Thursday, June 21, 2012

... on short days.

It's a special day today: the shortest day of the year. According to the Museum Victoria website, at 9.09 this morning the world will have tilted as far as she's going to, and will start easing back the other way towards summer. I like to think of this subtle shift in the world's wobble. How incredible!

I've been looking forward to this day because it means that my lazy chickens will think about laying me an egg once they register that the days are getting longer than they used to be.

Speaking of turning points, I think we're on the mend around here. Last week was a complete write-off as I came down with a bad cold, and poor C had a stomach bug that had him driving the porcelain bus for days. I can't for the life of me believe that we didn't catch each others' bugs. Now, it's fabulous to think about something other than feeling awful, and when I left the house yesterday to go for a tentative walk, it felt like I was coming out of hibernation!

Another special thing about today: we've awoken to a big old fog. It's a good thick one, too.
Merry Winter Solstice!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

... on Sydney.

I've just come back from an early birthday present to myself: a long long weekend in Sydney. I'm always amazed that it takes just over an hour to fly from Brisbane to Sydney. I used to commute for longer than that.
My window-seat was outstanding, as was all things Sydney, apart from one incident involving some bird poo and a park bench!

'Etsy Success Sydney' was both inspiring and intimidating. Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson's address was about courage and the finding thereof. (inspiring.) Georgie and Milenka from TMOD spoke about how their brand has grown from being a handmade start-up into a business with products stocked in stores around the world. (intimidating! but they gave a great talk!) Bel and Robyn from Brisstyle presented to a packed room about Etsy team management, and it was so lovely to meet them (and Mel from Kimono Reincarnate) in the break. The 'Tips from top sellers' session was full of laughs and great advice, and we heard from Sam (Matou en Peluche), Jess (Epheriell) and Lloyd (Tummy Mountain). Lara Hutton (stylist) and Heidi Adnum (photographer) presented good info about getting better results from your camera, and they demonstrated with pics they'd set up and shot in a hotel room that morning! I left before the final session as I was wrecked, and wet from a drenching at lunchtime - I think I steamed lightly all afternoon.
The venue (new function rooms at the top of the Museum of Contemporary Art) was beautiful, the view amazing, the catering good and the conversations with like-minded crafty people excellent. Three cheers for Etsy Success!
Was that the highlight of my weekend? Hard to say. I loved re-visiting the Brett Whiteley studio in Surry Hills, and then finding the huge version of his matchstick artwork out the back of the Art Gallery of New South Wales.
I also spent a long time drowning in the lovely blue of one of my favourite paintings of his.
The Balcony 2 1975. 
I was particularly taken with the succulents in the Botanic Gardens...
... and I loved the wintry-ness of the falling leaves everywhere I went.
So... home to a crazily-windy day and a cranky-looking cage of moulting chooks. To zucchini plants that have taken over the whole garden. To a modem that wouldn't work and a leaking gas cylinder. Home to full water-tanks as it'd been raining all weekend! Home to a tin still full of meringues as C had forgotten about them! (crunch, crunch crunch...)
It's lovely to get away, isn't it?