Saturday, September 26, 2009

Oh, how European!

Oh, look what I found on Hannan Street! I was absolutely taken by this shopfront. It must the only one in the town centre. It is one of the ground floor tenancies of the Kalgoorlie Mechanics Institute. The shop, Barista 202, is meant to have a good cup of coffee and breakfast. I must go try it out tomorrow morning. Well, the breakfast at least. (I can't have caffeine in case you didn't know.) The owners have converted a small lane between their shop and the next building into a rather funky alfresco space. It really had that kinda European feeling. I found it out of place. (Well, not as out of place as Dome and its distinct branding on Hannan Street!) I'll give you the verdict later.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Stuck in the middle

I have a confession to make. Someone mentioned something about the ocean and I had a moment of intense panic. A moment of realisation that I was in the middle of a vast land mass with no sea, ocean or for that matter, river close by. The dreadful thought descended on me that I had edge to hug, no natural line to follow and suddenly, I was filled with a sense that was very similar to feeling claustrophobic! The feeling passed just as quickly as it came.


View Larger Map

I thought about it a lot throughout the day and realised that it is no wonder that I felt kinda lost and lacked orientation the whole time I have been here. My natural point of orientation was not there.

I'm ready to go home now.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Come to the chemist museum

Kalgoorlie could probably be described as a one street town. This being Hannan Street. This is not to say that it is a small town. I was surprised by the grandness of the town. The extra, extra wide streets and walkways. The image below is of one of the major intersections on Hannan Street. As you can see, the streets are triple carriageway on both sides of the road! Hannan Street is lined with buildings from the years of the gold boom. An impressive collection of Federation style buildings in this town that are really kinda stuck in middle of nowhere.


Boulder, however, is a different story. Boulder is a little town next to Kalgoorlie. There is a more domestic scale with single storey buildings that line the main street, Burt Street. During my walk up and down Burt Street yesterday, I chanced upon a rather inconspicuous Chemist Museum. It was in a corner of a working chemist. It was complete with a chest of chemist drawers! (This so much reminds of the Chinese version of this - the Chinese herbalist drawers). The cupboards were lined with brown glass bottles with ointments and names of chemicals that I did not recognise. (I was never really good in Chemistry at high school.) The glass cabinets were jam-packed with medical memorabilia.


It was rather interesting to look at all the stuff but I wonder if it would have been better if the "museum" was made an integral part of the current working chemist shop. Wouldn't that be far more interesting? Seeing the immediate juxtaposition of the old with the new! I bet that would be such a trendy place to purchase your medicine. Just imagine the chemist standing behind that glass counter with the brown bottle laden glass cabinet dispensing your modern day prescription. I would go there to fill my prescription any day!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

In the red centre...well...almost...


Super Pit in Kalgoorlie (WA), originally uploaded by eamedei.

Here I am surrounded by red earth and blue skies once again and I couldn't be a happier girl! I've had a day of absorbing the atmosphere, architecture and landscape of Kalgoorlie, Boulder and Coolgardie.

I've even had a trip to the Super Pit and was at once awestruck and almost sad by how man in his might could scar the earth so badly. Gold is what they are mining in the world's biggest open working mine. I feel conflicted. I like what comes out of that mine. (In fact, I am considering purchasing a pair of local gold nugget stud earrings as a souvenir). BUT I also feel that it is so unnatural. So awful that this beautiful natural land is forever marred by this great big hole in the ground.

Well, enough of my inner conflicts. More photos to come later. I'm off to find myself some gold!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Crash and burn

For pretty much the whole of last week and this week just past, I have been in a rut. Mountains of work were piled on my desk. Worst of all, I was getting disorganized and sloppy. When this happens, I know that I am nearing the brink. Living dangerously close to crash burning. The stress caused by the copious amount of work coupled by very little, broken sleep and missing my lunch time gym classes left me in a not-so-good place.

On Thursday, I managed to squeeze some time to go to my favourite gym class of all, Body Balance. (This opportunity was truly because I have three wonderful team members who took some load off me that day!) I felt instantly better during that first Downward facing dog pose. Oh, how I relished the stretching and balancing! We were doing the new Les Mills Body Balance release 46 and boy after missing a whole week of not exercising, I felt it. I really did.

What I did miss was the music of release 45, particularly Snow Patrol's Crack the Shutters and Erik Satie's: Gymnopedie No. 1.

IMGP2212 Storm Cloud sun rays HDR

Image taken from SWGA&ED's Photostream

Anyway, thank God, the storm is clearing. His grace is sufficient.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Benja Harney - Paperform

Following on my fascination with paper craft and sculptures, I chanced upon Benja Harney's portfolio on the Behance Network. He also has a website called Paperform which showcases his work. My current favourite is his design for the report cover for Shigeru Ban's bidding entry for a project in Sydney. (Unfortunately, he didn't win the bid.)

The cover is made from a single piece of paper which is folded onto itself. I think it is the simplicity and the attention to detail to the packaging of the report that strikes me. Go here for more images of the report and packaging.


Image taken from Benja Harney's porfolio on the Behance Network

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Extraordinary Mondays - Strawberry jam!

The whole house smells so good at the moment as I've just made some strawberry jam. My very first attempt and am surprised that it was not difficult at all! I've always had the image of slaving over a pot stirring a hot mixture of fruit for hours. I finally convinced myself that I was going to try it when I listened to a mid morning radio program last week while I was driving to a meeting. I gathered enough basic understanding from the program (stuff like pectin and 1 part fruit 1 part sugar) and took the big step and bought some strawberries just for the purpose today. I was almost brave enough to just go for it but I googled for a simple recipe just to be sure. The most simple I could find was this one from Homemade Jam and Jelly Recipes:

1kg strawberries
600g sugar

When the kids were soundly sleeping, I set to work. I used only one punnet of strawberries (250g) for fear of wasting good fruit in case it all didn't work out. I washed, hulled and halved the fruit. I mixed the strawberries and sugar in the pot and waited for one hour until the strawberries let out their juice to saturate the sugar as stated in the recipe. Then...

Oh, the smell that permeated from that pot was heavenly! After about 20 minutes on the boil, I did the freezer test. Put a teaspoonful of the lovely red liquid and spread it on a little plate. Stuck that into the freezer for a minute or two until the mixture was room temperature. I ran my finger down the middle of it and it did all the things it needed to do which was to wrinkle on the surface and stay as two separate portions. I took the jar, which I sterilized in the microwave, and scooped the jam into it. Voila! My very first jar of strawberry jam! Can't wait for breakfast tomorrow! YUM!

Okay, so maybe I didn't wait for breakfast! It was just too hard to resist!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Jentayu

Image taken from ORIAS The Ramayana image library
It is a detail of mural painting (late 18th century) at Wat Phra Si Ratana Satsadaram (Wat Phra Kaeo) Temple,
Bangkok, Thailand Photo: Garrett Kam

Have you ever heard of the mythical creature called Jentayu/Jatayu? Commonly described as a phoenix-like creature. Found in the Hindu epic written in Sanskrit called Ramayana, Jatayu is a demi-god in the form of a large bird and a friend of the epic's hero, Rama. The story tells of how Jatayu flew to the rescue of Rama's wife Sita, who was kidnapped by the demon king, Ravana. In the fight, Ravana cuts off Jatayu's wings leaving him mortally wounded. In the Ramayana, Jatayu is the nephew of the eagle-god Garuda,which explains why Jatayu is depicted as a type of eagle.

So why the sudden fascination with Jentayu and its story? Well, it is quite simple actually. I was listening to Jentayu by Sheila Majid this morning and it gave me goosebumps the way really good songs give you goosebumps. The song was released as a single in 1995 and immediately became a firm favourite. I thought I'd share it with you. Below is the music video complete with lyrics a la karaoke!



I've roughly translated the lyrics below for those who are interested.

Di paruhmu kemilauan sinar (Sadness glistens on your beak)
Menyepuhi sejuta rasa (Covered with a million emotions)
Kemuliaan di hatimu (The honour of your heart)
Bening budi terdampar di jagat raya (The brilliance of your righteouness shines across the vast shores of the world)
Di sayap taufan kau jelajahi (On the flanks of a storm, you explore)
Awan gemawan membawa rindu (Through the clouds, you bring news of (the one she) misses)
Kasihmu menentangi kezaliman ketidakadilan (Your love fights against cruelty and injustice)

Chorus:
Jentayu patah sayap bertongkat paruh (Jentayu with your wings broken, you use your beak)
Jentayu patah paruh bertongkat siku (Jentayu with your beak broken, you use your elbow)
Jentayu patah siku bertongkat dagu (Jentayu with your elbow broken, you use your chin)
Jentayu patah dagu bertongkat kuku (Jentayu with your chin broken, you use your claws)
(*note: this is figurative of Jentayu's tenacious nature in the fight for righteousness)

Pinjamkanlah hatimu untuk semua (Lend to all, your heart)
Pinjamkanlah syahdumu (Lend to all, your elegance)


Can you just imagine the eternal fight between the majestic Jentayu and the evil king Ravana? How righteous, loyal and noble! Oh, how romantic!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Extraordinary Mondays - Uthando Project



Have you heard of the Uthando Project? This project began in 2004 when Dr Julie Stone, an Australian infant, child and family psychiatrist returned from South Africa determined to find a way to help the children in the Hlabisa district. The initial invitation to dollmakers have grown from strength to strength and is still going.

If you want to be part of it, all you need to do is to make a doll with the following guidelines:
  • Make your doll brown, firm, well filled and cuddly, with colourful clothing (or body, for knitted dolls)
  • Remember that dolls are for children of all ages
  • Dolls with dress-up clothing need at least 3 items of clothing. Shoulder bags, beads, and other decorations are very welcome!
The Uthando Project website also provides you with some basic patterns to make the dolls here and their "contact us" provides you with details regarding who to contact when you have finished your doll or if you want to have further information for a participation in a bigger way.

This is one of the things that is going in my "to-do" list!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Don't go throwing those SIGG bottles away!!

If you had one of those old SIGG bottles, don't throw them out yet. The clever moms at Cool mom picks and The Soft Landing have partnered with major stainless steel bottle manufacturers to bring you The Big Bottle Swap! You get 30% off if you swap and if you aren't trading in, you get 20%. Better be quick though, the offer ends on 14 September.


Image taken from The Big Bottle Swap website

I've also just found an alternative to Klean Kanteen. A lot closer to home and doesn't cost an arm and leg for shipping and handling all the way from the USA. It's called ECOtanka. It has pretty much the same bottles as Klean Kanteen and the company is based in New Zealand. I've had to put in an order for a replacement cap as Amelia dropped her bottle and broke hers. Hopefully it will fit. I'm sure it will since most of these bottles are manufactured in China and the sizes are standardised anyway.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Don't forget Unwrapped this Sunday

Just a little reminder that you shouldn't forget that there is the market on this Sunday and it is going to be top quality. It's part of Perth Fashion Festival and will be held at PICA (Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts).

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Projects happening around the house


Khoa's currently working on a model for his teaching. He says he is using it as an example for his students but I reckon he thoroughly enjoys it.



Zach's been building with his Lego. This one is a house for his brachiosaurus.


I've been working on a library bag for Zach when he goes to Kindy next year. Do they need one in Kindy? I don't know but he probably would need one soon and I'm trying to make sure it isn't too girly. I'm going to make sure that the dinosaurs aren't too babyish so that it will last him awhile. Will show you pics when I'm done.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Sleek the Spider no. 2

This is the second Sleek the Spider in the whole wide world made by Deb from Two Cheeky Monkeys. She won my giveaway and has just posted up the pic of the one she made from the kit she received from me. It's posted here at her twitter.

You should drop by Deb's etsy shop called Two Cheeky Monkeys. I do so love the following items in her shop currently:


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