A lovely last day

November 9, 2015

Last week I finished work at OCLC, having been there for just over 18 months. It's been a great experience, doing something different to any library-related job I've had before. I love to learn and take on new challenges, and I'm proud of the work I did at OCLC.

One of the best parts about working there is the people. Such a fantastic team of professionals who really care about providing high quality service to libraries. People who are intelligent, dedicated, passionate, knowledgeable and generous. I'm really going to miss you all :)

Thank you everyone for the farewell card with all of its kind messages, and for the very generous gifts! XOXO

Last day at OCLC. I'm going to miss everyone, such great people here! Thank you for the card, the gifts, the cake XOXO

Over the last few weeks, I made each of my colleagues a papercraft desk buddy to show my appreciation for them. Here's a mosaic of all of them together:

Papercraft Gifts (mosaic)

The paper models were all based on free designs I found online. I printed them on 160gsm paper and spent many evenings cutting, folding and glueing :) Individual photos are posted on Flickr - the designers are all credited, and links to the patterns are provided.

I'm currently taking a couple of months off prior to starting a visual arts course next year. It's all very exciting, and I will write more about that soon!


#ICAD2015 week 6 round up

October 5, 2015

Well it feels like ages since I last posted, and I guess it has been. I finished my last week of index cards over a month ago (I decided to stop at 42), but I haven't blogged about them until now due to a curious reluctance to turn on my home computer ...

Anyway, here's the sixth 'weekly' round up collage of #ICAD2015 (Index-Card-A-Day) cards:

Index-Card-A-Day (#ICAD) 2015 Week 6 round up

I was really pleased with this final set, which includes a few designs that I like a lot. The centre card is a particular favourite, but I also love the spooky red paint and circle doodles in the top right, and the cool stripy circles on the bottom left. Finishing on a high note :)

Each of my index cards were also posted individually on Flickr and can be found in this set.

And that's a wrap for #ICAD2015 :)


#ICAD2015 week 5 round up

August 15, 2015

I'm still trundling along with the index card creativity challenge, even though July is now over. I'm not going to try to make it to the full 61 cards, but I haven't quite decided on an end point either. Maybe once I've completed 42 cards (6 weeks' worth). Or maybe a little longer ...

Here's the fifth 'weekly' round up collage of #ICAD2015 (Index-Card-A-Day) cards:

Index-Card-A-Day (#ICAD) 2015 Week 5 round up

There are a few in this batch that I was really happy with. Doodling is still my fallback position when I'm creatively stuck, but I've really made an effort to try new techniques and colour combinations this year, and I'm happy with my progress.

I also want to think about how I can incorporate what I'm learning into my other creative endeavours. I think I might try my hand at turning some of my favourite designs into fabric patterns ...

All of my index cards are also posted individually on Flickr.


#ICAD2015 week 4 round up

July 19, 2015

June flew by, as it always does. I managed 20 blog posts, and a similar number of index cards. I'm pretty happy with that, considering everything else that was going on at the same time.

At the very end of June I came down with a nasty virus and chest infection, and everything ground to a halt. I still have a very sore throat and I'm not sleeping well, but I'm starting to find my feet again.

Yesterday I finally finished my 28th index card, so I can post a new weekly #ICAD2015 (Index-Card-A-Day) round up. Collage below:

Index-Card-A-Day (#ICAD) 2015 Week 4 round up

The card in the centre has its very own blog post, thanks to being featured in Flickr Explore. The most recent cards have been mostly doodles - just trying to get back into the swing of things. I'm quite fond of all of these cards for different reasons, including a couple of childhood flashbacks with paper dolls and a spirograph :)

All of my index cards are also posted individually on Flickr.


The unusual experience of having a photo featured on Flickr Explore (29 June)

June 29, 2015

So an odd thing happened yesterday. One of my index cards was featured in Flickr Explore, and it was a very interesting experience ...

I first realised something unusual was going on when I started getting phone notifications for 'likes' (favourites on Flickr) at a much faster rate than usual, and from people that I didn't know. There were just 3 or 4 to start with, and my first thought was perhaps I was getting spammed. I actually had a quick look at Explore on my phone, but couldn't see my photo on the first page, so ruled that out to start with.

But the likes just kept on coming! And new followers too. So I booted up my PC, and had another look at Flickr Explore, and sure enough - there it was. Very exciting :)

Index-Card-A-Day (#ICAD) 2015 no. 22

Within a single day, my index card "Roses" had racked up 6400 views and 93 favourites, and I had 9 new followers. Far and away the biggest reaction I've ever had to a photo in such a short amount of time.

I checked out my Flickr stats (I believe these are only available to continuing Pro users nowadays), which showed that while I normally get 200-400 overall views per day, yesterday's views had passed 7700! 5500 of them were for "Roses", so views were well up for my other photos too.

The day after ...

So. That was pretty cool.

It was also great to see that this kind of activity and interaction still exists on Flickr. It feels a bit quiet there sometimes, what with the rise and rise of Instagram. So it's kind of awesome that active users are still engaging with Flickr to discover new content :)

P.S. Before yesterday, my highest number of views for a single photo was one that I took at the Victorian Parliamentary Library, with over 13,000 views (but only 2 favourites). My most popular photo in terms of favourites was of felt Christmas ornaments that I made in 2009, which took over 5 years to amass 9500 views and 49 likes.


Special collections at the William Angliss Institute (28 June)

June 28, 2015

One of my first library jobs after completing my Grad Dip was at the William Angliss Institute. For those who don't know it, the William Angliss Institute in Melbourne is a training institution that specialises in food and hospitality courses. They specialise in vocational education programs, but also conduct a range of short courses for enthusiastic amateurs :)

There were two main perks to working at the William Angliss Institute Learning Resource Centre (Library). One was ready access to the Bakeshop, which is open to the public during term and serves food made by students at very good prices (I especially loved the work of the patisserie students!). The other perk was access to the amazing library collection.

I love cookbooks. At last count, according to LibraryThing, I have 218 cookbooks and books about food or drink, not including the shelves full of food magazines. So it's no exaggeration to say that I was in cookbook heaven at William Angliss.

But there was another part of the William Angliss Institute collection that was even more special, and that was the menu collection. This amazing collection of ephemera is truly one of a kind. The menus are mostly Australian, and are a valuable study resource for students who are learning how to design their own menus. They also provide a unique understanding of how food trends and menu design have changed over the last 100 years.

When I was at William Angliss, the menus were housed in filing cabinets and there were real issues emerging around preservation. A digitisation program was just beginning while I was there, and I was very glad to discover recently that not only have the menus been digitised, but many of them have also been made available online for anyone to view (Note: as far as I can tell, the digitised files are images only and therefore not accessible to those using screen readers).


The online menu collection includes restaurant menus, hotel menus, transport menus, festival menus, military menus and more. I really love the transport menus, which includes over 20 Qantas menus and more than 50 P&O Cruises menus. I think this October 1963 cruise menu is my favourite :)

The other William Angliss Institute special collections are described HERE. Some are physical collections, such as the Fuller collection of books on wine, distilling and brewing. But there are some other digital collections too, including the Zimmerman Book, which is a sort of historic scrapbook of menus and articles. Every scanned image in the Zimmerman Book can be clicked on and enlarged individually. The William Angliss Institute also has a collection of oral histories on their website. Their annual special collections brochures are also available online, and provide information about what's happening in the William Angliss special collections each year, including new additions of rare books to the Culinary Research Collection, and some gorgeous photos of ephemera.


If you're interested in the history of food, and dining out in particular, you will love checking out these collections. Many thanks to the William Angliss Institute for making some of these treasures available online for us to enjoy.

Photo credits to William Angliss Special Collections.


Prevaricated Frequencies (26 June)

June 26, 2015

I popped into the city to run some errands yesterday, and as I'd heard of a new art installation called Prevaricated Frequencies by Victoria University's Skunk Control in the Flinders St station / DeGraves St subway art space, I decided to make a detour and check it out.

Although the sign had a start date of 24 June and a few pieces were already set up, they were still in the process of constructing some of the displays. Skunk Control's Facebook page says the installation begins on 30 June, so it should all be up and running by then.

The installations are dynamic and dramatic, inviting you to spend a few minutes at each work to watch the lights and colours continuously change.

I've uploaded a few photos of a single work to demonstrate how the lights shift:

Prevaricated Frequencies by Skunk Control 1

Prevaricated Frequencies by Skunk Control 2

Prevaricated Frequencies by Skunk Control 3

I also took some short video, but rather than upload a blink-and-you'll-miss-it seven second video I decided to turn it into an animated gif so that it can be watched for as long as you like :) It's a little jumpy, but not too bad I think ...

Testing gifs & Flickr

The above images are from one work only. There were several other amazing pieces on display yesterday, and I imagine that all twelve windows will be set up by 30 June, so do go along and see it if you get a chance. The installation will run until 5 September 2015.

P.S. While writing this post, I did a quick Google search on the Flinders St subway to see if it had another name that I should be referring to it by. I found a great little blog post on 'Beside the Yarra' about the history of the subway - Campbell Arcade -  which was a fascinating read. I highly recommended checking out this blog if you're interested in the history of Melbourne's buildings.

P.P.S. I created the gif using a wonderful little program called Instagiffer, which will be the subject of a future blog post :)


#ICAD2015 week 3 round up (26 June)

June 26, 2015

I mentioned my battle with watercolours last week, and in this week's #ICAD2015 (Index-Card-A-Day) round up you can see some of the results:

Index-Card-A-Day (#ICAD) 2015 Week 3 round up

I've been trying to master the swirly abstract watercolour background effect. Nope. That isn't going to happen apparently. But I keep trying, and sometimes the effect is quite pleasing. Unfortunately the two cards with eye motifs (one in black fineliner, the other using masking fluid) required me to do the watercolour background last. No second chances! So of course those two came out pretty messy. Oh well. Of course index cards are not the best medium for either watercolour or masking fluid, so that didn't really help matters.

I tend to like the doodled designs using fineliner the best, but I also need to break out of my comfort zone and try new things. So although the results aren't always perfect, at least I'm having a go :)

I'm posting all of my index cards individually on Flickr.


200th post :) (25 June)

June 25, 2015

If my enumeration is correct - and I think it is - this is my 200th blog post!

So I made an index card to celebrate the occasion :)

Index-Card-A-Day (#ICAD) 2015 no. 19

Short and sweet tonight.


Stitching Snoopy (24 June)

June 24, 2015

I loved Snoopy and Peanuts when I was young. In fact, I still love them. So when I saw a sweet cross stitch pattern of Snoopy and his doghouse on eBay, I snapped it up.

I completed the stitching in January this year, and found a neat little blue photo frame that suited it just right - it matches his collar :)

Snoopy's Doghouse Cross Stitch - Framed

The pattern had called for 14 count Aida fabric, but I decided to use 16 count instead. This reduced the design down to just the right size for a standard photo frame. The stitches were smaller too, of course, which I think worked well for this design. And it probably used slightly less thread, which was lucky because I used almost an entire skein of red embroidery thread as it was! I was starting to get worried that I would run out, and there is always a risk of dye lots not matching. So phew :)

This was all that was left of a whole 8 metre skein of thread (stitched in 2 strands) -

Leftover red

It was a fun little project. I really enjoyed watching Snoopy take shape, especially when adding the backstitch for the comic strip drawing lines.

Sally Cummings

Art student. Librarian. Crafter. Foodie. Geek.
And much, much more :)
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