Saturday, February 23, 2013

To re-paint or not re-paint?

That is the question. I scored some IKEA frames from the RSPCA op-shop this week for a dollar and I have made them into little art pieces for kid's rooms. I like that they are a little scuffed and I'd hang them as is - but, for a listing on Etsy should I buff them and re-paint them? 

Personally I think using new paint is a bit of a waste and detratcs a little from the whole  upcycle/recycle thing. What would you do - or would you buy one as-is for about AU$10?  

Oh, and if you like me style, I have a giveaway running for a few more days - just click here to enter.






Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Tuesday giveaway, oh my wordy lordy

I think it's time for a giveaway. It's easy, just use the widget at the bottom of this post and you'll be in the running to win a reread gift pack. Cards, a brooch, tags - all bundled up in some lovely vintage wrapping paper and sent off to you next week. 

Here are some of the delights that may be in the package - a random selection of reread items will be sent off to the winner. So get liking, tweeting etc. the prize will be drawn next week on Tuesday, 26 February. 







Monday, February 18, 2013

Other people's memories

I like reading the 'to... from...' messages in the front of the old books I collect to use for my reread cards etc. Mostly from the 70s and 80s, given to girls from aunts with old fashioned names like Dorothy etc. One book I picked up at this year's Lifeline Bookfest had an old Polaroid photo of three kids and a handful of puppies. I wonder where those kids are now...

From a beautiful old Golden Book
Anonymous kids with a bucket full of puppies
Cute little book for Michelle...
The good old days when books cost 39c

Escaping the rain in Koh Samui

So, part two of the SE Asia trip. After a bit of a bad night in Penang (we had some druck louts trying to get into our room and being total assholes) we decided to say sayonara to Malaysia and hello Thailand. We took a bus and then a train to some tinpot little place called Trang - from where we hoped we would set off to one of the east coast islands. The weather had other ideas so we headed for Koh Samui on a hunch that the weather would be better - hunch much!

Wow, after a ferry ride from the mainland we stepped off onto one of the most beautiful islands I've ever been to. This small island, an hour and a half from the port of Donsak in the Gulf of Thailand is a Thai beach holiday microcosm. Everything you could ever want from a beach holiday Samui does with a smile and a ‘no worries’ attitude.

Some advice from the volunteer at the tourist information desk got us in a cab and into a villa in Mae Nam all in under an hour – we had not booked, we just rocked up and went with it.

The low season here means that rooms are heavily discounted and the place is just quietly humming along. For the traveller who is not looking for a thumping full-moon-party good time this is holiday paradise and you certainly get more bang for your baht.

We hired a scooter just from a place just outside where we were staying, expect to pay 200 baht for a full day’s hire. First destination was the more popular tourist beach Chaweng.

As we approach Chaweng over a hill the road before us opened up with a huge rock on one side and the blue waters of the bay on the other – postcard kind of stuff.

We pulled up at one of the many beachside cafes for a sandwich and an iced coffee and then just bobbed about in the glassy-flat ocean for an hour.

Like most touristy beaches in Asia Chaweng has its share of beach hawkers – just embrace it – they are making a buck and you have grilled corn, cold drinks and inflatable beach toys at your beck and call. The water is calm and warm and you can just lie about in the shallows for hours (provided you have your hat and suncream on!)

The next day we woke up to another amazing day and took the scooter to one of the waterfalls. A short ride up a cement road we parked and left our helmets for 20 baht and took the ten-minute trip to the waterfall. The waterfall was more of a trickle at the end of a super-dodgy path. On arrival we found some beefed-up Brits splashing about and being general wankers.

Riding around on Samui, it's pretty hard to get lost – basically the island has one big road that just goes all the way around - so we ended up at the pier in Bo Phut – the place we had disembarked for the ferry the day before. We pulled in for a cold Chang with a view.

Onwards again and we took our scooter back to our base, Mae Nam to find some dinner and a drink beachside while the sun went down. Restaurants with a beachfront vista are not hard to find and most have reasonable prices. We paid about 400 baht for some watermelon shakes, a delicious Penang curry and a fresh paw paw salad.

We had a poke around in a few shops and then retired early after a long day of sand, sun and scooter – if you’re looking for ‘party, party, party’ Samui has it, but it’s just as easy to find a quiet nook to relax and get a good night’s sleep. Even in the low season the island has full-moon party events and other assorted alcohol-fueled beach parties. It’s never had to find what you’re looking for.
 
On the island transport is taxi or the red bus song thaw that will shuttle you from stop to stop. Hiring a scooter is easy – just make sure you give the bike a once over before heading out. As cool as it looks riding along sans helmet and shirt is not a good idea, one the driver is required to wear a helmet by Thai law and two if you fall off a shirt and helmet may save you some skin.

It's hard to look good when you're sweaty ALL the time.
Umbrella anyone?
Yes, I would say this place has a sea view.
The bungalow we stayed in for about $60 a night. 
Tried to read this book - was 50 shades of shithouse. Only made it about 18 pages in.
The resort dog was very cool, he took himself for walks on the beach with patrons of his choice.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Another Jägerbomb sweet pea?

Another Sunday, another post with more reread cards. Yesterday we spent from 9am until about 3pm driving all over looking at houses to buy. Exciting, exhausting and headache inducing. The 'on trend' open house smell is the votive candle and/or oil burner. By my sixth abode of patchouli I was well and truly over it with a headache to boot.

Sunday started out with far less smelly oils and a bit more ra, shanti, shanti with a yoga class and then a quick visit to see my friend's cute baby. On the drive home there were emergency vehicles zooming along Ipswich Road (one moron in front of me stopped and indicated left - she was already in the left lane - people lose their fucking mind when they hear/see an ambulance behind them). 

My street was blocked off with police cars and then it was my turn to freak out. I was so worried it would be our house. Luckily it wasn't but unluckily for someone else there was a house fire about five houses away. We stood outside our house and watched for a bit - people are so moronic at times, there was one guy trying to direct traffic, I could see the cop was just about to bust his chops. I don't think anyone was home or hurt.

Anyway on a lighter note here are some of the new cards I've been working on - I'll be adding some more cards and brooches to Etsy and Made It tomorrow.




Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Does the pope shit in the woods?

Popey boy sat down to have his pancakes this morning and thought 'bugger it'. He's abdicating and the whole world is surprised. Why, he's like a hundred years old? Resign before you begin to dribble in public is my motto. Hopefully the Catholic Church or God will appoint someone not so narrow minded on issues like contraception and homosexuality, maybe I'll get a unicorn for Christmas too.


ExBenedict

Sunday, February 10, 2013

The trip that was - part one

I started a WordPress blog for the trip we took to South East Asia last year but I ended up hating the format etc. so I'm back here on faithful old Blogger. All the posts etc. I added along the way are lost in blog world so I thought I would write a few travel posts here - mainly so I have a written record when I look back when I'm old and sad. That's one of the lovely things about blogging, looking back and rereading posts and feeling all nostalgic.

So to kick things off - It's the first of September and I'm flying out to KL to meet Mr reread who has been in China, Singapore and southern Malaysia for three weeks - boy do I miss him.

After being herded through the LCC airport like a dumb ruminant I was pleased as punch to see a familiar mop of dark curls waiting for me at the arrival 'space' - seriously the LCC terminal in KL is craptastic. We bypass the eager cab drivers who are waving things in our faces and jump on the KLIA bus for about a tenth of the pice at RMB10. 

Once we reach KL Central we drag my big red backpack (I am so getting a wheelie bag) to our hotel in Brickfields and head out for some food. I'm like 'let's get some posh food' - really I should know by now to just eat where the taxi drivers eat, it's cheap, good and no fuss. The place we went to was overpriced and just a bit shitty really. Pinchos - give it miss and don't believe everything you read on TripAdvisor (especially in Asia).

We spent two nights in KL - did the Batu Caves - take the train out there for RMB1, total bargain - walked around, went to the bird park, errr yeah about that. The bird park, unless you like to see large raptors in small cages in 30 degree heat I'd give it a miss. I found it very distressing and not at all what I was expecting.

We took the bus to Penang and then made our way to Batu Ferringhi. It seems to have changed a lot since our last visit, more touristy and not quite as nice a feel to it. Next time I think we'll try Georgetown or Langkawi. We did have a nice time though, sitting in small beach-side joints enjoying some beer and satay sticks... listening to Adele. OMFG what is with the shitty pop and Adele craze, we ended up having to leave one place as they thought it would be a good idea to play Adele really loud on loop after we'd sat down and ordered a beer. We watched the ladies in full burka zinging along on jet skis and said 'no' to the horseride, banana boat, speedboat, parasail offers and planned out next stop - Thailand.

This is my 'barely coping with the Adele CD' face.
It was very pretty when the jet skis stopped.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Yoghurt, it's good for your insides

I am slowing turing into my spend-thrift parents from the 80s. They had chickens, sheep, a vegetable garden and my mum bottled in Vacola jars and made yoghurt. I too am making yoghurt and it's really good. So far I've been a handmade yoghurt cheat and I've been using the dried packet cultures. Hansells is the best I've tried so far. I just use the plain/natural ones and add a little fruit sugar and some vanilla extract. It's hells yummy.

Here are some lovely blog posts from other hippy ra ra types who also like to make the goodstuff themselves;


More Than Six Ways To Incubate Yogurt Without a Yogurt Maker

More birthday spoils

Apparently the party never stops. I keep getting little gifts in the mail, I've basically had a birthday month - sweet! The latest editions are these lovely Pyrex bowls, perfect for eating yoghurt from and another birthday card form my mum - one is never enough. 

Pretty Pyrex in snowflakes...
I like this pink one the best.

Birthday card take two. 
Inside the card, a delightful recipe and some vintage cigarette collectables.
Lastly an already scratched scratch-it - I won!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Save it till Sunday

For my fellow Australians, if you want a cute, handmade and one-of-a-kind card for your lovely this Valentine's Day get in now. I have 30% off my Made It shop and also my Etsy shop (use Sweetheart at the checkout to get the discount). Buy online between now and Sunday, you'll save and I'll get it posted out to you in time for 14 February, the biggest kissy, kissy ohhh la la day of the year. 

Here are some of my lovelies on Etsy...




And some of my Made It delights...




Monday, February 4, 2013

Be schmaltzy, you know you wanna

I am blogging from my iPad as My Optus broadband is running like yo nana. All weekend it has been so slow that I've flipped my lid a few times and freaked the poor dog out. Anyway, apart from my broadband woes the weather has been amazing so we've spent the weekend eating nice food, reading the paper and enjoying the house in a clean and undoggy-smelling state.

I've been crafting, and making good use of my Lifeline Bookfest finds ... Here are some of the spoils that will be on the website soon and also at my next market. If you need a Valentine's card get on over to my ETSY or Made It shops as I have heaps listed. As a special thanks to my bloggy readers I will add a little gift tag pack to each order from today until 14 February. So get cracking and get schmaltzy ... Muah xoxoxox.




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