Monday, May 28, 2007


I was in the paper.

I was on the radio. (Scroll down to April 1. My interview runs approximately twenty minutes spanning Part 1 and 2 of the archive file.)

And I'll be speaking and teaching letterpress at Books.07 in Noosa in September. (No link available as yet.)


Saturday, May 19, 2007

My new slippers

Originally uploaded by ana ventura.

Aren't these lovely? Made by Teresa Cunha, a friend of Ana Ventura's mother. Arrived from Portugal wrapped in bright orange tissue, just in time for cold weather.


Thursday, May 10, 2007

ISBN 4-277-43063-5

Still can't crochet, dammit. Told myself to pull my socks up a while ago, and stop pretending that somehow it'd come to me overnight. I learned to knit and embroider as a kid, and while I hope I've improved since then, I think it's no coincidence that these are the techniques with which I feel most comfortable. Kind of like learning a second language before the age of six, I think. Some part of my brain sealed over before crochet got in. It doesn't help that everywhere you look there's lovely crochet happening, and people proclaiming, come on, it's easy. In spite of myself, I'm re-inspired, after listening to Brenda Dayne's interview with Annette Petavy. She's one of the ones touting crochet's easiness, but somehow, her tone is encouraging, rather than simply taunting.

This book has also re-inspired. Again, I can't tell for sure, but I think this is all the work of Eriko Aoki. If, by some miracle, I can conquer crochet, everyone I know will be getting a string bag for Christmas. Or a scarf loosely based on these drink coasters. In the event I fail, you'll all be getting heavy felt oven mitts.

Sometime back in January, I single, double and treble crocheted my way through a marathon night session at the Australian Open, feeling more and more confident that I'd cracked it. Only, my test square wasn't actually square: it was more of a triangle. As far as I can tell, I 'm not picking up the final chain in the row below, and for the life of me, can't tell where that might be. I swore I'd practice a little crochet a day, accepting my beginner status with zen-like calm. Rome wasn't built in a day, and all that. It hasn't happened. And I still can't play the piano, and my French..... well. Back to it.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Second sock syndrome, conquered

I woke with a start at a quarter to six this morning. Thought, as good a time as any to write a blog post. I’ve been walking to work recently, which takes an hour at a fast-ish dawdle. I’m very glad it’s possible, because even ten minutes in a crush of pinstriped commuters begins the day on a slightly sour note. This way, I feel my kinship is with the dog walkers and early-rising groups of Japanese tourists. I cut through the back lanes of Richmond over to the MCG, through the Fitzroy Gardens and past the cathedral. I think about getting a bike, and mentally cheer every time I see someone riding in his or her regular clothes. I understand the practicality, or necessity even, of showering and changing at work, but I hate the idea. I plan to ride slow.

Slow’s been on my mind. I’m still digging out from under a To Do List laden with responsibilities stretching back to last year. Unfortunately, I’ve let whole slabs of life fall by the wayside (correspondence for one.) I’m ashamed to say that the e-mail contact to the right there wasn’t actually set to forward to my main account until a few days ago. (I just didn’t realise, and am too embarrassed right now to tell you how I worked it out.)

Lunch at my new workplace is 45 minutes long, which isn’t quite long enough. Fortunately, they’re fast at Slow Food Piadina, which was where my friend (businessman/suit) suggested that craft is the secret to a happy life. I’d been explaining tasks at work: making boxes, sewing and covering books, cleaning photographs, sorting negatives. It’s calming, satisfying work, and if I can pull myself together, will be a good mesh with my own work. Small steps.

Even with my dismal posting schedule, I continue to receive wonderful comments, each of which make me resolve to post and comment more. I haven’t been thanking people individually (see above), but every comment is a small paper plane into my world with the word encouragement on it. Thank you.

Which reminds me: D posted a brilliant treatise of a comment on my post about bircher museli, exposing me as the dimwitted food dilettante that I am. I’d never heard of a piadina until a few ago, and my only thought on encountering them was, D, what do you know about this? Do write and tell.

Finally, in celebration of slowness, see the above finished lollipop socks. Long-time readers will remember that I wasn’t convinced that I was knitting these the right side out. I’m still not sure. I presented my mother with one sock last Mother’s Day. This year, she’ll have a pair.