Monday, July 29, 2013

New Tricks 12/26: Harry Potter origami (sorta)

I've always loved origami. I've known how to fold a crane for years and wile away my time in queues and waiting for people turning old ticket stubs and pamphlets into birds. Someone gave me one of those calendars where you tear off the previous day and there's a new thing to make with the old sheet of paper. I made a chicken that laid an egg. It was awesome.

But I wanted a new challenge. Enter Harry Potter origami. Well. Sorta. It's sorta Harry Potter in that some of the tutorials I used were for Harry Potter specific stuff and others, I just kinda winged it with something approximate.

It's a dragon. Can't you tell? Yeah, me neither. I used this tutorial but was a bit disappointed with how it turned out. Looks more like a broken bird.

I think this Phoenix is better. It's no Fawkes, but a little closer to the traditional phoenix origami in this tutorial

My owl looks like a scowly robin. It looks like the one in the tutorial - but that's a little scowly robin too. 

It's the Golden Snitch! And it actually kinda looks like a golden snitch! It's pretty much a traditional water bomb/balloon origami - but with wings.

So my Dementor won't stand on it's own two feet (errr... whispy gas trail??) but it still looks like a Dementor! The tutorial was a bit difficult to follow especially with the hood section but fudging works too.

And my favourite - the Howler. If I'd had red paper, this would have rocked even harder. The mouth moves and everything. The tutorial was a fairly easy one for traditional kissy lips. Maybe if Lovely Husband was bored we could hook up a little recording like those birthday cards that sing when you open them. Okay, he'd have to be a lot bored.

This little project originally started out as Star Wars Origami, trying to fold up the cutest little paper yoda that I'd had pinned on Pinterest for a little while. I got this far and then my brain exploded. Mainly because the instructions were just diagrams and when there were actual instructions, they were in Spanish - or Portuguese - one or the other but definitely a language I don't speak.

Brain exploded roughly here.

I'm going to get all Doctor Claw for a minute: I'll get you Yoda... next time.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

New Songs on a Sunday Morning (671-680)

As part of my ongoing effort to improve the range of my cultural consumption, I'm casting out for new things to listen to. Part one and an explanation of this musical escapade can be found here.

I may or may not have caught So You Think You Can Dance the other night. I admit nothing.

671. Feliz Da Housecat - 'Silver Screen' - ' the back shakes a tambourine' oh the rhymes.
672. Kevin Spacey - 'That's All' - from the soundtrack of Beyond the Sea
673. Labrinth - 'Last Time' - errrr, not entirely my cuppa.
674. Delta Rae - 'Bottom of the River' - Swampy delta goodness.
675. Delta Rae - 'Dance in the Graveyards' - Entirely different to the previous song but catchy and captivating.
676. Delta Rae - 'Morning Comes' - Turns out the band (siblings plus a few others) share the singing. The sister sang the swampy one and the brothers
677. Delilah - 'Go'
678. Delilah - 'Inside My Love'
679. The Valerie Project - 'Elsa'
680. Bloc Party - 'So Here We Are'

Friday, July 26, 2013

Blood fruit and a list of links

There's no metaphor at work here. Although Dear Boy's forehead is also multi-coloured with many stages of bruise and his lip looks like he's done a few rounds with a grumpy kangaroo, we're actually all kinda okay. And these stories and videos and things aren't terrifically violent or bloody - although there's one or two that are a tad uncomfortable. I am just a bit captivated by these oranges that I picked up at the Farmers' Market on the weekend. And a blog post always looks a bit naked without a photo. 

1. Molly Ringwald has always felt like my too-cool older sister… in my dream John Hughes world, that is. But Molly finally graduated high school and started playing the “mom” of teenagers herself. Then she wrote a book. She was in Australia earlier this year for the Sydney Writers’ Festival.

2. Another find from the SWF is this panel discussion with the title ‘I’m a feminist – can I vajazzle?’ The panel members are the feminist scholar Dale Spender, Shami Chakrabarti, (who the site says is a UK barrister and director of civil rights group Liberty), Jude Kelly (who I’m also unfamiliar with but is the artistic director of the UK’s Southbank Centre ), the comedian Ruby Wax, blogger and general media commentator Mia Freedman and her MamaMia editor Jamila Rizvi. Some of the ideas here came up for me in some teaching I was doing on women’s magazine a few years ago – are we dealing with a new feminism? Are we taking a step backwards? Is women sexualising their own bodies a sign of legimite or false power?

3. I’ve come over all nostalgic for the AGA. When I played housekeeper in a country manor in the south of England for a year, there was a shiny blue AGA to play with, all new and completely foreign to me.

4. Oh, and I’ve fallen in love with (Gucci Hippie’s) San Francisco, which I’ll probably never see. I'll be tuning into part 2 of this one.

5. I am in love with Antony Green and will religiously watch his coverage of the 2013 election. Here’s his take on our electoral system and the minor parties. The last two or three paragraphs are especially scary.

6. I am also all full of fondness for Annabel Crabbe. Here’s an interesting piece on our new/old Prime Minister (Kevin Rudd – for those who’ve been out of town). 

7. If you haven’t already seen it, you should also check out Crabbe’s Kitchen Cabinet series on the ABC, where she cooks and shares a meal with various politicians in their own homes. It’s funny. And weird. 

8. Lovely Husband hates the word ‘organic’ as it’s applied to labelling food. The scientist in him is riled at the misappropriation of the term to mean anything other than the general ‘contains carbon’ definition. This article on water companies being forced to remove their ‘organic’ label makes me titter. Even given the fact that two hydrogen atoms, one oxygen = zero carbon, it makes me laugh, just a little bit, that people might have been stupid enough to pay extra for that organic label on a big ol’ plastic bottle of water. 

9. Rick Gonski tells good stories about books and book culture and book buying and selling.

10. JK Rowling was recently outed as the author of the crime novel The Cuckoo’s Calling. This isn’t really a new story – authors have been writing under pseudonyms for years for a variety of reasons… what caught my attention about the story was the fact that sales of 1500 copies was considered a critical success – and a pretty big success given a sequel had been written and a TV series optioned before the JK Rowling name got anywhere near it). Has that always been round about where success was measured or have things just gotten worse for authors these days?

11. Here’s a sample of The Cuckoo’s Calling  – what do you think?

12. Last but not least is this ripper of a blog post from Rebecca Woolf over at Girl’s Gone Child where she’s questioning why we stand up against princess culture and the pinkness and sexualisation of girls but let our boys get caught up in pirate culture where drinking and murdering and raping and sex slavery were pretty much the norm. Not even Disney's toned that one down.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Fat-lip walking

We walked today. We're both sick and he's injured, but we walked because there have been far too many rainy days in a row and too much time spent inside. We rugged up in a million layers and wandered to the train station where Dear Boy loves watching the commuters and the trains and the cyclists whizzing by and the birds in the trees that are suddenly at eye level when you're up on the bridges and ramps. He looks just like a commuter himself in that picture above: head down, powering off to work.

He hurt himself yesterday and we took a trip to the Emergency Department (again) because there was blood everywhere and I couldn't see if he'd managed to put his teeth all the way through his lip. Cut on the outside, cuts in the middle but nary did they meet - thank goodness. He is all fat lip and drool and squawks of outrage and such a brave brave boy. Washing the blood from his shirt and scarf this morning turned me into a sobbing mess.

Hello? Grandma?

Saturday, July 20, 2013

New Songs on a Saturday morning (651-670)

As part of my ongoing effort to improve the range of my cultural consumption, I'm casting out for new things to listen to. Part one and an explanation of this musical escapade can be found here

This week's songs are snaffled straight from Lovely Husband's playlist. I suspect he finds them on ads and films and computer games and then googles like a bastard until he finds what he's looking for. His google-fu is better than my google-fu at things like this. That's okay - I'm better at map-reading than he is, so it all evens out.

651. Courtnee Draper and Troy Baker - 'Will the Circle Be Unbroken' - Sweet little folky number... which is weird for a computer game called Bioshock Inifinite.
652. Spencer and Atwood - 'Trek' - The full version of the song from the Emirates 'Hello Tomorrow' ad). Gorgeous song.
653. The Heavy - 'What Makes a Good Man' - A funky frontman and three awesome back-up ladies. There's not much to it lyrically besides the chorus, but who cares.
654. The Naked and Famous - 'Punching in a Dream' - I heard this in Pitch Perfect; Lovely Husband probably heard it in one of several computer games.
655. Flight Facilities (feat. Christine Hoberg) - 'Clair De Lune'.
656. Flight Facilities (feat. Giselle) - 'Crave You'.
657. Royksopp (feat. Susanne Sundfor) - 'Running to the Sea'.
658. Susanne Sundfor - 'The Brothel'.
659. Susanne Sundfor - 'White Foxes'.
660. Susanne Sundfor - 'The Silicone Veil' - Need to go through the R18 curtain for this one.
661. Susanne Sundfor - 'Walls'.
662. Ketamine Suns - 'Finnish Girls'.
663. D-Anna and Khromozomes - 'Together'.
664. Birdy - '1901'.

665. ZZ Ward - 'Til the Casket Drops'.
666. ZZ Ward - 'Put the Gun Down' - from the ooh-ooh-oohs to the drop off ending. All good.
667. ZZ Ward (feat. Kendrick Lamar) - 'Cryin' Wolf'
668. Julie Delpy - 'A Waltz for a Night'
669. Julie Delpy - 'An Ocean Apart'
670. Carla Bruni - 'You Belong to Me'.

Notice a trend in Lovely Husband's musical taste?

Thursday, July 18, 2013

New Tricks (11/26): Amusing myself while folding shirts.

Lovely Husband loves black t-shirts. He has a million of them with lots of different pictures and messages, and occasionally deliberate about what statement he wants to make today: 'No, I will not fix your computer' is a favourite in those cases. Here is one of his shirts on holiday:

And here's Dear Boy wearing the one that'll feature in today's New Tricks post:

He was about seven months old there. What a cutie.

All of these t-shirts means there's an awful lot of t-shirt folding going on. When there's folding going on at all that is, given our tendency to turn the couch into a remote wardrobe/chest of drawers for long periods of time. When we are taken to folding though, it takes a while to get through all the t-shirts. My usually MO is to stack them all in a pile, face down, fold over the sleeves and sides, bring up the back and ta-dah - the front message/picture is perfectly displayed so Lovely Husband doesn't have to go unfolding everything to find the particular black t-shirt he wants.

It takes a long time, especially if you want to avoid future ironing. It takes time to put them all in a pile; it takes time to fold, etc. Each shirt, I'd reckon, would take around a minute or two all up/ on average. So, when I found this video, I thought I'd give it a try, even if just to amuse myself for a little while.

I can't speak Japanese but the gist of it is this:

1. Place the t-shirt front/picture side up.
2. Pinch the fabric right about where the nipple is or level with the bottom of the sleeve.
3. From that point, draw an imaginary line to the top of the shirt and pinch there as well (x-marks this spot on the Bazinga t-shirt).

4. Here's the tricky part (and the photo's a little unhelpful cause I only have two hands and you now have both hands pinching the t-shirt). That imaginary line you drew up to the top of the shirt, you now want to draw down to the bottom hem as well. Take your right hand that's pinching the top of the shirt near the collar and draw it down to that imaginary point at the bottom hem. You're effectively crossing over your arms. Don't let go of the nipple pinch (hehehe - nipple pinch).

5. Now holding the top and bottom hems in your right hand, pull the left hand/nipple pinched fabric out from underneath, essentially uncrossing your arms.
6. Give it a little shake if you need to, but you'll essentially be holding something that looks like this (again, only two hands, so I've laid mine on the ground).

7. All that's left is to fold that last part underneath. And ta-dah.

Once you get the hang of it, it's really very quick - maybe about 15-30 seconds per shirt. It's a big fold, though, and probably not one that's going to work if you have a small or narrow chest of drawers, but it's fun and feels a bit like a magic trick. And how often can you say that about folding the laundry.

Have you got any folding or other household tricks that might make my life a little easier - or more hilarious? 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Kiss-iversary: There's no card for that

Twelve years ago Lovely Husband and I shared our first kiss. It was awkward, as first kisses mostly are, but it marked the start of this thing that is us. It also marked the end of a year of wooing without either of us calling that, a year of dancing around each other like colourful birds. 

There was a card propped against my computer screen this morning. Lovely Husband remembered the moment even though he is not so sentimental about things like this. I forgot, even though I am. 

A few days ago, it was five years since we moved to Melbourne. In early October, it will be 12 years since we moved in together, into our flat above a chemist on a street full of restaurants and pubs and people peeing in the alleyway. In late October, it will be seven years since we eloped to a park overlooking the ocean. In early November, it will be seven years since we celebrated our wedding with friends with a picnic in a different park. In January, it will be two years since Dear Boy came into our world.

Lots of moments in our shared lives to remember and reasons to celebrate.

What special moments do you commemorate? Are there cards involved?

Monday, July 15, 2013

Booklearnin': Who Sank the Boat?

Dear Boy has recently discovered our copy of Who Sank The Boat? It's a soft cover picture book, so I was a bit worried about him destroying it, but he seems to have been gentle enough so it's joined the general rotation. 

My main issue with who sank the boat is predicated on the relative clause - and whether the information provided after the 'who' is restrictive or additional. Somehow I feel there should be commas because, although there is some poetic/artistic license, it just reads funny. Take the sentence in the page above... Does that read like the sheep didn't know where to sit to you, or is it just me? The whole way through I'm mentally adding commas and rewording the sentences. 

Also, the shading around the cow's legs look like pubes. Maybe that's why she looks so horrified.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

New Songs on a Saturday Afternoon (641-650)

As part of my ongoing effort to improve the range of my cultural consumption, I'm casting out for new things to listen to. Part one and an explanation of this musical escapade can be found here. You'll need to search for the rest yourselves.

641. Anna Kendrick - 'Cups' - I saw the movie a while ago but only just caught up with this. I am such a sucker for soundtracks. And a sucker for song and dance movies. But that's a whole other kettle of fish.
642. Mika feat. Ariana Grande - 'Popular Song'. Not so sure about the giggles halfway through.
643. Chvrches - 'Gun' - She sounds so, so young, like 12 years old young.
644. Stereophonics - 'Indian Summer' - I've always thought the only thing more than ordinary about this band and their songs was the lead singer's voice. He makes this marginally more than ordinary.
645. Yolanda Be Cool feat. Gurrumul - 'A Baru in New York'.
646. Kutcha Edwards - 'Get Back Up Again' - Indigenous bluesman, sounding like a statesman of the genre.
647. Busby Marou - '5 Rocks' - Love the subtle harmonies of this duo.
648. Busby Marou - 'Biding My Time'.
649. Busby Marou - 'Save Some for the Others' - Australian accent shines through in this one with some of that blues harp and Fender Telecaster that sounds like childhood for me.
650. Taylor Swift feat. Ed Sheeran - 'Everything Has Changed'.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Chalking it up: yesterday when he had hair and today after I cut it

 Last night when we got home from childcare and I needed to cook dinner and Dear Boy was whinging up a storm, I opened the back door, handed him two sticks of chalk and left him to it, catching the occasional glimpse of the top of his head out the window.

His beautiful head. With a mop of hair that was starting to irritate the hell out of him, growing over his ears and tickling and itching at him until he scratched at his head like a dog.

So this morning I cut it.

 And somehow my beautiful boy looked like a model waif, blinking up at me with his big eyes and his stretched long sleeved onesie slipping off his shoulders. And then after his shower, my baby boy became a big boy, beating round the garden in his boots and basking in the sunshine, looking a lot like his cousins with their shaved heads and rough and tumble attitudes.

He would run from here to there, drawing (in "whart", "boo", "geen", "pink") on whatever surface he could find, offer me "fowers", then catch me round the legs and snuggle. My beautiful boy with his runny nose and his too short hair and his sweet, sweet smile.


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