Friday, 27 March 2009

that really grates my cheese

AWwwww man!

I lost my favourite cardi (I thought it was in the car, but I checked this morning, it's not, now I'm cold and lonely.)

I stepped on my holga and have probably broken it. (the lens is pushed in lopsided and we couldnt pry it back out. )

I think we have fleas. Again. (The cat certainly does, poor lil bugger)

I watched this devastating video about glaciers melting due to global warming.

I found out hot tea gives you cancer.

I don't deserve nice things.

Thursday, 26 March 2009


This guy, Craig Damrauer, is damn funny. And clever too.

It's true, I could, but I didn't. Check out his amazing website, you could click on for hours.

Spotted on Design for Mankind, thanks Erin!

Monday, 23 March 2009

road trip

Well, my weekend is not yet officially over, there are several more hours to go. But so far, I'd say 7 and a half of my 13 things to do this weekend have been ticked off. Not bad, not bad.

Best of all, Tom and I finally went on that road trip to Wattamolla beach that we have been meaning to go on every weekend for the past 4 weeks. Due to rain and hangovers, we have been thwarted at every pathetic attempt. But the sun was shining today, and even though Tom was out all night til the wee hours watching the Premier League in the pub, he still managed to drag me out of bed in time to get a reasonable start on our 'holiday'.

We live about a 5 minute drive from Australia's busiest beach, Bondi. It's pretty hard to get some decent real estate on that sand because of all the tourists, that's why actual locals swim at Bronte, our prefered dip in the ocean blue. But today we drove down south for about an hour to the Royal National Park. It was very exciting!

It's pretty amazing how quickly you can escape from the city in this country. Growing up in the Blue Mountains, which is at least an hours drive from Sydney, depending on how far up the mountain you live, we were always well aware of how quickly you could get some peace and quiet in the bush, something I'm pretty sure most city/outer suburban types have no idea about. Bush plus ocean is even better though. I love it when the vegetation gets all thick, low and scrubby, you can just tell that you are getting close to the beach.

Wattamolla has a beach and a lagoon, both of which were pretty sheltered. The water was a little nippy, could have been a degree or two warmer, but it is late March, so summer is well and truly over.
The Lagoon to your left

The Ocean to the right of the Lagoon. With added Tom!

The Left hand side of the beach. Southside.

Tom was a little disappointed to find that there were other people at the beach. Still, compared to the thousands of swimmers at our local beaches, a dozen is hardly something to complain about. I was pretty happy!

We found some pretty cool washed up seaweed. It wasn't slimy either. I hate slimy. It was firm and thick and well, lovely.

And loads of awesome, but very shy crabs too.

I am obsessed with moss. Ocean moss is one of my favourite types. It looks like miniature hills, like some green Irish field somehow popped up on the other side of the world. I wish I could take it home and make ocean terrariums with it. I would water it with salt water and love it til it died.

Saturday, 21 March 2009

luckily, sara...

I have so many things I want to get done this weekend.

*clean house*start reading new book*write book review for Blindness*draw*make some new mini terrariums*buy Grants bday present by winning stuff on ebay*put away laundry*make cupcakes for Jonno's bday*road trip to Wattamolla beach*load up the camera*write my cosy piece for words and pictures*fly the kite*come on get happy*

Chances of getting anything done? Slim....Last nights attempts at action involved watching The Lost Boys on cable and eating lots of Mum's nutella cake whilst Tom did the laundry. I have a bad track record at productivity, meeting deadlines, indulging procrastination, and saying no when it comes to nutella.

LUCKILY there are other Sara's getting stuff done this weekend. On Google. See, just type in luckily + your name for some positive reinforcement. Thanks for the tip Pip!

"Luckily, Sara had her night vision goggles on and was able to lower me a ladder"
"Luckily Sara spent the entire time practicing her spanish with Alan"
"Luckily, SARA provides Windows XP .exe files for the main application components"
"Luckily Sara was on hand to open the wrapper without any unfortunate burning incidents"
"Luckily Sara did not have to work"
"Luckily, Sara and her brother worked well together"
"Luckily Sara and her Dad Aage came to our rescue and took us to their lovely home"
"Luckily, Sara's character gets to stick around for at least the rest of the season"

and last, but not least,
"Luckily, Sara discovered the answer today"

See? How good's that! I discover the answer! That counts for something, right?

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

best cocktail ever

This is quite possibly the most cooling, refreshing and inner core warming drink I've ever had. It's like some magical potion that they would serve at Hogwarts dinners, sans the alcohol of course, that is saved for the midnight feasts of young, wayward wizards. Ahh, the magic of underage drinking. But I digress.

Seriously, this Watermelon slushie with ginger mint syrup is magic.
Here, I'll show you how to concoct one.

This is what you will need.

That's watermelon, fresh mint, a knob of ginger, some ginger wine and some sugar (icing sugar and castor sugar). Optional, is vodka, or even more vodka. (Highly recommended.)
Exact amounts are not necessary. I can never follow recipes to the dot. Mainly because I have a problem with authority but also because I am lazy at maths.

Anyway, scrape out the watermelon flesh into your food processor. Add a spoon or two of icing sugar to the mix. Whizz it, Drain it, Freeze it. You only waste a wee amount of watermelon pulp, don't worry. Use a shallow dish to freeze the juice in so it freezes quicker.

Check it every five minutes to see if it's frozen yet. So exciting! It doesn't take that long either if you turn your freezer up. Here is where you can add the vodka if you're feeling adventurous. Just stir it in once the juice starts to freeze.

Next chuck equal amounts of castor sugar and water into a saucepan and heat, I used 1/2 a cup of each, so that it gently boils away and reduces to a lovely syrupy consistency. Whilst it's bubbling away, finely grate your knob of ginger. When you get bored, stop grating and chuck it in the pot and simmer away til the ginger becomes translucent and flavours the syrup. Resist the tempation to taste test here, it is very hot!

In between compulsively checking the freezer and occasionally stirring your bubbling syrup, tear up a bunch of fresh mint in a heat proof bowl. The original recipe calls for one firmly packed cup. I say however much is in a bunch.

Once the syrup is reduced, say, around 10 to 15 minutes, pour it into your heat proof mint filled bowl and allow to cool.

Look how the mint shrivels up! This is a good time to breathe deeply. Put your head over the bowl, smells SO good, it's like a facial. yummy mint and ginger steam facial...
Anyway, leave the syrup to cool. Maybe have a nap or something, beats doing household chores.

When you are ready to party, scrape the frozen watermelon with a fork so that magical pink ice crystals blossom. Drain the mint out of your syrup and add a cup or so of the Ginger wine* and stir. Taste, add in a lashing more of ginger wine and stir. Resist temptation to just down the syrup, there and then.

Spoon your ice crystals into a glass, pour 2 spoonfuls of syrup on top, top up the glass with a little more ice crystals and without further ado, down the hatch it slides.

This delicious recipe was spotted over at the lovely Stephanie's Elegant Sufficiency blog, where all good recipes hang out. See the original recipe on Gourmet Traveller if you absolutely must have exact amounts of ingredients.

I hope you enjoy this as much as I did! And please don't judge me for having a half renovated dirty kitchen with no splashbacks. It's rustic to have a cement wall okay, and a little grease on your cooktop never killed anyone. Did it?

*Stones Green Ginger Wine is available for around $10 a bottle at most liquor stores. Dad said that only bums used to drink the stuff when he was a kid. Ah, the gentrification of cheap liquors.

Saturday, 14 March 2009

etsy treasury

Wow, I'm tots excited because one of my works finally made it into an Etsy treasury! This is a first for me and it feels amazing to think that people are not only looking at my works, they're also liking what they see. I never really thought that would happen, it's been such a.....slow journey for me. But I am content meandering along the Etsy road, stopping to smell the roses as I wind my way to the top of the mountain. Well, I might make it there!

Check out the treasury here. Maybe I'll make it to the front page yet!

It's funny what pieces draw people. I'm always surprised to see which of my works are most popular, both on Etsy and Flickr. It's usually not the ones I think people will like. That doesn't say much about my photographic eye, does it?! So much for that Art Theory degree. I actually recently sold this print as well. Don't you think it's a little morbid?

Such a lovely angel though. Reminds me of Romeo & Juliet (the Baz Luhrman film), Nana Mac, and of family walks along the cliffs from Bondi to Bronte. Happy things. I wonder what it reminds other people of.

Friday, 13 March 2009


Here's another fuzzy shot from the weekend adventures. I have a thing for ivy these days. I stare lovingly at walls and houses covered in green bouncy leaves. All the pretty shades of green (not mouldy green though) make my heart sing.

I discovered this wall whilst walking with Dad and the dogs. I made Tom drive back there on several occasions to see if the light was good enough for a shot. Being on the south side, I was told early morning or late afternoon, neither of which times seemed to fit into our *ahem* busy weekend schedule. So I got impatient and just took a stab in the dark, as it were.

What luck that there was a flashmob of beautiful butterflies there as we drove up!

Well, actually I found these Japanese beauties on a lovely French girls blog and printed them off her flickr page. These butterflies are like citizens of the world now.

Thursday, 12 March 2009

hey there!

I got my film developed. Pretty disappointed really. Lots of them were just completely blurry. I do kind of remember taking them and thinking, did I move then when I hit the shutter? oh well. I also *forgot* that the viewfinder on the holga is not attached to the lens, so lining up a shot through the viewfinder will not result in water spurting out of my elephants trunk like I wanted it too...

maybe i am losing my holga mojo. I feel like each film just keeps getting worse and worse. My beginners luck is wearing off or something. I want to feel the magic again.

I don't think this is good enough to put in my etsy store.
I'll keep trying. I guess. ho hum.

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

words and pictures

Melbourne gal Meet Me at Mikes has sewn the seed of creativity in her blog, and it grows and grows all across the interwebs. One particular seed sprouted a creative writing tree. Each branch on this tree is a different theme to be written about, in any old way you feel like writing. It’s all about the writing, see. I’m climbing the tree. This week’s branch/theme is School Lunches. Read the original School Lunch post here or sign up for this creative writing extravaganza here.
But first – munch on this:

They say you are what you eat.
From the age of 5 to 18, I was mostly white bread. Overly processed, mass produced and tasteless, I ‘rebelled’ against my parents, wore ‘alternative’ clothing and ironically thought myself highly individual. A product of middle class Australia and generation y, everyone else’s lunches always seemed better than mine.
But they also say don’t judge a book by its cover.
That means it’s what’s inside the white bread that counts, right? Starting with peanut butter, moving on to salami and graduating to baked ricotta and salad. A little bit mainstream, a little bit ethnic, a little bit hippy. Always a struggle to fit it all in one bite. Might leave a nasty aftertaste when all combined.

Mostly, it’s the thought that counts though, right?
That makes me guilty. Guilty for throwing away my lunch every day for approximately 3 years in primary school. Not because of a blossoming eating disorder, but because Mum (lovingly and kindly) made my lunch with frozen bread. So gross to eat cold soggy sandwiches. So gross to see a pile of mouldy green square blocks piled waist high in the storeroom I dumped them all in, in order not to get caught throwing my lunch in the bin...
The moral of the story?
My school lunches made me who I am today. From lunch orders in brown paper bags, to soggy sandwiches, to leftover pumpkin risotto, ultimately my school lunches expanded my mind and my waistline. Sometime you just gotta learn the hard way I guess. If it wasn’t for the power of homemade baked ricotta I would never have attended enough school days to finish my HSC. If it wasn’t for mould, and the foods I abandoned in order for it to grow on, I would never have been confronted with the ramifications of my laziness. We eat, live and learn.

Thankfully, no sandwiches were harmed in the making of this post. Today’s lunch was salad – balsamic beetroot and feta, lentil and tabouli with walnuts and chicken with spinach and pesto. And delicious. Today the only mould I grow is in my bathroom. I suspect there is hope for me yet.

Incidentally, I really love the colour mould.


Loving this website - The Photographic Dictionary.
Stunning shots accompany dictionary descriptions for all sorts of words.


Sunday, 8 March 2009

rainy afternoon

It's been threatening to rain here for days and this afternoon it finally did. I was planning to take some photos outdoors but my holga needs full sunlight for a good shot. We decided to stay indoors and dabble with my old derwent watercolours instead.

I took shots using my holga too, but who knows how they will turn out. That's part of the joy of film I guess.

I'm trying to think happy thoughts whilst Tom watches I Am Legend. Can't handle sadness involving animals...or falling for a Will Smith performance.

Animals subjected to being photographed whilst trying to sleep is perfectly okay of course!

Friday, 6 March 2009

strongly worded emails

I totally rock at sending strongly worded emails. They are, quite possibly, my new favourite thing to do at work. They might not be as amazing as those sent to Richard Branson, but I like to imagine that they still have an impact.

Here is a sample of my latest work. I feel very strongly about this matter and felt I had to take a stand. Borders has been denying me, and the good people of Australia, a discount coupon for too many months now.

Hi Borders,

I’ll be honest with you. I subscribe to your email newsletters simply for the coupons. 20 – 30% off a full priced book has me running into your store to purchase books I’ve already read before, just for the bargain of it all. But where’s the love gone? I have noticed that you haven’t had such an offer since before Christmas. In the current economic climate, I simply can’t afford to shop for the sake of it, let alone without incentive. I’m begging you – BRING BACK THE COUPONS! And not the 20% off lonely planet type coupons – who are you kidding – no one can afford a holiday these days, even if the guide book is on sale.

Last year I was a weekly shopper at your Pitt Street Mall store in Sydney but this year I haven’t been in once. I’ll return as soon as I can afford it, which without a coupon, may be never.

Thanks for the memories,
Sara Carkagis
Dagnammit Borders, I asked for a gift voucher for your store for Christmas KNOWING that I could get more bang for my gifted buck with your weekly coupons and now I fear my gift card will diminish far quicker than hoped AND I could get the book I want at some other store for cheaper but will feel obliged to use my gift card instead. oh the humanity.

I wish books grew in my garden so I could pick them for free. Or at least in my neighbours garden anyway. I'm not so good at growing stuff really.

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