Tuesday, 29 September 2009


Featuring - homemade cottage pie, Justice Yeldham, patches of sunlight, and the Horniman Museum (I dare you to say 'Horniman' without sniggering. Ok, maybe I'm the only one here with the mind of a 13 year old.)

Nom nom nom - I make food

Glass and guts from Justice

Stuff on my table at A Little Bazaar.

Views from the Horniman (sorry, I just wanted to use that name again.)

Conservatory roof


Stuffed scarlet ibises. So much prettier than the black and white ibises roaming around in Sydney.

Autumn is upon us.

The Man Creature made me this and I shall treasure it forever (until he pisses me off and I decide to crush it to dust.)

Pink - the best colour for a bandstand.


Monday, 21 September 2009

Crocheted Collar

According to my Ravelry account, I started crocheting this collar sometime in May. Which means it's taken me about half a year to finish up less than 6 centimetres of crocheting. And I haven't even blocked it yet, nor I am likely to. Because I'm lazy, that's why.

I also like the ruffliness that the collar has now, and I'm not sure if I'll lose that after blocking. Which is how I persuade myself that it really doesn't need it.

Oh, and that blue beret I'm wearing? Found it in the op-shop for £1, although if anyone asks, I might lie and say I made it.

Friday, 18 September 2009

Beetroot and Onions

My parents, like many of yours, told me not to play with my food. It's a good thing I never listened to them.

How else would I have discovered that beetroot, onion skins, salt and vinegar are not just edible, but give you beautiful autumnal colours too? The skein of yarn above was dyed with two cooked beetroots, resulting in this yummy orangey-pink colour. I'm not quite sure what this yarn is made of, as I found it in a box in the op-shop.

The mercerised cotton crochet thread below was dunked into a solution of red onion skins, which gave me this warm goldy-browny tone. I love how the colour seems to impart a slight sheen to the yarn.

Unfortunately, I haven't got any photos of the process, as I wasn't sure it would work. I'll put up a tutorial if there's interest from you guys, or you could just search the interwubs for instructions.

So, girls and boys, why don't you go play with your food and let me know what happens?

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Samovars and Stone Cold Foxes

Last Saturday's trawl of the op-shops around Camberwell yielded some peculiarly fantastic finds. Perhaps the most awesome thing I found (in my opinion) was this little brass samovar.

I've had a yearning for one, ever since I spent about 4 months training it across Central Asia a couple of years ago. Each train carriage would be equiped with a gigantic, steaming samovar at each end of every carriage, to provide passengers with hot water for, well, any activity you'd require hot water for, really.

Mine's only a little one, for the home dining table, although the plug's so old that I doubt I'd be tempted to try and re-wire it, just in the whole thing blows up. As you can see, age has imbued the brass with a lovely warm patina, and it looks just beautiful glowing in the afternoon sunlight.

The other item that I got quite excited about was a copy of the book 'Beastly Knits' by Lalla Ward. That's her down there, lady on the cover with the crazy eyes, grinning rather inanely. She's married to Richard Dawkins though, so I forgive her her trepasses.

The excitement wasn't because I wanted to knit baggy jumpers with unrealistic animals on them. I'm not really that kinda girl, although I think Claudia Kishi would certainly approve. And it wasn't because Lalla Ward used to be a companion to the best time-travelling doctor in all the universes. I parted with 50 whole pence for this hardback tome because of the fantastic pictures in it.

And when I say 'fantastic', please read that as 'uncomfortable and extremely awkward.' I give you Exhibit A - Batgeek.

And Exhibit B - awkward fake father/daughter combo.

Although I must admit that I find that dude in the fox jumper to be quite the stone-cold fox himself. Check out that luscious hair (on his head and on his face). And let's not even get started on his ramrod posture - makes a girl weak at the knees, everytime! That little girl looks quite embarrassed by everything that's going on around her. I hope she grew up to be a vampire slayer.

There's lots of other beauties in the book, but I shouldn't torture you anymore. Sleep tight, don't let the Batgeek bite!

Monday, 7 September 2009

Better Metal Snake

New photos from a new old camera.

Friday, 4 September 2009

Shop Update

It's long overdue but I've finally added a whole bunch of new goodness to the shop. And I'm still in the process of adding more stuff! There's lots of new aprons, and some glamourous flapper-style headgear being added as we speak! Exciting, what?

So get thee typing fingers on over there now and see pick yourself up something frilly and pretty. No, it's not gonna bring about world peace, but boy, will it make you feel good!

As usual, everything is one of a kind, so once it's gone, it's gone, baby.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Young Bill

Aren't these photos just excellent? I love how forced the boys' smiles are - almost like the photographer threathened to take away their ice creams if they didn't smile for the camera.

This photo makes me a little uncomfortable though. The 'snow' looks so obviously fake, and the way it falls reminds me of dandruff. Great big balls of dandruff. No wonder he looks so uncomfortable.

But I'm a brave little girl, so I gritted my teeth and made myself a balaclava using that very pattern as a base. It's actually not so much a balaclava, more of a hood. The thing wouldn't come in very useful should I decide to rob some banks or a jewellery store.

Since I can never leave well enough alone, I ended up modding the pattern. Instead of seaming up the neckband, I decided to add a button tab by adding 10 extra stitches which were bound off before I started on the hood section. Because I LURVE buttons.

The button tab also makes it a lot easier to get the thing on and off your head without messing up your make-up.

The other modification I made to the pattern was to do the hood section in a lacy wave stitch instead of the recommended stockinette stitch. I found knitting straight stockinette terribly yawn-inducing, and since I'm going through a major lace phase right now, I'm taking this opportunity to lace up as much as I can get my filthy mitts on.

It's not quite winter now, but I'm thinking this be great to wear while cycling during the colder months. And it's such an easy pattern that I'm already itching to knit up several more - in different colourways and lace designs - in preparation for when the cold hits.. I'd also like to make the button tab a little longer. More buttons, more fun!

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

RoundLondon Gives You Spots

Most of last week was spent hunched over piles of fabric, needle in hand, sewing up new aprons and headpieces in preparation for RoundLondon Gives You Spots at the Queen of Hoxton. And was getting pricked by needles hundreds of times worth it in the end? Well, not really.

While it did encourage me to get off my arse and make tons of new stuff, I really only ended up selling four cards and a couple of brooches during the day itself. And half of that was bought by my dear friend Haryo. The pub was otherwise deathly quiet (well, it wasn't actually quiet as there was a DJ there pounding out music the whole time) - at times, it seemed like there were more people manning the stalls then there were customers.

I'm not blaming the organisers at all, I think they actually did a great job organising and promoting everything. However, being in the Queen of Hoxton for more than seven hours reminded me of why I dislike hanging out in Hoxton in the first place. It's constantly frequented by painfully 'cool', cliquey hipsters who think they're perfectly original and ironic and too beautiful to smile. It's like being back at school all over again, and I hated school the first time.
You guessed it - I was a library geek back in the day. And I loved it.

Anyway, there's nothing original or ironic about dying your hair like Cindy Lauper or wearing a clashing, oversized jumper and skinny jeans. It's all been done before, and much better, by others. Oh, and by the way, 'ironic' doesn't mean what Alanis Morrisette thinks it means. Whew, look who's a ranty-tanty pants today! Sorry about that kids, it's just I always feel so annoyed when I hang around hipsters for any amount of time that I end up wanting to kick things.

Well, let's just look at the pictures, shall we?

I ended up spending most of my takings on these shoes from Rag and Bow.

New headpieces that will be going into the Etsy shop.

The stairwells at the Queen of Hoxton are filled with awesome drawings. This is one of my favourites. It's by Gemma...something. Sorry, I forgot.

End of a long, tiring, hungry day