Monday, March 29, 2010

Projekt52 - Relatives

This is my brother, Geb Squallguard. People don't believe that we're really brothers but we are. Geb used to look like me but he had a growth spurt when he was a teenager. We tend to keep to ourselves here at Feronia's house because there's lots of other stuffed animals and furry creatures to compete with, which I guess has brought us closer together. That, and we always catch up for beer and nachos on Friday nights.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Knitting, Nalbinding and the Art of Hygge

Some Nalbinding needles

Some Nalbinding-ed boots (image from, Anna-Kika)

Now that the weather here is slowly starting to turn (the nights are cooler, it's getting darker sooner), my crafty thoughts are turning to knitting. At present I am pretty much your standard plain-stitch-only (purl at a push) knitter who so far hasn't advanced beyond scarves (although, as you may recall, these segued into a button-up neck warmer last year). So last night I started another scarf for myself. It's blue and green at present but I am planning on a trailing Tom-Baker-as-Dr-Who style number, so once the blue and green is finished, I'm going to charge on with some multi-coloured hand-woven yarn I bought recently.

Also, I may just try my hand at Nalbinding, a one-needle style of knitting originally practiced by the Vikings. I only discovered it last night. Does anyone else know anything about it? It seems to produce a lovely chunky stitch. Looking at it, it comes as no surprise to me that the Danes have the word 'Hygge' to describe the process of gaining warmth and comfort and solace at home during the winter months (see for more on 'Hygge').

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Pre-Raphaelites

William Morris, wallpaper pattern

William Morris, Queen Guenevere

Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Proserpine

John Everett Millais, Ophelia

John Everett Millais, Mariana (and don't forget that tragic, swoon-worthy line from Tennyson's poem of the same name: "He cometh not, she said.")
William Holman Hunt, The Awakening Conscience.
Watched the final episode of Desperate Romantics last night, a mini-series all about the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood painters - John Everett Millais, Dante Gabriel Rossetti and William Holman Hunt. It was quite well done with lots of high drama and gorgeous bohemian interiors. It also reminded me of how much I loved these painters when I was an Arts undergrad. Tragic women with long flowing hair and beautiful gowns? All literary heroines too? Oh yes. Quite the thing for the delicate humanities' students amongst us. So here's a taste of the Pre-Raphaelites and some William Morris too who was late to join the Brotherhood and went on to be a founding figure of the Arts and Crafts Movement.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Just the sound of determined crunching...

Image from Google Images

Our skies have been besieged by these guys - sulphur-crested cockatoos. A native of Australia, they have an unusual, screeching call. They eat the acorn-like nuts that are in the plane trees that line our streets and at about this time of year - when the nuts are just right, presumably - they descend en masse. There are probably 200 in the trees surrounding our house right now. And when they're not screeching all you hear is a determined crunch, crunch, crunch of nuts.

PS I've posted this pic in preference to one of my own - every time I got near them, they all flew away!

Thursday, March 18, 2010


In honour of Autumn Equinox (or Mabon) which comes to us in the Southern Hemisphere this weekend, I am trying to cook with that evocative fruit, the pomegranate, this week. Last night, we had a lovely salad comprised of -

Mixed salad greens


Green peas

Mint leaves

Sliced cucumber

Pomegranate seeds

Quantaties are whatever you choose. I used about half a bag of salad greens, a cup of peas, 1 cucumber and 1 pomegranate. Beautiful. The lovely coolness of the mixed lettuce, the green veggies and the mint, combined with the tang of the feta and the pomegranate.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Being peaceful

As I play hide-and-seek with my black dog, I find myself subdued this week and needing to be quiet, calm and slow. The beautiful, mystical music of Faun matches the mood perfectly, especially the snowy forest landscapes of this clip, "Egil Saga".

Enjoy and be at peace :)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Projekt52 - Caught in the Act

Now if I can just find my way into this packet of Tim Tams before anyone sees me...oh...

Saturday, March 13, 2010

To Infinity and Beyond!

Image from Google

My DH and I have spent the last couple of nights stargazing. The weather has been cool overnight and so the sky is clear and the stars bright. Above is the Southern Cross which we saw last night; we also saw Lupus Lupi (the wolf) and Corvus Corvi (the crow). Special stars especially for me to see. But the big thrill of the night was seeing Saturn through the telescope - and even its rings. Truly mind-blowing. So very far away and yet we are lucky enough to stand in our backyard and see it. Truly there is such majesty in the night's sky - the inky, infinite blackness and that great expanse of glimmering white.

When I was little, we had a set of old encyclopedias at home from the 1930s. In them was a drawing showing how far it was and how long it would take to get to the Moon on an express train (with peculiarly specific parameters like 'if it left from Victoria Station'). To consider ploughing vertically through the blackness for six months on a train was too much for my small brain. I would always have to shut the book and come back to it later. The whole subject just overhwhelmed me!

Thursday, March 11, 2010


How to add instant atmosphere to any room...light a candle. Shadows suddenly appear (just where were they lurking previously?) giving the room a whole new aspect and everything is bathed in a soothing glow. Oh yes. Candles.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A Passion for Pears

I have been on a big fruit eating kick lately. We have a prolific passionfruit vine in the front yard, so passionfruits make an appearance at breakfast. White and yellow nectarines have been very popular too. But if I had to choose a fruit that made me happy it would be the pear. Subtle in taste and so cooling to the palette, this bowl full are just right for eating right now. Ripe without being too ripe. Delightful. Does anyone know any good pear recipes?

PS Apologies for the quality of the photo - my camera is slowly dying...!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A week of happiness

My good blogging friend Diana over at Sun over Stonehenge ( has very sweetly given me an award! Thank you Diana :) As a part of receiving it, I am to post ten things that make me happy. So, I am posting five here and five over at the Dark Wood ( ...just for a bit of contrast. And as much as I plumped for the delicious misery of Morrissey over there, here I am opting for the other side of the coin. Music which can't help but make you feel better whenever you listen to it. And so, I give you Mr Nick Heyward and "Kite"... I defy you not to tap a toe! :)

Thursday, March 4, 2010


How I loved this book when I was small. The How and Why Wonder Book of Our Earth. I stared at the pages of gemstones for hours and then dared myself to flick over to the terrifying pictures of volcanoes. I dreamed about the Centre of the Earth. I could have grown up to be a geologist. Or a vulcanologist. Or at least a jeweller. Oh well.

Imagine my delight then when I found a bag of "gemstone chips" at the $2 discount store this week. I can still stare at them for hours.

One of the things I love most about this time of year is Easter daisies.

We got a new couch in December. The old striped 70s beast finally had to go (actually it's currently sitting under the carport beneath a tarpaulin). Now I like the new couch. I do. It's comfortable (it's been great with my back) and it'll go with anything. Because it's biscuit coloured. In the shop, it looked different. Really it did. Richer in colour. The catalogue described it as 'royal fudge'. It's more like vanilla fudge, I reckon. But no matter. And as my DH said at the time, "Well, that couch'll do us for at least ten years." So I've injected some colour with these very cute Indian cotton cushions and a crocheted rug. Bit more cheerful. Bit less doctor's waiting room!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Projekt52 - Breakfast time

Going to do my own version of the Projekt52 idea( and not with a smurf but with my only little nameless troll/monster who was given to me by my good friend Kathryn when we were both working together in call centre hell as a cheer-me-up.

Monday, March 1, 2010

A light-filled Sunday

Had a lovely Sunday. The weather is finally starting to tip towards milder autumnal conditions and I was finally able to sit in the car for longer than half an hour (with my back issues) so we took the opportunity to go for a drive. A wander around a very pretty country town about two hours from here followed with lots of random inning-and-outing of all the little shops that line the main street, a nice lunch and then a walk around the lake. Lots of photo opportunities but alas my camera seems to have got itself into a bit of a state. It would take only very washed out photos. Some were salvageable - like the one above which I think has almost a yellowy, retro, Polaroid feel to it - but on the whole they were blanched-out catastrophes. Lucky my birthday is on the horizon and my DH has promised me a new camera! But then I read an article in the paper this morning that said we should live life not try to capture each moment in photographs. Something in that. But I still would've like my camera to have worked!! Any ideas on why it might be over-exposing everything?