Browsing Archive: December, 2009

Advent Calendar - Day 25 (Christmas Day)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Thursday, December 24, 2009,

Merry Christmas!!!

A very Roxy Christmas (2007)

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Advent Calendar - Day 24 (The Night Before Christmas)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Thursday, December 24, 2009,
'Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house ...

Nope. No silence here. It's more like a madhouse - we're running around trying to get everything done in time. And then when we realise that there's no way we *can* get everything done in time, we start compromising and working out what's still possible in the time available! Why does Christmas always seem to creep up so fast?!?!

Tim and I have both been slaving away in the kitchen for much of the day. We're having Christmas Eve din...
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Advent Calendar - Day 23 (Christmas Carols)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Wednesday, December 23, 2009,
We finally finished the Christmas shopping today. We'd already bought all of the presents for Tim's nieces and nephews, but we still had a few adults to look after. Unfortunately, even when you know exactly what you want and where to get it from, shopping at this time of year is pretty nightmarish. We had to admit to ourselves, though, that our attempts to get it over with quickly probably made it even worse! Tim and I lost each other twice in all the rushing around!

Anyway, everything is now ...
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Advent Calendar - Day 22 (Career Guidance Film)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Tuesday, December 22, 2009, In : Professional 
Thinking about becoming a librarian? Perhaps you should watch this vocational guidance film from 1947 ;)

You know, apart from the emphasis on books, I must say that this film's message and content has held up pretty well over the years!

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Advent Calendar - Day 21 (Vision)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Monday, December 21, 2009,
Yesterday, when we were on our way to a Christmas BBQ with friends and former colleagues, a screw on my glasses came loose. That caused one of the lenses to fall out and render my glasses useless. We were already halfway to our destination (which was a fair way from home), and I didn't have my contact lenses on me, or the small glasses repair kit that I used to carry around (I used to carry a *lot* of stuff in my handbag!). So I resigned myself to a fuzzy day ahead.

I'm shortsighted, with a pr...
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Advent Calendar - Day 20 (Felt Christmas Decorations)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Sunday, December 20, 2009, In : Creativity 

I love finding inspiration on the internet, and when I came across this Zakka Life tutorial for felt Christmas decorations, I knew I had to make some!

I gave these to some good friends of ours as a housewarming gift :)

Felt Christmas ornaments (2009)

If you haven't come across the term "zakka" before, I'll take a stab at describing it. Zakka is a design movement encompassing a wide variety of hand-sewn household items, usually functional. Their style is often a little bit kitsch or cute. You can view some nice examples at the...
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Advent Calendar - Day 19 (Day of Rest)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Saturday, December 19, 2009,
I woke up this morning with a sunburn headache and a cold. As a result, I spent most of today in bed. So having done nothing today, I have nothing to blog about (except for the fact that I slept the day away!).

Unfortunately I missed out on a 1st birthday party that I'd been looking forward to attending. The 1-year-old's mum is an good friend of mine from high school who I haven't seen in ages. Hopefully we'll catch up in the new year.

I started feeling better after about 7pm, so hopefully this...
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Advent Calendar - Day 18 (Out and about in Melbourne)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Friday, December 18, 2009, In : Travel 
In my previous post, I mentioned that I went along to the #socialmelb tweetup for a spot of creative bartering this morning. It was held at Mr Tulk Cafe in the State Library of Victoria. And it was the beginning of a very enjoyable day in and around the city for Tim and I.

After we left Mr Tulk Cafe, we did a spot of window shopping in Melbourne Central. We were hoping to finish our remaining Christmas shopping, but had no luck in that department. So we popped into a cafe for something to eat ...
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Advent Calendar - Day 17 (Creative Barter)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Friday, December 18, 2009, In : Creativity 

Sorry about the lack of a blog post yesterday - I was stitching to a deadline and ran out of time!

I've been meaning to post here for some time about crafty stuff - crafts that I currently do and crafts that I want to learn. That blog post is still in the pipeline, but for now I'll show you my latest cross stitch project of robots mucking around in a photo booth :) (click on the photo to see a larger version on Flickr). The pattern was created by Krupp at Mr X Stitch. I loved the design as soo...
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Advent Calendar - Day 16 (Hot Day)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Wednesday, December 16, 2009,
It's hot. 39°C to be exact.

We beat the heat earlier today by getting out this morning to do some Christmas present shopping. But now we're home, the air-conditioner is on, and you can expect very little activity (from me at least) for the rest of the day.

Unfortunately, the computer is not in the same room as the air-conditioner, which is why I'm writing this quick blog entry and then skedaddling to the cooler part of the house :)

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Advent Calendar - Day 15 (Christmas Pudding)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Tuesday, December 15, 2009, In : Food & Recipes 

All these Advent Calendar posts, and no mention of Christmas yet!

Well, last night Tim made the Christmas pudding. The recipe we use is slightly too big for our pudding basin (as we discovered last time when it popped the lid off!), so Tim made some mini puddings as well. They cook faster than the main pudding, and turned out absolutely delicious :)

Mini Christmas pudding (2009)

I love having a traditional Christmas dinner, although nowadays I substitute the roast with a nutloaf or something similar. But I still enjoy the r...
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Advent Calendar - Day 14 (Magnum P.I.)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Monday, December 14, 2009,
I'm totally loving that Magnum P.I. reruns are back on TV!

Channel 7 had started showing them every now and then (and on a completely random basis) on weekends, but their new digital channel 7TWO is playing Magnum P.I. every weekday at 11am. I set the timer every day, and have been having a blast watching the show! :)

Tom Selleck playing Magnum is so much fun to watch. In fact, everything about Magnum P.I. is fun! The fast cars, the fashion, the camaraderie between the characters, the Hawaiian ...
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Advent Calendar - Day 13 (Roxy's 15 Minutes of Fame)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Sunday, December 13, 2009,
I can't think of anything to blog about today.

So I'll link to someone else's blog entry instead ;)

First Blog on the Moon - Reader's Pets (10 July 2009)

Earlier this year, Crikey's lovable cartoonist First Dog on the Moon put out a call for photos of reader's pets. I responded, and - voila! - our cat Roxy was featured on his blog! I was far more excited than she was, of course :)

P.S. If you do go and have a look at First Dog's blog, make sure to pass your mouse over the pics for more funnies ;)

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Advent Calendar - Day 12 (Camping)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Saturday, December 12, 2009, In : Travel 
We bought a new camping mattress today, one of those foam mattresses that fold up rather than roll up. Our old camping mattress finally died after many years of loyal service - it previously belonged to my parents, and to my grandparents before that! Tim and I have tried roll-up foam mats, inflatable mattresses, and those expensive self-inflating camping mattresses, but nothing was as comfortable as that old fold-up foam mattress. I hope we get a few good years out of this new one!

Although Ti...
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Advent Calendar - Day 11 (Job Application)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Friday, December 11, 2009,
I've just finished labouring over the job application that I mentioned yesterday. I've now sent it in, and I think it was a good effort in the end (although my chances for this position are only so-so). I'm kind of buzzing actually - a bit like the feeling you get after completing a work project or handing in a Uni assignment!

I'm also feeling very fortunate today. In the lead-up to submitting the application, I was lucky enough to receive assistance from several fellow librarians in different...
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Advent Calendar - Day 10 (Quick Update)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Thursday, December 10, 2009,
Today's post is super-quick, as I've got to finish a job application tonight :)

Tim and I bottled the home brew last night and have 54 bottles of beer to show for it. We had quite an efficient production line going between the two of us as we sterilised, rinsed, primed, filled and capped all of the bottles.

Home brewed English bitter

We also had an electrician come around this morning to fix some lights and install an extra powerpoint in the study. Hopefully that should put an end to some of the power-related computer pr...
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Advent Calendar - Day 9 (Berries)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Wednesday, December 9, 2009, In : Food & Recipes 

I picked some delicious berries from our garden today :)

Berry Harvest

On the left are raspberries, and on the right are boysenberries. The raspberries are especially sweet and delicious - so much better than anything you can buy! They were all eaten within 10 minutes of taking this pic ;)

Below is a photo of our berry patch. It was taken a couple of years ago (I thought of taking a new photo, but it's very overgrown and brambly at the moment!). Along the back wall are boysenberries and loganberries. Raspber...
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Advent Calendar - Day 8 (Career Planning)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Tuesday, December 8, 2009, In : Professional 
Woohoo! I spent a good-sized chunk of the last few months working on my e-portfolio for a Uni subject, and today I received my marks - a High Distinction! The lecturer's feedback was great too: "Excellent portfolio, well done, the best by far". Squee!

Alright, I'll stop showing off about it now ;). But it was great to hear that the work that I put into the e-portfolio paid off. Unlike most other Uni assignments, the e-portfolio involved a great deal of self-reflection about my past and present...
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Advent Calendar - Day 7 (Jabberwocky)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Monday, December 7, 2009,
Today I'm just going to share my favourite poem with you :)

Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!"

He took his vorpal sword in hand;
Long time the manxome foe he sought—
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish th...
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Advent Calendar - Day 6 (Doctor Who)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Sunday, December 6, 2009,
I enjoy watching Doctor Who, although I'm not a mad keen fan - it veers a little too close to horror for me sometimes ;). But it's a show that holds a very special place in my memories, so I will always have a soft spot for it. The recent series with David Tennant as the Doctor has also been excellent - a wonderful reinvention of the show :)

I remember Doctor Who being aired in the 6.30pm time slot on the ABC when I was a kid. I have especially fond memories of watching it during the summer ho...
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Advent Calendar - Day 5 (lolcats)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Saturday, December 5, 2009,
I have a real soft spot for funny or cute animal pictures and videos. And yes, I love lolcats - those silly photos of cats with captions attached :). I visit I Can Has Cheezburger? every day for a dose of lolcat fun. Here's one of my favourites (so hard to choose!) ...

see more Lolcats and funny pictures

YouTube is a great source of funny animal videos, and Roxy's reaction to cat noises that she can't locate the source of can also be pretty hilarious :). I'll leave you now, with what is possibl...
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Advent Calendar - Day 4 (Herb Garden)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Friday, December 4, 2009,
This week I started a small potted herb garden to see us through the summer. It's just a temporary one until we move, but it's definitely worth it. There's nothing like adding herbs from your own garden to a home-cooked meal - especially when it's to highlight the flavour of some freshly picked vegetables from the same garden :)

I've planted parsley, chives, thyme and oregano. I may also try to get some sage and coriander growing from a previous season's saved seeds.

In addition to these potted...
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Advent Calendar - Day 3 (Pandan Coconut Milk Jelly)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Thursday, December 3, 2009, In : Food & Recipes 

Pandan coconut milk jelly

This is a great little dessert for the warmer months. It finishes a South-East Asian meal beautifully, but goes nicely with most other meals too. The use of agar-agar powder makes it suitable for vegetarians, and gives it a different texture to jellies made from gelatin. If you've never used pandan essence before, it is a real treat! It's bright green in colour, and has a distinctive sweet taste. I've heard it described as Malaysia's equivalent to vanilla.

Pandan Coconut Milk Jelly
Serves 6

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Advent Calendar - Day 2 (Home Brewing)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Wednesday, December 2, 2009, In : Food & Recipes 

Tim and I decided that we have time to make a batch of home brew (and maybe even drink it all) before we move north. So today Tim dug the fermenter out of the garage and got started. He's sterilising the fermenting vessel and assorted paraphernalia as I type.

Once the ingredients are combined and the brewing process gets underway, we'll be ready for bottling in a week or so. It will be all hands on deck to sterilise, prime, fill and cap the bottles. A couple of weeks after that, it will be rea...
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Advent Calendar - Day 1 (Twitter)

Posted by Sally Cummings on Tuesday, December 1, 2009, In : Technology 
I'm setting myself a challenge for December - an Advent calendar of blog entries! I'm going to write one blog post every day until Christmas. It may be a full blog entry, or just a short one with maybe a photo or a thought. But I'll post something here every day.

I got the idea from the title of a blog post by Dörte Böhner, who I follow on Twitter (@bibliothekarin). And since I first saw the link to that blog post on Twitter, I think Twitter would make a good subject for my first Advent post...
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Sally Cummings

Artist. Designer. Crafter. Librarian. Foodie. Geek.
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Maneki Neko welcome image (by IcoJoy)

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