my other project

Oh hai!

Whatcha been up to? I’ve been hanging out at home for the last five months, keeping this tiny human alive and giggling. It’s pretty fun but I think I’ve finally found some breathing room. Let’s have fun here again, okay?

Part of what has inspired me is finding the old version of my blog on the internet wayback machine. And I mean old. I started putting crap on the web in 1997 but I did a lot of what was then called online journalling from 1999-2003. Woah, I know, right!?

This is the view I had for my four day trip to the hospital a few weeks ago. Fortunately nothing serious was wrong I just have had some chronic pain issues to deal with but it sure is scary to be in so much pain than not even a shot of morphine can ease it entirely.

I have to admit, it was almost enjoyable to be in hospital. You absolutely can’t do anything except rest and get better. Once they discharged me and I was home again it was hard not to do things even though I was meant to be on bed rest. In hospital I had midwives checking my blood pressure, the baby’s heartbeat and my pain levels three or four times a day. At home, I just had to hope everything was going well.

So this is where I’ve been. In bed, mostly. I’ve been very frustrated and a bit withdrawn. I can’t do too much of anything at all without getting very tired and sore.  I don’t think I’ll be going back to work except for the odd half day before Christmas. I still have three months to go before this baby is fully cooked. That’s a lot more time in bed!

trail bars

I love the contradiction of these bars. I made them with a wide variety of rolled and puffed wholegrains and seeds as well as bran and fruit-of-the-moment dried wolf (or goji) berries. Healthy right? Well all that good for you stuff is stuck together with peanut butter, chocolate, honey and brown sugar. A spoonful of fat and sugar helps the medicine go down, huh? Although when divided among the 16 serves this recipe makes, it’s not a huge amount of anything. Still, I try not to eat these as a snack but use them as a quick breakfast on the go when I’m working at 6am. I mainly make them for the boy as his post workout snack. They’re great for that.

What I love about recipes like this is that you can mix, match, adjust and substitute the dry ingredients to your heart’s content. Don’t like sultanas? Leave ‘em out. Love coconut? Chuck some in. Just make sure you have a maximum of four cups of dry ingredients in any combination.

I was lucky to find a puffed grain combination at my local bulk food market. It had a mixture of rice, amaranth, barley, spelt and kamut (I think) but any combination or even just plain puffed rice is fine for this. I have an unexplainable preference for rolled spelt over oats so that’s what I use but anything is fine.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Trail Bars (makes 16 in a 30cm x 20cm tray)

dry mix
1 cup rolled oats, spelt, barley or what ever you have
1 cup puffed grains
1/2 cup pepitas
1/2 cup dried wolfberries
1/2 cup bran cereal
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup sesame seeds
couple of pinches of salt

wet mix
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup honey (or corn syrup if you’re vegan)
1/2 cup peanut butter
60 grams dark chocolate, roughly chopped.

Mix together all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.

Heat the sugar and honey in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to boil and let boil for 10 – 15 seconds. Take off heat and immediately add peanut butter and chocolate, which should melt into the mixture pretty much immediately! Stir well until mixture is smooth.

Quickly add to the dry mix and stir through as fast as possible as the liquid mix will start to harden straight away. Once it’s mixed in, tip it out into a tray lined with baking paper and flatten the mixture out, pressing firmly.

That’s it, apart from letting it cool and then slicing it up to munch on.

From What Yaya Likes to here, Pin it Forward is making it’s way, day by day around the blog world!

My pin it forward board on Pinterest is a mixture of my aspirational home and my real one. Bits and pieces I have as well as those I deeply desire. Mostly it is about colour but as it turns out, what home means to me boils down to the bedroom and the kitchen. I guess that means that home is about comfort, whether than comfort is fluffy doonas and beautiful bed linen or shelves and shelves of vintage kitchenalia and good, good food. And a place all of my own to be creative.

midcentury office furniture porn via the Design Files

I love that feeling of getting into a freshly laundered bed. I haven’t quite pinpointed the exact type of sheets I like best. I was given some sateen sheets as a gift last year and while they are lovely, I really miss the crispness of lesser thread count linen. The white, fraying hotel linen at the Ace Hotel in Portland was perfection and if I hadn’t managed to stain them with a late night room service hamburger, I may have been tempted to shove them into my luggage and abscond. When I saw the classic Orla Kiely stem print quilt covers at a local store, I was almost cast mute, except for the occasional squawk of happinesss and lust. It’s the greatest luxury to be made happy before sleep and upon waking every single day, just by the sight of your bed. Whether it’s Orla or a handmade quilt or just the sight of your loved one snuggled up inside, a bed is home, even just for the night.

via Greige Design

I am very at home in the kitchen. Cooking is more than the act of sustenance. It’s a hobby, a meditation and a method of stress relief. It’s time to think, to be methodical and I’m not so much like that in the rest of my life. So I surround myself with beauty in the kitchen. It’s full of colour and texture and light.

via Design is Mine

Tomorrow go visit Lost and Fawned for more Pin it Forward goodness!

When he first died, I could barely even talk about it. I thought about it all the time but kept it all wrapped up inside. A few weeks later when I flew to Portland for the memorial I bought a new journal so I could write it all down. It was the reason I was going all that way, to mourn the loss of my friend, to make it more than an abstract idea. But I couldn’t do it. I didn’t touch pen to paper once. The grief was still too tight inside me.

Never before have I wanted so desperately to believe in life after death, in the concept of an everlasting soul, in the idea of angels and spirits and all that stuff I know deep down is bullshit. But in the days after I heard the news, when I wanted to talk to him so badly it tore my heart in two, I wished I could believe it all.

Goodbye friend

This has always been my favourite photo of him. Firstly because of the basic reason it reminds me of that day. We went to Multnomah Falls. We talked. We squished a penny. But it also encapsulates our entire relationship. I see the way he looked at me. We liked each other. A lot. But I also see the crossed arms, the reserve, the way neither of us could jump in with both feet. He broke my heart a couple of times when he was alive but the worst one was when he took his own life.

I love where I live and despite a vague yearning to move away when I was younger, I really wouldn’t ever consider moving. Yes, Perth is isolated and smal and has a terrible habit of knocking down old to build new but it’s where home is. I get jealous sometimes at how photogenic other cities can be so I went for a walk to find beauty in my own neck of the woods.




These were all taken with some AGFA Precisa, cross processed and scanned without any colour correction. I think it might be my favourite film from now on. There’s no great colour shifts, it’s just a bit more intense and reminds me of the Toyko Gratzy Vegas film that I adored. I have one roll of that left, I don’t know what occasion is going to be so special that merits it’s usage!

…is not like the others.

autumn colour
spring colour
autumn colour
autumn colour

Can you tell which photo was taken in Portland and not at home in Western Australia?

You always hear people talking about the light and the sky in Australia and I’ve always thought that BRIGHTER and STRONGER was better. But this last trip I took to Portland made me think that softer might sometimes be better. Australian light is harsh and unforgiving. I took a self portrait, next to the window, inside my room at the Ace Hotel and in it I looked like I was glowing. Not from some wavygravy source of inner peace but just lovely soft, gorgeous flattering sunlight.

art journal class

These are the first pages of my new art journal, as inspired by the online class I’m taking at Red Velvet Art. I’m not liking what I’m producing very much but that’s my fault, not the class. I am enjoying it though. I enjoy prompts and starting points.

My least favourite page so far is one that started ‘Deep Down…’ and I think I made it look so ugly because I found it so hard to be introspective like that.

Today’s page was my dream list, which is much more fun to think about and I really liked my lettering for this one.

Here’s a crappy picture of it.

red journal art class

This lettering was meant to be cut out of fabric but I didn’t have anything with me when I wanted to do this page so I started thinking about other materials I had with me that could be used instead.

So I used washi tape for the vertical parts of the letters and drew the rest of the letter forms with a posca pen.

A long weekend and a beautiful autumn day so we wandered slowly to have yum cha for breakfast (and lunch). Red was everywhere. This was the last public holiday for months and months. It always feels like you have to buckle down and get to work after the Anzac Day holiday.

For me, I start an online art journaling course run by Red Velvet Art this week. I’m nervous because it requires me to do something creative every single day (!) for six weeks, assuming I behave.  I thought it might force me into daily creative practise and really kick start my renewed interest in painting and drawing. We’ll see!

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I love this blog meme, even if I hate the words blog and meme. So there. Blatantly stolen from inspired by Abby! This has been my week.

Feeling:

Ink on my fingers, paint in my hair. Trying to do a little bit of art every day. Even if it’s shit, it’s still practise.

Tasting:

Cake, cake and cake. From the 150+ mini cupcakes and brownie squares I made for the shop’s party to a big old slice of coconut layer cake from Sherbet, I have been medicating stress with sugar and butter.

Hearing:

I re-acquired an album that was stolen from me so long ago. No Memory by No.2. It’s maybe my most favourite album ever. I wish I could tell you to go buy it but it’s out of print. Scour some Portland second hand record stores maybe? That’s what Neil Gust told me to do when I asked him where I could find a copy.

Smelling:

Fresh baby! Met my friend’s adorable eight week old kid today. She’s tiny and perfect and makes my uterus hurt! The baby I mean, not my friend. Though she’s pretty cute too.

Seeing:

Next summer’s clothing ranges for my store. I don’t much like viewing appointments but I don’t mind visiting this agent. They just leave me to look through the racks on my own. I hate those ones where the agent wants to tell me the story of every dress, every tee shirt and you have to feign interest even though you decided within two seconds if you loved or hated the piece.