartache out of making sushi. so, technically i cheated, but don’t hold it against me because the sushi turned out beautifully. (and technically, the pictures below aren’t of the sushi i made for v-day, but of a trial run a couple of weeks ago. still.) i also made a japanese style prawn salad for starters.

we cracked open a couple of fortune cookies too, in celebration of chinese new year (yet another technicality – fortune cookies are supposedly of japanese origin).

for my next round of sushi making i’m currently on the lookout for salmon roe (caviar). it has this lovely orangey golden hue that looks incredible, though i have no idea what it tastes like.

and if i can get my hands on some sake, i’ll be in business.

you can’t make friends with salad, but it doesn’t hurt to try

January 18, 2010
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i cooked this delicious pumpkin and chickpea salad on a sweltering saturday afternoon. it was worth the extra heat emanating from the oven and the laborious task of deseeding the pumpkin. so tasty, especially after a couple of hours in the fridge.

here are some pictures of my cooking process and finished product:

i found the recipe on this website, an awesome resource if you’re too poor or cheap to buy recipe books. the original recipe is here.

where does one find dessert figs? unfortunately, i couldn’t find any at my local supermarket, so my salad went without.