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Saturday, 29 September 2007

The Name Game

I came across this on a couple of blogs, including One Little Acorn. A little bit of fun.

1. YOUR ROCK STAR NAME: (first pet & current car)
Alma Astina
2.YOUR GANGSTA NAME: (fav ice cream flavor, favorite cookie)
Peppermint Jaffa Cake
3. YOUR "FLY Guy/Girl" NAME: (first initial of first name, first three letters of your last name) MBe (I think this should be first two letters of last name, as in JLo)
4. YOUR DETECTIVE NAME: (favorite color, favorite animal)
Lilac Dog
5. YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME: (middle name, city where you were born)
Anna Warsaw
6. YOUR STAR WARS NAME: (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first)
7. SUPERHERO NAME: (2nd favorite color, favorite drink put "The")
The Yellow Milk
8. NASCAR NAME: (the first names of your grandfathers)
Jerry Stefan
9. STRIPPER NAME: (the name of your favorite perfume/cologne, favorite candy)
Truth Clinkers (my favourite!!)
10.WITNESS PROTECTION NAME: (mother's & father's middle names )
Anna (dad has no middle name!)
11. TV WEATHER ANCHOR NAME: (Your 5th grade teacher’s last name, a major city that starts with the same letter)
Diamond Dublin
12. SPY NAME: (your favorite season/holiday, flower)
Summer Gardenia
13. CARTOON NAME: (favorite fruit, article of clothing you’re wearing right now + “ie” or “y”)
Cherry Jeansie
14. HIPPY NAME: (What you ate for breakfast, your favorite tree),
Ham Sandwich Jacaranda (hmmmm -- I think I'd get kicked out of the commune)
15. YOUR ROCKSTAR TOUR NAME: (”The” + Your fave hobby/craft, fave weather element + “Tour")
The Sewing Sunshine Tour

Thursday, 27 September 2007

Flashback Friday: Me and my pet.

This is a pic of me and my dad with our first dog, Alma. She was my mum's, really -- apparently mum had read "Rebecca" by Daphne du Maurier and decided she must have a black cocker spaniel. So she got one (as was/is mum's way...).

I don't remember much of Alma except hiding behind my parents when we were walking in the door because Alma would jump all over me, and I was just a wee one.

In this picture we are at a place called "Szyglowek" which was a tiny village of a few farms, surrounded by 30 km deep pine forests. Mum and I used to spend Thurs-Sun there with mum's friend and her kids; the dads joining us on the weekend. We lived in a little 2-3 room cottage.

We'd spend our days mushroom picking (this is a pic of the mushrooms strung up and drying on the side of the cottage), playing in the sun, hanging out with the farmers watching them milk the cows and feed the pigs. I still remember the boiled potato smell of the pig swill, and carrying fresh milk in milk cans back to the cottage. The dads would fish and catch lobsters which we would then boil up for dinner.

Mum tells me the story of one day when I came running in excitedly with Maciek (the son of mum's friend, aged seven or eight -- I would have been five or six) telling them we'd found a bomb in the forest. We led them to where it was and sure enough, it was an old unexploded WW2 bomb lying on the forest floor!

Another time we'd had lunch and were playing outside, and mum called us in, but we were gone. They called and called but there was no sign of us, so they started frantically searching. They were terrified because not only was the village surrounded by deep forests, but there was a wide river running nearby, and the horrible possibilities of what could happen to their four-, five-, and seven-year-old children gripped their minds.

A few hours had passed. They had started going to each farm one by one, and just before dusk they found us -- we were happily watching the farmer's wife milk the cows in their barn.

Mum tells me I got 21 smacks then and there, and I think I might even remember it!

I have definite flashes of memories -- winding through bushy baby pine trees looking for mushrooms, the cottage near ours having its roof tarred, and standing in the doorway of the steamy little kitchen inhaling the sweet smell of the boiling lobsters -- but mostly it all seems like something out of a story book. I'm looking forward to sharing these stories with my girls.

As for poor Alma: when we escaped Poland, we heartbreakingly had to leave her behind. We left her with distant family, and found out later she had died from a neglected ear infection. I don't know what to feel about this -- guilt, anger, sadness. Just one tiny little price of non-democracy.

From my desk...

Angela asked for it. Here are two pix -- totally unstaged -- of parts of my desk.

Dried mushroom picked by MissM, and lolly residue from a packet of Japanese lollies which I received in an order from Atelier Jade. They were yummy -- like little edible bath bombs. Time to clean my desk, eh?

Lamb rattle and a packet emptied of pipe-cleaners, which are on the bookshelf behind me waiting to be returned to the packet and the craft drawer.

Not much inspiration here, I'm afraid, unless you're a surrealist.

Sweet Escape

Some Japanese sewing books/magazines which arrived today from YesAsia, and a tiny sample of the yumminess contained within.

Top to bottom: "Basics for Girls" (ISBN978-4-579-11147-3), tops; "Pochee" vol.3 (ISBN978-4-529-04432-5), overalls; "Wide Pants" (ISBN4-277-72236-9), pants; and "Pochee" vol.1 (ISBN4-529-04294-4), baby dress, patchworks.

Wednesday, 26 September 2007

Etsy Joy

My first ever Etsy purchase -- silver necklace by Danielle Maveal (PreciousPups). I am in love with it!

My second ever Etsy purchase -- fabrics from Mwendas. I am also in love with them.

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

The Dress!

I finally made myself sew the three buttons on it so it could be finished! Here it is. From Simplicity pattern 9784, using a thrifted business shirt.

Have been trying to decide whether it needs a lil' somethin' embroidered on the LHS front panel (e.g. a hedgehog or something to that effect), or a fabric flower using the same fabric, but I can't decide. Maybe I should leave it plain? What do you think?

First Ever Recipe Post -- Slightly Spicy Tuna Pasta

Pip at Meet Me at Mike's asked what we're having for dinner tonight, so here is the recipe for not only what we are having for dinner tonight but our favourite ever dinner, and easy and healthy to boot.

The pic above is an "in the pot" shot, so forgive the inelegance.

Slightly Spicy Tuna Pasta (serves 4-6 adults; or 2 hungry adults, a 3.5yo, and an 8mo over two nights!)

1 large (or 2 small) red capsicum
1 onion
4-5 cloves garlic (or to taste -- we love garlic)
185 g Sirena tuna "with chilli in oil"
200 g Always Fresh kalamata pitted olives
400 g tinned chopped tomatoes
400 g tinned whole tomatoes
few bay leaves (or not)
Parmesan cheese on top

Open tuna tin, discard chillis (usually two perched on top), drain oil into a medium/large saucepan.

Chop onion, crush garlic, and in the saucepan containing the oil from the tuna, fry both on medium heat for a minute. Chop capsicum and add. Cook onion/garlic/capsicum for 5-10 minutes on med heat, or until they start to soften.

Pour in tins of tomatoes, tuna, drained olives, and bay leaves.

Leave the lot to simmer for however long you like (we usually go about 20-30 mins).

Serve with spaghetti or other pasta, sprinkled with (loads of freshly grated) parmesan (we love the Perfect Italiano extra sharp parmesan which is sweet and nutty).

Friday, 21 September 2007

Flashback Friday: What mum did to my hair

Okay, so this is cheating, but I already used my best hair pic out of the two albums I have here!

This is me as a Squaw, wearing, inexplicably, an ancient-Egyptian-print skirt. I remember having a blast playing with that wig later. The long heavy hair I always dreamed of having and was doomed never to achieve.

Tuesday, 18 September 2007


Angela at Three Buttons recently posted about coincidences, and here is mine. Personally, I think it is more than a coincidence -- it's an interesting story, whatever you believe!

I was having a dream one night when I was about 16 -- I was in an emergency department of a hospital, and there was a young guy there who had been in an accident. His head was cracked like an egg, and he was wearing a baseball cap. I liked the cap, and stole it.

Then (in the dream) I was having a party at my dream apartment, and I heard a very loud, urgent, angry knocking. I knew it was the ghost of the guy whose cap I had stolen, coming back to claim it.

At that point I woke up. I lay in bed wondering whether to get up and check the door, because the knocking had been so loud in my dream I thought it must have been real knocking which woke me. I didn't get up in the end because I figured if it woke me at the far end of the house, it would definitely have woken my parents whose bedroom was right next to the front door. It was 3am, and I rolled over and went back to sleep.

The next morning we were in the car listening to the radio. The news came on and there was a report about a woman in Melbourne who had been bashed and raped overnight when she answered a knock at the door at 3am! Eeeeek! We lived in the outer 'burbs of Melbourne at the time, and the attack happened in the inner 'burbs.

Monday, 17 September 2007

Tagged! I'm it!

I've been tagged by Okie Okasan and Anna for the "Eight Facts/Habits" thingy. My first ever tag! Weehee.


Here are the rules:

a. Each player lists 8 facts/habits about themselves.

b. The rules of the game are posted at the beginning before those facts/habits are listed.

c. At the end of the post, the player then tags 8 people & posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment letting them know that they have been tagged & asking them to read your blog. (Like someone before me, I think I'm going to ignore this rule because I think almost everyone else has been tagged by now.)


1. I was born in Warsaw, Poland. We escaped Poland illegally (you were not allowed to leave!) but obtained a visa to Australia and entered here legally. It was January 1982. Australia is our home now and we all LOVE it -- LOVE LOVE LOVE it!!! Beautiful country and a wonderful place for people from all around the world to live together in such peace. It's quite extraordinary (I choose to ignore the few idiots out of 22 million upon whom the media love to focus).

2. I once won a gold medal at the National Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships. I was one of a trio doing a routine. Our coach -- Ann-Maree Kerr -- represented Australia at the 1984 LA Olympics. I love the Olympics -- I totally get into it all when it's on (even hanging an Aussie flag in our window).

3. I like the taste of baby formula. Not that "gold" stuff with fish oils, though -- bleugh!!! (This is despite the fact that I am an agent of the Breastapo, and neither of my girls are allowed the stuff!)

4. I've been in the Moomba parade twice. Once on a boat on the Yarra with the Oarsome Foursome. Hee hee!

5. I am really messy. And I hate it.

6. I LOVE animals. I try to avoid killing them, with the exception of whitetail spiders, those big black cockroaches (native brown ones I leave), mosquitoes, and march flies. I don't believe animals were put on this earth to serve us, or in the idea of humans being on top of some kind of evolutionary ladder. I believe evolution is like a web, not a ladder. We're not on top. We're just another animal doing the best we can and largely succeeding, but not as well as some other animals -- ants for instance. Especially the ones in our bathroom. And I don't believe in sitting on a horse's back and whipping it till it runs faster than other horses whose backs are sat upon and whose flanks are whipped. But more about that later.

7. I find it extremely relaxing to be working quietly while the cleaners wipe the benches or mop the floors around me (I used to work a couple of evening shifts before I popped out MissC). Now that's just plain weird.

8. My favourite smell is that of woodsmoke on a fresh breeze.

Is that all just too random? (I sound like Ja'ime King!)

Friday, 14 September 2007

Look mummy, I made a woman! With eyes!

Okay, so you have to have a good imagination, but nevertheless I am glad someone around here is creating (and finishing) things...

Happy star

Happy mountain

Happy field with hair

Topmost of my UFO's (um, this one is not by my 3yo) (although looking at the stitching you'd think it was! But I'm learning, learning...). About to become a FO very soon (as of tonight, only buttonholes and buttons to go). For my almost-8mo.

Flashback Friday: Say Cheese!

This is the cheesiest 1985-and-earlier pic I could find in the two albums I nicked from mum's.

My brother and I with our dog, Soja (pronounced "soya" like the beans) in front of the playground dad built for us in our backyard (everything from total scratch in those days, none of this pre-designed, pre-measured, pre-assembled stuff -- he cut that tire out himself...after walking three miles through the snow in bare feet....etc).

We'd only just moved in (hence the rather bare yard).

Soja was the BEST dog ever!!! Playful, laid-back, obedient, sweet-natured....I miss her so much.

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

I struck the op-shop jackpot!

All in one trip, all for less than $2 (for the lot!).

My favourite is the "Style 2610" (first pic, right-hand-side, the dress on the left). I bought it even though it's not my size -- I will have to figure out how to shrink it somehow -- it is divine!!!

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

Why Cherryskin?

1. chocolate cupcakes, 2. cupcake with cherry on top #3, 3. with a cherry on top, 4. Cherries on top, 5. Cherry on top (detail), 6. Wet Cherry, 7. More Cherries than I've Ever Seen Before, 8. Cherry Life Starts~, 9. Cherry Cheesecake Ice Cream, 10. Cherry vareniki, 11. cherry charms - 3-2006 002, 12. Cherries, 13. Cherries, 14. cherry wood, 15. Cherries #1, 16. Cherries, 17. cherry 4, 18. Cherry Blossoms - The Sequel, 19. Bowlful of Cherries, 20. Cherry Delight.........., 21. Girl with Cherries, ca. 1491–95, 22. cherries in washington, 23. CHERRY#3 さくらんぼ, 24. Cherry Blossom in March, 25. Cherry Lips (Go Baby Go!), 26. First-Cherry, 27. Cherries, 28. Red Cherry Cherries Fruit, 29. Cherry Christmas!, 30. cherry blossams pale pink, 31. Cherry bowl, 32. 4th of July Cherry Pie - Not Burnt this time!, 33. 3 CHERRIES ARE LUCKY & WILD, 34. Cherry, 35. Cherries #2, 36. Cherries #3

All I have been posting lately are Flashback Fridays, so I thought I'd better come up with something or...... (insert terrifying scenario here).

I have been asked the inevitable question, "So, why Cherryskin?"

Well, I, uh, love cherries. They are my favourite fruit. I love their short season (love a fruit that plays hard to get). I love their taste, their juiciness, the way they burst when you bite into them. I love lying in the sun reading a book and eating cherries (this is something I make a point of doing during the few weeks they are available, just so I can reminisce throughout the rest of the cherryless year). I love the way they dangle (shrug). I love wearing pairs of them on my ears. I love their colours. I love the phrase, "Pretty please with a cherry on top!" I love the sound of the word cherry -- I like saying it. I have no doubt I would love cherry pie if I ever tasted it. I love Neil Diamond's song, "Cherry, Cherry." I love cherry trees and especially cherry blossoms. I even like glace cherries.

I tried for "cherry" but it was already taken.

Friday, 7 September 2007

Flashback Friday: Sunday Best

Well, it's not really Sunday Best, and it's not really formal, but my mum made me and my cousin (yes, that is correct English) these dresses. She also made matching miniatures for our Barbies (clever mum) but sadly I don't have a pic of those, nor do I have the dresses.

I am in the pink.

Another Christmas shot! 1983.

Dad, Aunt (mum's sis), baby brother, and Mum (standing) in the background.