Sunday, 24 April 2016

Potting Adventures

I was invited to a friends' housewarming this weekend, and I had the idea of potting up one of my plants in a nice pot and giving it to them as a housewarming present. Luckily I already had a suitable pot of the right size in the shed. The bamboo plant is a cutting from another plant which I had been given by a co-worker.

I like to use coffee filter paper to line pots, to stop the soil from coming out the bottom. It's quite strong and very affordable from Daiso or the supermarket.

I probably should have potted this cutting some time ago, oops! The roots have become quite long and grown in a spiral following the shape of the jar it was in. Now it will be a bit more free to grow.

After potting, water in well. Using a cute watering can if you have one!

I added some decorative rocks to cover the soil. Hopefully this baby will grow well in its new home.

I was in the zone, as they say, following that, so I potted up some succulents I'm growing from dropped leaves. The cotton wool developed algae and started looking manky after I left them outside for a couple of days. Yuck! Time to do something about it!

All of the babies come from one plant which I named Doris. I did have Doris at work, and had to take all my plants home when I finished up my job. Doris is quite fragile so I was as careful as I could be, but about 12 leaves fell off. I put them on cotton wool in case they grew, but I wasn't expecting so many of them to catch on! I put the 3 largest ones into this cute pot from Daiso.

I planted the rest into this spare bonsai pot. I seem to have a lot of bonsai pots of different sizes lying around. There's a bonsai nursery not far from my house, and about once every six months I go there and admire all the beautiful old trees, and get some supplies.

Perhaps I should just give in and admit that I'm a pot hoarder collector. I've been using them in the bedroom as containers to store beauty products in as well.

When I went back inside, I took a new cutting from Lucky Bamboo which will hopefully grow into another plant I can give away.

A few weeks ago my friend and her 3-year-old daughter came to visit, and as they left, I let her choose a plant to take home with her. It was such a lovely experience seeing my little friend get excited about her plant. Doing things with plants is one of my favourite activities, and I've realised that I really enjoy giving them away to people as well.
It's not an excuse to collect more pots, really it's not!

Friday, 22 April 2016

I'm on Instagram

I decided to join Instagram because I noticed that some of my favourite bloggers had either moved there, or were posting much more frequently there. Once I joined, I realised that it would also help further my aim (as I mentioned recently in this post) of becoming more comfortable in taking and posting photos of myself.

I've updated my sidebar buttons to include a link to my account. I think the new buttons look much cuter, too! So please do follow my Instagram if you like the following:

★ craft projects in progress
★ plants & flowers
★ pictures of my cat
★ outings around Melbourne
★ food
★ makeup of the day
★ derpy pictures of my face
★ occasional what I wore (I don't have a full-length mirror at home, so the frequency will depend on how often I can cajole Husband into taking full-length pictures of me!)

If you don't do the Instagram thing, that's fine too. I'll probably post a summary of my favourite photos here on the blog each month.

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

My YesStyle Haul

I've ordered from YesStyle many times before, but for some reason I decided to post about it this time. As always, I was pleased with my ordering experience, and the parcel arrived even faster than normal.

I ordered some makeup remover from Ladykin, and a TonyMoly bunny lip gloss as my old one has nearly run out and I quite liked it. I have been experimenting with makeup more recently, especially with foundations, BB Creams and powders, so I got the teardrop sponge to try out.

I also ordered some t-shirts with cute logos. I knew they wouldn't fit me when I ordered them, but now that my hobby room is nearly set up, it'll be easy to alter them. I don't need to be restricted in what styles I can buy just because they don't come in my size anymore!

Probably my favourite item is the plush bunny brooch, which would look lovely with various Mori co-ords.

Monday, 11 April 2016

My Trip to the Beach

A few weeks ago I went on a little outing to the beach. I remember writing about a year ago that I didn't like the beach, that I wasn't a 'beachy' person. For some reason, I felt bad writing that, as if I hadn't given the beach a fair go. Is that strange? Anyway, I decided to give going to the beach another try.

After looking up an article on the best beaches in metropolitan Melbourne, I chose Sandringham beach. It's very easy to get to on the Sandringham train line, about 25 minutes from the city centre. The beach is only one block from the train station. The article said that the most popular part of the beach is the Northern area, so of course I turned South for my walk.

It was very difficult walking along the sand and I had to stop quite a few times to rest my legs. The few other people I saw powered along at twice my pace, so perhaps it's something that gets easier with practice. It was when I stopped walking though, that I started to realise the magic of the beach.

Always when I come to the beach, I like to imagine the vastness of the ocean and the immense distance to any other land mass. Looking out into the distance is like a meditation, calming to the mind.

I also spent some time looking for shells and anything else I could find. I even found some precious sea glass!

Aside from that, I was impressed at how clean Sandringham Beach is. The cliffs are beautiful and have been the subject of many paintings over the years, as this display at the entrance to the beach shows.

I've changed my mind about the beach, and I think it's because I've realised that you don't have to do anything while you're there. Ever since I was a little girl, trips to the beach were always long journeys that meant hours in the car. Even now, takes me over an hour from where I live to get to the nearest beach. The mind tends to assume that you have to make the most of your time while you're there, cram in as many activities as you can. But when you let go of all that and just experience it -- that's when the beach is at its best.

I wish I'd taken a photo of my outfit that day. I wore my newly-finished blue shawl and crocheted necklace. I used to do "What I Wore" drawings to capture outfits I particularly liked. As well as good drawing practice, they enabled me to show outfits while avoiding showing photos of myself. At some point though, I stopped finishing them, or I would list the items I wore to draw later and never got around to it. The obvious solution is just to take a photo, but I'm too self-conscious. I want to start working on that aspect of myself.
And I do want to return to the beach again one day.

Friday, 8 April 2016

Mushrooms For Lunch

I had some sliced mushrooms that needed using up yesterday, so I made myself this dish, from a recipe I saw on My Subarashii Lolidays, a Portuguese language blog that I recently started reading. I haven't developed a sudden ability to read any other languages unfortunately -- if I see a blog I like but it isn't in English, I just use Google Translate to read it. It's a wonder of the modern world that we can read text in any language just with a few clicks. I'm getting off-topic though, here's the food:

For the interested, the bread is the gluten-free white bread from Aldi. I think it's just as good as the bread from the other two big supermarket chains, and about half the price.

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Movie Review: Footloose

I saw Footloose for the first time a few days ago. It was on TV, and I said to Husband, "you know, I've never seen that," and he said, "What? You've never seen it??" So it was decided that we watch it. Afterwards I thought, why not write a review from a first-time watcher's point of view? In fact, there are so many movies that when I told people I'd never seen them, their response was, "What?? You've never seen that??". Perhaps I should start a series!

Footloose is a 1984 movie starring Kevin Bacon (Ren) and Lori Singer (Ariel). The other most notable stars are John Lithgow as the preacher, Dianne Wiest as his wife and Sarah Jessica Parker as one of Ariel's friends. The plot is this: Ren and his mother and step-father move from Chicago to a small backwater town. Ren only has the normal issues of a teenager in his situation, yet most of the inhabitants of the town assume that he's no good, accusing him of everything from sleeping around to dealing drugs. To the girls of the town though, he's a novelty and he attracts the eye of the most popular girl, Ariel. A wildchild, she is also the daughter of the town's preacher. When it is revealed that her older brother died five years previously in a car accident, the reason for her wild behaviour and her father's overprotection becomes clear.

When Ren begins to enquire about the traditional senior dance, he finds out there is a ban in place on public dancing and playing of rock music. He is understandably horrified at this old-fashioned restriction. I would have thought this plot point improbable, however the movie is based on a true story, and apparently similar bans have been in place in several small towns in the U.S. Ren makes it his mission to overturn the ban, or at least allow the seniors of the town to hold a dance in another location. Meanwhile, some of the less co-ordinated senior boys start to practice their dancing skills. The montage showing this is a lot of fun to watch. The ending is very sweet and uplifting. I especially liked the scene between the preacher and his wife, where she reminds him that they were once young too.

Footloose is not only a fun party movie, but shows how difficult life was/is for teenagers in small-town America. The themes and issues of teenage life are treated typically of a 1980s movie, for example assuming that the teens have sex lives, instead of showing them agonising over whether or not to go ahead. I also think it would be a good fashion reference for 1980s country-inspired and formal wear.

Would I watch again?: Yes!

I made up a list of other movies that fall into the 'can't believe I haven't seen that' category, in various genres (including some Australian classics). I haven't included any horror movies as I don't like them, so no-one would probably be surprised if I haven't seen them! Here's the list:

* Terminator I
The Godfather series
* Pulp Fiction
* Inception
* Psycho
* The Big Lebowski
* The Silence of the Lambs
* The Lion King
* King Fu Panda
* Beauty and the Beast
* Toy Story 2 and 3
* Titanic
* My Big Fat Greek Wedding
* Mary and Max
* Picnic at Hanging Rock
* Bad Boy Bubby

Friday, 1 April 2016

My March

I've been feeling much more positive this month. I don't know whether it has anything to do with the cooler weather. Autumn is here! I've developed a sudden enthusiasm for crochet and knitting again. Not having to worry about the plants decide whether to water them every day has eased my mind as well.

What I've been working on ...
Finally there's been some progress on the hobby room renovation. Of course, if there is no progress, it's entirely my own fault! But the hobby room has never been usable since we moved into our house over 2 years ago, and with my renewed enthusiasm for doing crafts, I want to get it all set up properly. We finished painting the big table -- it was black before, yuck! Husband had the idea to paint it with the leftover wallpaint that we had from decorating the three bedrooms. We used the yellow underneath to keep it light, lavender on top, and turquoise on the sides to blend in with the wall. I really like it!

We also installed some wall shelves and a lighting bar. We're also going to add some adjustable spotlights, which you can see sitting on the table in the picture. We bought those things (along with a few other supplies) with the gift voucher I was given as a going-away present from my old work. I really like the way the white looks against the turquoise wall!

What I've been making ...
I made this necklace pouch to keep one of my crystals in. I was trying to make it a drawstring pouch with the blue yarn, but I ended up securing it closed. It was made for this specific crystal, so I don't think I'll be taking it out until I'm finished with it. I didn't get a photo of the crystal itself, but it's a little purple amythest, good for calming anxiety.

Where I've been visiting ...
At Easter we went on a picnic at Woodlands Historic Park. Husband made dahl and chicken curry, which we packed into our tiffin picnic kits, and I made rum balls (turkish delight flavour!) for dessert. Then we went for a walk through the bush. Perhaps it would have been better to take one of the side paths instead of going straight ahead, as we came to an area that looked like abandoned farmland which wasn't very picturesque. We were still too full from lunch (!) to explore any further, so we decided to come back another day.

What I've been playing ...
Husband casually mentioned the other day that I might enjoy Fallout Shelter. I gave it a go and I've been addicted to it since! It's similar to Island Tribes and other such games where you have to collect resources to keep your little villagers alive and pair them up to give birth to the next generation. This one, based on the game Fallout, is a dark twist where the dwellers live in a post-apocalyptic bunker and face mutant creatures like radroaches. All while grinning inanely and making comments like, "I'm just so happy I could burst!" Poor things.