Friday, May 27, 2011

So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen goodbye!

A taxi just came to pick up our Aussie guests and take them home.
It has been such a lovely visit I am a bit sad to see them go.
I'm sure they will be very well received in Brisbane.

I might be a bit biased, but don't you think this is a beautiful rugged, tough, handsome portrait of Izac?
More pictures coming soon...
(Straight out of the camera completely un-edited.)

Monday, May 23, 2011


This is my kind of food:

from the farmers market
locally grown

(and though I'm not certain, there is a good chance they are organic or at least as pesticide free as possible)

On Sat we helped our friends Soph and Ant out with their wood-fired pizza oven trailer at the Trout Lake Farmers Market. At the end of the day a guy came around on his bike pulling a trailer in which he was collecting compostable items - including a whole lot of perfectly good tomatoes and some apples which a vendor had donated. We got chatting and I couldn't help myself. He had tomatoes coming out his ears and wasn't interested in eating them but was happy for me to indulge my inner freegan*. Thankyou tomato farmer and compost man for this beautiful bounty. A few days on the windowsill and they will all be ripe and ready.
This has me excited about dumpster diving prospects again.
Some very good humour on the topic is this clip from Portlandia.

*Freeganism is an anti-consumerist lifestyle whereby people employ alternative living strategies based on limited participation in the conventional economy and minimal consumption of resources.
 Freegans "embrace community, generosity, social concern, freedom, cooperation, and sharing in opposition to a society based on materialism, moral apathy, competition, conformity, and greed." Freeganism involves choosing to salvage discarded, unspoiled food from supermarket dumpsters, known as 'dumpster diving'.
Thankyou Wikipedia for the above definitions.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Grandma Tui's Fudge Slice

I was looking for something sweet to make to have with a cup of tea and came across this recipe in my folder. I typed it up many years ago when I began collecting recipes in preparation for one day not having mum's treasure chest constantly on hand. Before making it again recently I skyped dad to clarify who Grandma Tui was. She was my dad's grandma or my grandma's mum and she and her husband my great-grandfather did visit us once in Australia when my sister and I were little.

There is something so special about family recipes. I even remember making this with my grandma in New Zealand about 10 years (or more) ago. A Tui is a pretty bird native to New Zealand so I think it is such a precious name as well. I left the icing off as they are sweet enough without it and I like the biscuits a little bit chunky. I also had trouble buying plain biscuits here but any type would do. This has been such a hit with everyone lately that I think I will keep my biscuit and walnut supplies on hand so it can be made at the drop of a hat.

...Josh thought I should point out that this recipe contains no flowers contrary to the photos. These pansies on our windowsill have such cheery faces I wanted to show you and I picked an Iris and buttercups from the garden this morning.

Here are some Tui's. The second one even has instructions if you'd like to have a go at making it origami style. People are just amazing aren't they!
Tui pictures by Neil and Doron
And lastly, here is a funny clip about a Tui that can talk (it's real!)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A new project I have been working on

Remember the crosses I have been making in the pottery studio every Wednesday over the last few months? Part 1, Part 2. Well, Leigh, the lovely lady who co-ordinates JustPotters asked if I would like to help them update their blog (whose most recent post previously was in 2009...). I was glad to have a little project to work on so I would love you to have a look at the fruits of my labour.  The key reason for getting the blog up-to-date is to promote the lead up to a big 24-hour fundraiser coming up. JustPotters runs as a social enterprise to provide employment to people with barriers. All money raised will allow this great project to continue to provide meaningful work for local people.

What I love about this idea is that it is so local and practical. There are so many good causes worldwide and many not-for-profit organisations doing wonderful work, but many of them are so far removed from our life that we have little personal connection. What I love about JustWork is that it they operate in my current backyard - Vancouver. I have had the privelidge of getting to know 5 women who receive employment because of this project and I can attest to the power of this work in their lives.

More personally still, I can attest to the benefit that JustPotters has given me. As a new person to this city, with no friends, no job but with lots of time on my hands I started visiting the pottery studio on Wednesdays to see if I could help. While I was volunteering my time I actually became the recipient of so much more than I gave and I have seen first-hand the outworking of the values JustWork and JustPotters seek to espouse:

empowerment, interdependence, stewardship, transformation

  • I have felt the empowerment of doing something meaningful with my time, of learning new pottery skills and making something with my own two hands.
  • I have enjoyed the sense of community, the laughs, shared meals and the friendships I have made.
  • I have learnt to appreciate resources and to work hard so that the 11am tea break comes by sooner :) and
  • I have felt the transformative power of being involved in something bigger than myself. I am learning more and more the value of every individual, every story and every life. I am seeing God at work in the everyday aspects of peoples lives.
If you are interested there are a few ways you can help...
  1. Donate safely online through Canada Helps on my giving page. I am aiming to raise $240 by having at least 10 people donate $1 per hour for the event (ie $24 total per person - but every dollar helps)
  2. If this concept excites you, you also can become a connector and invite friends to sponsor you. Prizes involved for connectors...
  3. If you're in Vancouver come along to the festivities 18-19th June, join in the celebrations, purchase beautiful pottery and maybe even have a go throwing on the wheel which will be going for 24 hours straight! This fundraiser is running in connection with Car-Free Day when Commercial Drive is blocked off and the whole street celebrates. It will be a lot of fun.
  4. Spread the news through passing on the details for the JustPotters blog and like us on facebook for updates and more ways you can get involved (you don't have to be local to be a part of this).
  5. All of the above!
Thanks friends!

Wood-fired Pizza in the Park

Our friends Sofie and Anthony have a business making wood fired pizza ovens. Ant designed and built a portable trailer with 2 ovens which they will use to tour the summer music festivals and markets and delight hungry crowds. We were very pleased for them to test out some new recipes on us in the park the other weekend including an apple-crumble dessert pizza! The beach photo was taken off the jetty near Cates Park at 8.30pm. Look how bright it is! We're going to enjoy twilight hours here.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Iced Vovos

iced vovo compilation with packet
I couldn't help but think of Iced Vovos (A sweet biscuit - cookie, made by Australian brand Arnott's).
The cherry blossoms are finishishing their glorious season.
The soft pink petals blown by the wind like wedding confetti.
The streets are carpeted pink like they are purple in Brisbane's Jacaranda season.
I don't suppose the owners of cars like this one think it's all that cute.
Especially when they turn slushy after todays rain.
But I'm enjoying their last hurrah!
2 iced vovo images from here and here.

Monday, May 9, 2011

banner troubles

I am mucking around with my banner and can't seem to get it right. (I'll stick with this hand written one for a bit and see how it sits). After seeing it a few times I realised my previous one which lasted about a week is a little babyish, and the one following it looks too dark. I do like those ink stains though, from my days cleaning ink pots with Raw Art.

I think it is the simplicity of the white backgounds and simple text which I like. They don't draw attention away from photographs and drawings. I wonder whether I should change it from my name (which looks funny repeated over and over again), but I do love my name and it saves having to come up with a silly punny title. The following are some of my experiments which never made the cut. The first is my original from when I started the blog. I think this is certainly an example of simple is best and sometimes first draft is best!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Fauna... oops I mean Flora

I really struggled with how to capture the white blossoms in waterCOLOURS (or should i be saying colors now...) so I much prefer the grey drawings, it's always fun experimenting though.