Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas Projects (for next year...)

Attempt the minimalist Christmas tree bookshelf. Variations from apartment therapy and (too 'designed' for me) modern design.

Apart from the whole meltingly hot aspect of an Australian Christmas, I love the idea of this candy wreath from skip to my lou. Tho' why cut the sweets/lollies/candy off? Eating by unwrapping one end would leave a fluffy silver-papery wreath.

Make your own paper Hermes Kelly gift bag with downloadable patterns (from the Hermes site).

Recycled gift tags made from glossy catalogues and magazines by peapods.

I confess that I was inspired by these crocheted candy chains (from dollar stores crafts) to finger-stitch some chains with bells and buttons instead of lollies... for the cats.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Linear History

Found via better living through design, the 'History by the Meter' ruler by Metermorphosen: see here for this and more (I can recommend their 'Paintings By The Running Meter' ruler).

Monday, December 15, 2008

Squirrels of France

It is perverse to add Chateau Vaux-le-Vicomte to the 'must see' list just because of the heraldic squirrel connection. Paris Breakfasts has some images. Sadly it is closed in Jan./Feb., but just thinking about their restaurant called 'L'Écureuil' makes me happy. I'd settle for a mug...

Monday, December 8, 2008

Famous Blaggers, No. 83

Where did I first see this image which I've been transferring from notebook to notebook for many years? I can't recall now; however it is reproduced in Steve Pile's The Body and the City: Psychoanalysis, Space, and Subjectivity (Routledge, 1996) with ©BIFF Products.

Monday, December 1, 2008


For solitaire-addicts who love beautiful things... Buy into the Tiffany lifestyle for only AUD$45 here.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Pineapple Ephemera

From the wonderful new Google digitalization of Time Life photographs: "Sen. John Kennedy & his bride Jacqueline in their wedding attire, as they sit down together at table to begin eating a pineapple salad at formally set table outdoors at their wedding reception." (Location: Newport, RI, US; Date taken: 1953; Photographer: Lisa Larsen; ©Time)

Thursday, November 20, 2008


'Tis the season for making the annual Christmas piñata in my household. Last year a rather mangy cat kept the niece and nephew and the neighbours' kids amused for a long, long, l-o-n-g time (maybe fewer layers this year...). And then there was the supplementary just-in-case one, the 'piñata of shame', covered in pictures of people who well deserved to be whacked with a stick. This year, thanks to instructions in the local paper on making a papier-mâché piggy bank, I think I'll try a big pink pig piñata. I think the paper may have pinched the 'recipe' from here.

Friday, November 14, 2008


Another great gift for the classicist with everything from the brilliant
Unemployed Philosophers Guild: "Eternally condemned, Sisyphus pushes his rock round as the seconds tick by." You can get your 'Freudian Slippers' here too.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Books in Long Rows

In her memorial essay for Sylvia Beach of 'Shakespeare & Co.', Janet Flanner wrote: "Sylvia had a vigorous clear mind, an excellent memory, tremendous respect for books as civilizing objects and was really a remarkable librarian. She loved the printed word and books in long rows."

Source: Shari Benstock, Women of the Left Bank: Paris, 1900-1940 (U. Texas Press, 1986).

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Book Lust

From the publisher Chatto & Windus: "An entirely new kind of biography, Oscar’s Books explores the personality of Oscar Wilde through his reading. It argues that reading exercised a formative influence on Wilde’s character and was the inspiration for his own writings."

One review. Not released in Australia until November.

Image source: (c) Chatto & Windus/Random House.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Friday, October 3, 2008

Thinking about Christmas

Christmas presents? The DVA's 2009 calendar features posters such as 'Join Us in a Victory Job'. Available from the Australian War Memorial shop. Buy some Flanders poppy seeds too.

Image source (with full description): Australian War Memorial.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Mouseman of Kilburn

An Oxford Dictionary of National Biography Life of the Day in August featured 'The Mouseman of Kilburn', Robert Thompson (1876-1955) whose signature was (and is) a carved mouse: see here. Images here and here.

Image source: Robert Thompsons.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Leavenworth Case

Seeking only a reading copy of Anna Katharine Green's The Leavenworth Case (1878), a trip to the university library produced this gem: a late nineteenth century paperback. The library dates it to 1884, a Ward Lock & Co. of London 'one shilling' paperback with period advertising on the back and inside pages ("Goodall's Egg Powder. The Only Substitute For Eggs Yet Discovered") and even some uncut pages at the back (the publisher's other offerings...). And it's a good read too.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

After Reading a Book on Abnormal Psychology

by Ernest G. Moll (1900-1997)

Now all desires -- even unknown ones -- I had
Stand stript before me with their names writ under.
And will this make me really sane, I wonder,
Or only more intelligently mad?

Source: Howarth, R.G.; Slessor, K.; Thompson, J. (eds.) The Penguin Book of Modern Australian Verse (1961), p.65

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Country cookbooks

Something to look forward to at this year's Royal Adelaide Show -- the launch of a collection of recipes from the country shows of South Australia. There's a preview in The Advertiser (3/9/08).

Image source: Wakefield Press

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Things I Must See

Ever since I saw a poster of this vase about 15 years ago, I have had the Musée Guimet high on my list of Things I Must See. I am determined to get there next year. The web site says it is temporarily closed due to a "serious technical injury" (one hopes it is not the smashing of this vase; cf. the Fitzwilliam Museum debacle).

Mille Fleurs famille rose vase. China, c. 1736-1795 (H. 48cm). Image source: Musée Guimet, Paris (inv. no. G 3444). The web site is a nice one, and you can send yourself a postcard of various lovely things.