Tuesday, 27 January 2009

The Great Unwashed Issue 9: You've All Misunderestimated Me...

The latest issue of our zine The Great Unwashed is out now! And this time, it's all in colour! Every single page of the gaddammed thing! (Thanks for having an office job, Googy.) Get your next fix of tard-core from us right now! It's our 9th issue, and the copies of the first eight issues are still available too. There's also a very special Steven Seagal secret-edition available (thanks to Oly). Look out for that on bus-stops and random dark corners.

As usual, the zine has been lovingly hand-put together using coloured markers, scissors, typewriters, and lots and lots of sticky tape, before being sent for photocopying.

All the usual goodies are in there:
- Centrefold
- Dolly Doctor
- Coaster Art
- lots of articles
- things to do with ponies
- random drawings
The colouring-in competition is back too. Just colour in the picture we've placed in the zine and send it back to us. Our favourite image will win a very , erm, unique gift - The Spam, Jam and Easy-Off Bam-per. There's a can of Spam, a jar of jam of your choice, and of course, a bottle of Easy-Off Bam! For those stubborn stains...

Email us at: fotocollective@hotmail.com or check our Myspace out at: The Great Unwashed .
We'll be selling the zines at markets and Fag Panic gigs for $5 a copy. And if you're really nice to us, we might even throw in a free copy of the Steven Seagal mini-zine. Don't tell me that doesn't get get your heart pumping just a little bit faster...

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Young Converts

Despite its popularity in recent years, knitting (and crocheting) is still often seen as a slightly daggy activity for grannies. So, it's been refreshing seeing some youngsters - one of them a 12 year old boy - really getting into it.
How often these days do you see such a look of concentration on a kid's face, especially when it's not directed towards a computer or a game?

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Tiny Hat

My brief was to make Shannon a little pouch-type thing so he could keep stuff in it. But it looked fairly...boring. So what does one do to jazz it up a little? Add some scalloped edges and turn the thing into a teeny tiny hat!

Now we're all set to party!
No idea why I look so worried. Possibly because I was envisioning a crowd of prepubescents all adopting the crocheted tiny hat trend, and then, one day, leaving the house only to be confronted by lots of tiny people wearing tiny hats.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Finally, Some Crochet...

Alright...confession time. Since I came back to Sydney, the weather's been way too hot for me to want to sit under a pile of wool, making warm winter wear. So I've mostly refrained. I'm most definitely not a warm weather person.

But I did manage to crochet a few items in the week that I was in Melbourne. All I can say is...thank goodness for air-conditioning. Sure, it's not that good for the environment, but when you're baking in a 40 degree room, it's very pleasant.

I found out (while enjoying the air-conditioned comfort) that both my cousins had got into crochet and knitting, thanks to a book that they received for Christmas a year ago. I promptly commandeered a crochet hook and some wool and proceeded to make them beanies. Very simple but very well received. It also didn't hurt that they thought I was a 'genius' because of how even my stitches were.

Trying on Shannon's beanie for size before I gave it to him. (Sorry about the fairly Myspace-esque pose, it's hard to take a good photo of the side of your head when there's no one else around to help.) Compared to a 12-year-old, I have a giant head.
Shannon was pleased with the finished product, even though he'll have to wait at least 4 months before he wears it if he doesn't fancy giving himself brain damage.
Belinda loved hers too, and the fact that I made it in her favourite colour, burgundy. I didn't know it was her favourite colour at that time, it was just the one of the colours that my sister had in her stash.
At least I seem to have a couple of fans now.

Monday, 19 January 2009


Greetings and apologies for a prolonged absence. I was visiting the family down in Melbourne over the last week, and of course, forgot the cable for my camera. Guess that means that I'll be posting a whole bunch of stuff over the next few days, then. It's a good thing I'm on holiday now...

My second day there, Tiffany and I went over to babysit our cousins. Well, they're not really babies anymore (Shannon will be 12 next month and Belinda 10 in March) but 'tweensitting' sounds fairly...odd.

Just before she left for work, my auntie got us started on making ondeh-ondeh, which are (I think) Nyonya dessert dumplings filled with palm sugar. Fairly easy to make, and it helped keep Belinda occupied for at least half an hour.

You'll need:
sweet potato
palm sugar
glutinous rice flour
pandan essence (optional)
grated coconut

As you can guess, we didn't work according to an exacting receipe. It still worked out fine, though. For those interested, here are some helpful pictures to go with the vague instructions:

1) Steam a heap of sweet potatoes (the amount will depend on how many ondeh-ondeh you want to end up with.)
When the potatoes are soft enough, mash them up roughly with a fork.

2) Grate a lot of palm sugar - you'll need more than you think. You can do this step while steaming the potatoes.

3) Once the sweet potatoes have been given a bit of abuse, mix them up with some glutinous rice flour. As I mentioned before, I didn't have exact quantities and pretty much guessed it all.
So...I guess, just mix in enough flour so that it all sticks together and forms a smooth dough without falling apart.
You may also add some pandan essence to the mixture at this point, if your heart (or stomach) so desires.

4) Grab a bite-sized piece of the dough, roll it into a ball then flatten it, to end up with a flat, circular shape.
Add about a heaped teaspoon of the grated palm sugar into the middle of the dough. Try not to put too much in, as the dumplings may burst when you put them into boiling water later.
Obviously, you can make a bigger dumpling if you want to, with more filling, but these were easier for little hands to handlle.

5) Roll them up into little balls, with the filling in the middle, so they look like...

You can add food colouring to the dough too, to make them more colourful. (I think the green colour came from the pandan essence, though.)

7) When you're done rolling them up, put them into a large pot of boiling water. The dumplings are done when they float up to the surface.
It's probably better not to put too many of them in at once, as they'll tend to clump together into a messy, doughy mass.

8) Put the cooked dumplings into a bowl filled with grated coconut, and roll them around to coat them in the coconut.

9) When they've all been coated, display them on a plate and they're ready to eat! They can be served both warm or chilled, but I think it's great eating them straightaway as the melted palm sugar oozes out and coats your tongue with it's sweetness.

Friday, 9 January 2009

UV Cupcakes

Another week, another batch of luridly coloured cakes.
Googy and I bought a packet of butter-cake mix from Frankies and a whole bag of icing sugar, in an ill-thought-out attempt to satisfy sugar cravings.
We put a tin of strawberries in with the cake mixture, which turned the cakes a delightful pink colour. But that obviously wasn't colourful enough, so we ended up making three batches of icing, mixing them all together, and piping them onto the cakes (this is where The Best Piping Bag In The World came in handy again).
The fact that we ended up with more icing mixture than cake mixture should have been a warning to us, but we piped pretty much all the icing onto the cakes anyway. And ended up with icing than tasted like sugary toothpaste on top of barely-there cupcakes.
At least they looked lovely and colourful, even if they didn't taste that great. The icing didn't glow as much under our UV lights as we thought they would, though.

Thursday, 1 January 2009

Dyslexic Santa

What do you do with a discounted, build-it-yourself gingerhouse house kit from Kfart? Well, you can always make a gingerbread house for New Year's Eve...

The kit came with a bag of 'Royal Icing' mixture, and also 'The Best Piping Bag In the World' - which Goggy and I got pretty damned excited about. It turned out to be an above average piping bag.
To get the lovely pyschedelic colours of our icing, just add some pink and blue dye after you've spooned the icing into the piping bag. That way, the colours don't get to mix together evenly and you get swirly bits of colour.
We also added a touch too much water plus it was a stinking hot day, which is why the icing turned out slightly goopy. Try not to let a dyslexic get their hands on the piping bag though, they might end up misspelling 'Santa'.
Make sure to decorate the outside of the house with all of the hundreds-and-thousands and Smarties provided with the kit.
Happy 1976, everybody!