Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Finalmente!! Italia!!

Torre del Mangia, Siena

Ok so I am superissimo slack with blogging, I know kittens and mi dispiace molto. I have however been writing in my moleskine and present now the musings of my month in Siena>

Il primo giorno in la casa di Gianna, Coroncina, Siena, Italia.

Homemade bruschetta

My room in Gianna's house

Having your own room again after weeks of sleeping on couches makes you do strange things, like paint your nails half-naked with your ipod tucked into your underpants for want of a pocket or some speakers. Drawers become precious chests in which to hide your treasures. Putting a dress onto a hanger never felt so good.

Milo, one of Gianna's dogs, he luffs me

The streets of Siena
Nelle strade you can always find a vespa mirror in which to check your makeup, and in this land of the 'bella figura' no one thinks you vain for touching up your eyeliner in public or taking the shine off your nose.

The famous inlaid marble pavemento of the Duomo a Siena

They caged Minera under the Duomo (cathedral) in Siena, where her sacred temple used to be. The ornate floor depicting Elijah in his chariot of flames marks the grave of the goddess. By strange coincidence my new swimsuit is called Minerva-style ;) It's blue with rope print and couldn't be more ridiculously nautical. I remember her as I plunge into to mediterranean sea at Castelglione della Pescaia on the coast of Toscana.

The Contrada of Siena

The contrada are kind of like the school houses at Hogwarts, all have animal totems (owl, panther, tortoise, eagle etc) and a fierce sense of belonging. To continue the Hogwarts comparison the Palio could be likened to the quidditch finals, only much more dangerous. The Contrada are regions of the town as well as communities that people are raised in, almost like a family. They began as military regiments and developed into societies for workers in certain fields (goldsmiths, leatherworkers etc). Your contrada was previously chosen by where you were born but since the advent of maternity wards it has been determined by that of your parents. The girls take their mothers' contrada while the boys' take their fathers. So it happens that often there are families with mixed allegiances.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Catching up on times past

Wild blackberries in Galway

Banoffie Pie in Athlone OMG!

Patrick and Spongebob, My uncle"s donkeys

Ballet flats in my old st Rathdown Rd in Dublin

Delicious rosti and goat cheese near the IFC in Dublin

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Fa caldo!

Ciao i miei amici! I'm in Siena at my language school. Finalmente! I had two wonderful weeks in the UK and Ireland with friends and family. Big love to all those who let me sleep on their couches or spare beds! Ireland was beautiful to see in the summertime but now I'm in Italy I am remembering what summer really is. Siena is a beautiful city and I arrived here on the day of the Palio, the big traditional horse race in the middle of the city. The Civetta contrada (district) won and their patron animal is the owl, so I hope that's good luck for me. Lessons are tough and I have to study hard so I'll add more photos when I get time. The girl I am staying with is lovely and her mother Patrizia is known as 'everyone's mother', she is hilarious (speaks only Italiano so I think she is) and wants to wash my clothes and feed me all the time. I am missing home a bit but have been too busy to be sad! I've been eating and drinking with other students which is great. Highlight of Siena so far was seeing a girl in a silver satin long jumpsuit with hybrid boot-flipflops. Ahh fashion. Ci vediamo!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Transitory Swank

Yes my dears I have left the country! Flew out from the sunny Gold Coast airport on Tuesday with tears in my eyes and rain in my heart. I've never found it so hard to leave Brisbane before, this time I balled with every goodbye, softy that I am. The good news is I am all set for smiles and hellos from friends abroad I haven't seen in an age. See? I'll be just fine. The flight to KL was taken up mostly with total absorption in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, thanks to Cam for giving it me before I left. I found the retelling quite hilarious but was hoping for a bit more battles-to-the-death before the end. Seated next to an English lad I got to hear about an Australia-NZ wide dodgy strawberry selling syndicate; I'm hoping for an Underbelly-style expose series on it soon. My hotel in KL was heaven sent straight from the sweet Lord. I ordered my first room service, got cosy in my robe and luxuriated with the knowledge that it would be a long time before I could afford a five star hotel room again. I know this view from the window looks like a doll's house but honestly it was a real place!Terima kasih to the lovely bellhops and waiters that served me delicious nasi lemak and starfruit juice at 6am when no one else was awake. The weather was super-tropical and I got treated to an electrical storm the morning of my leaving. The next flight from KL to London was not so dreamy. The extravagant purchase of a tiny bottle of Chardonnay left me with not enough ringgits to buy the inflight entertainment, grrr. Once again books saved my sanity and I got sucked into the classy LA gangsta world of Raymond Chandler's Farewell My Lovely, gifted by my sis. I do hope Moose Malloy finds his long lost Velma before the end of the book or there will be hell to pay. One more flight and I was safe in Dublin at my old friend Aminah's house where you know find me. I'm re-exploring this dirty auld town, visiting old haunts and enjoying the (mostly) good weather. I had forgotten about cottage flowers, hedges, murders of crows, egg mayonnaise and green green grass. Photos to come dear readers.

Best scamps a girl could wish for

These are my superfrendz and I love them. My last weekend in Aus was spent in the magical realm of Springbook at a wood cabin with these fine folk. We took in waterfalls, birds, lavish breakfasts, liquor and the local fudge. Extra props to G for the discovery of a new chai cocktail, what an innovator!

Monday, July 13, 2009

The Lady is a Scamp

Ok so this is not my puppy, but I did get to play with her for a whole afternoon! Lady is a red cattle dog x ridgeback and has sharp little teeth. She used to live at my friend's house but has now moved to Mt Nebo to take in the country air.

After mostly hanging out with cats for so long I forgot how wonderfully trusting and accepting dogs are. All you have to do is sit and Lady will jump in your lap. It took about five hours of playing for us to tire her out but she finally passed out in the kitchen to the smell of dinner cooking.

More photos at my flickr

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Scampsville and BrisStyle in the Press

Thanks to Rave's fashion editor Tess Curran for covering the markets in her page this week!

Beams of Love

I've been meaning to post this pic for a while. It's
the Stefan sky needle in West End (my neighbourhood) in the wee hours of the morn. Isn't it beautiful? It was a foggy day and I was cycling to work but I couldn't resist stopping to marvel at it's awesomeness. Some peeps will remember the old Stefan needle with neon rings that came from Expo '88. Well that one caught fire last year and he replaced it with this rainbow extravaganza. Apparently he had to go all the way to Germany, land of the Love Parade, to find the design. At night large tracts of light beam out from it. A friend of mine has a theory that they are search lights sent out by gay aliens monitoring straight people. Whatever they are for I heart them for guiding me home in the darkness.

Rockabilia and Roller Girlz

This weekend is going to be big, what with my house's garage sale on Saturday (strictly 7am, we are shutting the gate to keep out early birds!) and the Kustom Krafts Market at Paddo on Sunday afternoon-

Here are some crafty things I have made/gotten around to taking pics off this week:

Knit bangles

Heart Whiskey crosstitch

Anti-consumerist crosstitch graf!

I've been very busy the past few days sorting books and clothes and finishing off an embroidered portrait that will be in an exhibition later this year, here is a sneak peek:

Can you guess who it is? Gentle Ben from Gentle Ben and His Sensitive Side!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Tonight, we drink to craft

Here's to falling asleep as soon as your head hits the pillow. Yesterday was filled with sweet, sweet craft at the BrisStyle Indie Designers Market. Scampsville made something close to a killing and enjoyed the company of many craftactular ladiez and their peeps. I went swapsies with Kitty Boo Boo for these sailoresque hair clips, she's got the skillz yo. Other highlights were seeing my friend Kristy's new little munchkin called Oliver (another Oli!), catching up with Rachel from Knitwish, finding a birthday present for my sis: handcrafted silver earrings from Epheriell Designs, getting the new Mixtape mag, and chatting with my neighbour; the lovely Nicole from Hot Toffee. Rave's fashion editor took some Scampsville stall picks so I might be in the press this week, Informer section.
Only 23 days left in Brissie, eeps! Making the most of it tonight with the dishy Bedroom Philosopher at the Troubadour. The man knows how to wear a vintage tie. Espresso martinis all round!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Listless and Listing

Il buon con il male:

Buon- O'Connell and Dr Fleischman and Chris in the Morning on KBHR.
Male- Finding out Janine Turner (Maggie O'Connell) is a shameless Republican.

Buon- Seeing the new Terminator flick with my sis.
Male- Spotting a one-time-lover two rows ahead, eeps!

Buon- Green tahini, roma tomatoes and sourdough $6 at my new fave cafe with a thunderstorm and coffee brewing.
Male- Taking too long to eat it and missing the window of sunshine for my ride to work.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

High vis before sunrise

I've started wearing a high vis vest while biking to work in the cold early morns. Finally I feel some kind of affinity with the bazillion construction workers I pass every morning, and not just because we are both up and off to work at the god-awful hour of 5.30am. In our safety orange and reflective strips we show the world that what is inside these garmets is precious to us; it is to be seen from a distance, not to be crashed into by vehicles or crushed by heavy machinery. Our bodies, our blood, is so valuable to us that we forgo fashion and embrace the most garish, ill-fitting, clash-making apparel to protect it from unfortunate accidents. Wearing high vis is like saying 'just please be careful, I know it's not much but hey, it's the only bod I have, I'm kinda fond of it'. One worker I passed this morning even had reflective bands sewn around his trouser legs; he's not taking any chances and I'm glad.

I should mention that I have strawberry blonde hair, so the orange thing is a big deal okay?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Pop quiz hotshot:

my boring media job incites me to

a) crochet
b) read whimsical hipster art blogs
c) get the sads when said art blogs are about requited love
d) drink milo
e) review new snacks in the vending machine
f) all of the above