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Archive for the ‘Other interesting things’ Category

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We’d never covered a lampshade before. Still, how hard could it be, right? Hmmm … kinda hard actually.


Doing the research

There’s a lot of lampshade-making going on in the world, according to Google. These two sites were really useful – they gave us most (but not quite all) of the information and tips we needed:

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My friend Moira and I have just made ourselves a couple of lamps. We love the results but we don’t think it’s the start of a whole new craft career.


From this:

lamp bases in raw timber state

To this:

two completed lamps

… in just a few complicated steps.

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Some view! Mt Buffalo early on a cold Sunday morning, clouds filling the Ovens valley and the sun shining brilliantly up on the plateau. As if that wasn’t enough excitement, the Mt Buffalo Chalet clearing auction was about to get underway.


mt buffalo - view across Ovens valley

The first I knew about the clearing auction was from an article in The Age last month. I’ve since done a bit more reading. The chalet has had an interesting history. It dates back to 1910 and was ‘the epitome of luxury’ apparently (though the guests who scored rooms with no heating probably wouldn’t have agreed). It closed in 2007 after it came close to being destroyed by the bushfires that took out large parts of the national park in December 2006-January 2007.

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Do you ever look at your boxes of family photos and despair about when you’ll ever get around to sorting them out? You know, writing names and dates on the back, putting them in albums, chucking out the ones you look ugly in …? How about scanning them all? Sorry but this post might put you off doing anything.


What started out as a smallish, one-off photo scanning job morphed, over a period of 5 years, into a large, complex project with no end in sight.

edith and loyIn January 2008 I scanned about 200 family photos for my mother’s 80th birthday party to create a slide show. It was a huge success – everyone loved reminiscing over images of weddings, Christmas celebrations, beach holidays, babies and grandchildren. Except I ended up with such a sore arm from all the repetitive work that I needed a long mental break before I could face switching on the scanner again.

I made another start in 2011 and then ran out of enthusiasm as the pile of photos and old documents grew. There was only a bit more progress in 2012, and finally a serious amount of effort this year.

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When we were young Dad decided, out of the blue, to build us a dolls house. I’m not talking about some lame, scaled-down replica you dump your Barbie dolls in or a pokey, crawl-in box suitable only for three-year-olds. No, ours was adult-size – with stumps, wooden framework, glass windows and a corrugated iron roof. Big enough to rent out to a small family.

It’s a significant part of the family history, at least for me and my two younger sisters. The trouble is no one ever took any photos of it. When did Dad build it? What did it look like exactly? When did it eventually get pulled down? Was it standing for 5, 6, 7 … years? Important questions but, frustratingly, no definitive answers.
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Over the years I’ve sewn more clothes than I can remember. I’ve been through that phase of making dresses using old 50s and 60s patterns bought in op shops. I’ve made complicated coats using old-school tailoring methods and I’ve whipped up very sloppy outfits in a few hours just so I could wear them that night. I really love putting effort into special projects – the ones where the pattern grabs you or the fabric is gorgeous or what you’re making is just the thing your wardrobe needs right now (I’m thinking that trench coat I finished last week). Sometimes I go for ages sewing nothing at all. At other times it’s back-to-back projects.

When I get bored with sewing I look around for furniture to restore. Unfortunately it’s getting harder to find quality, solid timber pieces in op shops and second-hand stores. And anything people dump on nature strips these days is pretty much Ikea-type junk. But right now I’ve got 3 jobs lined up. So I reckon that’ll keep me happy for a while.

I want this blog to be a place where I document my projects. There’s only a sketchy outline in my head right now of how it should look. I guess I’ll just let it develop naturally as I go. We’ll see …

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