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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

All Enrolled

So today I finally made it up to RMIT and I am now all sorted for my enrollment in Diploma in Arts: Studio Textiles and Design. My electives for first semester are Knitting and Tapestry, and second semester will be Weaving and Printing.

It's a rather full on course - I start on the 11th Feb, less than two weeks away. I get to do fun courses like colour theory, Drawing, Design Principles and Elements, Fibre, yarns and fabrics, and Photography.

Now I just need to chase up some arty materials so I'll be ready to go!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Legend says it killed Socrates...

I'm talking about hemlock, of course...

This one is addictive, but not poisonous...

And I blame BrooklynTweed! Ever since he finished his gorgeous chunky Hemlock Ring Doily, it has been begging me to give it a go.
Cast on with Paton's Shadow tweed - I love how organic the colours are, and the ripples caused by the feather and fan. And the pattern is great too - loving the fact that there is only one pattern row in every five. Mindless knitting for four rows is all so much fun!
And best of all - this is knit from stash yarn I picked up at the Wangaratta Woollen Mills last April. So far I am into my third ball.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

The demon barber or Fleet Street - Sweeney Todd: a quick review


Johnny Depp appears to have come full circle - he first rose to stardom as Edward Scissorhands, a character incomplete because of razor-like appendages on the end of his arms instead of hands, and now portrays a man who feels incomplete without a razor in his hands.

As with most Tim Burton creations, this film is set in a world that is obviously not our own, but close enough to it you feel a little uncomfortable laughing at the black humourous content within.

This film you can imagine a Scissorhands who has grown up in an unkind and violent environment. The innocence has all but disappeared, and you are left with an experienced, jaded character intent on revenge.

As usual, Depp throws himself into the role - creating Sweeney Todd into a homicidal psychopath feeling such pain you could nearly empathise with him. As with previous roles, the hair, makeup and false teeth are there, but it is the acting and singing that really create the character.

Mrs Lovett is a role made for Helena Bonham Carter - you could not imagine another in the role. As the film progresses it is made clear that Lovett is just as villainous as Todd - however, her betrayal consists, not of taking the lives of strangers, but of a deceit based upon her envy and desire. If possible, she is a character flawed even more than Todd.

The horror and gore content is theatrical - the blood is a tad bit too bright a red, and behaves as an extra character within the film; nowhere near as spine chilling as the Judge (Alan Rickman). The ends of the film are poetically justified, but Rickman convinces you that none deserved their unhappy ending as much as the Judge. This is a character who is guaranteed to give you more nightmares that the blood-letting barber.

Of course, I cannot go without mentioning the cameo by Borat, sorry Sasha Baron Cohen. Playing a larger than life caricature, this is possibly the most serious acting job he has completed. I have previously not been a fan of his work, however, it again was the perfect marriage of actor to role.

I definitely recommend that you check this film out, however, if you are a tad bit sensitive perhaps try to see it in the daylight hours. For information on the plot check out the official movie site, or the wikipedia entry.

PS: keep your eyes open for Anthony Stewart Head, aka Rupert Giles from Buffy, who makes a very brief appearance!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Guess what this is....

Right about now your probably thinking this is another two needle / february baby cardy knit out of debbie bliss cashmerino...
and you would almost be right....
ipod included for scale -

This is knit out of cashmerino superchunky on 7mm needles. Turns out to be the perfect lacy 3/4 sleeve cropped cardy for moi!
Made exactly to the pattern in the knitters almanac - except for a couple of short rows around the back of the neck.
Turn in tomorrow when I show you some more chunky knitting ala brooklyntweed...

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Funky links

These are courtesy of the adorable Miss Em (The Man's sister, freeform crocheter and seamstress extraordinaire*)

Links so good I had to share!

------------------

First up, a cabled goat!

http://www.cyn.ca/knit/2008/01/06/happiness-is-a-cabled-goat/

This site makes me very happy:

http://www.antiquepatternlibrary.org/completelist.htm

It's an archive of scanned antique pattern books, for knitting, crochet, tatting, embroidery and the rest.

And finally, Net Grannies!

http://www.netgranny.ch/sockenshop/This site cracks me up (once I clicked the translate button in the top right corner - it's in German). You go online and select a granny to make socks for you. Brilliant!

*Yes, the fact that The Man has a yarnivore in his family means he understands my addictions somewhat better than the average male :)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Harvest!

Thank goodness for housemates! I was able to harvest these colourful gems because my housemate made sure my small garden didn't get too thirsty during the reign of 40+ degree days with no rain...
This is the third harvest off my tomato plants - the first harvest was picked the day before The Man and I flew to Thailand (one grape and one sugarless yellow - you wouldn't believe how proud I was of them) and the housemate used the second harvest in a spag-bol-from-scratch.
These tomatoes are teeny tiny - but pack a big punch in flavour. These are cherry, grape, sweetbite and sugarless yellows - small fruit that is great to nibble on during the day. I also have some Moneymakers and Black Russians - however these are still ripening on the vine.
The garden appears to have exploded during the three weeks we were away. The capsicums and chillies have fruit on them, as do my cucumber(?) plants (these were a gift from The Man's dad, and look like little Heinz gherkins) and there are two red hunchback looking things on my strawberry bush. The beans are still going crazy, and the eggplants have flowers on them, and the pumpkin runner has taken off (I think it may be attempting a half marathon, or at least a cross country...)
Post-script: Yes, it is 3am and I can't sleep. During yesterday's tyre saga, I rather foolishly spent too much time in the sun wearing a tank top sans sunscreen. I now glow in the dark red across my neck and shoulders. Silly really - it was at least 10 degrees cooler here than we had in Thailand (where I didn't get burnt sunscreen or no) so I didn't think about it. Shows just how bad a hole in the ozone layer and the sun directly over head can be. Oh well, at least blogger is letting me post pictures now... And in case you're wondering- I have an appointment to enrol in my course next Tuesday. Allaz wal!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

a two flat tuesday...

There is nothing like real life to remind you that you are no longer on holiday!

While I was away, I received the official offer for the Studio Textile and Design Course. Enrolment day on the letter was listed as today....

So this morning I jumped in my car, backed out of the drive, got halfway round the round-a-bout....

...and had a sneezing fit...

BUMP BUMP! I ended up driving over the gutter....

I heard a funny noise coming from outside the car, so I pulled over.

Got out of the car.... the back passenger side tyre was completely flat, and the front passenger side tyre was slowly joining it...

First of all, I called for help. The man said he was on the way...

Secondly, I called up RMIT - I spoke to a girl in the enrolments information office who made helpful comments like "oh... your enrolment session is 11-1, which is now. No one will be in their office to take your call...'' and ''...you really need to go to your enrolment session cos otherwise they will think you're not interested and give your place to someone else...'' After finally convincing this bright spark to put me through to someone because I was sure they had voicemail, she then hung up on me....

So I found a direct number for the textiles school... which was a lot more helpful :)

The Man sorted things out with the car for me... (put the spare on, take the flat to be fixed, put the new tyre on, now need to get spare repaired...) ....and I have spent the rest of the day doing laundry from our trip and pottering in the garden.

Ahh... yes... real life :P

Monday, January 21, 2008

ug

home

puppy

zzzzzzzzzz

Sunday, January 20, 2008

farang* only one day more...

The man and I have spent the last couple of days in Bangkok, and have now checked out of our hotel and will be heading to the airport soon to fly home.

We stayed in the heart of 'Siam' and visited the Royal Palace, Emerald Buddha, and the giant Reclining Buddha. We also tested our bargaining skills at Chutachuk Market...

I managed to grab a couple of books on Thai and SE Asia Textiles - I am inspired by Julie over at Samurai Knitter, and may try and do a bit of run-down of some of the textile traditions here.

Oh,.. and I can't wait to see Pierre again :)

*Farang is the Thai word for foreigner

Thursday, January 17, 2008

like a tiger... grrr

The Man and I have reached Kanchanaburi - historically infamous for the Bridge over the River Kwai. Those not in the know, the Bridge was part of a rail system that was built using POW labour during WWII so Japan could have an alternate supply route to Burma (now Myanmar). It was estimated that rail system would take 5 years to build, but it was complete in 14 months - many of the POWs being literately worked to death. There a a few movies about the Bridge over the River Kwai and lots of museums and monuments around Kanchanaburi. The man and I went to the Allied Forces War Cemetery last night, and plan to make it out the the bridge today.

Fortunately, Kanchanaburi does have a far less grim claim to fame - Some of the Monks in the area started a wildlife rescue a few years ago, which has resulted in the attraction "Tiger Temple". We are going to get up close and personal with the big cats this afternoon, where we will have oppotunity to pat and touch the carnivores.

Tomorrow we head back to Bangkok (or Krung-thep, as the locals know it) for a bit of sightseeing before jumping on a plane Sunday night to head home.

Oh.. and slightly knitting related - I managed to pick up a couple of skeins of beautiful rough silk yarn when we were in Chiang Mai. Picture will be forthcoming when we get home :)

Sunday, January 13, 2008

on the road to Chiang Mai...

After our relaxing week at Koh Chang, the man and I are running like crazy around the country trying to get to a few different places we are keen to visit.

We spend a couple of night in Khorat, where the man organised a visit to a silk weaving house. It was an amazing experience - the only mechanised part of the process was the skeins being put onto bobbins and the the bobbins being wound onto the shuttles. The warping and loom work was all done by hand. By request the man took lots of photos and some short movies, which I'll figure out how to put up when I get back to Oz.

Of course, we couldn't walk away without some of the gorgeous silk - I definitely have to start working on my sewing skills so I can make garments worthy of all that hard work.

Today we are going to catch a train to Chiang Mai - there are supposedly lots of little handcraft cottage factories there so we are hoping to see some more of the local crafts in action.

We have done some amazing things since we have been here - we swam with an elephant (again, there is a movie), played with a pet monkey (that tried to steal my new carved elephant necklace), and saw a baby porcupine for sale at a pet stall (the same stall also had some bunnies dressed as dolls with bows in their ears and everything - it was a very scary sight). We plan to visit the Monks with the tame-ish Tigers in Kanchanaburi before we head back to Bangkok,

Pierre is apparently coping okay without me, however the housemate has mentioned that the pupster has tried to snuggle into his bed in the middle of the night. I guess Pierre is missing all the cuddles he gets from me :) I'm missing my pupster lots too - The man has mentioned that a couple of times I have been searching for the dog in my sleep, and we can't walk past cute fluffy things without me stopping to say hello...

Oh, and Kate, you would love all the sewing machines here - it is quite common to see someone working on a treadle machine at the bus stations to make a quid. And we saw a shop that had brand new cast iron treadle machines for 3000Baht (about $100)...

That's all I have time for now - pictures and etc will be forthcoming when I get back to geelong :)

Sunday, January 06, 2008

sawadee-ka

hi all -

the man and i have arrived in Thailand, and have been spending the past few days living in a grass hut in a tropical paradise! For those who want the details of our paradise, we are in BangBao on Koh Chang island, in Trat Province (near the Cambodian border) - tomorrow we go elephant trekking and give them a bath before we start the next leg of our trip up to Khorat where we will enjoy all the Thai Silk cottage industry has to offer, as well as some old ruins of temples.

I haven't heard from the dog-sitter (aka my housemate), but I am assuming Pierre is well, albeit pining for me a tad bit ;) I admit - I am missing the pupster terribly :(

Happy New Year!

Not sure when I will next be able to post - but til then, anon!