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Hello, my name is Sandy.

100 Days of Teacup (Set 5)

Brush strokes set

Fuck yeah, I am done. Pardon my language, but after 100 days of commitment, I feel I've earned a few swear words. Promise I won't spend them all at once.

This is set 5.

Day 81: Coloured shapes cutouts

Day 81: Coloured shapes cutouts. Decorated my sketchbook with pieces of a Kikki-K sticker book cover.

Day 82: A teacup-shaped cryptic crossword about tea

Day 82: A teacup-shaped cryptic crossword about tea. I put a lot of effort into this, yet still it might not be any good. There's a printable at bit.ly/crypteacrossword if this is your sort of thing.

Day 83: Stolen coaster

Day 83: Stolen coaster from Dominion League in Perth.

Day 84: Brush strokes 2

Day 84: Brush strokes 2. Acrylic on canvas. Working on a set from day 68http://sanlive.com/100-days-of-teacup-set-4/.

Day 85: Brush strokes 3

Day 85: Brush strokes 3. Acrylic on canvas.

Day 86: Brush strokes 4

Day 86: Brush strokes 4. Acrylic on canvas. The set is complete!

Day 87: Hobonichi teacup

Day 87: Hobonichi teacup. I am in love with my Hobonichi AVEC Cousin, a beautiful planner/notebook from Japan.

Day 88: Stencil teacup

Day 88: Stencil teacup, done with my 20-year old Caran D'ache crayons. The stencilling was what sold me on them - soft gradients, lovely colours.

Day 89: Teacups in my house 1

Day 89: Teacups in my house 1. A drawing in a mini-zine.

Day 90: Teacup on a woven table

Day 90: Teacup on a woven table. This table was given to us by previous neighbours as they were moving house. The woven top is rotting away; I plan to replace it with wood. Maybe jarrah or plain ol' pine, or whatever nice thing they have at Perth Wood School.

Day 91: Sewing drawing

Day 91: Sewing drawing. Kind of fun Would try again.

Day 92: Teacups in my house 2

Day 92: Teacups in my house 2. "Lintu" is Finnish for bird. :)

Day 93: The calm centre with tea

Day 93: The calm centre with tea. I received a letter from my penpal in The Netherlands. It had some stickers in it, one of which was a teacup!

Day 94: Tea and craggy biscuits

Day 94: Tea and craggy biscuits. Fountain pen ink on cotton paper.

Day 95: Fabric ink on calico

Day 95: Fabric ink on calico. Drawing testers for a sewing project.

Day 96: Waiting for tea

Day 96: Waiting for tea. Watercolour on cotton paper.

Day 97: Strawberry cup

Day 97: Strawberry cup, to match my new strawberry tower in the garden.

Day 98: Teacups in my house 3

Day 98: Teacups in my house 3.

Day 99: Teacups in my house 4

Day 99: Teacups in my house 4. There's actually a 5th type of teacup in my house too, but it's not very interesting to draw, and I can only fit 4 in the mini-zine.

Day 100: Acrylic on wood

Day 100: Acrylic on wood.

And that's it. :)))

Finishing felt great. Spending the following evening without this on my mind felt even greater. I went to training, I came home, I went to bed - THAT WAS IT.

Brush strokes set

It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.

Not sure if Confucius actually said that, but it's a nice thought, especially in the context of this exercise. I started my 100 days hoping to develop more creative habits in my everyday life.

At the start, I was nervous about art, about my ideas being lame. But pretty quickly, it became apparent how little that matters. Coincidentally, perhaps through the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon, this became apparent in other areas of my life too - that it doesn't matter if the idea is crap. You having done something makes it significantly better, and often enough, what you end up with will suffice.

In the weeks that followed, I realised art doesn't have to be complex or difficult. You can do some pretty cool things without too much effort or commitment. Sure, inspiration and innovation are fun, but it takes perseverance and focus to turn them into something you can appreciate. Effort makes an idea matter.

Reassuring, isn't it? To know you've already succeeded at something just by having a go. Whether you hit the target is immaterial - you could well hit it on your next go. Of course, we're only talking about trying out art projects here. Don't take this mentality to the Roulette table.

It's only been a few days since the project ended, but more than before, I feel in the habit of creating. I can't attribute this to any one cause. Having such an intense track record gets me feeling more capable and motivated. But it could just as easily be that my art supplies are conveniently arranged now, so it's easier to dive in and make something. Maybe it's simply coincidence, a by-product of our new house having a better layout and more room for tools. Maybe it's the combination of all these things.

Thank you, everyone, for your support, hearts, likes, comments, and advice. I'm glad I had a go. Whether the new habits stick remains to be seen, but for the moment, I got what I wanted out of it. And now I'm going to savour the feeling of it being over. :)

Life should be a quiet weekend away

cats are good at helping you pack

We went away for the weekend. Spent 3 days away. Lucky I have a useful cat who helps me pack. Cats are good at helping you pack.

daybed at the Bay Village Resort, Dunsborough

I love Dunsborough. We stayed at the Bay Village Resort, a quaint, clean collection of apartments, cottages, chalets and villas. It backs onto The Pour House, the pub we seem to visit every night when we're there. Upstairs from the pub is a food place. Last few times we went, it was a burger joint. Now it's a bar-restaurant called Meat People.

Meat People bar and menu

beef brisket at Meat People

We ate there a lot. I decided to be good and not take pictures of every meal. But I did take this one meal. The beef brisket, served with slaw. In fact, there's slaw all up in this place. And the salad garnishes for some of their other dishes are bloody awesome. One salad was a mix of rocket, dill, mint, coriander, and pickles. So good.

Legolas with bigger arms and more beard

A round of archery ensued. Niaal spent the lead-up getting pro tips from an ex-competitive archer friend, while I had to make do with what I remembered from the ever-so-safe Lars Andersen video (no, don't copy him, you'll get kicked out of the park). Out of the two of us, I came second, which I think is a decent effort.

possum napping in a tree

And we saw a possum napping in a tree! This was at the Busselton Archery Family Fun Park, which is pretty foresty. They have a cute mini-golf course too, and a go-kart zippy track for kids. Nice way to spend an hour or two in the morning.

sampler at Eagle Bay Brewery

Then came the beer paddle. I'd love it if more non-brewery pubs did this in Perth. Maybe a themed palette, or a tour of craft beers, or something like that. As much as I love a good pint, I can't put away so many now, so I get two beers at most out of an afternoon session. And if you're having a whole pint, you gamble when you switch away from something you like.

tasting notes at Eagle Bay Brewery

Anyway, of course I got the Eagle Bay paddle. Kolsch and Mild were my favourites. :D

daybed and table at Evviva Cafe

I like the breakfast at Evviva Café. I don't know why they need 3 v's in their name, but it doesn't make their food any less tasty. The decor is nice, bit hippy and hipster-ish, and mostly outdoors with a grassy area.

avo and poached eggs at Evviva Cafe

I loved my savoury breakfast, but Niaal's sweet pancakes were for the birds. Literally.

little honey eater eating honey

^____^

a periwinkle, Austrolittorina unifasciata

We did a lot of beaching, and looking at things on the beach. Here is a banded periwinkle (Austrolittorina unifasciata), a type of sea snail.

weird green thing we found on the beach

This is a sea booger.

noodle-shaped seaweed

Some sea noodles.

lumpy seaweed

A sea tree of sea peas.

walking on water or sandbar?

And walking seaman.

Duckstein beer samples

And then more beer. This time at Duckstein.

the road home

It's nice to be home now, and back into the swing of things. I admit, I did spend a bit of time thinking about what to do when we got home.

One big thing is planting jasmine in the front garden. People have told us it's their only plant going crazy in the heatwave, and I'd like a hardy summer plant to create a microclimate and keep other plants alive. But more about that later. We're definitely not in a heatwave at the moment (week of thunderstorm).

Another big thing is making stuff from stuff I've grown. But not cooking. We don't eat or cook enough to keep our crops in check. Without a steady purpose for herbs, it's hard to be motivated about maintaining them. So maybe if I start making nice lasting things, like infused oils or soaps, it'll be easier to stay diligent about the cultivation. I'd like to explore this more.

And I want to try making lace. And paper. I want to clean my typewriter. I want to get cracking on my EP goal for this year. I want, I want, I want...

But I feel a psychological wall between me and all these things. A wall that's probably always been there, which I'm only seeing properly since starting to get my house in order. Cleaning has surfaced much that I initially procrastinated on, then tucked away. I'm only a couple months into the 6-month konmari campaign, but with just a bit of clutter gone so far, I can actually see the stuff I'd set aside "for later". And I have now done a few of those "later" tasks.

So, I suppose the most important big thing now that we're home will be to persevere with cleaning.

Woop dee doo!

A little post before bed

partly-composed letter to a new penpal

I am slightly obsessed with paper things, at the moment. And penpalling, and planner stationery. I ordered my first Filofax and wonder if I should worry for my sanity. Maybe when it arrives, I can schedule and budget and plan for not turning into a crazy old lady.

It is way past my bedtime, yet I feel compelled to post. Like it will make me fall asleep quickly and have nice dreams. Who knows, maybe it will. So here are some things...

a little snail

Our worm farm seems to be doubling as a snailery lately. After seeing so many baby slugs and snails that don't look like the gargantuan horrible hungry things they grow up to be, I no longer feel these gastropods are a pest in our garden. They're still not allowed in the veggie bed, but like the worms, are treated as little pooping pets in our ecosystem.

pumpkin seedling

So far so good with my pumpkin seedling. I culled its twin sister, so we are feeding only one plant now. Slowly, the other plants - strawberries, silverbeet and rocket - are being harvested out of that bed, so the pumpkin can take over.

home-grown onion on a home-made pizza

We ate home-grown onion on a home-made pizza the other night. #baketober I have eaten a lot of onion this week, which doesn't generally agree with me. I've not been sleeping well, and my appetite's been average. I wonder if this could be a factor.

grilled barramundi from Village Bar

Was good today, though. For lunch, I ate this grilled barramundi from Village Bar, and it was pretty much amazing.

preparing to make a book box

Finally, to celebrate finishing my last horticulture assignment (for real this time), I'm going to try making a book box. More on that when my eyes aren't trying to close.

Hasta mañana, my friends. Good night.

What's been going on

abandoned toy rabbit on a shopping centre bench

Whenever people ask me what's been going on, I experience a moment of utter panic. Not only do I have to remember what's happened, I have to pick a timeframe of events. Then if I don't know the asker well, I have to guess if they're a normie who doesn't want to know I'm training my cat to walk on a leash.

cat on a leash

Well, that's out of the bag now, isn't it.

whiskey being poured at Whipper Snapper Distillery

A couple weeks ago, we went to the Whipper Snapper Distillery, which just opened in East Perth. They were preparing for the official opening, so we got a "behind the behind-the-scenes" tour. I feel totally hipster about that, but would like to go again now they're properly open.

bearded distiller Jimmy teaches us about whiskey making

a cup of wheat grains

We learned about the whiskey-making process. First, it starts with making a grain mash to ferment (into beer!). The liquid part is then distilled in a giant steampunk looking machine.

large copper still for distilling alcohol

holding chamber open - smells good

After distillation, you get alcohol. "Moonshine", you'd call it when you're making it on the sly at home, except these guys are doing it legally, and really distilling the fuck out of it, more than any normal person would. From there, the spirit is aged in barrels, where is takes on flavours and colours from the wood. Once aged, it may be called "whiskey".

Whipper Snapper

Their whiskey was still in barrels, but they had some bottled moonshine on hand, which is pretty much pure alcohol, watered down to make it consumable. I may reconsider my highbrow prejudice against drinking this stuff. The feeling it leaves is exactly like the first 5 seconds of chomping on cool mint chewing gum, only it goes for ages. It just tastes fresh forever.

newfoundland puppy

Last week, I saw a Newfoundland dog for the first time ever. He was only 10 months old, and MASSIVE. I can't believe how big they get. Yarr, I want a dog. As soon as there's room in our lives, our animal empire shall grow.

Bar Pop in the Urban Orchard, Northbridge

Visited a Bar Pop in the Urban Orchard in Northbridge. For a bar with no fixed address, they have a decent range on the menu. Charging pub prices, and I'm sure the serves are smaller, but worth it to sit outside on a nice evening.

When the weather warms up here, the city fills up with cool festival and pop-up type stuff. Markets, arts events, portable fooderies - how ephemeral! Perth Cactus and Perth Arena notwithstanding, this end of the country is coming along nicely.

IAOMAS conference programme

I had the privilege of taking photos at the first IAOMAS conference in Australia. I'm barely above a white belt at photography, so I felt pressure to step up and be responsible for something official.

martial arts seminar and demonstration

personal, professional instruction

What an experience! The most awe-striking was being around female instructors. I don't get much out of "all girls" and "for women" culture, and I don't gravitate to other people based on gender, but in sport, there's only so much I can relate to male body parts because I don't have male body parts. Seeing something done by someone who's built like me makes it easier for me to learn it too.

calculating decay over time using Euler's number

Some maths happened. It was one of those moments where you remember school, thinking, "I'll never need this in real life!" Turns out if you ever want to do anything fun with computers, you do need it. Every day, stuff like this comes up, and I'm so grateful we have the internet.

Alphabotanicals: A for Arnica

Started something new this week. There's a bunch of stuff I've wanted to learn for ages, but couldn't find time, so obviously the solution is to make art as an incentive to study them all together.

This is "Alphabotanicals" - studies in type, plants, and drawing. More on this to come.

me in the blood donation chair - yuck

Finally, I gave blood today. I hate it, yuck. Needles have given me the willies since that time. I managed to give blood since then, but that was rubbish too cos they only let me have a muffin. I gave them half a litre of my life essence and all I got was a stale muffin.

Not this time, though. Fuck you, 2013 canteen nurse. I got a sausage roll today!!!! 2014 nurse knows where it's at.

I carry a small fear that I'll regress to my stressful, sedentary lifestyle of 10ish, 11ish years ago. When I go for more than a few weeks without football, when my weight stalls or drops, I fear my efforts over the last decade were for nothing.

But today, I'm weighing in at 49.5kg (clothes on) with a haemoglobin reading of 152. I am still healthy.

This evening, I am enjoying the thunderstorm and some computer games. ^___^

So, what's been going on with you?

Chilli con carne and other things

bright red chillies on the bush

These hot beauties are cayenne chilli peppers from a two year old bush in our garden. I had my doubts, as the last couple of harvests haven't been spicy at all.

my two year old, frequently pruned chilli plant

Anyway, I was wrong. They had some kick, presumably because we've had a very warm summer - letting the plant dehydrate results in more concentrated flavour chemicals in the fruit. I didn't realise until today that cayenne is of decent hotness on the Scoville scale, at least according to the comic sans text on this website.

chilli con carne

We planned to throw the lot into a slow-cooked chilli con carne, but ended up only using four. They lost some heat, but still contributed to the dish. See here this photo with a blob of full fat sour cream. Mm~

Yesterday was full of tasty things. We had lunch at The Red Chair Café in Subiaco. Below is my Vietnamese spring roll noodles.

Vietnamese spring roll noodles

Nudie soft drink

I'm not usually keen on soft drinks, but this 'Nudie & Soda' was pretty good. It must be new, cos I'm not seeing it on their site. Best thing: it's NOT stupidly sweet. The ingredients say it's carbonated juices plus a little cane sugar - yeah, there's still sugar, but it was listed way, way late, which is a welcome change from seeing sweetener as the first or second item.

For an afternoon snack, I used up leftover lamb stock from a roast we made last Sunday - I say 'lamb stock', but it's just leftover liquid in the slow cooker, about 600ml worth. I was worried because the stock sat in the fridge all week, but I found there was a nice half-centimetre layer of solid lard on top - presumably that helps keep the air out, and the liquid fresh.

A few leftover veggies, handful of rice and some tomato paste (and one garden chilli) made a freakishly yummy soup. No stock powder, no extra salt - aaah, this healthy waste-less kitchen thing is starting to make some sense. :)

Dora, airing her harbl

My Fortnight of No Plans has started out well. Got some homework done, watched a lot of telly, and I've been learning how Ghost templates work. I'm mucking around with code again and it feels neat. I think I've missed it. Not as a job, though. Nineteen years ago, I took up dev and design for fun and looking back now, I think working in the industry made me grow to hate it. I never touch it during office hours these days, and feel really happy playing with it again.

Friends tell me it was a bad work environment that let me down, not the work itself. I'm willing to keep an open mind. I'd still like to be less deskbound later in my career.

It's now almost 4pm on a Sunday. I hope you're having a nice weekend too. I'm leaving now to go find something to eat.

Slow time

Receding heatwave for Perth

For a city that's not getting a heatwave after all, it's pretty bloody warm here. But no matter, the day still ended with a warm, tasty drink.

Blendy stick matcha drink

I got a box of Blendy stick matcha au lait while we were in Japan. They've not been so popular around the office, so I've taken it upon myself to finish what's left. It's not bad. Definitely not the taste I expected for the texture, or vice versa. It appears to be a blend of matcha and milk powder, to which you add hot water and get a slightly milky liquid with a creamy mouthfeel and green tea flavour. With a teaspoon and a half of honey, it tastes all right.

Today is the start of my Fortnight of No Plans. After deciding to be less busy, my calendar filled up and now I feel unwell. So this is a new habit to make time for rest.

tea for tú

I did catch up with some friends last night. Arrived early and accidentally caught a piece of a PIAF performance called You Once Said Yes, at tea for tú. They welcomed eavesdroppers. It sounded quite moving, confronting.

tea for tú seating

We drank and snacked at Mechanics. No, there are no photos of our snacks. Yes, I know the pictures make it look like I have no friends and sat by myself in an empty cafe.

my junk

This evening, I ate dinner, did some homework, fixed a broken hand fan, and paid a bill. ^___^ Ahhhh~ slow time is mine once more... precious...

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