Monday, 29 October 2007

Australian Record Industry Awards

God I love the ARIAs -

*How many beers do you reckon Daniel Johns consumed before Silverchairs Album Of The Year award??

*How hot were John Butler and Keith Urban together?

*Is Nick Cave finally loosing his mane?

*Did anyone else tear up when Missy sang?

*Can anyone do rock star better than Daniel Johns?

*Is Megan Gale taller than Rove McManus?

*Is there anyone else who doesn't get the Sneaky Sound System phenomenon?

*Sarah Blasko - best pop release??

All questions I could ask for this weeks poll.....

This is for Eliza -


This is for me -


And this is just 'cause she's ACE -

Sunday, 28 October 2007

History Lesson

Due to public demand I am going to give all my Australian friends a history lesson...

ORIGINS OF HALLOWEEN

Halloween dates back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain.

The Celts celebrated their new year on November 1st. This day marked the end of the harvest (hence the pumpkin) and the beginning of winter, a time of year often associated with death.

The Celts also believed that on new years eve (Oct 31st) the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became thinner.


To celebrate New Years Eve the Druids built huge bonfires where the people gathered to make sacrifices to the gods. During these celebrations they wore costumes and attempted to tell each others fortunes.


Once Romans had conquered most of the Celtic territory, two festivals of Roman origin were combined with the traditional Celtic celebration of Samhain.

The first was Feralia, when the Romans traditionally commemorated the passing of the dead. The second was a day to honour Pomona, the goddess of fruit and trees.

When Christianity spread to Celtic lands, Pope Boniface IV made Nov 1st All Saint's Day. It is widely believed that the pope was attempting to replace the Celtic festival of the dead with a church sanctioned holiday.

The celebration was also called All-hallows or All-hollowmas and the night before began to be called All-hallows Eve, and eventually, Halloween.


Even later the church would make Nov 2 All Soul's Day. It was celebrated similarly to Samhain, with big bonfires, costumes, angels and devils.


And finally to Beau - I did teach you this , you just weren't listening as usual!!


(I can't for the life of me remember where I got my original notes for this so if I have hugely plagerised someones work I opologise and please let me know so I can credit you.)

Aaargh!

Does anyone else get really agro on a windy day, or is it just me??

Friday, 26 October 2007

HALLOWEEN

Moondoggie and I have been Halloweening our front verandah this morning.


We were in a bit of a quandary as I was unsure when you were allowed to start decorating for this holiday. It is not one that is widely celebrated in Australia so I did what all good bloggers do - contacted the lovely Whitney in America and asked her advice! Apparently, like Christmas, decorating starts as early as possible to eek out maximum enjoyment, hence this mornings pumpkin hanging.

When I was teaching I celebrated Halloween with my class as we had quite a few international students. I felt it was important to explain the origins of Halloween and spent quite a few sessions on it's history and cultural significance. I did not want it to be seen as just another American invention as it has such a wonderful, rich history and is a fascinating celebration.

(If I can lay my hands on my Grade 3 synopsis of Halloween I'll post it for anyone who's interested.)

This year, (or to be honest, yesterday!) I decided it might be fun for the kids to talk about Halloween and decorate a little. They loved the idea and having been brought up on Australian TV which has a scary amount of American programming, they knew heaps more about it than I thought they did. What they didn't know is the background to the celebration so today I'm going to put on my teaching hat again and fill them in. Surprisingly there is more to it than re-runs of scary Simpson's episodes!

And just because I'm in the mood - here are some Halloween decorations that I wish were at my house..... maybe next year!





Photos courtesy of Martha Stewart.com

One more thing - how can we make a fabulous Halloween tradition of our own here in Australia when our seasons are reversed and many of the traditions are related to Autumn?? I guess it's the same as our Christmas dilemma - snowmen, sleigh rides and hot turkey lunches in 40 degree heat!!

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Like Mother, Like Daughter

One of the joys of having kids is seeing parts of yourself reflected in them. It may be your musical ability, your tongue rolling skills, your sporting prowess.
In my case it is the ability to read until I fall asleep, but still be able to continue where I left off when I wake up!!


My children are obviously going to be gifted in all the skills that really matter.

The book she is reading (or actually, not reading) is one of 4 fabulous Richard Scarry hardcover books I found at the Mill Markets in Geelong. I was particularly chuffed about this find as I remember pouring over his books for hours when I was young and it's lovely to be able to share that joy with the kids.

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Better Late Than Never

FINALLY!!!
Today - thanks to my very talented and creative friend Kris, I produced my very first graphic tee for CHALK!! Woo Hoo!

This has been in the pipeline for the 5 years of CHALKs existence but for one reason or another has taken this long to actually reach the store. Nothing like watching a professional make it look easy to inspire you.

In the past I have done appliqued tees, button tees etc but the screen printing has always ended up in the 'too hard basket'.

UNTIL TODAY.

I present CHALKs very first printed tee, done by my own fair hand (and watched over by Kris) -
The Firebird.......

She will go into the shop tomorrow so hopefully she will be well received.
What do you think?

Friday, 19 October 2007

Flashback Friday



The theme this week is Grandpas.
Unfortunately I didn't get to spend very long with my grandfather as he passed away when I was young. I particularly love this photo taken at Aspendale beach in 1970. I don't have many photos taken with Keith so this is one I treasure.
Recently my Mum passed on all of Grandpas diaries to me. It has been a lovely journey dipping into them and getting a glimpse of the man. They are such a slice of history too as many were written during WW2 when he was stationed in New Guinea.

Thursday, 18 October 2007

Play School

Thought we might stock these -




What do you think?

Sunday, 14 October 2007

Bring It On - Cheer

Here's the cheer I mentioned yesterday - enjoy

Saturday, 13 October 2007

Big Saturday Night

I'm on my own tonight as Surfer Boy has gone to see Nick Cave.

Can't decide what to do.....read, eat more, blog, watch crap telly, re-watch Bring It On, google friends names randomly and see what comes up, eat more, turn all the lights off and listen to Chris Issak, clean the oven, ....................



And because I'm bored here are the words to the opening cheer from Bring It On. (One of my favourite scenes in a movie)
I'm sexy, I'm cute!
I'm popular to boot!
I'm bitchin'.
Great hair!
The boys all love to stare!
I'm wanted, I'm hot!
I'm everything you're not!
I'm pretty, I'm cool!
I dominate this school!
Who am I?
Just guess!
Guys wanna touch my chest!
I'm rockin'.
I smile!
And many think I'm vile.
I'm flying, I jump!
You can look but don't you hump!
Whoo!
I'm major, I roar!
I swear I'm not a whore!
We cheer, and we lead!
We act like we're on speed!
Hate us 'cause we're beautiful?
Well, we don't like you either!
We are cheerleaders, we are cheerleaders.....ROLL CALL!


Friday, 12 October 2007

Flashback Friday


Once again I was unable to find a shot that fulfilled the theme of this week, but I did come across this photo of my bedroom in 1985. (Year 11)
I spent ages looking at the detail in it and was surprised how many memories it brought back. My gorgeous pink floral wallpaper is covered in pictures from Dolly Magazine, photos, nightclub invites, party invites and other gems. I was quite surprised to see school folders open on my desk as I was not known for my dedication to academia! Hence why I obviously abandoned the study to take random photos of my room.
As well as the mandatory boyfriend photo on the left of my desk - Hi Tony if you're out there in cyberspace - I noticed what must have been my first ever patchwork cushion!!! It actually looks identical to the ones I make for CHALK . Freaky!
If you knew me in 1985 you may very well find yourself on my wall.....

Thursday, 11 October 2007

HAIRSPRAY & DATING

I went on a date last night!

Mind you it was with another Mum but it felt like a date.


Since moving to this little village I have met so many wonderful girls as we cross paths at the park, or cafe or even at CHALK. They may be kinder Mums or girls you just pass every day with the pram on the same route. This is great but the problem arises when you want to move past the casual chat to full-blown friend status. How do you go about this?


It's a bit of a social minefield - do you just follow them home one day to see where they live, do you google them to find their details, do you just turn up at their house and hope they open the door??? My natural instincts are to just take it slowly and hope it progresses of its own accord but this is often a very long road. One fabulous girl I know sat down next to her targeted 'new best friend' and simply asked - "Will you be my friend?" Simple but effective providing the feeling is mutual. Devastatingly embarrassing if you get a knockback and slightly stalker-like if you are not confident of your target.


It's risky but there comes a time when you need to cross the line from acquaintance to 'friend'. Hence my date last night.


After a couple of years of casual chatting and discovering many mutual loves (yes she's a Gilmore Girl!) we decided to bite the bullet and see if our fledgling friendship could survive the wider world. Off we went to see HAIRSPRAY at the Sun Theatre. Now if anyone wants to take me on the perfect date take me to a musical with cute stars and feed me buckets of tea afterwards and I'm yours for life! Therefore Kris you are officially my 'new best friend'. Woo Hoo!
(I may be more excited about that than she is, poor thing - she doesn't know what she's let herself in for.)


Now to HAIRSPRAY!!! Words can not describe... I had a mile-wide smile on my face from the opening to closing credits! My foot did not stop tapping and the very fact that I was trying not to scare off my 'new best friend' was the ONLY thing keeping me from running down the front and dancing along. BRILLIANT. I'm going again but next time I'm going to wear a poodle skirt and pigtales and there WILL be dancing!!!


I would have been happy just to spend a few hours staring at Zac Efron but there were so many more highlights...
1. Zac's eyes - of course
2. Those fabulous dresses
3. Michelle Pfeiffer and her sneer.

4. Seeing the stars of GREASE 1 and 2 in the same movie!

5. Seeing Christopher Walkin dance again and with John Travolta mind you.
6. Amanda Bynes - I could eat her up, she is that cute.

7. Queen Latifah just proves how hot bigger woman can be.
8. The Holy Water scene with Allison Janney was priceless.


I could go on, and on, and on but I'll spare you and let those of you who haven't seen it go and buy your tickets.

Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Basket Case

These treats have proved so popular as gifts we are constantly trying to keep our baskets full. Happily we are fighting a losing battle.


Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Ode To CHALK

Here is my wonderful work place.


I am so lucky to love what I do and where I work. This is no doubt helped by the fact that Mick does all the hard work and I get to do the fun things like this blog and buying stuff and making things pretty! What's not to love.

Monday, 8 October 2007

I Love Bloggers

How ACE are bloggers?

I had the loveliest day at work on Saturday. I had visits from so many great people who stayed for a chat and a laugh (Hi Eliza, Kris and Ali to name a few) but I had 2 very special visitors.
The first surprise guest was the delightful Shula from
Poppalina fame who dropped in to say Hi. It was so wonderful to finally meet Shula in person as she has given me so many hours of laughter and tears through her blog. The best thing was that she lived up to expectation and was completely delightful.

My next special guest was Bianca from
Hollabee who not only came for a visit but brought me gifts as well!! I had mentioned on her Blog that she had 2 CDs that I was dying to buy and low and behold she brought copies of them in for me! I am now the proud owner of both Missy Higgins and The Waifs new albums. How good is that!

It is such a bizarre concept that these two woman were so familiar to me and I know so much about their lives and yet this was the first time I had laid eyes on them. How wonderful to make new friends at this age and through such a medium. Yeah for blogging!

Friday, 5 October 2007

Flashback Friday

Sorry Ali - nearly forgot...

This weeks theme is Grandmothers so here is my gorgeous Grandma - Winifred Fraser, with me in 1969 at her home in Caulfield.

She was a gentle soul who loved anything blue, was a proficient sewer, a marvellous bowls player, and the best grandma in the world.
In this photo she is sitting with Mums' dog Jennie whom I have the dubious honour of being named after!! (Some of her other dogs were Zorba, Bijou, and Satchmo so I guess I should be thankful!)
Happy Flashbacking.

Unread Book Neme

I borrowed this from Only Books All The Time.

These are the top 106 books most often marked as “unread” by LibraryThing’s users (as of today). Bold what you have read, italicise that you started but couldn’t finish, and strike through what you couldn’t stand. Add an asterisk* to those you’ve read more than once. Underline those on your to-read list.

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Anna Karenina
Crime And Punishment
Catch-22
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Wuthering Heights*
The Silmarillion
Life of Pi: a novel
The Name of the Rose
Don Quixote
Moby Dick (to do)
Ulysses
Madame Bovary
The Odyssey
Pride and Prejudice*
Jane Eyre*
A Tale of Two Cities*
The Brothers Karamazov
Guns, Germs, and Steel: the fates of human societies
War and Peace*
Vanity Fair
The Time Traveller’s Wife
The Iliad
Emma*
The Blind Assassin
The Kite Runner
Mrs. Dalloway
Great Expectations
American Gods
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
Atlas Shrugged
Reading Lolita in Tehran: a memoir in books
Memoirs of a Geisha
Middlesex
Quicksilver
Wicked : the life and times of the wicked witch of the West
The Canterbury Tales
The Historian : a novel
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (to do)
Love in the Time of Cholera*
Brave New World *
The Fountainhead
Foucault’s Pendulum
Middlemarch
Frankenstein
The Count of Monte Cristo
Dracula
A Clockwork Orange -
Anansi Boys
The Once and Future King
The Grapes of Wrath
The Poisonwood Bible : a novel
1984*
Angels & Demons
The Inferno
The Satanic Verses
Sense and Sensibility *
The Picture of Dorian Gray
Mansfield Park*
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
To the Lighthouse (to do)
Tess of the D’Urbervilles
Oliver Twist
Gulliver’s Travels
Les Misérables
The Corrections
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Dune
The Prince
The Sound and the Fury
Angela’s Ashes : a memoir
The God of Small Things
A People’s History of the United States : 1492-present
Cryptonomicon
Neverwhere
A Confederacy of Dunces
A Short History of Nearly Everything
Dubliners
The Unbearable Lightness of Being
Beloved
Slaughterhouse-Five (to do)
The Scarlet Letter
Eats, Shoots & Leaves
The Mists of Avalon*
Oryx and Crake : a novel
Collapse : how societies choose to fail or succeed
Cloud Atlas
The Confusion
Lolita
Persuasion*
Northanger Abbey*
The Catcher in the Rye
On the Road
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Freakonomics : a Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance : an Inquiry into Values
The Aeneid
Watership Down*
Gravity’s Rainbow
The Hobbit
In cold blood : a true account of a multiple murder and its consequences
White teeth
Treasure Island (to do)
David Copperfield (to do)
The Three Musketeers

Not feeling too bad about my reading now although there are some holes on this list that I will have to fill in the bookshelf. Of to check out Library Thing now....

Wednesday, 3 October 2007

Bit Slow Off The Mark


How on earth did it take me this long to discover the new Maribyrnong Aquatic Center? We spend day after day at the North Melbourne Pool in the summer months but hadn't realised what a great activity the pool is in winter. We will definitely be adding this gem to our activity list.
(Also accross the road from Max Brenner which has definite advantages!!)

Monday, 1 October 2007

The Things You Find Your Kids Doing...


We're just sooo proud of our Moondoggie...