Thursday, April 28, 2011

Diggin' Dispatchwork

German Artist, Jan Vormann has taken his childhood hobbie and turned it into a work of art.  By filling in gaps and holes in walls, public buildings and private houses using plastic bricks (Lego), he's slowly rebuilding damaged structures from World War II for his Berlin series of 'Dispatchwork'.

The series, sees artists around the world doing lego repairs in their cities, hometowns and private houses. 

The original character of the old building's, are transformed into something new, with the modern lego bricks literally patching up a repair, in a quick jiffy.

Artists in Sydney are even jumping on the bandwagon!

Grab your old Lego pieces and your tool man belt and play handyman for the day. 

Scoot to it!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Let's hear it for the boys!

I had such a nostalgic few days over the weekend – doing and seeing things that reminded me of being young at heart again.

During our holiday at the Gold Coast we drove past the neighbourhood my Great Grandma used to live in, and I was reminded of the house that we used to visit as youngsters, rollerblading around the block, having snail-races in the garden and crossing the bridge to go shopping in Surfer’s Paradise, with our Velcro wallets filled with Dollar mite account savings. It was a lovely few days spent re-living old memories.

When we got home I stepped back into the shoes of what it felt like to be a six year old again, as my nephews came to stay. Oskar and Archie slept over, and we spent the evening playing our old board games that my sisters and I grew up with. We rolled the dice in Snakes & Ladders, and wacked the cards in Monster Snap, with a side of pizza and a slight squeel or two.

After an early night, we then woke to a game of play dough, where we sat downstairs on our old chairs and table, and rolled out pink and green to make cookies, houses and pizza. While kneading the dough, I was reminded of the bright blue play dough mum used to make on the stove, which she had to add extra salt to so we wouldn’t feel tempted to eat the make believe pizza dough we dreamt up.

We had a real hoot making things, and then as I visited my sister that afternoon, I was contemplating a rather expensive Tuesday afternoon purchase of a bicycle. My sister, Sarah has a really cool vintage set of wheels, and I’d love to have a bike with a basket that I could ride to the shops and to visit people instead of driving everywhere.

So, I hit the street to test our her vintage Townie and as the breeze blew through my hair, I felt like I was 9 again, riding my bike up the street with the gang, streamers flapping around my wrists, beads clinking on my wheels and ringing my bell, like it was the good ol’ 90’s again. Wrap that bike up to go, I want this carefree feeling every day.

*I think the play-dough pizza I made was the best creation of the day!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Happy Easter. Eggs for all!

I write this post, as I munch on the ears of a Lindt Dark Chocolate Bunny.  I have an excuse though - it's nearly Easter and everyone at work is very generous.  It is only 9 o'clock  in the morning though, but that is one of the many things I enjoy about this lovely Easter break - you can eat chocolate at 7 o'clock in the morning and blame it on the celebration of the Easter Bunny without looking like a sad, chocaholic. (Which I am). 

We took over Oskar, Archie and Henry's Easter gifts yesterday, and straight away they popped the carton's and started unwrapping the eggcellent delights.  Celebrations were all 'round!

As another celebration of this holiday (and the many Public Holidays) Jake and I are off on a little break to the Gold Coast over the weekend.  Not only are we going to bring in the Easter festivities, we will also be celebrating our 5 year anniversary!

We're very excited to spend the weekend relaxing on the coast, as we (or mostly, I) shop up a storm, drink many chai lattes and drive around looking at all the spectacular scenery on the way home. 

Happy Easter everyone, and have a safe and happy weekend.  Crack those bunnies ears, and munch all weekend!

No More Home Births?

While in my last semester at University, I wrote an article on Home Births.  Anna Rummey kindly gave up some of her time to answer a few questions I had on the topic, and I put together a piece for my final assignment on feature writing. 

So here is the link, please let me know your thoughts. I've also included the story below.

Would you ever decide to have a Home Birth?
Do you think they are unsafe?
Or, do you sit on the fence?

No More Home Births?

While private practice midwives have been covered by government-supported professional indemnity insurance since June last year, homebirth services remain uninsured.

A midwife cannot be registered unless she has insurance under the draft Health Practitioner Regulation National Law. This state of affairs pains Sydney couple Anna and Chris Rummey, whose midwife guided the delivery of their baby Rosemary in their own home.

“The choice that women and their partners have for how they bring their child into the world is no longer available to them,” Ms Rummey said.

“If a healthy woman can choose to have abdominal surgery to birth her child, why can’t she choose to have a safe, attended natural birth in her own home?”

Rummey said the days leading up to Rosemary’s birth included regular antenatal care appointments with their midwife in their own home, calls to query any cramps or movement she was experiencing and relaxing dinners with friends to celebrate the near arrival of baby Rosemary.

On the day Rosemary was born, Anna and her husband visited their favourite cafe and, while inside, made the call to their midwife to let her know Anna’s labour was beginning. Hours later their midwife had arrived and facilitated an experience described by Ms Rummey as “a blessing that she let us labour by ourselves for as long as we needed, calling her with updates”.

After checking the baby’s heart rate and focusing on Ms Rummey, their midwife soothed her and guided the expectant mother through the contractions that finally brought Rosemary into her arms in a birth she says was “as close to mother nature as you could be”.

Having had such a positive experience with their midwife-assisted home birth, the Rummeys are concerned government restrictions on homebirths are taking away this option for others.

“Hospital births may be right for some people and that’s their choice, but this is ours,” they said.

“I wanted to have a natural birth and for me the best possible chance of doing that was at home, If that couldn’t happen and I had to go to the hospital for any intervention, then at least I knew it was really because I had to, not just because I was bullied into it.”

Homebirth Australia secretary Justine Caines said the fact private midwives are not covered by the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme is taking the choice of having a midwife-assisted home birth away from couples like the Rummeys.

“Women who choose homebirth are the only health consumers without the protection of indemnity insurance

“Homebirth midwives have consistently been denied premium support. As a developed country Australia is out of step with other nations such as Canada, UK, New Zealand and The Netherlands, which offer public funded homebirth.”

The midwifery philosophy of JCU, according to lecturer for the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Nutrition Adele Baldwin, is to support women with their individual choice of type of maternity care.

“We recognise pregnancy as a wellness state,” said Ms Baldwin.

“Our philosophy is to support the woman to birth safely in whichever environment she chooses, rather than dictate the environment based on subjective data.

“Our courses prepare midwives to provide midwifery care across the continuum in any setting including home, community and hospital.”

* For more information, visit

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Marc Johns appreciates a good Mo

Canadian artist, Marc Johns does bloody marvellous prints recognising the extreme appealing qualities of nothing other than a fine moustache.   He also puts pen to paper and creates other fabulous works of art, so check that bad boy out here.

I however, love his original mo' prints.  Why are moustaches so funny? Why do I love them so much? These questions, I cannot answer, and I think not even a trained professional in that area could find the reason behind my moustache love, but beards are just funny, and Marc Johns does funny well.

So mo' along and bedazzle your eyes with these prints that pack a punch of dry, hilarious humour.

Question to you though, Marc - Why would a moustache run away? What a devilish mo.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Lovin' Lovisa

Lovisa is a newish chain of jewellery stores to hit Aus, and I must admit I dig it. 

When they first came to Townsville last year, I loved how they had one off pieces that just didn't seem so, 'Diva'.   They were accessories that mimicked the likes of Samantha Wills, Erin Wasson and of course House of Harlow.  The pieces just seemed THAT much cooler than the run-of-the-mill pieces that Diva sometimes has to offer, and I liked that about that sassy girl, Lovisa.

I remember picking up a ring while in there browsing and thinking, this looks like a dead ringer for Nicole Richie's House of Harlow, and while scanning their website today, seems like I was dead on.

I am a huge fan of Low Luv by Erin Wasson, and have a few pieces from the collection, but I have nothing by Miss Richie.  

Question - Would you usually buy the real designer piece, or the chain store knock-off, whether they be clothes, jewels or bags?

I personally would prefer to buy the real deal, I believe in quality over quantity, and if I love it THAT much, I'd prefer to support the designer and, usually with jewellery cheaper versions tend to tarnish, but sometimes it's just out of reach (Mulberry Alexa, I'm speaking about you and your out of my budget $1800 price tag*) I would buy a cheaper version. Thoughts?

The knock-off version in Lovisa

The real, House of Harlow piece

*Fake handbags really annoy me

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

In, Italia!!

We arrived at our final destination on the 6th February.

Bonjourno, Italy!

We were greeted at the airport by olive-skin-toned men wearing white suits with scarves and Armani shades as the many Italian women toted leather bags on their equally toned arms. It was picturesque.

As we were whisked through the bustling streets of Rome we passed mopeds, fairy-light-lit pizzerias and red chequered tablecloth’s adorning every inch of the busy streets.

We arrived at our motel and after unpacking, we headed on downstairs for our first taste of Italian cuisine – and it wasn’t too shabby at all, in fact, it was delicious. A pesto spaghetti with sun dried tomatoes and copious amounts of olive oil, mmm.

We wandered around the streets the first day, and lazed around eating pizza, it was a perfect start to the last leg of our tour, where we were incredibly tired from our hefty few weeks of constant travelling.

We did get a surprise though when Shark our best friend literally jumped out at our first Contiki meeting to surprise us with her company on the 2 week journey! There were tears, screaming and much hugging when she arrived.

So then there were three.

We headed off on our first day to Sorrento, where we stopped at Pompeii, wandered around the cold streets, taking snaps of the preserved ruins, and then scoffing down pasta, bread and wine for lunch before we were on the road again travelling.

After winding around the cliffs of Naples, where the ocean lapped up against the rocks, and houses were highly strung off the edges we arrived in our hotel and had a pizza night with buffalo mozzarella the size of tennis balls, and bruschetta, pizza, salad and gelato before we headed home with satisfied bellies.

Our next destination was Capri, where we toured around the exotic Island, buzzing through the narrow streets, holding our breaths as mini trucks passed us by. We walked through the villages, trying the local limonchello shots and chocolate.

We dined on pizza and wine and shopped in the local stores as we snapped photos of the locals, walking hand in hand and gossiping.

It was a perfect start to the trip, as we headed back to Sorrento on the boat, and tried nutella gelato.

Our next stop was Florence. We started the day with wine tasting in the Chianti Region, where we toured the vineyard, tested the different wines, and felt tipsy as we scoffed down biscotti dripped in olive oil. We got photos of the olives, and looked in awe at the amazing views of the Tuscany hillside.

Our dinner that night was my favourite, we wandered into town into this beautiful little family restaurant where an old man with whispy hair slicked down with oil, served us mushroom pasta, fruit slice for dessert and espresso shots afterwards. The conversations with my new found friends were charming, and as we twirled the pasta on our forks we couldn’t believe how wonderful our trip had been so far.

Afterwards, we went to a Karaoke bar and after one too many vodkas, we were up on stage singing, “Men at Work – Land Down Under”, and it was a hit.

Our next few days in Florence were spent touring the city, viewing buildings where many great artists lived, and eating pizza with chunks of mozzarella, seafood pasta, bread dripped in olive oil, and viewing the wonderful sites of Florence.

Michelangelo’s David made me sit back in awe, as we circled the perfect statue, staring at the delicate features on his face to the perfectly carved veins on his large hands – it was absolutely breathtaking, and one of my favourite sites of the entire trip. We partied that night at a Space Disco, where we danced in booths, and carried on without a care in the world.

The next day we headed to La Spezia to view the Leaning Tower of Pisa. It was pouring down rain, so we bought souvenir umbrellas and got the traditional tourist photos holding up the monumental tower, there were many laughs had.

We toured the Cinque Terre Islands, ate foccacia where it was first baked and sat in quaint cafes, laughing with friends as we wined and dined all around Italy. The best hot chocolate was had in Monterosso, and Nutella and coconut gelato was tasted in Portovenere as we jumped in photos laughing, and shared our umbrellas in the rain.

For dinner we dined on Pesto, and our waiter melted the hearts of all the girls on the tour.

We were then on to Milan, where we saw the Duomo Cathedral, The Gallery Vittoria Shopping Arcade and the La Scala Opera House. We wandered around the elegant shops and had gnocchi for lunch. It was a relaxing day before our romantic adventure that was Valentines Day in Venice, where we stopped off in Verona beforehand to visit Juliet’s Balcony.

It was a day of love, as we shopped and ate crepes, posted postcards to our loved ones, and ended the day with a beautiful dinner with my favourites in Venice, dining on seafood pasta, red wine, olives and crumbed vegetables.

As we toured around Venice on boat, we stopped into glass stores and bought jewellery, fed pigeons in St Marks Square, bought masks, and ate foccacia and gelato in the streets.

We visited a lace factory, and a glass blowing demonstration, and then journeyed through the canals in Gondola’s with drinks in our hands.

We ate more gnocchi, and stopped into a café for a quick cup of tea, before our dinner on the canals which included grilled vegetables, cheese platters, pasta, potatoes and red wine, which made us all quite tipsy. Another perfect day.

It was nearing the end of our final journey, as we headed back to Rome, stopping in at food service stations, buying nutella cups and cheesy pizza slices.

We arrived back in Rome and went for a walking tour, where we saw churches, the Piazza Venezia, the Spanish Steps and The Pantheon.

We wandered through the cobbled streets and could hear the water crashing from the Trevi Fountain, and as we peeked around the corner, it was just like in the movies – people standing back, throwing coins, eating gelato and taking photographs.

I tasted Boysenberry and Panacotta gelato, and we headed home for dinner.

Our next few days in Rome were spent exploring the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, and getting left behind from our group as we raced to get to the Vatican in time for our next tour. We gazed at the beautiful structures, and the famous Sistine Chapel and we at ate dinner at Pappa Rex’s where we had a live opera singer as we dined on Italian Cuisine.

We drank cocktails at night, and spent hours at the Trevi Fountain eating cups of gelato as we soaked up the beautiful winter weather, and the good company of our lovely new friends. We wandered the streets of Rome all afternoon and laughed, while shopping in souvenir stores and people watching at the Spanish Steps.

Italy was a fantastic holiday, as we drank bottles of wine, spoonfuls of pasta, and danced all night in the fantastic nightlife. I loved every minute of my Italian Adventure, and as Popcorn, Shark and I toured the countryside with our new beautiful friends and made memories that will never be forgotten as we pretended we were extras in, “Under the Tuscan Sun”.

Oh, Italy you will forever remain in my memory, just as our hands were forever in a bread basket and the soft texture of gnocchi was on my fork.

C is for Cosmetics

I think everybody here is aware of my online shopping 'problem' - let's just call it what it is. 
I have however moved on from homewares, accessories and craft purchasing to the much bigger and better world wide web of cosmetics.

I will admit that I used to have a minor, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder to using the one product, and that was Revlon.  Growing up with one chemist in town that stocked, Australis, Coral Colours and Revlon we were fairly limited, and I would only like to spend the stingy $20 on all the necessary prods for my face.  This usually included a glitter eyeliner, too-orange-for-my-complexion foundation, sparkly lipgloss and a cheap gluggy mascara - Ew, ew, ew. 

Revlon has sustained me though over the many years of make up applying.  I love their foundation, it's smooth and just matte enough not to show off an oily T-zone. I love, Revlon prods, and always will. 

The dilemma with my online shopping addiction was however, that I wanted to branch out like a newly sprouted tree and start purchasing other prods to feed my addiction.  I always had a problem with using other products, because I didn't think you could mix a Revlon foundation with a Mac mascara and a Benefit bronzer - c-razy, I know. 

Thanks to my fast fingers and my burnt out card though, I am now sampling the whole shiz. 

I am limited to a few favourite brands though, so here they are.  These are my sworn my beauty products that I am now limited to, and my favourite picks from each brand that are in my cosmetic case (which has exploded in the last few weeks).

These are the fab four which I love, and here is a product from each brand which I will love indefinitely.

1. Revlon
2. Benefit
3. Mac
4. Kit Cosmetics

Benefit Brows-a-go-go
I love a good 'brow, and this little compact kit is fabulous - it has everything you need from wax, filler and highlighters to make your eyes pop!

Kit Cosmetics Duo Cheek and Lip Creme
This is not only cute and compact, but the orange stain is peachy keen for your cheeks as is the pretty pink.  Each stain can be used on lips aswell, so pucker up, bad girl this one is good to go.

Mac lipstick in Chilli
This lipstick is heaven.  The red sweeps across with a burnt orange hue, and is a perfect colour for when you don't want that 'bright' red, but still want to have that red punch.

Revlon Colorstay Liquid Liner in Blackest Black
This liquid liner is the best I've ever used.  It sweeps on easily, and lasts for donkey's years. I've only ever had two bottles and I use this bad boy all the time.

* I have copius amounts of all 4 of these brands, but I'm a little embarrassed to include them all in this post, because it would be much longer than needed, just as Mariah Carey's 'Glitter' was.
** Bird I know you love, 'Glitter'.

Dear, Blank. You are my new favourite thing

Dear Creative Genius who put paper to pen and created these prints,

Firstly, you owe me oooodles of money for all the prints I have just purchased, and secondly, I want to give you a big pat on the back.  These prints are hilarious, and they combine three of my favourite things 1) letterpress, 2) prints; and 3) ridiculous sentences.

You're ace, and these bad boys are so cool. I can't wait to receive mine in the mail.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

We had a a Garage

Some would say it was a "Garage Sale", I however, would say it was a day of chillin' on chairs, sipping on cappucino and regretting the sale of purchases, just as you say, "wrap it up to go!".  

My sisters, our mum and I all kitted our things together - some old, some new but definitely nothing borrowed but some things blue – and we wrapped things up to go to help my sister sell household items to prepare her for the move to the new house that they’ve just built. Hurrah!

I must say, we were pretty excited for the big G-sale. Soph put it in the paper, I had spent all week laminating signs (that were never put to use). 

Sarah made pumpkin scones, whipped up some cream and rhubarb jam, while mum bought tiny muffins along and I made choc and white chip biscuits.  It was almost like a bake-off and a garage sale all mixed into one.

We lounged around with our guests (mostly our friends who came to drop in) and sipped on a fresh drop from my sister Sarah’s new Kitchenaid coffee machine. I felt like we were at Gloria's house - Jean of course.

It was a lovely affair. Bird dropped in for a visit, the kids ran a-muck, and we laughed all morning at some of the items we had for offer, and the very fashionable bum bag that our mum was rocking to hold all of her change. I kid you not, a fellow garage-sale-goer rocked in with a bum bag slung around his hips to hold his thrifting money – what a pro, he also reffered to us all as, "Little Lady", and "Mam". 

It was quite the H-ilarious morning actually, we had all sorts of people roll in – people driving by at 6:59 to see if we had opened the doors yet, people walking up the drive way and then stopping half way and turning back around – he was my favourite ha perhaps he was looking for something a little less 'garage'- and kids who go garage sale hopping on the weekends, rating the items and thrifting for good times sake – The list goes on.

It was such a hoot, and I made over $100 on my loot! Woohoo for garage sales, peeps.

*I spent the money I earnt on new junk to put in my room, so it defeats the purpose, of course.

** I also ate way too many cookies and creamed up scones.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Boom! It's Bunting!

I have always been a fan of fabulous bunting.  Whether it be strung up in trees for a picnic, adorned over curtains in a bedroom or strung up to sing in a Happy Birthday at a party - it's all such a fabulous affair, when bunting is involved. 

I wanted to try my hand at sewing up a set of bunting myself, so I stocked up on floral patterns that were mismatched, yet still co-ordinated, and I set out with my Janome to string up some flags, lifeguard style ha.

I didn't actually use a pattern for these bad boys, I simply just cut out a triangle template on a piece of tracing paper that was the required size for the flags I wanted, and then I pinned this to the fabric and cut out the desired pieces. 

I eventually had about 36 different triangles cut out in material, which made 18 flags. 

After I cut out the triangles I sewed them together with right sides facing, and then folded out the triangles and ironed them flat.  I did have to use a chopstick to poke out bottom point of the triangle though - I shake my fists at those unruly triangle points!

After all the lovely flags were made I layed them out onto some cotton binding and sewed them in, by folding the binding in half lengthways to cover the tops of the flags. It was easy peasy.

I think they look pretty ace. 

Who has bunting? and what do you use it for? birthday parties, picnics or even sectioning off the shallow end at the swimming pool?

*Lots of tea was consumed while making these flags
** and also copius amounts of carrot cake