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in the domayne of queens

3 Apr

I what? I went to Domayne again? No!

Yes. I had to pick my computer up from getting fixed, and, well, there was furniture (and shiny) and I just can’t resist! I’m only human, and if you say otherwise I’ll get you with the gun that’s built into my cyberne….. I mean…. -cough- pretty pictures yay!

Some incredibly lucky woman had managed to purchase this prior to me seeing it. The mole. Now what will I do for patriotic fowl?

Naaaaw! Resin and Red makes even ugly dogs look adorable. Also, WANT! And in black!:

Giant game of chess anyone? I actually saw a large chess set on the street in Melbourne. I do regret to inform you that there are no photos from my trip to Melbourne. My phone decided it liked to chew through the battery when not being used, so the camera rarely got used. However…. Xanadu… omg… if it ever comes to your city, drop what you’re doing and go see it. I’m still listening to ELO songs two weeks later.

Ok this photo isn’t that great at getting the detail across on this table because of the bright lights and high gloss finish, but it’s a tiled table top that looks like it was hit with some paint. We’re calling it the “Wog Art Attack” table. Why? Because as a child growing up in an Italian household, we had a tiled coffee table and a freaking tiled BBQ table. Yup. Tiled. In tiny little tiles. I’m going to have to find a photo of that, I’m sure my mum will have on somewhere. We also had a fountain in our front yard…. go figure.

NSW Leather also do dyed cowhide rugs. I also still want one, in case you were wondering what to get me as a housewarming present when I move.

I love these lamps. Kevin had begun to fag out on some white couch or white table or white tv unit, or something white (his decorating borders on racist), and I zoomed in right on the lamps. I’m getting that “Silhoutte of a vase, or is it two faces” feel from them.

But never fear, cause I’m sure there will be about a billion other trips to Domayne this year. So if anyone working for Domayne in Fortitude Valley needs like.. paid for product reviews (send samples), I’d be more than happy to do so! It’s not like I don’t love the place anyway.

Did someone say ELO?

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send in the clowns

22 Jan

It’s been a fun floodcation so far, the closest we’ll ever come to having a “Snow Day” in Brisbane. And although I’ve been enjoying the “working from home”, as of Monday it’s back to the hard slog full time.

After a stint on 4zzz‘s “QueerRadio” block on Wednesday night, the Booze Fairy visited and Thursday night (Wickham) and Friday night (Uber -awesome interiors!-, Melbourne Hotel, Wickham.. and rocking out the Pat Benatar at Sporties Karaoke… I was awesome) came about. Back on the radio tonight for the graveyard shift. Busy busy busy as you can see.

So what’s a boy to do? A light breakfast in the Valley was in order……

This, ladies and gentlemen, is the “Hoochie Momma”… $16.50 worth of artery clogging breakfast delight, served not on a plate… but a freaking serving platter. By the end of it, all that was left was a little bit of wilted spinach, the baked beans (not a fan) and a tiny bit of bacon and toast.

Followed by the inevitable nap that’s required after eating that much food.

Did manage to get a few snaps of some more electrical boxes on the way home:

Can’t sleep…. clown’ll eat me. Or are we thinking more Evil Mime? Located on the corner of Brunswick Street and Kent Street in New Farm (outside Place Real Estate)
I know I’ve posted this degroot box before, but here it is from the side angle, it’s also one of the few I’ve seen so far that has no detail on the back, just plain grey steel.

Put your hand up if you love porn stars! Now keep it up if you love porn stars who try to break into the music scene! (I’m looking at you Colton Ford and Johnny Hazzard!) Well enjoy this single from everyone’s favourite buff euro of the screen, Zeb Atlas with this delicious cover song. It’s really just him touching himself and autotuning his way through bits of song. I’m not complaining.

chairs and fungi (not little miss muffett)

10 Nov

Oh how busy I am lately. In between working, listening to more N*sync than is healthy and sleeping, I managed to go for a walk tonight. And damn, Corporate Culture, you turned me on yet again with your sexy window display!

-drool-

It’s obvious that I’m in love with this chair. Even more for having seen it in colours!

But most of all, I want that lamp…I want that lamp! (Here comes the 21st century! It’s gonna be much better for a boy like me!)

The below image is a little shout out for a fellow mushroom loving blogger. Daniel over at Manhattan Nest (who does some of the BEST DIY you’ll ever see in your life!) has little mushrooms up in his kitchen. I’m sure he’d prefer these giant polyresin mushrooms that I spotted this arvo at “Direct Savings” in Queen St Mall. I think I’m going to go back and buy some tomorrow.

Enjoy some N*Sync:


oh…my…gourd!

7 Nov

I’m thinking of buying a cute frilly little apron to wear when I come over to mums. Cooking is inevitable. And it’s always good to be appropriately dressed for the occasion.

Case in point this morning. I’m making pumpkin pie. Traditional American food. Rarely had here. But always heard about at some point in American movies, because the potential spouse/love interest/Sandra Bullock will end up meeting parents/family/distant relatives of lead actor/actress/Ryan Reynolds. Mum told me she made some, and it was really good, and I’ve been wanting to either have a crack at cooking it, or just eating it, for some time now. Today I get to do both.

I’m following a recipe she clipped out of the newspaper, and I’ve retyped it for you below… but with photos and notes!:

Pumpkin Pie

Ingredients (MAKES 2 PIES)

2 Ready-made shortcust pastry cases

500g butternut pumpkin, skinned and cubed

Skinned pumpkin

Skinned pumpkin

2 eggs, lightly beaten

3/4 cup brown sugar, lightly packed

1/3 cup buttermilk (I never really knew what this was…I still don’t really, it was always just something that got mentioned in Charlotte’s Web)

1 tbsp marsala or sweet sherry (Oh yeah, it’s 1950’s housewife time, a few sneaky sips of the cooking sherry before the husband and children come home)

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground nutmeg

1 tsp ground ginger

All the ingredients... minus one egg. Chickens had only laid one, so waiting for mother to come back home with more eggs. Might have to start on the sherry while I wait.

All the ingredients... minus one egg. Chickens had only laid one, so waiting for mother to come back home with more eggs. Might have to start on the sherry while I wait.

Method

1. Bring pumpkin to the boil and cook until tender. Drain, mash to a fine consistency and allow to cool slightly.

I think that's "smooth consistency" enough

I think that's "smooth consistency" enough

2. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius

3. Whisk together eggs and sugar in a large bowl. Add the pumpkin, buttermilk (buttermilk looks weird, a little semenesque), liqueur and spices and mix throughly.

4. Divide the misture between the two pastry cases and smooth over with the back of a spoon

5. Bake for 40 minutes or until set. Serve warm or at room temperature with cream or vanilla ice-cream.

....These should really be cooling on a window sill while a neighbour child smells it and tries to steal it.

....These should really be cooling on a window sill while a neighbour child smells it and tries to steal it.

It was all pretty easy. I don’t know what everyone complains about. Though to be fair, I’m not roasting a turkey at the same time…. Taste update to follow later! It’s a beautiful day out, and I’d like to thank the below songs for letting me rock out to them while I made this.

if you see a faded sign at the side of the road that says 15 miles to the dump shop!

6 Nov

It’s been quite some time, my dear readers, but today I finally got it on once again with my best friend. While it disappointed a little, absense had made the heart grow fonder, and I was glad to return to the dump shop.

Still filled with rank moles and their spawn, the dump shop is where I go to get my retro/kook/craft on. Not where I buy my clothes and toys from, except for that one time, but I decapitated that bear and mounted him!

Usually giving the place a bit of time between visits means there’s alot of awesome stuff, not so much the case this time (the swag wasn’t that big, and the woman charged us way too much for what we had in the trolley….), though, it was filled with some rather sweet retro refrigerators!

Old school Electrolux fridge. The interior shot didn’t end up saving on my phone. But it was (as all old fridges are) so much smaller on the inside then they appear on the outside!

I’m guessing “Junky Kev” had a rather fitting retro themed 50th.

Sweet door detail. Love these old handles that you actually have to pull out in order to open the door. (Locking mechanisms back then, none of this magnetic closing!)

Ahhhh 195os/60s fonts. Space Age (Pixar’s Cars?) dairy anyone?

It does look a little car-esque on the inside. I like that they didn’t have freezers then, just “frozen food shelves”… and the lack of frost free meant they turned in to hunks of ice encasing your meat rather quickly. Funny story – my freezer at home is so dedicated to it’s frost free ability that ice will slowly disappear if left unused for too long. Freezer has a serious case of the noms for ice. Makes summer a bit of a trial though.

And how about some old sewing machine action with…omg… 5 whole different stitches!

 …..when did Deluxe go from being hyphenated to just being one word? Was it around the same time Today decided to do the same?

But, I didn’t get any of that. I already have a sewing machine (and it’s not attached to it’s own table), and my fridge has all of it’s shelves and actually works! And no joy on finding an old school desk to put my barbeque on yet. I’m sure I’ll find one eventually though, totally missed the chance last time and it’s another case of kicking myself on that one.

My swag (while light) included a bit of fly screen that I’ll be tacking up on the bathroom window to keep the mosquitoes out once and for all (I refuse to be a summer meal for them again… being woken up in the middle of the night to a mozzie bite, only to have to kill 9 of them shouldn’t happen), a cool chinese designed round metal tray, some leaf-shaped nibbles trays (for the picnic I’m totally organising this summer)… and these:

I’m going all thrift store to re-do my art wall. Need a few more pieces, but I’ll aquire them slowly (I want a few more needlepoints… they’re insanely cute), but I like these two birds. They’re clearly having some relationship issues and aren’t speaking to each other at the moment, but I’m sure they’ll work through it. Not sure if I’ll do anything about the frame (paint? new one?), or head to Reverse Garbage next weekend and grab some matting for it.

But… the best find… and the one that’s freaked a few people out, but totally follows on from another piece I got there…..

Bald yo-yo clown mirror! He can be best friends with Sleazy Stripper Clown!

From the dump shop we went to Rivers (don’t judge me) where I got some belts, shorts and a pair of sweet shiny black shoes for work. I wanted polo shirts and pairs of thongs ($2.90!) in ever freaking colour of the rainbow, but… they had all sold out. Rivers is a bit of a tease like that some times. And then we hit up the new food market near Grand Plaza. Totally going back there. It’s James St Market for bogans, all the food’s there, but the prices are cheaper… and the mullets are out. And the rat tails. And that “haircut” where it’s just a fringe and everything else is shaved. That’s weird. What is that? And why?

Getting back to mum’s place, it would seem my aunty is just slowly moving in under the guise of a “clothing swap”. Good on mum for already rummaging through the bags and taking out the good stuff. Scored myself a few canvases, and two books on nail and thread art… very VERY 70s, and looking forward to making one… or two…. the owl and zebra designs have caught my eye!

Oh – and I cooked dinner too (mum helped a little….)… Pan Fried Gnocchi with a Blue Cheese, Garlic and White Wine sauce with Chorizo and Mushrooms and a side of pancetta wrapped asparagus with dates (tasty!).

 ……I think that about covers this day in history. I believe tomorrow brings a haircut and making a pumpkin pie with mum. If anyone from America is reading this… Pumpkin Pie isn’t exactly standard fare in Australia… we don’t do Thanksgiving or Halloween (not with the same intensity at least), so I’m looking forward to trying it. It better be good America, that’s all I’m saying!

As an end note, enjoy my current song addiction – Marina and the Diamonds – Shampain, I’m having trouble not listening to it… rather addicting:

all i want for christmas is you!

1 Nov

(really early Christmas related post, though the retailers totally got a bigger headstart on this one)

So I finished my paper bead garland tonight (besides spraying it with a gloss, which I’ll do tomorrow night). I ran out of blue paper, so made some red beads and put them in amoungst the various blue tones. I think it turned out quite nice. Very much looking forward to Christmas this year, I wasn’t really in the mood to celebrate it last year due to being out of work, so I’m trying to make up for that this year.

Paper beads are amazingly easy to make, though you’ll get covered in gluestick doing it.

I learnt how using this video from ThreadBanger (a fantastic DIY site/b&v-log)

And here is my finished result:

Colour scheme works quite well. I can recommend putting Bones on while you do this. Or Castle. Castle is good too.

I really am feeling quite giddy about Christmas, I get to whip out two of my favourite albums of all time:

Yup… Bing Crosby’s Merry Christmas and Disney’s Christmas Favourites. Childhood favourites. My first stepdad had the Bing Crosby Christmas album on CD (back when CDs were all new and fancy and the players were these giant mothers with huge buttons, and an epicly sized tray to place the CD). Mele Kalikimaka being the best song on it.

I used to have the cassette (I’m starting to feel old now!) of the Disney Christmas Favourites but it met its untimely end when leant out to a teacher when I was in grade 5. I missed it dearly, but managed to find both in fine condition on LP at various 2nd hand stores around the place.

….and let’s never forget Mariah Carey’s contribution to the wonderful world of Christmas music. Not many modern songs permeate the tradition like this one has!

This is the “other” film clip:

where i try to make gyoza, and end up working a food production line

20 Oct

So I’m having a little trouble getting back into work mode after my weekend away, and most of my day today was consumed by a desire to get home and get stuck into making gyoza. I’ve had a recipe sitting around on by usb drive for a few weeks now that I pilfered from The Kitchn: “Kenny Lao’s Rickshaw Dumplings”

Here is the recipe, copy and pasted directly from The Kitchn for easier reference (though much less by way of production photos!):

———————————-

Rickshaw Dumplings
Adapted from Kenny Lao
makes about 80 dumplings, depending on wrappers used

1/2 head of Napa cabbage
1 tablespoon salt
1 pound fresh ground turkey or other ground meat
1 bunch scallion, chopped
1 bunch cilantro leaves, chopped
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons minced ginger
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
2 eggs, beaten
2 packets round dumpling wrappers (most brands have 30-45 wrappers per package)
vegetable oil for frying

For the dipping sauce:
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon sriracha or other hot chili sauce

Cut the cabbage crosswise into thin strips. Toss in a large bowl with salt in a bowl and set aside for 5 minutes. Take handfuls and wring out the moisture. Dump out any remaining water in the bowl. Combine the cabbage with the turkey, scallion, cilantro, soy sauce, ginger, sesame oil, pepper and eggs. Mix well with a large spoon or, preferably, your clean hands.

Set yourself up in a spacious work area with the dumpling wrappers, a little bowl of water and a large cutting board or cookie sheet. Grab a helper or two. Lay out a dozen or so dumpling wrappers. Place about 1 tablespoon filling in the center of each wrapper. Dip your fingertip in the water and trace the outside edge of the wrapper with water. Fold the wrapper over to make a half circle and make a pleat at the top of the curve. Pinch in the sides then lift up the edges to meet the center, creating a pouch. Pinch the top together and bend out the sides slightly to curve.

Heat a skillet over high until very hot. Add 1 tablespoon oil (a little less if using a non-stick pan) and coat the sides. Place enough dumplings in a single layer to line the pan, then stand back and carefully pour in a 1/2 cup of water (enough to immerse the dumplings by 1/2-inch.) Cover and cook until the water is absorbed.

Holding the pan with a hot pad, place a large plate or platter as a cover on the pan and invert. Scrape the dumpling out with a spatula (careful of non-stick surfaces.)

Repeat with the remaining dumplings.

To make the dipping sauce, combine all ingredients in a small bowl.

Serve dumplings hot with the dipping sauce.

———————————-

Now, me being me, I figured the ingredients weren’t enough, so I bought extra meat, as well as tins of water chesnuts, bamboo shoots and this thin asian mushroom that resembles an earplug. I also used wombok instead of cabbage.

Kids – listen to people when they suggest amounts, otherwise you end up with too much mixture, and spend 40 minutes dashing up and down Brunswick Street at 8pm, trying to find a place that sells dumpling wrappers, and buying half the stock that Coles has, all the while praying that it’ll both be enough, and you’ll have room for them.

It turns out I don’t have enough freezer room to make them all at once, so a good half of the bowl of filling remains, covered in my fridge, awaiting tomorrow evening when once again, I can continue making gyoza. I prefer the skins I got from the Formosa Asian Grocery on Mary Street in the city, they’re whitish and round. The ones from Coles are square and yellow.

I’ve also tried eating some, they’re alright, though definately missing something (possibly the cilantro, which I don’t have… the ginger, which I don’t think I added enough of…. or the soy sauce, which I also don’t have, and tried to substitute with extra sesame oil and some teriyaki sauce). But hey, they’re food, and like my slightly burnt tasting risotto, they’re not getting thrown away for something so small (you can tell I don’t want a repeat of last month where I’m fighting with weevils in my rice to allow me one more weeks worth of food!)

So here’s my filling, in a giant metal IKEA bowl… it’s a bit of a hot mess:

And here are the first few I made:

They started to look good when I got used to it, though the visual quality took a quick downhill turn when I started using the square wrappers and had to begin developing  a new technique.

That’s all I’ve got for you photo wise here, I was far too busy making these and watching Poh’s Kitchen.

And I won’t be making the dipping sauce, I find these taste fantastic with plum sauce, and I happened to find a nice, thin, plum and chilli sauce at the shops.

Today I also rediscovered ThreadBanger on YouTube while I was trying to find instructions on making paper beads (for my christmas tree). Expect me to make some of the stuff on here soon, especially the DIY Stuffed Animals (I love indie plushies and sock monkeys, and dying to learn how to make a Sock Monkey, I’ve wanted one for ages now!)