In Which I Knit On The Catherdral Lawn Because I Am A Forgetful Chappy

Gentle reader,

When I was a kid, I was extremely forgetful. Utterly scatterbrained, even. I would forget important things I’d been told, I’d forget to do things, I’d leave things behind, all sorts of worrisome mishaps like that. One of my trademark forgetfulisms was to leave my wallet every possible place imaginable. In the car, at home, at school, at friends’ places, at the corner store. Once, I left it on a stack of Jurassic Park toys at the mall after staring at them longing for a good twenty minutes. Another time I left it atop a hideout my cousins and I had fashioned into the forest-y growth of an empty block in our neighborhood.

I learned not to do this eventually, after leaving my poor mama irate and exasperated at having to drive me back to somewhere to find it and after having to keep myself organized when I was stage managing or production designing at university. But, once a scatterbrain always a scatterbrain, and to this day I have my moments (too many of them, depending on who you ask…) but they don’t all turn out badly.

Yesterday, I left my wallet at work. And I did not have the key to get back in. Oy. This meant missing a BBQ with some friends. More logistically troubling, it also meant I was stranded in the city until Joel returned from said BBQ. But I shall not be beaten so easily! I had knitting in my bag and a full iPod battery, so of I went to find a pleasant place to knit.

A moment is never wasted when you have crafts in your bag.

If you’re familiar with Melbourne, then you’d probably know the cathedral on the corner of Swanston and Collins Streets, and the strip of lawn beside it. I sat on one of the benches and began knitting away, but I then moved to the lawn after many a smoker decided to accompany me on the benches, bless them. But I felt that damp breeches was a small price to pay for a clean air. But, I digress.

Sunday in Melbourne

I had just cast on “Jesse’s Christmas Hat” by Elspeth Kursh with some Morris Woollahra (I think… I’ve misplaced the ball band…), and I was quite content to knit away for nigh on two hours. The weather has taken a cold turn after spending nearly a month warming up, so I was rather happy about that.

Meanwhile, I guess sea gulls are supposed to be gross, but they kept me company as did a few of those lovely little brown birds, and they didn’t seem at all cross that I had no food to share with them.

All in all it turned out quite peachy!

Just some other things I wanted to tell you about:

  • I was featured in an article in The Sunday Age yesterday! I’ll post a scan of it this week.
  • My little impromptu yarn giveaway is still going, and I think I’ll close it on Friday and announce a yarn recipient on the weekend. To be in the running, go and comment on this post.
  • I got a new bit of software to put my pictures together. Do you like it? I’m always looking for little helping-hands to make my picture layouts more interesting.

What mishaps have you turned into a little bit of pleasantness recently?

– R


Finding The Silver Lining

Gentle reader,

I’ve been in our new house for almost two weeks now, and our internet still hasn’t been switched on! The ETA is tomorrow, so hopefully regular posts will begin again very soon! Cell phone internet is convenient, but it’s not the same.

Anyway, today I wanted to share some Pollyanna-style gladness. I’ve been in the foulest mood the last few days; maybe it’s a crash after the stress of moving, or maybe it’s my man-time-of-the-month or maybe I’ve just been getting out of the bed on the wrong side. Whatever it is, I decided enough was enough! It was time to start looking for the silver linings instead of the being an irksome jerk all the time.

Sometimes this can be easier said than done, but sometimes you just need that lightbulb moment, or that one little success that just makes everything else seem like a piece o’ cake (white chocolate mud cake, please). And today, I had that moment.

Struttin'? I'm doin' it!

I had some errands to run, so I popped in my ear buds and chose the funnest, up-beat-iest tunes I had, and off I went! You know when you’re walking along the street and you’ve got some crazy-town awesome track playing with delicious beats and you can’t help but strut like you’re a rockstar? That was totes me! And then…

I got caught behind a gaggle of slow walkers.

What could I do!? I was hemmed in by shop fronts on one side and street signs and alfresco cafe tables on the other, and these slow walkers were ruining my vibe!

I’ll tell you what I did: like a game of Frogger, I ducked in and out where I could, careful not to bump anyone or seem rude (I didn’t want the vibe-ruining to become contagious!), and when just the right opening presented itself, I emerged victorious – energy renewed, completely in sync with the beat and strutting like nobody’s business!

Let’s be real, re-finding your strut after an obstacle has that same tingly feeling and smile-inspiring rush as an epic key change in a power pop song. Best. Ever.

And, so, gentle reader, though it may not sound like much, that’s how I beat the down-in-the-dumps and found my silver lining.

What silver linings have you found lately?

– R

Music To Make To: Brett Domino & Steven Peavis

Gentle reader,

I love music, and also love a good laugh. And that’s why I love Brett Domino and Steven Peavis. Their unique brand of cover songs make me so happy in my dorky little heart that I can barely stand it. It tickles me that they’ve gone for humor without sacrificing quality; I love how their musical production has such depth and texture when a lot of it is done without crazy expensive studio tools. Sometimes all you need is talent. ^_~

You can find more Brett Domino here. They’ve recently posted a cover of Katy Perry’s “Firework” to their Youtube (which, IMHO is better that the original).

What songs make you crazy happy or tickle your funny bone? ^_^

– R

Flashback: Costume Design & Concept Art

Gentle reader,

Once upon a time, I was studying theater to become a production designer, and along the way I designed for a bunch of student and independent productions (and even got to work backstage on some professional operas!). But, that was a long time ago.

While I was going through a cupboard and packing a box yesterday, I came across a little pile of some of my old costume design sketches and character concept art. I felt rather nostalgic, to be honest, and a tiny, tiny part of me missed those days when I ate, slept and breathed theater. I was also a little embarrassed and proud at the same time; with alternate thoughts of “That’s an awful drawing!” or “Ooh, this one held up well,” or “That’s such a stupid idea!” or “This one is a good idea, I wish I’d had the budget to make that…” I’m always hyper-critical when I find drawings that I did years ago.

At any rate, I decided to put any self-consciousness aside and share with you a little blast from my past. These are just a few of the sketches I stumbled across, the ones that are the least cringe-worthy perhaps ^_~ And I suppose it’s fitting to share some costume designs now, even though they’re not very Halloween-y. Give it a click to make it big.

Le Sketches Du Costume (That's French for 'costume sketches')

What’s something that you used to do all the time but don’t anymore? Do you miss it? Would you do it again?

And, Happy Halloween if I don’t catch you before then!


Of Cats And Dresses

Gentle reader,

Our move to the new house is slowly approaching, and I’ve tried my hardest to overcome my penchant for procrastination with some success. I’ve made a little headway with packing, but perhaps not quite as much as I’d like. It can be a bit difficult when you’re trying to pack in such a small space; maneuvering around stacks of boxes with not a lot of wiggle room and such. And, some of the other tenants have not been much help:

"What're you looking at me for?"

Ah well, I’ll get there eventually. Meanwhile I’ve had a little more success with Marelle’s crochet lace dress. I’ve finished the bodice and the first pattern section of the skirt. Hurrah!

Marelle's Dress; Coming Along.

I hate packing, but I love unpacking and having a blank canvas. Do you love or hate moving?

– R

Procrastination: I’m Good At It

Gentle reader,

Throughout my entire life, the biggest obstacle between me and what my mother calls “living successfully” is a habit my father calls “fiddle-farting around”, known to the wider population as “procrastination”. If I had a paper to write for university, my house would have to be spotless before I started; to the point of completely reorganizing even those areas that were already clean and tidy. If had a class to get to, that seemed the perfect time to check my Youtube subscriptions. And sometimes, it would just be the good ol’ Xbox getting in the way of chores and what not.

iMacs offer endless possibilities for procrastination. Case in point: Photo Booth

Well, today, I ought to be photographing my works-in-progress to post here and on Ravelry, designing buttons for my Etsy store, working on my WIPs, designing titles for some videos and filming said videos, and most of all, starting to pack my house up for a move. And yet here I am, pinching a blog meme from Tony of BonitoClub (excellent chap, excellent blog). That’s just how I roll, y’all.

A. Age: 28 (I had to think about that far longer than is reasonable)
B. Bed size: Double
C. Chore that you hate:  Diiiiiissssshhhhhhesssss! I will turn myself inside out just to get out of doing dishes.
D. Dogs:  I live in a cat household. We have a cheeky younger puss named Jingles and a crazy old lady cat named Lady P.
E. Essential start to your day:  If I can just manage not to sleep through my alarm, it’s a good start.
F. Favourite colour: Green! Had you noticed?
G. Gold or Silver: Totes silver. I just think it’s nicer, but also I’m a ginger and gold clashes with my coloring. Eugh.
H. Height: Six foot, on the dot.
I. Instruments you play: None competently, but I learned piano to Grade 2. That doesn’t count does it?
J. Job title: Crochet instructor, retail grouch and office temp.
K. Kids: None, but I have names for them if they happen. Is that weird? Creepy? No? Do people do that? Hmm.
L. Live: Melbourne! That yummiest city in Australia.
M. Mother’s name: Mama, of course. ^_~
N. Nicknames: Mostly Raynie or Pie (Pie is a long story and derives from Gatsby, believe it or not). I also get Ray-Ray which I’ve come to silently hate.
O. Overnight hospital stays: Well, once when I was born, months and months when I was a wee bairn because I had some crazy disease that no one could figure out at first, and I nearly died (exciting, huh!) and then a few years ago for a week and a half because I had cellulitis. It’s a skin and tissue infection, not dimpley skin. I don’t think they hospitalize you for that…
P. Pet peeve: Ugg boots and flip flops in public. Unsavory.
Q. Quote from a movie: “Every shadow, no matter how deep, is threatened by morning light.” – Rachel Weisz in The Fountain, one of the greatest films ever made.
R. Right or left handed: Right
S. Siblings: Nada
T. Time you wake up: It happens when it happens, hopefully on time.
U. Underwear: I just got some new ones with retro space prints. ^_^
V. Vegetable you hate: Cauliflower. Blech. It’s like the gross evil sibling of Broccoli (which is awesome).
W. What makes you run late:  Oversleeping or procrastination usually.
X. X-Rays you’ve had: I’ve had a bunch of dental ones, I can’t remember how many though.
Y. Yummy food that you make:  I’ve been making lots of ricey things with the new rice cooker. Not that it takes much effort to make… throw it in the pot, press a button. Blam! It’s done.
Z. Zoo animal: Lion! Of course.

My Talented Friends – Jacqueline

Gentle reader,

While I no longer work in theater, one of the things that I will always be grateful for is all the amazingly talented friends that I made while studying and working on shows. One of those incredible peeps is my friend Jacqueline, who I named Quoise (pronounced “kwahz”; long story). Here she is wearing a cat hat I made for her. I don’t have many pics of us left since the Great Hard Drive Crash of ’09.

Quoise in a Cat Hat

She acts, she writes, she sings; she does it all! And her singing voice is riDONKulous. Here she is singing La Vie En Rose.

And while you’re at it, you MUST go to her blog on Tumblr, The London Bunny, and read all about her exciting move to London.


Gentle reader,

I’ve been out and about quite a bit this past week, and I feel very good about it; lots of walking, lots of exploring and some yummy food. One of my favorite little wanderings was when I popped into Meet Me At Mike’s, the shop of the wonderful Pip who also has a blog which you should go and read right this moment. I picked up some awesome trinkets and I’ll definitely be going back for more goodies.

Meet Me At Mike's Haul

The lion and deer buttons and the circus tent key chain are for me, and the owl ring is for my bestie Panda (Shh! Don’t tell her! And, if you’re reading, Panda… it’s for.. erm… another Panda that I know…). I can’t tell you how obsessed I am with the lion button, obviously. Clearly it was made for me.

While I went on my many walks, I made sure to take my camera, because I really want to improve my photography. So, I took lots of snaps on my way. I’ve got a long way to go, but practice makes perfect!

My Neighborhood Under The Sky
My Neighborhood Under The Stars

You should wander around your neighborhood and see what you can see, and take some snaps maybe! Fun times!

Music To Make To

Gentle reader,

I love Midlake so much it’s almost unhealthy (they made me increase my ‘Holy Five of Music’ to my ‘Holy Six of Music’), and their most recent album, “Courage Of Others” is one of my favorite albums to chill out to while I knit or crochet. This song, “Roscoe”,  is from the album before and is one of my fave songs of theirs. I love the story in the song, and the sentiment, and it gets me all fired up to make things. I have to thank my friend Jonathan for putting me onto Midlake a few years ago. N’awww! Friends.

If you have any awesome tunes that get your creative juices going, send them my way!

Words To Live By

Gentle reader,

I’ll not talk around it: I’m an only child and I love my parents and often I miss them. Sometimes so intensely that I can barely think about anything else. I’ll own it. I think being a Mama’s and Papa’s boy is a far better stereotype to live up to as an only child than a spoiled brat.

So, as it goes, I’ve been really missing my Ma the past few weeks. I’ve been knitting her a shawl using some totes yummy Rowan yarn. But, I can knit all I want and she won’t know I was thinking of her until she gets it. So, I decided some snail mail was well overdue, and I picked out this card a few days ago in my travels:

Words to live by.

I thought the sentiment was bang on, although I’m sure my Ma would say that there was a relatively lengthy period that began somewhere around the fourteen-year mark when I did nothing but question my mother (she might even say that this period hasn’t truly ended even…). My family also has a running game of sending mail to whacky made-up names. The envelope I’ve just written out is address to “Myfanwy McGillicutty”.

That’s all for me, tonight. I’ll be dropping this little letter in the mail tomorrow. If she’s not close, why don’t you send your mama some love, perhaps in amusing card form!