Thursday, December 23, 2010

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Studio Bistro

It is always exciting to come across a new place unexpectedly and that is exactly what we did last weekend when we were avoiding the Perth heat down south.

The place is called Studio Bistro and is a small, upmarket gallery with a lovely airy restaurant housed in the same building.

It is a very modern construction but makes wonderful use of mixed textures. I especially liked the dry stone walls and the amazing old doors in the outdoor area.

It has a great deep shady terrace as well as a landscaped garden area. We didn't get to sample the menu as it was late afternoon so we just had a cup of tea, but I can tell we will be back to sample it.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Poached Peaches

As I was driving to work one day last week I happened to hear Russell Blaikie of Must Wine Bar describing his recipe for poached peaches on ABC 7.20 radio and the thought occurred to me that it might be a nice Christmas gift to give, especially as peaches are now in season and easy to get hold of.

First you get your peaches which must be firm to the touch as they will disintegrate if they are already ripe.

Then halve the peaches and remove the stones.

For each four peaches you will need 500 mls of water and one cup of sugar. If you want you can substitute 150 mls of the water with white wine. Add the sugar to the liquid, pop in a cinnamon stick, and dissolve the sugar over gentle heat. Let this bubble for a little while so that it reduces a bit. Then add the peaches.

Test the consistency of the peaches after two to three minutes and as soon as they feel soft to touch turn off the heat and remove the peaches from the syrup. Put them on a plate and allow them to cool.

Once both the peaches and the syrup have cooled put the peaches gently into glass jars (I used a spatula to do this) and then pour in sufficient syrup to cover the fruit. The syrup is a lovely pinky colour so the jars looks quite inviting.

I finished mine off with brown paper covering and string.

I used medium glass jars and each jar held 4 peaches.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

F is for Festive

And F is also for:



and Fan.

More of the alphabet series soon...........

Monday, December 6, 2010

Happy Colours

Red and orange are the best cheerful colours, which is why I have them on the corner of my desk at work.

Have a happy, colourful day today.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Fremantle Bazaar 2010

This is a the story of a day in the life of Fremantle Bazaar, which is the biggest Christmas market held in Perth.

Before the market even starts there is the task of fitting everything into the car. Because there will always be things which are awkward shapes and which you don't want to get damaged it is much more tricky than simply packing the car to go on holidays.

Then you get to the market venue and you have to make a million trips to and from the car with all your bits and pieces to set up your stall.

My vintage typewriter was a great conversation starter, especially with small boys who wanted to know how it worked.

One of the things I love about the Fremantle Bazaar is the convivial atmosphere as everyone sets up their stalls. You always meet someone that you know and total strangers offer to help carry your things. The grass is always freshly cut and the grounds of the Arts Centre are beautifully manicured in preparation for the once a year event.

And finally the people arrive and you don't have time to think for the next three days.

The Bazaar, which was a wonderful success, ended yesterday so things can now get back to normal.

Monday, November 29, 2010

More on Christmas Decorating

I was down south for the weekend again and continued my Christmas decorating.

These ceramic birds are from Remedy, which has now opened a store in Dunsborough.

This is just a spray of a native tree which I have put in an old milk bottle.

And this is a tiny tree from Little Design Horse which is on Angove Street in North Perth.

It's the perfect size for a mantlepiece or a shelf.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Christmas Birds

This is the first year I have ever started decorating for Christmas in the month of November, mainly because I couldn't wait to see how the beautiful paper birds which I got from Storia would look.

I was pretty pleased with the result and have decorated my whole tree just with birds.

I made my own paper bird decorations last Christmas but they took forever to make and I now seem to have only one left which hangs from the desk light in my work area.

This year I decided to experiment with bird gift tags instead, and I will have some for sale at the Fremantle Bazaar next weekend.

I just can't seem to get past birds!

Monday, November 22, 2010

How Does Your Garden Grow

This summer looks fruitful.

We have a pomegranate tree in our garden. We never knew what it was until a few years ago when pomegranates suddenly became a fashionable food. This Spring there were masses of flowers and you can see the fruit just starting to form.

Apart from pomegranate juice (which, personally, I find very bitter) I don't know what to do with pomegranates but it seems a shame to let them all go to waste.

If anyone knows what to do with pomegranates please let me know.

This year is the first time I decided to try growing tomatoes so I thought I would start with "window box" tomatoes, as you can grow them in a pot. I will definitely grow more of these next year.

We will also be in for a bumper crop of grapes this Summer, provided we can pick them before the birds get at them. Our border terrier loves grapes, and sits right underneath the vine so that he can hoover up any grapes that fall or that get dropped by the birds.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Library of Nearly Lost Moments

This week I have been assisting with the installation of an exhibition at the State Library of Western Australia.

The exhibition is titled "The Library of Nearly Lost Moments" and the main focus of the exhibition is a collection of ephemera which was housed in the Library's archives and which gives us a glimpse into moments from the past.

I felt very privileged to have been asked to participate and it was a terrific experience seeing it all come together over a few days.

I took some pictures which will give you a sense of the exhibition, although I was not able to photograph any of the main ephemera as they are all housed in glass cabinets and there was too much reflection.

Especially exciting for me is the fact that the Library asked to borrow 5 of my Cabinets of Curiosity to include in the display. They are standing on customised suspended shelving but, as they are facing outwards towards the glass, are almost impossible to photograph well.

Many thanks to Doug, Adam, Rob, Kate, Emily, Anne and little Annie for all their help and support (yesterday in particular). I really enjoyed being a temporary part of "the team".

The exhibition is on the ground floor of the State Library, Perth Cultural Centre, and runs until 6 February 2011.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Letter E



and, of course, an Erasmic shaving stick, which no gentleman should be without!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

About Birds

Yesterday was bird day for some reason.

Outside my office window there is a verandah and a dove spent all morning parading up and down.

This is a bird decal on the window in front of my computer at home so I see him every time I am at my desk.

And this is the rather noisy magpie fledgling which has taken up residence in our front garden.
Although he is quite big his wings are not fully grown so he doesn't really fly, he just flaps about from place to place and begs to be fed all day long. His mother is standing next to him taking a well earned rest.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Out Bush

We were down south again this weekend, but instead of the usual beach photos I took some "bush" photos.

For the benefit of my friends and family in the northern hemisphere, yes these are real kangaroos in the wild and yes, they are just lounging about in someone's paddock.

No trip down south is ever complete without a visit to the woodfired bakery near Yallingup. It is owned by a german family and is basically a shed in a field but they make the most amazing bread you will ever find. They just stack it up on tables outside and you come and help yourself. You won't get more rustic farmhouse that that!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Some New Cabinets of Curiosity

My daughter arrived at our house one day with eight tiny drawers which she had rescued from the kerb collection. They already had a partition so I didn't even need to make shelves like I had previously done with the bigger Cabinets I made earlier this year.

I have now made all eight of them into tiny Cabinets of Curiosity and you can see snippets of a few of them below.

All of them will be for sale at Fremantle Bazaar from 3 to 5 December in the grounds of the Fremantle Arts Centre.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Purple Haze

It is jacaranda season in Perth and all the trees in our local park are in full bloom.

We had a beautiful jacaranda tree in our first house in Perth, and when the flowers dropped it was like a purple carpet. The only downside was that the bees loved the fallen flowers so we ended up with a few bee stung feet.