Sunday, December 30, 2007

A pretty post (countdown= 27 hours remaining)

This is a belated thanks to the craft fairy for my delightful little bluebird that arrived in my mailbox on Christmas eve. I didn't check the mail until the next day on my way home from Christmas lunch and I was very excited to see this little package sitting cosily in my mailbox. My brother gave me a inquisitive eye and I just laughed and said "oh it's my prize... never mind", I didn't bother to explain because he would probably think I was a bit of a looney. Then again, I wouldn't argue if he thought I was. So finally, here is a pic of my little bluebird which now rests on my printer where I keep all my pretty little things (very annoying when I actually have to scan things though).

And here is the gorgeous tea towel that my brother gave me for my kris kringle along with two champagne glasses, now don't get too excited, I actually pointed these out to him as potential gifties. I wish he was clever enough to find these things by himself! Either way it was a nice surprise to find it wrapped up with the champagne glasses as I had assumed he had forgotten about it. It far too pretty (and big) to use as an actual tea towel so now the question becomes "what to do with it?". Well, for now, I'll look at it and think about how pretty it is. Then I might turn it into an apron (no sewing required as folding it in half and running a ribbon between the halves would suffice quite nicely) or frame it even, although that might be a bit girly for a shared apartment.

Lastly, can I point out my extreme love for this cd, I bought it during my cd binge last week when I spent over $100 on new cds. This isn't really so shocking when you consider that I only ever buy cds once a year usually, so if you think about it, this binge averages out to be quite cheap. Well that's my logic and I'm sticking with it. But seriously, the covers on this cd are really great, my favourite being the cover of 'River' by Angus Stone as I have loved that song to pieces ever since Robert Downey Jr sang it on Alley McBeal years ago (yes I'll admit to that). The cover by Josh Pyke of 'Wuthering Heights' also kicks arse, but then again when does Josh Pyke not kick arse? So go forth and yonder, and buy this cd!

Hopefully I'll be back tomorrow for my last post before I jet off to Paris, but I can't promise anything! I'll probably find a million things that I've forgotten to do, it would be the appropriate thing for me to do after all.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Countdown: 43 hours remaining

It has now officially got to the point where I must start packing and getting myself organised for Europe. My hallway is lined with everything I'm planning on packing, my washing machine is working overload, my room is scattered with ziploc bags filled with random bits and bobs, clothes are hanging on every door handle, and my desk is covered with random little things that I must remember to pack. It's panic central right now and I'm convinced I'm going to forget at least a dozen important things.

As well as everything I need to pack, I have to remember everything I need to photocopy, scan and send to other people in case my luggage, or myself goes missing! And I am praying that my bag doesn't go missing, I don't care that I would probably get money from my travel insurance to replace everything, it would be such a pain in the butt! So I'm taking a change of clothes with me on the plane, and my phone and camera charger just in case. Hopefully that could last me a day or two if my bag arrives a bit later than we do!

So here is our itinerary, we haven't really decided what we're going to do in each city yet, we'll figure that out when we get there and are bombarded with suggestions from everyone else.

Dec 31st 10:25pm: fly out of Melb
Jan 1st 5:40am-8am: Stopover in Dubai
12:25pm: arrive in Paris
Jan 5th-8th: Lyon
Jan 8th-12th: Nice
Jan 12th-19th: Skiing in Meribel
Jan 19th-24th: Venice
Jan 24th-29th: Florence
Jan 29th-Feb: 4th Rome

So that's about it, I have better get back to organising myself a little bit more, but everytime time I pack something I find myself needing it half an hour later! I hate packing.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas to Blogland

Well here it is, Christmas day and all the kiddies are probably ripping into their presents, parents are tired and full from playing santa in the wee hours of the night, and I'm honestly surprised I'm not hungover after drinking a few too many glasses of champers while watching carols with the family last night. I wanted to take a photo of my Christmas tree this morning with all the presents under it that I wrapped (they look quite good actually) but I left my camera at my aunt's last night so I'll have to wait for them to arrive, I might even include MY presents in the photo then!

I received a wonderful gift from my Pop last night to go towards my Europe trip, it was a card full of cash! I was absolutely speechless when I opened it and ever teared up a little bit and as Mum said "She's speechless! That's unusual for Fiona!". Originally I thought I'd use it to buy and Ipod, but decided that instead I should spend it over in Europe because that's pretty much what it's for. So I think I'll use it to buy a nice coat or boots or fancy and expensive like that while I'm Paris/Rome. But what a fantastic Christmas eve surprise that was, and while I know my Pop has probably given my other cousins money for their overseas adventures, I never expected it!

So I guess I had better put myself in the shower so I have time to dry my hair and pretty myself up for when the family and the boy arrive. Then we feast on my famous muffins that I made a batch of specially for this morning! I hope you all have a fantastic, safe and merry Christmas today, remember to relax and enjoy the day and remember that it only happens once a year so savour it! Oh and take photos, you'll thank yourself later.

Friday, December 21, 2007

I've been kissed by the craft fairy!

I will confess that before that little comment arrived on my blog sometime between yesterday and today I had never actually heard of the craft fairy. So you can forgive me for being slightly suspicious (as we all are in our internet world) when I went to her blog and saw that to receive my 'kiss' I had to email her my postal address. I sat here for a bit, looking at the screen, trying to decide if sending my postal address to this anonymous do-gooder was really such a great idea. But after reading through a few of her comments I recognised some familiar names and blogs and figured that it couldn't be that bad right? So I sent off my details and I wait anxiously, also hoping that I receive my little gift before I head off to Europe! Because my brother might find it odd to have to go to the post office to pick up a parcel from the "craft fairy".

We after a lot of shopping on Wednesday, and a lot of shopping yesterday (wow my feet hurt just thinking back to it) I have bought nearly all of my Christmas gifts except for the other half of my present for Mark. I've also managed to finally get my hands on some ink pads so I could start/finish my homemade wrapping paper project. I'll admit, it was probably more trouble than it was worth, but I think the result is kinda cool, albeit perhaps a little bit my-3-year-old-could-do-that. In the end I just hope everyone thinks it was a nice gesture, and I like the names stamped onto the parcels instead of using labels. So here they are:

You can click on them to see a bit more detail, but basically they are stamped with a bauble stamp in green ink, then they have their names stamped on with red ink. These ones I had already wrapped in the brown paper and then I just did the stamping over the top, so the design didn't turn out very clear on the softer parcels. Last night I sat down and rolled out my brown paper and did my stamps straight onto it for about half the roll. The only problem with this is that now I can't really choose where I put the names because the bauble stamps might be in the way. And also, the paper is so thin that for these presents I did two layers of wrapping. So now I'm thinking that it might have been a waste to stamp the whole roll when nobody is going to see the layer underneith. Anyway, that's just detail! So what do you think, do you approve?

Oh and before I go, here is a pic of the lamp in the kids room at one of the houses I clean, I'm absolutely in love with it and I stood staring at it for about 15 minutes trying to figure out what stitches were used to make each line so hopefully I can transform my dull white lampshade into something as gorgeous as this! I might need to perfect my skill a little before I start on a project like this one though..

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Super exciting mail day!

After a long day at Leo's making up a seemingly infinite number of "ready to buy" hampers, I dragged myself home and opened to mail box only to discover that everything I had been expecting had shown up today! So I walked into my flat with a massive smile on my face and an handful of envelopes and a little parcel. I'm sure this is nothing to most people, but most of my mail is bills and catalouges so this was very exciting for me.

From the top there was: an invitiation to my cousins wedding in Feb to be held at Torquay Beach, a double 21st invitation from my friends who are twins (alas I can't go, I'll be in Europe!), my "prize" from a competition on a forum which I didn't actually win but was allocated to me after my name was drawn from a hat (the real winner had won twice in a row and felt guilty, the prize was a mini stationary set), new Frankie magazine which I wasn't even expecting! And last but most certainly not least, my shinzi katoh stamp set! It was smaller than I had been expecting but still jam-packed full of Shinzi awesomeness. I'll take some photos tomorrow when the light is better, I'm sick of dull and gloomy pictures on my blog.

I love real mail, it makes me so happy and fuzzy inside, so much better than impersonal bills and automated letters from your optometrist/red cross/bank/council member. It makes me realise that I should really send more letters and cards and postcards, you don't really need to say anything important or interesting, I think it's nice to see someones handwriting and notepaper in a society that is all computer fonts and white screen. Speaking of which, maybe I WILL send Christmas cards this year, if only I had time to make my own... that would be really great. Well it's something to consider anyway, it's not like I don't have enough to do before Christmas already (sense the sarcasm much?)

Photos will be up tomorrow of my mail bounty :)

Oh! And could these be any sillier/wittier? That Amy, she cracks me so much sometimes.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Operation 'send Fiona insane'

Ok, you're halfway through a 7 hour shift, you got up at 7am this morning after leaving a fantastic gathering of friends at 12am last night despite reeeeeeeally wanting to stay to play 'operation' (yes the actual board game), you get a voicemail message from one of the people you clean for wanting you to babysit from 3-8pm, you are finishing work at 3pm exactly. What do you do? Well if you're a true idiot like me you say "yeah no problem, I didn't have anything planned for the rest of the day". You arrive at said babysitting job already tired, the kids seem calm, everything should be fine. And then it begins.

The kids are only allowed to watch tv for 15 minutes at a time, or for one whole cartoon network episode. I have to cook dinner for all of us and make sure they eat it. They both need to have showers at some point. If they are good they can have icecream. Let's just say that there was no icecream. Sophie (7) went from being reasonably normal for a whole hour of playing "shopping" to being an absolute nutta during dinner which involved flicking carrots from toothpicks, trying to get stung by a bee (while I hid), pulling up her top, pulling down her skirt, running around and around the table, playing with the little water fountain thing until water went everywhere, and shaking the toothpick holder so hard I thought she was going to strain a muscle. And after all that she only ate her carrots. So I pulled out the mobile and did the "do you want me to call Dad? I'm dialling his number... it's ringing... are you going to behave?" routine. This seemed to work and she then ate her lamb kebab thingy and most of her corn. Oh and don't think for a second that Will (9) was being an angel throughout this though! He was just less... possessed. (Apparently Sophie hasn't drank lemonade for, well, most of her natural life. So of course she served us all up a glass of lemonade. Thanks for pointing that out AFTER she went insane Will)

Then they had showers, this went relatively well depsite me not having a clue how to work the shower (hence I never have to clean it, funny that..) so Will had to turn it on and off for Sophie. She then spent the next half hour naked and running around, jumping on the couch, randomly screaming and then finally just lying full stretch on the couch.

Me "don't you think your Dad will find it odd to walk in and see you naked on the couch?"
Sophie "he's seen me naked before SILLY"
Me "yes but I don't think he'd like you running around naked while I'm here"
Sophie "hahaha you're right. That IS funny"

And then 15 minutes later in he walks, looks slightly surprised at Sophie's nakedness, but doesn't seem at all surprised by her hyperness, "oh they're always like this" he says. Umm.. someone remind me to say no next time he asks me to babysit please! On the positive side however he paid me in euros and gave me a europe plug adaptor which was nice, I got 40 euro for 4 hours, and considering the exchange rate I'm thinking that pretty good! Now please excuse me while I go and collapse on the couch and try not to think about cleaning AND Christmas room tomorrow :(

Thursday, December 13, 2007

A proper crafty beginning (for only $10!)

At work today I was looking at this gorgeous little picnic basket and thinking to myself "can I justify buying this, even though I have nothing to put in it, nowhere to put it, and am unlikely to be having enough picnics for it to actually be put to use?". I stood there looking at it, it was so cute and homey, I just had to find a use. (Please excuse my terrible photography, I really should take these photos during the day, but I just get too excited to wait!)

And then I thought "Hey! I could put all my sewing/crafty/stitchy stuff in it!", and thus my first ever craft basket was born. I would call it a sewing basket, but as you can see it also has in it my brand new (bought today) set of alphabet stamps that I bought while dragging Mark through The Works for the first time. Inside there are also the two rolls of ribbon I bought from Leo's today that will hopefully look splendid on my Christmas presents, if I ever track down some Christmas stamps locally and a red or green ink pad. I'll admit I haven't really.. looked yet, but I haven't really had time either. Of course I managed to find the best online crafty store everrr with the best Christmas rubber stamps everrr. It's called Paper Source, and of course it's in America which means expensive and slow shipping to poor old Fi. It's times like these I wonder why I don't live in America. Or why there aren't better online crafty shops in Australia. Either way it's really irritating.

I was super excited to hear from Natalie over at Arthur's Circus today, she managed to find time to go to the Post Office to get the postage price for my very delightful Shinzi Katoh Bird stamp set which you can see here, and where I blogged about it here. It seems I have a bit of a thing for stamps at the moment, and I have no idea why because it's not like I send a lot of mail or make invitations for anything... I guess I'll just have to start! I love that about crafty stuff, you buy something because you crave it so desperately, then just have to find a use for it :)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A xmas present for myself

Good old Threadless, trust them to have a $10 sale right before Christmas, oh and trust them to have the tee that I've been wanting for months back in stock... but not for $10! I didn't realise until I was halfway through checkout, but I think it's pretty and hopefully a medium will still fit me ok so I don't mind. And after considering my street team points which I had $13 worth stored up the whole thing only cost me $12 including postage. Here are the other two tees that I wanted but alas they were already sold out in every girly size!

In case you haven't noticed I'm a bit into the cream coloured shirts, I already have one and it's a really nice colour and easy to wear under tops without it looking as strange as my bright yellow and electric purple Threadless tees. So anyway that's a little plug for Threadless because they have cool tees and even better hoodies and I have a million of them (although you must make sure you don't wash them in hot water or put them in the dryer because they shrink... like most of mine have sadly).

In other news I've started wrapping Christmas presents, but it's really not working out the way I was planning. I had two ideas in mind and both of them start with the presents being wrapped in brown crafty kinda paper firstly. Idea number 1 was to them wrap a thick strip of really pretty/fancy/sparkly/glittery/expensive Christmas-y paper, and then a really gorgeous ribbon around that. Idea number 2 was simply to stamp the brown paper with some Christmas-y themed stamps in green and/or red and then a really gorgeous ribbon around it.

And after spending about an hour (not really) on google trying to find photos of what I'm talking about I still haven't found anything! So frustrating, I should really save these things when I first see them. The stamped xmas paper idea was on that Womens Weekly Christmas special thing that was on channel 9 a week or so ago. Ah well, I'll just have to take photos of the ones I DO make and then maybe you'll know what I'm talking about! Oh dear, my brain hurts, 8 hours of making ribbons for Christmas hampers is really not the most stimulating work. Perhaps cleaning tomorrow will get me thinking again... though I really doubt it. I hope your wrapping and gifting is going better than mine!

(Thank the lord for autosave, silly Fi just accidentally clicked the little 'x' instead of on the the tab, I almost thought "bye bye blog post", luckyyy)

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Shinzi Love

Well, well, well, it seems Miss Lara has impressed once again, this girl really just keeps delivering. She has kindly alerted me to a couple of places where I can purchase Shinzi Katoh within the land of Aus, well at least without the ginourmous shipping prices from Japan. Number 1 we have Arthur's Circus, which I actually read about on Pip's blog the other day, alas Arthur's Circus is in North Melbourne, and as much as I would love to, I have minimal free time from now until Christmas (eg. today was my last day off from two weeks) and I really do not think I would be able to make it there *sigh*. Luckily stockist number 2 is a delicious ebay store! Oh my friend the internet, what wonders and woes you have done for me and my credit card. So stockist number 2 is Blue Sky Tree store and they appear to sell a heap of Shinzi Katoh stuff, mainly totes however which is sad. Although I do have my eye on a very cute yearly organizer thingy, hands off it's mine! I am still lusting after oh... about 90% of the stock on the Shinzi Katoh website however, so I may have to just grit my teeth and fork out the shipping money, I'm sure it will be worth it in the end.. right?

In other news as mentioned earlier today was my last day off for two weeks. Next week I am working 32 hours at the hamper room plus my usual 9 hours of cleaning (*edit* new roster, I'm now working 47 hours this week), and that doesn't even include my 7 hours of xmas room tomorrow plus 3 hours of babysitting for the doc. Yay.. aren't the holidays just great? So this all means that blogging and all-round craftiness will be kept to a minimum, which sucks. Oh and I also got my uni results today, I did pretty well, two credits, a distinction and a high distinction so I'm reasonably happy although I was hoping for higher marks in two units. So I had better run off to bed now so that I don't collapse during my work marathon tomorrow, here is the stamp set I'm dreaming about on Shinzi, I don't know what I'd use it for but by-god I'd find something!

Good night all xx

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Stitchy love!

After walking merrily to the post office yesterday to pick up a parcel, expecting it to be my new stitching book, I was a bit disappointed that it was only the present my parents bought my boyfriend for Christmas. Or more specifically, part of the present I was going to buy for my boyfriend but my parents decided they wanted to buy it for him instead and now I need to find something else to buy for him. Phew, that was a mouthful. So I was overjoyed when I checked the mail this morning to discover a box sitting cosily in my mailbox (I swear the postie has a key to our mailbox, how else would he fit all these packages in there?!).

I ripped open the box and there it was, my Sublime Stitching book which I'd bought off Amazon after using the cupcake and cake stand transfers at Pip's last stitching night. I love how cheap Amazon is, it was even cheaper than the Sublime Stitching website! Sorry Jenny, but I'm a gal on a budget. I'm so excited to get it and now I just need to decide what my next stitching adventure will entail and what it will be.. entailed.. on to. I think I need to learn a few more stitches first so I can make everything look a bit more snazzy, sadly I cannot backstitch everything. While I'm on the topic I found a fantastic blog last night that has a heap of stitching tutorials. Have I mentioned how much I love google lately? So this is the blog and if you look to the right hand side toolbar you'll find the links to a million different stitches, and she explains them wonderfully too. Today while cleaning I was looking at an embroidered lamp shade and saying to myself "oh that's a chain stitch there, oh and a french knot there", I felt oh so domestic.

In other news I was delighted to discover (after 2 hours of drooling over the website) that I can actually buy any of the items from the Japanese Shinzi Katoh website by using an order form on the English website. Hurrah! My bank balance may not be as excited as I am thought. Firstly I need to decide what to get! See my problem is that I want the cafe mug, the glass cafe mug, the soup mug, a stamp set, a tea tray and a mystyle glass. And I was about 3 of each because I can't decide between the designs. Do you think I can afford all that? Oh and postage, which I think is a lot. Oh dear, looks like I'll need more hours at Leo's if I want to buy all/any of this!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Crafty love

Nothing exciting has happened around my place for the last few days because I was in Cobram over the weekend for a 21st. It would have been good except that I (possibly) broke my toe half an hour before going out to the 21st, so I spent the entire night sitting down and feeling sorry for myself. Other than that I've have a rather uneventful couple of days and haven't had much to post about. Instead I'm going to share a few things I have stumbled across, mostly from other peoples blogs, that I am head over heels for.

Now it is no secret that I absolutely adore Lara Cameron's designs, the one above is from her new Christmas prints and I think it's just so perfect. She has such an amazing array of designs and it's almost impossible to choose a favourite! You can see her designs on, her blog, and her flickr page. I really do love everything she does and I desperately need to learn to sew so I can justify buying some of her fabric.

Next up is some of the cutest fabric I've ever seen, this is from nuno and I only discovered this website after being alerted to it by Pip over at Meet me at Mikes. I never thought I would get into Japanese fabrics, I really couldn't understand why everyone was going giddy over the cutesy patterns with all the animals and mushrooms. Now I'm starting to get it. No, not only do I get it, I want it. I also have no idea whatsoever what I would do with it. Something tells me that means I'm catching the crafty bug. I'm also loving the gorgeous trims, they would be perfect to use when wrapping gifts, however I don't think my friends would really appreciate the cuteness.

I'm incredibly jealous of the cafe mug that Lara bought from Shinzi Katoh. On the English website they only have a few of them, and none of them are half as gorgeous (I must think of a new word) as the one Lara got. So I ventured onto the Japanese website and was delighted and horrified to see that there are heaps more there, and heaps of everything else too! I'm so annoyed I don't know someone living in Japan who could buy it for me, my computer doesn't even understand the characters! Here is one of the ones that I think is just too adorable:

I love the fact that they have English writing on most of their products, and that what is written on them is usually so simplistic and silly that as an English speaker you just have to laugh.

Edit: Oh my goodness, I was just browsing the Japanese store again and found these gorgeous soup mugs, they are the most perfect thing ever. I'm officially in love with this website, how can I buy it all?!?!

Ok well that's enough crafty love for today, I've been sitting here for far too long and I must start my spinach and ricotta cannelloni for dinner, yum!