Friday, 28 April 2017

Op Shop Haul No. 1

Yesterday I went op-shopping (or thrifting, as it's known in many places) for the first time in a long time! The place where I work now has a large op shop right next door to the train station, so I decided to take up the hobby again (or habit, as Husband might say?).

I purchased two books: a fantasy novel about a unicorn and the enormous Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. (It was only $5!) My arm was sore from carrying it before long! I couldn't resist this pretty lavender floral tin, and I needed a drinking glass for work, so I chose this large tapered one.

In the manchester section I found these cute vintage coathangers. The set of 4 tapestry table mats were a bit of a splurge purchase. I'm sure I'll be able to find somewhere in the house for them; they might also make good backgrounds for photos. The floral pillowcases I thought might be good for a patchwork skirt. I was also looking out for something with lace on it to make into a skirt -- this huge tablecloth was a little more expensive than I would have liked, but it more than fits the bill. I think I might even be able to make two skirts from it!

Finally I got these fun dinosaur figurines. (Actually, I think some might be dragons!) I was looking out for figurines for painting on. I didn't find quite the type I was looking for, but the dinosaurs were 6 for the price of 1 (!!), so I figured they'd be good for practicing on.

The op shop that I went to is one that's familiar to me -- I used to volunteer there many years ago, before it changed locations, and visited quite a bit even after that. Unfortunately op-shopping in Melbourne isn't what it used to be. You're lucky to come across anything really good quality, and the amazing items that would sometimes come through just never appear anymore. There's a franchise of shops called Savers, who sell second hand goods, but are a profit company. They pay charities to let them take the best items to sell in their chain of stores -- and they don't pay very much. More people go there to shop because they have the best stock, even though most of the money is going into the shareholders' pockets. It's a sad situation. I do still want to believe that op-shopping can be fun and productive, and I did find some lovely things on my trip, so I'll keep going to the charity shops on pay day.

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Temperature Scarf : Update #2

Just a quick post today to show you my temperature scarf as of today:

The weather has definitely cooled down, though it still fluctuates between around 17 to 24 degrees. I am still enjoying the project, and I look forward to finding out what colour I will be knitting with each evening. Hopefully there'll be more blues and greens and perhaps even grey next month.

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Temperature Scarf : First Update

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Hello Autumn!

Finally, it's here! Autumn.

Autumn comes late in this part of the world. According to our Western calendar, it should have arrived on 1st March. And according to the equinoxes, it should have appeared on 21st March. The indigenous people of this region know better however -- Autumn doesn't show itself until the end of March, at the very earliest.

Lately I've been thinking more about the things that are important to me, how they tie together and how to appreciate them in my life. Honouring the seasons is important to me, but I don't follow the Wheel of the Year as many do. I've been thinking about how to do it in my own way. For the last few years, I've written a list of crafts and other activities to do each season, but after a while it started to feel like just another to-do list. This time I modified it to more of an inspirational concept, with a bit of calendar thrown in. I put it on my listography here. I'd like to find a way of presenting it so that I can add more photos, perhaps of finished projects, etc.

I've also decided to start doing a seasonal series of blog posts, as I love writing and taking photos, and my crafts, hobbies, lifestyle and spirituality are so intertwined that blogging about it feels like a spiritual practice to me. So here is the first one -- with all the things I'm looking forward to in Autumn!

I missed drinking tea so much! I suppose I could make iced tea in Summer, but it's just not the same. I think a yearly re-organisation of my tea cupboard is a good idea, as it certainly doesn't look as tidy as in this photo (taken a few years ago).

I love wearing layers and lots of accessories, whether it be for special co-ords or just every day. Finally, I can start wearing scarves again -- though only light ones! These are just my light scarves: I have another hanger for my woolly knitted and crocheted ones. Those are still sadly waiting for Winter to arrive, but for now at least I can content myself with all of these pretties.

Listening to the sound of rain on our steel roof is so soothing. Snuggling under a blanket with a cup of tea and just listening is a wonderful way to enjoy the little things. It's also nice to not have to water the garden every night: just visiting and enjoying it is so much more relaxing.

I'm looking forward to having baths again, and trying out all the bath bombs and fizzies that I've collected. I love reading in the bath, and any opportunity to read more is also welcome. I'm not sure I'd bathe in rose petals again like I did in this photo from last year, but you never know!

hot meals
Husband and I still eat hot meals in Summer most nights, as we're not really into salad, but in hot weather we don't use the oven and try to keep stovetop cooking as short as possible. As the weather cools down though, we're free to make meals that take longer to cook, and of course, baking. I can't wait to make scones, hot cross buns, banana bread and more.

Autumn treasure box
I chose a few Autumn-themed items from my stash to add to the experience -- a tea sample and 'tea snails' (which sit on the edge of your mug and stop your teabag string from disappearing into your tea). Some gingham scrunchies in appropriate colours, a bath fizzy from Daiso, and some stickers for my Hobonichi art diary.

Autumn is my favourite time of year. Perhaps I'm biased because my birthday is in April! I also love it because of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, which happens in the first 3 weeks of April. There's such a jovial atmosphere in the city, and I always look forward to watching the Comedy Gala on TV (it's on tonight!). Then of course, there's the Eurovision Song Contest in May, a chance for cooking, eating and drinking, and exploring other cultures. Autumn is such a magical time!