Saturday, February 21, 2009

Still here...

It's been busy chez rooruu - but there will be more blog entries next week!  I changed the header, as a start...


Saturday, February 14, 2009

Card and compass

0902 card and compass
Originally uploaded by rooruu
One of the kids in my family is 21, and we were asked to bring something that reminds us of the birthday one. I got a compass, for the birthday one's strong sense of direction in life, and wrote this in the card:

Time flies! I remember you only a few days old, looking, looking, paying attention to everything around you. Little, when you were very precise about tidy things, like getting rid of price stickers. The Christmas you were two, and hopped with joy from foot to foot, unable to contain your excitement.

It's a joy to see you grown into the person we saw as a baby - change, and not change.

Happy 21st! (the quilt* will come) and every good wish and hope for the realisation of dreams, and the discovery of new ones.

*quilt has already been discussed, and is on the to-make slate.

They grow so fast!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Handmade Help for the Victorian bushfires


Pool, rain

0902 pool
Originally uploaded by rooruu
Round about this time every year I attend a swimming carnival. And, as I do round about this time every year, I take a photo of the water. Today was cloudy, all day, but the rain held off till all was almost done. Such a relief, rain, after the relentless, scorching heat. The temperature's close to half of what it was - from over 40degC to around 20degC. Quite a change. The hot weather may not be all gone, though, they're saying...

Monday, February 09, 2009

Craft helps bushfire appeal - buy on etsy

The death toll in the Victorian bushfire now stands at 131 people.  Over 750 homes destroyed. 

One way to help?  Go to etsy and buy handmade craft from sellers donating the proceeds to the bushfire appeal fund. (But do check  the listing page and their shop main page to ensure they are planning to donate with the listing that interests you - this search can throw up sellers using the word 'bushfire' for legit contexts other than appeal donation.  Some donating sellers are donating with every listing, some with some of their listings.  Another tag to search is "bushfire appeal"; or buy from or donate to this shop).

Here are some examples:
Beautiful things.  Beautiful thought.  Well done to them.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Hot weather and bushfires

We've had four days over 40degC - so relentlessly hot that the state government relaxed water restrictions that have been in place for years, and allowed backyard sprinklers for children to play under, to cool them down.  Apparently, Ivanhoe in inland NSW was likely to be the hottest place on earth today at 47degC, or so one newspaper reported.

In Victoria, over eighty lives have been lost in dreadful bushfires.  Read more here: (  Entire towns/villages wiped out.

Online donations can be made at the Bendigo Bank at this link or the National Australia Bank at this link.

Last month I was in Bendigo.  Yesterday, thirty homes on its outskirts were burned out completely.  As we drove through the countryside then, we saw how very very dry it was.  Add fire and wind, and disaster is horribly easy to understand.  When you learn that half of Australia's bushfires are the work of arsonists (likely including some of these Victorian fires), you're even more horrified.

And not forgetting that in North Queensland, floods that had receded are returning.  It's a "wilful, lavish land" all right, "droughts and flooding rains" (see Dorothea Mackellar's poem, "My Country", which I won't put here in full because it's still copyright).


Thursday, February 05, 2009

It is very hot.

It is very hot.  Day and night.  Teetering around 40degC/over 100degF.  Very hot.  Not cooling down much at night, either.  Tiring.  Hot.  That is all (for now).


Sunday, February 01, 2009

An artist's view of the inauguration

Whether you're over Obama inauguration hoopla or not, take a look at this artist's piece in the New York Times - illustrator Maira Kelman's very individual take on the day in thoughtful watercolours and engaging observations: The Inauguration. At Last. from her blog, And the pursuit of happiness.

It reminds me a bit of the work of Australian cartoonist Michael Leunig (who was officially declared to be a National Living Treasure a couple of years ago).


Vintage cutlery II

It's all very well finding a cache of lovely vintage forks and spoons, but you do need knives...

A sharp eyed friend spotted a mixed box of vintage cutlery in an old wares shop we were liking very much. A bit of sorting and hunting, and I had a set of knives. I gather the handle on these isn't bone, but some sort of early plastic (xyrene or some name like that, someone said) and they're stainless steel.

But now we lay the table with beautiful cutlery - not all quite matching, esp. if there are more than six people. But like the spoons and forks, these are happy in the hand. My previous set of cutlery, basic plain vanilla 80s stainless steel, has served well. But these vintage pieces just add something extra to the ordinary business of daily meals.

I did look at modern sets, and never quite found one that I liked. Either they didn't work in the hand, or were too moderne one way or another, or trying to be too clever or designed, or felt somehow flimsy. The sturdy, plain design of the vintage cutlery that's come my way is just right. Just right.

And then I chuckle, because it's very much like the cutlery I grew up with, except now (I don't remember why) my parents use a moderne set.


Vintage cutlery I

I've picked up a few vintage epns cutlery pieces from market stalls and vintage shops over time. In daily use, I found them to be distinctly stronger than the cutlery I bought years ago when I moved out of home. So I sort-of had my eye idly out for a set - and this one came to my attention.

Plain as anything, as you can see, and with the faint scratchings of use by their former owners. But, like the pieces I have, strong and beautiful in their simplicity, comfortable in the hand and weighted right. Such a little grace, good cutlery. It's like the new china I bought last year, a daily pleasure as part of everyday life.

So now, unwrapped from the newspaper bundled around them, released from rubber bands and washed, they're ready to use.

When I was little, my lovely grandmother used to clean our family silverplated cutlery with Silvo polish, and I remember the next meal always tasted just a tad funny, as the polish hadn't quite gone...

No knives? Ah, stay tuned...