Friday, 20 March 2015

Loving those guitar solo's with The Bluetones

When I have songs on shuffle, I often find myself listening to an album and reminiscing about how that album came to be on my system.

I am not sure where I heard "Slight Return" the first time, but it was the guitar work that eventually lead me to buy The Bluetones "Expecting to Fly" CD and the album has been a favourite ever since.

Classic Britpop, I fear that I might have also been listening to Oasis at the same time. I believe that the Bluetones album is way better than the Oasis album and the band lasted a bit longer than them!

I have no other albums by this band, I just like this one. My album collection is scattered with one off purchases like this.

"When your near my heart beats quick and faster" I love "Putting out fires", especially Adam Devlin's guitar solo. 

Great driving and singing music.

Enjoy their music courtesy of Youtube.

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Reflecting on Rare Diseases Day 2015 #22q13 @MCRI_for_kids

This weekend we pause to reflect on Rare Diseases Day which aims to raise awareness of rare diseases and conditions which effect members of our community. There isn't much that we can do as a society to "fix" people affected, except support those doctors and researchers that are finding ways to lessen the impact or cure rare diseases.

My son, Nicholas is one of about ~ 1,000 people worldwide (60 in Australia) who has been diagnosed with Phelan-McDermid Syndrome (22q13); a chromosomal deletion that effects the brains ability to produce the protein needed for long term memory and cognitive development.

As the costs of genetic screening becomes cheaper and more sophisticated, the ability for us to identify why children are developmentally delayed becomes easier. So cases like Nicholas' will become more common place in the future, rather than lumping them all under the "Autism" banner.

Nicholas has just turned four, and he is non-verbal which means that he finds it hard to communicate. His low muscle tone makes it hard for him to physically do sign language (Makaton) and his issue with memory means that he basically just can't remember. He has low muscle tone and auditory processing issues. Many of his habits manifest as what would traditionally be described as low-functioning autism.

He gets exhausted very quickly and has just dropped his 2-3 hour daytime nap. There are some physical issues along with increased risk of kidney challenges in his future. I am sure that you can google all the details if you want them.

Currently there are many 'institutes' in second world countries that offer stem cell therapy for children such as Nicholas. But the landscape is a bit of a 'wild west' with un-FDA approved clinics offering cell reprogramming that costs the earth. There are currently a number of hospitals looking into cell re-programming because there are implications for dementia patients.

Children such as Nicholas, will be less of a burden on Australia's disability support system if we make science and research our priority. Tacking on the label of Science Minister onto the role of the Minister for Industry, is just insulting. I try not to make political statements on this blog, but in this case, our Federal government has it wrong. I encourage you to let your local federal member know how you feel about cuts to Science, Universities and government funded research institutions such as CSIRO in favour of privatisation and the establishment of new private medical research insitutes who will only research if it is commercially viable.

But in the meantime, if you would like to help, please consider donating to the Murdoch Children's Research Institute to support ongoing research for cell and gene therapy to lessen the impact of chromosomal abnormalities.…/…/genetics/cell-gene-therapy

On the Donation page, please mention Nicholas Kammel and then indicate the condition that he has, Phelan McDermid Syndrome or 22q13.

We are very fortunate to have a little boy that gets so much enjoyment out of life and who at least sleeps through the night. He finds great joy in Bubbles and slides, and is totally in love with the "Where is the green sheep?" book by Mem Fox and Judy Horecek at the moment.

He loves his family and he is learning to dance (quite clumsily) to Quando Quando Quando. But at 20 kilo's, he is still very much a dependent and we rely heavily on a pusher when we go out to either restrain him for safety or to push him when he is exhausted. When you pick him up, he goes limp like a rag doll cat, which makes dealing with him 10 times harder if he is uncooperative.

Nicholas will have a wonderful life, as he is oblivious to what is going on around him. 

Please consider donating and writing to your member of parliament.



Saturday, 14 February 2015

Redd Apple Crochet Necklaces

Life has been busy over the last few months. New house, new job and not much time for crafting. But every once in a while I love to do some window shopping on Etsy.

I love these crochet necklaces, quite elegant. She has some lovely colours and combinations.

This one is just gorgeous!

Be sure to check out Redd Apple on Etsy.

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Loving the photo widget sites

I love this site and the potential that it has. My Year Printed takes your instagram photo's and makes a lovely poster out of them.

I went through my instagram pics and decided to choose all the cars that I have gushed over during 2014. The preview section allows you to get an idea of what the poster might look like, which is where I have grabbed this image from.

I would imagine that you could make a poster with all your crafty exploits or perhaps just one with family. Schools could use this to document the progression of a building or perhaps pictures of what the kids are reading in the library. Endless ideas!

Starting at $40 for a custom poster, it isnt' too bad.

What do you think?


Friday, 2 January 2015

Farewell 2014

As 2014 falls away in the background the hope that 2015 holds sparkles like a gem.

How corny is that!

For the last few years since we sold our house in Northcote, we have been in limbo. Living in rental properties, items in storage and not feeling connected with our surroundings.

Four days before Christmas we got the keys to the new house and by Christmas morning we had all the bedrooms moved in, most of the big stuff (a big thank-you to the movers at Dumbo) and a Christmas Tree constructed. Somehow in amongst the chaos, Santa found us ;-)

In the new space we can organise, hang, paint and essentially start to nest again knowing that we won't be moving for quite a few years (or even decades).

Given that I somehow managed to finish my Masters of Education (Teacher Librarianship) at the end of last year, my study (for the time being) is mostly behind me. I can concentrate on other types of writing this year. I submitted my first attempt at poetry to the Short and Twisted anthology at the end of the year.

2015 is a year of intentional focus for me. Regaining that focus in my professional life and also my crafty life. Nicholas starts at a Special Development School in February, so we are hoping that the new approach to therapy will reap rewards for us.

Moving my crafty collection, I have far too many Un-Finished Objects floating around. So completing some of these will be a priority when I get my sewing machine set up once more and I get stuck into my quilting which I miss so much.

I hope that your 2015 brings you a balance of challenges and triumphs and that you travel safe and well throughout this holiday season.


Monday, 8 December 2014

Top 5 Space Pulp Etsy Finds

We introduced my daughter to Flash Gordon the other week.

She is really taken with the song "Science Fiction/Double Feature" (she hasn't seen the movie), so we are making our way through each of the movies that have been mentioned in the song.

Strolling through Etsy, I came across some lovely morsels that a friend of mine would love for Christmas.

Do did you enjoy any of these finds?

Saturday, 1 November 2014

The Waiting ...

Now that I have all my Uni work finished, the waiting is the hardest part to see if I will graduate in December.

If you care to browse, head on over to Infowhelm, where I have documented my learning over the last 3 years or so.

[source -  youtube]

I much prefer the "Pack up the Plantation" version of this song, one of my favourite live albums. 

Tom Petty, one of the greatest songwriters and I was in Year 9 when I saw him live along with Bob Dylan at Kooyong in Melbourne. For days I listened to EON-FM and rang in to get free tickets so that my Dad could see Bob Dylan in concert. I think that I was the youngest in the audience. Bob Dylan doesn't do much for me, but the "Pack up the Plantation" album has stayed with me and is one of my secret indulgences when I am driving and it is one of those albums where you HAVE to listen to it in order.

Now that I have my Masters work out of the way .. bring on the crafty goodness...

Thursday, 2 October 2014

5 things to make your campsite glam

We are in training for a large camping trip next year at some point, so we spent the weekend in Echuca to test our organisational and survival skills. We had the tent, the ice box, the industrial 4WD strength matress for a good nights sleep.

But chatting around the campfire at night, a question was formed in our minds "What would Candice de Ville do?". Candice being our modern day retro style icon. If you haven't visited her site, Vintage Current, pop along and check out all the tips hints and ideas for making your life more retro-stylish.

1. Stylish headpieces

One morning in the campsite when our hair was everywhere, we commented that Candice would have a do rag or turban on her head. She would make sure that she was composed and stylish as she stepped out of the tent at 5.30 in the morning.

If you are interested in learning how to do a headscarf property, Candice has a tutorial on youtube!

2. Retro inspired cutlery

As we camped in a group, the discussion of cutlery came up. It was easier to distinguish which cutlery belonged with if they were colour matched or they had electrical tape or nail polish on the handles signifying which set they came from. But who says that cutlery has to be boring? Check out this lovely set from Lark.

3. Eat in style

Candice would eat in style. Rather than grazing, which is what you tend to do when camping. Eating while standing or putting things away. Why not dress your table and make your meals a little more civilised!

There are modern day versions of this that are waterproof. Ikea has plastic coated fabric that is still quite stylish and retro.

4. Time for tea! 

It is important when glamping to make sure that you remember afternoon tea. This melamine tea set is rather lovely.

I'm loving this orange enamel tea set. Boil your water up, steep your tea leaves.

We had an Air Pot set up for hot water which came in handy for either washing hands or a cup of tea without boiling a billy.

5. Bunting

This idea probably takes things a bit too far, but bunting can be used to define a camp space or where tent lines are. Given that most tents are quite natural in colours, a bit of colour won't hurt? Will it? I would look for the extra long outdoor bunting, rather than the baby nursery bunting as it needs to survive rain and wind!  Take some cable ties along to secure your bunting as well.

Oilcloth bunting by Billy Bobbin.

I could keep going! What about retro wellington boots? The plastic martini set? The ideas are endless!

I hope you enjoy my picks!

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Industrial Table Leg Inspiration

Lately, I am finding the beauty in design that is functional but also something that lasts, heirloom items if you must. These table legs caught my attention and although there are several designs similar out there, it is the lack of joints and places to gather dust that appeals to my "inner housewife".

I also love the idea that if you are tired of the table or moving house it you can pack it away for another day. These legs come in so many different colours and the choice of top is of course left up to you.

The simplicity of the concept is ikea-eque, available in several sizes this product is sure to inspire many people to create personal pieces of furniture that mean something to them. Rather than the mass produced items generally seen. I'm impressed that the concept started out as a kickstarter project and that it is produced in Detroit.

via Floyd

Ryan Sorrell has a similar product, but with a different edge to it.

Another lovely piece of design is the "Maiden" table legs. Designed by Knut Bendik Humlevik and Rune Krøjgaard these legs are cast iron and I guess they would cost a small fortune to ship to Australia.

via Norr11
But imagine them with a gorgeous Australian Jarrah top? Just like the Floyd Legs, available in table or coffee table height.

vai Norr11

Just like the Floyd Legs, available in table or coffee table height.

I am not sure where these might go in my new house, but I love the idea of using products like these to make unique items that mean something to us.

Monday, 11 August 2014

Laundry room inspiration from subway

Our new laundry space in the new house is based on the idea that it has to work in-sync with the walk through pantry and kitchen space. At night it will be a safe haven for the cats to sleep, but during the day it will be a walk through space.

It is quite a compact laundry space and we have purposefully not included a space for a "tumble dryer". Upstairs there will be a drying closet for when we need to dry clothes inside. Not as fast as a tumble dryer but certainly better for the environment. The broom cupboard is twice the depth as the cupboards, capitalising on some negative space that was going to go to waste.

The flooring is black and white vinyl (easy to clean) and the tile splash back is done with white rectangle tiles in a subway style with dark grey grout. Cupboards are white with simple handles.

But I wanted to add some character to this small overlooked room.

The thought is to stencil some "do not spit" signs onto the subway tiles in an emerald green, picking up on the green outside the laundry door.

This is a picture (below) that I took at our own Flinders Street station, the subway leading into Campbell Arcade.

Alternatively, I could count my penny's and purchase a bit of history for only $450 US!

Or perhaps this one for the laundry

What do you think?